Author Topic: Need help understanding SUP lengths!  (Read 3467 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
stxsup87
Location: South Padre Island, Texas

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 »

kwhilden

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2022, 06:51:34 PM »
Hey stxsup87

Glad you made it in here.  In contradiction to your question, I think paddle length and skill are more important than length of SUP.  Since it sounds like you get a lot of water time (4-6 hour sessions), you can probably improve your skill and get a shorter board. 

I SUP surf the most crowded beach break in Los Angeles, on various boards between 7'8 125l and 10' 140l.  I'm 6'2 250lbs 51yo.

The most important factor is having a paddle short and small enough to allow for proper bracing and paddle strokes.  I can catch waves relatively the same on all my boards. It's all about technique. Although the longer larger boards are more forgiving and work better in the smaller mushier waves.

For paddles.. go for a small blade, and total length should be at mid-forehead.

For what's it worth, when it's small and mushy, I really enjoy the Starboard Longboard SUP.  When it's a little bit punchier, as beach breaks tend to be, I love my Infinity New Deal. Longboard style SUPs are a lot of fun.   



 

 
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stxsup87

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2022, 07:45:23 PM »
Stats: Age 35, Weight 180LB (81kg)

Everyone, thanks a lot for taking the time to reply, so much good information, I'll be reading this over multiple times.  8)

Dusk- I love my One, although for turning I really need to mash the rail in to get it to activate, with the turns being sweeping, wanting something slightly more snappy that can be surfed for a few hours straight. Noted: flatter rocker

Linux- Thank you, yes I surf quite a bit of wind chop, so I'm thinking stay above 30" width

Osprey- solid, thanks!

Whilden- Appreciate the paddle reminder, I'm currently using a starboard lima and love it, so I'm assuming if I cut it down a few more inches it will need to be a dedicated surf paddle?









Sunova One 9'6"
Starboard Waterline 14'
Starboard Lima
stxsup87
Location: South Padre Island, Texas

kwhilden

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2022, 02:49:31 PM »
Regarding your paddle.  I have two paddle lengths. One for surfing, which is 2" shorter than my height, and one for flatwater, which is 3" longer than my height.

For surfing, I use a small blade and go for the lightest high-end carbon fiber. Reduced weight makes a big difference in how fast you can paddle to catch waves.  I have two Starboard Enduros. both exact same dims, but different construction. The pre-preg carbon version is significantly easier to catch waves with.

Regarding you next board. Are your small beach break waves fast and punchy?  Or slow and mushy?

If fast and punchy, you might consider getting a shorter wider board, like a Starboard Hypernut. With good paddle technique, you cab catch waves almost as easy as a longer board, but while surfing it will be significantly more fun to turn and will generate more speed to make sections. 

If slow and mushy, a longboard is better because it will have more glide. However the modern longboards like Infinity New Deal and Starboard Longboard will still turn really nice from the tail if a good section appears. 
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supthecreek

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2022, 05:23:13 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.

Hi stx.... welcome to the Zone!

One thing I have found after riding way over 50 boards of every size and shape is.... things aren't always what you would expect by looking at numbers.
Each person is different and finding a good board is easier when you get into very detailed rider specifics

I will be happy to discuss boards, sizes and all the different ways board shape and numbers apply to your specific needs.
If you would like to email me at:
supthecreek@gmail.com

I've developed a questionnaire that helps me really understand a riders skills, waves, style and direction they want to go.
I put info into a spreadsheet I made up so you can view multiple board options side by side..... then we can discuss the boards that interest you most.

I am always happy to discuss boards with everyone.... it's what I have done for the past 8 years.
I meet so many great people!!




email
supthecreek@gmail.com

My YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHRI23a8H21jASPdVCQUpog/videos

surfcowboy

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2022, 06:24:59 PM »
If you're not standing over the fins when you turn you won't be turning "more" as some might say or think.

Creek is right. It's not about length, it's about matching what you want to do with the technique. Read back through the last 10 years. Almost all of the "short board rippers" have moved to regular surfing again or to foiling. The reason is that ok n many cases in order to turn like a short board..wait for it... You need a short board. Guess what's not easy to stand on for 4-6 hours and isn't very versatile? Yup, a short board.

At the same weight and height and all other things being equal does a 9'6" turn "better" than a 10'6"? Of course. But stability or glide will suffer. Choose your compromise is the surfing rule if we are all being honest. The guys on this board won't steer you wrong.

Me? It's been 2 years since I've ridden a foil SUP. Probably 3 or more since I SUP surfed. Listen to Creek, not me. 😀😆😅

devon_sup_surf

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2022, 11:52:48 AM »
My experience is going to short ruins glide and the magic of SUP to me.

I have also tried a couple of shorter boards and it seems to me you can take two approaches-

Short tommo style boards which slash a wave. Pretty stable for their size. Not much glide and catch waves late- but their shape catches them fairly easily and 2 short strokes and you're at max paddling speed. Work well in crappy conditions. I didn't particularly warm to this style. Instead of carving through a wave it slashes and skids out. (hypernjt, slate etc). Some people LOVE them and do so well with them.

