Author Topic: Seeking feedback before getting a new board  (Read 4894 times)

NMPaddler

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Email
Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« on: August 18, 2020, 12:47:05 PM »
Hi everybody.  New guy here. Just joined the Standup Zone yesterday.  :)

 Iím looking for some recommendations on a flat water SUP board. I have a Red Paddle Sport (11í x 30Ē ) inflatable board and itís been great for getting familiar with paddling and for my workouts.   Still,  I often feel like itís slogging through the water instead of gliding through it. It leaves me wishing for something that ďfeelsĒ fast. More fun. If that makes sense.

For reference, Iím 60 years old, 165 lbs, a bit short at 5í6Ē and I started paddling a little over a year ago. I paddle in a small lake near Santa Fe, NM and I got into it as an alternative form of getting some exercise.  Being retired, Iím usually able to go out when the water is pretty calm. And my sessions tend to be about 60-90 minutes long, straight out and back at a decent pace to get my heart rate up. I have no plans to get involved racing.


Also, Iíve been working on my paddling technique this summer by watching instructional videos from people like Larry Cain and then video taping myself to see how Iím doing. And thatís definitely making a difference. Not surprising since I had no technique to speak of. For instance, now that Iím trying to put body weight on the paddle and off the board, I can feel the board surge forward under my feet. And my average speed has gone up a bit - so gotta love that.

Still, if a different board would be noticeable faster and more fun, then I would probably seriously consider making a change before next season. The ďmore funĒ part is key by the way. Iím not looking for the fastest board at the expense of all the fun. Iím really looking for a board thatís more fun to paddle - and I think that means faster. Or more glide. Probably both? Problem is, I live in rural northern New Mexico and the closest place to get a demo board is one, possibly two states away. Thatís not happening.

I know thereís a ton of experience in this forum and Iím hopeful that you can steer me in the right direction.  Perhaps share your insight into things I should consider and maybe some specific board recommendations. For instance:
  - Maybe a different board wonít be that much faster or more fun. Should I just focus on technique for another year?
  - 14í vs 12í6?  I get that a 14í would be a little faster but it seems like a lot of board to store, transport and carry to the water. At 60, it'll only get harder each year. Worth it?   
  - Is a hard board the obvious choice - even on flat water? A recent post I read suggested they are because they are quite a bit more stable and generally more fun to paddle than a similar sized inflatable.
  - How narrow is too narrow? Whatís a reasonable step down from 30Ē for the average Joe?
  - New or used? Are there good, reputable places to buy used SUP boards?
  - Have a particular model you would recommend? Letís hear it!

Thanks for any feedback on this. And for reading through this data dump of a post. Itís much appreciated.
Red Paddle Sport 11' x 30"

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5488
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2020, 04:07:40 PM »
Welcome to the forum. Though a bunch of these knuckle heads are foiling these days, there are still a lot of us staying in contact with the water ;D
I would get a 14' x 25" range flat water board. Used is a good place to start. You might have to make a road trip to SoCal to get a good used deal and have lots of options. At your height, weight and age you'll be fine on a 25" wide board. I'm 57 and 6'7 and I paddle a 25" wide board in the ocean. Of course there are new boards that are great, but...... $$$$.
Here are a few on CL in SoCal that would be great for getting you a little more speed and a lot more glide.
 https://sandiego.craigslist.org/csd/spo/d/santee-kings-race-sup/7173914142.html
https://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/spo/d/carlsbad-kings-sup/7177686379.html

The thing about hard boards is you have to take care of them and don't leave them in the heat, specially directly in the sun. Always have a light color soft cover on them. Maybe your part of NM isn't that hot, but it's a consideration.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

Area 10

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4057
    • View Profile
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2020, 06:53:38 PM »
Hard board 14 for sure, but I'd go 26" wide first off just to be sure the step down from 30" isn't too much. Unless of course you paddle 90% pf the time in less than 10knots wind and very flat water that doesn't move much, and are quite athletic: then you could go 24 or 25.

Maybe start off with an all-waters race board. There are many ones to consider, eg. Starboard All Star, SIC RS, Naish Maliko, Sunova All-Waters etc
 
Or you couid even go straight to flatvwatwr specific bosrds like the Naish Javelin, Stsrbosrd Sprint etc if you are really feeling the need for speed. IMO theall-waters boards usually give a nicer paddling experience, but this may just be my idiosyncrasy
 

NMPaddler

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 09:46:50 PM »
TallDude: Thanks for the warm welcome.

