Author Topic: The value of an extra foot....  (Read 1252 times)

10generation

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The value of an extra foot....
« on: April 16, 2018, 09:33:34 PM »
Production 14' board vs benefit of a custom board that is 15', 16'?

Does the longer waterline make much of a difference?  Less maneuverability vs more inherent speed?  More or less stability with longer length?  I would assume same board shape, just difference of adding length.

Wondering if I should look at going custom given I have no interest in racing, just want a board that makes covering long distances easier and have space in the garage?

Thanks for opinions

PT Woody

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2018, 03:35:29 AM »
There is nothing inherently special about 14'. In fact, you will find a number of people here with fond memories of the K15. If you like glide, go the extra length for sure.

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singingdog

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2018, 04:21:02 AM »
Isn't the 14' "standard" a result of some past shipping or airline requirement? I seem to remember Corran going on about it at one point.

TallDude

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2018, 08:10:47 AM »
Your size / weight has a lot to do with what you need. Going wider on a 14' to compensate for more weight doesn't make sense. It just slows the board down. I'm 245 lbs. so my optimal length for racing is somewhere between 18' and 20'. Width between 25" to 26". If you're 215 lbs. you may be in the 17' to 19' range. If you're 185 lbs. then your probably in the 14' range at the lower end. I know a lot guys that are 180 to 200 lbs. that race 18' x 22" to 23" boards.

10generation

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2018, 10:33:39 AM »
Super helpful.  I'm around 200 lbs. 

How much is the actual difference of adding about a foot - is it a big change?

TallDude

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2018, 01:46:06 PM »
The longer you go, the better the glide. Shorter boards are lighter and more maneuverable, so you sprint quickly from buoy to buoy and /or in and out of the surf racing. Unlimited's are a little heavier, but that weight helps maintain the glide. They are designed for going very straight for a long distance. You actually don't want to paddle too fast on an unlimited, because you can kill the glide. You have to learn how to paddle longer boards. It's about getting up to speed and just maintaining it efficiently. Quick paddle strokes are counterproductive. Longer paddled with deeper strokes work best.

capobeachboy

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2018, 06:30:52 PM »
Isn't the 14' "standard" a result of some past shipping or airline requirement? I seem to remember Corran going on about it at one point.

I think the 14' boards evolved from paddleboard racing (arms only) where the classes are 12', 14' and unlimited. We had a 12' SUP division in the beginning then that Laird production 12'2" came out and race directors morphed it to 12'6".

Getting back to the original question I love the glide of unlimiteds (both SUP and paddleboard) but most are around the 18' range and that's a lot of board for me to push.  The sweet spot for me is 16'6" - 17'6".
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stoneaxe

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2018, 07:12:05 PM »
I think 14' was because the fastest Naish board at the time (who ran/sponsored the races that set the standard)would have been smoked by the Starboard K15.... ;)

You've asked about length but not shape....big difference in an all around distance cruiser, speedy racer, or DW board. How much have you paddled big boards? The best way to understand is to try some out of course. Everyone is different both physiologically and in what we want. Horses for courses. The conditions and purpose will dictate as well. I don't like noses that get pushed around in wind and cross chop...my usual paddle conditions. I have an 18' flatwater thouroughbred on the ceiling of my garage that rarely gets wet....I like open ocean and it's not the board for that.

This is all so personal so take what I say with a grain of salt. Like I said demo....but my 2 cents.....If you aren't worried about speed but more ease for long distance I'd go with a compromise. At your size 16'+ or so but i wouldn't go so narrow...26" maybe.....you aren't racing. Your looking for glide and ease of paddle. I'd also stick with a classic shape but I think that's a bias I have. Boards that claim secondary stability just mean I fall in slowly. TD has much better balance than me (not surprisingly) I'd never go that narrow but "narrow" is different for each of us.

I'm much bigger than you and my go to distance board is my old Vec 14' x 28". I've been paddling it for 10 years and a few 1,000 miles so I've been thinking about another custom off and on for a long time. Based on my size...6-4 270+lbs (the + varies...:) ) I could go much bigger but if I get another distance board I'm thinking 16'-17' and 29"...a blow up of my present board with a little different distribution of the foam. It would actually be a duplicate of one of the 1st 14' boards I ever paddled blown up to 17'. Admins board from 2007...  8)....still haven't been on another board I liked as much so quickly. It wouldn't be so much about going fast but about faster in comfort.

