I had a go of the new Starboard Black Box today, thanks WindSurfnSnow for the chance to try this innovative board out. Gerroa was looking pretty good on the forecast so I packed the Black Box and my 2011 Fanatic Wave board (the one with lost of rocker) for what I hoped would be a side by side comparison.
I rigged up a 5.0 S1 and grabbed the 87 stubbie waveboard and launched into some nice 2-3 sets and maybe 8-11 knots of wind about midday. I'm about 71-72kg and the 'Box' felt really comfortable and stable bogging out through in really light NE seabreeze. The wide stubbie nose lifts up easily over the whitewater and provided plenty of stability with the rip currents and white water attempting to twist the board around. A comparision to my 79 litre board is that I would never have stayed up given the amount of turbulence in the water and light wind.
The wind started gusting to 13-14 knots it was easy to gybe the board into the sets. i really enjoyed overloading the sail and spinning the board into a fast slam gybe. The wide tail kept the board upright rather than sinking the tail like I do on my other waveboard.
I was able to get the board onto some nice peeling 3 foot Gerroa waves where it felt very much like my regular waveboard. It set really nicely into the bottom turn and pivoted nicely off the top. I did have to be cautious not to put too much pressure on the fins into the top turn as I manged to get the twin fin & big trailer fin to break loose. Its a little unnerving sliding down the face but I could pull the board back under me. Overall, waveriding was very similar to my Fanatic Quad. Its a fast board and quite loose with the twin fins and concaves underfoot. It actually felt very plug and play. The only thing to get used to is the short nose and keeping that from submarineing if you are learning forward to pinch onto a wave
For me, in DTL conditions I think I would stick with my Quad for the grip I like in my turns. I really think this board would excel in Wanda type conditions, gusty side shore with more fuller waves and plenty of white water to bounce off. The fat tail generates heaps of speed in the bottom turn and where you don't have the benefit of apparent wind with DTL the board would be definitely an advantage over my smallish wave board. I'm keen to try it in the conditions it was deigned for. The volume is good for my weight and even though its a very short board its distributed around the mast foot so you can really bear down on the boom in your bottom turns. Perhaps teaming this board with a smaller quad for the better DTL days would maximise waveriding in the sort of usual east coast waveriding we get.
Great to get a great sail in the waves!! Now I just need a speed board for the next time it blows 40 knots
you were looking good on that board... go on. You know you want one
Yep it was a pretty good day
There was enough nose rocker stop me going end over end on a couple of top turns
Thanks for the compliment
Interesting review and I was interested to read it as I am building one a bit fatter on similar shape concept, but as a twinser quad.
Can't take the credit - a Riders custom shape that I am glassing and finishing off.
Is about 92L ish, 230 x 66
Was wondering why nobody picked up on the Blackbox here, poms raved about it but maybe none of the Blackboxes made it over here last year?
As Starboard say - not a waveboard for everyone in all conditions - it is fat and designed to make crappy days fun. If you already have a 'real' waveboard they sound like a great addition
Interesting you mentioned the breaking loose in top turn if you are not careful - mine is designed as a twin but I wondered if the super wide tail and concaves may make it a tiny bit too skatey so thus my addition of quad sideys just as an option. Time will tell though.
Also interesting they made it a trailer thruster - and since then the others who copied it have been mentioned more in the reviews (eg raving about how progressive the Patrik trailer wave is, when the blackbox proto had it almost 2 yrs ago lol)
For me at 97-98kg it will be a bit smaller than intended - the size I am doing is more suited to a 80-85kg guy ... but I am super keen to try it...... will be loooose :)
watch the length mark. as a heavier guy you will appreciate being able to tack out the back to get into position faster.
230cm is too short in my mind.
Gestie I had no say in specs, Mike from Riders was making it for himself so it was shaped and divinycell bagged on, then I took over. Yes, for me a bit longer and more volume would be desirable
It will be the NuBlackEvoChopperBoxQuad
sorry for the interruption Tim.
back to the blackbox.
Didn't Starboard have a super wide and short fish years ago that was also a board for crappy days?
yes but it was just an onshore or light wind oriented "normal" board, not purely designed for sloppy small days (ie: worked on real waves too)
I am interested to hear how the Blackbox goes on a good wave and a bit overpowered