Honestly, I would rather be windsurfing. But I retired to northern NM and the local lake kind of sucks for windsurfing so I sold my gear and bought a SUP. Now I'm just trying to make SUPing as fun as possible on flat water. Having spent a couple of hours this afternoon surfing the forums about 14' vs 12'6, I think the majority of people who have paddled both tend to think the glide, stability and tracking of the 14' is worth any downside associated with its size. I didn't considered taking a road trip to SoCal but maybe in 2021 I'll give some thought to a road trip to a popular SUP location like San Diego so I can demo some boards and maybe buy one local.

Area10:  Actually, I do spend 90% of my time in less than 10 knots and pretty flat water but at best I'm of average athletic ability. Given that, I'll probably go conservative on the width. Thanks for the tip about all-water vs flat water racing boards. Since I'm prioritize a fun experience over pure speed, perhaps an all-water might be the better choice.

I didn't think to ask before but is there a much difference in the durability of these brands/boards other than carbon vs everything else? Being in the middle of a desert, the lake shoreline is mostly sand and rocks. I'm pretty careful with my gear but all things equal I would favor equipment that isn't super easy to damage.
Red Paddle Sport 11' x 30"

Area 10

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4057
    • View Profile
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2020, 04:10:23 AM »
Yes, there can be substantial.differences in the durability of the boards. Carbon doesn't make a board more durable, so its not of any significance if durability is what you want. Many brands' base construction (often a wood sandwuch) might be more durable than their carbon models. A thing that is definitely worth paying for in terms of durabiliry is a full PVC sandwich construction IMO. Boards thst come out of the Kinetic factoey in Vietnam (eg. 2020 SICs, Jimmy Lewis, Infinity etc) tend to be built like thst and be very light and durable compared to the competition. But some other brands produce cheap durable boards too (I have Gong boards thst are wood sandwich + carbon-kevlar, or full PVC sandwich which are both tough and cheap)  but there is usually a penalty in terms of weight. So it depends how much that matters to you.

burchas

  • Custom Built
  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2206
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2020, 06:32:12 AM »
Actually, I do spend 90% of my time in less than 10 knots and pretty flat water but at best I'm of average athletic ability... perhaps an all-water might be the better choice.

Every once in while I spend some time in an area with access to calm lakes only. I do not consider any of my boards (all-water, ocean and downwind boards) to be fun in these settings.
In order to keep the experience engaging so I could keep coming back to it I was looking for an extra challenge. Speed is a great motivator for many but so is balance both will contribute
to fitness.

I had much better time on a pure flat water boards in these conditions. Narrow is good but not too narrow so I could still maintain/practice good technic but narrow enough to keep
me focused on my workout rather than wonder off looking at the tree tops and algae while searching for signs of life under water :D

Light board is definitely a boon in that context and makes for a better ownership experience imo but so is durability as you mentioned. With that in mind I have 2 boards to throw into the mix:

Savage River Edge: http://www.savageriver.com/sups/edge

Speedboard Speeder SS: https://speedboardusa.com/product/speeder-ss/

Definitely an investment, but these are bomber constructions while light weight and the shapes, while different, both tuned for flat water speed and will challenge your balance with a rounded bottom.

Another board to look at though I'm not familiar with their construction is the One Edge Pro 2: https://www.oneoceansports.com/edge-pro

For rounded bottom I would probably not go under 23 wide, other shapes I could see my self on 21-22. Assuming we're only talking about flat water with no plans for bigger water.

If I was land locked with access to calm water lakes only, I believe I would be happy with any of the above though I only tried one of the mentioned. Either that or I would procure a 14'x12" log from the nearest lumber yard if money was tight ;D
in progress...

Quickbeam

  • Teahupoo Status
  • ******
  • Posts: 1094
    • View Profile
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2020, 08:11:07 AM »
I live on a lake and paddle mostly flat water. I paddle for exercise and enjoyment. You had asked if a hard board is the obvious choice and yes, it is. The only real reason to buy an inflatable is if you donít have the storage available for a hardboard or canít transport a hardboard. Of it itís for kids, etc. and will be abused. But if you want to progress in your paddling, then a hardboard is definitely the way to go.

And while I would agree with the recommendations to get a 14í board, all my boards are 12í 6Ē.  In my case, I simply donít have the ability to store 14í boards, or at least it would be very difficult for me to do so. And for what I use my boards for, I am quite happy with the 12í 6Ē boards I paddle. I should also point out that Iím a smaller, lighter paddler. Iím 5í 8Ē and weigh 150 pounds.

