Kode FreeWave 86 Carbon, WIND (France), March 2015

The Kode FreeWaves are Starboard’s aggressive, fast, award-winning do-it-all boards for waves, freestyle or freeride. The new 81, 86, 94 models have versatile fin configuration that allows the new Kode FreeWaves to be tuned to match the rider’s location: single fin for more speed and acceleration, thruster for improved grip and control with instantaneous maneuverability.

The following test was featured in the 2015 Special Test edition of WIND Magazine.

Starboard Kode FreeWave 86 Carbon: “At home in the surf”


Find out everything there is to know about the Kode FreeWave here!

Length: 232 cm
Width: 59.0 cm
Tail Width: 38.4 cm
Thickness: 11.7 cm
Weight: 6.50 kg
Fin: MFC TF 19 + 2 x Drake Natural Wave 11 (US Box + 2 x Slot Box 10)
Sail range: 4.0m² – 6.0m²
Available Volumes: 81, 86, 94 and 103.

Shape:

The 3 new Kode FreeWaves: the 81, 86 and 94-liter switch to a thruster setup in 2015 to further enhance their waveriding characteristics although the Kode FreeWave 94 is still delivered with a single fin and plugs for the side boxes. The Kode 103 remains unchanged this year.

Starboard’s FreeWave features some thick and sharp rails in the tail area and is available in three technologies: Carbon as tested here, Wood and Technora.

On the Water:

With the Kode FreeWave, the early planing is excellent, with a lot of liveliness thanks to the rigid core of the Carbon construction. The feet are marvelously settled on its soft and spongy pads, offering unparalleled comfort both in fast runs in choppy conditions and when landing jumps. We have had a lot of pleasure going fast on this Kode because even though the board is stiff and lively, the pads ensure a well-being that simply cannot be compared. This extra thickness does not hinder steering, with the comfort/contact ratio offering great control when engaging the rails.

The switch to the new thruster configuration doesn’t disrupt the straight line efficiency and top speed at all, to the point where the rider forgets this new fin setup thanks to amazing support from the three fins.

The 2015 Kode FreeWave 86 is at home in the surf. It requires a little adjustment time during the first outing but after that, it will turn on for proper waveriding. The thickness in the tail is also quite handy to keep speed and float in mushy on-shore conditions and string together a couple more turns. The extra volume also contributes to its freestyle ability, with the thickness providing good pop for aerial moves, if that’s what you’re looking for.

Verdict:

The Kode FreeWave 86 which already received much praise for its waveriding abilities last year emancipates itself in the surf this year, largely helped by its new fin configuration. It offers unparalleled comfort and retains its directional traction and grip for high-speed runs in flat or choppy conditions alike.

The Starboard is a versatile board for “all-terrain sailing” and for someone looking for a one-board-solution to enjoy all kinds of conditions.

Pros:

+ Pads
+ Comfort
+ Reactivity
+ Support

Cons:

– NA

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