101 Surf Sports Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kayaking on San Francisco Bay

Starboard 2017 All Star

The two fastest all water stand up paddleboards on the planet are now in the building and we are all a-flutter!

While statement’s like “The fastest” are always matters of opinion, in this case one of these stallions can claim it as fact. One thing Starboard Stand Up Paddleboarding is quite proud of is that the board you buy is the exact board their pro team riders are riding. Unlike a lot of brands that make their team custom boards that do not match what they sell, Starboard has committed to engineering a product for you that is truly professional grade.

Starboard’s 2017 All Star & Starboard Sprint represent the pinnacle of design and wrap it in packages that make these some “The Funnest” stand up paddleboard raceboards money can buy. We have quite a few hours riding the boards in everything from flat water to 10ft surf.

All three boards utilize Starboards tri-concave bottom design that provides incredible stability. This stability allows Starboard to make their boards narrower and therefore a bit faster. When you combine narrow with stable you simply paddle faster.

allstar review

These boards are designed from beginning to end with an emphasis on harnessing the natural flex created while paddling, and turning that flex in to propulsion. You simply paddle a Starboard differently from other boards. The boards will respond to aggressive leg pumping that makes paddling a Starboard feel a bit like galloping a horse.

Starboard All Star Volume Flow

Starboard industry leading construction

The biggest difference from the consumers stand point however is the incredible quality of the construction used to make them. We are blown away by the durability of the board and even use them in our rental fleet. The full PVC Sandwich construction is simply industry leading. Only Jimmy Lewis Stand Up Paddling offers boards of comparable quality. Most manufacturers will use light weight manufacturing techniques to offer up a lighter product. However, buyer beware as the smallest bump can ding your raceboard when made in these race constructions.

There are two downsides to Starboards Stand Up Paddleboard Raceboards. First up is the aforementioned weight. They tend to be 2lbs heavier than most any other manufacturers boards. That weight however comes with the incredible benefit as we mentioned in the rental board like durability. The second downside is the cost. The boards, while not the most expensive on the market, are priced a bit higher than 90% of the other raceboards. Cost is just a number however and in our opinion they are one of the best values in the marketplace.

And if that wasn’t enough these boards come ensconced in a wave of environmental do-gooding. Starboard is leading the industry in tackling the environmental impact of making boards. Utilizing recycled cores, eliminating paint, using bio-resins, planting mangroves, and eliminating plastics in packaging and production are just a few of the things Starboard is doing. With a near term goal of becoming the first carbon neutral stand up paddleboard company you can feel good about riding starboard. If you have stayed with us this long you must love paddling! So here is our board review of the 2017 and for the sake of reviewing we’ll just be referring to them by their widths (23, 24.5 or 27).

Volume – or float – is a ig deal on 2017 All Star Line up. As one can obviously see just from looking at the boards (demonstrated below) there is a unique use of volume throughout the board. With the 24.5 sporting 309 liters of volume contrasted by the 274 liters of the 23” it’s a better fit for the under 180lb rider. The 24.5 however is not as stable as the 23. You read that right. We verified this with a myriad of test riders saying the same thing. The 23 just sits lower in the water and the 1 inch gap in width is not noticeable with respect to stability. Starboard is obsessed with lowering rider height. They go so far as to recess the deck pad in their fight to get the rider more stable – and it works. The 27 also sits lower than the 24.5. A rider of 180lbs or more will actually be closer to the water on the 27 than on the 24.5. Counterintuitive we know; hence the need to write these James Michner length reviews.

Starboard All Star Volume Flow

One big difference on the boards is the position in which the fin box is mounted on the board. The 24.5 has the furthest forward fin box in the bunch – and probably of any other raceboard on the market. Next is the 23” followed by the more traditionally placed box on the 27”. Moving the box forward creates a little looseness in the tail – particularly at slower hull speeds. However as soon as planning speeds hit having the box forward becomes an advantage. Riders on the 24.5 will be required to more rail in the water to get the same tracking when racing on flat water. We found the box on the 27 to be the best for flat water with the 24.5 the best for downwinding.

