Author Topic: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help  (Read 1204 times)

surfafrica

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2018, 09:29:27 PM »
To play devil's advocate to Creek's post (with all the respect in the world to Creek), and because debate is fun....

I do agree with Creek that age comes into play.  Also athletic ability. And experience in waves in general.  And how often you plan to get out. I also think that jumping on the biggest boards possible isn't necessarily the best way to have success/enjoyment for all newcomers in waves.  I think the right size is relative to the surfer (weight, age, ability, goals, etc) and that boards too big can do more harm than good (hard to handle in the impact zone, nose-diving, thrown around by chop, etc).  But I do agree with Creek that a small board (relative to the surfer) is not at all a goal for a beginner.  I also agree that width is super key for beginners.  I think (from my experience with beginners) that 32" wide is a sweet spot for new surfers in the 200 lbs range.  At 240 lbs+ (or really tall guys), the 33-36" wide become something more worth considering.  Another thing to consider is how often you will get out into waves.  Most people pick this up pretty quickly if they get a chance to practice.

Over the past 5 years or so, I've worked with number of guys to get them going on a SUP in waves.  Non of them had any surf experience.  Most were pretty athletic (though some have gotten pretty out of shape).  We are land-locked so don't get much time in the water.  Most of my friends learned by only surfing 5 or 6 weekends per year.  They wear 4/3 wetsuits most of the time.  Our normal local conditions are mushy (sometimes peaky) beach breaks (often with wind chop) in the knee to chest high waves.  Here are their experiences:

Guy #1 (44 years old, 6'0, 245 lbs)
Started on a Starboard Whopper (10' x 34, 168 L, v/w=1.49).  It was a great board for him to start on.  The width was great.  After 5 or 6 weekends, he moved to a SUP Sports Stoke (9'6 x 32, 165 L, v/w=1.49).  He had no problems with the jump to the Stoke and his surfing improved a lot after making the jump. He just recently jumped to 9'2 x 32, 155 L, v/w=1.4 (but he's not a newbie anymore).

Guy #2 (44 years old, 6'0, 225 lbs)
Started on a Naish Mana (10' x 32, 190 L. v/w=1.86). Found it hard to manage.  After 4 or so weekends on it, he bought a SUP Sports Stoke (9'6 x 32, 165 L, v/w=1.6) after giving it a demo.  After his second session, he wish he bought a smaller one.  He quickly started on an L41 SIMS ST (8'6 x 31, 140 L, v/w=1.37).  The first weekend, it felt tough, but after 3 weekends on it, he was comfortable.  He loves that board. 

Guy #3 (43 years old, 5'10, 220 lbs)
After a couple of weekends on a Starboard Whopper (10' x 34, 168 L, v/w=1.68), he bought an Allwave (9'1 x 31 3/4, 160 L, v/w=1.6).  It works great for him.  He only surfs 2 weekends a year.

Guy #4 (69 years old, 5'11, 195 lbs)
My buddy's Dad wanted in! He started on a big old used Naish (11' x 30, 170+ L).  He struggled a bit on it.  He quickly jumped to a Sunova Speeed (9'2 x 30 1/4, 148 L, v/w=1.67), in large part to hearing Creek's review of it, and had a lot more success.  It's a great board for him.  With the parallel rails and extra-wide nose on the Speeed, it feels more stable than a 30" wide board of traditional shape.

Guy #5 (44 years old, 6'2, 220 lbs)
He jumped right on to an Infinity RNB (8'8 x 31, 135 L, v/w=1.35).  He had longboarded for 5 or 6 weekends before trying SUP.  After two sessions on the RNB, he found his feet and loves the board.  This is a smaller board than I'd recommend for a beginner his size, but he found a good deal from a fellow Zoner (oh ya!) and was pretty keen to push himself.

So back to James @ 5'11, 200 lbs (age?)... Without knowing your age, athleticism, experience in waves (surf or inflatable SUP), or how often you plan to get out, my gut would say 8'6-9'6 at 32-33" wide.  The 8'6 length would be if you went with a wide-tailed shape though. If a more traditional shape, I'd say 9'0-9'6 (if you were heavier or taller, I'd say longer).  I'd keep the volume in the 145-165 range.  If you were 245 lbs, I'd say go more, but at 200 lbs (and based on my friends experiences above), I think over 165 L and your are starting to really be over-foamed.  In my first post on this thread, I mentioned a v/w ratio of 1.45-1.5 (so 130-135 L for a guy at 200 lbs) for a beginner.  That is relative to my peer group (mid-40s and keen to push themselves a bit).  Guy #4 above is 20 years older and is on a great board for him at v/w=1.67.

