STARBOARD POCKET ROCKET 2016 BLUE CARBON
A smooth quality all round wave board, it offers loads of grip and control even in the gnarliest conditions. Plenty of stability for its length and reasonable glide – a good step down from a first time 9’0. It’ll shine in everything from knee high to over head. A forgiving safe bet from Starboard, it’ll make you want to SUP surf more.
The Pocket Rocket sits squarely in the middle of Starboard’s wave range, not short and stubby, not too wide, but with plenty of stability. Packs the usual Starboard great fittings: new ledge handle (their best yet), Startouch textured grip on front of the board, 6 part deck pad with split kick pad with raised arch. Tri fin set up with glass Hexal fins, (also quad boxes), board has subtle single concave throughout and this year they’ve tweaked the fin position to give better turning and thinned out the rails in the tail too.
Stable short board with strong performance credentials for riders up to 85kg. A popular progressive shape before advancing to the Pro range. Fast and agile due to mono-concave bottom shape and stable with moderate rails and fuller outline, it helps the heavier rider achieve maximum shred-ability without using too much energy standing up in choppy conditions.
Starboard have had this board in their range for some time (I had a ’09 version and loved it). The great thing about Starboard is they don’t leave a board alone; they’ll tweak and tune boards to get more out of them each year. The Pocket Rocket is a refined board that’s had many updates to bring it right up to date. So, what’s it like? It’s rock solid in the Blue Carbon version, has a super flat deck so it’s nice and comfy – stand just forward of the handle to find the balance point – and as with any board this size you’ll catch twice as many waves if you paddle in to the wave in your surf stance. Having a pretty wide nose with some rocker makes dropping in to a less than perfect wave pretty easy you just jump on the nose and keep paddling; it’s got plenty of volume up front to do this. Paddling around is pretty easy for a board of this size, not much row action and a reasonable glide too. The rails are fairly soft even behind your feet and don’t really harden up till the last couple of feet, this gives the board lots of grip and control on your bottom turn and makes turns off the white water really forgiving, it’s super easy and has the usual silky smooth Starboard feel. So is it for you? It’s a solid performing board that will work in just about anything, it’s easy to surf (for this size board), it’s going to be faster than a wide point style of board, far easier to catch waves than a stubby, but not as radical as the Pro range: a true all rounder. If you’re riding a 9’0 or 9’5 and fancy something that turns more like a short board and will flatter your riding, look no further.