Starboard industry leading eco friendly The three boards also have slightly different noses that make them feel quite different as they enter the water. The 23 has a much sharper entry with lower volume in the nose. Where the 24.5 is forgiving and floaty the 23 can feel a bit edgy and nervous. The slightest tip of the board on the 23 results in a much quicker steering response than on the more forgiving nose of the 24.5. The 24.5 moves faster downwind with that extra nose volume starting to pay dividends. The 24.5’s easy going nature allows the rider to concentrate less on course and more on just paddling. Check out on the 23 and you’ll soon find yourself off course. The 27’s noseseems to split the difference with not as aggressive and entry than the 23 but very similar to the 24.5.

One note we’d also make was how very surprised were by the lightweight and high performance of the 27 in the Hybrid Carbon construction. The 27 Hybrid Carbon comes in only 2.5lbs heavier than its full carbon sister but nearly 1200 dollars less expensive. This may be the best value of any race board on the market. While it will not have the flex and restoration of the carbon board, and 2.5lbs is 2.5lbs, that is a lot of money.

We’d be remiss not to mention the fun factor. While the 23 is clearly the stallion in the fleet it’s the 24.5 that gets the nod on the fun factor. We use bike metaphors all the time to help folks understand a boards design. With mountain bikes on one end of the spectrum, and road bikes on the other, the 23 is pure cyclo-cross. The 24 is the mountain bike of the group with the 27 getting the 29’er Mountain bike classification. So how do we take all this and boil it down. Read on.

The 27 Starboard All Star – The choice for 180lb+ riders who paddle in rough water and want to race occasional downwinder. A great two in one board that is built to last and will win races.

The 24.5 Starboard All Star – The choice for downwind racing. The most playful of the bunch and the choice to make if you like paddling raceboards in the surf like we do..

The 23 Starboard All Star – The fastest all around (non-sprint) production race board on the market for the sub 180lb rider. It has to be the most stable board at that width that we have ever ridden. Weights are as weighed in our shop with no fin.

All Star 14'0" x 23" Carbon Sandwich 14' 23" 9.1" 274 L 22.7 lbs
All Star 14'0" x 24.5" Carbon Sandwich 14' 24.5" 9.6" 309 L 26.2 lbs
All Star 14'0" x 27" Hybrid Carbon 14' 27" 8.9" 322 L 29.6 lbs
All Star 14'0" x 27" Carbon Sandwich 14' 27" 8.9" 322 L 27.2 lbs

Testing notes. The same fin was used in all the boards during testing. The SIC FX 14 x 25 was used for pacing and testing speed. If you must know the SIC was the fastest board on the mirror flat water. Faster than all the All Star’s. Its super aggressive entry make it glide more than push. However as soon as some texture hits the water the super stiff and super tall (7.75”) SIC is harder to ride and loses its edge. Swimming is slow as they say.

Drop us a line at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any questions. We keep these boards actively available for demo or even rental.

Check out our selection of 2017 Starboard All Stars in our online store.

Upcoming Events

Fri Oct 19 @ 8:00AM - 12:00PM
Free Group SUP Surf Sesh
Sat Oct 20 @12:00AM
Open - Redwood City (Saturday)
Sat Oct 20 @ 9:00AM - 12:00PM
Fall Water Sports Swap Meet - Redwood City
Sat Oct 20 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons.
Sat Oct 20 @12:00PM - 03:00PM
Margarita Run Windsurf Racing!
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Open - Redwood City (Sunday)
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Paddle Fundraiser For San Rafael Channel Dredging
Sun Oct 21 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Stand Up Paddleboard Lessons.
Mon Oct 22 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
See A Portable Surf Shack - Humble House Comes To Marin
Mon Oct 22 @ 4:00PM - 10:00PM
Drink & Eat To Help The San Rafael Channel & 101 Surf Sports!

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