This week I went to Hood River to check out the new 2010 Starboard windsurf & Stand up boards.
After a short flight (5 hrs) to Portland and a short night at a airport hotel, I arrived in Hood River at 6 AM just in time for the dawn patrol stand up paddle on the Columbia River Gorge. USA importer Declan, Ste and Drew from Vancouver Island, Adriano from Argentina and a couple of US starboard dealers all joined the paddle up and down the river.
The whopper, 10'0"*34 is a stand out. What a great board. On a river, in the surf, as a windsurf board or stand up board, this board is a crowd pleaser.
This year is going to be another year of a lot of new stand up models. Starboard comes out with 15 wave and cruise models in 4 different constructions and in the beginning of the year they come out with a full new line of race boards in 12'6 and 14'.
The stand up evolution is going fast. a lot of new shorter boards came out but also board with more width. It going to be an exciting year.
In the afternoons we went out to try out the new boards. I want to high light 2 boards. The Atom. A thin 99 liter 'fun'board. You can ride this board remarkably well without foot straps. Off course also with straps. A board not made for ultimate speed or performance but for pleasure. All though the performance is good , it's a joy to ride everything is easy on this board.
Then the quad. A 4-fin wave board which came instead of the evil twin and the evo line. I was amazed how well this board works. I didn't notice any drag the 4 fins have, it went remarkably well up wind and turns on the spot. This boards needs off course a lot more testing in Maui in some real waves but the preliminary results are very promising.
After the testing, I checked out the DaKine headquarters. A buzzing place full of creative people making the latest designs for DaKine Windsurf, Stand up, Bike, Snowboard.
Back in the days DaKine was small Hawaiian company making foot straps and now it a giant, combining funcionality with Fashion, available all over the world.
Hood River was a joy but it's also good to be back in Maui with the next big swell coming up Friday.