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- Windsurf mag UK, June 2005:
Starboard Carve 161
AT A GLANCE
Refined slightly for the 2005 season, the 161 made quite an impact last year, becoming one of the defining boards of the 'super-planer' era,
with its ease of use and versatility giving it incredible user appeal. Short and wide, it is particularly rounded in outline yet relatively
thin across its cross-section, and has pronounced bevels on its rails, right up to a point in line with the front footstraps. With a similar distinctive 'Carve' livery as last year,
the 161 has a comprehensive number of footstrap options, and although the footstraps themselves were time consuming to set correctly, provide comfortable support once on the water.
RIDE AND HANDLING
The 161 was once again one of the standout boards in the group with an excellent range of use and level of practicality that makes it one of
the most versatile boards here. Supremely stable at rest, it requires very little drive form the rig to respond to the slightest gust, the hull cutting efficiently through the water.
Partnered with a lightly powered freemove sail, it accelerates steadily onto the plane, feeling predictable and secure underfoot and happy cruising at half speed under an upright stance - ideal for intermediates.
Put a performance freerace sail on it however, and the 161 is transformed into a stunningly fast rocket ship, capable of an impressive speed on every point of sail, whilst providing exciting and involving feedback to the rider.
Feeling smaller than its dimensions would suggest, it could be driven hard of its fin, with the rider's feet wrapped round the rails, although requiring very little technical input to trim effectively.
Such is the diversity of the 161's planning speed that it is also extremely adaptable in the gybe.
Cruising at half speed, it is easy for the nervous pilot to initiate into the turn, carving a smooth wide arc and retaining its speed well.
Powered into the corner by a more aggressive rider and the Crave will bite with conviction, although the width of the board is noticeable and does take a forceful amount of pressure.
Similarly, there are no problems in the tack, the volume in the nose making it very forgiving of clumsy footwork.
L: 256 (cm)
W: 82 (cm)
V: 161 (L)
Weight: 10.60 (kg)
Fin: Drake Freeride 52 cm (Deep Tuttle Box)
Sail Range: 6.5m - 10.0m
Suited for low intermediates right through to expert sailors, the 161 can be used with light freemove foils to efficient race sails, on flat-water to coastal chop.
For: Excellent all-round machine, with exceptional wind and user range
Against: Time consuming to adjust to footstraps correctly
A board that anyone can jump on and enjoy straightaway, the 161 is a fantastically versatile 'plug and play' board, requiring very little technical input to unlock its stunning all-round level of performance. It comes very highly recommended.