STARBOARD ULTRA KODE ULTRACORE 93L 2017 TEST REVIEW
The Ultra Kode range is completely new for 2017 and takes over from the Kode Wave and Quad of 2016. Dubbed by Starboard as the “magic wave board; the ultra all-rounder”, it is shorter and wider than both its predecessors, with less tail kick and nose rocker, for higher speeds, better control and improved early planing. The range comprises of seven models, the two smallest shaped exclusively by Mark and Jaeger Stone whilst the four largest (including the 93 here) are the result of input from Dany Bruch and Philip Koster. Tested here in UltraCore Carbon technology (using a sandwich core material with class-leading properties), the board is certainly very light. It comes complete with MFC moulded carbon fins, 10mm thick pads with a new cube pattern for extra traction and the brand’s latest Drake Deluxe straps with built-in size indicators for easy adjustment. It also houses five new Starboxes – the brand’s new fin box, designed for ease of fit and US box compatibility.
“For every wave, for any move, for any style – it’s finally here – the Ultra Kode, the dream board.”. Dany Bruch
Having tried the Ultra Kode in a variety of conditions, we have to say it is the best wave-board from Starboard we have tried in quite a while. Balanced and settled as soon as you step on, it releases onto the plane so smoothly it’s as if you’re sailing on powder – it happens so effortlessly as soon as you apply power that you don’t really realise you’ve gathered speed and released onto the plane. The deckpads and straps combine to provide a secure and comfortable connection, the mono / double concave shaping going some way to explaining the board’s incredibly soft, yet controlled riding nature. It feels planted and composed, ironing out the heaviest chop and leaves the rider with the confidence to keep pushing the power into the board. And yet put the Ultra Kode onto its rail and it will grip instantly, responding positively to any change in foot pressure and capable of being driven hard through the bottom turn. We tried the 93 in both thruster and quad setup, yet the team unanimously warmed to the board in thruster setup more. It already possesses such incredible grip that the extra offered by four fins simply wasn’t necessary in the conditions we tried the board in, if anything reducing its speed and tempering its lively character marginally. And yet, it was reassuring to know the Ultra Kode’s new Starboxes enabled effortless tuning for every riding style and condition – something we are sure will broaden the 93’s already impressive appeal. In challenging conditions, it became one of the go-to boards in the group, retaining its impeccable manners to enable its pilot to charge around in the break unhindered and without hesitation. Its carving style is very adaptable, responding well to a powerful front-foot style, yet capable of pivoting tightly on the tail if weight is transferred to the back foot.
Starboard are back in the wave-board frame with a super versatile contender. Offering a fast, balanced and incredibly smooth riding style, the Ultra Kode is infinitely tuneable, and just keeps giving as the conditions turn on.
Other sails in this test: