The Flare is the choice of Kiri Thode and reigning PWA Freestyle World Champion Sarah-Quita Offringa, developed by the world’s best freestyle team.
They are boards that pop air easily and respond to a rider’s move instantaneously. Simultaneously, they are fast in acceleration and feel compact and light in sliding and aerial maneuvers.
The following test was featured in the October 2013 edition of SURF Magazin.
Length: 227 cm
Width: 62 cm
Tail Width: 41.2 cm
Weight: 6.70 kg
Volume: 101 liters
Thickness: 12.1 cm
Fin: Drake Ready to Freestyle 18 (Slot Box)
Sail range: 5.0m² – 6.8m²
For 2014, Starboard have brought significant changes to the Flare. First of all, the mast track and footstraps are 5 centimeters closer together compared to the 2013 Flare. Thickness in the tail has been increased quite a bit and the deck shape was made flatter for more stability. Thankfully, the Flare has kept its very comfortable Deluxe footstraps.
Worth mentioning that heavy riders can (and should) consider using a bit bigger fin (fitted in a Slot Box 13).
The Flare is a new-school machine. To put it simply, there is no other board in the test which has that much top speed and radicalness in rotations. And when you apply a bit of pressure on the fin at the end of the move, the Flare immediately slides into a second rotation thanks to the short fin.
The board was designed with a special attention for power moves like konos or air funnels. Thanks to the high cruising speed, feather-light feeling and great pop, it will perform these easily. Actually, this Starboard Flare seemed to be even more compact compared to the 2013 model.
Nonetheless, the price for such radicalness is paid on the straight line where it’s not the fastest to get planing. But two strong sail pumps will fix that easily, after which you’ll enjoy the excellent acceleration. However, big sails (over 6.5m²) and a lot of pressure on the tail can result in some spin-outs.
If you don’t own sails bigger than 5.3m² (or don’t intend on using them for freestyle) and don’t care so much about carving (old-school) moves, this is the right board for you: a 110% freestyle board with power for double moves and quick sliding. However, for the occasional freestyler who will use sails bigger than 5.3m², the Starboard Kode FreestyleWave 103 is the better choice.