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