Recently I’ve had the opportunity to explore the Starboard Ace Foil 2024 and I want to share some of the pros and cons of this narrow board. Originally designed for downwind foiling, this board has proven to be much more versatile, especially for wing foiling.
- Dimensions and Weight: The board I used is 7’0″ by 20″, holding a volume of 100 liters and weighing 6.32 kg. It accommodates riders up to 90 kg, with other sizes available for different rider needs.
- Design: This board showcases a longer waterline length, contributing to easier glide and speed when off the foil. Its design is derived from Starboard’s older downwind race boards, optimized for the efficiency of foiling.
Wing Foiling Experience
- Early Lift-Off in Light Winds: Remarkably, the board facilitates foil activation in winds as low as five knots. This aspect deviates from the typical vigorous pumping required by shorter boards, making the process smoother and less technical.
- Effortless Glide: The board’s design allows it to gather glide effortlessly, aiding in the foil’s initiation. This feature is particularly beneficial for maintaining momentum in light winds.
- Upwind Performance: With a suitable mast and foil, the board demonstrates impressive upwind capabilities. Its length seems to enhance this feature, providing sustained drive and direction.
- Stability with Wider Foils: When paired with wider base foils, the board’s stability is significantly enhanced. Despite its 20-inch width, it offers a feeling of standing on a much wider platform.
- Width Adjustment: Initially, the 20-inch width may feel narrow, especially for those accustomed to wider boards. This aspect requires some adaptation, particularly when jibing or adjusting foot positioning.
- Windage Considerations: While not a major drawback, the board’s length might add slight windage, which could impact performance in specific conditions.
- Beginner-Friendly: The board’s ease of use makes it suitable for beginners in wing foiling. Its stability, aided by larger foils, offers a comfortable learning curve.
- Lightwind Weapon: For those seeking performance in lighter winds, especially riders in the 85 to 110 kg range, the Starboard Ace Foil 2024 is an ideal choice.
The Starboard Ace Foil 2024 stands out in the wing foiling discipline for its early lift-off capabilities, smooth glide, and impressive upwind performance. While it demands some adjustment due to its narrower width, its benefits in light wind conditions and overall stability make it a valuable asset for both beginners and experienced wing foilers alike.