FUTURA CARBON 107L
2019 TEST REVIEW.
With the pedigree of Starboard’s iSonic race programme casting such a broad commanding shadow, there understandably seems to have been a conscious effort in 2019 to describe and differentiate the Futura’s credentials. Described as the ‘long distance versions of the iSonic, the range is pitched at those that are not necessarily interested in slalom sailing, but prefer long distance racing or simply racing with friends, conserving energy for the next corner. The 107 retains the rockerline of its predecessor, yet has been made significantly shorter, to increase control and ease of response. There is also a massive amount of vee in the board’s bottom shape, whilst its rails are thinner and more rounded than its iSonic counterpart, for more bite and user-friendliness in the corners. Familiar cutouts bless the tail, intended for top speed and release, yet extra volume is said to have been added in the tail to help maintain speed in and out of the gybes. Tested here in the premium Carbon construction, it is also available in the brand’s pioneering Flax Balsa layup, coming supplied with natural rubber Yulex straps and a Drake Ready to Race fin whichever construction you opt for. And with Starboard further down the foiling ‘rabbit-hole’ than any other windsurfing brand, it comes as little surprise that all bar the smallest Futura come equipped with a foil-ready Deep Tuttle box.
“For technical windsurfers looking for the impossible: maximum speed mixed with comfort, control and gybing precision.”
Stepping onto the Futura, it feels small and compact, yet stable underfoot, the recessed deck around the track making the board’s resting stance quite low in the water. It takes a little more to get going than some here, but push it off the wind, channel the rig’s forces and it will respond willingly. Having used this Futura in varying conditions, the best way to describe it is as a slalom board with manners (largely provided by the vee)! It covers ground so comfortably and feels so supremely balanced and compact underfoot, that you feel you could explore anywhere. If a violent gust hits unexpectedly, a simple nudge forward through the front foot and the board’s trim is restored. Pushing off the wind for reckless and endless ‘Kessel Runs’ (a speed run for non Star Wars fans!), the board’s nose and shoulders sit high and clear of danger. And when you do eventually decide to hunt back upwind to home, you can’t help but be impressed with how well the Futura punches back upwind, the fin supplied providing plenty of traction and power to use. Whether you load it with a cammed or non-cammed sail, the Futura relishes being pushed and provides the feedback to keep the experienced rider entertained, whilst retaining composure and response to disarm the most turbulent seas. In transitions, the perfect gybe doesn’t come easy, the 107 demanding guidance and contribution from the rider. It is undoubtedly more exacting than others, particularly on timing and foot movement during the exit … but get it right and it will catapult the rider out like a guided missile. Similarly, its short length and hollowed out deck make the 107 feel its size during the tack, so those with twinkle-toes will prosper. One last footnote – we tried the Futura with a foil and have to say that despite its tail width being on the small side in this group, its strap plug positions (and deck shape) in relation to the fin box make it surprisingly comfortable as a flight deck.
Fast, edgy and supremely comfortable, if we were to choose a board for coastal downwind adventures, this Futura would be high on the list, far and above most slalom boards. Add to the mix the ability to foil in comfort and you have a platform with masses of appeal.
Other sails in this test: