The beady eyed will have noticed we featured this very same board in last issue, only the hard version. And as anyone with experience of SUP will tell you no two boards are the same, especially when comparing inflatable versions to their harder siblings.
Starboard’s Wide Point 10.5ft looks a lot different than its hard shell equivalent. For a start electro green colour coded, moulded fins will determine a very different feel once afloat. Add to the mix a tweaked rockerline and you get the idea this a different kind of beast.
As a stand alone product the WP is a great looking air board. A lot of time and effort has been spent creating a user friendly SUP but with bags of performance still intact. Construction techniques are suitably high end and the board’s weight ensures comfortable transport. Embedding their own rail stiffening system Starboard have made a good move, as such rigidity is exemplary. Inflating is super easy (and quick) with a grippy but comfortable deck pad rounding off proceedings.
On the water the WP 10.5ft sure has its own personality. It feels much more compact than dimensions would lead you to believe. Yet with 32” worth of width there are no stability issues – even when confronted by choppy water states. Glide and tracking are great with paddlers able to operate on auto pilot during flat water cruises – where the Wide Point is very at home.
Manoeuvres, such as pivot turns from the tail, are rewarding with enough room to allow error/improvement yet challenging enough to engage the user. Starboard’s hard shell Wide Point 10.5ft is a great wave rider (see review last issue for more on this) so how does the inflatable version compare? Pretty good was the overriding opinion. iSUPs, while getting ever closer to hard SUPs in terms of performance, aren’t quite there yet. That said the 10.5ft is fun to chuck about in the froth and it’s a board everyone from fair weather paddlers to seasoned pros will have a ball with.
It’s no surprise that Starboard have crafted a cracking inflatable with the Starboard Wide Point 10.5ft. Fun for all the family yet with enough performance to keep seasoned SUPers interested the 10.5ft is effortless to cruise atop or take for a spin in wavier conditions. High end construction with a top drawer finish it’s a desirable SUP toy to own and play with, whatever your level.
Price: £799 including alloy 3pc paddle