Author Topic: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater  (Read 1291 times)

peterwSUPr

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
    • Email
Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« on: November 17, 2019, 03:24:04 PM »
Hi, I'm being asked for some advice about inflatables and am not sure the answer.  My sister has a cheap Costco inflatable, 10'8" by 31" (possibly wider?).  I have two 14' carbon race boards that I have built, around 26.5" wide and fairly stable with relatively box rails.  Not surprisingly she tried my boards and liked them a lot more.

Because of the cottage terrain when they use boards they are still looking to stay with inflatables.  Any new board will only be paddled on a flat water lake, and never raced. 

So here's the question.  If my 14' boards are a 8 or 9 out of 10 for speed and glide, and if her tubby inflatable is about a 2 out of 10, how would other boards fit in?  I realize that there are lots of factors that affect this, so these answers will be educated guesses - but at least they are educated!

We found a good deal on a fairly pointed nose board at 12'6" by 29".  Any guesses how it might paddle in terms of speed and glide?  https://www.decathlon.ca/en/inflatable-stand-up-paddle-boards/148592-6016-500-inflatable-touring-racing-sup-12-6-29quote-orange.html#/demodelsize-254/demodelundefined-8387653

Also an NRS Escape 14' x 29" ?

Finally I found a used Starboard Airline 12'6 x 27" (2018).  I suspect it might be the fastest even though it is only 12'6".  I'm wondering however, how much less stable this might be if its rails are a bit rounder and if its a bit thicker too, since its almost the same width as my boards but probably rounder.

Any helpful thoughts on this?

Thanks,
Peter
 
« Last Edit: November 17, 2019, 03:26:24 PM by peterwSUPr »

oceanAddict

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 189
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2019, 07:15:38 PM »
I'm not sure if I'm qualified to make suggestions as I have limited experience with inflatable, but if you looking to improve a glide and speed I would think 14 is better that 12'6". I own 14' inflatable I purchased mainly for air travel trying to make family vacations sup-able. If you can find this used - I would suggest to take a look.  Properly inflated it stiff under my 200+ lbs.. SIC Air-Glide Bullet it is. I got mine used (3rd owner, and first was rental at Big Winds)



Infinity Blackfish, SIC Bullet Air Glide, Sunova Point Break #003

deepmud

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 518
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2019, 08:40:55 PM »
My 12'6" x30" Blue Planet is a bit splashy as I get above 4.5 mph  - the surfy nose puts a wide face to the flat water lakes I go on. My friends 14' Starboard (not the Airline) is super smooth - the nose is pointed, and no surfy bend. But below 4.25 - the Blue Planet is about the same energy. Your link to the $750 Board looks good -  tho' I think if I wasn't going to buy a name brand that was using welded seam technology, I'd go even cheaper than your board there - just spend enough or search enough to get a US Finbox. There is a total copy of the 14' Starboard -even has 2 chambers - for $550 but it's got one those crap fins. I'd still get it and glue on a US Finbox - not everyone is comfy doing that work.

Get a cheap board and buy a GOOD paddle is my advice to people. :D

Oh - that  link is FR - can you get the cheap stuff on Amazon?

https://www.amazon.com/Aztron-Inflatable-Chamber-Adjustable-Aluminum/dp/B07Q2FMRXZ/ref=sr_1_6?dchild=1&keywords=14+inflatable+paddle+board&qid=1574051773&sr=8-6


this one with the pin-ish tail might be a good combo of cheap and it has the US Finbox - spend more money on the paddle :D

https://www.amazon.com/Inflatable-Everything-Included-Backpack-Waterproof/dp/B07TB717S2/ref=pd_sbs_468_5/145-8146673-2675833?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07TB717S2&pd_rd_r=798b7e5d-1a35-4083-80be-779399db1fa9&pd_rd_w=Hiv5c&pd_rd_wg=wceSa&pf_rd_p=52b7592c-2dc9-4ac6-84d4-4bda6360045e&pf_rd_r=BBT4JTSXM9NN7QNBAEQ0&psc=1&refRID=BBT4JTSXM9NN7QNBAEQ0



