SIC RS 2023 … the last RACE RS-Raceboard?

While the original SIC RS was a very successful raceboard many paddlers loved due to its versatility, it was… lets say, difficult with its successor.

When I tested the new RS in May 2020 i had mixed feelings… the looks and haptics got definitely better with the move to kinetic and the full pvc wrap construction. At this time I only could test the 21,5 and the 23″ model and while they were manageable, 24,5″ is still my prefered width.

May 2020 Lake Neusiedlersee, SIC RS & Infinity Blackfish Dugout

Only slight changed regarding the deckpad, kickpad and recently the move to the matte paint happened since then.

Changes from the old to the new RS

Many things have been carried over from the old RS and when you’re switching them frequently duing a session, they also share a lot of DNA.

Especially for heavier riders it’s not so easy to get a waterline that works well in flats and in the draft. The old RS had a really good waterline up to 100kg and glide was quite good although being a Allwater Board. Where I did absolutely hate the old RS was when hitting steep waves upwind, as the nose was too wide and the bottom absolutely flat. Combined with the flexing laminate, I never hat big trust, nor a good feeling when hitting those bumps.

The SIC RS is a softie in the hardboard segment…

While the newer RS is definitely an improvement when heading upwind, with its narrower and higher nose, not everything got better. Especially with small waves I do have a feeling that glide is comprimised and you’re kind of stuck between the waves. Handling in sidechop is absolutely great and due to the higher rails and equally as deep standing height, it’s relatively easy to stay the captian on board 😉

Teamriders Evergreen

Watching different world class races in the past months, you could see that many teamriders still prefer using the RS over the Atlantis. The Atlantis was never a board concept I really understood as I always had a feeling that this is not fish, not meat. Too flat for an Allwater Board, too slow for flatwater. The RS doesn’t excel in any discipline, but it’s extremely easy to use, works better than it feels and it’s fully equipped with everything a rider could wish for.

Things that Starboard could learn from SIC

After many years of increasingly extreme dugout boards, the market has shown demand for easy-to-use flat deck race boards. The GenR has some great design features, lots of volume and an even more effective Nose when paddling upwind.

SIC has the racehandles placed just perfectly and bungee tie downs in each availaible size. Furthermore the SF construction has way better compressive strength compared to the Blue Carbon Sandwich GenR.

The standing position on the GenR is too high compared to the RS, what may be one of the reasons why it’s not as easy to use.

You want a Board that does it all and serves also as a race tourer? Why not giving them all those bungee tie downs?

Things that SIC could learn from Starboard

Keep that drainage system simple… The GenRs Drainage System works perfectly and serves for a dry cockpit.

Do we really need a step channel? The first RS didn’t have that extreme steps and I also don’t think that it’s beneficial in any way. Waterrelease also shows a lot of turbulence.

Creating a laminate that’s stiff and light seems to be a difficult task these days, while not as stiff as an old 2019 Indiana Open Ocean Board, the GenR feels way more solid.

The Deckpad of the GenR is just perfect, lots of grip and you always know where you’re standing. Enough volume and a rockerline that suits even heavier paddlers.

SIC and their marketing politics

While I appreciate the SIC is sticking with good boarddesigns like the Bullet and not changing year after year their complete lineup, even 1,5years ago prototypes of different Atlantis variants as well as strange looking RS Models have been seen on social media.

Finally it seems we’ll soon loose that flatdeck RS raceboard, and get a turbo version…

SIC RS vs RST 2024

I’ve seen many Atlantis prototypes with that kind of nose, but a different side view. Seems this should merge all the benefits of the Atlantis and pair it with the RS DNA.

Soon first boards should be available and I’ll definitely try to test that new RST Raceboard.

Verdict SIC RS 2023

The RS, particularly in cross-chop conditions, stands out as a remarkably user-friendly board, though it doesn’t truly shine in any specific discipline. It excels as a touring board, but it’s important to note that the rockerline appears to be tailored more for lighter-weight paddlers, and thus there are many alternative boards on the market that offer superior glide.

Nevertheless, its exceptional ease of use and impressive first and secondary stability allow you to concentrate on refining your paddling technique and conserve significant energy in your legs when confronted with challenging conditions.

As a bonus, you will receive a complete package that includes the most comfortable handle, additional handles for beach starts, a bungee tie-down, an FCS mount, and high-quality laminate with low weight.

Starboard GenR – Back to the Roots?

Why the heck did we need a Starboard GenR?

Most, if not all of us hobby paddlers started by using flat deck boards in form of an inflatable SUP. Flatdeck Boards have their advantages when it it comes down to freedom of movement, beach races and in the surf… obviously not the terrain I’m mostly using my boards. Starboards Allstar Range has a long history and I think it’s the most successful race board of all times. For me the Allstar is much like a Porsche 911, – it has always been a great race board and each stage of evolution has had its fanbase, although I’d rate the 2018 Allstar as the beloved Porsche Carrera 993 and the 2020 Allstar maybe the 996 😉

Flatdeck Allstars have been so successful, but it needed deep standing areas and therefore dugout versions of the Allstar, to make use of the new double concave, belly bottom shapes. Regarding rideability, I still believe that older Allstars maintain the top position.

A good amount of rocker serves for glide and versatility

Sprint for flatwater, Allstar for everything… GenR for what?

First of all let me be clear about my opinion that Starboard has absolutely nailed it, offering a high performance flat deck board to their race board quiver.

When watching races in the past year, it was obvious that even the biggest fans of older Starboard Sprint Boards went with the Allstar in most races, from sprint to tech race and long distance races. Up to 2021 Starboard had two boards that did perform well in most water states. 2022 the Sprint got so extremely flatwater focuses that even the best paddlers in the world went with the Allstar.

Finally in the year 2023, Starboard offered one dedicated flatwater rocket with the Sprint and a great do it all Allstar with higher rails than ever before and a deep, great dugout concept. Every mens world champion title was achieved with the current Allstar. Good riders will be fast with most raceboards, but if a concept would’t work, Top riders would avoid using it.

The GenR is so much different and still such a nice board to paddle, that I think most race newbies should get a grip on it when searching for a versatile race board. Starboard promised that it’s a board you’d feel comfortable instantaneously, and in terms of the 25″ Version in the more affordable blue carbon version, I can totally agree. First stability is good and there’s a seamless transfer to secondary stability . The rocker is just perfect for my current body weight, and the stiffness, especially in the blue carbon version, is superb for a flat deck board.

I had no issues doing stepback turns, moving back and forth on this board, although there was a feeling that it lacked a bit in secondary stability compared to the current Allstar, or the SIC RS.

Upwind the piercing nose performed absolutely great with moderate chop and downwind, catching bumps was as easy as with the Allstar but yes… it requires more footwork to keep it from nosediving. The deckpad feels just perfect but the kicked is at a position where people of my weight doesn’t have to go, as the tail tends to sink so quickly, that I had a hard time dialing it in. Once I got used to it, I found it better than the old RS, as I could perform faster turns due to the softer rails. Compared to the Allstar it wasn’t as easy, because the Allstar still turns great when stepping a foot length too short, and walking back isn’t an issue due to the better secondary stability.

With side chop the SIC RS still has the edge over the GenR and when sprinting in choppy conditions it was easier for me to keep the Allstar gliding while still being able to put the required power to the blade. In this case neither the Allstar nor the GenR is a “easy to paddle” board. Boards like the Infinity Blackfish dugout, SIC Atlantis , or the SIC RS are still the way to go when searching for an easy to paddle raceboard.

