Choosing the right windsurf board can truly make or break your riding experience based on what your motivations are. Unlike a snowboard or wakeboard that can be adapted to pretty much any terrain without an enormous disadvantage, windsurf boards are usually built to meet one riding objective or the other. Therefore, this list is based on riders who are quite entry-level, and primarily looking to ride in in-land waters, as opposed to focusing solely on getting to more advanced rough waters and tricks (that list will come later). At the same time, we did not simply choose big pieces of foam you can buy from a shop for $200, we only considered high quality boards from reputable companies that the rider can grow their skills with. Primary attributes we considered were the following:
Preferably looking for 70cm or more.
Looking for availability above 160L.
Looking for a retractable daggerboard for stability when non-planing, and versatility when planing.
Looking for a solid grip and comfortable.
We were looking at premium brands, although price was considered for the value that they have over lesser known brands as well as with each other.
We understand that if someone is going to spend over $1000 on something, it better last long. Although most board damage occurs during transportation anyways.
Fin box, core material, easy carrying, etc.
After considering boards from about 10 different brands, we selected our top 3 choices. Each of these three boards are awesome for entry-level riding, won’t hold the rider back from advancing their skills, and all have their own advantages and disadvantages over each other.
Our Overall Pick: Starboard Go 161L
The Starboard Go is our overall number 1 spot and for good reason. Starting with the basics, it has a perfect 85cm width that gives the rider extra stability and the ability to add a larger sail for higher speeds. At the same time the board is slimmer than the previous Go models, so it doesn’t feel as if the wider board will sacrifice any responsiveness or controllability, as well as a shorter length than the other two boards making it slightly more fun to carve. The shape of the board is as all-around as it can get, so a beginner rider will be able to progress into planing, carving, etc. It has two fins, one deep and one shallow, that improve the boards handling and speed/stability respectively and an awesome Drake Shallow 410 daggersystem. The EVA deck on top has a solid grip with adjustable foot straps and no compromise on comfort. Overall, if you’re an entry-level rider that wants a board that will take them all the way up to the advanced level, the Starboard Go will not disappoint.
Value Pick: Bic Beach 175L
Another great choice is the the Bic Beach, and for under $1000, comes at a great value. It has a solid width of 78cm and length of 285cm giving it some extra stability and speed in the water. It has EVA foam just like the Starboard Go, giving a comfortable grip as well as a retractable dagger. It definitely is much more of a family, casual riding board than the other two, with a few less features, but it will last the rider a long time and is sure to be worth the cost.
Speed Pick: Kona One 220L
The Kona One is the big daddy of the group. Coming in at a volume of 220, a length of 350cm, and a width of 70cm, this board is respected just as much by advanced as beginners. Considered a race class board, which may sound intimidating, it is also perfect for beginners as it is extremely stable and maneuverable, giving it a fun and fast ride. Additionally, as the others it comes daggersystem equipped as well as optimal foot comfort from the EVA soft foam deck. The only real downside for the beginner is the price as it is currently at $1800.