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Choosing a Distance/Expedition SUP. Bark vs Tahoe vs Amundson vs Angulo.


I'm looking into a SUP for touring/expedition and have come up with a short list. Here is a recap from a previous thread.

Conditions in my area range from sheltered river/channels, to exposed lake paddling. I threw in the word "exposed" to emphasize the range of conditions on the water here.  The local lake is long, narrow and surrounded by steep mountains that almost drop straight into the water, which results in a Fjord like setting. In other words, the lake acts like a wind tunnel and in a matter of minutes, conditions can go from glass to very rough chop and waves, and this happens frequently. Versatility is important and I'm looking for something to handle all conditions well. I'm currently on a 11'6" all around board and need more float and efficiency for the long haul. I weigh 200 pounds in good shape and will be packing gear for longer sessions and overnighters. I will not be racing anytime in the near future.

I am all ears and eyes in regards to displacement hulls vs planing shapes. I have read about secondary stability being quite good on some displacement boards, and maybe someone can educate me about the displacement hulls in a range of conditions. I will not be testing any of these boards and will more than likely have to order one.  Here is my current short list. Feel free to throw in other model suggestions and critique the ones I have listed.

Bark Expedition 14'0: Popular and seems very versatile for how long it is. Lots of tie down options. One comment on this forum is that the nose is too thin and needs more volume for expeditions with gear up front in rough conditions. Is also pretty expensive. Seems to be the go to board for multi day trips.

Angulo Shaka 14'0  This could be referred to as the poor mans Expedition, or possibly the Expedition killer if the board's performance is on par with the Bark.  Same length as the Expedition, just a touch wider with more volume and a lot cheaper at 1595.00 for the EST construction. The Shaka lacks tie down inserts ,which can be added later I suppose. Andygere , feel free to chime in on the performance of the Shaka if you happen to read this. There is very little information online about this board, but Andy had very positive comments about it's performance in another thread.

Amundson T/R 12'6  Very well priced and I already know Amundson make a durable board. The T/R is a displacement hull/nose and I have never tried anything other than a traditional planing hull. I have heard conflicting reports on how displacement boards act in rough water. The T/R has good volume and it's shorter length would make transport easier. Not much info on this board yet as it is a new model from Amundson. Has only one insert for a water bottle. Not sure how it would be for an expedition board.

Surftech Coast Runner 14'  The barge of the bunch with the most volume and it is the widest on the list. Expensive. The stability and float would probably make this the most versatile board on the list as it could be an easier platform to fish from, and more gear could be packed for multi day trips. The downside is that it might be the slowest and is the heaviest on the list. I have read reports of pearling in rough conditions resulting from from a flatter nose design.

Tahoe Zephyr 12'6 and 14'0  Very reputable and popular flat water boards. Look well equipped for expedition paddling with plenty of tie down options. Expensive. Use a displacement hull design. I recall reading that Tahoe boards are not the best in rough water and poor conditions is part of the deal where I live. Anyone with experience on these boards, feel free to comment on this. The website claims the boards for the "new" paddling season get a higher recessed standing area, higher rocker and nose, so this could help with rough conditions? The board gets narrower from the 12'6" to the 14' and I'm not sure how stable these boards are to begin with. I'm currently on a 30 inch board and I don't think I want to go much narrower. The 14 foot Zephyr is 28 inches wide.

Thanks for reading and don't hesitate to comment.


You might find Norm Hann's blog about his 190 mile tour in the "fiords" of British Columbia on a Bark Expedition interesting:

I have paddled the Pearson coast runner and the Angulo Shaka ,also the Starboard 14 surfrace. THe coast runner is at it's best in flat water ,Really comfortable, really stable,I used mine for the Seattle round the rock race .6 miles of rough upwind 16 - 20 knots.And i was happy with it's performance.My 14 SR came Wednesday after the Sunday race .Boy I wish I had it for the race .It's way better upwind and down if there are bumps of any size.But the coast runner really shines in flat water and would carry a bunch of gear.I paddled a Angulo 14 Shaka and was really impressed.Lots of float and seemed almost as fast as my 14 SR. 31" wide but didn't seem much more stable than the SR until I'd been on it a few minutes and found the secondary stability.The Shaka looked like it had plenty of rocker for Downwind action too. At 1595 or 1395 in ast(?) seems like a winner to me .Unless you're trying to win races.


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