Author Topic: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!  (Read 914 times)

Kip

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Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« on: June 28, 2020, 06:03:02 PM »
Brand new to the forum so forgive me if a million similar topics like this have been posted  ;D

I started paddling about 6 months ago after I gave up ultrarunning due to some ongoing injures. Started on a costco board we had in our garage, purchased a 12' 6" x 31" POP Americana and pretty much immediatelly realized I'd grown out of it, so purchased a friends Riviera RP 14' x 25" and a Kialoa Ewalu race paddle. Now I want to upgrade again, but this time I'd like to use it for a couple years haha

I live in Bellingham, WA and mostly train on the lakes. There can be some chop on stormy days and there ALWAYS seems to be wind with gusts that can reach up to 25MPH, but now and then I go out on the bay as well. I'm 5' 8" and 160 lbs.

The boards I'm looking at are: SIC RS 21.5, SIC RS 23 or the NSP Carolina 22.5"

I've ruled out the AllStar because of the price on the 23" and under boards.

I'd be a little concerned about the stability of the 21.5 SIC on the bay with decent swells, but also don't want to wish I had it later!

Hoping I could get some advice and feedback from any of you who have paddled any of these.

Cheers!

Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

burchas

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2020, 09:30:31 PM »
Welcome to the zone kip!

Many SUP beginners are making the mistake of getting sucked into the narrow board hype but you have to ask your self to what end? Do you intend to race a lot?(you'll have to wait a bit for that ;))
Even if your answer to this is yes, you'll still benefit from a little wider board. As talented as you might be, developing a good stroke is something that takes time and can be executed much better on a little wider board where you don't struggle with balance. Another reason is race starts. Often chaotic and full of contact, chances are you'll find your self swimming and right there you lost your narrow board perceived advantage.

If you're not going to race a lot, then what's the point of getting a narrow board? If you just like to be fast on the water, you're in the wrong sport. Sup are slow. You also want to consider further down the road when you might want to take on downwinding. You may regret not having a wider board when you'll spend a lot of time swimming rather than catching bumps.

With flat water it easy to ride narrow board and feel accomplished. I went as far as riding an 18" board, looking back I can't remember what was the point of the exercise. If it just speed you're after, you might grow out of this sport as fast as you could ride a 21" wide board. If it's the challenge, the water can always match you with condition you wouldn't be able to ride even a 40" wide board. It's all about the conditions you want to ride or see your self riding in the future, that's how you'll choose the right board.

Before buying a 21" or even a 23" board consider that in case you do not like the board, you'll be taking a big hit on what you paid when trying to sell it, that is if you'll even be able to sell it at all.
in progress...

Kip

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2020, 10:55:30 PM »
Awesome insight! Thank you. Reading through the forums everyone seems so nice and helpful here.
Some great things to think about as a new guy. And ultimately I'm going to keep working on my technique on the Riviera until I make a decision.

I did find I could consider the 24.5" Starboard AllStar Wood/Carbon blend at a great price point through Paddle Surf Warehouse so maybe that's a good option. Hard to demo things in my neck of the woods especially during pandemic time! So I appreciate the help.
Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

singingdog

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2020, 04:43:31 AM »
Burchas gives great advice. I know a few folks that have gone very narrow for speed, and end up not going out on challenging days because they have such a "fast" board. I have seen it said many times on this forum; the fastest board is the one you can stay on. I could see going very narrow if winning races if your goal, otherwise, I just don't see the point of it.

Quickbeam

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2020, 08:36:42 AM »
Let me provide a different point of view. I have a 12’ 6” x 22” ONE Sup Edge Pro. It’s a dugout and it’s narrow. And I do like the board. But I really only paddle it on flat water. I also did not buy it to race. I bought it because I wanted to challenge myself and to help improve my skills.

I also however have other boards I can paddle when the wind kicks up.

I describe my 22” board like having a temperamental girlfriend. Is challenging but still a lot of fun and I really enjoy it. But I wouldn’t want to be married to it. Hence the need for more than one board (or girlfriend as the case may be)!
ONE SUP Edge Pro 12' 6" x 22"
ONE SUP Evo 12’ 6” x 24”
Infinity Whiplash 12' 6" x 24 1/2"
ONE SUP Evo 12’ 6” x 26”
Bark Competitor 12’ 6” x 29”
Red Paddle Explorer (Inflatable) 13' 2" x 30
Red Paddle Race (Inflatable) 12’ 6” x 30”

ZRE Power Surge ZX4, Kevlar braided shaft (75”)

Area 10

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2020, 10:28:51 AM »
I agree with the opinions here. A 21.5 wide board is a highly specialised one, and that SIC model would be mainly for highly experienced and light paddlers (eg. Pro women) or kids who race. 23" is more sensible but would still be a challenge in very choppy conditions. Most experienced guys who are only occasional racers and paddle open waters where wind and chop are unpredictable for fitness and fun will get the 24.5" wide one. That's the one I have. Paddling a board that is too tippy for you is simply no fun at all, unless you are specifically aiming to use it as a balance trainer only. But if your board is a balance trainer you'll need another that you can get your heart rate up on. I owned a 23" wide Starboard Ace. What a hateful board! It made paddling in chop an absolutely miserable experience. I take my hat off to the 0.2% of SUPers who can make a board like that work in poor weather. But I want to enjoy my paddling, and chop is a fact of life for me.

