The Futuras are Starboard’s freerace boards. Freerace boards are designed to go extremely fast, like slalom boards, but with more user-friendliness and more comfort. They are the sports cars of windsurfing.
For 2015, all Futuras have been upgraded once more, to more efficient, wider and slimmer shapes. The sizing denominations have adjusted accordingly: 90, 97, 104, 114, 124, 134, 144 and 154.
The following test was featured in the June edition of Windsurf.
Length: 246 cm
Width: 72.0 cm
Tail Width: 47.8 cm
Weight: 7.30 kg
Volume: 114 liters
Thickness: 11.1 cm
Fin: Drake Venom 44 (Tuttle Box)
Sail range: 5.5m² – 8.5m²
The Futura 114 is one of eight sizes available in the Futura range and is tested here in the more expensive Carbon construction, coming supplied with a 44 cm Drake fin, modeled around C3’s Venom fin.
Despite having the lowest quoted volume in this group by quite some margin, the Futura 114 is comparable in its dimensions and suggested sail range, so fits neatly into this test as opposed to its Futura 124 liter sibling. Capable of carrying sails of 8.0m² and more easily, it releases onto the plane readily once power is supplied.
There is a scoop on the deck of board around the mast track, which does make foot placement and pumping slightly more technical than some, but once released, it accelerates instantly, the high rocker in the nose giving the impression that it sits high out of the water. In actual fact, the Futura retains good contact with the water without feeling sticky or sluggish, the Vee present throughout the length of the board helping to smooth the ride and provide the control and confidence to drive the board hard.
The fin, although heavy, is a perfect compliment to the board, offering excellent traction to point high, promoting early planing and enabling the rider to keep pushing the board through lulls. In power to overpowered conditions, the Futura 114 has a life and energy about its ride that helps to engage and captivate the rider without feeling overbearing or uncontrollable.
In extreme conditions, it does require rider input to help trim it properly and pin it down, but reduce the power levels delivered and it quickly returns to a more planted stance on the water.
In the jibe, the Futura 114 cuts in and grips excellently, the shoulders sitting high and free from any danger of tripping in a choppy sea state. A real all-rounder, the Futura can happily be partnered with sails at either end of the power-delivery spectrum (from firm to soft) and compliments any rider style.
The all-rounder of the group, the Futura 114 offers a fantastic balance between performance and control, making it one to consider for recreational freeriders and amateur slalom racers alike.