High performance shapes which typically are short narrow and low volume and so tippy! They often need quality waves with steep and power. (sb pro etc) but carve waves far more naturally to me.

The intermediate/fat guy take on the high performance shape is wide body version. 30-32" wide but still 8-8.5 long. wedge, jp surf etc.

So IMO the OP should consider either the tommo styles for poorer surf conditions or the intermediate wide surf shapes. 4-6 hours will get tiring so perhaps something shorter with some real width is best?

You may miss the glide though.....I did!

ChsSUPSurfer

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2022, 08:54:41 AM »
195 Pounds here, 40+ years old. Was on a high volume 10 footer beach break Charleston, SC. Always got compliments on my surfing (Not exactly Hawaii over here). Caught tons of waves and was able to move my feet all over the board. Long board style for sure.

Didn't love the weight and the massive log swinging around in big surf so just bought an 8'6 Bishop board. It's light, its shortish, its fast (Quad setup)

F in chat. Boy is it a difference. Although when I drop in the board makes an extra few turns and surfs well I'm kicking myself for going so short. Balancing for hours on a smaller board sucks unless its super clean. I find myself falling in all the freaking time. Not catching waves that I easily would paddle into or catch up to. Stepping off the pad onto the nose and doing the split down the wave lol.

I've been out about 20 times now and although the payoff is pretty sweet once it catches I find myself frustrated. I was NEVER frustrated with my big board. Ok maybe during a storm swell trying to get past the white water.

Anyways point of story is if you beach break isn't suited to smaller stick with bigger. If I was in a spot with a clean break I'd be happy with my smaller board. Waves get big here when it gets choppy.

10+ feet seems really big to me though. I'm jealous 9"6 was my goal but the 8"6 was so light lol

Anyways I'm gonna stick through the winter with it and try to get better. I suggest staying bigger! Don't be me! SUPs are expensive.

sflinux

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2022, 09:49:12 PM »
195 Pounds here, 40+ years old. Was on a high volume 10 footer beach break Charleston, SC. Always got compliments on my surfing (Not exactly Hawaii over here). Caught tons of waves and was able to move my feet all over the board. Long board style for sure.

Didn't love the weight and the massive log swinging around in big surf so just bought an 8'6 Bishop board. It's light, its shortish, its fast (Quad setup)

I've been out about 20 times now and although the payoff is pretty sweet once it catches I find myself frustrated. I was NEVER frustrated with my big board. Ok maybe during a storm swell trying to get past the white water.
Do you have the Bishop Sub 8'6" x 30"?  I wonder what the volume is on that board.  How tall are you?  I am the same weight and struggled on narrower (</=30") non long boards (<9') unless the conditions were clean which is rare for my area.  If the frustration continues, you may want to look into a wider board, which has one less axis of rotation to worry about.  A wide 8'6" can feel just as stable as a narrow 10'6" board.  Boards with a guild factor (volume to weight) of ~ 1.5 feel stable to me.
Quiver Shaped by: Joe Blair, Blane Chambers, Kirk McGinty, and Bob Pearson.
Me: 195#, 6'2"

ChsSUPSurfer

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Re: Need help understanding SUP lengths!
« Reply #12 on: November 27, 2022, 05:42:47 PM »
195 Pounds here, 40+ years old. Was on a high volume 10 footer beach break Charleston, SC. Always got compliments on my surfing (Not exactly Hawaii over here). Caught tons of waves and was able to move my feet all over the board. Long board style for sure.

Didn't love the weight and the massive log swinging around in big surf so just bought an 8'6 Bishop board. It's light, its shortish, its fast (Quad setup)

I've been out about 20 times now and although the payoff is pretty sweet once it catches I find myself frustrated. I was NEVER frustrated with my big board. Ok maybe during a storm swell trying to get past the white water.
Do you have the Bishop Sub 8'6" x 30"?  I wonder what the volume is on that board.  How tall are you?  I am the same weight and struggled on narrower (</=30") non long boards (<9') unless the conditions were clean which is rare for my area.  If the frustration continues, you may want to look into a wider board, which has one less axis of rotation to worry about.  A wide 8'6" can feel just as stable as a narrow 10'6" board.  Boards with a guild factor (volume to weight) of ~ 1.5 feel stable to me.

I have the 8'6 x 30 x 4.25 Bishop Alpha. It doesn't state the volume which is frustrating! I'd guess 130? 140? I'm 5'10, on a good day, and 195 on a better day. I actually demo'd in a creek the 9'2 I think. It felt SOO much heavier than the 8'6 that I was like lets do the 8'6.

But yea in the chop its too tippy. I'll give it all winter but if I don't get it by summer it'll be up for sale. The Paint sucks by the way. Very easy to chip. Although less so since I put gorilla tape on the paddle.

 


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