The SIC RS lacks the great drainage system of the GenR, it slaps against bigger waves, when going upwind and it’s far softer in terms of flex.

The Allstar is a big fat voluminous bomber that’s faster than it actually feels and once you took a swim, it’s not so easy to get back on and keep paddling. I love the Allstar and the concept works great in most conditions, but it will take much longer to feel comfortable with it compared to the GenR.

So, is the GenR a new Generation that hasn’t been there before? No… it shares a lot of DNA with Allstar Models 2013/2014 but it has enough volume for bigger riders, a great drainage system to keep the standing area dry and performs well in the flats and in choppy conditions.

The Nose Design really works great and I wished current SIC RS Models would have only 80% of the GenR’s rigid feeling. I’d love to see Starboard merging a 2018 Allstar with the GenR. A move back to the full pvc wrap would also be beneficial to get back a good compressive strength.

With Blue Carbon sandwich you’re loosing some weight, but gain flex.

Maybe you noticed that I texted a lot about the more affordable blue carbon version and that’s not only because the 25″ test board was delivered in that construction. The 23″ GenR was the full on blue carbon sandwich construction, that felt pretty light but it was too tippy for my taste and weightclass. Standing position was as high as with the 25″ and there was always a disconnected feeling to the board. The rails are soft and the nose is pulled in a lot, that’s why it doesn’t share the ultra easy handling of the SIC RS.

SIC RS – Lower rocker, sharp rails and lots of convenience features


When doing sprints, I like boards that get on top of the water quite easily. The LightCorp GT is a little too nervous for me to put down all of my power within the first strokes, but after two or three strokes it keeps planning quite easily without boobing up and down the tail like crazy. With the 23″ GenR I could reach top speeds at my homespot of 13,6kph which was only 0,4kph less than with the GT. The RS is the easiest board to control while doing fast sprints, but at the moment I’m struggling to get past 13,4kph.

The blue carbon GenR 25″ needs some effort, but keeps on going quite fast.

The GenR 25″ Blue Carbon is a great board for heavy riders

Heavy paddlers do need enough first stability and a good amount of rocker to get the sensation of glide we all are opting for. Additionally stiff boards do create trust when hitting bigger waves. That’s exactly where the GenR shines.

Blue Carbon 25″ on the left, Blue Carbon Sandwich 23″ on the right. (noticeable at the color of the tail)

In flatwater conditions, the piercing nose creates a mostly silent ride with good glide. Upwind the mix of splitting waves and landing softly due to the rounded front section of the bottom area feels great. If you like the feeling of skipping a stone and getting on top of the water, some other board designs might do the trick easier.

Latest constructions from kinetic do have better haptics in terms of compressive strength. Indianas 2019 open ocean race had a great compressive strength, little flex and one year later lots of carbon was replaced with fiberglass to keep the weight down and lose that advantage. I don’t know why it’s so hard to get a real premium construction that would allow riders to walk on deck from tail to the top of the nose if they’d like to do that.

Tipping the scale at 12,95kg – Starboard GenR 14×25″ Blue Carbon

Starboard has done its job and created a fast new generation of flat deck boards that will attract many paddlers. Nothing is perfect but the GenR provides a very complete package without major flaws.


Please stay with the rocker line…. it suits most riders from 70-100kg

Lower the standing position by 4-5cm

Keep that volume

Go with a Gore Vent… it removes one thing you’ll always think about when storing your board. (Starboard has stated their reasons for why they have once again backed away from it)

Why not offering a deck carrying net down to the 21,5 or 23″ board?

The drainage system works perfectly in conjunction with the small depression in the middle.

Bring back that full pvc wrap

Boardsocks and a good bag serves for a complete package, although I wondered why starboard is delivering the deflector… no-one would ever need that. Skip that board sock and the deflector and provide a good railsaver – would be much more beneficial.

Final verdict

Was it the GenR that led to Steves first win over legendary MoveMike?

I’ve had a great time playing around with the GenR and if I could only use one board it would definitely be on my shortlist.

Walking back and forth is so much more fun with a flatdeck board!

The Blue Carbon GenR has an absolutely great pricing and in terms of the 25″ GenR, weight difference wouldn’t be as high as with the 23″ GenR.

If you’re in the market for a one trick pony that does it all well, go to your dealer and check this board. Currently we’re mainly using SIC RS in our club, as each and every rider is able to use that board in wide variety of conditions. Now as the GenR would even serve as a board for heavier riders, I’m really hoping we’ll be able to buy that board next season. Earlier I was talking about Porsches… maybe the GenR is the Cayman GT4RS,- Ridable for most users, as fast as a GT3RS, yet distinct in its conceptual design.

Starboard Allstar 2023 14×24,5

As most of my readers know, I love my LightCorp Boards, especially the Signature, which is still a fantastic board and my first where I didn’t find any major complaints. The past year wasn’t ideal in terms of training progression as I missed out on some serious training. Thus, I found myself starting two times with my old SIC RS at local races, as I didn’t feel confident enough to compete in a race with the Signature or the GT.

Three sentences, and not a word about the Starboard Allstar. You guessed it… there was a feeling I should have a board in my quiver where I feel comfortable in 99% of the conditions and without having to care about my current training status.”I had a call with my favorite Starboard dealer who told me he has an Allstar 2023 in just my size in stock, and I suddenly decided to give it a try.

The Allstar 2019 was a fantastic board that I regret selling. The 2021 Allstar was also a great board, but the water entry and the fact that it felt like a heavier, more manageable version of the Signature kept me from buying it. With the 2023 version, Starboard seems to address most of the complaints I had with both the 2019 and the 2021 Allstar. Primary stability is now increased by quite a margin, the drainage system works great, and the stiffness is just perfect.

I mentioned ‘most,’ not ‘all’… So, why did Starboard opt for a GoreTex vent in the 2022 models and then abandon it in 2023?! I’d rather not have to contemplate loosening a bolt and decide when or if I need to do that. Even a 2018 RS retains this reliably effective vent.

So, now that I’ve shared my wishes for future iterations, let’s shift our focus to the positive aspects.

First and foremost, I felt an instant comfort with this board. It responds well to foot steering, remains stable in eddies, and seems to trigger a sensation of being in ‘bullet time,’ providing a sense of ample time compared to the livelier LightCorps.

Outfitted with Railsavers, two handles, a fin, and even the deflector, this board weighs a substantial 13.2kg. Surprisingly, it doesn’t merely feel like an extra 2.5kg compared to the Lights; the perception is more of a 30-50% increase in weight. Consequently, while the glide is satisfactory, it bears resemblance to the Starboard Sprint in terms of resistance. Maintaining momentum requires greater effort, and I initially felt like I was paddling at a slower pace. However, upon checking my speed, I was astonished to discover that I was traveling at over 10kph. Yes… I could possibly keep that momentum for only one Kilometer but it definitely felt much slower than it actually is!

I’ll need to conduct various tests and measurements to truly explore its capabilities, but for the present, I’m genuinely impressed.

The deck pad is the finest I’ve ever encountered on a board; the drainage system operates flawlessly, even though I rarely require it. Turning capabilities are both reliable and predictable, and the craftsmanship is beyond any doubt.

Furthermore I’m stoked to announce that I’ll get two test Boards of the Brand New Starboard GenR in 23″ and 25″ width. I will try to give you an idea which boards is best for your individual needs.

