A few of my favorite things from 2014: Starboard Astro Stream Inflatable

I love and own Starboard Astro Stream Inflatable. Perhaps I am a coastie with lofty whitewater aspirations. I can own that. Yes. I want to do more whitewater. I had a few sessions this past year and it was insane, a combination of bullriding and being on a waterslide.

The fact that I didn’t get to ride the Starboard Astro Stream Inflatable at the USNWC is a crime against happiness.

But it’s easily something I can rectify.

The love affair began in Canada: Dan Gavere introduced me to the Astro Stream at the Ultimate SUP Challenge in Ottawa (one of my favorite events in North America). I was on a less stable, less fun board and feeling like I wasn’t cut out for rivers. As much as I wanted to love it, I was taking on water, falling more than standing and hating life. Dan swapped boards with me and I could hear angels singing. It might have been a slight concussion, but still. ANGELS SINGING. In an envirnment where the water is doing the work, stability and maneuverability are crucial. The Starboard Astro Stream Inflatable was everything I had hoped it would be and is one of the few boards I tried this year that had not “buts” or “howevers” attached to it. Maybe one: it’s not light to carry in it’s backpack for long distances. But it’s do-able. And I’m not a Crossfit guy, so it’s doable.

Here are the dimensions of the Astro Stream:

Length: Width: Thickness: Tail Width: Volume: Rider up to:
9’6” 36” 6.0” 24.2” 387 L 105 kg

It was stable, maneuverable, fast and fun. It rode waves as easily as it ferried. THAT WAS IN SMALL WAVES AND CLASS 1-2 Rapids. I had fun doing eddy turns, you name it. It made it actually possible for me to enjoy my learning experience on the river and then, I watched the really skilled people like Dan Gavere do whatever they wanted to on it.

I also liked it on the flatwater. When I was on vacation with my family, we just rolled up to the river in Bend, Oregon, pumped up the board and hopped on. It was a blast.

It’s as fun for a beginner as a pro and you don’t give up performance for stability.

If you are looking to get into whitewater, the Starboard Astro Stream Inflatable nails it. I can’t wait to get a dry suit and do some winter work. And when the spring thaw comes, LOOK OUT! I also need a helmet. Dang. A whole new set of gear.

Construction info:

  • 6.0” (150mm) dropstitch creates our stiffest technology.                                                                                                                      ** The Astro Deluxe Widepoint 8’2 and Converse 9’0 use a 4.0″ (100mm) dropstitch to create the best rail definition for making the board more performant in surf.
  • Deck and bottom have high strength, 0.5mm 1000 Denier laminate over a uni-directional 250 Denier dropstitch material, delivering optimum stiffness at light weight.
  • Rails with 0.5mm 500 Denier polyester plain weave, for 100% air tightness covered by robust bi-axial 0.7mm 1000 Denier polyester mesh, for additional stiffness.
  • 2015 rails are 70% thicker and stronger than the 2014 Astro rails.
  • The parabolic compression band in the critical deck edge area, creates a curved edge, increasing stiffness with little weight penalty.
  • For more stiffness, a dual stringer on the most compressive area of the deck.
  • The short Starboard Astro US box helps to roll up the board as tight as possible.
  • The side fin boxes will fit our standard removable Surfinz or your favourite FCS fins.
  • The high grade EVA deck pad has a 4mm thick square groove in the standing area and a 2mm thick aft section, all the way to the rail of the board.

It comes with a pump and a bag. I’d get the 3-part adjustable paddle.Tiki Tech Enduro adjustable.

For more information, visit Starboard SUP and make sure to buy from your local Starboard dealer, here is the shop list