Standup Zone Forum

Stand Up Paddle => Gear Talk => Topic started by: NMPaddler on August 18, 2020, 12:47:05 PM

Title: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 18, 2020, 12:47:05 PM
Hi everybody.  New guy here. Just joined the Standup Zone yesterday.  :)

 Iím looking for some recommendations on a flat water SUP board. I have a Red Paddle Sport (11í x 30Ē ) inflatable board and itís been great for getting familiar with paddling and for my workouts.   Still,  I often feel like itís slogging through the water instead of gliding through it. It leaves me wishing for something that ďfeelsĒ fast. More fun. If that makes sense.

For reference, Iím 60 years old, 165 lbs, a bit short at 5í6Ē and I started paddling a little over a year ago. I paddle in a small lake near Santa Fe, NM and I got into it as an alternative form of getting some exercise.  Being retired, Iím usually able to go out when the water is pretty calm. And my sessions tend to be about 60-90 minutes long, straight out and back at a decent pace to get my heart rate up. I have no plans to get involved racing.


Also, Iíve been working on my paddling technique this summer by watching instructional videos from people like Larry Cain and then video taping myself to see how Iím doing. And thatís definitely making a difference. Not surprising since I had no technique to speak of. For instance, now that Iím trying to put body weight on the paddle and off the board, I can feel the board surge forward under my feet. And my average speed has gone up a bit - so gotta love that.

Still, if a different board would be noticeable faster and more fun, then I would probably seriously consider making a change before next season. The ďmore funĒ part is key by the way. Iím not looking for the fastest board at the expense of all the fun. Iím really looking for a board thatís more fun to paddle - and I think that means faster. Or more glide. Probably both? Problem is, I live in rural northern New Mexico and the closest place to get a demo board is one, possibly two states away. Thatís not happening.

I know thereís a ton of experience in this forum and Iím hopeful that you can steer me in the right direction.  Perhaps share your insight into things I should consider and maybe some specific board recommendations. For instance:
  - Maybe a different board wonít be that much faster or more fun. Should I just focus on technique for another year?
  - 14í vs 12í6?  I get that a 14í would be a little faster but it seems like a lot of board to store, transport and carry to the water. At 60, it'll only get harder each year. Worth it?   
  - Is a hard board the obvious choice - even on flat water? A recent post I read suggested they are because they are quite a bit more stable and generally more fun to paddle than a similar sized inflatable.
  - How narrow is too narrow? Whatís a reasonable step down from 30Ē for the average Joe?
  - New or used? Are there good, reputable places to buy used SUP boards?
  - Have a particular model you would recommend? Letís hear it!

Thanks for any feedback on this. And for reading through this data dump of a post. Itís much appreciated.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 18, 2020, 04:07:40 PM
Welcome to the forum. Though a bunch of these knuckle heads are foiling these days, there are still a lot of us staying in contact with the water ;D
I would get a 14' x 25" range flat water board. Used is a good place to start. You might have to make a road trip to SoCal to get a good used deal and have lots of options. At your height, weight and age you'll be fine on a 25" wide board. I'm 57 and 6'7 and I paddle a 25" wide board in the ocean. Of course there are new boards that are great, but...... $$$$.
Here are a few on CL in SoCal that would be great for getting you a little more speed and a lot more glide.
 https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/spo/d/santee-kings-race-sup/7173914142.html
https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/spo/d/carlsbad-kings-sup/7177686379.html

The thing about hard boards is you have to take care of them and don't leave them in the heat, specially directly in the sun. Always have a light color soft cover on them. Maybe your part of NM isn't that hot, but it's a consideration.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 18, 2020, 06:53:38 PM
Hard board 14 for sure, but I'd go 26" wide first off just to be sure the step down from 30" isn't too much. Unless of course you paddle 90% pf the time in less than 10knots wind and very flat water that doesn't move much, and are quite athletic: then you could go 24 or 25.

Maybe start off with an all-waters race board. There are many ones to consider, eg. Starboard All Star, SIC RS, Naish Maliko, Sunova All-Waters etc
 
Or you couid even go straight to flatvwatwr specific bosrds like the Naish Javelin, Stsrbosrd Sprint etc if you are really feeling the need for speed. IMO theall-waters boards usually give a nicer paddling experience, but this may just be my idiosyncrasy
 
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 18, 2020, 09:46:50 PM
TallDude: Thanks for the warm welcome.

Honestly, I would rather be windsurfing. But I retired to northern NM and the local lake kind of sucks for windsurfing so I sold my gear and bought a SUP. Now I'm just trying to make SUPing as fun as possible on flat water. Having spent a couple of hours this afternoon surfing the forums about 14' vs 12'6, I think the majority of people who have paddled both tend to think the glide, stability and tracking of the 14' is worth any downside associated with its size. I didn't considered taking a road trip to SoCal but maybe in 2021 I'll give some thought to a road trip to a popular SUP location like San Diego so I can demo some boards and maybe buy one local.

Area10:  Actually, I do spend 90% of my time in less than 10 knots and pretty flat water but at best I'm of average athletic ability. Given that, I'll probably go conservative on the width. Thanks for the tip about all-water vs flat water racing boards. Since I'm prioritize a fun experience over pure speed, perhaps an all-water might be the better choice.

I didn't think to ask before but is there a much difference in the durability of these brands/boards other than carbon vs everything else? Being in the middle of a desert, the lake shoreline is mostly sand and rocks. I'm pretty careful with my gear but all things equal I would favor equipment that isn't super easy to damage.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 19, 2020, 04:10:23 AM
Yes, there can be substantial.differences in the durability of the boards. Carbon doesn't make a board more durable, so its not of any significance if durability is what you want. Many brands' base construction (often a wood sandwuch) might be more durable than their carbon models. A thing that is definitely worth paying for in terms of durabiliry is a full PVC sandwich construction IMO. Boards thst come out of the Kinetic factoey in Vietnam (eg. 2020 SICs, Jimmy Lewis, Infinity etc) tend to be built like thst and be very light and durable compared to the competition. But some other brands produce cheap durable boards too (I have Gong boards thst are wood sandwich + carbon-kevlar, or full PVC sandwich which are both tough and cheap)  but there is usually a penalty in terms of weight. So it depends how much that matters to you.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: burchas on August 19, 2020, 06:32:12 AM
Actually, I do spend 90% of my time in less than 10 knots and pretty flat water but at best I'm of average athletic ability... perhaps an all-water might be the better choice.

Every once in while I spend some time in an area with access to calm lakes only. I do not consider any of my boards (all-water, ocean and downwind boards) to be fun in these settings.
In order to keep the experience engaging so I could keep coming back to it I was looking for an extra challenge. Speed is a great motivator for many but so is balance both will contribute
to fitness.

I had much better time on a pure flat water boards in these conditions. Narrow is good but not too narrow so I could still maintain/practice good technic but narrow enough to keep
me focused on my workout rather than wonder off looking at the tree tops and algae while searching for signs of life under water :D

Light board is definitely a boon in that context and makes for a better ownership experience imo but so is durability as you mentioned. With that in mind I have 2 boards to throw into the mix:

Savage River Edge: http://www.savageriver.com/sups/edge

Speedboard Speeder SS: https://speedboardusa.com/product/speeder-ss/

Definitely an investment, but these are bomber constructions while light weight and the shapes, while different, both tuned for flat water speed and will challenge your balance with a rounded bottom.

Another board to look at though I'm not familiar with their construction is the One Edge Pro 2: https://www.oneoceansports.com/edge-pro

For rounded bottom I would probably not go under 23 wide, other shapes I could see my self on 21-22. Assuming we're only talking about flat water with no plans for bigger water.

If I was land locked with access to calm water lakes only, I believe I would be happy with any of the above though I only tried one of the mentioned. Either that or I would procure a 14'x12" log from the nearest lumber yard if money was tight ;D
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Quickbeam on August 19, 2020, 08:11:07 AM
I live on a lake and paddle mostly flat water. I paddle for exercise and enjoyment. You had asked if a hard board is the obvious choice and yes, it is. The only real reason to buy an inflatable is if you donít have the storage available for a hardboard or canít transport a hardboard. Of it itís for kids, etc. and will be abused. But if you want to progress in your paddling, then a hardboard is definitely the way to go.

And while I would agree with the recommendations to get a 14í board, all my boards are 12í 6Ē.  In my case, I simply donít have the ability to store 14í boards, or at least it would be very difficult for me to do so. And for what I use my boards for, I am quite happy with the 12í 6Ē boards I paddle. I should also point out that Iím a smaller, lighter paddler. Iím 5í 8Ē and weigh 150 pounds.

And finally, Iíll throw out one other board for you to consider and thatís the Infinity Blackfish. I had never paddled one until just recently and ended up buying one. I bought a 12í 6Ē x 23Ē. I wouldnít advise you start that narrow, but you said you wanted a board that is fun, and this board is a blast to paddle. Itís fast, very responsive, turns on a dime and is pretty stable for itsí width. It's also very well made.

Good luck with your search and please do let us know what you end up with.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 19, 2020, 02:01:06 PM
Quickbeam: Looks like a consensus is forming. Hard board looks like the clear winner! And probably 14í.  I hadnít heard of the Infinity Blackfish. Iíll take a look at it. Thanks for the recommendation. By the way, you sure have a lot of boards!

When I retired, I bought a Ram CV (mini cargo van) to carry my windsurfing boards and kayak inside my vehicle instead of having to deal with a roof rack (which I had done for about 30 years).  Itís so much easier to load and unload gear when itís inside the van.  But if I get a hard board, Iíll have to add a roof rack.

burchas: I found  your post particularly insightful.  I think thatís because I have to admit that I havenít found the joy of SUPing. I mean, it seems to be a great, low impact, workout. And being out on the water beats going for a run any day of the week. But letís face it, what isnít better than going for a run, right? The thing is, slogging through flat water at a slow speed while expending a lot of energy just isnít fun. Probably never going to be. And yet, a lot of people seem to have fun on their paddle boards on flat water. Quickbeam for one. I assume many are competitive and live where they can enter races. Others, because Ö. Okay, Iím not sure about the other reasons yet. But I know I haven't experienced it yet. But hereís the thing. Sometimes find myself grinning stupidly when Iím cycling because I appreciate how well my bike is handling, or how responsive it is when I hammer down or just at how fast Iím going down a hill. Same thing when my windsurfing board jumps up onto the plan and takes off. That always makes me grin stupidly because itís such a great feeling. And these little moments keep me coming back to these activities.

I never have a stupid grin on my face when Iím SUPing. Not yet anyway. So Iím still trying to find the joy in flat water SUPing. Maybe itís a combination of a board that glides like a dream and the fitness/technique to make good use of it. Donít really know. But I'm new to the sport. And any day out on the water is a pretty good day.

Also thanks for the board recommendations. And the tip about the log. I live next to the Santa Fe and Carson national forest so a 14í log might just be the ticket. Especially after I looked up some of the boards Area 10 recommended. I had no idea race boards were that expensive. Ouch!

But I donít think Iíll be able to use your advice about getting a board that makes you focus. Unless itís by accident. Iíve never seen a race board much less paddled one. And I havenít found a SUP store in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. There a few places that rent all-around inflatables for lakes or the river but thatís about it I think. And all Iíve seen at my lake are inflatable, all-around boards. So itís likely Iíll end up picking a board without ever having paddled anything except my 11í x 30Ē Sport. Which means, Iíll probably have to be a bit conservative on the width.

Area 10: Good info about the construction and durability. Thanks.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures I took today during my paddle session. Either attached pictures don't show up in the Preview or I'm doing to wrong. Guess we'll see when I hit Post ...
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 19, 2020, 02:34:37 PM
Flat water paddling is nice with some music going in your ears too. The thing about flat water paddling is it's the closest to swimming laps without having to swim laps. What I mean is it's about streamlining your stroke. The perfection of the stroke. I'm still learning and I've been paddling for 12+ years now. The real serious flat water distance paddlers paddle unlimited boards. 18' + boards. No better glide, no matter your size. I'll go down to the harbor in the evenings/ night time when it's just glass. Not a soul out paddling but me. I'll take my flat water only race board and maintain almost 6 mph for an hour. Every stroke is as pure as I can make it. Constantly making micro adjustments. Not a splash when my paddle enters the water, and not a bubble on release. My board creates no wake from the nose or tail. Completely quiet. I can close my eyes and paddle. 
This is not sprinting, or bouncing up and down for a thousand meters. This is sustained glide speed for 5 or 6 miles. No pivot turns. Turns are gradual with foot steering only as too maintain speed throughout.  8)

Here's my flat water 18' x 25" tooth pick.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 19, 2020, 04:20:40 PM
I loved your analogy between seeking the paddling and swimming stroke efficiency. I really get that and how you can get lost in focusing on each making the next stroke just a little better than the last one. Swimming is another activity that every once in a while, usually by accident, my technique seems to jell briefly, my body will rise up higher in the water than normal, my speed seems almost effortless and I'll find myself grinning stupidly. Unfortunately, I'm not a great swimmer so that doesn't happen often or last long but it does bring me back looking for it again and again.  The appeal of the night time paddle you described sounds a lot like that. I can definitely relate to that.

I suppose it's not impossible to achieve that same feeling on my 11' Sport. But it feels like it might be.   :-\

So glad I recently discovered an MP3 player I can use when I swim. And I always paddle with music in my ears.  :)
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 19, 2020, 06:11:32 PM
I'll paddle my 14' ocean board with friends or in the ocean thru the surf, but I sucks in flat water only because I know how fast my unlimited is. Very few people have ever paddle an unlimited so they are happy with their 14'ers. I'm just too heavy really for any 14' board to be fast, which is why I prefer a longer board. It's just physics.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 19, 2020, 07:36:54 PM
It's not all about speed... flat watwr boards are faster in dkat water fir sure, but not by much, if your comparison is something like the SIC RS. But a lot of the fastest flat watsr boards are very tippy, and that ruins the paddling pleasure for me because it is hard to work on timing and technique if your legs are wobbly and you think you might take a dip at any moment.

So, before you get caught up.in the razzmatazz of e.g. a 18" wide needle-nose unlimited board, you need to be clear about what you want from.your paddlimg. SUP is slow, no matter what bosrd you are on. And some of us get a much more satisfying all-body workout if we have a relatively stable platform to.work on. I have gone too narrow before, and it turned paddling into.a chore.

These elite racing boards usually take a bit of working up.to. Try and demo some if you can, to find out what kind of feel you enjoy, and how good your balance is.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 19, 2020, 08:53:23 PM
Oh, I'm not getting caught up in something like an 18' unlimited board. I'm still trying to wrap my head around jumping up to a 14' hard board.  :)

But so far, the feeling TallDude described when paddling the a fast board at night in calm water is the clearest definition of what "fun" would be for me on a SUP on flat water.

So the question is, what board would help me achieve that?

Based on feedback so far, it appears to be a hard board, 14' long that, glides well and isn't so tippy that it is difficult to paddle. So probably around 26" wide give or take an inch. And if I can't demo any race boards, that probably means I should go 26" or 27". On the other hand, if I can demo some race boards then I should be open to considering 25". But that's not likely to happen and for now I'll limit my searches to 26-27" range.

Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 19, 2020, 09:58:24 PM
26" at the widest. To me, 27" is a touring board. The Infinity Whiplash 25", the SIC RS 26" (which I've race a few times), The used kings I showed you 25", the Naish Javelin 24" , Starboard Sprint 25" are all good options for flat water. I'm not a fan of the Blackfish for 95% or more flat water. Most of the newer narrower boards have boxy rails which give more stability. They carry the width through the board to a wide tail which adds to the stability. They recess the foot wells down to water line which even more adds to the stability. So the newer 24" boards feel stability wise like and older 26" with more rounded rails. By making the channel down the middle of the bottom of the board and recessing the foot wells, they move the volume to the outer edges of the board which again adds stability. They've evolved into more stable narrower boards.
Get out on a capping ocean with 10 ft +swells and you'll be wishing it was about 6" wider! Trust me... I know. 
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 19, 2020, 10:15:25 PM
Here I am in a flat water race in Folsom, CA. on a 14' x 26" SIC RS Pro in just about 100 deg temps. I ran out of water on the last mile. It's a nice flat water board, but I've surfed it and ocean paddled it quite a bit.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 20, 2020, 03:19:55 AM
Yeah. 25-26" wide is the sweet spot for most keen amateurs who aren't in the first flush of youth But it depends on the board. The 14x24.5 SIC RS I have is very stable for its width because it has a wide tail and a flat bottom. For pure flat water I'd think that most average-sized middle-aged person would be fine on it as long as they were intermediate level or above and reasonably fit. But if that same board has a pintail and a concave bottom it would be unusable for me. (I also have a 14x26 RS which I use for choppy windy conditions in the sea.)

 27" is indeed heading towards touring board dimensions, if your water is very flat and windless. Hard boards are a lot mote stable than the inflatable you are used to.

Maybe once you have narrowed down your options you could ask about a particular board. Then we could advise you about how stable it is. There's a lot of bravado about stability, so some people will tell you that any fool can stand on a 21" wide board no problem, and that its just a matter of practuce. This is absolute balls. If you are a young kid, maybe. But balance decreases quite steeply with age, so by the time you are well past the age of 40, Anything less than 23" becomes horrible to paddle for most people, and not fast AT ALL. So if you choose a wide-tailed, flat or concave-bottom design, you'll.probably be very haopy somewhere within the 24-26" wide range unless you are physically exceptional, and where within that range you go will be chosen according to your confidence in your own balance capabilities. If after a year you find that the board is too stable for you, you can then move down a size. Certainly, the SIC 14x24.5 is plenty stable for me in flat water and I'm just a typical wobbly middle-aged geezer. So some of these designs are more stable than you'd  think.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 20, 2020, 11:49:22 AM
Okay, I'll look for hard boards, 14' long, 25-26" wide with bonus "stability" points for boards that incorporates some of the features that TallDude mentioned (recessed deck, boxy rails, wider tails, bottom shape)

I'll post a short list of boards that I'm interested in that meet this criteria and get some feedback from the forum on them. Then when one of the boards goes on sale or is available used, I can get it. 

Sounds like a plan. Thanks everybody! This has been great.


Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 23, 2020, 11:33:30 AM
While researching the construction and durability aspects of some possible racing boards,  I started to to wonder if a hard board is appropriate for my situation.

Hereís my thinking on this:

-- Racing hard boards are somewhat fragile. Some are more hardy than others but Iíve seen quite a few posts where people have been surprised by how easily their SIC or Starboard or Infinity race board was damaged. And while I've never damaged my windsurfing boards, kayak or Red Paddle board, they are all seem more durable than racing SUP hard boards (from what I've been read).
-- My New Mexico lake has a lot of rocks. Plenty of opportunity to damage a board.
-- Near as I can tell, there isnít a single SUP shop in New Mexico. And only one or two in the surround states.
-- Some people say the sport is constricting.  So smaller operations may disappear over the next few years. Much like what happened with windsurfing shops back in the days.
-- So if I damage my hard board, itís likely Iíll have to ship it to someplace like California to have it repaired professionally.
-- According to a popular site that sells SUP boards, their minimum cost for shipping a hard board is $400. Seems kind of high but using that as ballpark for what it might cost to ship a board to have it repaired, it could cost about $800 in shipping cost alone to get my board fixed if it gets damaged. Plus insurance, in case it gets damaged during shipping, right?

So maybe the cost to get a hard board repaired is going to be unreasonably high. Probably considerably higher for me than for somebody who lives where there are several local SUP shops that have experience repairing boards.   

Is my thinking reasonable on this? Or am I being overly concerned about the durability of hard boards?
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 23, 2020, 12:11:47 PM
You're over thinking it. A piece of tape or a sticker will repair just about any hard board. Those temp repairs become permanent once you forget about them. The boards aren't that fragile. They just can't take hitting the shore, pushed by a wave or smacking the sharp corner of the raingutter on your house. Usually the drive home while on the rack of my car will be enough time in the heat to get any leaks to start to bubble. To actually repair them with some epoxy is super easy. You can use the 20 min clear epoxy you get at the hardware store to do a proper repair. If it's a crack, add a small bandage size piece of fiberglass cloth (same hardware store will have some) over the crack with the same 20 epoxy. A little sanding and you're done. 
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: burchas on August 23, 2020, 12:23:23 PM
Is my thinking reasonable on this? Or am I being overly concerned about the durability of hard boards?

You are making reasonable points. I enjoy hard boards very much so and when conditions are technical they perform a lot better but they could be a pain in the *ss for all the reasons
you mentioned.

If you're after speed and balance training in flat water, you could easily get away with the Red Paddle Elite or the Starboard All-star inflatables. They will give many of the all-around  hard race boards good run for their money in flat water and they are very durable and relatively light. Won't break the bank either. It might be a good in between solution for you until you're confident which way you want to go.

If you decide to go that route, look up "Green Water Sports" here in the forum. You might be able to get a zoner discount on these and he is very good to deal with
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 23, 2020, 04:56:20 PM
burchas: Since all I'm looking for is a board that glides well and feels fast compared to my sluggish 11' x 30" Sport inflatable, do you think a jump to one of the race inflatables (14' Red Paddle or All Star Airline or Naish Maliko) would give me that feeling?

After I read your comment,  I searched and found a SUPboarder review comparing a 14' Starboards All Star carbon to their 14' Airline inflatable. And you're right, the inflatable held up surprisingly well on flat water - which is all I care about.


TallDude: Sounds simple when you put it like that.  :).  And it's true that if I had confidence I could repair common dings/cracks, then I would feel more comfortable buying a hard board.

But how come the process wasn't that simple in any of the repair-related posts in the forum that I scanned through after reading your comment? I noticed a lot of those fixes were quite a bit more complicated. Good news is that I'm starting to see that a lot of things can be fixed in a garage. But learning how to do SUP repairs by starting with my $2,500 board is a tough way to learn I gotta say.
 
I'll continue to read up on how to do repairs. Things are always less scary once you understand them. By the way, I noticed your name showed up in an awful lot of those posts. You obviously have a lot of experience in doing repairs. Is that a hobby or are you in the industry? Either way, thanks for the feedback on repairs.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: PonoBill on August 23, 2020, 05:21:50 PM
The simple answer about repairs is that there are two ways to go: Version 1. Invisible repair, work that looks like the board was never damaged. the pinnacle of this AFAIK is sometime contributor eDubz, who can make a horrific amount of damage look like it never happened. I've seen some of TallDudes work and it's in the same neighborhood of high quality, good workmanship. Version 2. It works, I'm done. This is my jam. I can do pretty good work. I make strong stuff out of composite and some of my work doesn't look completely shitty. I rarely paint my repairs, and when I do I don't worry about color matching. Most times these days I slap on some aluminum tape and call it good, unless the damage is structural. People like Admin have little seizures when they see my taped-up boards, but the repair adds no weight at all, takes almost no time or materials, and is as permanent as any pro job--it just looks like hell.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: burchas on August 23, 2020, 08:36:17 PM
[After I read your comment,  I searched and found a SUPboarder review comparing a 14' Starboards All Star carbon to their 14' Airline inflatable. And you're right, the inflatable held up surprisingly well on flat water - which is all I care about.

I think you got your answer as far as speed goes. As for the feel, that's very subjective.
I still have the Red Elite 14x25, see review here: https://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,30828.0.html, I just don't ever use it. I guess that's an answer.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 24, 2020, 03:34:28 PM

PonoBill: Thanks. My take away is that if I damage my hard board, thereís a pretty good chance Iíll be able to repair it myself with a little help from the forum. Functionally at least. Might not be pretty. That works for me. I'm more comfortable with the idea of buying a hard board now that I know a little about how to repair them.

Burchas: Thanks for the link. Nice review you did on the Red Paddle Elite.


Here are the hard boards I'm considering. All have most of the stability features TallDude mentioned (recessed deck, boxy rails, wider tails, bottom shape).
  ó SIC RS 14 x 26Ē
  ó Infinity Blackfish: 14 x 25Ē
  ó 2020: Starboard All Star 14 x 24.5Ē . Not a 2021 model as they apparently have narrower tails and reports say they are less stable.

Any thoughts on which is the most durable?


Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: PonoBill on August 24, 2020, 05:00:53 PM
Durabilitywise I'd say #1 is the infinity, followed closely by SIC. The AllStars are generally flat out racing boards, super light, and quite fragile. That may have changed in the years since I turned an Allstar into junk that I wouldn't sell to anyone--I gave it to a friend who wanted a project--but I don't think so. AllStars are about performance first. they don't even mention durability on their website.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 25, 2020, 02:06:27 AM
The 2020 SIC RS boards are made in the same factory as the Infinity boards, using a similar construction, so will be similar in durability (and are both full PVC sandwich I think, which is what you want).  The Infinity uses a brushed carbon finish which tends to hide dings and scrapes better - but mainly because a brushed carbon finish looks well-used even when new.

IMO the Starboard raceboards are built with the racer in mind who is happy to buy a new board every season, and almost throw the old one away. They tend to be quite expensive for the materials that are used to construct them.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: LoudounSUP on August 25, 2020, 04:56:33 AM

PonoBill: Thanks. My take away is that if I damage my hard board, thereís a pretty good chance Iíll be able to repair it myself with a little help from the forum. Functionally at least. Might not be pretty. That works for me. I'm more comfortable with the idea of buying a hard board now that I know a little about how to repair them.

Burchas: Thanks for the link. Nice review you did on the Red Paddle Elite.


Here are the hard boards I'm considering. All have most of the stability features TallDude mentioned (recessed deck, boxy rails, wider tails, bottom shape).
  ó SIC RS 14 x 26Ē
  ó Infinity Blackfish: 14 x 25Ē
  ó 2020: Starboard All Star 14 x 24.5Ē . Not a 2021 model as they apparently have narrower tails and reports say they are less stable.

Any thoughts on which is the most durable?

I'm interested how the "new" NSP Carolina Pro also compares to this group? It appears to contain several of the same attributes as the listed group.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 25, 2020, 06:49:04 AM
Its a full-on dugout, and personally I'd avoid one until you've trued a dugout. Some people love them (mostly those who never fall in) but others hate them. They are difficult to get back in after a fall and they may fill up with water like a big bath if you do. But if you sre a keen racer with superb skills they can be a devastating weapon.

The NSP boards tend to be fast but roll side to side a bit. Thus is how their team riders like them.

The construction looks to be less durable than a full PVC sandwich.

But I haven't paddled this board.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: burchas on August 25, 2020, 09:26:23 AM
Here are the hard boards I'm considering. All have most of the stability features TallDude mentioned (recessed deck, boxy rails, wider tails, bottom shape).
  ó SIC RS 14 x 26Ē
  ó Infinity Blackfish: 14 x 25Ē
  ó 2020: Starboard All Star 14 x 24.5Ē . Not a 2021 model as they apparently have narrower tails and reports say they are less stable.

Any thoughts on which is the most durable?

It's interesting that all the boards you chose are compromised by the design. If I'm going by what you posted, you're looking for a board that give you "that feeling".
Since you are only dealing with flat water you can do a lot better imo. I wouldn't be to concern about stability on flat water on anything wider than a 25" wide.
especially since you have a more SUP optimized built.

It doesn't take a lot to feel stable on flat water. I went from a 32" wide inflatable to a 27" hard board and felt at home very quickly and that was mixed conditions, not lake.
I rode some versions of all these boards you posted from 23" wide to 26" in flat water and none felt as good as a pure flat water board in terms of what you've described imo.

