Author Topic: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards  (Read 1863 times)


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Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« on: March 05, 2023, 10:48:16 AM »
I have been riding my 21" wide x 7' 9" x 6" @ 128 liter 'Sailfish' board for 3 weeks now.  When I first got on the board I would paddle out sitting on the board, or kneeling.  Then get to the break and hop up to catch waves.  In waves or downwind I would last ~ 2 minutes with my back bent @ what felt like a 90 degree angle before I would be gassed out and likely fall it.

Fast forward a few days ago.  I tried to downwind in 15-20 mph of wind, hyper chop outside the harbor, open ocean, in Half Moon Bay buoys 14 feet @ 10 seconds.  I spent 2 hours and stopped counting my falls after 30.  Caught ZERO waves, and ended up paddling 2.6 miles humbled.   

BUT a small part of me realized that I was still able to stand in Chop Factor 9 / 10 for 2 minutes on this board.  3 weeks earlier I would have only lasted 10 seconds in this horror.

The next morning I went out, wind dropped briefly to <8 mph, waves dropped to 10 feet @ 8 seconds.  I paddled out, and hopped to my feet.  I could stand somewhat comfortably with my feet at a 45 degree angle. 

I made the 8 minute paddle to the break, turned caught a wave rode 400 yards before losing the bump.  Dropped off foil, paddled back out, caught another 220 yards, then 400 yards, then 690 yards.   AND I had dry hair.

4 consecutive waves without falling in.


I eventually had to sit down on the board to rest. 

You can learn to stand on these boards!   6 months ago when I was trying other boards like this I could only comfortably stand in very clean conditions.  I thought there was NO way to comfortably stand up and paddle around on the Barracuda style boards.  No more.

Similar to using BIG foils, if you can't catch you can't fly.  I will add, if you can't stand you can't catch. 

Hopefully this motivates others to keep trying.  Please share any similar perspectives or advice on standing on these narrow boards. 


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2023, 11:20:57 AM »
I have been using a 6,9 by 20 for a year now, the secret for me has been bending my knees.
Other tricks put your foil as far forward as possible this increase stability.


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2023, 03:53:51 PM »
I tried SUP foiling for the first time the other day. The 6'1 x 23" E3 isn't a barracuda but requires a similar discipline. I went out on a clean hip-high day and was able to paddle around and try lining up for waves. I didn't catch any but was really happy with how it went. Another six more sessions might do it. Thanks for the motivational inspiration.   8)
Kalama E3 6'1 x 23" 105L
Axis HPS 980/400 - BSC 1060/400
Sunova Flow  8'10 X 31"  119L
Me - 6'0" - 165lbs - 65yo


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2023, 01:42:20 AM »
yupyup i totally agree!...the best thing you can do is go out on the crappiest bumpiest ugliest of conditions and try to paddle around for 2 hours...i fell in about 30+ times  also but thr next calmer day out i had some NEW SKILLS!


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2023, 05:56:55 AM »
I think that having the paddle blade in the water and bracing with it helps with micro adjustments. Its all a flash back to the weird skills I developed when paddling sinker boards and race boards years ago. Try this: get up to standing and then just stand without the board moving and feel how the board reacts to your inputs. Sink the nose and recover. Now same with tail. This helps work out foot placement and you get the feel of the secondary stability of the foil. Its easier to balance when moving but you will learn more when its not moving and maybe even sinking a bit. See the foil under your center of gravity.


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2023, 04:11:49 PM »
Congrats on the PB's Beasho. Gives me encouragement to the max!

Daswusup - I read your post about sinking and counter sinking... that helped me a lot. I feel like the exploration of the centre of gravity and the stretching of the foils' dynamic characteristics is like uncovering a hidden map. Im seeing and feeling my progression and Im stoked boys. STOKED.

Steamroller - sic HOT pink deck you have there mate. I like it mucho!  8)


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Re: Balancing on Barricuda Style Boards
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2023, 07:08:53 PM »
You know they don't really need to be THAT narrow. Yes, being narrow helps when you're trying to get up in flatwater, but for everything else, they could easily be 25" or even 30" if the board is shaped for that. At least that's what Dave told me when I said I didn't think I could stand on one.

It might be the photo angle, but it looks like the Sailfish has deep, angled chines. They'd help with secondary stability if you are bobbing around a few inches off the water (though swell hitting those angled sides would take some getting used to). In that case when the board tilts it gets wider on the side going down. Presto, secondary stability.

If I were trying to pump up on flatwater (not happening) or get up in light wind with a wing (yes!) or catch unbroken waves better, then I'd specify a wide board (30") with enough angle in the chines to give me 25" at the waterline. Secondary stability at rest, and once it starts lifting it gets thinner: less skin drag, higher speed "limit" from wave drag.

Primary stability makes you comfy, secondary stability lets you recover. A somewhat whacky mega long (about 19' as I remember) raceboard I bought from a shaper in Australia (I don't remember the guy or the name of the board) was actually about 22" wide at the waterline but it had a flared profile, so it was the equivalent of 30" wide when tipped. It was hell to get used to but it was very fast. I looked like a drunken sailor paddling it, wobbling all over. But I rarely fell, and I made the podium in a few races with it before it got folded in a wave at Spartan's when I let a friend try it on a Maliko run and he got a bit too brave with the reef.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 07:30:42 PM 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.


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