NAISH STARSHIP 90L 2014 TEST REVIEW
Anywhere! You could, truly, ride mast-high surf at Ho’okipa, race it recreationally, strap on a GPS and streak down a speed strip, go for cruise on a lake … if you’re old enough to remember the Sunset Slalom then this is it’s modern incarnation – on steroids!
Invest in a smaller dedicated Powerbox wave fin for optimum performance in the surf.
“The Starship was designed for early planing, thrilling straight-line speed and easy, yet exciting, maneuverability. It rides super smooth in a wide range of conditions and allows riders the freedom to progress their skill level.”
Outline: Gunny, straight, traditional outline into rounded pintail. Wide point just aft of mast track.
Deck: Pretty flat profile.
Rail Profile: Rounded front, into tucked mid section, sharpening by midway between front and back straps. Even volume distribution.
Bottom Shape: Although initially flat looking there’s some subtle shaping involved. Shallow single concave rolling out to rail in first quarter, blending into inverted double concave with positive rolled vee around under mast track. Quite pronounced vee between the straps until fin, softening slightly behind fin all the way until tail tip.
Rocker Line: Balancing around front strap, like the under shape, the curve is deceptive with 3.5 cm of tail kick and good nose lift.
Fin Configuration: Single US Box finbox. Naish concept 28 cm Powerbox glassfibre swept back. This board’s predecessor, the Koncept, was supplied with 2 fin sizes.Pads: Double density deckpad single thickness.
Straps: 3 Naish standard straps.
The Starship’s outline is deceptive. At first glance this looks like an old skool, narrower, stretched plan shape. Without measuring it first and just taking it straight to the water we all made comments such as ‘it’s surprisingly easy to plane considering the width, isn’t it?’ and ‘it’s a really comfy ride at the low-end eh?’ or ‘it feels smaller and looser than 90 litres’. Indeed it does plane early. As does it accelerate swiftly – and the top speed is right up there with a freerace board. Everything about the ride quality and stance is smooth and easy and the shape beautifully compact. And then we checked the width and understood why. It’s just shy of 60 cm wide and so the artwork’s played an optical trick. Blasting around – permanently being tempted to race each other out to sea – it’s easy to forget this is a wave test, but ride waves it does. OK the fin’s a little large but it does turn, the board glides through slack sections, begs to be jumped and generally ticks a lot of boxes. Naish have created a true wave-slalom board here – something we think the sport’s been crying out for since the early 90s. But don’t be put off by the talk of blasting and speed – make no mistake, the Starship rides waves too – including onshore slush – and could be one of the most versatile boards on the market.
In the Starship Naish may have made the most multipurpose board of all time. If you like riding waves, going fast, jumping and having the most amount of planing-conditions fun – regardless of the sea state – then this is the undisputed benchmark.
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