Oct 26, 2009
In your windsurfing, if you are looking for a fast and exciting ride than the Starboard Futura 101 is a great place to start. The Windsport test crew got their hands on one at the AWSI industry demo and were shocked at how fast the board really is.
Starboard says the Futura is shaped to blur the lines between user-friendly freeriding and ultra-fast slalom performance. It's a do-it-all board to take you all the way from getting into the footstraps to blasting past your buddies on a regular basis.
The Futura 101 is a very fast freeride board! It feels very much like a newer slalom board when the straps are placed in the furthest outboard setting. Less experienced riders should opt for a more inboard setting for more control and less commitment required over chop. If, at top speed, you trust the ride and your ability then you'll find the ride actually smoothens out the faster you let the Futura go. Compared to a pure slalom shape, the only difference we found was that the Futura 101 didn't lose a significant amount of speed as soon as you try to point upwind and the acceleration is a touch slower - giving the Average Joe a chance when trying to place their feet in the straps before the board reaches it's incredible top speed (mach 80 is what we call it).
Once again, the Futura 101 performs incredibly if you know what you're doing. It rewards a committed jibe with speed on exit, but without full commitment you'll find it a little more difficult than some other boards in this size range. It turns a little more off the back of the board than old-school slalom boards, but you still need to aggressively oversheet and move weight forward for the rail to cut through chop. Entering with top speed and leaning back will more than likely bounce you out of the turn when in choppy water conditions.
Bump and Jump:
You should realize now that the Futura 101 is at the top of the class of recreational slalom board, but if you want to pull this board out to do you best "Dale Cook jumping" impression it will do everything it can to help you take flight. However, most will find this board a perfect match for highwind flatwater blasting (go buy yourself a GPS and you'll have endless fun).
Bells & Whistles:
The deck shape feels really nice under your feet allowing you to always know where your feet are placed. The shaping in the straps and beneath your heels is great as well, giving you confidence to push the fin with a solid connection to the board. The accompanying Drake fin feels well sized to the board and does everything asked of it.