singingdog

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2019, 04:27:26 AM »
I think you hit a point of diminishing return around 12 with inflatables. Any performance benefit to a longer board is lost to the inherent flex of a iSUP. We have a 12'6" Red Race, and I still feel significant flex even at 21 psi and with stiffening battens in. IMHO, the big downside to longer iSUPs is the thickness needed to get rigidity. A 14' long 6" thick board is a lot of board to move around, on and off the water. We briefly had a 14x6 and my wife could not paddle it in any kind of side wind.

If it's a cottage board, I wouldn't worry about glide and speed. Most casual paddlers don't have the stroke to appreciate a board with lots of glide, and they are not going to keep it inflated tight enough to enjoy those benefits anyway.

peterwSUPr

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2019, 05:16:48 AM »
Thanks for the replies so far.  The problem here is that once my sister tried my 2 boards, she saw the light, and realized she could go much farther and faster on a better board rather than bob around in the same bay.  So there is a desire to upgrade. 

Here's a simpler form of the question:  what will be faster, a 12'6" x 27" Starboard Airline or a more generic 14'x 29" which is half the price of the Starboard?    And will they both be leaps and bounds faster than the current 10'8" x 31" water toy they have?  (I think this is what they have https://waveschamp.com/jimmy-styks-thresher-inflatable-paddle-board-review/ )

I'd also be interested to hear if anyone has noticed much stability difference when comparing the Starboard Airline to a similar shaped rigid board.

As for paddles, yes, I agree, a good paddle makes a big difference and they are already well setup with an adjustable carbon paddle

Thanks,
Peter

Green Water Sports

  • Site Sponsor
  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 626
  • https://greenwatersports.com
    • View Profile
    • Green Water Sports - Inflatable SUP boards & stand up paddle boards & more
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2019, 08:47:27 AM »
Hi Peter,

There are a lot of boards that will be faster than her current board. As others have suggested, I'm also of the opinion that she doesn't necessarily need to go all the way into a race board to get better speed and glide.

A few models to consider:
  • Sport range by Red Paddle Co
  • Voyager 13'2" by Red Paddle Co
  • Elite range by Red Paddle Co
  • Touring boards by Starboard
  • Glide and Maliko boards by Naish
  • RS boards by SIC Maui

Some links to get you started (most 2019 boards are on sale now also):

Following links to each product will often include a link to a board review. Let me know if you have any specific questions on our boards.

Julian
1-888-252-4983
Julian
https://greenwatersports.com
Owner, Green Water Sports LLC - Inflatable SUP boards & stand up paddle boards & more. Call us on 1-888-252-4983
Red Paddle Co, Starboard, Naish, Fanatic, K-Pump, Accent Paddles, Ke Nalu, Dakine, Onyx, FCS, Vamo

peterwSUPr

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2019, 03:14:27 PM »
Thanks for the input Julian.  When I look at a few of your suggestions, I see for example that with the Naish glide and Maliko boards you suggest, dimensions could be 12'x34" at one extreme, and 14'x25" at the other extreme.  Am I correct in assuming that there would be a big difference between how these would paddle?  On a board like this are length and width not big (or the biggest) factors?  Or does the overall rocker and water entry affect this just as much - which is harder to judge by easy to read specs?

Peter

deepmud

  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 518
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2019, 04:33:08 PM »
I took a couple of years to really wish I had a faster board than my 12'6"x30 - and I went Red Elite at 14'x26" - and that's too skinny for casual paddling - at least for me. I have been able to go creeking on it - but it's work if there are waves - takes too much energy spent keeping balance. I borrowed Andrew's 14' - it's definitely faster - but when I was paddling with him last Saturday, he was having trouble keeping up - my stroke and cadence pushed him hard even with his longer board.

The Red 13.2 is likely a nice compromise maybe.  Any board that lets you pump to 20 psi will be pretty rigid as far as flatwater is concerned. Red is using welded on all boards now? I think? That's great tech - great for lightness, great for lifespan of the board.

