We currently have the following 2017 Starboard models available for demo. Email or call us to try one out:
Check out what SUP Store has been up to with our Blog....
New for 2017, the Starboard Nut 10'0 x 29.5" is a performance longboard SUP which allows noserides and big cutbacks which will put a huge smile on your face. We have one available for demo in the new Starlite construction. Orders being taken now for January delivery
We recently attended the 2017 Starboard UK product launch at Surf Snowdonia. This is a place where SUP Store has been itching to visit and the 11 hour, 647.7 mile return journey taking in some serious junk food was worth every bit.
We arrived a day early to cope with the immense journey and to see if we could get a session on the wave. As we drove up to the gates it was quite an eye opener to see a peeling right and left hander coming through which was being torn apart by 2 short boarders on either side of the jetty - in a field in northern Wales! Surreal is the only way to explain it but very exciting at the same time. It made us feel like when you pull up to the beach and you know it's pumping and you know you are going to score. We watched a few go by and were frothing to get in. Unfortunately only the intermediate wave was available but who cared, we were going surfing. In the Surf Snowdonia Water Academy you go through a talk on where to be to catch the wave and pick your stick/foamie. They have loads of carving skateboards which are great for a warm up. Was kinda weird catching broken wave but it reforms on the inside so you get a sweet waist high right or left hander which will put a huge smile on your face. Although I just wanted to jump on the advanced wave, I had so much fun on the intermediate..
So after a few pints of Shed Head and some ribs in the Surf Snowdonia restaurant we stayed in the on site Pods which are very basic but do the trick. They sleep 4 people and if you're staying with the lads, make sure the door and window's are open as it could get quite toxic after plenty of beer and ribs.
In the morning the conference started with Mattieu Rauzier and Ollie O'Rilley from Starboard International giving an overview on the 2017 Starboard range. It was great hearing about the new environmentally conscious technologies and partnerships which Starboard are creating to reduce the impact to the environment that board production has. They are sourcing bio-resins aswell as organizing littler collection paddles throughout various parts of the world. Read more detail on this here.
The days were split into flat water paddling and surfing and we started with a flat water paddle on a stunning lake in the Snowdonia National Park. This was a great opportunity to test the touring and race shapes. Being a keen racer I grabbed the 27" All Star in carbon and took it for a spin. It's always been an awesome board and still is and for 2017 they have tweaked the bottom to allow great glide on the flat. I also tried the Astro Racer which was phenomenal. The Astro inflatable construction from Starboard just gets better and better and is hard to tell you are on an inflatable board.
After our flat water paddle we headed back to Surf Snowdonia for lunch and surfing. The wave was fantastic - 37 hours per hour and each one is perfect. So here are a cuple of tips on SUP surfing Snowdonia:
- When getting in position, stay behind the 'Advanced Wave Take Off Zone' sign. Due to the water flow pushing you away from the zone, you can be pushed ahead of the takeoff zone and therefore when the wave reaches you, it will be to critical and you'll wipe out. Try to be in line with the green dot on the fence and gradually let yourself drift down to the advanced zone. Everyone was generally on the wave a few meters before the takeoff zone due to be able to paddle faster when catching the wave. When prone surfing, this is not an issue because you simply hang on to the fence which stops you drifting.
- Make sure that when you are paddling for the wave that you keep close to the fence. Paddle on the opposite side so that you are heading towards the fence. Try to ensure your board is facing forward.
- Going backside is much harder than frontside. I simply couldn't get my round going backside and wiped out each time and wasted quite a few waves. I seemed to never be close enough to the fence. Next time :)
- Depending on how much you want to spend, book at least 2 hours a day. On your first time you'll need an hour to get your head around it.
