Adrian Jones and his test Clones test out the next board in the 2013 freewave test, the Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave.
For 2013 the Kode comes in three ranges; the Wave, the Freestyle Wave and the Freemove, which span 10 different sizes and shapes. As the name suggests, the smaller models are focused more on the waves (and Philip Koster’s signature boards), whilst the bigger models blend more into flatter water territories.
At 61.3cm max width and 38.5cm tail width, the Kode is the widest board in this group, but also one of the shortest. Weight is very good and at 6.42kg’s the Kode is the lightest board in the group. The Kode Freestyle Wave comes as a single fin only whereas the Kode Waves are offered as single/twins.
Felt fast, fun and blasty and good for jumps.
Underfoot, the Kode feels like a big board on the water. It feels quite freeride initially thanks to it’s fast, stable and smooth ride. There is no doubting the Kode is a fast board. Some of the boards in this group reach a top speed, but the Kode seems to keep accelerating making it arguably the fastest board in this group. The board rides from the fin and maintains great trim, even in big chop where the nose stays down and in check. The fin feels pretty big at the top end, so you may want to consider a change down if you own this board. It does help with upwind performance however, where the Kode was very good.
Considering the size of the board and fin, we were expecting the early planing to be a little better than it actually turned out to be. There is plenty of float in the board, but when a gust hits the Kode feels a little sticky to release at first. However, once the board releases onto the plane, the acceleration is very good and continues through to a blistering top speed.
The deck pads and straps are very comfortable. The footstraps are on the softer side, but it made them particularly nice in bare feet. It’s worth noting however that the width of the straps is fairly big for bare feet, so you may want to squash them together a bit using a closer insert hole – easily done.
It’s got a nice bottom turn that you can actually crank surprisingly tightly for a single fin board of this size.
On a wave, the Kode actually has a really nice bottom turn and for such a large single fin board, can turn impressively tightly when required. It also transitions easily from rail to rail i.e. front side to backside and vice versa. It was arguably the most nimble of the single fin boards, but off the top, the tri-fins really are in a different league in terms of how tightly and easily they can turn. The backside turn was actually pretty nice and you could snap the Kode pretty tightly off the tail with the correct technique.
The Kode was a great jumping board thanks to the speed, quite rockered nose and the reliability of the single fin set up. It was also pretty good for freestyle with it’s wider, more compact profile helping those sliding moves.
Stable and smooth, off the fin feel in a straight line and goes upwind well, keeping the nose trimmed down over the chop.
The Kode is a great all-round single fin freewave board. It is fast, comfortable, easy to sail, fantastic to jump and has a really nice bottom turn. You wont get the tightness and ease of turning that the tri-fin boards offer off the top, but you do benefit from a more lively and ‘freeride’ style straight line performance. Bear in mind that the Kode feels big for its size, so if you are a smaller rider, you may want to consider the next size down.
To find out where to buy the Starboard Kode, and all other Starboard boards, head to the Tushingham website here.