Starboard’s Kode shapes differ throughout the range to suit the conditions in which the board is most likely to be sailed, so every model tends to be designed for a different purpose. The 74 is one of the dedicated waveboards in the line-up (Starboard’s only wavesailing offering apart from the all-new Quads). For 2010 the 74 Kode has had extra vee added under the back foot to the tip of the tail. Starboard say this should loosen the board up, allow it to carve a larger variety of turns and ride more vertically without sacrificing speed or acceleration.
Design: With a maximum width of just 54cm, this is the narrowest board on test yet it still packs a quoted volume of 74L. It has an average amount of tail rocker at 8mm, the longest planing flat with a 2cm point at 149.6cm, and quite a lot of vee throughout.
On the water: When we were sailing in well-powered 4.7m weather or below, this was easily one of the most comfortable boards to be on and was cited by many as their high wind board of choice. It sliced through chop and was fast and lively, making it excellent for bump-&-jump style blasting. It did feel quite small in comparison to some of the wider-tailed boards on test, and didn’t plane quite as early, but made up for this in the way it handled being overpowered in confused water. Its speed was also key – point it at the biggest ramp you could find and expect more air than you’ve ever experienced before. Once on a wave, it seemed to prefer a little bit more power, but was very sure-footed in the bottom turn and great off the top.
Fittings: The Kode came supplied with a 22cm fin that was fairly flexible in the tip. It was fitted with very comfortable straps and really nice pads. The rear strap had double screw inserts, which reduced twist.
Overall: An excellent high wind board that seemed more at home in powered cross-shore conditions than the onshore gusty stuff. It rides well through chop and has the speed to score high, floaty jumps. If you need a board for blasting in rough sea states, or you predominantly sail in cross-shore conditions, this could well be the one for you.