While a flat deck board certainly offers its advantages, there are also downsides such as reduced board stiffness, water washing over the deck, a higher stance, and a less ‘dry ride’ during winter.

On the flip side, larger volume boards like the Allstar come with their weaknesses, particularly for lighter riders dealing with strong sidewinds. The narrower tail might not offer as much stability during step-back turns when compared to the GenR, but that’s something I need to explore further. At the moment, I remain a staunch supporter of the original SIC RS. Its ease of handling has always appealed to me, although I’ve encountered a challenge during upwind sprints due to its pronounced flex and the forceful impact against the waves.

So please stay tuned for further content 😉


Time for a quick update…

I had time to test the Allstar in various conditions and while it’s not a stability wonder, it gives me way more time to react than the Signature. At lake Attersee I was lucky to have all kind of water states to check the Allstars behaviour. Upwind it definitely wants to go over waves instead of slicing through the chop. Straight upwind or angled up to 60 dgrees I didn’t have problems keeping the direction. With moderate sidechop it was easy to steer the board and interestingly the high sidewalls have not been pushed around like with the old 2019 Allstar.

Primary stability isn’t great but there’s a good amount of secondary stability that kept me from falling into the water. Often times paddlers told me that those high levels of secondary stability isn’t needed because you’re also loosing lots of speed, once using that “Joker”. When comparing the Allstar vs the GenR there was one thing that stood out… Whenever I tried to do sprints with lots of crosschop involved, I felt way more stable on the Allstar and therefore I was able to put down more power into the paddle.

Another advantage of the Allstar is it’s turning capabilities, I found it easier and safer to do step back turns as there is room to play with regarding foot position. When you want to cross step back to normal paddling position there’s also more room for wiggles of the board. Nevertheless upwind I found the GenR to be a quite perfect fit for up to 12″ waves as it was a softer, more dampened ride.

Downwind the GenR performed really well and as long as my legs felt fresh I was able to walk back and forth with ease. With the Allstar I didn’t have to reposition my feet as often, but I don’t think that I was faster. The Allstar shares a lot with the LightCorp Signature, and of course the Signature does offer the better glide and it feels smoother going upwind, and it’s faster to get it going. Once you’ve reached the travelling speed the Allstar is more stable, gives you way more time to react, has way better tracking and gives you the feeling having the control over your board.

I’m sure once upon a time I will have the skills to feel really comfortable with the Signature, but there will always be things that are easier to manage with a board like the Allstar.

On my homespot I did one fast lap that represents what I’m currently capable of… there have been better times but not at this moment. Holding a good average speed was

One Year – LightCorp Signature 2.0

Knapp 800km, über 110 Trainingseinheiten und einen Einsatz am Meer konnte ich im letzten Jahr mit meinem LightCorp Signature 2.0 verzeichnen. Trotz diesen häufigen Trainingskilometern (Leute…ich bin Hobbysportler), fühle ich mich aber noch immer nicht 100% sicher in allen Lebenslagen. Für wen eignet sich dieses Board also? Welche Bedenken gibt es bzgl. der Hohlbauweise?

Dieses Board stellt mich immer wieder vor eine Herausforderung und dennoch merke ich, wie ich im Laufe der Zeit, bei Anfangs noch undenkbaren Bedingungen, immer besser zurecht komme. Wäre ich ausschließlich auf der Suche nach einem maximal soliden Raceboard, um jeder Herausforderung gelassen entgegenblicken zu können, so müsste ich aktuell vermutlich ein SIC Atlantis 14’x26″ fahren…

Nachteil hierbei ist aber der deutlich höhere Kraftaufwand um das Ding am Laufen zu halten. Im Flachwasser Stabilitätsreserven die schlichtweg nicht notwendig sind und dennoch kein so stimmiger Shape wie beim alten RS.

Damit zurück zum LightCorp Signature:

WENN es mir gelingt bei schwierigeren Bedingungen (Seitenwelle + Seitenwind) einen stabilen Rhythmus zu finden, überkommt mich regelrecht ein Glücksgefühl spürbare Verbesserungen erzielen zu können.

Das Signature ist mein Lehrmeister,- es lehrt mich immer sauberer zu paddeln und zeigt auch jeden Technikfehler schnell auf, ohne mich gleich abzuwerfen.

Wenn ich zwischenzeitlich auf kippstabilere Boards wechselte, merkte ich zwar, dass es durchaus mal einfacher fällt maximale Kraft aufs Paddelblatt zu übertragen oder zusätzliche Stabilitätsreserven zu genießen. Jedoch folgte darauf meist eine einfachere Situation, sei es Up- oder Downwind, wo ich mir wieder das geschmeidige hinweggleiten über die Wellenberge wünschte.

Kurzum dieses Board zeigt mir nachhaltig, dass ich die Schwachstelle bin und nicht das Board.

Geht das nicht auch einfacher? – Doch… ganz bestimmt – aber will ich das auch?

Es ist vermutlich eher eine Philosophiefrage, welche Boardwahl als “klug” zu bezeichnen ist.

Ich für meinen Teil kann gut damit leben, ein Board zu besitzen, wo es vermutlich noch das ein oder andere Jährchen benötigt, um damit wie ein junger Wassergott herumspielen zu können.

Die Belohnung im Gegenzug ist ein bisher unerreicht gutes Gleitverhalten und ein bislang ungestörtes Paddelerlebnis.

Klingt doch alles gut!

Bei soviel Lobhudelei möchte man doch meinen ich wäre wunschlos glücklich, oder?

Keine Sorge, mir fehlt es auch bei diesem Board nicht am kritischen Blick und habe da schon ein paar Ideen, oder Beispiele wo ich Optimierungspotenzial sehe.

Bei den im folgenden genannten Gedanken gilt es allerdings zu bedenken:

“Einen Aufsatz zu verbessern ist immer leichter als ihn selbst zu schreiben!”

Kein Vorteil, ohne Nachteil… aber eine effektivere Entwässerung nach dem trichterförmigen Design des Fanatic Strike wäre definitiv kein Nachteil, wenn das Heck beim Turnen mal zu tief eingetaucht wurde.

Damit einhergehend, würde vermutlich ein früherer Anstieg des Deckpads ähnlich der Starboard Dugout Modelle dazu führen, dass sich die Wanne weniger schnell füllen würde. Besonders bei langsam ausgeführten StepBackTurns eindeutig ein Nachteil gegenüber meinen anderen Boards.

Vorteil des Signatures, gerade beim Turnen ist aber das unheimlich reaktive Fahrverhalten, wobei das Board um ein vielfaches schneller zu turnen ist, als viele andere Boards. Ob durch die angedachten Änderungen dies noch gegeben wäre, darf stark angezweifelt werden. Zumindest das schmale Tail und die runden Rails sollten nach wie vor helfen, mehr Volumen im Heck dann eher nicht 😉

Das Signature neigt aufgrund des Shapes und der Volumenverteilung stärker als viele andere Boards dazu, das Heck absacken zu lassen… damit ist es etwas schwieriger eine Technik zu finden, mit der auch hohe Geschwindigkeiten ohne Stabilitätsverlust zu erzielen sind. Wie die LightCorp Teamfahrer aber eindrucksvoll beweisen, ist auch das mit viel Training möglich.

Deckpad – So schön und griffig das Deckpad ist, Verschleißerscheinungen treten hierbei einfach schneller als beim Starboard Deckpad auf, zudem vermisse ich eine klare Centerlinie, welche das Spazieren am Board einfacher gestalten würde.

