Author Topic: Recommended FLAT WATER board  (Read 10841 times)

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #60 on: February 12, 2018, 11:09:59 AM »
@EAGLE
I totally see what you are saying, and I would have been tempted with the 2017 14x21.5 Sprint, however:

OBVIOUS THINGS THAT HELPED ME MAKE MY DECISION
- The 2018 14x21.5 Sprint doesn't appeal to me
- Nelo's construction is going to be difficult to match
- The weight, while negligible to you, is a big deal to my feather-weight - especially for accelerations
- The lightweight of the Nelo, again, for board handling - is just freekin' cool (8.5 kilos is said to be my board weight)

NO SO OBVIOUS (YET)
- The Sprint 14x21.5 may actually create more turbulence than the Nelo - perhaps because of the channels, perhaps because its tail has such a hard edge, perhaps for other reasons (but, yes, I could be wrong)
- With its rounded V Hull, the Nelo may end up being more technical than the Sprint - yet to be determined.
- It's made in Europe - and that may turn out to be a big deal while residing in France.
- It doesn't use Polyester foam - and that too may eventually turn out to be a big deal as I am trying to be more conscious of it all.

Deciding on a new board that costs over $3000 isn't always so easy. There's only one thing I am certain of:
As soon as my new board arrives, I'll have fun and I will look at ways it could be improved upon - REGARDLESS of which board I buy. :)

I am pretty sure you feel the same way.

@LUC
La Deule (name of the river in Lille, France) will be my goto place for testing boards on dead flat water. It's just very convenient.
Nelo SUP - 14' x 23"
Nelo Surfski 560M - 18'4" x 17"

Luc Benac

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #61 on: February 12, 2018, 11:17:18 AM »
The Nelo looks like a very serious very dedicated board. one thing it does not have in its favour are the aesthetics. That is an ugly contorted shape. But as long as it is super effective and you like it. Who cares.
Bark Vapor 14' x 26" 271L
* Black Project Hydro 77
* Kenalu Mana 82

Ace-GT 17'4" x 27" 313L
* Black Project Hydro 85
* Kenalu Mana 90

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #62 on: February 12, 2018, 12:51:44 PM »
IMO definitely get the Nelo. Starboards are everywhere. Where’s the sense of fun and exploration in getting the same board as everyone else? Much better to be a pioneer than follow the flock.

It doesn’t matter too much what board you get, speed-wise, as long as it’s not a totally laughable dog. The differences attributable to the paddler dwarf any differences in board design, unless perhaps amongst the top 0.1% of elite athletes. If you are a mid-pack racer, your spanking new board might enable you to go up one place or so. But it’s not going to put you on the podium. So why not choose a board that’s a bit different, and that you will learn new things from?

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #63 on: February 12, 2018, 03:07:41 PM »
From my perspective with 5 very different boards -> there are not many if any things that I would change or improve upon.  Each board is perfectly designed just the way it is in my mind.  There are always other models to choose from if some other performance characteristic is desired.

I fully understand about light body weight vs light board weight.  But many do not understand about muscle mass to fat mass ratios.  As well as power to weight ratios.  That in most cases is the big part of the performance equation.  In that regards -> a few pounds will not play a huge part of the 11 City race.  The 21.5 Sprint is not a heavy board by any stretch. 

But as noted do not get the 2018.  The open tail 2017 is svelte and the fast option for competent powerful pilots with reasonable balance and skill levels.  After a year and a half with my AS23 can say the CS layup is perfectly ok and plenty strong enough for my uses.

I have a ton of fun on every board all the time.  Simply just pick the one from my quiver based on the conditions that day and challenge desired.  But if you do need more stability go 23.  But most any flat water production fat tail board will go about the same speed.  Remember improve the engine is key -> not board specs.  ;)
Fast is FUN!   8)
Dominator - Touring Pintail - Bullet V2 - M14 - AS23

photofr

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #64 on: February 12, 2018, 11:42:14 PM »
Part of the equation was getting a used board like the 2017 Sprint for still quite a bit of money.
Judging from construction techniques still used in 2018, I am going to say that most boards will not handle longevity very well.

DURABILITY
My 2017 Ace 14x25 already has couple of deck bubbles forming, and that board isn't 6 months old yet. The board is otherwise in impeccable conditions, and was mostly stored indoors. That's a $4000 board (3500 euros) - so a bit heart breaking.

