STARBOARD FUTURA 114L CARBON 2015 TEST REVIEW
The 114 is one of eight sizes available in the Futura range and is tested here in the more expensive Carbon construction, coming supplied with a 44cm Drake fin, modelled around C3’s Venom fin.
“For 2015, all Futuras have been upgraded once more, to more efficient, wider and slimmer shapes. To make the most out of the Futuras, we strongly recommend each Futura to be used with three fins: one for larger sails, one for medium-sized sails and one for maxed-out conditions. The supplied fin is the ideal middle fin, so the other two fins should be 2-3 cm larger and smaller than the supplied fin. Tapping into this extra wide wind range will be a revelation for its owner since most windsurfers don’t realize just how wide the wind range can be thanks to this little tuning tip.”
Despite having the lowest quoted volume in this group by quite some margin, the Futura is comparable in its dimensions and suggested sail range, so fits neatly into this test as opposed to its 124L sibling. Capable of carrying sails of 8.0m plus easily, it releases onto the plane readily once power is supplied. There is a scoop in the deck of the board around the mast track, which does make foot placement and pumping more technical than some, but once released it accelerates instantly, the high rocker in the nose giving the impression that it sits high out of the water. In actual fact, the Futura retains good contact with the water without feeling sticky or sluggish, the vee present throughout the length of board helping to smooth the ride and provide the control and confidence to drive the board hard. The fin, although heavy, is a perfect compliment to the board, offering excellent traction to point high, promoting early planing and enabling the rider to keep pushing the board through lulls. In powered to overpowered conditions, the Futura has a life and energy about its ride that helps to engage and captivate the rider without feeling overbearing or uncontrollable. In extreme conditions it does require rider input to help trim it properly and pin it down, but reduce the power levels delivered and it quickly returns to a more planted stance on the water. In the gybe, the 114 cuts in and grips excellently, the shoulders sitting high and free from any danger of tripping in a choppy sea state. A real all-rounder, the Futura can happily be partnered with sails at either end of the power-delivery spectrum (from firm to soft) and compliments any rider style.
The all rounder of the group, the Futura offers a fantastic balance between performance and control, making it one to consider for recreational freeriders and amateur slalom racers alike.
Other sails in this test: