Author Topic: Sunova Creek review from a much less experienced Sup Surfer  (Read 647 times)


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The statsÖ55 years old, 6í2 245 and athletic for an older guy, caught my first wave ever at 53 and have surfed exclusively Fanatic Allwaves  on the Jersey shore until the arrival of my 9í7 Creek. I decided to log my first 10 hours and give a review from a less experienced surferís perspective. Sorry this is long but I enjoyed journaling my thoughts to paper and while  I canít account for its accuracy I can say it describes  my perceptions of the Sunova Creek!


I started looking for a new board after emerging as a more intermediate surfer this fall and winter. The biggest factor of wanting to find a new board was the Fanatic tail would slide out as soon as waves start getting some juice particular off the first turn.  I first looked to go smaller but after demoing some smaller lower volume boards, I was just too uncomfortable in any wind or chop. I recall my experience on an 8í6 Shroom a board that should feel super stable and I just did not like the shortness of it. I knew I wanted the comfort of volume, width and length.  Stability  was key for me. I started to zero in on a handful of boards that would equal more performance and stability for a bigger guy. My list came down to Jimmy Lewis World Wide, Foote Triton, Kings Super Simmons, custom  L41, Sunova Creek and the Sunova Flow. Most of these boards are impossible to demo on the East coast, so I was left to the Zone for research and my test rides on the smaller Shroom and 9í2 Speed. I ended up on the 9í7 Creek based mostly on what I felt was the ideal dimensions and shape for me.

Day 1

Flat water paddling. It felt like an old shoe. I expected to be tippy and fight stability because my current Allwave is a 9í4 174 L so I was looking at a 14L drop. I have to say I was super comfortable. Instantly, three things jumped out. Construction, I know nothing about board construction but you just know this thing is well built and what a pleasure carrying a board so light. Anytime I have handled or been on a Sunova the construction has stood out to me. Next was glide. I expected the performance rocker to slow the board but the board moved with ease. Third was tracking. The board paddled incredibly straight with no yaw. I am sure there is a science to it but just not what I expected. I practiced turning into a wave and I would say this was more of a struggle then I expected based on the ease and the tracking when paddling. It just felt a little stiff. And of course my first attempt at a pivot turn got me wet because the tail sunk way quicker than expected.  So now I needed to surf it and to be honest the lift sup handle worried me.

Day 2

First venture into surf. Forecast waist to chest high, off shore winds at three mph. Ideal conditions. What I got, waist to chest high and 14 mph winds from the North that would shift on shore. In other words a windy choppy mess. This was going to be a disaster. Except it wasnít. My first thought was a post from Supthecreek where he said this is not a stability board but it has stability tools built in. I guess if I went with the 9í4 I would have felt that way but I was incredibly stable, punched through waves easy. First wave I saw, chest high couple of paddles and  I was  in. It was fast but I felt in control. First turn, backside from the middle easy peasy. Again, not an experienced surfer here but I knew I was in the water not on top of the water. The conditions didnít allow for long rides but a couple of turns and I knew I had the right board for me. Second wave of the day was the second one I tried to catch. Two for two. Frontside this time. I felt like all I had to do was think turn and the board turned. I would get a couple of more fun ones before the winds shifted on shore. Struggled catching waves after that. The ocean became disorganized and my Creek wasnít happy with that.  My take away from the day was 9í7 was spot on for me. No way I could have handled the chop and wind on anything smaller without being uncomfortable but with a 3/2 on, double digit winds,  chop, waist high  and a new board I only fell twice in an hour and a half. For sure I would need the 9'7 in winter gear.

Day 3

Three weeks later but waist to chest high clean and some juice. First the negative. Two trips over the falls and I am super cautious to prevent that. No explanation why maybe just not being in the right spot. Again, not an experienced lifelong surfer but I was in awe of the performance of the board. I knew I was moving  significantly faster then on an Allwave but I felt so much more in control on all aspects of the wave. I was making sections I could never make before and the board is just super easy to turn. But then it happened!!!!! Backside wave, chest high (LBsup just posted an awesome picture of our wave that day) in front of me comes a shallower section and I step back on the tail and crank a backside bottom turn and the magic of the board just unleashes. I guess itís the Speed tail but what I thought was a turn before took on new meaning. I felt the board stall under my back heel and accelerate on my toe side. I could feel the lift and while I have had what I considered quality turns before  I could never describe the feeling that way. And then the board just flowed, no thoughts, top turn, bottom turn, and rinse repeat. This flow was a whole new thing for me. Best way to describe it is I was Creek or Cookie in one of their videos (at least in my mind) that I have watched hundreds of times.  What I had mentally processed was now happening! Needless to say, what a super fun day.