On the other hand, surfski construction has proven to be much more durable - even after being store 24+ months outdoors - so the Nelo board just became that much more inviting to me.

But to be fair, boards with Styrofoam aren't really meant to last.

GLIDE
Being limited by a 14' board, we pretty much will agree that gliding is very subjective. The difference in speed from one board to another 14' is going to be rather minimal - so that was kinda removed from the list.

WEIGHT
Please put your Sprint 14x21.5 on a scale. It will most likely read 11 kilos or so. That's about 3 kilos more than the Nelo-built board. Now, granted, this isn't rock climbing where gravity is crucial, however, I have to emphasise couple of things:
- Board handling is crucial to me, mainly because I find it super pleasant to handle a light board. This is especially true after paddling for a 7-hour day. To put it into prospective, try handling a 17 kilo board after 6 or 7 hours - and walk 400 meters with it.
- In a race, (mountain biking, cross country skiing, SUP) I sprint away from my opponents twice every minute, and I repeat this process until they let go. Since most people do not train that way, I often have an advantage and pull away. In that respect, board weight for shear accelerations is pretty crucial TO ME. A difference of 3+ kilos is huge.
- When someone pull away from me in a race, I have more chances of catching up with the least amount of effort when I am on a light board - read Ultra Light Board. 
- If board weight wouldn't be an issue, I'd be on a beautiful wood board - instead, I chose Vacuum carbon sandwich construction, completely hollow, built from a Mold. With this technique, we should see boards in the 7-kilo range in the near future.

IMPROVEMENTS
I don't know... obviously we are different.
Sprint boards were without a doubt my two favorite boards.
My Sprint UL was my all time favorite. Its construction was different than anything Starboard ever built. It lasted. There was in fact very little I wanted to change on that board.

My second favorite board was the 14x23 Sprint (2016 model). It was quite light, still 11.5 kilos including the World's lightest fin. It was very capable in flat water, yet amazingly technical and fun in small to medium downwind conditions. It was a solid built, however:
I would have change quite a few things, after owning it for about 20 minutes.

Rails were too high for my weight.
Board was too heavy.
Standing area could have been increased by about 30 cm in front of my feet.
The release pressure valve could be improved a 1000 times over.
The deck could have been lowered even more.
While quiet on the water, it was light-years behind the 17'6 x 23" in terms of absolute stealth.

This is true with most boards I see, from all brands that I have paddled, so I am just surprised that you would have claimed:
"Each board is perfectly designed just the way it is in my mind"
Nelo SUP - 14' x 23"
Nelo Surfski 560M - 18'4" x 17"

Eagle

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #65 on: February 13, 2018, 01:05:59 AM »
Yeah talking about design here.  Each designer made choices between flat bottom vs single concave vs deep vee etc.  All have pros and cons in different conditions.  All are perfect shapes in my mind and would not change a thing about them.  That is what makes them different and special in their own ways.

From a board weight perspective I just look at the other racers that completed the 11 City.  Many used production Sprints like the 21.5 and finished ok.  No one seemed too concerned about the weight of their boards.

I personally tested that 21.5 Sprint firsthand so I know that board.  It is simply a killer board for flat glide and efficiency.  That was your main concern.  Pretty sure Robert has much praise for his 21 glide as well.  21 and 21.5 are very slippery widths.  But looks like you decided on the Nelo 23 anyways.  So enjoy.  Would think it should be ok for the 11 City -> but more draggy is all. 
Fast is FUN!   8)
Dominator - Touring Pintail - Bullet V2 - M14 - AS23

photofr

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #66 on: February 15, 2018, 01:25:32 AM »
@ EAGLE
I think you may be missing the point.

Looking at 14' boards...
A 27" wide board can have more glide than a 25" wide board.
A perfect example is my friend's custom board 14x27 rounded hull that is way faster than a 14x25 Allstar.
The Allstar 14x25 was actually way more stable - so it's all relevant.

Bluntly stating that the Nelo (at 23" width) will be "more draggy" than the 21.5" Sprint is - to me - an unfounded statement.

To me, the Nelo board width, length, hull shape, lightweight, and construction technique will put that board so close (if not better) than anything out there - but will be determined for sure later.

