Starboard 7'11" review
This board is 120 litres, so given its length, Starboard have packed a lot of volume into such a small shape. When you pick this board up, it feels small. However, the volume in the rails makes it surprisingly stable, I found paddling out in surf up to waist high surprisingly easy. I must admit, as the surf got bigger, my susceptibility to get a hammering on this board went up, especially if I got caught on the inside of a larger set wave. However as with all small boards, timing is definitely key, as is good technique. If you don’t really know what paddle bracing is, or aren’t used to switching your feet to surf stance when paddling out, this board may not be for you in larger surf. I also found that even kneeling to get out wasn’t always practicable, as I was ‘spun’ all to easily and flipped off the board.
Construction is the usual quality from Starboard, and I would see previous reviews to add testament to that. What I found most exciting (how sad) was that I could easily fit this into my car with the seats down! This is something that as SUP surfer I haven’t been able to say in a while! (Ok it was an estate, but let me pretend I’m surfing a short board again).
The 120 litres puts this board, for me, on the edge of the comfort zone of most recreational SUP surfers. However, what you get in this is a great opportunity to surf something small and responsive, but the stability of the 8+ foot boards you may be used to. I was blown away by the fun I had on this board, and surfing it at my local, friends who are committed and dedicated surfers even passed comment on the radical turns I seemed to be sticking on this board (they obviously didn’t watch me paddle out!). I think this board is a great aspirational board for anyone looking to take their SUP surfing to the next level, but not wanting to lose the volume and wave catching ability that SUP allows.
If I was a in a position to have a ‘quiver’ of SUPs this board would definitely be in it. For me, especially surfing down here in Cornwall, I want something with a little more length and glide to get me out on those bigger days. Also, for me personally SUP is about early take offs and slack days as well. Therefore, an epic board, but as a 1 board SUP, it might not cover all bases as well as the larger boards.
Thanks to Starboard UK for the trial!!!