We’ve tested a number of different sized Starboard Wide Points over the last few issues and in all instances it’s been interesting to discover just how versatile these SUPs are. They may be designed with additional stability in mind but that hasn’t been to the detriment of performance. Will 2018’s Starboard Wide Point 9’5” Starlite be the same…?
The graphical element is what catches attentions first. Being bold and white means the 9’5” really stands out. Its tail has also been reconfigured and is now thinner leading to a sharper rail. Add in the funky looking deck pad and you’ve got an instantly recognisable Starboard on your hands and something that draws gazes.
Supplied with the Wide Point 9’5” are a decent set of thruster fins. A really nifty addition are the WP’s rails which have been wrapped in high grade woven carbon Innegra and able to withstand all the knocks, scuffs and dinks you can throw at it (within reason of course!).
On the water and it’s super stable but not a dead feeling ride. Planted pretty sums up the Wide Point 9’5”’s flat water performance. Starboard suggest lighter riders fancying a bit of flat water paddling would be fine on this board. We’d go a little further and say even middle weights would be fine sweeping round away from surf environments, such is its dependable personality.
Out amongst a bit of swell action and both sloppy conditions and better waves are equally applicable. Paddler comfort is ensured and you hunt for the best of what’s on offer. Once up and riding it’s a nippy beast having planted feet further back towards the tail. Tight carves are possible and there’s a decent amount of speed generated with minimal effort. Add in some more paddle oomph and you gain further.
We had the WP in a few bigger lumps and found that actually this was where the board really shone. Up and down carves are sliced with ease as riders power round sections and bang full throttle lip hits in. Sometimes wide boards suffer on punchier waves and lose grip. Not so here. The 9’5” more than holding its own when conditions turn on.
Starboard’s 9’5” Starlite Wide Point is a proper speedster surf SUP that accommodates flatter water sojourns without too much hassle. Able to ignite the sloppiest of wave sessions it really shines when the surf ramps up and you need a platform ready for the task in hand. Super fun to carve full rail turns with top shelf construction traits (such as reinforced rails). Starboard’s 2018 Wide Point 9’5” delivers surf performance with ease thereby catering for progressing paddlers while holding enough advanced characteristics for the more experienced.