Author Topic: How much does the board matter?  (Read 2060 times)

John65

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How much does the board matter?
« on: December 22, 2021, 09:13:46 AM »
After reading a lot of forums about boards it appears to me that there is not that much that really matters.  I want to check my conclusions here.
Size matters to some extent: 
Larger is way better to learn with.   (Volume, length and width)
Heavier people need much larger boards.  Lighter ones smaller

Shape:
Breaking free of the water is a big issue that most boards seem to deal with at this point.

Weight:
Lighter is always better as we age. 

Cost: 
For some.  But probably you get what you pay for.

Materials:
They all seem to be pretty close to the same construction

Are there other factors I am missing? 
Thanks.

JohnnyTsunami

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2021, 09:26:26 AM »
The biggest factor is weight (edit, aside from volume but that's an individual thing) and it has nothing to do with how old you are. A lighter board will pump better and turn better and be more responsive. I.e. it will be better in every way.

I have a KT drifter full 4’8” and 38L, let’s call it 8lbs but Im not sure. I want to make a 4’8” 65L board and if I matched the weight then I could pump around for minutes at a time and the responsiveness would be the same. Compare that to a 5’4” 14lb board (which I have) and the swing weight makes it so you couldn’t do that.

The solution to unsticking the board is now a flat bottom and straight tail.

Other than that the shape should be designed so you don’t hit rails on turns and so you can be balanced when you are slogging and getting on foil and not move you feet when you are actually on foil, meaning the volume is in the right place.

A “bar of soap” board would be just fine if you tapered the flotation in the front and it had some nose rocker. This is why you see many home shapes. I hope to make my own in the spring.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 10:00:29 AM by JohnnyTsunami »

Badger

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2021, 09:40:28 AM »
One major age factor for me is to have a board with enough volume that I can easily get back to shore if the wind dies. I am unable to prone paddle, so I need to be able to knee paddle or better yet, stand on the board and sail it to shore. I don't see myself ever going below 100 liters.
Naish S26 Hover GS 125L - Axis BSC 1060/440 - Ozone Wasp V1 4m/5m
Sunova Flow  8'10 X 31"  119L
Me - 6'0" - 175lbs - 64yo

Caribsurf

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2021, 10:39:48 AM »
one KEY feature is that the board has dual carry handles , one on the deck the other underside of the board.  I just spent 3 weeks carrying an older heavier Jimmy Lewis Flying V foil/SUP board with only the deck handle.  It can be brutal especially if you have some difficult terrain to get to the water like I do. 
My Fanatic Sky Wing has dual handles and I love it.

aside from that, a board with more volume when learning helps a lot.  You will progress quickly and want a smaller board, but you won't have any problem selling an entry level board, or you might want to keep it for light wind days and larger wing..
Hobie Raw 8'10"
Jimmy Lewis Kwad 8'7"
L41 Bruce Wayne 8’10”
Jimmy Lewis Flying V foil SUP 6’11”
Fanatic Sky SUP foil SUP 6’6”
Coreban Rocket 10'6"
Hobie 14' race board

PonoBill

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2021, 11:36:15 AM »
Dual handles are nice, a bottom handle is essential if you're entering through shorebreak. A bottom handle automatically ensures the foil is away from your body. A top handle ensures the foil is across your body, either in front of your thighs (always bad) or behind your thighs (sometimes bad).

Weight is a huge deal.

Length hurts maneuverability worse than width. Width helps stability more than length. You might therefore think short wide would be best, and it often is--until you want to turn hard. Touching a rail down is an instant and ugly crash unless your name is Derek, or Johnny, or Mary Rose, or Kai. Bevels help, but they kind of suck for initial stability (good for secondary stability though). Thicker helps, unless you're in chop or the board gets corky, which means once you start to tip you can't stop.

Board designs require endless compromise. Home-made designs generally reflect a limited set of experiments and conclusions. The last board I had Mark Raaphorst make for me featured his fantastic craftsmanship and my limited design ideas. I should have just shut up. I'm back to riding the wing board he made for me last year with minimal input from me. It rocks.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2021, 11:47:32 AM by PonoBill »
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

spindrift

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2021, 01:54:58 PM »
Dual handles are nice, a bottom handle is essential if you're entering through shorebreak. A bottom handle automatically ensures the foil is away from your body. A top handle ensures the foil is across your body, either in front of your thighs (always bad) or behind your thighs (sometimes bad).

Weight is a huge deal.

Length hurts maneuverability worse than width. Width helps stability more than length. You might therefore think short wide would be best, and it often is--until you want to turn hard. Touching a rail down is an instant and ugly crash unless your name is Derek, or Johnny, or Mary Rose, or Kai. Bevels help, but they kind of suck for initial stability (good for secondary stability though). Thicker helps, unless you're in chop or the board gets corky, which means once you start to tip you can't stop.

Board designs require endless compromise. Home-made designs generally reflect a limited set of experiments and conclusions. The last board I had Mark Raaphorst make for me featured his fantastic craftsmanship and my limited design ideas. I should have just shut up. I'm back to riding the wing board he made for me last year with minimal input from me. It rocks.

How did the old and new boards from Mark Raaphorst differ?
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juandesooka

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2021, 02:24:50 PM »
I think it may depend on your level, how far you aspire to go, and what you want to do.

For a beginner, bigger floatier board is massively helpful. Best case scenario is a board you can stand on without even holding the wing ... that's a super stable platform to learn from. Similar to surfing, the learning process is very much more difficult with too advanced gear.

