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Messages - nalu-sup

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Gear Talk / Re: New Sunova SP25 report
« on: September 28, 2022, 11:14:05 AM »
Hi Tom. Creek was encouraging me to consider the Placid because of more stability. I don't think there is a bad choice between the two. If you want to track it down, there is a video of one of the Sunova dealer meetings in Thailand where Marcus describes how and why he came up with the Placid design for himself.

Classifieds / Sunova Flow for sale on Maui
« on: September 27, 2022, 05:16:12 PM »
Sunova Flow original model in like new condition. 8'7" x 30 Ό" @ 120.5 liters. Excellent condition with no dings. New in standard construction is $2099. This is in the special order Balsa construction which runs $2349 new. For sale for $950 with pickup on Maui. Includes Sunova quality fiberglass fins in perfect condition and a goretex vent plug in the board.
This was my favorite board but at 71 years old I just switched to a Sunova with a little more volume for easier balancing.

Gear Talk / New Sunova SP25 report
« on: September 25, 2022, 08:31:26 PM »
Today was the first day on my new Sunova 8’8” SP25. If you don’t like long reviews, just click out of this one and no worries.
Conditions today were perfect with glassy waist to just overhead surf over a shallow reef. No wind and just some rebound rollers off the beach with lots of cross-rollers on the inside to challenge balance.
The bottom line is that the board is perfect for me and is everything that I had hoped for. This is the seventh board I have purchased in the 8’6” to 9’ range and I will make a few comparisons. For background, I am 71 years old, 5’11”, 163 lbs (74 kilos), caught my first waves in 1958, and switched to SUP surfing about 10 years ago. I have taught high-performance windsurfing and wavesailing on Maui during the summers for the past 40 years.
Stability: This is one of the most important aspects I was hoping for in this board and I am delighted. The key for me is the difference between primary stability and secondary stability. Primary stability is the initial tippiness of a board and describes how quickly and easily it rocks from side to side. Secondary stability describes how much a board wants to keep tipping as one of the rails starts to get sucked under by something like a cross-roller. I was not looking for more primary stability which is why I went to a shorter length than my current 9-footer but I was looking for a lot more secondary stability from the rail profile than I have on my 8’7” Sunova Flow. My experience is that the total bottom surface area on the water controls primary stability and the rail profile controls secondary stability. Because the SP 25 is shorter than some of my other boards and has a much more pulled-in nose than any of them, when I first got to my feet I felt a little less primary stability than some of my other boards which was fine with me. As I slowly rocked the board from side to side I felt the great secondary stability kick in from the awesome rail profile which was one of my main goals with this board. The rail is more pinched than the original Flow near the bottom for carving penetration and then gradually slopes up over a few inches to the thick middle of the board where the center thickness provides the secondary stability; they nailed it.
Volume: There has been some concern from myself and others about the high volume in the 8’8” SP25. My last three boards were 120, 120.5, and 124 liters. Going up to 137.7 in the SP25 seemed pretty scary since that is near the volume of my very first SUP, a Fanatic AllWave 8’11” @ 140 liters with horribly boxy rails that I outgrew and sold in three weeks. Supthecreek was familiar with the old AllWaves and told me that the SP25 was nothing like that; I would completely agree. The SP25 feels closer to my 120-liter Flow than to anything else. The main place I feel the difference is in the secondary stability which is why I had to quit surfing the Flow. If I were blindfolded, I would guess the functional volume of this board for my weight to be around 125-127 liters. I (and Creek) were also concerned about the very pulled-in nose and how that would affect stability and fore/aft balance. I found it to be totally a non-issue and I love the pulled-in nose because of the reduced swing weight on the wave.
Paddling: The paddling speed is comparable to my 8’7” Flow which means not particularly fast and significantly slower than my 9-footers. I think the very round outline of the SP25 makes it a little slower than a narrower board with more parallel rails like my old 8’10” Speeed which was a very fast paddler.
Punching out through white water: I hate it when wide-nosed boards get the nose kicked up when trying to punch out through white water. The narrow nose of the SP25 punches right through and under the white water with very little resistance which worked great today.
Catching waves: Once the wave starts to push, the full-width single concave and wide tail with moderate rocker immediately create lift and the board starts to glide very early. I would say it is an easy wave catcher and will catch small sloping waves far better than most.
Speed on the wave: If you pump the curvy rails, fins, and concave bottom, this board can generate a lot of speed and I was making sections that I could not make on my other boards. If you just stand and trim along the wall, the speed is mediocre since this board was not meant to ever be surfed that way. That style of surfing is where the Speeed really shines with its long straight rail outline.
Bottom turns: Turning this board can range from mediocre to over-the-top spectacular depending on what skills you apply. If I got my rear foot right on the stomp pad, the board would accelerate back up vertically to the lip before I even had time to think about it. If my rear foot was ahead of the stomp pad by even a couple of inches, I could still get some smooth rolling turns down the line but I could not tap into the board's vertical potential. As a habit from windsurfing, I like to drop into a bottom turn in a wide stance with my rear foot on the stomp pad and my weight on my front foot up near the handle to engage the forward and midsection of the rail while the rear foot drives against the rear rail and fins. This board loves that approach. I found that if my rear foot was on the stomp pad and I weighted that foot without leaning forward to engage the front portion of the rail, the board would make a bouncy pivot around the wide tail rather than carving and accelerating off the whole rail. For me, this board requires a wide stance to unlock its potential. It wants to be surfed like a shortboard, not a longboard.
Off the top: This board loves to come off the lip or do a floater off the white water but you need to have a wide enough stance to have your front foot on or near the handle to weight the the nose and get it to drop back in. When I did, I was able to nail floaters off the white water that my other boards might have stalled on.
Roundhouses: The board pulled some amazingly tight roundhouses today but a number of them were too flat due to operator error that I need to work on. The tail is quite wide at 19 ⅜” which is wider than any board I have ridden (the 8’7” Flow is close at 19 ⅛”). This promotes early planing and carrying speed on slower parts of the wave but it means you have to be dialed in about how far you need to move your back foot from rail to rail. I would encourage people not to worry about the listed 137.7 liters of volume being too much but make sure you are okay with the advantages and disadvantages of a wide tail.