Your sister may wish later for a hard board - my 12'6" used "Smooth Glide" I got last year is faster and more stable than my 12'6" BP(15psi) - but not THAT much more - you have to be pushing pretty fast to need the speed - 4.6 /4.7mph on the isup is going to be hitting 5.0 on the hard board for the same effort.

I think width may get more stability over length? go 28 to 30 wide - it will be stable enough. Go 12'6" or longer, it will be long enough - now pick price, maybe quality. Advantage to a cheap board is less invested if you upgrade - but it's a waste if you love the version you have and it doesn't last.

« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 04:36:27 PM by deepmud »

singingdog

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 45
    • View Profile
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2019, 04:37:38 AM »
Here's a simpler form of the question:  what will be faster, a 12'6" x 27" Starboard Airline or a more generic 14'x 29" which is half the price of the Starboard?   

No question for me: I would go with the Starboard. A cheap 14' board is a nightmare waiting to happen. The lack of rigidity will mean lots of flex and no more water line than a rigid 12'. Something else to consider: depending on her shoulder width, 29" wide is going to be very difficult to get a good, straight stroke in.

Green Water Sports

  • Site Sponsor
  • Peahi Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 626
  • https://greenwatersports.com
    • View Profile
    • Green Water Sports - Inflatable SUP boards & stand up paddle boards & more
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2019, 05:40:08 AM »
Thanks for the input Julian.  When I look at a few of your suggestions, I see for example that with the Naish glide and Maliko boards you suggest, dimensions could be 12'x34" at one extreme, and 14'x25" at the other extreme.  Am I correct in assuming that there would be a big difference between how these would paddle?  On a board like this are length and width not big (or the biggest) factors?  Or does the overall rocker and water entry affect this just as much - which is harder to judge by easy to read specs?

Peter

Hi Peter,

The Glide has a few sizes/shapes and I included it for the 14' x 30" model.

https://greenwatersports.com/shop/naish-inflatable-14-x-30-glide-fusion?ref=17

But yes, there would be a big difference in a 12' x 34" compared to a 14' x 25". One wider and slower for cruising, the other their top race board. All these boards are fairly flat to get good glide. Rocker plays more part in the shorter boards or boards for down winding. Length and width are definitely a factor, but also the outline of the board. The 14' x 25" Maliko looks very different from the 14' x 25" Elite by Red Paddle Co. The nose shapes tend to be similar but the tail and rear half of the board play a big part in board stability. A board that's 31" wide with very narrow tail might be less stable than a 28" wide board with wider square tail.

All boards I've suggested are fusion construction but only Starboard welds their rails. Welding is a great step forward but glued rails have been performing well on these quality boards for a while also.

Deepmud is right in suggesting 28-30" wide and 12'6" to 14' long.
What's your sister's height and weight?

Julian
Julian
https://greenwatersports.com
Owner, Green Water Sports LLC - Inflatable SUP boards & stand up paddle boards & more. Call us on 1-888-252-4983
Red Paddle Co, Starboard, Naish, Fanatic, K-Pump, Accent Paddles, Ke Nalu, Dakine, Onyx, FCS, Vamo

peterwSUPr

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2019, 03:28:06 PM »
Height and weight?  Tricky question.  As a guess, 5'7" and 140 lbs(?)

She was totally fine on my 14'x26.5" board.  Would an inflatable with a bit more of a rounded bottom and no hard rails near the back, plus a bit thicker, be significantly tippier such that the 27" wide starbaord might be too tippy despite my 26.5" wide board was OK (my board does not have an overly wide tail, so its average stability for its width).