The only thing for sure is:
The board will not be a slug.
The board will outlast almost anything out there.
The board will be damn light.
I can choose my colors.
Nelo SUP - 14' x 23"
Nelo Surfski 560M - 18'4" x 17"

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #67 on: February 15, 2018, 01:55:52 AM »
IMO the advantage of going narrower is more about the ease with which you can get a good stroke than it is the change in drag. It’s about getting the shaft perpendicular, and with ease, on every stroke.

So shorter and/or narrower-shouldered people will benefit more from going narrower than a taller and/or broader-shouldered person. It is also the case that a narrower and lighter person will likely be able to keep a narrower board on an even keel more easily than a heavier and wider person, because the wider person will tend to prefer a wider stance. Preventing roll is very important to speed.

So in other words, the board that will be fast for you in real world conditions is more about ergonomics than it is about small differences in drag, I think. Even if you can stand on a narrower board, it does not mean you will be faster on it in real world conditions. Which is why current board shapes have sacrificed drag for stability. Few (if any) of the current production boards have been designed with low drag as their over-riding design goal. A lot of it is also about ease of drafting, and being drafted.

If you want a really fast 14ft flat water board, the way forward is simple. Buy an old beat-up Starboard K15, and then take that to a competent shaper and ask them to make you a narrower 14ft version of that. Jim Drake knew a thing or two about low drag, and going fast. You can be SURE that that would be a fast board. It would also be tippy. But you don’t get something for nothing. It was the board of choice for races like the 11 cities back in the days before we stupidly killed off the UL class. And if we had let designs evolve naturally rather than stunt our growth through regulation, marketing, and the ubiquity of drafting, today all flat water boards would probably look like narrower versions of the K15.



photofr

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #68 on: February 15, 2018, 02:20:40 AM »
I'll agree on the many points you made above. Perhaps people can better understand when I say:
Needle nose
Narrow standing area
Widest width located behind the rider
Narrow to needle tail

I am all-messed-up:
I got me some short legs, a tall torso, and average square shoulders. However, I cannot even begin to emphasise how important and PLEASANT it is to have a narrow catch. Putting me on an Ace GT 17'4 x 27.5" back in the days (with a super wide nose) was like putting a 7 year old kid on a 12 x 32". Aside from looking stupid, it felt stupid.

So now the question:
Is the Nelo 14x23 narrow enough for my taste?
Without even seeing the board yet, I'd say NO. However, it cannot be worst than my 2016 Sprint, which was 14x23 with a rather "bulky" front end.
Nelo SUP - 14' x 23"
Nelo Surfski 560M - 18'4" x 17"

Luc Benac

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #69 on: February 15, 2018, 06:57:12 AM »
IMO the advantage of going narrower is more about the ease with which you can get a good stroke than it is the change in drag. It’s about getting the shaft perpendicular, and with ease, on every stroke.
So shorter and/or narrower-shouldered people will benefit more from going narrower than a taller and/or broader-shouldered person. It is also the case that a narrower and lighter person will likely be able to keep a narrower board on an even keel more easily than a heavier and wider person, because the wider person will tend to prefer a wider stance. Preventing roll is very important to speed.
So in other words, the board that will be fast for you in real world conditions is more about ergonomics than it is about small differences in drag, I think. Even if you can stand on a narrower board, it does not mean you will be faster on it in real world conditions.

Yes, yes and yes....I would also add that be able to stay on a narrower board without falling in, is one thing but be comfortable on it so that you can keep power through quartering chop and during 15 km is another. With my morphology and limited technique, I have found that on most shape I have tried, 25" is the lower limit and 27" the higher one. Even a super stable board like the Blackfish does not get to be comfortable for me in 24". I have not tried yet a dugout in 24" which might make a difference as it lowers the centre of gravity and change the dynamic of the stroke but doubt that it would be positive as 25" is already narrow enough for me to permit a vertical shaft without leaning too much.
Bark Vapor 14' x 26" 271L
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Eagle

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #70 on: February 15, 2018, 08:25:46 AM »
Just look at the photo posted earlier.  The Sprint looks more sleek at the nose and at the tail vs the Nelo.  To reduce a draggy wide tail it makes sense to make it sleek.

The Nelo front is not needle nosed and the tail is not "Almost pintail....."  Pretty much all wide tail 23s are pretty draggy so it was surprising you went for the Nelo.

The winning board was a Sprint.  Where did the first in Nelo place?