Once you get a couple of waves you'll get to grips with it. We spent about 3 hours in total on the wave with more people on it than normal. I tried the Hypernut 8'0, 8'6 and 9'0 in Starlite construction. The 9'0 was superb - very stable holding my 100kgs and buckets of performance. Highly responsive and a great deal of fun. The board which I found the best though was the Wide Point 11'2 x 32". This glided down the line like a gun! Buckets of stability but turns really well and is surprisingly responsive for a big board.
Whether you're prone surfing or SUP surfing, a great element to Surf Snowdonia is that every wave is perfect and you can start to really think about progression. There was one guy we watched for his whole session riding a 9'0 Hypernut and he started off just getting down the line with small turns. By the end of his session he was smacking the lip!
A huge thanks to all at Starboard UK for an awesome couple of days.
Ps, if you skateboard (especially longboard skate) make sure you take one with you as the surface around the area is perfect for cruising and seems to the main form of transport around the site.
We now have another 2 Mistral boards available for demo the Malia 12’6 and Vortex 14’. Both boards suit flat water with the Vortex being race specific and the Malia being a all-round race/touring board which plenty of stability. Both boards are now available to try out so get your demo booked in.
Stock of these boards is available end of April and process are Malia £1395 and the Vortex £1885. These are awesome prices for these top quality boards from Mistral which has been designed and tested in the UK by Steve West, Diplock Phoenix Surfboards and Ryan James.
Ryan James and Scott Brown will be both be racing the Vortex this weekend for the UK race season kick-off at the Head of the Dart in south Devon. Good luck chaps!
Here is a very interesting clip by John Hibbard from Red Paddle Co about inflatable technology. It shows you different constructions and an insight into how they are made which many people are unaware of. Although this clip is predominantly to show the new MSL Technology from Red Paddle co, the interesting part is the Single Layer construction detail. Single layer is used by many cheap and nasty inflatables brands and this construction should be avoided at all costs. Check out our full range of Red Paddle Co Inflatables here. If you can't afford a new one, look for second hand and you won't regret it.
So last Saturday was stage 3 of the Baysup Frostbite Race series here in Bournemouth which is local club level racing. This series has been running for 6 years now and has been a fundamental part of racing in the UK. It allows newbie racers to get started and prepare for the race season or seasoned competitors the opportunity to race during the winter months. Cold and rainy conditions kept the race series living up to its name but still a good turnout considering. I was riding the Equinox and Scott Brown on the Vortex 23.5”.
With the Equinox being an open ocean board, it was going to be interesting to see how this went in lake conditions. The results were very good with me finishing 2nd behind Market Slater who dominated and Scott took 3rd. I got a good start and kept tight to Mark Slater for a lap then he hammered down but I still managed to keep my 2nd place throughout. The Equinox glides beautifully, the nose obviously is not as efficient as the Vortex but the overall design of the Equinox made it awesome on the flat. It’s a rough water board so it was great on the start line as the nose just ploughed through any chop from the other paddlers. Although this was a distance race, there were 35 buoy turns! This is because this stage was moved to a small lake as the river where we usually have distance races was flowing too hard due to the recent bad weather. I did a mixture of bow and pivot turns and it was awesome.
Scott had an unfortunate tumble at the first buoy which allowed me to push ahead. I could hear him breathing down my neck the whole way but I managed to stay ahead. Scott is clearly a faster paddler in a distance race but with so many buoys turns on the Vortex 23.5” and being a tad heavy for that board the result was superb.
So it was great to see the Equinox paddle so well on the flat. If you are looking at one board which can cover various water conditions then the Equinox has to be high on your list. The Vortex is out and out flat water and a true speed machine whereas the Equinox is the 4x4 of the range and can cover multiple terrain very efficiently.
So this week we've been paddling the Equinox and Vortex 23.5" and here's some info on what we think.
Being designed and tested in the UK by a highly respected shaper and paddlers (aka Chris ‘Bro’ Diplock, Steve West and Ryan James) these boards were always going to be great pieces of kit. Multiple prototypes have been created with Ryan testing and feeding back to Diplock to make tweaks to the shapes.They didn’t start to create an average board, they wanted to build something special and with the backing of a brand like Mistral who are pioneers in watersports, the relationship was always going to create something special.
