Starboard Lima 2021 – Review

Quite some time ago I announced to do the comparison of the Lima 2021 vs Quickblade UV88 & Quickblade Trifecta 96.

First of all I want to let you know that my first impressions got confirmed every time I went back and forth testing those premium race paddles. On the catch the Lima has some rapid pressure build-up and it’s very easy to keep control, no matter what power you put on the blade.

Easy on the catch and instant transfer of power

In the past weeks I found myself always getting a grip on the Lima when choosing my paddle, I do get the best distance per stroke and I feel totally connected from catch to exit.

Lightweight Baby …

The weight of the uncut paddle was exactly on par with the numbers you can read on the official starboard website (in this case 411g for 219,5cm) . Cut to 194cm the weight of 385g is incredibly low, while being tough enough to withstand even heavy sprints with full power.


The construction is impeccable and there are no sharp edges that’ll screw up your board. When having a closer look to the edges of the blade you can see the 3K carbon infusion rail which begs for avoiding ground contact.

I put a 3M protective layer on the edges of the blade to protect the board and paddle

Initially I had to work on the exit phase as the Lima quits pulling to far behind your feet with getting stuck. This is no longer a problem and I’d say the Lima is definitely easier to paddle correctly compared to the Quickblade UV88 , but when comparing it with the Trifecta 96 I do have mixed feelings. The Trifecta 96 has a very smooth pressure build up and lots of power during the power phase, but the aggressive hooked blade tip of the Lima serves for such a connected feel the Trifecta doesn’t provide. Guess what… there is an advantage of the Trifecta Design, due to the forgiving blade shape it’s easy to steer the board and when you missed the sweetspot at the exit it won’t punish you.

Starboard is claiming that you don’t need to worry about paddle alignment and this is totally true, period.

It sounds like I’ve found the perfect paddle for my current paddling style. Yes, it might be my go to paddle but there are two more things to consider …


The shaft bends a lot when putting lots of power in your stroke

Flex in the shaft is not a bad thing as a paddle feels easier on your joints and shoulders, but besides loosing some power when stored energy is not given back until you’ve finished the power phase it’s also the way a shaft flexes. While the diamond elite shaft of the newest Quickblade paddles feel very stiff, they do have some flex in the upper area next to the grip. Some paddlers do find them too stiff and I could never understand that, until I did lots of sprint training at the end of this summer. If you’re not really carefully with warming up and knowing your limits, you can easily hurt yourself while trying to snap your QB 😀

When doing longer sessions with average speeds of 8-8,5km/h I never had a feeling that there is too much flex in the Limas shaft. The opposite was true… after some kilometers upwind, the shaft felt incredibly stiff without putting to much stress on my elbows or my shoulders. I’d say for most paddlers up to 80kg the S35 shaft should be perfectly fine, if you love that firm shafts you could try the S30 shaft or look elsewhere.

To be fair I have to adress that Starboard is offering an even stiffer shaft than the S35, but when sprinting I can feel that there is still some energy stored in the shaft when releasing the blade.

So far so good, but wait a minute … I said that there are two things to consider!

“New Super Handle …”

The type of handle you are most comfortable with, depends on your personal preferences …

While I totally love the hand flattering and perfectly sized QB handle, I really can’t understand why Starboard is offering a stunning 9 (!!!) shaft options, while only offering one type of handle. The so called New Super handle is a handle which takes time getting used to. I do feel comfortable with it, but the QB Handle fits better when you’re not gripping parallel to your knuckles. While some paddlers found this handle quite okay, I doubt that Starboard will gain a large fanbase of it.

Avoid putting your hand in an ergonomically bad position!

Final Verdict

The deep concave serves for instantanous grip at the catch

Naming a 87,5sq inch blade a XL paddle feels strange, but the deep concave serves for excellent grip and direct feel some >95sq inch paddles can’t provide. If you’re searching for an extremely lightweight paddle with lots of shaft options, you’ll definitely want to have a look at this great paddle.

Once used to this paddle, it is difficult to feel comfortable with other paddles.

Paddlers below 90kg who prefer higher cadence and aren’t as fast or strong as the Hasulyos, Boothy & Co shouldn’t be shy to keep an eye on the smaller blade options Starboard provides.

