Flare 101 WoodCarbon, SURF (Germany), Oct 2011

Note from Starboard: We found that many of our teamriders achieve their best results with a different fin that we originally supplied the 2012 Flare with. This is why all new 2012 Flares will be issued with the Choco fins Starfish New Radical. Used by Kiri Thode and Dieter van der Eyken, it is a fin that perfectly completes our “freestyle machine” (sic).

On Land: The Starboard Flare received a complete overhaul for 2012, and just like the graphics, its shape does not relate to its 2011 predecessor. The test board come to us with am 18.5cm long SlotBox fin, saving precious weight and allowing for some trimming of the board. Right now SlotBox fins are a little hard to come by in the shop, but workaround #1 is to adjust a US-Box fin by taking out its metal pin and removing the screw area on the front. The 2012 straps are probably the nicest ones for your feet on the market right now, winning the tester’s cuddle award. Their exact fit can be adjusted and remembered thanks to the measurements printed on the inside layer.

On the Water: Our initial impression of the new Flare was a two-faced one: regardless of its small fin, the board takes off quickly and has a dynamic/released feel when planing. Even the smallest gust accelerates the board immediately to bust-a-move speeds. At the same time it feels light on the feet and gives the impression of being smaller than it really is. The standard fin issued continuously made us spin out, and even though we’d reel those spins in on a straight, right before take-off or after a landing they were annoying. This is why we replaced the fin with a 19cm MFC US-box that we adapted as described above, and continued our testing sessions: equipped with this new fin, the 2012 Starboard Flare belongs to the absolute top boards for anything beyond the Air Jibe. Even lightweights will be able to pop with ease turn around mid-air and go through a whole range of motions – the board is right up there together with the F2 rodeo and will almost automatically initiate a second rotation after a flaka. On a straight and when sliding, the board feels a little more sensitive to input and less forgiving than the others in the group. When changing to switch stance, the Flare easily maintains its speed, allowing the rider enough momentum to launch himself. As all the other boards in the group, the new 2012 Flare is less suitable for old school moves like the carving 360 or gybe variations but they will work better on this board compared to the rest of the group.

Conclusion: The Flare is a freestyle machine because of its amazing planing performance and tremendous pop and sliding characteristics. Starboard has notified us that the Flare will be distributed with a different fin.