Thanks,
Peter

GlideMarko

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
    • View Profile
    • my wikipedia site
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2019, 10:50:27 PM »
Peter,

Another source of info: SUPboarder youtube channel, and they did test of Itiwit 500 from Decathlon:


peterwSUPr

  • Rincon Status
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2019, 03:54:46 AM »
Thanks!   :)

robon

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1109
    • View Profile
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2019, 10:55:09 AM »
Hey Peter,

Yes, an inflatable of the same width and length as a hard board will typically not be as stable, and also tend to be blown around more in the wind, which is much more prevalent with a lighter paddler. I have been paddling with female paddlers who have commented about feeling the wind push an inflatable more than a hard board even in a lighter breeze. Most inflatables these days are 6 inches thick, so a lighter paddler will be standing higher on the board and this can contribute to instability (corked) and will catch more wind than a thinner railed board.. Hardboards may also have design characteristics contributing to stability such as a concave or instep deck/standing area, as well as design features on the rails and on the bottom that inflatables don't have. The biggest design differences in inflatables are usually found in the nose and tail, with the rails, and standing area being very similar between most brands. As mentioned, a wider tail will contribute to increased stability.

I wouldn't recommend a board that is 30" wide for a female that is only 5'7" and 140 pounds. It's highly unlikely that she would be broad enough across the back able to get a vertical paddle stroke with a board this wide (try it first). There are men with larger proportions than this that can't get a vertical paddle stroke on a 30" wide board, and it's one of the most common recommendation mistakes made by retailers and well intentioned supporters in helping get females started. It's possible that she would feel comfortable, and many females do like having very wide boards, but the paddle stroke is almost always badly compromised. It's one of those things that requires a paddler to be honest with themselves in regards to how much paddling they will be doing/goals etc. Longer touring, with goals of getting faster, going further, etc, then get the width dialed and get as close to a vertical paddle stroke as possible.

I will throw a recommendation into the mix with the Hala Carbon Nass-T 14 x 28", that has reduced the rail width down to 4.75", and went to 28" wide for this year. Still a lot of board, but at her weight, and the rails being thinner, there would be less wind and chop influence, and the brand has a reputation for having a stiff board with their carbon layups. It would be interesting to see how one of the narrower inflatables from Naish would work as well, because the Maliko is reportedly very stiff, and perhaps the 14' x 27" Maliko could work well overall. The Starboard Airline and the allstar at 28" wide seem interesting on paper as well. Good luck.









 
« Last Edit: November 22, 2019, 11:09:52 AM by robon »

Area 10

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 3919
    • View Profile
Re: Medium to Higher End Inflatable Performance on Flatwater
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2019, 10:06:46 AM »
I think youíve had some good advice here. It is particularly important to match the dimensions of the board to the dimensions of the paddler. Short narrow lightweight people need short narrow lightweight boards.

But Iíll add to this discussion by being brutally frank: all inflatables are pretty horrible to paddle compared with nearly all hard boards. So if you sister is hoping to replicate the feeling she had paddling your hardboards then that is just not realistic, unfortunately.

It is also true, as above, that longer doesnít always mean faster with inflatables, because they tend to flex more as they get longer. In fact, Iíve been amazed at how close in speed it is to paddle my Red Paddle Compact 9-6 board compared with my 16ft Starboard Tandem inflatable (or indeed, my 10ft or 11-2 inflatables). With even the best iSUPs, once you really start putting the power down, most of the extra effort is just lost in bounce and flex.  Indeed, in many ways, actually, the 9-6 Compacts are nicest of all to paddle, since they donít get blown around as much as the longer boards and are incredibly light to carry, and you notice that light weight when paddling too.

So, if I were you, I might get her something Like a Starboard All Star inflatable 12-6x28. Or even perhaps a super light smaller all-round board that matches her dimensions better than the barge she currently has. But Iíd make sure that she realises that the improvement wonít be very substantial: if you want a board that paddles like a hard board then you have to buy a hard board. Iím sure sheíd love a 2020 SIC RS 12-6 hard board :) There are sales on the 2019 models in many countries now, as well... The 2020 RS boards are made in the Kinetic factory in Vietnam (where Jimmy Lewis boards are made) and are full PVC sandwich, so will be better made IMO than the previous Cobra-made (Thailand) boards: much more durable.