OK, so for this year it’s the all new All-Star in Brushed Carbon, which has been almost completely redesigned from nose to tail.
Probably the most striking feature of the new All-Star is its exceptionally high volume nose, similar to the Starboard Touring, and has the same piercing attributes. The board also has an increase in volume all over… The 2014 model clocks in at 305 litres, markedly greater than the 2013’s volume of 259 litres.
Overall stability of the 2014 All Star is exceptional, and I’d say even it’s a touch better than the 2013.
While the new board feels faster, I actually found the 2014 All Star to perform a touch slower than the 2013. The only thing I can tack this up to is the additional 1/2″ extra width. That said, while the board might be a hair slower (and I really am splitting hairs here), I feel considerably more comfortable on the new board… It just seems to feel right, better than any other board I’ve ever tested.
If I were to have any complaints on this board, is it’s cockpit is still dugout a bit too much. Perfectly fine and acceptable for calmer and moderately rough waters, or for smaller paddlers anytime, but I still find it fills up with water in bigger chop, again making for a squirrelly ride until it flushes out.
Another minor complaint are the graphics. I’m assuming they’ve gone with a very thin graphic to keep the weight down on their upper tier carbon boards, but the strips have been chipping off from day one. Functionally this is not a problem whatsoever, but for aesthetics sake, I’m actually in the process of sanding the stripes off completely, and getting the finish down to that brushed look from a couple years ago, where the carbon was just visible under the paint.
Overall, I’m incredibly stoked with the 2014 14×28 Starboard All Star Brushed Carbon. If I were to give it a score, it’d be 98% for smaller to average sized paddlers, and 94% for larger paddlers. And you big guys, just hold off until the Spring… Judging from everything I’ve seen, next year’s board should be THE TICKET! EDIT: Further to Ron Jon’s comment posted below, and has since been confirmed with Trident Sports, the All Star 14’x28″ is actually not changing for the 2015 season. Instead, the board that looks like it could be the worthy replacement is the brand new 14’x27 Starboard Race. We’ll be testing this board next Spring, and will post up our results as soon as they’re completed… Thanks for the heads up Ron Jon!