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Starboard ACE Unlimited 18'x24.25"

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Created by Goochi 4 months ago, 6 Oct 2017
Goochi
WA, 845 posts
6 Oct 2017 11:13AM
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Picked up my new stick for the DW season this week. Last year I spent some time on the ACE UL 18'x26.75" - which was a great board, super fast - acted like an ACE 14' on steroids!
The 2018 ACE UL 18'x24.25" comes with steering standard this year. It's a simple design with the batten set into the rudder post to centre it, rather than the tiller arm. Really clever.
I took it for a flatwater paddle yesterday and was pleasantly surprised by the stability - it was easily more stable than a 25" wide ACE 14', on a par with a 27" wide ACE and only slightly less stable than the 26.75" UL. (On flatwater though).
The shape is sleek, parallel rails - without the forward width of the 26.75", which should fare well chasing down runners - which is the advantage of the ACE shape over the flat deck shape IMO.
Can't wait to get out on the ocean!



















The 2017 UL 18'x26.75 for reference

disclosure - I am a Starboard Team rider. I pay for my boards and believe in the product.

PTWoody
VIC, 3978 posts
6 Oct 2017 4:19PM
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Nice one Greg. It's been a long time coming but hopefully worth the wait. Mine doesn't arrive for another week or so and I will be in California when it gets here. I suspect half of Victoria will have ridden it before I get home.

PS. what they've done with the batten arm is what Pono Bill has been advocating for years. It's not just clever, it's common sense for safety as a loose or busted cable out at sea can be anl issue if the batten is at the tiller. This system means the rudder stabilises regardless of what the cables are doing.

Helmy
VIC, 553 posts
6 Oct 2017 4:33PM
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Tempting as it may seem, I promise I won't steal yours PT...
Oh and I think I can hear DJ saying the same thing...

Goochi
WA, 845 posts
7 Oct 2017 8:40AM
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Select to expand quote
PTWoody said..
Nice one Greg. It's been a long time coming but hopefully worth the wait. Mine doesn't arrive for another week or so and I will be in California when it gets here. I suspect half of Victoria will have ridden it before I get home.

PS. what they've done with the batten arm is what Pono Bill has been advocating for years. It's not just clever, it's common sense for safety as a loose or busted cable out at sea can be anl issue if the batten is at the tiller. This system means the rudder stabilises regardless of what the cables are doing.


Thanks Paul, I hadn't thought of that with the steering - that's a great backup system.
I'll add to this thread when I've done an ocean run.

Todzilla
171 posts
13 Oct 2017 11:46AM
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How's the board going? Got it out for a run yet???

Goochi
WA, 845 posts
17 Oct 2017 12:09PM
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Todzilla said..
How's the board going? Got it out for a run yet???


Not yet Tod. Waiting for time off and the winds to align

Jradedmondo
NSW, 609 posts
18 Oct 2017 4:20PM
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looks like a pretty sweet board, also a great design idea with the rudder cable

Jarryd

Goochi
WA, 845 posts
6 Nov 2017 9:57PM
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I've had a chance to get both the 24.25" and the 2018 26.75" out for a downwinder over the past week. Here are my thoughts:

18 x 24.25
I've paddled this board several times on the flat and felt it was pretty stable...and fast! Flatwater speed for a DW board was great, compared to the 14' flatwater boards in our Freo Pod. The UL Ace has quite a flat rocker and this speed carries over into the ocean to chase down runners. Having had a SiC Bullet for 2 years, chasing down runners is a new sensation. The Bullet is a great board, but it's different - you position yourself on runners, the Ace is just rude....you can chase the runners in front of you down!

That's where downwind boards become personal. As I do more Bump riding, I realise it's more of an art form, than just trying to go fast. So your instrument of choice, is an extension of your interpretation of that pursuit. With that in mind - no particular board is going to be better than another, just what feels right..... and that's going to be pretty broad for most people.

The Ace feels right to me. I have spent years on 14' Ace dug outs, and love the sensation of accelerating onto a runner in front, rather than surfing it down the line. The 2018 24.25" is a little twitchy for my height (191cm) in side chop in paddling stance, but the drawn out parallel rails create improved stability when standing back on the tail. Last years Ace UL, was a little twitchy at the tail - which at times took some mojo off a big drop as you felt you were fighting to stay on the board, when this is the most enjoyable part of ULs. I'm happy to say, the 24.25" is surprisingly more stable in surf stance!