Selbstkritisch muss ich gestehen, dass meine aktuellen Skills noch nicht ausreichen, um dieses Board meinen Ansprüchen gemäß zu bewegen, aber gerade das macht es so reizvoll für mich.

Bei Sprints habe ich ab 12km/h deutlich mehr zu kämpfen die Stabilität zu behalten und auch bei Starts fällt es mir deutlich schwerer bei den ersten Schlägen Vollgas zu geben.

Wenn ich allerdings einmal in Bewegung bin, kann ich für meine Verhältnisse kräfteschonend, zügig und unbeschwert auch lange Distanzen paddeln, ohne dass mir dabei die Lust vergeht.

Während andere Fahrer kein Problem damit haben werden, dass Boards mit flachem Unterwasserschiff a la SIC RS (2019) dazu neigen hart gegen Wellen zu schlagen , oder spitze Nosedesigns (Starboard Sprint, Fanatic Strike) gerne jedes noch so kleine Blatt an der Nose in Gefangenschaft nehmen, stören mich diese Dinge sehrwohl.

Wasser an Deck?

Selten, aber doch, kam es gerade bei kurzen steilen Wellen vor, dass Wasser bis in die Wanne gespült wurde. Vor wenigen Tagen, habe ich daher einen VMG Deflector montiert und werde das mal weiter beobachten, ob sich dadurch dieses Szenario erledigt hat.

Bei 95% aller Einsätze bleiben aber selbst die Füße stets trocken und die Entwässerungsventile arbeiten hervorragend! Daher auch ideal für den Wintereinsatz.


Das ein Board der Breite gemäß wackeliger zu paddeln ist, kann ich verschmerzen, so würde es mir aber auch mit einem schmal gewählten RS/Atlantis etc gehen. Wichtig ist, wie effizient es sich paddeln lässt und hierbei ist das Signature einfach spitze.

Hollow – die Zukunft, oder Modeerscheinung?

Bei der diesjährigen SUP WM war ein Trend klar zu beobachten… immer mehr Hersteller versuchen ihren Teamridern Hollow-Boards zur Verfügung zu stellen. Dabei reicht das Spektrum von unter 8kg Eierschalen bis 12kg ultrasolide Bauweise.

Meiner Erfahrung nach, hat die Hollow-Bauweise mehr Vor- als Nachteile, weil Reparaturen einfach möglich sind, ohne sich Sorgen zu müssen, dass ein Kern nachhaltig Wasser bindet.

Auch herkömmliche Raceboards mit EPS-Kern sollte man nur im Bereich des Deckpads mit der hohen Punktlast unserer Füße belasten, bei Hollow-Boards gilt das aber umso mehr. Auf die Nose setzen oder gar darauf herumzuspazieren ist vermutlich nur bei dick laminierten Holzbrettern a la Wuux auf Dauer möglich.

Mein Board sieht nach all den Kilometern weitgehend unbeeindruckt aus und unbeabsichtigte Querschläge mit dem Paddelblatt steckt der Aufbau auch besser weg, als jedes mir bekannte Raceboard (Ausnahme Wuux).

Ich finde es toll, dass immer mehr Firmen den Schritt in Richtung Hohlbauweise wagen, auch wenn in dieser Phase noch bei einigen Konstruktionen mit Kinderkrankheiten zu rechnen ist. LightCorp hat das Signature nun auch schon einige Jahre im Sortiment und im Laufe der Jahre auch stets verbessert. Gerade Fahrer, denen nur ältere Konstruktionen des Signatures bekannt waren, schienen durchaus überrascht zu sein, wie solide diese aktuelle Konstruktion ist.

Die Technologie ist nicht ohne Tücken, aber meine Erfahrungen zeigen mir, dass auch schwere Fahrer mit dem Signature 2.0 ein problemloses, stabiles Hollow-Board erwerben können.

Unterm Strich bedeutet das für mich… ich will dieses Board definitiv noch länger behalten und müsste ich mich aktuell für nur ein Board entscheiden, es wäre das Signature. Auch wenn das bedeuten würde, dass bei dem ein oder anderem Rennen meine Schwächen als Paddler stärker zum Vorschein kommen würden.

Fanatic Strike (2019)

Searching for the most capable Raceboard I could possibly handle at the end of 2019, I chose to invest in the most succesfuly raceboard of the austrian SUP Championship. Most teamriders went for the color wise updated 2020 Model which shared the exact same shape, so I decided to go for the 2019 Model in red&white design because I could get a better deal for it.

The Strike is a pure racing machine with incredibly high first stability and a lot of secondary stability. Helps a lot when trying to adapt to this board.

In the beginning it was hard for me to get a comfortable standing position, that would let me transfer power to the paddle as easy as with my SIC RS 24,5. As skills got better, I felt comfortable to use the strike even for up and downwind sessions. But for sure I feel most comfortable, when trying to reach a new lap record at flatwater conditions.

Corona TimeTrial Challenge provided by Chris Diver – Personal Best with the Fanatic Strike 2019

Stability vs riders weight recommendation

Over the course of a year, my body weight typically fluctuates between 88 and 97kg. Especially with a little extra belly bacon, it was noticeable that I had great difficulty moving the Strike in a relaxed manner. I think the Fanatic Strike 14’x21,5″ is perfectly suited for riders sitting in the 70-85kg area. As I’m definitely way above that, it needs a lot of force and high cadence to get this board planing. When paddling more casually, my high weight means that the ideal waterline is no longer given. Either the nose or the stern is then too deep in the water. The sharp edges at the tail should provide a clean and fast water release. Although I have to say that this requires some inital speed if you’re in my weight category.

As stated before, the inital stability is great for such a narrrow board and I’ve been paddling wider boards that are far away from the stability reserves the Strike offers.

One thing where the Strike really shines, is its incredible stiffness.

There are many good carbon composite constructions in the market and for sure a dugout design will have an advantage in terms of stiffness. In this case, some composite boards feel like inflatables compared to the Strike! (for more… go to the end of this article)

Punching upwind sends the nose wavepiercing and with its 274liters , there’s plenty of volume for most conditions. Upwind, most Allwater boards with lots of volume in the nose tend to slap against following waves, with the Fanatic Strike you mostly cut waves like a hot knife through butter.

If things get really nasty and water enters the deckpad, the drainage holes are working great. Only when trying to deal with side chop, my abilities aren’t up to what would be needed. When performing step-back-turns, the wide tail lets you move easily back to the kickpad, without compromising stability. On the other hand – you will have to do that, to get the wide tail sinking.

12,06kg on my weight scale without fin, but with installed ion railsaver.

Comparing the Strike to my Starboard Sprint 2021 14×23,5 , the Sprint is a bit more stable but when comparing it to the 21,5″ Sprint, the Strike has the edge in terms of first stability. With stepback turns I find the Strike to be even easier than the 23,5″ Sprint. The 2020 and 2021 Models of the Starboard Sprint do have more Volume and extremely high sidewalls that serve for an incredible secondary stability, even the Strike can’t match. Overall it comes down to the riders weight and preference which board you’d choose. In my last timetrials I had a slight advantage of 2-4sec/km with the Sprint, as it was easier for me moving my feet without tilting the board too much. I like to place my feet a little further apart, than the Strikes standing tray would allow. Measuring the maximum standing width the Strike gives you 41cm and I’m prefering more like 45-48cm.

If Fanatic tries to dugout the walls a bit, it would have been possible to provide that wider stance, but most paddlers prefer a narrower stance than me… so that’s mainly my own preference.

