JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014

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13.10.2013 Posted in Boards No Comments
JP Australia Freestyle Wave VS Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave

Since my old JP Australia Freestyle Wave Pro board (2010 model) received structural damages a month back, I have been doing research on which out of the newly launched 2014 boards I should buy as a replacement. Tests of 2014 boards are rather sparse at the moment, since they were launched to the market just a few weeks ago. The magazines that have had a look so far tend to reproduce the exact words from the manufacturers’ catalogues or websites, so they can’t really be trusted as neutral third parties. No head-to-head tests for relevant 2014 models exist yet either.

JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014

Based on a rather thin basis, and without the possibility to test a boards’ performance before purchasing, taking a decision will have to be based on other factors than reviews. Therefore I quickly narrowed my alternatives down to JP Australia Freestyle Wave 2014 vs Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave 2014.

These are the two most profiled brands and their lead shapers, Werner Gnigler and Svein Rasmussen, seldom design boards that perform poorly. This does not mean I am claiming there are not other very good boards out there, but buying one of these is the same as being on the safe side.

Looking at their 2014 catalogues, I found that the specs are fairly similar. I originally wanted 82-84 liters, but it seems like I have to settle with a board with a few litres more volume. To be more precise JP’s 85 litres versus Starboard’s 86 litres. A couple of extra litres is not necessarily a bad thing when winter season is coming up and the extra buoyancy is great to offset wet suits full of water, and make the board a bit less of a sinker!

The head to head specifications and details of the boards are as follows:

Board
JP Australia Freestyle Wave Pro
Volume
85 litres
Weight
6.1 kg
Length
234  cm
Width
58.5 cm
Default fin setup
3 fins
Shaper
Gnigler
Price
~1750 €
Board
JP Australia Freestyle Wave FWS
Volume
85 litres
Weight
6.4 kg
Length
234 cm
Width
58.5 cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Gnigler
Price
~1450 €
Board
Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave Carbon
Volume
86 litres
Weight
?
Length
232  cm
Width
59  cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Rasmussen
Price
~1650 €
Board
Starboard Code Freestyle Wave Wood
Volume
86 litres
Weight
?
Length
232  cm
Width
59  cm
Default fin setup
1 fin
Shaper
Rasmussen
Price
?

Due to the conditions of my local spot I want a single-fin setup board, for earlier planing. Three fin setup boards are great in challenging conditions with greater waves, but with such waves being seldom at my local spot I prefer the earlier planing options. Besides if I wanted a board for waves I would have bought a pure wave board, not an all-round board like the freestyle wave boards are.

I must admit that the JP Pro was my original first preference due to being very satisfied with my previous board. But buying a separate fin and customizing it to a 1 fin setup makes it a rather pricy option.

Besides the fin setup, my second criteria was how the different materials actually perform. I love ultra light boards and the wood versions tend to be slightly heavier. As for Starboard’s Technora edition (not listed here) I really do not know what to expect.

So based on the above considerations, and the fact that my predetermined favourite the JP also comes in a FWS edition with a 1 fin setup, I have taken my final choice:

Conclusion: The Starboard Kode Freestyle Wave Carbon 86 litres is the winner!

Hopefully I can test my new Starboard in a couple of weeks time. Needs to be ordered though, as my local retailer didn’t have it in stock.

Catch you on the water!
/Alex

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