My goals with this board were to improve my vertical surfing with tighter lip hits, to generate more speed to make it around sections, and to improve on secondary stability to better deal with cross-rollers trying to suck the rails under. Paddling, wave-catching, and primary stability were not concerns and all happily worked out fine as bonuses.

Classifieds / Re: Sunova Flow for sale on Maui
« on: September 02, 2021, 05:19:29 PM »
Dusk Patrol; I like the way you think.

Classifieds / Sunova Flow for sale on Maui
« on: September 02, 2021, 03:37:19 PM »
I am selling my beloved 8'7" Sunova Flow after turning 70 and suffering a head injury while surfing that has affected my balance requiring me to go to a larger board. The board is in like-new condition with no dings or marks and has always been kept inside when not on the water.
Specs are 8'7" X 30.25" X 4 ⅜" @121 liters. Comes with goretex vent plug and Liftsup handle which I like. Five fin boxes for thruster or quad, and includes the original three high-quality Sunova glass fins which are spotless.
This board is in the balsa wood and carbon construction which now costs an extra 15% above Sunova's standard wood sandwich construction. New today this board would cost $2180, not including any shipping.
Selling for $1175 firm on Maui. Would consider professional packing and shipping if arranged and paid for by buyer. Detailed photos if requested.

Gear Talk / Re: if you could only have one board (2021 version)
« on: August 08, 2021, 10:21:29 PM »
Northshore- If you decide you want to hunt down a Tabou to try, it is a French brand designed by a windsurf board designer. The trick is to find someone who carries the Tabou windsurf boards, and see if they also carry their SUPS. That is how I found mine.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 31, 2021, 07:47:10 PM »
Hey Bill. I was actually down at the Harbor a few days ago while Alan was kind enough to give my grandson a wing lesson (Alan and I taught windsurfing together for over 30 years, so he was kind enough to take on a beginner).
We were stuck up in Sun Valley for the past 18 months due to Covid, and just returned to Maui. I have not touched a wing or anything else having to do with the ocean or wind since the one time Alan got me going just before Covid.
Right now its not an option because I dislocated my shoulder and tore the rotator cuff muscles right off the bone in a skiing crash last winter. They screwed everything back together, but it turned into "frozen shoulder" so I cannot lift that arm up past shoulder height right now which means no windsurfing or winging. Thank goodness I can paddle (sort of), but only on one side with any power. At least it gets me on the water at 1000 Peaks or Launiopoko in the mornings and then hopefully a short downwinder in the afternoon.
Glad to hear that you are inspired to dig out your 17 and do a Viento run in it. Let us know how it goes and whether it rekindles that fire.

Gear Talk / Re: if you could only have one board (2021 version)
« on: July 31, 2021, 07:21:11 PM »
I am going to put in a vote for an unusual choice; the Tabou Supa-Surf 9'0 X 31.5 @ 145 liters. If conditions are perfect, I love my 8'7" X 30.5" @120 liter Sunova Flow, and if they are pretty good I like my Blue Planet All Good 8'8" X 31 @120 liters, but if I am going out in rough conditions or traveling to unknown conditions I will grab the Tabou every time. Super stable, a long flat in the center for paddling speed, the pulled in nose has good nose kick for hollow waves, and a nice narrow tail that allows it to turn like a much smaller board. If the surf reaches double OH, the Tabou handles it well with great paddling speed for the takeoff and rocketing down the line because of the flat area in the rocker. If the surf is tiny, it sits high enough in the water to be able to crank tight turns without burying a rail like smaller boards tend to do. If my technique is sloppy, the Tabou will out-surf all my other boards. Far more stable and better turning than the 8'10" Speeed I used to have.
Like the OP, I still have an old Starboard Element 9'8" that I loan to beginners and use to SUP wavesail. I think that something like the 9' Tabou will fill in that all-conditions board you are looking for.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 30, 2021, 06:50:27 PM »
Burchas, if you want a good look a the new shaping of the 2020 and 2021 Bullet 14, this video from Surf FX is the best.
Forgot to mention in the specs that Andres was able to bring Janet's board in at 23.5 lbs and mine at 26.5 which is awesome.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 30, 2021, 06:38:24 PM »
Hi Burchas. It turns out that our rudders are the 8" version, and I think we will stick with those for now. We both tried paddling with the rudders locked, and really missed those quick turns to go from riding a small bump coming from the left to catching a bigger bump coming from the right which is so common on both sides of Maui. These 14s will turn on a dime with the rudder; we just have to learn to not oversteer them after coming off the 16s. I'm afraid we have become rudder addicts. Plus, on our last Kihei run the wind shifted 45 degrees offshore right after we launched, so the rudders were a godsend.
I think the biggest differences from our F16s is getting used to the nose happily cruising along just under the surface, and how well the rounded bottom under the nose combined with the softer rails up front makes the board so much more forgiving in terms of catching a rail. When we surfed them the very first day, I ended up doing an instinctive floater off the lip like I would on my surf-SUP, and realized midway that I was doomed based on the way the rails of the F16 would have caught on the r-entry and flipped me. The Bullet just slipped into the base of the waves at an angle and kept going as though it was a waveboard.
I am attempting to attach a few pics, two of my wife's board with the pinstripes and one of mine with the white stripe down the center. The logos were not on the deck of mine when the photo was taken, so it looks a little bland in the photo, but I am delighted with it once Carla and I got the logos on.
Janet's board without the center white stripe is basically the 2020 Bullet 14 X 27.5" widened to 28.5", and slightly thinned along the whole length for her lighter weight. Mine is the !4' X 30" narrowed down to 29.5". Yeah, we know those are wide, but these boards are designed to keep us downwinding on Maui now that we are in our 70s and our balance and tolerance for climbing back on the board is going downhill fast. :o

Technique / Re: How many steps to the tail?
« on: July 30, 2021, 05:28:52 PM »
Hi SurfKiteSup. With all the great advice, I bet you have your footwork dialed by now. Just in case you are interested in more input, here is how I think of moving back to set up a bottom turn.
On your 8'7", using this approach should get you where you need to be over the fins in one move.
Unlike cross-stepping on a long board, or moving up and down our 14-16 foot downwind boards, getting back over the fins on your board should not involve any real 'stepping' as you described it, but just one low hop with a reach.
 As you feel the board start to drop, hop back off of your back foot with the goal being to land your front foot on the center line about 2-6 inches behind the handle depending on the board and the wave. You can think of this as hopping back off your back foot, or using your back foot to slide the board forward until the handle is in front of your front foot which can look smoother. Now balance on that front foot and reach back with your back foot as though you are stretching to find the right spot. If you board has an arch bar (these run lengthwise over the fins as opposed to the kick pad which sits crosswise behind the fins), take a split second to feel for that arch bar. At first the reach may be further back than you expect, but once you have hopped your front foot in place behind the handle, you should have no trouble reaching it on an 8'7". Don't take additional steps; make a longer reach with that back leg. Stepping back with your rear foot instead of balancing on your front foot as you reach back may shift your weight too far back and stall the board; it is a reach while balancing on the front foot so that your weight stays forward as you are dropping in to build up speed. If you do not have an arch bar on your board and are working on finding the right spot to reach your back foot to, I would suggest building an arch bar while you are learning. On my wife's board, we located the ideal spot for her back foot right over the fins. I then duct taped a small 6" stick down the center of the board over that spot so that she knows to keep reaching until she feels that.
The resulting stance may feel wide at first, but it will allow you to get your back foot over the fins for those  cranking turns you are working on, while keeping your front foot close enough to the handle to shift your weight forward for speed. If you need more than one step, you are not reaching your rear leg back enough, and may end up with your front foot too far back to trim the board.
Bottom line:
No real stepping like walking to the nose of a longboard or stepping back for buoy turns on a race board.
Use the rear foot to push off from, and hop your front foot behind the handle.
Balance on that front foot while you reach your back foot back over the fins to find your sweet spot. Just two or three inches will make a huge difference in the turns, so for the time being find a way to mark the sweet spot either visually or preferably with something taped on the deck that you can feel, otherwise it is likely that your back foot will not reach far enough back.
Hope that helps.

Downwind and Racing / Re: Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 18, 2021, 11:55:09 PM »
Thanks Burchas; your experience and suggestions are always much appreciated. I think I will try locking the rudder for most of the next run and see how that feels. Also, I think our rudders are the 7" version, but I will measure tomorrow.
It is interesting that your friends foot positions are pretty much exactly where I ended up most of the time. If I lost speed, I would get my toes on the tiller to hunt for bumps, but once I was up to cruising speed I would be just behind the tiller where I could still easily reach a couple of inches forward if I wanted a quick rudder adjustment. When back on the tail, these boards feel like they have a lot more V in the tail which makes them very loose and surfy; a little disconcerting at first, but I think we will come to love this aspect since this extra surfing looseness was a lot of our goal in switching to these boards.
Thanks for the reply. We turned 70 this year, so we need all the help we can get. ;D

Downwind and Racing / Finally on the Bullet 2020
« on: July 16, 2021, 10:40:21 PM »
Covid, as well as shoulder rotator cuff surgery, has kept my wife and I away from our new custom 2020 Bullet 14s that have been sitting up in the Maui factory for the past 14 months. Now that we finally got the new boards wet, I wanted to share some observations and ask a few questions.
The first morning we took the boards out into small surf that we have ridden previously on our old F16s in. The difference was stunning. The Bullet is far more maneuverable on and off the wave. Setting the F16 up to surf a wave involved a huge arcing turn using the rudder. The 14' Bullet is easy to pivot, buoy turn, cross-bow turn, as well as making much sharper turns using the rudder making it much easier to position for the takeoff. The F16 caught tiny waves easier and further out, and rode them longer  after they flattened out, but turning on the wave felt slow and awkward. If you get right back on the tail, the Bullet bottom turned amazingly well , trimmed down the line feeling fairly loose, and would even do some slow motion cutbacks. Late takeoffs were tricky since the new Bullet has much less nose rocker than the F16. The Bullet is noticeably faster in flat water, and especially going into the wind which the F16 was poor at. My wife and I had a great time surfing the little 6" to 2' waves.
Today I did two short downwind runs with mixed success. I did a short test run inside the Kanaha reef in the morning when the wind was about 19. I have to say that it was pretty frustrating. I was not able to catch any glides on the tiny mixed up wind waves that were bouncing back and forth between the reef and the beach, but did manage to get some glides on the larger windswells that came in across the reef. The board felt very directionally unstable in all the mixed up water that Kanaha is famous for inside the reef. From past experience I would have to say that the F16 with its directional stability and extra length would have handled those conditions much better.
In the afternoon, we did a Kihei run with the wind averaging over 30 with gusts into the mid to high 40s. Lots of white smoke blowing off the tops of the white caps. The board was much more fun in these conditions with lots of glides, but we came away with a couple of questions.
1. When the nose of our F16s poked which it rarely did because of all the nose rocker, it usually meant trouble since the nose tended to bury enough to slow the board way down and pitch me off balance. Also, the board would often veer off course when the nose poked. The Bullet has a LOT less nose rocker, so poking was happening far more often, but with much less consequences since the high volume nose would always pop back up and was well.-behaved when underwater. The main problem was that in the steep short period waves, I was so gun-shy about the low rocker that I kept jumping back too soon or too much and ended up losing many of the steeper bumps. Open to suggestions. Note: I do hang out on the tiller when hunting for bumps, but hop back once gliding.
2. The F16s tended to track straight unless you told them otherwise. The Bullet almost has a mind of its own and was turning all over the place with me frantically trying to use the rudder to correct the boards radical turns in all directions. In fairness, the board often turned to align with a good bump, but would then continue turning so that I would end up cutting out of the bump like a surfer cutting out of a wave. I think a larger and more raked fin would help, but we need the rudder to make our 90 degree turn to get home through the shallow reefs. Open to suggestions (other than to put in a fixed fin which would mean not getting home through shallow reefs with a 30 mph crosswind). Has anyone been able to retrofit a larger fin into the FAST system, or should I just learn to love the high-spirited turning performance of the Bullet 14 with the standard rudder fin?
3. I was thinking about locking the fin for most of the run, and then unlocking it to get home. Thoughts?
Thanks for any input now that we are finally back on the water after 18 months.

Random / Book published on Amazon
« on: April 15, 2020, 03:43:59 PM »
Some of you might remember that back in October I published a 369 page eBook on Apple Books titled 'The Spirit of Icarus'. I had a lot of comments that I needed to release a print edition, so after a few months of reformatting the entire book for print, the book just released on Amazon this week.

I often describe the book as a Warren Miller film in book form; adventure stories, bits of sports history, with doses of humor and philosophy thrown in. About 2/3s of the book revolves around skiing, and about 100 pages are dedicated to ocean sports like surfing, windsurfing, downwinding, and sailing. There are over 310 photos in the book, including a few supplied by great SUP surfers like Robert Stehlik of Blue Planet Surf, and Australian Andrew Cassidy who you will know well if you spend any time on Seabreeze.

Here is a link to the Amazon print version:

I think that Zoners might enjoy the book as a fun reminder of the adventurous lives we normally lead when we are not cooped up at home from Covid19. For my wife and me, a big part of the current frustration is that we are locked up in a shut-down ski resort, while we have two brand new custom SIC downwind boards waiting for us on Maui. I guess anticipation is half the fun.

Downwind and Racing / Re: 2020 SIC Bullet 14 X 30" questions.
« on: January 12, 2020, 07:02:19 PM »
Thanks, everyone. The question of the tiller affecting the stance is an interesting one. On our F16s, the tiller length is adjustable which was very useful in finding the perfect stance for catching bumps. If I had the tiller extended too far, my weight was too far back to drop in, and if I shortened it too much, it was hard to keep my foot on it while negotiating small bumps. When conditions are good, meaning wind well over 20. I just use the rudder to set myself up for the next bump direction, and then once the board is up to speed, I am way back from the tiller having fun surfing. My theory is that once back on the board, the 14 should surf/steer better than the F16. This is a big part of my hope in this idea.
PT Woody, thanks for the great info on the tiller on your Bullet 14; I admit that I had not thought about the tiller position, assuming that they had nailed it. We do not go out unless the wind is at least 20, and 95% of our runs are in 24-28. If I understood your post correctly, you are happy with the tiller position/stance in that wind range; correct?
Unless I am wrong, one good thing about the Bullet 14 is that the fin position is based on not having a rudder system, so it should be easy to just take the tiller off and lock the rudder in order to play with the board both ways; especially on days when I am confident in the wind not switching partway through the run.
Burchas; sorry to hear about your rudder misadventures, but it does make you a good "voice of experience". My understanding is that the newer systems allow you to easily lock the fin in place if the connections to the tiller fail. This should make it relatively easy to paddle to shore somewhere, as opposed to the old system where the rudder could free up leaving little control. Has the new rudder locking system worked in your experiences?
Very much still looking forward to anyone who has tried the 2020 Bullet, especially the X 30". For anyone interested, there is one post on Seabreeze from a fellow who tried the 2020 Bullet 14, and immediately bought it, selling his previous Bullet 14. It is a good read with great photos.

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