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Messages - ukgm

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1
Gear Talk / Re: Naish 2020 Inflatable SUPs
« on: Today at 06:07:33 AM »
1) A static bench style flex test like these guys do doesnt tell you that much because its a dynamic load you are dealing with when paddling. With done inflatables you can get a kind of reverberation of the flex which times awkwardly with your paddle strike, and can actually affect your stroke (eg. how deep your blade is going).

2) The question in my mind - and that these guys should try to assess IMO is which of the various approaches to iSUP stiffening works best.

3) We also need to consider *where* stiffening is most required. One might imagine for instance maybe that stiffening the nose a great deal has a bigger payoff than stiffening the whole board a lesser amount.

4) Theres a huge amount of R&D to be done in this regard.

5) I was also amazed at how much slower the 14ft airline was in this test considering it is lighter than the carbon board. They de-emphasise it in the video, but a 0.5mph difference is huge. Youd be toast in a race.

6) Oh, and the carbon board flexes 5mm! Oh dear... over hundreds of thousands of paddle strokes just imagine what that is going to do to the board.

1) You'd ideally need to see the hysteresis data for the board when being cyclically loaded. A static test does give you an initial impression though - i.e. if board X isn't as stiff as board Y, it's not likely to suddenly be a better board when dynamically loaded...... unless the internal construction is optimised for that effect (and that's likely well beyond the resources and understanding of current brands).

2) Too many confounding variables for that.

3) As above.

4) Agreed. I actually think that the creation of an inflatable board that is as competitive as a typical race hard board is a bigger holy grail than most other innovations at the moment.

5) Agreed.

6) Not as much as you think provided its within the parameters of the carbon layup. I see carbon bladed prosthetic legs last milions of cycles before the matrix begins to break down..... but it really comes down to the quality of the manufacture (and that I can't speak for)..

2
The 12 month development window is one of my biggest bugbears of the sport. It's crippling the race board market. Most brands who do it don't have engineers or the R&D resources or credibility to be able to evidence it and when you consider other forms of highly technological forms of sports technology (i.e. bikes, kayaks, boats), they have far longer development cycles (merely relying on colourway changes annually instead). Starboard seem to be scaring other brands to follow their ridiculous practise which anyone with any relevant experience can see straight through.

Sorry, rant over.

3
Gear Talk / Re: Naish 2020 Inflatable SUPs
« on: Today at 12:41:38 AM »
Sounds promising and looks good, Naish. But prove your claims, please.

SUPboarder has one on test and is going to be independently testing its stiffness against some other boards in the next week or two.

(It nearly came to me to test it for them but I couldn't within the timescales involved (and my own policy is not to conduct short term review's). I'm wondering if I should cancel my inflatable Allstar order and get one of these instead).

4

If you don't believe it, ask photofr who's now pretty much giving his board away at 1900 euros.


I don't think that's the fault of the board. In my experience, pretty much no secondhand board from any brand of any age gets more than 1700-1800 euros. It's just the victim of a perpetually weak secondhand market.

5
The point isnt speed, ukgm, its the pleasure of paddling. Unlimiteds are much nicer to use. Kinder on the body too. There are some folk like you who are driven by wanting to beat others. But 95% of paddlers just want to enjoy paddling. And an UL will give a lot more pleasure than a 12-6 in most circumstances, for a variety of reasons. That we all now use 14s is just a historical aberration to do (largely) with a marketing battle between brands in the early days of SUP. The standard size should probably be 16ft instead. It very easily could have been.

But if your main sport is a sitting-down one, I can see why you are attracted to another sitting-down sport (surfski).

We're brits. We're good at all sports that involve sitting down (sailing, cycling, rowing.......)

6
2) With SUP being my second sport, I would be more competitive first if i just paddled more than I do. No board size is going to make up for the fact that I only paddle 4 hours a week and even then its typically as a rest day from my cycling.

Problem solved for Bryce. Also come in a hollow construction with checker stripe.
:) :) :) Id bet hed beat just about anyone on that thing :)

..... and would have fantastic glutes and calves !

7

Problem solved for Bryce. Also come in a hollow construction with checker stripe.

(where's the 'like' button !)

8
1) You can do everything on an UL that you can do on a 12-6. Its just that almost no-one is building UL boards that are intended to be able to do that. But it can, and in time will, be done.

2) Youd be much keener to continue SUP racing if you had an UL.

3) Just go along and beat everyone. Who cares if you are DQed?

1) As I say, the race formats of inflatable one design suits the smallest practical board, not UL's. Could you - yes, should you, no - it doesn't make any sense as the only advantage is speed - which is irrelevant or relative when everyone is on the same board anyway.

2) No, I really wouldn't. It's not the equipment that is an issue for me, its the sport itself (and wanting to scratch a 20 year itch before my balance goes completely or I'm too old).

3) Well, I would ! There's no point being a lone wolf when you've got nobody to race on a level playing field. If I were just touring or training though, I can see the attraction. I can guarantee that nobody would follow. I've got more chance of people following me back to racing inflatables.