When people ask me about demoing, I tell them to try as many boards as they can in surf conditions.  Find the model or size you feel good on, and buy one size smaller!  Not because it's a race to the bottom, but because after 3 sessions, you'll be even more comfy on it, and it'll save you a quick board flip (though flipping might not be a big deal).

But Creek's advice comes from loads of experience, so take my words for what they are worth.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2018, 09:34:58 PM by surfafrica »
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Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

southwesterly

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2018, 10:18:53 PM »
I think those last two posts are THE best info laden replies I've ever read here on the Zone.

Nice job surfafrica and Mr. Creek.

SUPDaddyBear

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2018, 02:55:51 AM »
Thank you all for your really helpful and detailed replies. It's really given me some good ideas of what to look for.

Just to add some more background in case it helps… I am 34yo and reasonably fit/able.
I have been SUPing for 5 or so years now on all round boards to start with then moved onto some N1SCO racing on the Naish One. Through this I’ve become quite comfortable on 30” wide. I have not surfed shortboards and have only tried with my 10’6 inflatable SUP about 4 or 5 times. On my latest outing last week I actually caught my first 4 waves which really motivated me!

I would really like to have a board that challenges me to improve as that is what I have enjoyed with the Naish One. I think I’d like to try a board that is shorter than my inflatable to give me a different experience so think the 9’6 and under range with 145-165 in volume. I spoke to a guy that has a shop over the weekend and he suggested the same kind of volume. He suggested the Starboard Widepoint, JP Fusion, Naish Mana and Quest all 9’5 and the BIC Performer 9’1

Thanks again for the advice!

clinto

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2018, 05:59:36 AM »
With your experience paddling i would be inclined to go for something around 30" wide. The wider boards to help with stability but are not as easy to turn and maneuver. I started on a 12' x 33" Bote and quickly regretted my choice. I then got a 10"6" x 32" starboard widepoint. It was marginally stable and a bear to turn. Learned to catch waves a little later and deeper on that one so it served its purpose. For 3 sessions, then i traded it out! I am now on a Laird surfer hybrid 10'1"x28.5". Its actually not difficult to balance on due to the length and shape. It is 133L and is at a 1.35w/v ratio for me. I also had a 8'6"x31.5 F-One Madeira and did like it alot. It was 125L but really surfed as well as the Laird and i am longboarder so i sold the F-One and kept the laird. I have ridden the Laird from knee high to 2' overhead hurricane swell. It turns like a prone board. I am 36yo 6'4" @215.
One trend you will see here is the learning curve being quick if you have experience paddling or surfing. You will quickly outgrow a board that is easy when you get it so i would push yourself. Once you get below 8' your balance becomes not only side to side but front to back. I will never own a board any wider than 30" after 2 years of paddling i have grown so fast that i could go smaller but you lose the glide and paddle ability when you do. My next board will be around 9'6" x 27 @ 120L.
So as you have read already, get a good shape from a good brand. 1.4 w/v ratio is a challenging but totally doable range with a good shape. Try anything you can and stay on Craigslist. I have traded so many boards for other boards i cant even remember how many at this point. I bought one and it has been traded up many times over to my current board throughout my progression. Good boards hold value where as pop outs are too common and saturate the resale market.

SlatchJim

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #19 on: April 16, 2018, 08:54:37 AM »
There's so much good advice in this thread, I thought it would be fun to give you some completely bad advice.  Get yourself a tiny foil board and go out at Nazere, in Portugal.  If you survive, Red Bull will make a movie about you and pay you to tour the world. There's nothing like going from newb to sponsored extreme sports personality in one session!  ;D

surfafrica

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #20 on: April 16, 2018, 09:33:18 AM »
34 years old, 5'11", 200 lbs, reasonably fit, SUPing 5 years (but new to surf), comfy on 30" wide, looking to challenge yourself!  Can I change my recommendation? ;-)   I'd start demoing boards 8'6-9'2 feet, 28-30 wide, 130-145 L.
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 09:42:27 AM by surfafrica »
Instagram http://instagram.com/surfafrica.sup
YouTube https://goo.gl/mK0aze
Infinity RNB: 7'6 x 28, 95 L https://goo.gl/SqlWR4
Kronos LB: 8'10 x 26.5, 84 L https://goo.gl/4iQdps
Kronos Nano: 7'4 x 26, 81 L https://goo.gl/kAM8W6

SUPDaddyBear

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #21 on: April 18, 2018, 04:09:50 AM »
haha not so sure about Nazere!!

