Author Topic: Need help understanding SUP lengths!  (Read 292 times)

stxsup87

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Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« on: June 23, 2022, 05:43:58 PM »
Hello everyone!

Long long time lurker here, I've actually tried registering off and on for about 6 years  ;D, with no success. I understand how difficult it is to try and keep the bots out! Thanks for having me.

Currently I'm surfing a Sunova "One", 9'6" that I absolutely love. Although, in the future I would like something with a bit more turning with close to the same stability, I try to stay out for 4-6 hour surf sessions. After watching the Laird youtube video where I assume he's on a 10'6" or 11" it really got me thinking. I'm having trouble understanding lengths, especially lengths from 9'-10'6". There are so many boards in this range and I'm wondering what exactly in performance will you get out of a 9'6" vs a 10' and so forth. Will the 10'6" simply be a faster board to catch waves earlier?

Currently, I'm looking at Sunova Speeed, Revolution, Steeze, and the Nalu GTW 10'6" for the next board. Choosing length is really bugging me. I surf South Texas (South Padre Island) beach break and really enjoy getting out there and catching waves as they initially build, will a 9'6" vs 10'6" be a considerable difference in wave catching ability?

Would love to hear feedback on this, thanks again for all the great information on these forums.
Sunova One 9'6"
Starboard Waterline 14'
Starboard Lima
IG: stxsup87

Dusk Patrol

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2022, 12:59:30 PM »
Hey STX - Others can give more refined advice ... but first thoughts are:

- 10' and above benefit from longboard style of turning ..from the tail and moving your feet - so you need to consider if that is what you want to commit to. 
- 9'6 and below are more amenable to turning from the middle (which I personally like)
- the longer the board and the flatter the rocker means easier to catch waves (i.e. longboard). But you can can have a smaller (9-9'6) board with flatter rocker and a square-ish or modified tail (for the wave to push) that will also be a wave catcher.   
- Laird on those 11" boards is probably vintage video by now.
- Obviously the more shaped a board is, the quicker turning it will be. Contrast the long parallel sides of a longboard.     

And shorter boards are more convenient to schlep around.  But being in Texas you have a truck  ;D so maybe that's not a big factor for you.

Honestly your Sunova One is what someone might suggest for you... It has a very turn-y shape and relatively flat rocker...  and you already have it.   Otherwise you might do the research on the more longboard shaped boards you're; looking at and see if any of them have a noted ability to turn.
RS 14x26; JL Destroyer 9'8; BluePlanet 9'4; JL SF 8'6

sflinux

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2022, 06:24:36 PM »
You may want to mention your height, weight, age as it tends to be relevant.
I don't have a 10' board, but do have a 9'6" and 10'6".  A 10'6" will have more glide and momentum.  The extra foot in length means it takes a little longer to get to the tail.  A 10'6" will have more swing weight.  I'd say a 10'6" is traditional longboard style of riding.  Something like a 9' board tends to be more of a performance longboard style (Colin Mcphillips).  Once you go under 9', it get to be more of a midlength style.  If you can get sub 8', it gets close to feeling like a shortboard.  9'6" is a cool around length which fits right in the middle.
When I think of length, and adding or removing a foot from a board, I think of the tail as being 6" shorter/longer and the nose is 6" shorter/longer with respect to your toe and heel in surf stance.  If you go an inch narrower, I think of 1/2" narrower on each side of the board.
You mentioned turny and stability which are a bit of an oxymoron.
To get more turny most guys go shorter for less swing weight.  The other route is to go narrow so your foot is closer to the edge of the board for more responsiveness.  To get the most turning out of a board, you want your back foot all the way back on the board.  As your board gets wider, you want to move your back foot closer to the rail to help set the rail.
Your One is 32" wide with a pulled in nose and thumb tail.  Typically to maintain stability when going shorter, the nose and/or tail need to be wider.  One of the most stable boards that I have tried for it's length the Starboard Hypernut.  With the inverse to go longer, a longer board can go narrower and still feel as stable as a wider shorter board.  Volume is relevant for stability.  Your One is 160 L. 
Will a 9'6" vs 10'6" be a considerable difference in wave catching ability?  Depends on the size of wave.  In monster waves, yes.  In tiny waves yes.   But for most waves, doesn't make a huge difference.  A longer board is more forgiving in that you can catch the wave earlier.  A shorter board, you will need to be closer the the critical part of the wave for takeoff.
If you want to go shorter, 6" is usually a manageable change in length.  If you want to go narrower, 1" is usually a manageable change in width.  If the water is choppy at all, width is your friend.  You may want to check out the Genration Kanga (also made by Sunova) which was optimized for surf ability but with a balance of stability.
If you are interested in Sunova boards, you should dm SupTheCreek, he is a great resource.
Laird is 6'2", 215# and strong.  He makes it look easy to move what may be a 10"6" Pearson Arrow longboard.  Somebody who is shorter, lighter, and not as strong would struggle to have the same leverage on a ~150 L board.  But if they were on a board with a similar weight/volume (guild factor ~ 1.5), it would help. 
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 06:58:45 PM by sflinux »
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

ospreysup

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2022, 07:26:51 PM »
Solid responses from sflinux and dusk patrol on length. Here are some additional thoughts. For reference, I am 6'2 240. Board length, stability, and performance are relative to the board and its shape. My most stable board is 8'11 and I have a board that is 9'5. It is also my most fun board to surf. I have been through my share of boards and wished I would have looked at board progressions from a rail perspective first and then glide and lift second. I started on a 9'10 All Wave, a corky board. Meaning it sat on top of the water. This is where most of us start. We view stability as being completely out of the water.   Fun board to surf but thick rails = harder to turn. Corky=less stable because your board is bouncing like a cork. That is your One, "Rails full and boxy." But greater stability and turning come when our rail is in the water and our feet are wet when paddling. This does not mean you have to compromise on volume.  When your rails are underwater you are actually more stable than on top because the water holds you in place. The rail in the water = more turning. The boards you mention have very different rail profiles and all sit differently in the water and in my opinion are all fairly dramatic jumps in rail profile from the One. Stepped, low profile, full, and thin are all just examples of rail profiles.

In terms of glide and lift, this will be very rocker and length-dependent Both will impact the ease of wave catching.

Sunova's website is great as it gives great detail on rails, rocker, and wave catching.

I went from the Fanatic Allwave to the Sunova Creek which was a nice transition with rail and rocker. I have two shorter boards that are stepped rails but high volume. My L41 is 8'10 at 160 liters and is as stable as can be and super fun to surf.

Keep in mind that the Speed is a high-performance board while the Nalu, Steeze, and Revolution are more longboard shapes meant to nose ride.

My personnel bottom line: Volume is your friend. Progress in rail shape before you worry about length and make sure it is an easy wave catcher which probably means not too much rocker.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 07:28:30 PM by ospreysup »

 


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