The Equinox and Vortex are race and distance specific, you aren’t going to go fishing off these boards (well you could but you get my drift right?!). They have been designed for speed, glide and maximum efficiency in the water.
With a preference for ocean paddling, the Equinox is the board I was most keen on trying. I’m 100kgs and have been skeptical about the width being just under 25” as this wouldn’t be a board width I would usually consider. The first few strokes were a tad wobbly but after paddling a few hundred meters I found a good standing position and the wobbles were gone. The sea was pretty smooth with a light groundswell. The torpedo shape nose has been designed to punch through surf and be efficient upwind while extremely efficient downwind. Buoy turns took a few goes to find the right balance point and after a few dunks in the water I had it turning round the buoy with ease. Overall it felt great and I can’t wait to get back on it, especially in some downwind conditions. Caught a couple of waves too and it surfs a treat and cuts back surprisingly well. The weight of the Equinox is 10.5kgs which is a fantastic weight.
Now for the Vortex. The version we have is 23.5” and is the board that Steeve Teihotaata won the 11 Cities race on last year. Just looking at this board made me feel unsteady but I paddled it without falling in and it actually felt good considering my build. I love this board so much, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think the width is right for my build but I paddled it well which is a good indication that it's not that scary. Need to mention that this board is a prototype and the production 23.5” Vortex has different volume placement and is expected to be more stable and I can’t wait to try it. When you paddle the Vortex you can tell it has been designed very very well. Once you get the right foot placement the water flows over the nose very smoothly. We’ll have a production demo soon in the 23.5” and 26”. The 26” could be a very popular board but I think many people will be surprised how stable the 23.5” is.
The boards were also used this week by an intermediate racer who is looking to get a new board for the up and coming 2016 season. The paddlers weight is 87kgs so as expected he found the Equinox extremely stable (even more stable than his current 14’ x 27” board). He found the Vortex a little tippy but it paddled so well well and cut through the water effortlessly. It was encouraging to hear him talk about these boards and hear the excitement of finding something fresh and new.
The key to these boards is to try them if can. Don’t be put off by the widths and keep in mind that these boards have been well designed by people who know their sh@t!
The Mistral Vortex and Equinox production 2016 models arrive at The SUP Store this weekend. Demo's available from next week so please get in touch if you would like to try them. We have the Vortex in 23.5" and 26"
Check out the new Mistral SUP page on our website. Here are just a few points on why we think Mistral is a brand you seriously need to consider if you are a racer:
- 9.7kgs approx. weight for the 14’ boards.
- Designed in Cornwall by Chis 'Bro' Diplock and paddle guru Steve West (author of Standup Paddle – A Paddlers Guide which has been called the ‘SUP bible’ plus various other Outrigger Canoe books)
- Tested by UK’s leading paddler Ryan James.
- Demo’s of the Equinox and Vortex (14’ footers) will be available early February. Slipstream and Malia (12’6’s) will be end of February early March
- Stock arrives in late March and we’ll have Vortex, Equinox, Slipstream and Malia
- Surf and All-round shapes we are currently waiting on delivery dates but we expect this to be May.
Testing these boards is going to be crucial. The widths look scary but we can assure you that you’ll be surprised how stable they are. These boards have been expertly designed.
Pre-orders are being taken now for any of the boards – no deposit required. Boards can be collected in Bournemouth, delivered by SUP Store if not too far away or delivered by courier to your door. Please email us at email@example.com to make your reservation. All pre-orders will receive a custom made board bag.
Origin Paddleboards awesome carry bag. Lightest and less bulky than other bags. In this bag is a 14’ x 27” board, pump, gauge, leash, fin and 3-piece paddle. Try one today as we have demo boards available