What seems to be lost in your discussion is that Robert at 195 stayed dry in rough water on a 21.  That should indicate to you how narrow is narrow if stability is no concern to you.  For lowest drag the pin to pin was the right option.

http://www.supracer.com/2017-sup-11-city-tour-final-results/
Fast is FUN!   8)
Dominator - Touring Pintail - Bullet V2 - M14 - AS23

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #71 on: February 15, 2018, 10:22:49 AM »
Yeah… I had to rethink my priorities.
With my 130-140 pounds, I could easily go with a 18x21" board to ensure max glide, max speed, and best narrow catch. This is not about maxing out anything; this is about a 14' board - so my priorities had to be moved around some.

I was down to two contenders:
The Nelo 14x23" and the Sprint 14x21.5

Your heart might be telling you to go with the 2017 Sprint – and so you really should. Mine is telling me to go with the 2018 Nelo.

I agree that the entire front of the Nelo board might in fact be larger than the 21.5 Sprint. The Nelo has a different design so I cannot comment on speed comparisons based just on the bow.

I also agree that the tail outside dimensions on the Nelo may also be wider, but I am not so sure on the water level. What I am pretty sure of is that the Nelo tail has a far better release (lack of multi channel, lack of abruptly cut rear-end, lack of hard edges, etc… when compared with the 21.5 Sprint)

Speed?
Speed is relative – relative with who will be on the board. Come on, you know that, right?!

Seeing a few boards cross the finish line first gives you an idea of what board isn’t a slug, but doesn’t tell you jack about what board is the fastest in the World. It tells you even less about what board will be the fastest for the “average Joe”.

2018, Connor Baxter could probably make my ironing board plane.
2017, The two brothers would have probably come in first and second place using a Mistral. 
2016, one could say that the second fastest board in the WORLD is a 14x23” Sprint – since it came in second place at Lost Mills.



Back to Earth, I had my priorities. Here’s me telling you why I did what I did. Perhaps you’ll agree, perhaps you won’t… just keep in mind that since I had to pay for it, it had to match MY NEEDS – as follows:

Durability
Lightweight
Outside-the-box (hollow) construction
The semi-inverted bow
Delivery Delays
Custom Colors
The cool-looking V-hull on the tail
Total price
Made in Europe
Not a slug – not by a long shot
Last, but not least: A little more “green” for the planet

Nelo SUP - 14' x 23"
Nelo Surfski 560M - 18'4" x 17"

Eagle

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #72 on: February 15, 2018, 02:06:00 PM »
Can say for durability the Think XOR looked and felt brand new after being raced hard and used as a demo for years.  It is hollow and based on the Think surfski.  Often it is dragged over rocks and abused but is still in good condition.  If I did not have my Bark would buy that demo from Daryl.  If I needed a 2017 Sprint 21.5 would buy or borrow the one Mike has.

As noted many times before -> speed is always a function of the skill and power of the pilot.  Not the board.  That has been hashed over and over again.  The board used is not too important as any proven fast design is fast -> irregardless of the brand.

Mo won on an unsponsored brand.  AA won on an unsponsored brand.  That is all old news.  Basically just race in the 11 City and let us know how you finish.  Is all speculation right now anyways about how much drag this -> how much drag that.  ;)

http://thinkstandup.com/xor/
Fast is FUN!   8)
Dominator - Touring Pintail - Bullet V2 - M14 - AS23

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2018, 10:41:38 AM »
I had the chance to get of a Nelo relatively affordably mid last year. I decided not to as I felt the board might be beyond me and if that was the case, selling it would be a nightmare. I played safe (and not for the first time). Had I been able to actually get on a demo on it I might have felt differently. I still hope to at some point.

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Re: Recommended FLAT WATER board
« Reply #74 on: February 19, 2018, 10:32:38 AM »
I had the chance to get of a Nelo relatively affordably mid last year. I decided not to as I felt the board might be beyond me and if that was the case, selling it would be a nightmare. I played safe (and not for the first time). Had I been able to actually get on a demo on it I might have felt differently. I still hope to at some point.
Probably the right decision, and your size.

Why don't you just buy a SIC RS? You know it's the board for you :)

And btw why aren't you competing at some sport where your size is a positive, rather than doing all these sports where the elite guys are all 150lbs and even Dave Kalama would get his ass kicked by a 15 year-old from Hawaii these days? :)