Kip

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2020, 12:10:42 PM »
Thank you all for the input!

I guess my thought process was "Well I already dumped money into a touring board I don't use but once a week and I want to be able to use my "engine" from years of competetive trail running to the best of my ability when SUP races open back up, so I'll go as narrow as possible so I won't grow out of it" but our bay does get pretty choppy. Even the lake is choppy (to me) on windy days!

I'll focus on improving on the Riviera because it's pretty sweet, but would still love to hear what others think of their SICs and NSP Carolinas.

Cheers,
Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

Area 10

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2020, 01:23:08 PM »
Sorry, but trail running fitness isn't going to help you much SUP racing.

Dusk Patrol

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2020, 02:51:56 PM »
I have a 26" RS in Seattle that you're welcome to try. I tried a variety of boards and found the RS to be inherently stable (at least more stable than others) and it just felt invincible (the board, not me) whatever conditions are thrown at it. So I imagine that design would translate downward to a narrower RS. Another option for some fun is to go down to Gorge Performance and try some of their selection of 14' narrowish boards.   

And that photo you posted is a beautiful shot. It also gives you a real feeling for what its like around here for most of the year!
« Last Edit: June 29, 2020, 03:27:25 PM by Dusk Patrol »
Bullet V2; RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4

Kip

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2020, 08:30:52 PM »
Area 10,

I will respectfully disagree with you. While I know it will take years to build strength, master technique, and find out what tactics work for SUP racing, there's no arguing that the endurance and VO2 max it takes to run for podium spots at west coast trail and ultra events will transfer over, at least a little bit. I appreciate your feedback though! Thank you for sharing thoughts :) 

Dusk Patrol,

Thank you! I might take you up on that. If you're ever in the Bellingham area, please reach out and we can SHRED! So awesome.
If you've never been up this, we have this sweet lake that's a blast. Zoom out on the map to see the whole thing, it's pretty big! + the bay.

https://www.strava.com/activities/3694774845
Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

burchas

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2020, 07:31:37 AM »
I'll focus on improving on the Riviera because it's pretty sweet, but would still love to hear what others think of their SICs and NSP Carolinas.

I think it's a wise decision Kip. It will give you more time to evaluate what kind of board you need. While both the SIC and NSP are capable boards, if you'll realize you spend most of your time paddling flat water, considering pure flat water board is not a bad idea. It's a different experience and feels more rewarding imo. If I see other paddlers with intriguing boards, I'm never shy to ask and switch. Dusk's advise about the Gorge is excellent. If I was within driving distance, it would have been my home away from home ;D

Based on your Strava, you're not really slugging along on your Riviera. With your V12 engine you should be able to shave 10 more minutes off that time before you need to dump the board, good technic will get you there. It would make the transition to a 6mph average speed so much more exciting.
in progress...

Kip

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2020, 08:17:01 AM »
Thank you Burchas! Great advice.

SO MANY BOARDS to geek out about haha seems like the fun will never stop
Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

burchas

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2020, 11:31:50 AM »
Thank you Burchas! Great advice.

SO MANY BOARDS to geek out about haha seems like the fun will never stop

Just make sure your wife is going to share that "haha" moment when you end up with 15 boards like me. You've been warned, this sh1t is addicting ;D
in progress...

Kip

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2020, 01:48:38 PM »
lol already got the eye roll when she saw me on the forum asking about more boards haha
Riviera RP Race 14' x 25"
POP Americana 12'6" x 31"

yugi

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Re: Need help deciding on my "final" race board!
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2020, 01:58:09 PM »
hi Kip,

Nice pic!

Yep. Nothing wrong with doing the learning curve on a clunker. Try boards here and there, and see what fits your conditions, will, and skills.

Maybe I [speed]read the thread too quick but I didn’t see much mention of your height and weight. Everything is relative.

I second advice given so far...
Take one step at a time, take a board that you can go out in all conditions and work your way down very progressively down to a board that suits you.

I imagine for trails you pick your gear for what types and distances your trails will be. Same same here. Choose more long distance and all conditions gear and get good (without incurring injury) and then optimise later for gear that let’s you tweak that little bit more go faster stuff.

And... just coz it’s it’s fun to rib A10  (mainly because I tend to agree with him - and I bought a board based just on his review once)... You’re right Kip. Trail running has a lot of cross-over skills w SUP. SUP will improve your trial running and hopefully allow you to recover from your trial injuries. It’s all win win. (I live on the St Bernard ultra trail path and just a couple of miles from the UTMB path).

Trail running is hugely balance and path reading - just like SUP, especially in rough water conditions. Which is why you should be keeping an open mind to a board better suited for rough stuff - rather than a pure flat-water board.



 


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