And finally, Iíll throw out one other board for you to consider and thatís the Infinity Blackfish. I had never paddled one until just recently and ended up buying one. I bought a 12í 6Ē x 23Ē. I wouldnít advise you start that narrow, but you said you wanted a board that is fun, and this board is a blast to paddle. Itís fast, very responsive, turns on a dime and is pretty stable for itsí width. It's also very well made.

Good luck with your search and please do let us know what you end up with.
Infinity Blackfish 12í 6Ē x 23Ē
ONE SUP Evo 12í 6Ē x 24Ē
Infinity Whiplash 12' 6" x 24 1/2"
ONE SUP Evo 12í 6Ē x 26Ē
Bark Competitor 12í 6Ē x 29Ē
Red Paddle Explorer (Inflatable) 13' 2" x 30
Red Paddle Race (Inflatable) 12í 6Ē x 30Ē

NMPaddler

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2020, 02:01:06 PM »
Quickbeam: Looks like a consensus is forming. Hard board looks like the clear winner! And probably 14í.  I hadnít heard of the Infinity Blackfish. Iíll take a look at it. Thanks for the recommendation. By the way, you sure have a lot of boards!

When I retired, I bought a Ram CV (mini cargo van) to carry my windsurfing boards and kayak inside my vehicle instead of having to deal with a roof rack (which I had done for about 30 years).  Itís so much easier to load and unload gear when itís inside the van.  But if I get a hard board, Iíll have to add a roof rack.

burchas: I found  your post particularly insightful.  I think thatís because I have to admit that I havenít found the joy of SUPing. I mean, it seems to be a great, low impact, workout. And being out on the water beats going for a run any day of the week. But letís face it, what isnít better than going for a run, right? The thing is, slogging through flat water at a slow speed while expending a lot of energy just isnít fun. Probably never going to be. And yet, a lot of people seem to have fun on their paddle boards on flat water. Quickbeam for one. I assume many are competitive and live where they can enter races. Others, because Ö. Okay, Iím not sure about the other reasons yet. But I know I haven't experienced it yet. But hereís the thing. Sometimes find myself grinning stupidly when Iím cycling because I appreciate how well my bike is handling, or how responsive it is when I hammer down or just at how fast Iím going down a hill. Same thing when my windsurfing board jumps up onto the plan and takes off. That always makes me grin stupidly because itís such a great feeling. And these little moments keep me coming back to these activities.

I never have a stupid grin on my face when Iím SUPing. Not yet anyway. So Iím still trying to find the joy in flat water SUPing. Maybe itís a combination of a board that glides like a dream and the fitness/technique to make good use of it. Donít really know. But I'm new to the sport. And any day out on the water is a pretty good day.

Also thanks for the board recommendations. And the tip about the log. I live next to the Santa Fe and Carson national forest so a 14í log might just be the ticket. Especially after I looked up some of the boards Area 10 recommended. I had no idea race boards were that expensive. Ouch!

But I donít think Iíll be able to use your advice about getting a board that makes you focus. Unless itís by accident. Iíve never seen a race board much less paddled one. And I havenít found a SUP store in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. There a few places that rent all-around inflatables for lakes or the river but thatís about it I think. And all Iíve seen at my lake are inflatable, all-around boards. So itís likely Iíll end up picking a board without ever having paddled anything except my 11í x 30Ē Sport. Which means, Iíll probably have to be a bit conservative on the width.

Area 10: Good info about the construction and durability. Thanks.

I thought I would post a couple of pictures I took today during my paddle session. Either attached pictures don't show up in the Preview or I'm doing to wrong. Guess we'll see when I hit Post ...
Red Paddle Sport 11' x 30"

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5488
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2020, 02:34:37 PM »
Flat water paddling is nice with some music going in your ears too. The thing about flat water paddling is it's the closest to swimming laps without having to swim laps. What I mean is it's about streamlining your stroke. The perfection of the stroke. I'm still learning and I've been paddling for 12+ years now. The real serious flat water distance paddlers paddle unlimited boards. 18' + boards. No better glide, no matter your size. I'll go down to the harbor in the evenings/ night time when it's just glass. Not a soul out paddling but me. I'll take my flat water only race board and maintain almost 6 mph for an hour. Every stroke is as pure as I can make it. Constantly making micro adjustments. Not a splash when my paddle enters the water, and not a bubble on release. My board creates no wake from the nose or tail. Completely quiet. I can close my eyes and paddle. 
This is not sprinting, or bouncing up and down for a thousand meters. This is sustained glide speed for 5 or 6 miles. No pivot turns. Turns are gradual with foot steering only as too maintain speed throughout.  8)