If I was in your place and on the market for a flat water board I would definitely consider the Speedboard SS 14x25. I have close knowledge of the design and it has a lot
going on with a hull similar to a rounded flared rails Canoe but with a deep tapering concave running from the standing area all the way to the back. Dugout standing area
almost at water level and a 16" wide tail. At only 21lbs, you'll be hard pressed to find anything lighter on the market at these dimensions. I'm pretty sure it has considerable
less wetted surface than any of the boards mentioned which is what you would perceive as glide you were looking for.

As for the durability and built, I doubt you'll find better and lighter built than that on the market being manufactured by Nelo. I might have a chance hands on one to demo.
Little tricky with all that's going on.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on August 25, 2020, 11:12:04 AM
Just a few more things to consider. The SIC is almost all white which is the best color for your generally hot NM temperatures. The EPS foam off-gases when it's heated and that gas expands pushes out on the board. The boards all come with a one way Goretex breather vent to allow the gas to escape, but not allow water in. If the board gets even hotter, the EPS foam can melt and colapse. The Infinity boards are mostly black, so they can get very hot. I've painted two black CF race boards white just so I wouldn't have to worry about leaving them in the sun for a while. The inflatables just pop when they get that hot.
Another thing is the boards waterline will be different in freshwater vs saltwater. The saltwater is denser so the board will be buoyant. Basically the board will sit lower in the water, and may feel a little less stable in freshwater. You're pretty far South so the salinity levels in the lake you paddle in might be higher than usual?
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 25, 2020, 05:27:13 PM
Burchas:  You make some good points. Hereís my thinking:

Any race board would be a massive step up from my current board - as far as feeling faster. Therefore, I haven't been overly concerned about picking the fastest board. Because if I buy a race board and it doesnít make flat water paddling more enjoyable, then itís unlikely a board that was slightly faster would have made the difference. In other words, I can meet my goal without trying to buy the ultimate speed machine. Pretty fast is probably fast enough. 

On the other hand, a board that is too challenging might be pretty hard to live with. Can't help but notice that the forum has several posts by people who regretted buying a board that was really fast but too unstable to be fun. I havenít seen a single post by people complaining that their new board was really fast but too stable.   Well, except for your post perhaps.  :)   

Keep in mind, I've only paddled my 30" wide inflatable. I have zero personal experience with tippy boards. Five minutes on a race board would probably tell me a lot. Without that, my feeling is I have to play it safe and try not to get a board that's too challenging, temping as it might be. I'm totally fine with a board I have to grow into a bit but can't afford to make a really terrible choice.

The other consideration is cost of course. There's only so much "fun" you can make flat water paddling. Be kind of silly to spend a lot of money for a marginal gain in fun. Boards that I can find at a discount or used have a big advantage over those that are harder to come by. For instance, I found used Blackfishes for as low as $1,800 + shipping. The only price I saw the Speeder SS was for $2,999. Retailers will probably discount the popular models more too I think.

Of course I would absolutely love a 21 lb board. I have over 30 years of lifting heavy windsurfers on/off car racks and to the water. Donít miss it even a little bit.  My last long board was a Kona One that weighted about 34 lbs. Believe me, I can appreciate the value in a light board. 

TallDude: You're right in that the UV is pretty intense at 6,000 feet where I live. But I never paddle in the heat of the day and the UV is much less intense in the morning and early evenings when I do paddle.  I assume that's not going to be a concern for these boards, right?  Abiquiu Lake is feed by the Rio Chama river and that's sourced from Colorado.  I don't know what the salinity levels are but having lived in Hawaii is a kid, I can say with confidence it's not saltwater.  8)
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: burchas on August 25, 2020, 06:29:08 PM
In other words, I can meet my goal without trying to buy the ultimate speed machine. Pretty fast is probably fast enough. 

If you're going by that logic, save your self the time and money and buy a Starboard 14 x 28 Waterline Lite Tech. You're always going to pay premium for the "Race" moniker for
no apparent reason. For those 1399 you'll be fast enough and won't have to worry about stability either.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 25, 2020, 08:54:33 PM
Okay, I'll take a look at it.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 26, 2020, 08:52:26 AM
Burchas has made an interesting suggestion. Here is a review of the Waterline by one of our local retailers. Tony is a good guy and always strives to give balanced reviews of products. It is is clear that this is a board for low-wind flat water conditions, but if those are your conditions it could be a great choice and economical too. Tony doesn't say anything about ghr construction and the price precludes fancy materials, but presumably the Starboard will say how it is constructed.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8NbppHVNCSY




Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 26, 2020, 12:57:35 PM
Wow, the Waterline certainly looks fast and slick. Looks a little bit like the Navy Seal steath boat they call SeaLion. Thanks for the link Area 10. Other than that review, I havenít found much information about it. And no users posting their experience with it. I hate that all the marketing talks about how fast and efficient their boards are. Without some data to look at or a benchmark to compare it to, it just leaves me scratching my head, you know what I mean? How fast is this board, really?

For instance, what would be the advantage of the Waterline compared to inflatable race boards like the Starboard Airline, RP Elite or Naish Maliko at 27Ē or 28Ē wide? Iím wondering because for the price of the Waterline (Lite Tech) + a roof rack, I could buy one of those. Iím guessing that in flat water they would all be a litter faster than the Waterline but not as stable. But pretty stable if they are around 27", right?  And they are all lighter than the Waterline too. Plus the Airline even has bungie tie downs. They donít market Airline as a fast touring board but seems like they could.  So at a glance, Iím not seeing an advantage to the Waterline other than it looks really cool and it's a hard board.  Unless of course it's fast enough to give those inflatables a run for their money. And maybe it can. But if it was that fast, they would probably market it as a dedicated flat water race board.