In austria there are some world elite paddlers, showing that it’s possible to outclass the rest of the field with this board. The three Austrian fastest paddlers 2019/2020 won most races on the Strike 2019/20 last season.

Just one little hint… there are boards, better suited for drafting and also boards that are easier to move with a moderate to fast pace. You’ll still need to be able to generate the force needed that this board works the way intended.

Overall I’d say it’s definitely one of the most stable 21,5″ wide raceboards out there and also easier to paddle than the new 2021 Strike in 22,5″.

Model Year 2019/2020 vs 2021

I did have the opportunity to have a quick paddling session with the newest 2021 Fanatic Strike and while from the outside I didn’t expect much of a difference, but the 22,5″ wide (but lower volume) version, felt totally different.

The new board feels easier to paddle, but it lacks the predictable initial and secondary stability of the older versions. Secondary stability kicks in way later and therefore I think the riders ability should meet the new requirements.

Strong Sprinter!

While the LightCorp Signature 2.0 provides some smooth and effortless glide, the Fanatic Strike can’t offer that sensation, but it’s a pretty stable board for sprinting. A wider tail prevents the board from sinking the tail too much and the concave creates good stability while planing. When I try to reach top speeds, the Signature sinks the tail and the voluminous Nose lifts up instantanously. So when you hit more than 12km/h, it’s hard for me to keep the balance while paddling full on. With the Strike,- steering becomes more sensitive, when hitting planing speed but you don’t get a “loose” feeling.

Different board concepts, same speed?

Flatwater Dugout Boards like the Fanatic Strike, or the Starboard Sprint try to keep enough stability while getting narrower and narrower to push the limits year after year. Other concepts like the lightweight, round bottomed LightCorp Signature 2.0 need to be much wider to be manageable, but once dialed in one could be equally as fast with it. Even though I love the glide of the Signature, narrower boards have another big advantage: you can paddle them more ergonomically.

So what?

If the Strike would have been my only board in the last season, some races would have been doable, but I’m sure it was a wise decision to stay with wider boards, more suited for my weight class. In a pure timetrial race, the Fanatic Strike was clearly faster than my previous SIC RS or the Starboard Allstar 2019. In my comparison I could be faster by 2min over a distance of 10km… that’s a lot.

So, if you are in the right weight range, the Fanatic Strike is a very capable race board with the proven abilities to be a leaders board.

Let’s say you feel more comfortable in the midpack and want to have a more versatile board, there are other options you could go for.

In the world of flatwater racing boards, this is a narrow but stable, incredibly stiff piece of gear that you can work your way up to the podium.

As always I want to thank you for reading my articles and please let me know when you want to know something else!

Wanna see what I mean with “stiffness”? Watch this:

LightCorp Signature 2.0

There are raceboards in the market that trigger a special “I want to have this thing” feeling.

However, if this feeling is faced with a lot of uncertainties, the risks and opportunities must be weighed up.

Legend of OX, the Mantra, Freeracer and the Signature 2.0

At the Legend of OX 2020 I had the opportunity to do some short testrides with the LightCorp Mantra 23.2, the brand new Freeracer in 14×26 and of course the Signature 2.0 in 14×24,75. The Freeracer has a really nice shape and its surprisingly fast while being agile, with the Mantra I had high hopes this thing could be a lightweight version of the easy to paddle Starboard Sprint 2021. Although being equally as wide and sharing some design similarities (supposedly), these boards do feel totally different. I didn’t feel comfortable right away and while first stability was quite okay, I did struggle without having secondary stabilty I was used to.

5 weeks later my own board arrived

Gerd Weisner told me I should do a short ride with his own Signature 2.0 in 24,75″ width. First I told him that I didn’t think this would be a good idea, because I heard that this beast is really difficult to paddle and I didn’t mean to embarrass myself. He told me that it initially might roll more than other boards, but it has some great secondary stability. So I decideded to go for a short test and when I started to trust the Signature, it got firm when leaning to much towards one paddling side.

First impressions

I don’t want to say that it was easy, but with a little practice it was definitely manageable.

The low inertia, effortless glide and good secondary stability, paired with a standing area at water level made up for a totally new expierience.

A hollow racing board with a far better carbon/price ratio than any other brand in the world, a great shape that can be fast in many conditions, a customizable design and a passionate founder with a lot of hydrodynamic knowledge were the biggest pluses for me.

Pure Carbon Porn …

Evolutionary stages

The LightCorp Signature 2.0 in its current stage of development was able to dispel all the concerns I had in advance. With a recognizable stiff chassis and a reinforced base due to additional stringers in the deck area and many small improvements, I decided on this board.

While Gerds Signature had a stiff chassis with a flexing standing cockpit area, my board is as stiff as one could wish! I can happily tell you that this will be standard for all new Signature 2.0 Models.

The minor downside for weight weenies… my Signature weighs a still fantastic 10,19kg without fin. With the RS Pro Railsaver (not necessarly needed) and a standard fin you still have a weight of 10,5-10,7kg and that’s easily 1-3kg lighter than most competitors.

Reinforced and only finest materials lead to an excellent low weight of 10,2kg

Differences Hollow vs foam core Boards

Compressive strength is way better with this construction than most eps sandwich constructions as there’s used much less carbon/fiberglass in conventional products.

One thing comes to mind, what if you somehow manage to get a hole in your board? This is a double edged sword as it could fill your board until it sinks. However, when you repair this hole, you won’t suffer from a water-soaked eps core making your board heavier than it once was.

You can instantly feel the low inertia, two or three strong strokes and you’ll glide with traveling speed.

The finish of this board is quite perfect and it leaves a feeling that this thing could last forever when taking care of it.

A Gelcoat finish could probably chip, but you have way less issues with paddlemarks and once you polish your board, it’ll look like brand new.

These boards are actually unique pieces that are built by NELO in Portugal.

Wile waiting for your personal masterpiece I was curios about the design in real life. As every painter seems to add his personal note, the end result was a little different from what I’ve expected – Don’t get me wrong, it’s a matter of personal taste, but I’m truly in love with this design!

Expectation vs Reality

If you don’t like my colors don’t worry… there are 7 templates and 25 colors to choose from.

This leads to a crazy 10.000+ different design options!

How does it feel?

Once used to it there are many things to like about this board

As I’ve stated before it’s definitely a challenging board for its width but with the right fin a some practice you start getting more and more comfortable.

Due to the low weight it’s easy to get the Signature of the line but it took some time feeling confident enough to put power on the paddle without wiggling to much. Compared with the Sprint I’d say it’s comparable with the 21,5″ Sprint in terms of initial stability.

The reason for the reduced initial stability comes from a convex bottom shape coupled with a relatively narrow tail and a even more rounded front. There’s also a big advantage of this design as you’re not creating drag when leaning the board slightly. Boards with wide tails, like the Fanatic Strike do suffer from drag when you’re not able to keep the board leveled.

Let’s talk about board width …

Narrower boards are faster than wide ones, lighter is faster, there are many claims that are not always true.

Boards are designed with a waterline in mind of the shaper and this topic is much more complicated than judging board volumes or project bottom areas. You want to keep the wetted area as small as possible while keeping the desired waterline to get a board moving fast. So volume distribution, displacement and rocker lines have to fit to the paddlers weight. Gerd is a full sized powerhouse with about my bodyweight. The LightCorp Signature 2.0 14×24,75 is still his go to board for most races, as it perfectly suits skilled paddlers with a little more weight.