Day 4

Next day  leftovers, smaller, knee to waist high. The board and I are just dialed in. I am in total control. Caught whatever I wanted and just was having so much fun turning from the middle, turning from the tail (unlocking the magic) or just staying high on the wave and enjoying the speed of the Creek. I was amazed that it was me surfing these past two days. What was the best part is what was in my mind was actually happening on the water. Went home having watched my passion for this crazy sport just grow even more. One negative observation, the board isnít as happy in smaller stuff. It surfs but patience was required for the bigger sets to really get it flowing. I will still grab the Allwave on smaller days.

Overall Takeaways

Lift Sup Handle: I understand the negative reviews as it can be more challenging in the surf and this is without gloves but the overall carrying of the board is nice particularly in wind.

Going bigger: I have been on smaller boards (not a Creek) but was very happy to not wrestle with stability. For my ability the board outperformed my expectations. There was a 9í2 Speed and 9Ď4 Creek in the water with me and significantly smaller guys on them. I donít know their overall ability but both were noticeably tippy. I think the 1.6 weight to volume for an intermediate surfer is really the right place to be. One more thought performance and smaller boards donít have to be combined. I am sure there are reasons to go smaller but it is not a have to.

The look: Damn this board looks good (mines the green one) in a crowded line up.

The board: I am amazed at this board and all that is written on the Sunova website and on the Zone I found to be true. I cannot speak for more experienced surfers but for an emerging intermediate Sup surfer I could not have asked for more. Not sure my opinions are accurate I can just relay how I perceived it!


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Re: Sunova Creek review from a much less experienced Sup Surfer
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2018, 06:07:54 PM »
Great review Osprey and timely for a proud owner of a 9.4 creek and about to drop it in the ocean for the first time......have to agree with the flat water paddling impressions...feels like an old shoe and plenty stable...coming off of a corky Allwave..I think the much thinner rails down in the water help with this.  Construction and looks are first rate...heading to Westport (west coast Wash.) tomorrow as the swell has finally dropped and winds look good.....stoked!
SIC Bullet V2 14
Custom L41 S3 8.4  145 L
Sunova Creek 9.4 148ltr


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Re: Sunova Creek review from a much less experienced Sup Surfer
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2018, 09:45:10 AM »
Glad your CREEK is working out
Now all I gotta do is catch up to for a session in OC or somewhere
I'll PM you sunday looks good

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Jim Karabasz


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Re: Sunova Creek review from a much less experienced Sup Surfer
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 07:22:02 AM »
Hi Ospreysup,

Excellent review format.... it's details like this that help folks get to know a board!

Nice to hear that you find it easy enough, but at the same time, it is improving your surfing... I couldn't be happier to read that!

SUP & primal.... a good beginning
Sunova is a Zone sponsor and I am their spokesman.

My Youtube Channel:

Sunova Website:

Creek model:


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Re: Sunova Creek review from a much less experienced Sup Surfer
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 08:03:10 PM »
Thanks Rick,

It's like you and Bert designed a custom board for me. Will see how it handles hurricane Chris tomorrow.

Just want to say, the Zone has been a remarkable resource for me but I am fortunate to be a local to JimK and nothing is more valuable then the resource of a good, reputable local dealer.

There was a newbie at Jim's shop when I was picking up the board and I will quote myself to that newbie; "Listen to this guy, because I didn't then I realized everything he told me was spot on, save yourself the frustration and listen the first time."

With all these recent post about the industry and cheap sups I think it is so important to support our local dealer as their success is all of our success. In Southern NJ, we have several very good quality dealers, mine is JimK and I swear by him but from LBI to Brigantine and further south we have some great dealers.

So if you are reading this review looking for a new board support the local dealer instead of buying online. Maybe you will save a few bucks but their free knowledge is worth those couple of extra dollars and they will get you to the right board for you!!!!  Thats what Jim did for me!!!