Like I said, it leaves me scratching my head.

Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 26, 2020, 01:39:37 PM
The waterline will be quite a lot faster in flat water than any similar width inflatable. And you don't need to pump it up. And it will last longer, and won't go.pop.or hiss and leave you stranded. That's quite a lot of advantages.

Inflatables don't go really fast - any of them. They start to bounce and oscillate and flex too much when you really start putting the power down. They can make decent speedy cruisers for the average paddler though.

With that nose I should think the Waterline would be fast enough to race in a pure flat water distance race. Just as long as there was no significant chop or technical stuff like buoy turns etc.

This concept of board has been tried before. The problem.is that the nose imparts so much roll.thst the board needs to be wide and the tail fat. This then limits the speed somewhat. But it can work well for flat water paddlers who don't race much and just want an efficient board.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 26, 2020, 02:07:08 PM
Okay, if it's really going to be that fast and stable on flat water, then it does sound like a good fit for me

I certainly have the ideal flat water to paddle it on. Here's a picture I took during my paddling session this morning.

Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Area 10 on August 26, 2020, 02:23:47 PM
If those conditions are typical then the Waterline would be a good choice, and you are wasting your time with inflatables:)
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on August 26, 2020, 03:26:54 PM
This is a pretty typical morning which is when I usually paddle. As it day warms up, the winds come up so by 10am it's not glassy anymore But still pretty calm. But by early afternoon, it can be pretty windy, choppy with white caps.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Kip on September 20, 2020, 03:18:29 PM
I'll share my little experience: I don't know as much as all these folks since I've only been paddling 6 months, but I did the same thing as you! I researched this stuff to death and then finally got sick of it and pulled the trigger so I could just go have fun and enjoy the water. I certainly respected and appreciated everyones insight and advice, but ultimately I didn't listen to the "don't go too narrow" advice. I purchased a 14 x 23 blackfish and then almost immediately turned around and purchased a 14 x 21 whiplash as well.
I have SO MUCH FUN every day that I get to paddle and don't regret either of them one bit.

Only you know what kind of balance you have and what you're capable of, everyone else is just assuming you'll be the same as them and/or everyone else they've met, so consider yourself and your abilities and trust that! Whether that means you gotta stay a little wider or go narrow. You know yourself best.

My whiplash would LOVE that lake you've got there :) But I would 100% recommend the BlackFish PPVC. It's $2395 with free shipping new. I've knocked mine on plenty of stuff since I purchased it and it is DURABLE. I only got one paint chip when I wasn't paying attention and hit the metal tracks of my garage and it was super easy to touch up. It's super stable and a dream to paddle on flat water, even though it's not "flatwater specific". It just skips along and I get mesmerized watching the nose hahaha I took it on a 6 mile downwind run with 35+mph gusts too, so if you ever find yourself traveling, you can be sure it will handle some nasty stuff. It feels just as stable as my old 14x25 Riviera I got rid of.

----> https://infinity-sup.com/collections/race/products/blackfish-ppvc?variant=31209592651887

Not sure if that helps, but good luck! I'm stoked for you  8)
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on October 08, 2020, 11:12:44 PM
Thanks for sharing your experience Kip. Sorry it took so long to respond but I haven't logged in for awhile. Sounds like you're having a great time with your Blackfish and Whiplash. That's awesome!  The Blackfish is on my short list but I hadn't noticed the PPVC model you recommended so I'll have to take a look at it.

As for board width, since I've only been on my 11x30 board, I honestly didn't have a gut feel for what I'm capable of on a 14' board. But I got good advice here so I'm comfortable with about 25" in a race board. And with the Starboard Waterline touring board also on my short list, I might be looking at 28" board which seems pretty wide but the feedback is that it's pretty fast on flat water.   

For now I'm just keeping an eye out for inventory to see what's available and what goes on sale. My lake has a blue-green algae infestation that's keeping me out of the water and with winter fast approaching, I probably won't be paddling again until March.  So I have time to shop for a board and have a handful of boards on my short list. Looking forward to hitting the water next season! Hope my experience is as good as yours has been.

Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on January 14, 2021, 01:35:02 AM
I've been sitting back lazily watching for SUP sales for a few months. Figure it's time to start getting serious about buying a board before the weather warms up.

To recap my situation, Iím 61, 160 lbs and I paddle for fitness at a small local lake, typically on very flat water with little boat traffic.  Iíve paddled for two seasons and now Iím looking to upgrade from my Red Paddle 11x30 Sport to something that glides better, goes faster and is just more fun.



Hereís the boards that I currently have my eye on. Any thoughts about them would be appreciated.

2021 12í6 x 28 Starboard Waterline (Lite tech): Initially I looked at the 14x28 but dropped it when I saw it was 32 lbs. Iíll happily sacrifice a little potential speed for a board that is easier to carry around. This board is the least expensive of the bunch and seems to check off all the boxes. The two thing I donít like about this board is nobody seems to own one (I havenít found a single user posting about it) and I donít have a good feel for how durable a lite tech board is.

Occasionally, I'll see flat water race boards for less than $2K (delivered to New Mexico). Pricier than the Waterline but still within my budget. Here's the current crop I'm watching. Do you think any of these would be more fun, go faster and glide better than the Waterline?

2017 14 x 25  Infinity Whiplash (production model,  flat deck): At 24 lbs, itís about 4 lbs lighter than the 12í6 Waterline. Love that!  It doesnít have the design changes Infinity introduced in 2018 - like the hybrid square tail / pin tail design, more volume and a deeper channel.  But it does have several stability features people suggested like a square tail,  boxy rails and a concave channel on the bottom.

