Starboard discuss what’s coming for 2023 for winging

Foiling Magazine's Contributing Editor Steve Sjuggerud talks to Tiesda from Starboard at the AWSI in Hood River discuss what's coming for 2023 for winging.

For the full interview transcript, see below.


Steve Sjuggerud:

Hi, I'm Steve with Foiling Magazine, and I'm here with Tiesda from Starboard. I'm not sure if everybody knows, but you have a pretty extraordinary history in all kinds of design, and you have a lot of success on the windsurfing side in foil design. So I wanted you to talk about first what's coming in 2023 for Starboard on the foil side for winging, for example,

Tiesda:

Well as you know, winging is a new sport, and it's crazy like a brand like Starboard, you can innovate like crazy. It's like a Godsend. So we've been working on a lot of different new products. We've got a really exciting airflow board here. It has an innovative deck platform. We've got lots of new foils. This is the Glider Pro that I'll show you. We've got this really cool quick lock system and an adjustable fuselage.

So you know Starboard very well yourself. We love to make new stuff. We like to innovate, We like to make the high performance stuff, and everything around foiling is just so much fun.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Isn't it? Yeah. So let me just ask a personal… What do you like to do right now? I know you have a strong windsurfing background, but do you enjoy winging? Or where is your passion?

Tiesda:

Right now I would say anything to do with foiling is just really, really fun. It's a whole new sensation. You're learning everything over again. It's the learning that's the most fun part.

Steve Sjuggerud:

It's great to be novice again, right?

Tiesda:

Yeah. Doing your first foil drive or catching your first wave on the foil, foil tacking, all these little things is what you love.

Steve Sjuggerud:

So much fun. So what do you want to talk about first? There's so much fun in front of us here.

Tiesda:

So this is the new air foil. It's really cool because everyone's been trying to race to that challenge of making a good inflatable foil board. And the only issue with the inflatable foil board is that you're dealing with a soft platform.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Absolutely.

Tiesda:

And on a foil you want to feel as connected as you can to the foil. Otherwise you have no control.

Steve Sjuggerud:

I mean, the issue that you're describing is that the foil is on the bottom surface and you're standing on the top surface and there's flex in between.

Tiesda:

Exactly. There's flex, it's not just a little bit of flex. Anything you inflate is just going to move around a lot. And so we tried everything. There's all the solutions a lot of people are using, which is a plate on the bottom. But then no matter what you do, you're going to have this air compression, and it's never going to be that direct feeling.

So what we did is that we flipped the equation and we put the deck now on the top side. We screw the foil directly to the deck and you have this incredibly direct feel where you-

Steve Sjuggerud:

Can we take that part out?

Tiesda:

Yeah. This fills up the hole and that helps to prevent the water filling in and reduce [inaudible] drag. And now you can see how the mast connects directly to the element and plate down there.

Steve Sjuggerud:

So that's extraordinary. And you can just see to here, but how far does the plate extend?

Tiesda:

So if you look to the top, you can see it goes all the way to your front foot. So that's why no matter-

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah, you can see it. Oh, right there.

Tiesda:

Exactly.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah. So your whole standing area is on a rigid surface?

Tiesda:

Yeah, and you have this incredibly direct connection, it actually feels even more direct than a hardwood sometimes. Yeah. Just because it's so thin. And then you're using the inflatable part just as a flotation.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah. Yeah. And have you found any better airflow without having any hardware on the bottom or anything? Or just it feels correct basically?

Tiesda:

You mean if you-

Steve Sjuggerud:

Like on a normal equipment, your hardware's actually… Your screw heads… And now it's all-

Tiesda:

It's recessed.

Steve Sjuggerud:

It's recessed.

Tiesda:

The only thing is that you would, if you can, you want to use a maybe 10 centimeter longer mast just because it's further down.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh right, of course.

Tiesda:

But beside that it feels exactly [inaudible].