I’m going to do some speed comparison tests with the Starboard Sprint, the Fanatic Strike, and also my Allstar. By now, I can tell you that while I’m working on my basic endurance, I’m reading some fantastic paces that keep me excited for these tests!

Paddling this board since 5 weeks I did about 120km and every time I do feel more comfortable with it. I’m a big slough when it comes to turns and moving on a board and yes… I know that I do have to practice it in the future. But it’s winter and with temperatures around freezing, the best drysuit can’t get me going for a bit of swimming. All this in mind I see myself doing some turns and getting my muscles firing faster to get more control in several conditions.

Two weeks ago I had to deal with 2-3Bft and I had to smile a lot as it was a great pleasure with the Signature 2.0.

Things I hate

I am a really hard person to be satisfied because I often can’t get small abnormalities out of my head. Let’s say you’re out on the water for a relaxing paddleboarding session and hit a few leaves in the water … with the Strike or the Sprint I have to lift the nose a bit to get rid of leaves sticking to the sharp slicing nose. Not with this one! When I’m moving on deck I don’t want to feel a board flexing, even when I’m hitting some bigger waves. When I play around and tilt a board left to right, I don’t want the deck to flood because my feet get colder in winter and it just bothers me.

Yes I’m picky.

None of those mentioned things that could disturb me stays true for the LightCorp Signature 2.0.

They even invented a greatly working drainage valve that prevents water from entering the deck area although providing a very low stance at water level. And if you want 4 instead of my two drainage holes, because you’re loving it to get that big nose buried (that’s a challenge I haven’t been able to accomplish by now) they can build that board as you want it.

For LightCorp I see one big disadvantage for providing hollow boards… it’s not as easy to change shapes and details from year to year as most of their contenders are doing.

But I don’t think that’s necessary, once you’ve found a good shape.

At this point I can’t tell you if this is the fastest board I’ve tested by now and at the same time I see myself starting next year with either the Sprint, Allstar, Strike and the Signature… but only if I have a feeling my baby won’t get hurt 😉

I love the design of my board, what would be your preferred look?

Could it be love?

Many years ago I’ve watched a report on tv on the topic Objectophilia where a chubby guy was totally in love with its steam locomotive – what a crazy observation…

Why does this come to my mind now?

Jokes aside…

While I’m not prone to falling in love with my gear, once I begin to connect with this board, I will completely understand.

Having the ability to choose your preferred design and getting a customized board is a feeling of luxury only few brands can offer.

I’ll update this post as I’ve done some more testing and please let me know if you do have any questions.

Starboard Sprint (2021)

Starboard Sprint 2021 Header

Now that I’ve paddled the Fanatic Strike for almost a year and the decision was made to choose “safer” boards from race to race, I had to look for something new.

During the time trials in the first half of the year, the Strike turned out to be the fastest board. Nevertheless, I did not get warm with the Strike, especially during more leisurely training rides, because it seemed impossible to me to find a position where a efficient waterline was the result.

After a first test session at lake Neusiedlersee I was really impressed about the Starboard Sprints ability to punch upwind while providing lots of secondary stability when struggling to keep the balance. But it didn’t feel so comfortable that I would start a race right away.

Challenge is good, feeling comfortable is better

I didn’t want to make the same mistake as with the Strike and this time I wanted a board that felt really good and comfortable for the first few meters. Since the Sprint 2021 21,5″ was a bit more nervous than the Strike, I decided to order the Sprint in a size larger.

Starboard Sprint 2021 14×23,5 perfect size for heavier (85kg+) paddlers …

The standing area is greatly widened due to the dugout rails and provides a lot of room for proper foot placement.

Searching for challenge? Try the Wuux Race Sup in 19″ width 😉

On my first trip with the sprint, I was able to significantly reduce my best time at my home spot.

If this time it goes the same as in the past, the times on the home track should also be realizable in the race:

9,1km/h in Q3/2020

So it seems like feeling comfortable, coupled with an efficent board design, looks promising.

Subtle changes,… refining what worked well in the past

The Sprint and the Allstar 2021 not only combine the updated look, but also the updated carbon sandwich construction ensures load-optimized improvements.

Except for the fact that both models are now dugout designs, this where similarities come to an end.

It is immediately noticeable that the Sprint has very high, slightly sloping sidewalls. These ensure large safety reserves if the initial stability is overused. The new nose design sheds water quite efficiently without wrapping over the entire nose, when hitting bumps.

Especially in upwind conditions, I really like the very calm handling of this board… It’s not as playful as the Allstar, but it’s very effective at maintaining glide and the sharp nose makes it possible to stay on course. When facing bigger bumps the high sidewalls tend to push you back when loosing stability, although I have to say that I do have to work more when having sidewaves. The Allstar had a looser feeling and also the RS was easier to deal with sidewaves.

On my home spot, I mostly have to deal with eddies and high currents, and this doesn’t push the nose around as much as the Strike, but it’s definitely more challenging than the Allstar. Same scenario when drafting, but because of the high volume, you don’t have to change your foot position as often as with the Strike.

The standing tray seems to be about 2-3 cm higher than the Allstar’s (2021). This prevents water from entering that often and helps keep the ride dry.

Shallower bottom concave, wide tail…

Allstar 2019 24,5 with deep center concave compared to the shallower concave of the Sprint 2021 23,5

If you’ve read my previous reviews, you know that I’m basically a big fan of strong concaves in the underwater hull. Why? It serves for stability and lift.

In the 2021 Model, Starboard went for a shallower concave to reduce wetted surface area and further increase speed. I can safely say that the sprint is clearly faster than the Allstar 2019 & 2021 (24,5) in flatwater conditions.

Do you give up a lot of stability for those 10-14 seconds per kilometer?

The answer is no, but you should be aware that the secondary stability sets in very evenly and leaves a lot of room until you really have to counteract it. Overall I’d say the Sprint is relatively easy to paddle for it’s width, but both the Allstar and SIC RS might be a little bit easier to handle.

Due to the high sidewalls it’s possible to lean it to extreme angles.

I am currently noticing that I like to take the Sprint in whatever conditions and never have the feeling of being better off on another board.

Currently I’m trying to find out what fin setup I like most, but by now I feel most comfortable with the stock Race Ultra 2.0.

The Sprint is a great board when heavier riders (85 – 100kg) are searching for a flatwater orientated board that’s not shy of hitting some bumps. It provides good speed without challenging its rider.

Soon I’ll try to give you some more impressions and I’ll do a comparison with the LightCorp Signature 2.0 24,75!

Starboard Allstar (2021)

Most of the time we only see slight changes in products that have been popular for several years. It’s the same with our most beloved sports discipline , as physics will always lead to compromising other strengths of proper working boarddesigns/constructions.

Last years Starboard Allstar 2020 went away from their deep monoconcave bottom design and switched to a round vee with slight double concaves to help provide enough stability. As some testers stated, the new design leads to a better glide but made the board a lot tippier than the previous models. The 2019 Model has a user friendly design, which works not only for the higher skilled paddlers and that’s not the only reason I bought it myself 😉

I was really excited what Starboard will show for the 2021 Allstar. Are they staying with the 2020 bottom design? Are the strengths of this allwater racer stay put? Is there something totally new?

Let’s have a look at this beauty:

Popping colors, darker blue tint, dugout design…

It’s a complete redesign… here we have a dugout style board, a new carbon sandwich construction, and a way narrower tail compared to the forerunner models.