Advancing to intermediate, for the average rider that just cruises around in flat water, I think most of the board factors are heavily overplayed. Bottom profile is arguably irrelevant: deep concave to double concave with deep concave chines are gimmicks to sell boards, as we are seeing flat and square work just as well (or better perhaps).  Long flat tail seems optimal, but lots of high end boards have tail kick. Lighter is nicer for carrying board but makes little difference to performance (think of your buddy who is 8-10lbs heavier or lighter than you, is there any realistic difference in their performance vs yours on same gear?).  Super expensive high tech materials are awesome but old surfboard glassing works fine too -- again about selling boards vs real impacts.  Quite frankly, I think it's market perception that a wing board needs to be $2000-2500 to be seen as legit, less than that it's disregarded as a low quality POS. Intermediate wing boards are pretty much the simplest boards there are, barge platforms ... make your own.

Getting towards expert, you start to see more trade-off decisions: maybe lightness matters more for airs and nimble turning and pumping, so maybe extra expense is worth it?  A smaller board is much better riding potential, but any given session this benefit may come at the cost of intense frustration if wind is too light or conditions too choppy to make it work.  Light wind takeoff is maximized with straight tail, but it may hit on bigger steeper waves.  At this point you have to decide what you're after ... and likely have multiple boards for varied conditions and pursuits.





After reading a lot of forums about boards it appears to me that there is not that much that really matters.  I want to check my conclusions here.
Size matters to some extent:
Larger is way better to learn with.   (Volume, length and width)
Heavier people need much larger boards.  Lighter ones smaller

Shape:
Breaking free of the water is a big issue that most boards seem to deal with at this point.

Weight:
Lighter is always better as we age.

Cost:
For some.  But probably you get what you pay for.

Materials:
They all seem to be pretty close to the same construction

Are there other factors I am missing?
Thanks.

PonoBill

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2021, 09:34:32 AM »
Dual handles are nice, a bottom handle is essential if you're entering through shorebreak. A bottom handle automatically ensures the foil is away from your body. A top handle ensures the foil is across your body, either in front of your thighs (always bad) or behind your thighs (sometimes bad).

Weight is a huge deal.

Length hurts maneuverability worse than width. Width helps stability more than length. You might therefore think short wide would be best, and it often is--until you want to turn hard. Touching a rail down is an instant and ugly crash unless your name is Derek, or Johnny, or Mary Rose, or Kai. Bevels help, but they kind of suck for initial stability (good for secondary stability though). Thicker helps, unless you're in chop or the board gets corky, which means once you start to tip you can't stop.

Board designs require endless compromise. Home-made designs generally reflect a limited set of experiments and conclusions. The last board I had Mark Raaphorst make for me featured his fantastic craftsmanship and my limited design ideas. I should have just shut up. I'm back to riding the wing board he made for me last year with minimal input from me. It rocks.

How did the old and new boards from Mark Raaphorst differ?

Completely different shapes. Mark is in the water testing as often as he can manage, which is one reason his waiting list is long. My first foil board from him was thin in the rails, sort of pointy, and had complex bottom. Incredibly stable, super light. the board I'm using the most right now is more squared off in the nose, has subtle curves in the bottom, flat deck except for a slight dome in the front to direct water. It's pretty amazing, recovers from almost any stupid crash I subject it to, including overfoiling. The most recent board has a bottom and rail shape that I largely dictated. It works fairly well, but it's a bit hard to stand on for me--a little corky compared to my pure wing board.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

deja vu

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2022, 10:54:52 AM »
Short with a lot of volume -- Starboard seems to think so:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPKWNQsH_XQ

Wingfoil2001

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2022, 11:22:15 AM »
I’m 80 kg and I’ve just changed from the Naish 95 to a 78 ltr board. I let the custom manufacturer, Carbonco, have his head, the board I received is 22 1/2 wide and 4’10 long. It has a flat bottom with no kick.

Got up on it first go, wow, such an improvement. The board gets up to speed a lot quicker and during touch downs it just skips across the surface, no drag at all.

One thing that surprised me, in sub flying conditions I could easily get back to my starting point, even upwind a little if on my knees. I think it is the narrow width allowing the rails to bite more and point higher. That’s a comfort knowing I can always get back even if the wind drops, no walk of shame.

SurfIC

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Re: How much does the board matter?
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2022, 09:04:03 AM »
My input for what it's worth;

I have owned these wing boards, Gong Zuma, Gong Hipe (inflatable), Fone Rocket, Fanatic Sky 2022, Naish Hover, Gong Matata

 Tested these, Gong lemon, Ride engine, custom, fanatic v1, starboard v1, rocket air and a few others..

My personal conclusion..
1) I'm not keen on square nose boards, they feel massive and clumsy for the same volume as a pointy nose
2) I like narrower boards
3) The bottom shape doesn't make a huge difference. I bought and promptly sold the fanatic 2022. I thought the squared tail and rail would release earlier. I didn't notice anything significant. I can pump pretty well, if theres a gust I'm up.
4) Light boards both in and out of the water are far nicer!!
5) Contaray to popular opinion I think inflatable boards pop foil really well.

I am from a surf background and for me the Naish Hover is by far my favourite board and I can slash around like a looney on that board. It feels so much more loose and alive than any other. I'm still on the s25 version. Anything with bulk upfront feels like a barn door. The trade of is it marginally more difficult in challenging conditions to get your balance. I'd urge people to try as many as possible.. btw, I really rate the Gong Hipe and have bought another for travel. Its the smaller one than I had before @, 4'11 X 23" 70L.
Naish 5'2 85L, Gong Matata 4'11 55L
Gong 85 Carbon mast, 95 Alu V2
LT 1450 and XLT 2100 Curve Pro Wings
Various Stabs

 


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