Starboard, together with Neil Pryde, is pretty much the first suppliers to have a high end wind foil available in the Netherlands. Time to take a closer look at the Starboard GT Slalom Carbon wind foil. With a price tag of € 1,990, – a hefty amount of course. When you consider that there are already wind foils of about € 750,- It’s a bit of a distorted image for me, this because I’ve learned to foil with this wind foil myself. But good with the necessary test kilometers on other foils, there is now quite a bit to say about this.
High End performance
The GT version has a carbon mast of ‘only’ 85 cm, an aluminum fuselage of 75 cm and 2 wings of carbon. The front wing has an area of 800 cm2 and back wing 330 cm2. Starboard calls it the ‘freeride’ wind foil. But don’t let yourself be fooled. Comparing the sea window wind foil, this is definitely a high end race wind foil, with only the mast 10 cm shorter than its larger brother. The setup with the longer mast is currently considered one of the best, if not the best high end wind foil on the market. Several PWA surfers who are not sponsored by Starboard, foil with this wind foil, w.o. also Jordy Vonk.
Best, the Starboard GT Carbon wind foil comes into its own on a really wide board of at least 85 cm wide, allowing you to stand stable and easily wind upwind.
What I mentioned at the beginning of the story, I learned to wind with this wind foil. I didn’t know any better. In the test centre I regularly loan this wind foil to novice wind foilers (also good windsurfers). They all indicate that they find this wind foil too fast and that they have no control over it when there is a little more wind (from about 14 knots). Especially compared to more freeride oriented wind foils. So we have the downside of this performance windfoil. It takes a lot of practice and guts to learn to wind up really well with this wind foil.
Even though I’m really used to it, I’ll recognize this when I go out with a freeride foil. The Starboard GT Slalom Carbon forces you to stay at the class all the time and challenges you to push boundaries. And by now I also know that the boundary of this wind foil is very far away. With a limited wind (about 16 knots) I achieved a top of 43.9 km per hour in a spacious wind course!
Up to about 14 knots, this wind foil shows itself from a friendlier side. It comes out of the water very easily and is very stable during wind foiling, with a lot of valuable pressure. And his long 75cm fuselage also has a 75cm fixed track. I like to sail with smaller freeride sailing (up to about 5.7m2 is really good to do) with this wind foil and is therefore stunningly easy to sail.
Need longer mast?
This wind foil is also available with a mast of 95cm instead of 85cm. An additional cost of €100,-. The key question is what adds 10 centimeters. If you sail on the inland water with few waves, the 85 cm is fine. If you want to wind up at sea or on lake Ijssel then a longer mast is very definitely to consider. Simple because there is more space between your board and the ‘valley’ of the waves, so the wings don’t come out of the water or tap the top of the wave against the bottom of your board (this takes speed of course).
Without a doubt a particularly good wind foil with very high potential, which demands a lot from the rider. Especially if it blows a little harder :). On the other hand, this wind foil up to about 14 knots is also very easy to sail and very stable. In addition, with this wind foil you can also very well with small sails wind foils. If you are looking for a performance wind foil, it should definitely be on your wish list.