Here's my flat water 18' x 25" tooth pick.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

NMPaddler

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2020, 04:20:40 PM »
I loved your analogy between seeking the paddling and swimming stroke efficiency. I really get that and how you can get lost in focusing on each making the next stroke just a little better than the last one. Swimming is another activity that every once in a while, usually by accident, my technique seems to jell briefly, my body will rise up higher in the water than normal, my speed seems almost effortless and I'll find myself grinning stupidly. Unfortunately, I'm not a great swimmer so that doesn't happen often or last long but it does bring me back looking for it again and again.  The appeal of the night time paddle you described sounds a lot like that. I can definitely relate to that.

I suppose it's not impossible to achieve that same feeling on my 11' Sport. But it feels like it might be.   :-\

So glad I recently discovered an MP3 player I can use when I swim. And I always paddle with music in my ears.  :)
Red Paddle Sport 11' x 30"

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5488
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2020, 06:11:32 PM »
I'll paddle my 14' ocean board with friends or in the ocean thru the surf, but I sucks in flat water only because I know how fast my unlimited is. Very few people have ever paddle an unlimited so they are happy with their 14'ers. I'm just too heavy really for any 14' board to be fast, which is why I prefer a longer board. It's just physics.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

Area 10

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 4057
    • View Profile
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2020, 07:36:54 PM »
It's not all about speed... flat watwr boards are faster in dkat water fir sure, but not by much, if your comparison is something like the SIC RS. But a lot of the fastest flat watsr boards are very tippy, and that ruins the paddling pleasure for me because it is hard to work on timing and technique if your legs are wobbly and you think you might take a dip at any moment.

So, before you get caught up.in the razzmatazz of e.g. a 18" wide needle-nose unlimited board, you need to be clear about what you want from.your paddlimg. SUP is slow, no matter what bosrd you are on. And some of us get a much more satisfying all-body workout if we have a relatively stable platform to.work on. I have gone too narrow before, and it turned paddling into.a chore.

These elite racing boards usually take a bit of working up.to. Try and demo some if you can, to find out what kind of feel you enjoy, and how good your balance is.

NMPaddler

  • Waikiki Status
  • *
  • Posts: 32
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2020, 08:53:23 PM »
Oh, I'm not getting caught up in something like an 18' unlimited board. I'm still trying to wrap my head around jumping up to a 14' hard board.  :)

But so far, the feeling TallDude described when paddling the a fast board at night in calm water is the clearest definition of what "fun" would be for me on a SUP on flat water.

So the question is, what board would help me achieve that?

Based on feedback so far, it appears to be a hard board, 14' long that, glides well and isn't so tippy that it is difficult to paddle. So probably around 26" wide give or take an inch. And if I can't demo any race boards, that probably means I should go 26" or 27". On the other hand, if I can demo some race boards then I should be open to considering 25". But that's not likely to happen and for now I'll limit my searches to 26-27" range.

Red Paddle Sport 11' x 30"

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5488
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2020, 09:58:24 PM »
26" at the widest. To me, 27" is a touring board. The Infinity Whiplash 25", the SIC RS 26" (which I've race a few times), The used kings I showed you 25", the Naish Javelin 24" , Starboard Sprint 25" are all good options for flat water. I'm not a fan of the Blackfish for 95% or more flat water. Most of the newer narrower boards have boxy rails which give more stability. They carry the width through the board to a wide tail which adds to the stability. They recess the foot wells down to water line which even more adds to the stability. So the newer 24" boards feel stability wise like and older 26" with more rounded rails. By making the channel down the middle of the bottom of the board and recessing the foot wells, they move the volume to the outer edges of the board which again adds stability. They've evolved into more stable narrower boards.
Get out on a capping ocean with 10 ft +swells and you'll be wishing it was about 6" wider! Trust me... I know. 
« Last Edit: August 19, 2020, 10:02:20 PM by TallDude »
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5488
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Seeking feedback before getting a new board
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2020, 10:15:25 PM »
Here I am in a flat water race in Folsom, CA. on a 14' x 26" SIC RS Pro in just about 100 deg temps. I ran out of water on the last mile. It's a nice flat water board, but I've surfed it and ocean paddled it quite a bit.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal