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  1. #1
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    2016 Kodewave 88 Wood

    I have just brought home an unused wood version which will replace my 2015 carbon 87. Together with an identically shaped 2014 wood 87 that I keep in Pozo I have probably used the kodewave 87 more than a hundred times. Conditions have mostly been pretty crap, and for this they have worked well. Very early planing, fast and comfortable but just a little stiff on the wave for my sub 80 kilos.


    I am only half familar with the many terms to describe board shapes and how they may relate to performance. Measuring or even just comparing two boards lying side by side is not trivial. And making conjectures about how several small changes may combine to influence performance is even harder.


    If anything, I believe that the rocker flat or tendency to flatness between the straps is reduced on the new board. There also seem to be a bit more tail kick. Furthermore the rails feel sharper and with slightly less "tucked under" from the tail and up to the front straps. I have read that the V has been brought further back but can not confirm that. Both versions have plenty of V further forwards anyway.


    I doubt that the new board will feel bigger than the old. Maximum width is the same at 60,5. The old board sailed big for 87 liters and I guess Starboard has quoted the new board as one litre bigger to communicate that this kind of board floats well and planes early.


    If anything I believe that the new board will plane a tad slower than the old without that being any problem at all since the old is almost as efficient as a freewave. I also belive, or hope, it will turn better and give better grip although the old board also turns well with good technique. Although the difference is small the rails seem a bit less voluminous than on the old board. Together with the added sharpness I suspect it will take less effort to put the board on its rail and keep it there. And with the added tail kick and reduced rocker flat between the straps I guess it will allow for more vertical hits.


    The 83 litre tested very favourably in German Surf as the perfect board for crappy onshore waveriding and I really look forward to try my new 88 litre version. It will be interesing to see how much, if any, efficency I will have to give up and how big an improvement I will gain in the turning department.


    I have mostly used my 87 with the stock upright 17 fins. I also tried once or twice with Drake Natural Wave 150 but they felt small. I suspect that very small fins work poorly in very slow waves even if there is a lot of wind. Although the stock fins have mostly worked great, I have added a pair of Drake Twin Surf 160 that looks to have 50 percent more surface area than the small Natural Waves and also significantly more than the stock fins. Perhaps the 150 version would be better if I want to stretch the boards range of use to slightly bigger or faster waves.


    2016 is of course soo last year and I will probably not even get the board wet until april so I do not exactly expect this thread to take off like rocket. But writers must write.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 15th February 2017 at 07:26 PM.
    The infamous wavewriter

  2. #2
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    (Late edit: Comparing very similar boards in very dissimilar conditions with dissimilar clothing (a lot up here now) and possibly with altered mast foot track position, different fins and rig etc is hardly an exact science. )

    Had my first outing in microwaves. Very small and difficult angle but nice and smooth with a lip. Mostly used alternative swept fins placed far forward. Later also the stock fins equally far forward.

    First impressions confirm first suspicions. The board feels slightly more "radical" than the 14/15 87. The sharper rails seem to mean less volume in the tail as well. It's still a very efficient board. But whereas the 87 felt like an 89 litre this 88 feels more like an 87. It's hard to judge from one outing but I'm pretty cconfident that this is an easier turning board. The small waves mostly didn't allow for generating much speed down the face but I did complete a few decent top turns and it felt fine.

    I've shimsed up the fin bases with packing tape on one side for a snug fit and filed down the steep edge of the indents on the other side for an easier escape past the screws without causing much damage in case if a rock encounter. So I can still experiment with different fins and positions. Based on my experiences from Pozo this winter and given that this board is acually a bit more radical than the previous model I find it hard to justfy purchasing a "smaller" complement. Going earlier before the wave gets too steep is always an option on the bigger days and may pay off in terms of more "surfing practice" and more turns. Will see. The only downside with the board is weight. It feels slightly heavier than my 2014 wood, which may partly expain why Starboard didn't want to supply a wood version of the ultrakode that needs to carry more fin boxes. For me comfort is more important than weight.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 18th March 2017 at 11:30 AM.
    The infamous wavewriter

  3. #3
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    I promise that I wont write more reviews unless I should have the luck to try the board in bigger waves some day.

    I did however get out in microwaves again yesterday with a nicely powered 4.7. Smooth water and nice wave shape allowed me to overcome the very unfavourable onshore direction and get plenty of front side rides. My earlier impressions are confirmed: The board is slightly more radical than the 87 and perhaps also a bit sinkier. I have tended to move the mast base rearwards and the fins forwards on the 87 for tighter turning. I have also been thinking that smaller fins may be useful. With the 88 I feel that the recommended settings make more sense due to the more radical shape. I have tried the board with smaller fins and with mast base and fins in more extreme positions and it has given a slightly EVOesque feel if you get my meaning. This is still a very efficient board that can work as a bump and jump board with a single fin if conditions or skills do not allow for waveriding. But it is a bit more radical than before. It seems a bit easier to get vertical with and perhaps also less prone to stumble or skip or whatever in bottom turns. I have been thinking that a third iteration of a specialized twin might be better - at least in twin mode - than a first iteration of a multifin like the ultra kode. I will probably never have that confirmed. But I can think whatever I want to.

    PS The perceived efficiency (planing, speed, upwind etc) of any kit is hugely influenced by the quality of the wind and the water state. I was probably luckier yesterday than the two outings before. But I still think the board is pretty efficient, at lest for a twin.
    Last edited by boards_Tomas; 6th April 2017 at 11:53 AM.
    The infamous wavewriter

  4. #4
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    Ok, so this will be my last post unless someone should have questions. Been out in slightly better waves. Nothing above head height though. First day was very strongly gusting 3.7 winds and super onshore but with very nicely shaped waves which allowed for good speed. Often overpowered on the wave. The next day was with a 5.0 in sideshore conditions. It was gusty and mixed up with windchop but possible to find smackable waves and even a few combinations.

    It is of course difficult to distinguish exactly between the effects from improved boardshape and technique but things are working really well. I actually can't remember a single skip or bounce out in the bottom turns and made just about every top turn. The board is radical but also comfy and floaty and it seems to be just as fast or faster on the waveface as the earlier version. It also seems like the perfect size for me and my mostly mediocre conditions.
    The infamous wavewriter

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