Futura 97 Carbon, Surf (Germany), January 2015

The Futuras are Starboard’s freerace boards. Freerace boards are designed to go extremely fast, like slalom boards, but with more user-friendliness and more comfort. They are the sports cars of windsurfing. For 2015, all Futuras have been upgraded once more, to more efficient, wider and slimmer shapes, based on the iSonic development. The sizing denominations have adjusted accordingly: 90, 97, 104, 114, 124, 134. And two new larger size: 144 and 154.

The following test was featured in the January/February issue of SURF, where it was tested against other freerace, freeride and freemove boards.
And the 2015 Futura got a perfect score in performance and power jibes.

Starboard Futura 97 Carbon: “A race machine”

Length: 240 cm
Width: 65.5 cm
Tail Width: 42.7 cm
Weight: 6.5 kg
Volume: 97 liters
Thickness: 10.8 cm
Fin: Drake Venom 38 (Tuttle Box)
Sail range: 4.5m² – 7.5m²

On Land:

The Starboard Futura, one of the references in this test group has no tail kick, which translates into planing performance. It also offers out-board footstrap positions for speeding over the water. It comes with the largest and the highest quality fin, a Drake Venom 38, in CNC G-10.

Starboard’s Slick footstraps stand out from the rest for their extreme comfort. The strap-size indicators make it easy to have all of your straps at the same size, and makes transitioning from booties to barefoot easy.

The Starboard Futura, as a high-performance freeride board, requires sails from 5.6m² and up to be properly powered up.

Performance:

The Futura clearly is the reference board in its category, and is equipped with a high-class fin. As a result, it’s fast over the water, without ever slowing down. At top speed, the board is easy to control, stable, with a locked-in feel and great lateral stability. However, for light riders in very choppy conditions, the Futura becomes a bit harder to control.

The similarities to a slalom board are obvious.

Despite its 97 liters, the board feels wider than most of the other boards in the test. On flat water, the Starboard carves easily on the rail through race jibes, and exits with a lot of speed. However, it doesn’t like tight, narrow turns. In choppy conditions, the board is a bit more nervous.

SURF Verdict:

The Futura 97 is a race machine. It is perfectly suited to windsurfers who have a hard time deciding between a freeride and slalom board, thanks to its in-board and out-board footstraps positions. It will go well with sail sizes in between 6.0m² and 7.8m².

Find out everything there is to know about the Futura here!

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