Author Topic: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"  (Read 66855 times)

JonathanC

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Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« on: July 15, 2011, 02:04:22 AM »
Put my new Starboard Ace 14' x 25" into the water yesterday in sloppy onshore seas, it was blowing about 10 to 12 knots and cold...thought I might fall in but was pleasantly surprised with the stability of the board and blown away by the tiny lumpy little runners it could catch. Amazingly stable for a 25" board and DRY FEET!! The standing area is well and truly above water level with all my 148lbs on board.

Very keen to get it out into stronger downwind conditions and see how it goes, seems to be plenty of rocker to allow it to surf if you step back and its actually surprisingly manoeuvrable despite that chisel tail.

Without doubt, the fastest light wind downwind board I've ever been on, slightly "technical" but not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Of course as far as I'm concerned, anything over 10' is a 'down wind board' just becomes a matter of how well they go, don't give a toss about what they were actually designed for.... :)

I did put the video up in another topic but thought this beauty deserved a topic of its own.





« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 02:09:39 AM by JonathanC »

paddledaddy

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 07:00:51 AM »
Hi Johnathan. Thanks for the review. That board looks like it has a lot more rocker than I expected which should be great for your purposes. I have "The New" 12'6x25" now and a Coast Runner on the way, but I have been considering a 14x25 or 14x27 ACE for non downwind races. I'm 205 today and really a bit too heavy to race on the 12'6"x25 NEW like I am doing but I am managing it okay. I have also done well on the NEW for a few calmer downwind sessions, but I am not that stable when I go across the grain. The Coast Runner should be ideal for our downwind conditions and for non-downwind but rough race conditions. So, do you think the ACE is much faster than the Cost Runner in calmer non-downwind race conditions? Would you recommend the 25" or 27" x14 ACE for someone 205 pounds? Thanks.

1paddle2paddle

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 01:26:37 PM »
Jonathon, I was wondering - do you feel that your foot movement is limited by the dropped deck?  Could you really step back and turn it like a surfboard?

JonathanC

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 03:45:16 PM »
Hi Johnathan. Thanks for the review. That board looks like it has a lot more rocker than I expected which should be great for your purposes. I have "The New" 12'6x25" now and a Coast Runner on the way, but I have been considering a 14x25 or 14x27 ACE for non downwind races. I'm 205 today and really a bit too heavy to race on the 12'6"x25 NEW like I am doing but I am managing it okay. I have also done well on the NEW for a few calmer downwind sessions, but I am not that stable when I go across the grain. The Coast Runner should be ideal for our downwind conditions and for non-downwind but rough race conditions. So, do you think the ACE is much faster than the Cost Runner in calmer non-downwind race conditions? Would you recommend the 25" or 27" x14 ACE for someone 205 pounds? Thanks.

Well I've never paddled a Coast Runner so I'm guessing here! But I would be very confident in saying that the Ace would be faster than the Coast Runner in calmer non downwind race conditions, and I believe the 25" would be fine in those conditions for someone 205. I'll get DJ into it and see how he goes, he is 6'4 and about 205. I tried to stand on one foot yesterday, not in the middle of the board but in the footwell, it rolls over alarmingly but doesn't tip me out!!

PT Woody has his own little GPS test he does with all race boards, he paddles flat out for a minute from a standing start and checks the distance he has covered, it was 170 meters on the Ace and I'm pretty sure he said he can't really beat 150 on his New boards or the K15, huge difference.

I'm sure the Coast Runner will be an awesome board, I'm slightly perverse and like doing down winders on race boards, I'm light and short and have OK balance and enjoy the challenge - so please take that into account. I actually think the K15 is an amazing downwind board but requires this technique of weighting the opposite rail almost in anticipation of it over-turning or starting to broach, people look at me a little strange when I start enthusing about stuff like that......

Hey 1paddle2paddle, it's still early days for me getting used to the Ace, but if you look at the third or fourth photo you can see that the sunken deck has been continued for a long way back on the Ace. So unlike the New where your back foot had to deal with a sloping ramp, there is actually smooth clear space behind the centre hump between the footwells. At one point in the video I do actually get my back foot into that space and it felt fine. The board is actually surprisingly maneuverable on the wave, it does do the 'reverse steer' thing a little so that when you are in the footwells pressure on the right foot will turn it left and visa versa. But that is the case with most race boards, except the 14 Race (how did they do that!!).
I need to get it onto longer bigger swells to really be answer your question though, hopefully this weekend!

I'm really not a 'race' kinda guy, if I really push my shoulder hurts so I just don't do it, down wind and touring and surfing is where it's at for me, but so far the Ace is a blast!

PT Woody

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 04:20:37 PM »
Jonathan, I took the 23" New out late in the day to see if I could get anywhere near that 170m in 60sec. The conditions had changed a little, more wind and current going the other way, but I didn't come close. This 14' x 25" Ace is a very fast board. It feels slower than the K15 due to the way it splashes water under the nose but the GPS doesn't lie.

1paddle2paddle

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 06:55:52 PM »
Jonathan, thanks for the reply.  I would be interested to see footage of that board in some bigger bumps.  I will keep posted for further reviews.

