WindSUP Freeride 12'2", Surf (Germany), August 2014

WindSUPing is the fastest growing category of windsurfing, showing rapid development in the last few years. As windsurf boards, they bring back the essence of relaxed, summer windsurfing: sharing windsurfing with your friends and family, gliding along the coast powered by a gentle breeze and eventually catching some waves.
As stand-up-paddle boards, they open up the door to the wonderful world of an entirely new sport: paddle boarding. Stand up, enjoy the view and paddle out to sea, explore the coast line and surf the waves.

The following test was featured in the August issue of SURF. A total of 14 WindSUPs were tested, both hard, conventional and inflatable boards. The WindSUP Freeride 12’2″ received the second highest score, totaling 13 out of 15 points. Read the report below!

Starboard WindSUP Freeride 12’2″ x 30″ Planing: “Fast and fun”

Length: 373 cm
Width: 75.0 cm
Weight: 14.1 kg
Volume: 238 liters
Fin: Drake Hexcel Race 23 + Drake Shallow 41 (US + Tuttle box)
Sail range: 3.5m² – 8.5m²

Performance:

A hull length of 3.70 meters and plenty of nose kick. That is the recipe for a nice glide, whether for paddling or light-wind windsurfing. The hull shape is also quite complex and must be responsible for some of that glide.

Even in choppier conditions, the Starboard Freeride goes easily over the chop (and the waves) and feels quite fast, with direct steering when paddling or windsurfing. The stiff hard board construction has an advantage over the inflatable WindSUPs. As an example, our testers felt a bit faster compared to the WindSUP Inflatable 12’6″ by Starboard.

The board isn’t as stable in the water as the some of the wider models in this test, but that’s probably one of the reason it is so much fun. Even with a lot of wind in the sail, the board stays flat when planing; no nose lift. The flatter rocker on this board feels extremely balanced, especially when sailing longer legs.

SURF Verdict:

Excellent for cruising but a bit less suited to simply play around. It is great for paddle boarding: flat-water training, touring… Also amazing for windsurf touring and suitable for intermediate-level riders. Compared to the inflatables, it is a bit heavier.

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

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