Author Topic: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki  (Read 14865 times)

marvinhecht

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Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« on: November 20, 2014, 07:56:26 PM »
I have enough credit to get a new (or relatively new) SUP board from SURFTECH. I need help deciding betweeen these models:

11" x 29ish Laird Pearson / Arrow SURFTECH  with 4+1 fin boxes
9.6" x 29ish Laird Pearson / Arrow SURFTECH  with 2+1 fin boxes
10"6 x 29ish Gerry Lopez Purple "Big Darling" SUP with 4+1 fin boxes. Or it may be possible to get one ofthe other Gerry's:
 2014 10"6 x 32 Blue Big Darling (nice, little wide)
 2014 Gerry Lopez Big Darling (widended for the last year) 11"2 x 32 (orange)
    - this last one seems nearly perfect, but I am worried I will grow out of
      it too soon.

Background:

I am living in Honolulu and have been SUP sufing for about 1.5 years now. My "home" breaks are Canoes, Pops, Paradise, and Three's (in that order). I've been on 2 downwinders and 1 race, but I like SUP surging the best. Also learning regular surfing but not as fond of it. I am 5"9. currently 220 lbs, but have been as low as 170 lbs (and dieting to get back down to that). I like the looseness of
quads so I would want to run quads in either case.

Skill: I can catch a wave fine, walk forward on the board to get more speed and get the last little bit of the wave, and my paddling form has improved recently. My balance is pretty good too - I can balance on my 12 x 26 sup-converted-to-windsurfer just fine.

What I am working on: Riding waves > 3/4 feet (face), entering at a steep wave at an angle (so as to not to summersault), I can turn on a wave *some* of the time to follow the curl. I can put my paddle out as a brace (Alma). I have not done a bottom turn yet, nor can I consistently  turn to follow the curl and go down the "trough". I have been riding mostly boards 11-12" but lately I am stable on 9.7" and 10" boards about 29" wide.

Goals: eventually be able to zig zag up and down the face, maybe do some tricks
(helicopter).

For those of you who have surfed both these boards - what are their characteristics and how would that help or hinder my getting to my goals?

In my experience the Laird allows me to do some things really well: I can step back and do a buoy turn / 360 really easily on the laird. I can glide really well on the laird. On the lopez's I can surf  a little better (i think). I didn't mention it above but I've also tried the surf music at pops and with quads it really rocked. But the surf music is so wide it feels like paddling a turtle!   

BTW - both Laird and Lopez have ended their relationship with Surftech - Laird now has his own company, and Lopez is with Naish. I am bummed out about that. The only surf sup shapers that surftech still has are Robert August and Al Merrick. I have only tried an Al Merrick 9.7 (a long time ago - and I was falling)...but I could also get a 2015 Al Merrick Caddi 10" but it is in AST not tuflite (and I am tough on things).  And I don't think a quad is available in the Merrick's.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 08:06:36 PM by marvinhecht »

JimK

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 06:48:02 AM »
Simply put go with the Laird lots of reasons most important you'll like it best
JimK
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mrbig

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 06:54:18 AM »
9'6" Laird will be da kine! Lopez too wide for Town..
« Last Edit: November 21, 2014, 06:56:30 AM by mrbig »
Let it come to you..
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surfcowboy

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2014, 08:03:34 AM »
I agree, either Laird was made for that wave.

SlatchJim

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2014, 08:29:42 AM »
The purple Lopez comes in quad (I didn't see a 5 fin option) and the 9-6 Laird comes in 2+1.  You sound like you want to go quad but want other options.  I don't know how important to you that is but if it is paramount, you haven't found the perfect board yet.  My preference is longboards as a single, and fishy wide tail shorter boards as quad.  The Blue lopez is quad +1 and although it's a bit wide, as a first board it will work really nice for you now and great for anyone coming over and trying SUP out.

The short view is "What board do i get now?"  Ask around this forum.  It's HIGHLY likely that you'll have another board a year into the sport and you'll be able to dial your preferences in better and the bigger board is always a plus for friends and family.  This sport is an addiction and your shaper is your "dealer."  :)

Having said that, I loved surfing the Laird 10-6 x 30, even at 240#.  I was able to dial in my current longboard, thanks to that demo. I haven't tried the Lopez surftechs so I don't have the reference.  The last bit of advice is to find a shop that will let you demo those models.  Nothing like a demo to help your brain figure out what your body likes intuitively.

supthecreek

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2014, 09:26:01 AM »
My Laird experience:
I had the 10'6 x 30 with 4 +1 set-up....surftech model

I really didn't like it as a quad or a thruster.... very sticky, and slow to turn.... I almost gave up on it.

But then:
I put in a 10.5" single fin, all the way back in the box (for noseriding) Bingo!
Turned like a dream, all of a sudden, the board came alive.... try it, see what you think.
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marvinhecht

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 03:38:17 PM »

I wrote a very long reply but it did not post yet... so in case it doesn't:
- I have a few other SUP's I am repairing etc -- all 11"-12" one with quads.