When I say I'm comfortable on my 30 wide Naish One I mean comfy when stood and racing not so much with the moving my feet, surf stance or pivot turn :-/ I'm working on it but not there yet!

Thank you everyone for the advice, it has really helped narrow the search down to the following:

8'6" - 9'6" 140l-165l 30-33 wide

I've been looking at the main brands we have in the UK and have come up with a list that approx. meet this spec -

Naish Mana 9'5'
Naish Quest 9'6'
Starboard Widepoint 8'10 and 9'5'
Starboard Hypernut 9'0' and 9'6
Fanatic Allwave 8'9 to 9'4'
JP Fusion 9'2' and 9'8'

Any of these to really avoid?

Area 10

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #22 on: April 18, 2018, 05:28:45 AM »
No, they are all fine boards that each have their pros and cons, like any other board. None of them is likely to be a mistake. In time your needs will evolve and you will start to develop preferences for particular sizes and designs. This is a process we all go through. But many of us have not started out on boards are respectable as these (and which should have relatively decent resale value). So you are making a good start.

devon_sup_surf

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2018, 07:35:33 AM »
No, they are all fine boards that each have their pros and cons, like any other board. None of them is likely to be a mistake. In time your needs will evolve and you will start to develop preferences for particular sizes and designs. This is a process we all go through. But many of us have not started out on boards are respectable as these (and which should have relatively decent resale value). So you are making a good start.

Resale value, in the UK at least, is pretty poor IME.

A £1400 larger board may be worth 50% on resale. Hard to value as the bigger boards are more desirable of course- try selling a 8' 90L sup after a year or two- £1500 drops down to £400-500.

I would always buy second hand if I could- knowing after 6 months I may lose £100-200 in depreciation.

SUPDaddyBear

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2018, 07:54:58 AM »
No, they are all fine boards that each have their pros and cons, like any other board. None of them is likely to be a mistake. In time your needs will evolve and you will start to develop preferences for particular sizes and designs. This is a process we all go through. But many of us have not started out on boards are respectable as these (and which should have relatively decent resale value). So you are making a good start.

Resale value, in the UK at least, is pretty poor IME.

A £1400 larger board may be worth 50% on resale. Hard to value as the bigger boards are more desirable of course- try selling a 8' 90L sup after a year or two- £1500 drops down to £400-500.

I would always buy second hand if I could- knowing after 6 months I may lose £100-200 in depreciation.

Not to worry, I will only be able to afford second hand plus as it'll be a steep learning curve I might give it the odd bump as I fall off :-)

Area 10

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Re: Beginner Surf SUP Board Help
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2018, 09:52:24 AM »
No, they are all fine boards that each have their pros and cons, like any other board. None of them is likely to be a mistake. In time your needs will evolve and you will start to develop preferences for particular sizes and designs. This is a process we all go through. But many of us have not started out on boards are respectable as these (and which should have relatively decent resale value). So you are making a good start.

Resale value, in the UK at least, is pretty poor IME.

A £1400 larger board may be worth 50% on resale. Hard to value as the bigger boards are more desirable of course- try selling a 8' 90L sup after a year or two- £1500 drops down to £400-500.

I would always buy second hand if I could- knowing after 6 months I may lose £100-200 in depreciation.
If you read what I said carefully you will see that I said *relatively decent”. It goes without saying that depreciation on SUPs is steep. It is on a lot of sporting goods (just try selling a £6k ebike mtb after a year and see what you get for it).

But if you buy a popular model from a known brand you can save as much as possible. And if you buy it secondhand and look after it, you might even get more at resale than you paid for it (like a friend of mine did recently).

Specialist boards like very narrow carbon raceboards are pretty much worth only 60-70% of what you paid for it before you’ve even got the wrapper off. Mad.