Nov 20, 2009
It's always fun to get our hands on the latest freestyle shapes, so we jumped at a chance to ride the new 2010 Starboard Flare 98.
The Flare 88, 98 and 106 have a new rockerline that are evolutions derived from the Starboard Kode board range. These new rockerlines have 3 mm more kick and a smoother flat to flat transition, giving more pop with a more lively ride and a quicker response to the riders input. The Flare 98 also has its nose vee reduced to improve on rotational slides and a finbox positioned further back.
The Flare 98 is very fast for a freestyle board and planes up better than past models. The deck shape, with noticeable heel gutters creating a lot of doming, takes some getting used to and make it feel slightly less stable than flatter decked boards, but makes this board feel more responsive. Very little effort is required to make the Flare react to slight toe or heel pressure.
The Flare jibes very nicely, especially with a bit of a slalom technique. It usually takes some time to adjust to a new freestyle board for aerial moves and this was definitely the case for the Flare... if possible we suggest demoing it over a day or two to properly adjust to the shape. It spins really quickly though sliding freestyle tricks. The deck shape caused by the heel gutters also makes the Flare incredibly responsive when popping and sliding. If you like to go into your freestyle moves with a speedy and slidy style like that of Taty Frans then this might just be the perfect board for you.
Wave or Bump&Jump?:
We probably wouldn't recommend it as a waveboard, but the Flare 98 would definitely make a good jumping board as it felt really light under foot and, with so much speed, has great pop. On flatwater, once you dial in a balanced landing we're sure this board will let you spin till your hearts content.