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The X-186 Program

After months of secret development work inside their X-Program, Starboard releases to the world the first details of their new X-186 design.

Starboard has been leading the World in the development of Formula Windsurfing -- FW -- over the last 3 years, and Production board development since taking victory in the Production Board Worlds in 1997. In the 2001 Formula Worlds in Brazil, over 60 % of the racers chose Starboard, with the F-186 leading for the majority of the event, winning 5 races of the total series.

With increased growth in the FW class worldwide, competition between manufacturers has emerged as a significant challenge both on and off the water.

Despite their open opposition to two ISAF registration deadlines in 2001, Starboard's policy is to provide the most competitive equipment that talent and time permits. Thus they continued R&D on the X-186 as part of their secret X-Program right up to the ISAF November 30 registration deadline.

The X-186 extends the established F-186 and F-156 designs, especially in enhancing the F-186 lightwind and windward performance while further improving speed and control in powered-up off the wind conditions.

Extensive evaluation of complex board dynamics developed in the X-Program has identified several key performance factors, which have been incorporated into the X-186 design.

Paramount to the X-186 design are increased control and responsiveness in the nose of the board, achieved through a shorter and leaner 264 x 100cm hull shape with nose rocker tuned for longitudinal trim, delivering more freedom in choppy water and allowing higher top end speed .

The reduced swing weight of the thinner X-186 nose noticeably improves handling and, in combination with selective use of increased concaves, also gives X186 more acceleration and greater stability. Control has also been enhanced with revised tail section underwater cutaways. And another important factor is the brand new V line configuration which maximizes upwind stability.

Test results for the X-186 with the F-156 clearly confirm the boards as an excellent pairing, the X-186 being ideal for heavier riders in all conditions, particularly lighter winds, than the thinner F-156. Test riders are particularly impressed with the responsive ride and confidence that the X-186 imparts when powered up at high speed through choppy and difficult water.

X-186 has an effective volume rating of 186 Lts, and a static displacement of 155 Lts. It will be delivered primarily in Starboard's Wood Technology construction, with optional DRAM construction available for recreational users.

The X-186 is scheduled for commercial release in February, 2002. It is fully registered for ISAF competition from January 1, 2002.

Starboard's secret X-Program relies on systematic Research, Development, Test and Evaluation -- RDT&E-- to maintain and extend its lead in high performance competition and recreational windsurfing equipment.

The SPACE Defense Program

Starboard has in cooperation with Airinside produced and registered hollow boards with a technology code named SPACE. Starboard's policy is that these boards will be made available only on a need to win basis. Only a limited number may be supplied and then only if another manufacturer has successfully mastered the art of hollow board production with a competitive shape.

During the Duesseldorf IWA and industry meeting in Jan 2001, Starboard asked for short term restrictions on price and on hollow boards for the Formula Windsurfing class. The industry did not support this. Thus Starboard has put the SPACE defense program in place to ensure that our race team always will have the best equipment available within class rules,

Jim Drake, Tiesda You, Svein Rasmussen and Ian Fox.

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