You instantly know when you’ve got a Starboard SUP in front of you. The quality and level of craftsmanship that goes into each shape is obvious – even more so in the flesh. Carbon and blue livery with super high end fittings and fixtures scream refined performance and we couldn’t wait to get it wet.
Having tested Starboard’s 2015 12.6ft x 28” AllStar we were intrigued how the 2016 14ft x 27” would stack up. It’s got a similar look, with ample volume in the nose, a scooped out cockpit and squared off boxy tail. Flip it over and the hull’s concave, running the entire length, is particularly pronounced. Petering out to sharp rails and finished off with a high end honeycomb race fin the AllStar 14ft looks ready for business.
Getting the 14ft AllStar to the water is a simple affair with its comfortable grip and lightweight. With fin in place it does tend to rock tailwards slightly. Positioning hands further forwards on the grip helps remedy this. If beach racing is your thing then the Allstar’s multiple handle location points allow you to get it setup just right for the fastest starts and transitions.
Glide is impressive as you sweep away from the beach. Even if flotsam should present itself the AllStar knifes through as if butter. Water displaces efficient and tracking is also good – rough conditions are actually rewarding when riding the AllStar 14ft.
While not being a specific race board, in the traditional sense, the AllStar resembles a hybrid shape that could be equal parts tourer, race SUP and downwind sled. Race upwind, spin on its heel – the 27” worth of width not really affecting things too much (in fact, the AllStar feels much more stable than dimensions would suggest) – and speed off with the breeze on your back.
Catching bumps is a doddle and linking rides is pretty easy to achieve – even for inexperienced downwind paddlers. Ridden off the tail the AllStar 14ft feels relatively lively. Need a moment of composure to catch your breath? Step forwards and everything calms back down. Therefore the AllStar really help SUPers progress.
Starboard’s AllStar 14ft x 27” echoes the feel of its smaller 2015 12.6ft x 28” sibling. An extremely easy to use but still technical SUP that can straddle multiple stand up environments without hassle. If you’re a racer looking for a competitive hull shape, here it is. If you fancy some flat water touring away from the race course, no probs. And when conditions turn on, winds blow and bumps roll, hop on with the AllStar 14ft x 27”.
Hybrid Carbon £1649.00 (13.8kg)
Full Carbon £2549.00 (12.5kg)