Argosi

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 09:00:03 PM »
Jonathan, I took the 23" New out late in the day to see if I could get anywhere near that 170m in 60sec. The conditions had changed a little, more wind and current going the other way, but I didn't come close. This 14' x 25" Ace is a very fast board. It feels slower than the K15 due to the way it splashes water under the nose but the GPS doesn't lie.

PT, I'd like to see how the 23" NEW compares in similar conditions as the Ace. I find that a bit more wind can make a significant difference in my average speeds.  I would've thought that over such a small distance there would've been not much difference between the 2 boards.

Argosi

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 09:04:35 PM »
Jonathan, thanks for the video and pics. The flatter deck behind the footwells is a welcome change from the NEW. The high sloping deck behind the footwells on the NEW makes it hard to step back into surf stance for me.  The video does seem to show the board is great on mild downwinders.

A few questions for you:
- What does your Ace weigh (assuming it's the AST version)?
- Are the nose and tail of the Ace the same thickness as on the NEW?
- What's that black thing on the inside right side of your board?

JonathanC

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 11:00:22 PM »
Jonathan, thanks for the video and pics. The flatter deck behind the footwells is a welcome change from the NEW. The high sloping deck behind the footwells on the NEW makes it hard to step back into surf stance for me.  The video does seem to show the board is great on mild downwinders.

A few questions for you:
- What does your Ace weigh (assuming it's the AST version)?
- Are the nose and tail of the Ace the same thickness as on the NEW?
- What's that black thing on the inside right side of your board?

Hi Argosi, the black thing is a bit of thick kicker pad deck grip, a handle! Tried to weigh it but the bathroom scales couldn't cope, it is heavy I guess 16kg? I'm not sure about the nose and tail but at some stage I'll do a comparison with PT Woody's New.

I just got back from a 20+k flat water paddle, last 8 upwind, it went really well and stability was fine despite wind chop and boat wakes, love it!

LaPerouseBay

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2011, 12:19:26 AM »
Hi JC, great to hear you are having fun on the new starboard.  The new shapes are very interesting.  Starboard is obviously doing a lot of r and d to push the sport forward.  Glad to see it.

If you are still sponsored by Starboard, you should consider including it in your signature. (IMHO).

I'm sponsored by Starboard so may be biased but I certainly try to be totally objective.  :D

       
I know you personally and don't doubt your objectivity.  Nor DJ's, even though it appears (to me) that he is endlessly shilling Naish and Kailoa.  :)  Your reviews and videos are great and we all enjoy them. 

As far as I know, Naish and Starboard are the big dogs in the market.  It seems a shame that they can crush the competition with economies of scale and marketing - and then get free advertising here to boot.

Perhaps it doesn't matter one bit in the grand scheme of things.  But I've always been one to pull for the underdog.  Big corporations are notorious for F-ing things up here in the US, so I'm jaded.

Starboard certainly isn't in the same league with the corporations that run the world, but...   

Jimmy Lewis, FooteMaui, Coreban, etc., I don't see much free advertising on the zone.  And their stuff looks good.   
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JonathanC

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2011, 02:51:47 AM »
Good point LPB :) to be honest I hadn't even thought of the signature thing - done!

Always feel like a bit of a fraud in the sponsorship department, 52 yo who just happens to love SUP, ambassador kinda feels more like it! I do pay for my boards but get a good discount. I've always liked the Starboard brand right from the very early windsurfing days when Svein was a one man band in Thailand, fearless innovation.

I'm always very conscious of trying to be as honest and unbiased as I possibly can be when it comes to reviewing any board, of any brand. Must admit I'm addicted to trying new boards, trying to work out the thinking of the designer, the compromises inherent in any design.

Funny thing about the little picture/video essays DJ, PT Woody and I do, can't work out why no one else does it, seems that the good people who look at the forum are hungry for photos and information on new gear, I know I am. Why don't the big manufacturers spend more time and effort doing what the three of us do in our own pretty simple way, show more detail than you get in a couple of photos in a brochure.

I know I would welcome photos and videos from anyone, sponsored or not on any new gear, come on guys, make the effort.

Thanks for your comments L.

JonathanC

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2011, 07:28:22 AM »
Looking through the posts and categories I realize that a post like this, board specific may be better in the Marketplace section. Will do that in future, admin, please move it over if that is more appropriate.

Posted here in downwind and race category without thinking, it's my favourite  :)

LaPerouseBay

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2011, 01:55:16 PM »
Why don't the big manufacturers spend more time and effort doing what the three of us do in our own pretty simple way, show more detail than you get in a couple of photos in a brochure.
Indeed, videos would add a lot to their online catalogs. 

Trusted forum members pass the smell test and may post unhindered.  If a manufacturer tries to start a forum catalogue it's a feeding frenzy.  Thong pics are effective.  The view count may go up, but the brain is mush.   :)
 
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paddledaddy

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2011, 02:47:18 PM »
Thanks for the input Johnathan and others!

corlot

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Re: Starboard Ace 14' x 25"
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2011, 08:06:41 AM »
I am super glad the three of you do the posting that you do! I agree, all brands should do reviews or product info with  real world footage. Starboard should be happy that you represent them so well!

I know you guys will be a little biased but the three of you seem honest in opinions of other manufacturers products. Thanks for including your brand signature, it speaks volumes of your honesty.

 


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