2018 12í6 x 25 Infinity Whiplash (production model, flat deck): Another Whiplash but this one is 12í6 and it has all the new design features that were added in 2018.  My only concern is whether this is going too narrow for me to paddle well. Wish it was the dugout configuration to give me the extra stability but I haven't seen any of those under $2K.

2019 14 x 25  Jimmy Lewis U-Boat (production, dugout): Iíve seen various U-boat models at half off.  Iíve read great things about other JL boards but nothing about the U-boat. Was this a bad design or something?

Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Bulky on January 14, 2021, 01:34:09 PM
I'd go with the 2017 Whiplash.  Any of these will be a neat step up from your inflatable and the whiplash is a proven design--since you can't find much on two of the ones you're looking at, go with a known quantity.  Don't worry that it doesn't have all the current features--they change every year and probably don't make much difference for us recreational types.  A 14 foot board will glide a ton more that what you've got, so again, I'd got with that over the 12'6" (though at your size, I suspect you'd be able to get comfortable on any of these.  The production Infinity stuff is very durable so if you're largely on flatwater, the Whiplash won't disappoint you.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: CMP_SRF on January 14, 2021, 04:28:42 PM
Good morning...new to the forum, but thought I'd chime in here because went through what it sounds like you're facing.  I'm 6'1" and ~210, sounds like about halfway between you and TallDude :-)
I live in SoCal and most of my flat water paddling starts in Dana Point Harbor.  Usually a couple laps or out to buoys in the ocean.  I paddled a 10'6 Riviera for awhile then got a dedicated SUS board, the Hobie CMLB 9'8".  Bought my wife an Apex R4 board at the same time thinking I'd be able to use when wanting to go fast.  It's 12'6 and 25 3/4" wide; I don't have a good time on that board outside the harbor.  in the Harbor with light wind it's nice even at my height/weight but I'm selling it to get something I'm capable of open ocean on; I *think* it's got the rounded bottom but don't know half as much as the other posters here about that. 

TLDR: I wouldn't discount a good 12'6" at your height/weight on flat water, there are *really* capable boards and you'll open up the choices.

I find myself going to my CMLB for pretty much everything now.  I've also fixed a couple through the fiberglass rock hits from SUSing, it's really not that hard.  Grab some proper sun cure epoxy and painters tape you're 3/4 of the way there.

Have fun, and if you do make that trip to SoCal you can try out a Hobie race board in the Harbor.  Good luck.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on January 14, 2021, 09:42:05 PM
Bulky and CMP_SRF: Thanks for your input. I agree. I started out looking at only 14í boards but over time expanded it to include some 12í6 boards because I figured they could still meet my needs, are lighter and I initially found more of them that fit my budget. I've been favoring the Whiplash and I did make an offer on a used 14í Whiplash recently but it got sold to somebody else. If another pops up that I can get for under $2K, I'll probably get it. Meanwhile, thereís a 14í Edge 2.0 and the U-Boat that will fit my budget and probably my needs. Unless there isn't.  I've discovered that until you call and confirm they actually have the board in inventory and can lay eyes on it, it's best not to get your hopes up. Inventories on web sites are not always accurate!

Your words about repairs not being too difficult echoes what others have told me. Really good to hear since I'm sure that's in my future at some point.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on January 17, 2021, 10:17:33 AM
At this point, it's likely that I'll order a Jimmy Lewis 2018 U-boat 14 x 25 next week. It's a flat water racing board, lightweight, has a flat deck, is a full PVC sandwich construction from the Kinetic factory and it fits my budget. While I haven't seen many reviews or posts about the U-boat in recent years, the ones that I have seen are very positive. And of course Jimmy Lewis boards have a great reputation in general.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on January 28, 2021, 09:03:40 PM
I did it! I decided to pull the trigger and get a Jimmy Lewis U-Boat.

It was delivered today and other than a scratch on the top, it survived the journey surprisingly well. I would love to take it out on the water but unfortunately, it wonít be warm enough until March or April. I'm really curious to find out how different it paddles compared to my inflatable 11' and whether I went too narrow or not. I don't think I did since I paddle in pretty flat water but guess I'll have to wait a few months to find out. I didnít see many reviews about the U-boat so after Iíve had a chance to paddle it a bit I'll post a review. 

Here are the specs for my board:
  - Year: 2018
  - Dimensions: 14í x 25Ē
  - Volume: 271 liters
  - Weight: 23.6 lbs
  - Tail width: 11.25Ē
  - Hull Bottom: Flat with a slight concave down the middle

And here are some pictures of it.
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: TallDude on January 29, 2021, 12:15:57 AM
Nice looking board. I think it was a good choice. Let us know how it paddles... when you can...
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Wetstuff on January 29, 2021, 06:48:03 AM
Looks good.. NMP.   I was always hesitant about 'narrow' because I am a clumsy old fuc, so my brain established a base minimum width at ~32 no matter the length.  I bought a beautiful 12-6 from OZ because a guy rode alpine-sized waves in a video.  ...but, it was 28"!!  C'hit! 

The joke was on me - it was/is more stable than a 10-0 x 32 I have.  I am not smart enough to know why, but I would pretty much trust JL to not have made you something more suited for a log-rolling contest.  ...and tell your subconscious - it's 33".

Jim
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: Dusk Patrol on January 29, 2021, 12:36:03 PM
That's awesome NM, great looking board... and JL peace of mind... 
Title: Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
Post by: NMPaddler on January 29, 2021, 09:17:30 PM
Thanks for the encouragement everybody. I'm pretty stoked about it. The Jimmy Lewis reputation was definitely a factor in selecting it. And it sure is a pretty thing. Pictures don't do it justice.
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