13/12/2017 | Flare 103 Carbon Reflex, SURF – October 2017

Great in sliding moves, excellent in control and the lightest board in the test with 6.1 kg:

The 2018 Starboard Flare 103 has more planing power and more speed potential compared to its predecessor. The board runs more freely over the chop, but remains well cushioned while offering more directional stability. It has excellent pop, slides very well and works effortlessly for sliding through double moves. The soft and comfortable Drake Deluxe  footstraps offer a lot of positioning possibilities thanks to the second row of plug options and the extremely comfortable 10 mm thick footpads that provide great grip.

The SURF Magazin test crew sailed the 2018 Flare 103 Carbon Reflex on sail sizes from 4.4m² up to 5.3m² and here is what they had to say:

 Starboard Flare 103 Carbon Reflex: “The lightest board in the test with 6.1 kg only!”

Length: 224.0 cm
Width: 65.0 cm
Tail Width: 41.0 cm
Thickness: 13.0 cm
Weight: 6.1 kg
Fin: Drake Ready to Freestyle by LSD 19cm / Powerbox / G10
Sail Range: 5.0m² – 6.5m²
Available Constructions: Carbon Reflex  / Carbon L.C.F.


Design Details:

The Starboard Flare  is available in 4 sizes from 81 up to 113 liters. All 4 sizes have a flat Vee in the bottom shape, from tail to nose. It’s the choice of the PWA Freestyle World Champions Sarah-Quita Offringa and Dieter van der Eyken, youth hot shot Lennart Neubauer and many other experienced PWA riders such as Maaike Huvermann (PWA Freestyle Vice World Champion), Oda Johanne, Taty Frans, Phil Soltysiak or Julian Wiemar.

SURF Points:

  • Power Freestyle: 5 / 5 points
  • Classic Freestyle: 1 / 5 points
  • Onshore Wave: 1/ 5 points

Performance on the Water:

Two years ago, the Flare didn’t convince completely, but the changes around the fin set up and the shape have made a noticeable and positive impact. The Flare feels better and faster when going in a straight line; it’s now competitive. The slow and sometimes sticky feeling is gone and the Starboard now accelerates well.

The stance on the deck is extremely comfortable. The soft Drake Deluxe straps and the slip-proof, square-grooved EVA pads set the standard. The Flare goes smoothly and comfortably through and over the choppy waters.

When switching the feet and going into switch chance, the slightly rounded deck shape requires a bit more sensitive feet movements to keep the board on course. Regardless, the Starboard keeps its speed well and the board can be popped out of the water extremely easily for any air or sliding moves. The board has less grip at the tail section compared to other boards but that fact allows it to slide right into the next rotation.

SURF Verdict:

The board is way more balanced compared to the past and leaves nothing to be desired: It’s a radical freestyle board with a compact feeling built for power moves, slides and can be handled by freestyle newcomers without any problems.