Choosing a freeride board is a tricky business, especially with so many on the market. Narrowing down which brand you like, or which model from a brand can be very confusing.
And is a freeride board even the best for you? How do you know when it's time to move onto a more high performance, or even slalom, board?
With this in mind Boards will catch with a variety of shapers, aiming to get beyond the marketing speak and to the bottom of just which freeride board will suit you best, and why.
First up Boards talks with Starboard shaper: Tiesda You.
[part title="The Futura"]
Futura: It’s our fastest freerider, a close cousin to the slalom iSonics with all the racing technology our R&D team has developed in the last decade - a very complex tail cutaway configuration, deep deck concave, ultra-lightweight uni-directional Carbon construction, iSonic profile.
I recommend the Futura for freeriders who know how to tune a board for performance, willing to adapt fin size to sail size to maximize performance in a super wide wind range, and go fast, fast fast. I don’t recommend the Futura for those looking for going fast easily or those looking to progress their mid-range technique and improve their carve gybes.
[part title="The Carve"]
Carve: It’s our plug and play freerider. If the Futura is a top-end Android smartphone, the Carve is our iPhone: plug and play simple. It works right out of the box, it’ll plane up quickly, accelerates like crazy and its new slimmer shape gives a super-wide wind range. It’s stable enough to help you progress and improve your carve gybes.
I recommend the Carve for freeriders who want performance without the hassle. I don’t recommend the Carve for those looking for a board that can unlock an extra gear or two through tuning.
[part title="The AtomIQ"]
AtomIQ: Our new baby, the super-slim freerider that is primarily about a massive, massive wind range. To understand the shape concept fully, it needs to be compared both by volume and by width. For the same given width, it’s thinner so it will be lighter, more responsive, more maneuverable and control better in high winds. For the same volume, it will be wider and thinner, so more stable, more powerful in the bottom end with better upwind and overtaking abilities.
I recommend the AtomIQ for those looking for a wide-wide-wind range freeride board that’s fast and exciting in many conditions. It can be both the super aggressive carve jiber and the more stable jiber all in one, because of it’s slim profile concept. I wouldn’t recommend the AtomIQ to those looking for racing style performance.
[part title="The Ultrasonic"]
Ultrasonic: our most efficient windsurfing board. I can’t overstate it: you’d be amazed at the efficiency feeling this board provides. In a nutshell, it’s a super efficient version of the iSonic. It’s ultra wide and ultra skinny, but very easy to use (unlike Formula boards).
I recommend it for those who windsurf often when winds are quite light. People who own an 8.5 and 9.5m sail, and use it often. People who are confident freeriders. It’s my personal board for Thailand. I wouldn’t recommend it for those who are using sails no larger than 7.5.
[part title="The iSonic"]
iSonic: it’s our full on racing machine, arguably one of the most iconic boards in modern windsurfing. Every year, the iSonic is our technological flagship, the range where we bake in our latest design details that later filter down the range. It has the widest wind range of all, the highest average and top end speeds, and the sharpest, quickest accelerations.
The downside: you need to be comfortable with riding in outboard footstrap positions. Once you’re confident with that, it’s actually surprising how friendly the iSonics are. I recommend for those who are slalom professionals to above-average freeride skills, happy to use full-outboard strap positions and frustrated at the performance ceiling of their current freerider. I wouldn’t recommend it for freeriders who are not using the most outboard position on their current freeride board.
For all your windsurfing needs Board’s recommends you head to one of the following retailers, where we’re confident you will find what you’re looking for. If not get in contact with firstname.lastname@example.org and we can advise you on where to look for whatever you’re searching for this winter.
Boards Recommended Retailers: