AtomIQ 100 Carbon, Windsurf (UK), May 2015

The Atom IQs are Starboard’s slim and thin freeride boards with the widest wind-range. Efficient in light winds like a wide board 15 liters bigger, as maneuverable and controllable as a board with 15 liters less. “Plane big, jibe small.” And with the right tuning, you get a wind range that covers three classic freeride boards.

For 2015, new sizes and a new technology are available. The Atom IQ 130, 140 and 160 models are added to the already existing Atom IQ 100, 110 and 120 models.

The following test was featured in the May edition of Windsurf.
Six, wide freeride boards were tested at the Official Test Centre in Portland, Dorset.
Find out which one came out on top.

Starboard Atom IQ 100 Carbon: “Highly Recommended!”


Find out everything there is to know about the Atom IQ here!

Length: 235 cm
Width: 68.5 cm
Tail Width: 43.8 cm
Weight: 7.40 kg
Volume: 100 liters
Thickness: 9.9 cm
Fin: Drake Freeride Glide 36 (Power Box)
Sail range: 5.0m² – 8.0m²

Low Down:

For 2015, the Atom IQ range has been extended to include three larger sizes, whilst the existing boards (including this 100 liter version), remain unchanged. Available in Tufskin construction this year, we tested the lighter carbon model here, complete with its new G-10 fin.

Performance:

On the water, the Atom IQ delivers such a stunning performance that we are struggling to identify a type of rider that wouldn’t get on with it.

Early planing, it accelerates smoothly yet rapidly, exhibiting a perfect balance of excitement and control. It can sit there, happily cruising along at half speed, providing an easy passive ride so as to not unnerve the intermediate sailor. But plug an efficient sail in to load the Atom IQ and it simply devours the power, sitting high on the water and skipping over chop. It seems to have a limitless top speed, much like a slalom board… But unlike a slalom board, you can throttle back, stand upright and instantly regain control if you ever feel it is getting away from you. This mix of straight-line potential and control would, in our opinion, make the Atom IQ pure dynamite for amateur competition, where so many are ultimately let down by their ability to control their hard-railed slalom guns in severe conditions or around the corners.

The Starboard Atom IQ could keep up with most on the straights, and would provide the stability and user-friendliness to get round a jibe radius of the rider’s choosing. The rails are thin and bite well whilst the tail’s width enables the board to retain speed and cruise through an arc to finish the turn off if the power is released prematurely.

Our only slight niggle with the Atom IQ is the fin. Whilst an improvement on the version supplied with the board last year, we still found it quite nervous, slipping easily if loaded too aggressively. Instead, we found it rewards good technique, using the board’s leeward rail rather than relying solely on the fin, particularly when pushing hard upwind. If the fin did lose traction it was very easy to recover, pulling the board’s tail back underneath you, although partner the board with a more performance oriented fin and the Atom’s abilities are extended further!

Verdict:

The Atom IQ 100 remains a class act, combining near slalom like potential with a level of ease and practicality that makes it applicable to most. And the best news is that it has even come down in price for 2015. Highly recommended!

And for more test reviews, just head over to Magazine Test page, with more than 200 reviews going back to 2006!