STARBOARD HYPER NUT 4 IN 1 7’4″ STARLITE 2019 REVIEW
The Hyper Nut’s wide nose and tail make it a stable shape to get up and riding early. Its short length provides precise trim control allowing you to stand in one position to pump the board for speed. Size range accommodates an array of rider weights and abilities.
The Hyper Nut grabbed a lot of attention when it was first released back in 2016, using the unique and fantastical inverted rail shape first seen in their Nut Surf series the season before. This 4 in 1 range of three boards is intended to make use of the Hyper Nut’s shape benefits of speed, stability and response, but present it in a package that can be used for four sports – windsurfing, Supping and each sport in foiling guise. This 7’4” is the middle board in the range and is designed for use by light to medium weight riders, the 8’0” being more applicable to the heavier or less experienced. Tested here in its durable Starlight construction, using various densities of fiberglass, carbon integral rails and a pine laminate for impact resistance, it is a highly detailed and well finished board. The central handle is shaped ergonomically, and there’s the brand’s clever Star Touch grip on the nose, where the diamond-grooved deck pad ends. There are also plenty of accessories supplied, including a coiled leash, footstraps (albeit only two, so you’ll need to source another two if you’d like to use a full set for windsurfing) and FCS fins of various sizes, with a larger set for extra drive whilst windsurfing. In addition to the inverted rail, other standout features include a deep recessed channel in the tail, (said to extend the flat spot in front of the fins for increased acceleration), and both Deep Tuttle and pedestal plate foil fittings to maximize compatibility. Tried in wind foiling mode initially, the Hyper Nut feels small underfoot for its quoted volume, particularly in the nose whilst uphauling. Shift weight back early and it settles easily as power is applied, benefitting from the extra stability of the foil. We tried it with a number of foils, including the Starboard Super Cruiser with a 75 cm mast, which worked well. With power delivered initially through the sail, the Hyper Nut does require intervention from the pilot, but with good foil pumping technique, its short compact nature actively helps for quick response and acceleration. Used for strapless wind foiling, the Hyper Nut’s deck pad and flat deck provide plenty of traction, allowing the pilot to make the most of its responsive character and reduced swing weight in the nose. Put the footstraps on and the Hyper Nut is ready to be loaded. It’s not the most natural wind foiling platform, and does again require good rider technique to really release early, but once flying, it feels very balanced and composed under foot, allowing the rider to load and drive the foil confidently.Used for conventional windsurfing and SUP’ing, it is soon clear that the Hyper Nut is solely focused for use in a wave arena. It could be used for float and ride windsurfing, and works well in clean faces, yet you can’t help but feel that others are having more fun around you. Change it to its SUP surf setup and the smile on your face will return. Again, it feels quite small and twitchy under foot, yet you have to constantly remind yourself that it is 7’4” and does only have 106 litres! Catch a wave and the acceleration down the face is exhilarating, with plenty of stability and feel through the planted tail to help turn the board tightly. Requiring rider input in all disciplines, and really only suited to the smaller or more experienced rider, the Hyper Nut is best classed as a SUP surf specialist that can also be enjoyed in wind foil mode if the waves aren’t up to much, yet the wind is.
Other boards in this test:
THE LINE UP