WindSUP Inflatable 12'6 Fun, Surf (Germany), August 2014

Starboard’s unique WindSUP Inflatables: reinventing the inflatable concept for windsurfing and stand-up paddleboarding. Lighter and tougher than traditional hard boards, these boards are seriously fun toys for the whole windsurfing/paddle boarding family as well as for schools and clubs. They glide nicely, they’re safe because you can’t bump your head against them and they can be treated with minimal care. Drop them on the ground and they simply bounce! For boat owners and city-dwellers, this is the hassle-free board. They won’t damage your boat or apartment and deflated, they roll up into a compact bag.

The following test was featured in the August issue of SURF. A total of 14 WindSUPs were tested, both hard, conventional and inflatable boards. Despite the common disbelief, the Starboard WindSUP Inflatable 12’6″ received the highest score, totaling 14 out of 15 points and beating hard boards in the process. Read the report below!

Starboard WindSUP Inflatable 12’6″ x 31″ Touring: “Proven touring board”

Length: 381 cm
Width: 79.0 cm
Tail Width: 35.4 cm
Weight: 12.5 kg
Volume: 302 liters
Thickness: 15.2 cm
Fin: 2 x Drake Shallow 220 (Astro US Box)
Sail range: 4.5m² – 7.5m²

Performance:

The WindSUP Inflatable 12’6 is quite fast in Beaufort 2 or 3 conditions, with a nice water release thanks to the narrow tail. It accelerates just as good as a hard board would. With a total length of 3.80 m, the Starboard is a proven flat-water touring board. The trim is balanced, with the mast box placed in the perfect position for sailing and upwind reaches.

However, when compared to shorter boards, the WindSUP 12’6″ doesn’t respond as quickly to rig steering. When sailing downwind in the gusts, it almost feels like the board is planing. Someone who has never experienced planing on a windsurf board will be hooked from that moment on. However, a more advanced windsurfer might be a bit surprised when jibing with traditional technique, as the narrow and long tail isn’t the most maneuverable. Instead, you need to take your time and let the board turn progressively.

SURF Verdict:

The WindSUP Inflatable 12’6″ Fun is an excellent touring board both for paddle boarding (SUP) and windsurfing. It suits all kinds of windsurfers with intermediate skills but it may prove too long for kids.

In short, it is perfect for both windsurfing and paddle boarding but maybe prove a bit unstable for true beginners.

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

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