Ethan from Ocean SUP has had his Starboard 14′ x 26″ All Star Airline racing inflatable paddle board for about 6 monhts. In this video, he gives us a quick report on how he is enjoying the board.
Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on using the Starboard All-Star Airline model 14′ x 26″ paddleboard for over six months. There are many aspects I love about this paddleboard, but a few inconveniences as well. The board is 14 feet long and 26 inches wide.
In summary, the board has welded rail technology, a nose cone with a tension adjuster for the carbon stringer (Airline), Starmount Accessory mounts, bungee straps, race handles, a center carry handle, an EVA standing tray, a kick pad, and rail edge technology.
The main advantage of this inflatable paddleboard is its portability. You can easily roll it up, store it in the provided travel bag, and take it anywhere without hassle. The hard version would be less convenient for traveling, especially by air. The board’s durability is another pro, as it can withstand hard knocks and scratches.
In terms of performance, I found the board to be stable after getting used to the narrower width compared to my previous 32-inch wide all-round paddleboard. The nose cone helps in cutting through chop and going upwind easily. Speed-wise, this board is significantly faster than an all-round paddleboard.
However, there are some inconveniences. First, I wish I could move the race handles for a more customized racing experience, but that’s not possible with an inflatable paddleboard. Secondly, the even volume distribution thanks to the 6″ drop stitch construction can make it challenging to ride swell or go on downwinds. You may need to adjust your footwork to prevent the nose from dipping, or get further back to lift the nose on buoy turns.
Lastly, the board’s ever so slight flex, despite the twin carbon stringers, may require some adjustment in your paddling style. Paddling fast is about being smooth and transferring the power to the paddle. A hard board can hide poor technique and inefficient power transfer. Although not a dealbreaker, it’s something to consider if you’re used to hard paddleboards, and ultimately, will improve your paddling technique and power transfer.
If you’d like more insight into the Starboard Airline inflatable racing paddle board range, contact us!