Author Topic: New Sunova SP25 report  (Read 1021 times)

nalu-sup

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 348
    • View Profile
    • Email
New Sunova SP25 report
« on: September 25, 2022, 08:31:26 PM »
Today was the first day on my new Sunova 8’8” SP25. If you don’t like long reviews, just click out of this one and no worries.
Conditions today were perfect with glassy waist to just overhead surf over a shallow reef. No wind and just some rebound rollers off the beach with lots of cross-rollers on the inside to challenge balance.
The bottom line is that the board is perfect for me and is everything that I had hoped for. This is the seventh board I have purchased in the 8’6” to 9’ range and I will make a few comparisons. For background, I am 71 years old, 5’11”, 163 lbs (74 kilos), caught my first waves in 1958, and switched to SUP surfing about 10 years ago. I have taught high-performance windsurfing and wavesailing on Maui during the summers for the past 40 years.
Stability: This is one of the most important aspects I was hoping for in this board and I am delighted. The key for me is the difference between primary stability and secondary stability. Primary stability is the initial tippiness of a board and describes how quickly and easily it rocks from side to side. Secondary stability describes how much a board wants to keep tipping as one of the rails starts to get sucked under by something like a cross-roller. I was not looking for more primary stability which is why I went to a shorter length than my current 9-footer but I was looking for a lot more secondary stability from the rail profile than I have on my 8’7” Sunova Flow. My experience is that the total bottom surface area on the water controls primary stability and the rail profile controls secondary stability. Because the SP 25 is shorter than some of my other boards and has a much more pulled-in nose than any of them, when I first got to my feet I felt a little less primary stability than some of my other boards which was fine with me. As I slowly rocked the board from side to side I felt the great secondary stability kick in from the awesome rail profile which was one of my main goals with this board. The rail is more pinched than the original Flow near the bottom for carving penetration and then gradually slopes up over a few inches to the thick middle of the board where the center thickness provides the secondary stability; they nailed it.
Volume: There has been some concern from myself and others about the high volume in the 8’8” SP25. My last three boards were 120, 120.5, and 124 liters. Going up to 137.7 in the SP25 seemed pretty scary since that is near the volume of my very first SUP, a Fanatic AllWave 8’11” @ 140 liters with horribly boxy rails that I outgrew and sold in three weeks. Supthecreek was familiar with the old AllWaves and told me that the SP25 was nothing like that; I would completely agree. The SP25 feels closer to my 120-liter Flow than to anything else. The main place I feel the difference is in the secondary stability which is why I had to quit surfing the Flow. If I were blindfolded, I would guess the functional volume of this board for my weight to be around 125-127 liters. I (and Creek) were also concerned about the very pulled-in nose and how that would affect stability and fore/aft balance. I found it to be totally a non-issue and I love the pulled-in nose because of the reduced swing weight on the wave.
Paddling: The paddling speed is comparable to my 8’7” Flow which means not particularly fast and significantly slower than my 9-footers. I think the very round outline of the SP25 makes it a little slower than a narrower board with more parallel rails like my old 8’10” Speeed which was a very fast paddler.
Punching out through white water: I hate it when wide-nosed boards get the nose kicked up when trying to punch out through white water. The narrow nose of the SP25 punches right through and under the white water with very little resistance which worked great today.
Catching waves: Once the wave starts to push, the full-width single concave and wide tail with moderate rocker immediately create lift and the board starts to glide very early. I would say it is an easy wave catcher and will catch small sloping waves far better than most.
Speed on the wave: If you pump the curvy rails, fins, and concave bottom, this board can generate a lot of speed and I was making sections that I could not make on my other boards. If you just stand and trim along the wall, the speed is mediocre since this board was not meant to ever be surfed that way. That style of surfing is where the Speeed really shines with its long straight rail outline.
Bottom turns: Turning this board can range from mediocre to over-the-top spectacular depending on what skills you apply. If I got my rear foot right on the stomp pad, the board would accelerate back up vertically to the lip before I even had time to think about it. If my rear foot was ahead of the stomp pad by even a couple of inches, I could still get some smooth rolling turns down the line but I could not tap into the board's vertical potential. As a habit from windsurfing, I like to drop into a bottom turn in a wide stance with my rear foot on the stomp pad and my weight on my front foot up near the handle to engage the forward and midsection of the rail while the rear foot drives against the rear rail and fins. This board loves that approach. I found that if my rear foot was on the stomp pad and I weighted that foot without leaning forward to engage the front portion of the rail, the board would make a bouncy pivot around the wide tail rather than carving and accelerating off the whole rail. For me, this board requires a wide stance to unlock its potential. It wants to be surfed like a shortboard, not a longboard.
Off the top: This board loves to come off the lip or do a floater off the white water but you need to have a wide enough stance to have your front foot on or near the handle to weight the the nose and get it to drop back in. When I did, I was able to nail floaters off the white water that my other boards might have stalled on.
Roundhouses: The board pulled some amazingly tight roundhouses today but a number of them were too flat due to operator error that I need to work on. The tail is quite wide at 19 ⅜” which is wider than any board I have ridden (the 8’7” Flow is close at 19 ⅛”). This promotes early planing and carrying speed on slower parts of the wave but it means you have to be dialed in about how far you need to move your back foot from rail to rail. I would encourage people not to worry about the listed 137.7 liters of volume being too much but make sure you are okay with the advantages and disadvantages of a wide tail.

My goals with this board were to improve my vertical surfing with tighter lip hits, to generate more speed to make it around sections, and to improve on secondary stability to better deal with cross-rollers trying to suck the rails under. Paddling, wave-catching, and primary stability were not concerns and all happily worked out fine as bonuses.
8'7" Sunova Flow 
8'8" Sunova SP25
9'0" Elua Makani
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf 
14' SIC Bullet 2020

TallDude

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 5712
  • Capistrano Beach
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: New Sunova SP25 report
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2022, 10:25:06 PM »
Nice report. Inspiring that you are still charging hard at 71... Sounds like a fun board.
It's not overhead to me!
8'8" L-41 ST and a whole pile of boards I rarely use.

Tom

  • Cortez Bank Status
  • *****
  • Posts: 2985
    • View Profile
Re: New Sunova SP25 report
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2022, 07:19:00 AM »
Very informative.  I was seriously considering  the sp25 but went with the Placid 8 10 instead.  The higher liters of the sp25 scared me away. I'm very happy with the Placid. It surfs well in small to overhead waves, catches waves easily  and extremely stable.  Does not handle large fast waves, but if I switched it to a quad it might.

nalu-sup

  • Sunset Status
  • ****
  • Posts: 348
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: New Sunova SP25 report
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2022, 11:14:05 AM »
Hi Tom. Creek was encouraging me to consider the Placid because of more stability. I don't think there is a bad choice between the two. If you want to track it down, there is a video of one of the Sunova dealer meetings in Thailand where Marcus describes how and why he came up with the Placid design for himself.
8'7" Sunova Flow 
8'8" Sunova SP25
9'0" Elua Makani
9'0" Tabou SupaSurf 
14' SIC Bullet 2020

 


SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2022, SimplePortal