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The 2013 All-Star and the 2011 Rock Star are of the same Gene Pool but different boats.    Both spring from the 2010 All-Star family- short, big looping, fast, loose, all around machines that can show up to any spot and tear it up.   However, we moved the All-Star more towards the big water and waves, while the Rock Star is more suited for small water and smaller holes.    But even that depends on your size….

Rock Star

2013 All-Star

First Let’s talk about overall performance of these playboats;


River Running/User Friendliness:

2013 All-Star:  The 1.5” of extra length and 1 gallon of additional volume, plus the lower seating position and the volume spread out over the boat more smoothly makes this boat much more friendly for going down river to get to the playspots.    It is easier to roll, more stable, and faster.    Here is a river running review by Andy Graham The Rock Star is an adjustment as your higher seating position and short boat make it twitchier and you’ll spend more time upside down in the beginning.    Even our top team members had to adjust to it.


Wave Surfing Speed and Moves:

2013 All-Star takes this to the next level and is unparalleled for ease of doing wave moves.    The hull is simply a next generation hull from the Rock Star, and the 2010 All-Star and captures the essence of a boat that wants to fly and carve and surf anything.    If you are going to spend most of your time on waves, this discussion is over- get the 2013 All-Star.

Rock Star-  This boat is fast and loose (but a notch below the 2013 All-Star) but requires the higher seating position to take off for clean blunts, easily.    If you need to sit down low, you’ll want to be in the All-Star.   If you can sit up high (like more than production high (I sit on 2X 200 Sweet cheeks!) you can throw it around easily.


Hole surfing- Big Air and Spinning/Cartwheely moves

2013 All-Star is all about going big on loops and having tons of “pop”.    It also slices through very easily if you are not small for the boat for the cartwheel moves.   If the boat is big on you, you will prefer to do the cartwheel moves in the same size of the Rock Star.    The extra length and volume of the All-Star, and the super smooth volume transition makes this boat fly like no others on loops and any aerial move.     The thicker volume ends are designed for pop and air more than slicey cartwheels.

The Rock Star is shorter and slicier and can be “manhandled” easier.   If you want to do flatwater cartwheels, or play in smaller holes doing the cartwheel moves, go with the Rock Star unless you can downsize the boat by one size.   If you normally paddle the Rock Star M but you switch to a Star, for example, the Star will be shorter, lower volume, and slicier than the Rock Star M.


Overall Decisions for which boat is right for you:



Specs and how they affect the boat.       Every year people tell me that they are in between sizes.  They paddle a Super Star, for example, but really want to fit into the All-Star.   They paddle the All-star but wish they could paddle the Star.    The 2013 Star series is slightly sized up to accommodate more weight and a little more leg.    Now those people who felt in between sizes can paddle the smaller boat if they want.   Those people on the small size of the previous boats (2010 All-Star or Rock Star) would want to try the smaller size compared to the other boats of the 2013 All-Star.


Those who were big for the previous boats will find that the 2013 All-Star will suit them better for sizing.


Making your decision:


This will help you decide:  I am ranking each characteristic from 1-10 for each boat


Characteristic Ranking

  1. Comfort-leg room
    1. 2013 All-Star             9
    2. 2011 Rock Star          8
  2. Flatwater Cartwheels
    1. 2013 All-Star             7
    2. 2011 Rock Star          8
  3. Big Air on Hole Moves
    1. 2013 All-Star             10
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9
  4. Big/Easy Air on Waves
    1. 2013 All-Star             10
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9
  5. Speed on Waves
    1. 2013 All-Star             10
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9
  6. Looseness for spinning
    1. 2013 All-Star             9
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9
  7. Carving on waves
    1. 2013 All-Star             10
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9
  8. River running/rolling
    1. 2013 All-Star                         6
    2. 2011 Rock Star          4
  9. Retentiveness in a hole
    1. 2013 All-Star             9
    2. 2011 Rock Star          9

10. Retentiveness on a Wave

  1. 2013 All-Star             10
  2. 2011 Rock Star          9

11. beginner/intermediates

  1. 2013 All-Star             8
  2. 2011 Rock Star          5


I hope this helps you get a better feel for which boat is for which purpose.    If you want the best wave boat, there is no question, the All-Star is that boat.   If you want the best hole boat, it really depends if you want to focus on big air, or on the cartwheel, spinning tricks.    Both boats work well for it, but the Rock Star is a little shorter and the ends go through easier, UNLESS you downsize in the boat (go from Super Star to All-Star size, for example to take advantage of the extra leg room and volume) and then the smaller size of the All-Star will make it much easier than a size up in the Rock Star.   I hope that makes sense to everyone.


I am heading to Uganda this winter and will certainly bring my All-Star and am already beside myself with the excitement of having that design on those waves!   Paddling here at Rock Island the top wave is definitely an All-Star advantage, while the main hole and as soon  as we get backstage, those holes are a Rock Star advantage I think, but it is close, so I will stick with my All-Star.


See you on the river!