Here are my subjective impressions expressed in numbers:

Starboard Lima S35 XLQB UV88QB Trifecta 96Croslake Marin 2Jantex Ypsilon soft shaft 87″ 2 piece
Ease of Catch97988
Grip at Catch98777
Grip Power Phase98887
QB UV88 with diamond elite shaft model 2019, QB Trifecta 96 2019 round tapered shaft, Crolake Marin 2 7,5″ wide, Yantex Ypsilon Medium Minus 87sqinch soft shaft 2 piece

10 Antworten auf „Starboard Lima 2021 – Review“

  1. Hi do you think can be a good choice for someone level intermediate in paddle for touring? Im 74kg and I’m looking for one as effective as possible but confortable to can improve my technical easy

    1. If you’re searching for a paddle that gives you instant catch and lots of grip while being extremely lightweight, it’d be the right choice 😉

      For Touring I’d use the Starboard Enduro, or the Jantex Ypsilon, if you choose to go with the Lima maybe try an L paddle with S40 or S35 Shaft. Currently I’m testing the Lima XXL in S30 and I’m definitely not strong enough for this beast 😀

      The Lima is a full on Race-paddle and you could use it for touring, be prepared to keep a clean paddling technique (exit at your feet).

  2. Hi. Any comment on how it compares to an old Bolt? The sizes sure went down over the years, my M size Bolt is bigger than an L size Lima, and i’m not sure if i should be going for an L or XL.
    I’m about 80kg, mostly do fitness paddling up to 10km per session, also attend a race here and there.

    1. Hi Tadyy!

      Sorry for the late response! With 80kg and your targeted race distance I’m sure you can go for the XL. If you’re paddling a sluggish board, or prefer a higher cadence, maybe the Lima L could be also a good choice.
      When I’m paddling my SIC Bullet Airglide I like to have a smaller blade, but when paddling my more effective raceboards I feel totally comfortable with the Lima XXL or the Braca Marlin 94 😉

      1. Thanks for the reply (late or not) 🙂
        I have a starboard inflatable allstar 14×26, and i don’t think it’s that sluggish… I am leaning to the XL, because my cadence has slowed down the last 1-2 seasons, when I lowered the amount of days i paddle (less time because of work). I just don’t want to get something too big for me, because I do want it to last for a few years atleast

  3. Hi ,thanks for very interesting review, i’ m 70 kg using an enduro UD carbon adj2019 735g 90 inch2 Blade 8.3 i think. I feel the enduro too big for long distance at fast stroke. I use touring boards but also noserider long sup. I’m searching something usefull for sprint and 8 km distance. I’m not sureif L or XL.

    1. If you‘d also want to do some sprints I‘d go for the XL, but if you‘re opting for a higher cadence (>50) for long distance a Lima L would be also a good choice. My paddlebuddy is about your weight and uses the Lima XL S35 for each discipline and distances up to 20km. Chances are that you can’t load a smaller blade to your liking and that would lead to an inefficient stroke.

      For me it‘s easier to keep a clean technique without having to ramp up the stroke rate too high. Paddles like the Lima/Braca Marlin provide excellent bite at the catch. If you like softer, more forgiving paddles a UV88 or the Jantex Ypsilon could be the right way to go.

  4. Hello, Thank you for the inspiring review. I am considering buying this Lima paddle, trying to decide what blade size I should go for, me being; 96kg, 189cm male. What are your thoughts? I am leaning towards the largest XXL version I would be looking to use it as a touring / fast travel paddle with my 14′ long 30″ wide Starboard Touring DC.
    Also, what exactly is the “3M protective layer” you applied to the edges of the paddle? A tape? What product exactly?
    Many Thanks

    1. Hi Jan!

      Thanks a lot, I appreciate that a lot! The more friction and less glide a board provides, the smaller you should go. An XXL with a stiff shaft may be the right decision for heavy sprints with an extremely fast board. For Touring and fast travel with moderate cadence, I think a XL with S35 or S30 shaft (if you prefer it really stiff) would be the right way to go. The XXL is really a challenging race paddle where you do get an immediate catch but it’s not forgiving enough on long distance trips. The 3M protective layer was a PU-8591, but there are plenty of options to protect your board and paddle. When using a inflatable board, there’s no reason to protect paddle/board if you can avoid hitting the ground. Only Paddles with really sharp edges (QB/Jantex) would benefit in that case.

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