Low center of gravity with the new dugout design

I can happily tell the valued properties and features, meet the requirements of the premier class, like the pigmented paint, GoPro mount, a nice and redesigned grippy deckpad, multiple handle positions and excellent workmanship.

The bottom design is mostly comparable to the 2020 design with its big belly in the middle and those double concaves, but this time… combining it with a narrower tail (-9cm) and the deep cockpit it’s as easy to paddle as the old deep concave in the well known predecessors 2019 and older.

First Impressions

I was really excited about putting it on water for the first time and I was asking myself how long it would take to get used to it. No jokes, I felt instantly felt comfortable and I’ve had zero issues focusing on paddling and putting power onto the blade.

I had a feeling I could easily cut my paddle down 3-5cm, as I’m standing exactly at water level. The drainage holes are working great when paddling, but as you’re going a little slower there’s always some water coming onto the standing area, when tilting the board left and right. Because of this, it may not be your first choice to do your winter training with. For sure there is a more reactive feeling due to the convex hull, but there is also a lot of stability due to the low standing area. Overall this sums up for a comfortable ride with lots of stability!

The nose seems to enter the water with a bit of splash like I’m used to with the 2019 Allstar. As I mentioned in the Starboard Allstar 2019 review, I’m a big fan of this nose shape. This design works great when drafting, entering swirls or hitting bigger bumps, I’m happy Starboard carried on with this great working design.

Tail … here the magic happens

The tail is way narrower than previous Allstar designs and when paddling with moderate power I could feel that it requires definitely less power to maintain a good traveling speed.

In my case I could manage to paddle my homespot time trial track with relatively low hr of 150bpm at a solid 8,5km/h, or 7:06/km at very high temperatures. When putting more power into the stroke I could reach an average speed of 9km/h which is exactly on par with my best time for the Fanatic Strike 21,5! The new bottom shape definitely has less drag, but I struggled to paddle straight compared to its 2019 predecessor. I can do 15 to 20 strokes per side with the 2019 model, but in the beginning I had to change every 10th stroke with the Allstar 2021 to get it straight, as it seems a little more difficult to steer with the rounded rails .

I did some testing with other paddlers which are more experienced than me and everyone was quite satisfied with the effortless glide the Allstar provides.

There’s really a lot to like with this board and I’ll need some more rides to compare them 1:1 with direct switching to give you a better idea how about the differences.

In terms of haptic and feeling I can tell that the 2021 Allstar is stiffer than its predecessor while not being rock hard as the Fanatic Strike 2019/2020. The restorative flex is less noticeable than before and feels just right for a paddler of my weight. Most importantly there’s no disturbing flex when pushing it whilst sprinting.

Here you find what starboard changed with their best carbon sandwich construction:

Some critical areas as the nose and the rails are benefitting from using stronger 150g/sqm biaxial carbon, but at the old construction compressive strength at the top of front area was noticeably better, maybe due to fact using 100g biax carbon and full pvc wrapping over the entire board. During a regular rece I don’t think this should make a difference as the vulnerable areas got beefed up and other areas show a lighter construction to save some weight.

How it rides in different conditions

Tracking, turning, stability, cruising and of course racing will be featured after this weekend as I’ll have the opportunity to try this board at the Weissensee Classics Race 🙂

16.08.2020 and here we go…

Weissensee Classics 2020 with the Allstar 2021 14×24,5

A wonderful landscape, great drivers and, thanks to a bridge crossing the lake, a great view for the audience made for a great experience!

The event started relatively late on Saturday at 6pm with 200m timetrials head to head with 21 competitors. I started in the last heat with two others and could manage to finish first with a time 1:05min while facing some headwind (I’ll post the official results as soon as they are here). The result was good enough to compete in the A-Finals, where the 10 fastest paddlers went for a second round. After a lousy start, which forced me to switch paddling side after only 4 strokes, I had to deal with a massive chop from the two fastest guys, but I had zero issues to keep on track. In the end I was pleased about my 6th place.

First heat…great board for a good result.

Long Distance Race 12km

I don’t really know what happened to me when packing for this event, I knew it would get warm and normally I have to hydrate my body like crazy – I forgot to take my beloved camelbak with me . I tried to figure out how to place a Gatorade under the handle in case I would need it. Half emptied and squeezed I finally found a way to secure it.

The race started on Sunday at 11:30AM and I tried to keep up a good pace while keeping my heart rate low. The race consisted of 3x4km laps and during the first two rounds it was surprisingly easy to hold a consistent good pace while keeping some reserves for the last round.

My turns were soooo bad and I really have to practice them, but after I could always do some short sprints, I finally finished 10th overall with a strong last lap. Not a drop of liquid was needed during the race. I used the QB Trifecta 96 and with the respectable glide of the Allstar it was a pleasure to paddle this track with low cadence.

What the hell was I doing? #badturning

The Allstar is such an easy ride and serves you well when drafting, dealing with chop, sidewaves and other stuff. Stability wise it was a bit of an overkill for this environment, but it was good to see that it’s possible to race against the sub 24″ fraction and get good results.

Obviously there are faster boards out there, but I’m not sure if there’s an allwater raceboard that would suit better for an average paddler like me.

Here are the results of the Weissensee Classics race:

In the 24/7 ranking (Boards wider than 24″) I could win the LD-Race and finish second in the 200m sprint.

If you want to have a deep dive into my stats of this race, you can check out the link below 😉

Specs and more

If you want to have more specific information about this board I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

Final Verdict

This board is absolutely great in every aspect and if you’re searching for a board that can do it all with performing excepional in more challenging conditions, this is the right board for you.

There are a few circumstances where I would not recommend taking a closer look at this board. If you’re searching for a typical leaders board and you’re paddling mostly in flatwater, there is still the Sprint out there and many other good working designs. It’s also a comparable “wet ride” like the older Allstar Models as there will always be some water on the standing area, if you don’t want that… take a closer look at the Sprint, or other Dugout Boards with either a higher standing area, or a drainage valve system. *Meanwhile I got the information that there are stick on drain covers available (aftermarket), to prevent water entering the deckpad!

Compared to my Allstar 2019 you can save some energy when traveling with 70-80% of power. The lowered cockpit ensures a safe feeling without appearing claustrophobic due to its wide standing area (3cm wider than the Allstar 2019).

Besides it being a fast allwater raceboard, I had so much fun playing around with this board, and when conditions are getting messier it gets even better. There are many more boards which are working great in calm water, but very few of them which are screaming to get pushed into waves 😉

Coming up next: Starboard Allstar 2021

Big changes to be expected and next week I’ll hopefully be able to share everything you want to know about the new Starboard Allstar 2021!

I’ll do some testing and compare the rock solid and easy to ride 2019 Starboard Allstar 14×24,5 with the latest revision of this legendary allwater race board. As testing would only be fair when comparing same sizes, it’ll be a 14×24,5.

In the last months I was able to dial in my paddling technique with the Allstar and could gain speed. At my home track average speeds of 9km/h are no longer reserved for the strike as I could manage to achieve those traveling speeds with the Allstar as well as with the SIC RS.

Starboard Allstar 2019 14×24,5 paired with the Quickblade Trifecta 96 at the SUP Battle 6.0

At the SUP Battle 6.0 at lake Neusiedl, I finished the effectively 8,2km Bauminsel-Classic Race at 12th position while finishing second place in the 24/7 class (24″ and wider). Facing side chop and wind, the Allstar 2019 was the best board I could wish to stay on track and most importantly feeling comfortable putting down power onto the blade.

