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Author Topic: placid? Yes and no  (Read 1191 times)

JBMaine

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placid? Yes and no
« on: September 19, 2021, 02:25:16 PM »
I am a 65 year old sup surfer. With no background in surfing, I started 3 years ago on a Sunova Steeze (9’6”, 144 liters).  Last Feb, amidst the dark cold of a snowy Maine USA, forced to sequester from humanity in my bedroom to work through the computer,  I tossed  my family’s financial prudence aside and put a down payment on a new ride. I ordered a 8’7” Sunova Placid (125 liters).

It arrived on Monday, (more than 7 months of anticipation). Tropical storm Odette is now sliding through the North Atlantic pushing swell at my beach so it was a good time to try the board. I am used to a thruster so I set it up as that.  The Placid thruster set up has a center fin that is smaller than the sides. I choose the smallest sides with the even smaller center.

Sat morning was foggy and waist high glass. I paddle out thinking that it is a lot more tippy than what I am used to and that it  really does not want to go in a straight line. It needs to turn. I paddle around outside getting used to the board. I discover that the tipping is predictable and the board is much more stable if my stance is more narrow.

Time for a wave. I see a long grey lump moving at me out of the fog. Only 2 paddle strokes swings the board 90 degrees,  from parallel to the beach to pointing at it. There is no need for a step back turn. This board just pivots around where I am standing easily. Another stroke and I am on the wave. I do my compress and crank bottom turn that I learned on the bigger Steeze and. . .  WOAH I find myself doing a 180, going vertically back up the face into a floater off the lip. I have never gone vertical before. I have never done a floater before. I feel like some one has handed me the keys to their Porsche.

I spend the next 3 hours learning (and crashing a lot ). I am carving bottom to top on wave faces. It is not a speedy race down the line board but I am having fun turning. It feels like it is a plank on marbles. Just look and it turns. First ever floater - check. First ever vertical - check. First ever backside cutback - check. Yeehaa! Definitely not Placid.

It becomes clear that I can’t power in from outside. I must start farther inside where the wave is steeper. I am 6’2” and whenever I lean forward to do a power stroke, the shift in weight makes the nose dive. (Rick W suggested that I consider the 8’10” due to my height. - smart man, but I am learning to adapt.)

Day 2 - Lots of chop. The wind blows strongly from the side down the beach. I know that most on the zone run the Placid as a quad so I try it. I put on the smallest provided Sunova sides as the front pair and on the rear I place a pair of RFC 3.75 fins that I had. It is a completely different board! It is rock solid. There is no edgy tippy feeling. The chop is rolling over the rails and my feet. The  Placid is, well it is placid. Turns are no longer feeling like a plank on marbles. They are longer, but buttery smooth. I have fun but there is not a “yeehaa” moment.

 I am happy. I have never aspired to be a short board shredder but I have discovered that the feel of turning this thing can be really fun. I have only had a brief taste of what is possible.  This is an aspirational board for me. It can push the edge of my skill zone.  I expect to be playing with fins and learning from it for quite a while. It is good for oldsters to learn new stuff.

supthecreek

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2021, 04:59:00 AM »
Nice write up JB!
I am glad you are experimenting with fin setups and feeling the magic!

You wired that smaller board quickly  :)
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Tom

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2021, 07:51:15 AM »
Thanks for the review.  I'm picking up my 8 10 Placid today.

JBMaine

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2021, 02:27:49 PM »
Nice write up JB!
I am glad you are experimenting with fin setups and feeling the magic!

Hi Rick, For everyday use I am shooting for something between the “plank on marbles”  feeling of the small thruster and the butter smooth rail carves of the quad that I tried. (I will be back on the small thruster spinning 180’s the next time it gets glassy!) I imagine that my experience is due to my weight and height as you have said that your quad set up was very loose but mine was not. My next outing will be this weekend, in the forecasted rain, when I will try the Sunova big sides with the small center.

JBMaine

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2021, 09:17:24 AM »
An update - My first time out in head high + swell was the most frustrated I have ever been on a sup. In an hour and a half I was able to get on only 2 waves. I missed about 30. The small quads had the board pivoting after 2 strokes such that the third stroke had to be a corrective. This slowed the board so that I could not catch these bigger speedier waves, even when starting waaay inside.  (Insert comment about my poor stroke skills here!) As soon as I got home I put on the biggest quad set thinking that it would retard the turn tendency allowing for more initial speed. The next day’s session  I found that was correct so I have left the big quads on. It is still fun but it no longer spins within its own length. Are there any other over 6 foot SUPers who ride an 8’7” Placid?

supthecreek

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2021, 04:18:53 AM »
Hi JB

I got an 8'7 two weeks ago and love it!
Not 6' feet tall, only 5'10, but I am kinda blown away that I spent an hour and a half on 125 liters at 230 lbs and 73 yo.... and found it easy!

On my 8'10, I always used Quad with medium fronts and small backs, but now I am liking medium sides with smaller middle in thruster set-up to maximize turn snaps.

To mitigate yaw, I basically face out to sea, position myself for the chosen wave, still aiming out to sea, until the wave draws near
Then, I paddle only on one side, time my arc, so I end up in the right place to drop in.
I do this on virtually every wave I ride.... mostly to avoid paddle switches, but it also simply uses the yaw factor to catch the wave.

I think I'll make a video showing this technique, because it is so easy and effective on smaller or curvy SUPs (but I also use the same technique on 14' SUPs)
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JBMaine

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2021, 08:15:18 AM »
Thanks Rick. I have bend doing something very similar. I have been standing with the board parallel to the beach, paddling only on one side, timing my arc to drop in. Perhaps I will try your 180 turn instead of my 90 turn to see if it generates more speed.
John

Tom

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Re: placid? Yes and no
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2021, 03:33:47 PM »
I got the 8 10 Placid a couple of weeks ago, but for various reasons, haven't been able to ride it much, and when I have, the surf has been pretty sub-par. I started out using the included trailer fin and riding it as a quad. I've never been much of a quad fan, but thought it would be good to try out first especially to help it track strait. It does paddle quite strait even with my poor paddling skills. As a quad, the board paddled well, easily caught waves, was very stable and surfed quite well.

Today I switched it to a thruster. Rather than start out with the tiny trailer fin that came with the board, I used a trailer that was smallish, about the size of the quad trailer fins. It still paddled very well but probably didn't track as well as with the quad setup, but what I lost in paddling I gained double is surfing. Like I said, I was never a fan of thrusters and this probably influenced my perception, but as a thruster it seems to be everything I'd want in a SUP. I felt like I was going much more vertical on my bottom turns and cut back re-entries felt great. I've started an new love affair. Thank you Creek for steering me towards this board.

I'm looking forward to trying the smaller trailer fin, but the set up I have now feels great. If the waves get big, I might switch it back to a quad.

 

 


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