Sounds like I probably want to go with Laird, maybe the 9.6. The folks at surftech are cautioning me that the 9.6 may not be as good because of how the weight is distributed on that version of the board (?).
If its not a quad but turns as easily - that's fine w/ me.

Also - what are the Lopez Big Darling and Little Darling w/ quads really BEST at? What kind of waves / surf? North shore?

mrbig

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 04:58:54 PM »
Big darling very wide and big - 170 liters. Slow mushy waves. Lil' darling narrow and low volume 127 liters not a noserider at all. Would work fine anywhere in Hawaii if you can ride a narrow low volume board.

There is a reason they are all on closeout!
Let it come to you..
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OUTSIDEWAVE

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 05:23:48 PM »
Speaking from first hand experience i rode the lopez  big darlin  in santa cruz a couple of years back I loved it rode it at capitola on a bout a 3 foot day and had a blast.   Not sure how capitola compares to wakiki  except that  maybe wacky rolls a lot more and cap  breaks   but I could be totally wrong there. Let us know what you decide   and post some pictures. Ironically  the first sup Iever tried was the Liard 11x29 and while it took almost 2 hours I di  manage to stand on  and paddle 100yds with out falling off.  the caveat  was it was in the lagoon in carl bad with about 10  jet  skis doing   circles and turning it into a washing machine like soup  but then  I didn't know any better then.
SEA BIRDS THEY DO TOUCH AND GO AS THE WORLD JUST TANGOES BY.... SO I SADDLE UP MY SEAHORSE WITH MY FLYROD IN MY HAND.... 10'3 King custom  10'6"  c4 da beachboy

OUTSIDEWAVE

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 05:25:33 PM »
oh and one other thought  if you are 59 220  wide will be good for you unless you are a pretty surfer already, I am 5"11  235  and i find a board at 32 is pretty sweet.
SEA BIRDS THEY DO TOUCH AND GO AS THE WORLD JUST TANGOES BY.... SO I SADDLE UP MY SEAHORSE WITH MY FLYROD IN MY HAND.... 10'3 King custom  10'6"  c4 da beachboy

marvinhecht

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 01:50:56 AM »
I am leaning toward the Laird now - the 11"0. This appears to be a classic shape / design that is so good - it lives on - with Bob Pearson designing  boards with the same dimensions for Laird SUP and for the Arrow Santa Cruz surf shop. And the 11" is just under 30" wide.

On the Lopez boards - I actually liked the most  the "revised for 2014" 11"2 x 32  (orange) Big Darling. It made me look better than I was in Waikiki because I could lose my balance and still recover. And the waves in Waikiki are slow rolling 1-3 feet waves most of the time. But lately 32" seems to wide. When I fall and try to flip the board over - I can't get my arm all the way around it.
The 10"6 x 32 Big Darling was similar, and it seemed especially wide for the length. It's been a long time since I surfed the purple 10"6 x 30(ish) Lopez board - and I remember it was a little tippy, and nothing very distinct about it. 

I called the guys at Surftech and I can demo both the laird and (any of the Lopez's) side by side. We'll see!

marvinhecht

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 05:36:38 AM »
All,

One final thought tonight: Since I am currently almost done repairing a beat-up NSP 11" and making it an 11"7 pintail with (possible) quads

http://www.swaylocks.com/forums/nsp-sup-11-pintail-and-quads-conversion-shaping-questions

...another option is to do nothing for now- just finish the repairs, ride that thing until I can reliably turn on a wave, helicopter, etc. and then later on put the surftech credit to whatever 9.0 board is available (e.g the 9.0 Al Merrick Caddi is still staying in the lineup). I've also gotten into downwinders and could be interested in the new surftech Bark Downwinder. Last but not least - there is also a chance to pick up a used 14" Gerry Lopez Kawi-Kai (tiger-looking) or a 14" Laird/Bark flatwater race board. If the board I am reparing turns out really good - these later possibilities may need to be given more weight. Marvin.

SlatchJim

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 07:52:36 AM »
I don't have any skin in the game (i.e. I don't sell boards commercially) but I understand the motivation now for a new board to replace the NSP.   I don't know anyone that enjoyed surfing that thing for more than their first wave or two.

Great score on the demo side-by-side from Surftech. I don't think anything any of us will say will have more weight than your own gut feeling after the demo.  I also think you've done a solid job narrowing down your choices.  You're definitely on the right path.

What Creek said about fins...that's gospel.  Do what you can to try a variety of set ups during your demo.  My own new custom in small waves was mediocre with side bites and spot on perfect as a single, while my other shorter board is perfect for me as quad.

marvinhecht

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2014, 03:32:43 PM »
Cool thanks!! Keep those comments coming!!

DavidJohn

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Re: Can't decide - Laird or Lopez for a surf SUP in Waikiki
« Reply #14 on: November 22, 2014, 03:51:26 PM »
All,

One final thought tonight: Since I am currently almost done repairing a beat-up NSP 11" and making it an 11"7 pintail with (possible) quads

http://www.swaylocks.com/forums/nsp-sup-11-pintail-and-quads-conversion-shaping-questions



I don't mean to be rude.. but.. IMO that Franken-Board needs to go into the bin..

 


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