For those of you being interested in my Garmin measurements:

Guess what, I’m really a big fan of this board, so I’m really excited to find out what these big changes are leading to… stay tuned

Starboard Allstar 14×24,5 (2019)

Alle guten Dinge sind drei und so wollte ich zum Allrounder SIC RS und dem Flachwassergeschoss Fanatic Strike ein weiteres Board hinzufügen, von dem ich denke, dass es diverse Eigenschaften gut vereinen könnte.

Ein Klassiker, über viele Jahre verfeinert und kaum aus dem internationalen Renngeschehen wegzudenken, kann doch nicht so verkehrt sein – Das Starboard Allstar in der Carbon Sandwich Ausführung weckte mein Interesse.

2019 im Jahr 2020?

Warum nicht das aktuelle, stark beworbene 2020 Modell mit konvexem Unterwasserschiff, sondern das Vorjahresmodell?

Das Strike mit lediglich 21,5″ Breite zeigt durch die starken Konkaven am Unterwasserschiff eine ungeheuer gute sekundäre Kippstabilität und lässt sich über die Rails relativ gut lenken. Upwind “klatscht” das Board auch nicht hart auf, sondern teilt das Wasser deutlich sanfter als das sehr flache RS. Damit sollte es noch ein “altes” Modell mit konkavem Unterwasserschiff sein. Zudem könnte das flache Tail, im Gegensatz zur durchgängigen Konkave des Strikes, einen besseren Wasserabriss zur Folge haben (Link zum Video am Ende des Beitrags).


Das SIC RS mit deutlich spürbarem Flex, wirkt im Vergleich zum bocksteifen Strike fast schon wie ein Inflatable. Das Allstar kann naturgemäß nicht mit dem Strike mithalten, da hierbei Dugout Boards immer “besser” abschneiden werden. Das Allstar ist dennoch spürbar steifer als das RS und schwingt nicht so stark nach.

Die entsprechenden Slo-Mo Videos findet ihr am Ende des Beitrags bzw auf meinem Youtube Kanal.

Großartige Eingewöhnungszeit erfordert das Allstar nicht, hier heißt’s rauf und los.

Die primäre Kippstabilität erinnert stark ans RS, auf der Kante wird es aber deutlich früher progressiv und zeigt eine ähnliche sekundäre Kippstabilität wie das Strike. Ich bin erstmal zuversichtlich mit dem Allstar schnell eins zu werden und schon bald erste Messwerte liefern zu können.

Speedcheck done…

Soviel ist mal sicher, das Ding ist schnell… im Sprint genügend Fläche, um schön aus dem Wasser zu kommen und bei Long Distance Runs einfach auf Geschwindigkeit zu halten. Auffälligster Unterschied im Vergleich zum RS ist die Art und Weise wie das Board um die Längsachse rollt. Während das RS aufgrund des runden Vorderschiffs bei Kippbewegungen nach links und rechts ausweicht, dreht das Allstar quasi an Ort und Stelle um die Nulllinie, was einem hierbei eher zusagt ist wohl Geschmacksache.

Das erste Anpaddeln scheint etwas träger vonstatten zu gehen als beim RS, ab Reisegeschwindigkeiten von >8km/h fällt aber auf, dass die spitzer zulaufende Nose weniger Wasser verdrängt und gefühlt weniger Widerstand erzeugt. Allgemein scheint mir der Nose Shape sehr gelungen zu sein, am Fluss nicht zu anfällig für Wirbel und seitliche Strömungen, schnell im Flachwasser und perfekt für Upwind-Sessions.

Wenn Wellen mal größer als 20-30cm werden, sticht sowohl das RS, als auch das Strike mitten durch die Welle, das Allstar will über die Wellen gepusht werden und ist dabei voll in seinem Element. Mit sehr viel Volumen in der Nose kommt es selten in Verlegenheit Wasser bis auf die Standfläche zu befördern. Abgeschrägte Kanten leiten das Wasser effektiv ab und bremsen das Board nur marginal.

KURZ: Upwind macht dieses Board unheimlich viel Spaß und belohnt beim Downwinden mit gutmütigem, vorhersehbaren Fahrverhalten.

Lediglich bei starkem Seitenwind muss deutlich mehr gearbeitet werden als beim RS, ansonsten stellt mich das Allstar trotz deutlich weniger Fahrpraxis, verglichen mit RS oder Strike, vor keine zusätzlichen Herausforderungen.

When things get nasty…

Wenn der Wetterbericht und die Bäume in Nachbars Garten signalisieren, dass das Grundlagentraining an anderen Tagen stattfinden sollte, ertappe ich mich regelmäßig dabei das Strike gar nicht in die nähere Auswahl zu nehmen. Mit dem RS klappt einfach alles, aber werden die Wellen mal wirklich groß und detoniert das Board trotz fleißiger Fußarbeit so hart in der darauffolgenden Welle kommen in mir Zweifel auf wie lange das Material solche Torturen überstehen kann. Das Allstar fühlt sich bei solchen Bedingungen eher “spring loaded” an, man ist verleitet das Board immer härter von Welle zu Welle zu prügeln – und das ganz ohne schlechtes Gewissen.

Sprint Time

Für all jene die wenig Zeit haben, das RS ist meine erste Wahl bei Sprints.

Nach 6-7 kräftigen Zügen und >10km/h wandert die Nose immer weiter aus dem Wasser und dabei wird das Board bei maximalem Krafteinsatz auch nervöser als das RS. Dadurch fällt es auch etwas schwerer weiterhin volle Power aufs Blatt zu bekommen. Noch drastischer fällt dieses Verhalten beim Strike auf, hierbei ist es mir nicht erst einmal passiert eine ungewollte Kurve hinzulegen, weil die Gewichtsverteilung plötzlich ausser Kontrolle geriet 😀

Sobald mein Unterarm wieder vollkommen regeneriert ist, werde ich weitere Sprints machen um dem auf den Grund zu gehen.


Für ein Fazit ist es noch zu früh und ich will mir noch 100-200km geben um “abschließendes” sagen zu können. Eventuell finde ich auch noch eine passendere Finne für dieses Board.

Perfekt ist keines meiner drei Raceboards, aber könnte ich einzelne Eigenschaften zu einem Traumboard zusammenbasteln, müsste es diese Liste erfüllen:

  • die Steifigkeit des Fanatic Strike aufweisen
  • den EZ-Grab Griff und das Gepäcknetz des RS haben
  • das Volumen und die Nose des Allstars besitzen
  • die sekundäre Kippstabilität des Strikes aufweisen
  • die primäre Stabilität des RS liefern
  • ein Kickpad haben
  • das stabile, breite Heck des Strikes für Turns
  • die sehr effizienten Drainageöffnungen des Strikes
  • das Gewicht eines Lightcorp Boards auf die Waage bringen
  • GoPro Mount
  • Standflächenbreite >46cm
  • Stonefin mit ausreichend Fläche, auf das daraus resultierende Board abgestimmt

Bis dahin freue ich mich über die jeweiligen Stärken und Schwächen dieser Boards und freue mich weiter über gewonnene Erfahrungen berichten zu können. Beim RS als auch beim Strike wurde ich mit den Standardfinnen übrigens nie wirklich glücklich und habe hierzu bereits die richtigen Finnen gefunden. Der kurze Finnenkasten des Allstars (19cm) schränkt mich derzeit auf die (wie bisher immer) sehr schwere Serienfinne (Natural Winner) ein.

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