On the other side....you could simply go with a 14' production board. You aren't out of the range at 200lbs. Save a few $ and paddle a little harder..... ;)

« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 07:37:52 PM by stoneaxe »
Bob

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TallDude

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2018, 08:21:27 PM »

I'm much bigger than you and my go to distance board is my old Vec 14' x 28". I've been paddling it for 10 years and a few 1,000 miles so I've been thinking about another custom off and on for a long time. Based on my size...6-4 270+lbs (the + varies...:) ) I could go much bigger but if I get another distance board I'm thinking 16'-17' and 29"...a blow up of my present board with a little different distribution of the foam. It would actually be a duplicate of one of the 1st 14' boards I ever paddled blown up to 17'.
I just picked up and older high volume 18' x 28" Ron House unlimited with a sunken deck. It's going to be my go to board for the open water. You'd like it. I paddled it the other day in some crappy mixed up bump, and felt pretty comfortable. Not much bracing and could maintain my cadence well. I could not have paddled my 25" wide unlimited in those conditions. It has very tall rails that are pretty squared off. It puts the bulk of the volume as far out as possible. It glides nice too. Way better than my 14'. I'd say pretty close to the glide of my 25" unlimited. The only thing that really feels different is it's all just E-glass and flexes like a trampoline.

photofr

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2018, 10:44:22 PM »
My second board was a 17'6 x 23" - but I only weigh in at about 60 kilos - 135 pounds. The glide of that board is still unmatched to date, even though it was built in 2013. That UL was under 10 pounds in weight, but falling on it would have left a mark. I still managed to rack over 2000 km per year on that board, 3 years in a row.

I entered two races with it... and clearly the board was not welcomed.

A great board to have fun (not necessarily to race) could be 17x26 - where you could find yourself having fun downwind, go camping, go touring, stay in shape, photography ventures, and even race a few totally dead flat water. Such a board may already exist: check out SIC - with a rudder.
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Area 10

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2018, 12:08:32 AM »
16ft is a nice easy length to own. You get the benefits of extra glide but the handling is still quite like a 14 and the board isnít so big that carrying/storage etc becomes tricky. 17ft is nice too, especially if you are a bigger unit, but if you are an ocean SUPer, 17ft starts to get a lot of board to surf. 18 and above would be nice in flat water but for (choppy, windy) ocean work youíd probably need to be a pretty powerful paddler unless you are always going straight downwind.

The observations above in regard to weight are correct. For anyone over 200lbs I think that a 14 is a poor choice, if you have a choice. But if you are a real lightweight, 16ft+ can be too much board for you to muscle.

Itís so great being able to go narrower for the same stability when you go longer. Narrower boards are so much nicer to paddle. Less strain on the body. If you are a big unit who has only ever paddled (wide) 14s, you will be amazed at how much nicer going to 26Ē or so on an UL will feel.

You get used to the extra length very quickly. Iíve got three 16ft boards and they now feel quite small to me. 14s just feel pretty silly now. Unless you have a good reason to want a 14 (eg. racing, storage, you paddle white water, or you are a lightweight with limited paddle power) then I can see no earthly reason to hobble your enjoyment and capabilities in that way.

PonoBill

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2018, 10:13:18 AM »
Yeah, 14s suck toads for anyone over 200. I have three that I never use. One is a wall hanging (woodie Javelin), the others need to go.
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10generation

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2018, 11:08:11 AM »
This is great feedback!  Thanks guys.

Where do I look for a longer board. Been talking to Dave at Infinity, guessing I should talk to Joe Bark.  Any other suggestions?

TallDude

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2018, 11:57:13 AM »
I think Dave Daum has the best understanding of how to design an unlimited. These days most of the guys I race unlimiteds with are on Kings. It used to be Richmond's, Bark's and Ohana's that ruled. Now days aside from Joe, the rest have stopped shaping. I've never really liked Bark unlimited SUP's. The Infinity guy's are great for just about any board, but not really in tune with 'One Man' ;D unlimiteds.

https://www.kingspaddlesports.com/collections/race/products/unlimited-19



mik911

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Re: The value of an extra foot....
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2018, 08:55:49 PM »
You guys mention maintaining stability when going longer/narrower.  You're referring to secondary stability?  What about primary stability?or stability in  cross swell/choppy conditions when not at cruising/maximum speeds?

 
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