9
1) Anything that encourages the use of Unlimited class boards is a good thing IMO.

2) ukgm has always taken a position of no hope for himself in regard to board classes.

3) A big unit like him would be far less disadvantaged if all races had UL classes, yet he was unwilling to race them. So now hes not racing at all. Im sure it makes sense to him :)

4) It could probably start in Europe with UL inflatables. Once inflatables exist that are faster and more fun to paddle than the (14ft) hard boards on sale, things will change rapidly.

5) If I was Naish or Starboard Id promote a one-design series of races using an UL inflatable rather than the Naish 12-6. A 12-6 is always going to be behind the hard boards. But a good UL inflatable could take line honours at every race. And then everyone would want one.

1) Agreed.

2) With SUP being my second sport, I would be more competitive first if i just paddled more than I do. No board size is going to make up for the fact that I only paddle 4 hours a week and even then its typically as a rest day from my cycling. Training load and specificity trumps equipment choice. Even if I'd won more than I had, I'd still be winding it down. It's just run its course for me.

3) Unwilling as in only one race in the UK accepts them. We've discussed this before and me racing on a UL serves no purpose when a. it would take years to convince others to do the same (particularly when you acknowledge the stats of the Dart race you raised) and b. if i take 2) into account. Either way, my shift away from SUP racing has nothing to do with my lack of competitiveness and is everything to do with that surfsking is more fun and with higher speeds. It's more akin to my cycling in terms of what draws me in.

4) Possibly. I had a good look at the starboard Allstar UL last year and that was a fun looking board.

5) In my view, inflatable one-design racing is fine as it is. For example, the N1sco tight courses and formats that prove so popular with paddlers of all levels, just don't suit UL boards.

10
Inflatables getting cheaper; hard boards getting more expensive; inflatables outnumbering hard boards in races. Hmm...

I've just sold all of my boards, ordered a new ski and ordered an inflatable starboard Allstar so I can race the odd event in the inflatable class if I feel the urge.  :o

The key thing about that Dart statistic isn't that there are more inflatable than hard though - it's not the technology we should be focused on. When you look at the trends, its more interesting to note that hardboard open class has grown by a considerably smaller rate than the 'challenge/leisure' class (which is mainly made up of inflatables). At that race in particular, it's because for every new paddler the hardboard class attracts, the class loses some of its more longstanding paddlers who are bored or want something else. Most of the regular top 10 paddlers from the last 4-5 years still paddle SUP but don't travel to races any more.
Hmm... the majority of people want cheap, hassle-free fun, and care less about winning than the overall experience. Whod have thunk it? :)


It's merely another example of the parkrun/sportif participation ongoing phenomenon. i.e. people wanting a shared social experience, not a hardcore competitive event that merely exposes everyone's shortcomings (be it physical, financial, technical, etc).

11

With the above factors (as well as others in mind) it would seem logical that the SUP market would be seeing more Hollow UL boards sometime rather soon! After all, it would cater to heavier paddlers in a very nice way.
I don't see how. UL boards can't be raced in most events, downwinding is highly specialised arm of the market and hollow boards from the established brands would likely be ludicrously expensive. There is no market there. Hell, you'll be more likely to see an inflatable UL DW board first. Heavier recreational paddlers will be fine in the leisure class as things stand so much won't change there. Heavier elite paddlers will just be naturally selected out of the competitive sport though.

12
Inflatables getting cheaper; hard boards getting more expensive; inflatables outnumbering hard boards in races. Hmm...

I've just sold all of my boards, ordered a new ski and ordered an inflatable starboard Allstar so I can race the odd event in the inflatable class if I feel the urge.  :o

The key thing about that Dart statistic isn't that there are more inflatable than hard though - it's not the technology we should be focused on. When you look at the trends, its more interesting to note that hardboard open class has grown by a considerably smaller rate than the 'challenge/leisure' class (which is mainly made up of inflatables). At that race in particular, it's because for every new paddler the hardboard class attracts, the class loses some of its more longstanding paddlers who are bored or want something else. Most of the regular top 10 paddlers from the last 4-5 years still paddle SUP but don't travel to races any more.

13

Now if they go to inflatable only then....

Given they have done a lot of press recently regarding their new Maliko inflatable, I think they are waking up to where the recreational market is heading. I nearly bought one but the colourway was awful. Who the hell uses grey.............

14
...lots of people would find a rather gunny low-volume 12ft do-everything-but-especially surf board appealing right now...

Unfortunately, it seems Naish will follow pack and introduce a dugout for the next season.

How do you figure that ? My understanding is that are reducing or pulling out of the more niche aspects of the sport. If they aren't willing to even maintain their flatwater board range from an existing blank design, they are not going to create a new board for a market that is as small (if not smaller) surely ?

15
Well Bruno won his first race on the board (in Israel). Soft opposition for him but at least hes come out swinging.

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