Steve Sjuggerud:

So is this something that you patented or work on patenting? Because it's a pretty innovative idea.

Tiesda:

You'll have to ask Svein. I think we applied for it.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Okay.

Tiesda:

I think it's patent pending, but I'm not 100% sure on that one. But it's definitely a good idea, to be honest. The main thing we do is, so we just innovate all the time, and it's just fun. We don't really look to try and patent and protect it.

Steve Sjuggerud:

But it's just a brilliant idea to attach your foot to the top here.

Tiesda:

Super simple. Yeah.

Steve Sjuggerud:

So you want to talk a little bit about the foils?

Tiesda:

The foils? Yeah. So was it patented Svein?

Svein:

It's patented.

Tiesda:

It's patented?

Steve Sjuggerud:

It's all patented. Okay.

Tiesda:

Fully patented. Okay.

Steve Sjuggerud:

That's according to the big man, so.

Tiesda:

Here, so this is what we call the Quick Lock II system. And this is the fun part. You asked me what I enjoy doing, and coming up with solutions, engineering solutions to you see everybody's trying to do find their version, and I'm like, “I can do it better.” “I can do it better.”

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah.

Tiesda:

So this is our system. It's called Quick Lock II, because it's quick to assemble, quick to unlock. What you do is you just have to see the little pressure bolt there?

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh yeah.

Tiesda:

Just give it a quick half turn to release, that's it. Lift out the thing and then pull out on the thing. And that's how easy it is.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Wow. That's it. So yeah.

Tiesda:

You got this little draw system. And Oh yeah, and the other cool part is it's the only wing base adjustable system.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh, okay. Yeah. So you can extend your fuselage, right.

Tiesda:

Exactly.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh nice. And then the lock is right there.

Tiesda:

Exactly. And then you on the front wing, it's a similar system, you undo the pressure bolt and it just slides straight off.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh wow.

Tiesda:

And then if you want to, you have a spacer for the front section as well.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh wow. And so is this for wind foiling versus wing foiling? Or is just a different sensation?

Tiesda:

This one's a wing foil system.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Right. But by moving the front wing forward, that makes it more windsurf style, no?

Tiesda:

No. What we do is moving it forward gives you a little bit more power.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Okay.

Tiesda:

A little bit more up up wind ability. And both together you have a wider base, so it's more stable.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh, right, right.

Tiesda:

Yeah. The other day we had a race and somebody that put in an up wind leg, you put in the spacer and you can drive up wind a lot better.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Nice. Fantastic.

Tiesda:

It's a really, really cool system actually.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Well that's all pretty exciting.

Tiesda:

Yeah. This is the new Glider Pro, which is our new sort of high performance racing foil.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Yeah, for sure.

Tiesda:

Really, really happy with this. New carbon finish. We had this out on the water and yeah, everyone's loving it.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Really?

Tiesda:

Really, really stoked actually.

Steve Sjuggerud:

What sizes does the Glider Pro come in? I mean that's pretty darn small right there, 550.

Tiesda:

Yeah, this one's our smallest one. The 550 for higher winds. This is our fastest foil essentially. Then we've got the 700 and 900 and 1050.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Oh fantastic. And what's the foil line going to look like for 2023?

Tiesda:

We've got four collections. So we've got the Glider Pro, our super high aspect. Then you've got the Glider, which is a high aspect, really efficient foil. Then we've got the E type and S type, which are our medium aspect and the low aspects.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Fantastic. Awesome.

Tiesda:

Yeah. One for every category of foil basically.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Awesome.

Tiesda:

They all run on this modular Quick Lock platform. Yeah, we've got two mast systems of carbon mast system and an aluminum mast system as well.

Steve Sjuggerud:

So lot's going on. Well, well thank you Tiesda, that was really fantastic. Good to see you, man.

Tiesda:

Thanks Steve.

Steve Sjuggerud:

Absolutely. Yep.

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