The new steering system is great. Easy to set up. The stock rudder is a little too vertical for Fremantle weed, so I'm changing that out, but it is responsive.

18 x 26.75
I used the 2017 26.75" board in last year's KotC and did a lot of paddling on it prior to it. This year's Ace 26.75 has been tweaked further. The rails have been drawn out - similar to the 24.25' and the tail rocker has been lifted. Last year we retro fitted the rudder a bit too far back, so this year's production position is spot on. Gone is the twitchy feeling in surf stance off the tail. The volume in the nose (the Ace like feeling) means it is a forgiving board to stay in one position, but the improved stability does allow to step back and surf off the tail. You are not going to surf off the tail like a bullet, but you are going to chase down runners and take big drops in comfort, with a wide smile!

Ok - it's a fast DW board. Michael Booth did the KotC course in 1:45hrs (24kms) - averaging just under 14km/h on the 24.25 wide. He has also had some of his fastest runs on the 26.75" board ....go figure. As I mentioned earlier, it's about what the board allows you to tap into and how it assists in furthering your experience on the ocean. The Ace.... for me, is the perfect board, it's effortless, fast and dynamic. It's a bump chaser, not a surfer.... on the ultimate happy place.

LucBenac
162 posts
6 Nov 2017 11:29PM
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Select to expand quote
Goochi said..
I've had a chance to get both the 24.25" and the 2018 26.75" out for a downwinder over the past week. Here are my thoughts:

18 x 24.25
I've paddled this board several times on the flat and felt it was pretty stable...and fast! Flatwater speed for a DW board was great, compared to the 14' flatwater boards in our Freo Pod. The UL Ace has quite a flat rocker and this speed carries over into the ocean to chase down runners. Having had a SiC Bullet for 2 years, chasing down runners is a new sensation. The Bullet is a great board, but it's different - you position yourself on runners, the Ace is just rude....you can chase the runners in front of you down!

That's where downwind boards become personal. As I do more Bump riding, I realise it's more of an art form, than just trying to go fast. So your instrument of choice, is an extension of your interpretation of that pursuit. With that in mind - no particular board is going to be better than another, just what feels right..... and that's going to be pretty broad for most people.

The Ace feels right to me. I have spent years on 14' Ace dug outs, and love the sensation of accelerating onto a runner in front, rather than surfing it down the line. The 2018 24.25" is a little twitchy for my height (191cm) in side chop in paddling stance, but the drawn out parallel rails create improved stability when standing back on the tail. Last years Ace UL, was a little twitchy at the tail - which at times took some mojo off a big drop as you felt you were fighting to stay on the board, when this is the most enjoyable part of ULs. I'm happy to say, the 24.25" is surprisingly more stable in surf stance!

The new steering system is great. Easy to set up. The stock rudder is a little too vertical for Fremantle weed, so I'm changing that out, but it is responsive.

18 x 26.75
I used the 2017 26.75" board in last year's KotC and did a lot of paddling on it prior to it. This year's Ace 26.75 has been tweaked further. The rails have been drawn out - similar to the 24.25' and the tail rocker has been lifted. Last year we retro fitted the rudder a bit too far back, so this year's production position is spot on. Gone is the twitchy feeling in surf stance off the tail. The volume in the nose (the Ace like feeling) means it is a forgiving board to stay in one position, but the improved stability does allow to step back and surf off the tail. You are not going to surf off the tail like a bullet, but you are going to chase down runners and take big drops in comfort, with a wide smile!

Ok - it's a fast DW board. Michael Booth did the KotC course in 1:45hrs (24kms) - averaging just under 14km/h on the 24.25 wide. He has also had some of his fastest runs on the 26.75" board ....go figure. As I mentioned earlier, it's about what the board allows you to tap into and how it assists in furthering your experience on the ocean. The Ace.... for me, is the perfect board, it's effortless, fast and dynamic. It's a bump chaser, not a surfer.... on the ultimate happy place.


That is a good sensible review. Appreciate the distinction in the details and the type of down-winding. I am holding to my 2015 Ace-GT to the end but the 26.75 would be attractive otherwise.



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"Starboard ACE Unlimited 18'x24.25"" started by Goochi