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Beginner looking for some advice

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Created by GM32 31 days ago, 23 Dec 2018
GM32
NSW, 21 posts
23 Dec 2018 11:21PM
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Hi all,

Im an absolute beginner to SUP (have had 1 lesson) and really love it ... I'm looking to buy a board and one for my partner as well.Some info on us:
47 yrs old
170cm
78kgs
no water sports background thats worth mentioning.

my partner:
36 yrs old
168cm
61kgs
no waters sports background apart from swimming (pool)

We both would start off by spending a lot of time in the flat water / lakes in and around the Wollongong area to gain confidence and then slowly start to get into some more choppy stuff, eventually into the ocean and attempt to surf some small waves ... hopefully.

As someone who is brand new to the sport there is really loads of different boards available and its really tough to make an informed decision so I am hoping that some of you would be willing to pass on some of your knowledge, experience and advice. Its a jungle out there.

We would both like a board (a board each) that can be used in flat water but also out in the ocean and some small swell / waves .. we don't want a board that we will grow out of in 6 months but also we understand if its too advanced then it will make it very hard to actually learn the basics .. and if too advanced then we may not enjoy it and usually when that happens, you stop doing that activity.

Ive been looking at the following and maybe some of you have some 1st hand experience or at least a mate who has owned one and can give some feedback on.

ECS EVO 10' x 31 x 4.5 (162L) - ecsboards-australia.com.au/collections/sup-boards/products/evo-blue
ECS Wideboy 9.5 x 32 x 4-7/16 (156L) - ecsboards-australia.com.au/collections/sup-boards/products/wideboy-bamboo-construction
SUNS Cruise 9.8 x 32 (168L) - standupsurfshop.com.au/boards/suns-sup/suns-cruise-9-8-x-32-package-adjustable-paddle.html
Sunova One Eco Tec 9.5 x 32 (160L) - standupsurfshop.com.au/boards/sunova-sup/sunova-one-eco-tec-9-5-x-32.html

Any comments or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Budget is stretched out to about $1500 (each board / package)

Cheers
Grant

Eski
WA, 41 posts
23 Dec 2018 9:21PM
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Hi Grant,
I don't have any specific experience with the boards you covered. However, I would suggest one of the longest two for you and either of the 9'5s for the wife - that way you can borrow hers when you get hooked and throw it around in the waves.
Cheers
Eski

Tardy
2732 posts
24 Dec 2018 3:05AM
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4 good choices there ...pick them up ,have a good look and take the one that catches your eye ..
the construction on the sunova s are very good ..
welcome to the world or SUP.

Area10
1381 posts
24 Dec 2018 3:20AM
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I'd suggest a 10'6" length board (or even longer) if you are mainly going to be paddling in flat water. Buy a board that is oriented more to the activity you are going doing most. Most boards under 10ft are oriented more to surfing than paddling very far.

Virtually every brand has a board in their range which is advertised as an all-round board, and is around 10'6" long and 30-32" wide. They are probably the most popular boards they sell. There is a good reason for that.

But the best thing you can do is go and demo some boards. The choices can be very personal.

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
24 Dec 2018 11:10AM
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Thanks Eski, Tardy and Area10 for taking the time to share your thoughts, much appreciated.

I like the point Tardy made about actually picking them up, hopefully I can even try a couple of different boards out. I'm not really in any rush to buy so I'll keep reading, try out a few if there are some shops locally that will allow it.

So far the ECS Evo and Sunova are probably my more preferred option but having never been on either its just guess work more than anything.Thanks again for the feedback, if anyone else wants to share their thoughts, please do and if anyone knows of any good you tube video's / channels about all things SUP ... maybe a bit more aimed towards learning to SUP ... I'd be grateful for those too.Have a great Christmas

Cheers
Grant

supthecreek
1637 posts
24 Dec 2018 11:38AM
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Hi Grant, welcome to the wonder of SUP!

It sounds like you have a great idea of how you want to enjoy this sport, and it is totally a good plan!

I came into it from the surf side, so my SUPs were all purchased with surfing as the only goal.
I discovered the beauty of flat-water after a torn muscle kept me out of the surf for a while.
So... I started paddling the calm estuaries and marshes around Cape Cod.
I fell in love..... a completely new world opened up to me, right in my backyard.

I am a big guy.... well, actually getting smaller as I write this, but when I started surfing and paddling SUPs I was north of 120 kgs.
I paddled my 9'6 surf SUP all year long.
Average outing was 6 miles.
I never gave a hoot about blasting down the middle, all worried about my average speed...... I dinked around, up and down interesting side creeks and stopping a lot to explore, or just sit on a rock and listen to nature.

Everyone told me I would get bored... that I needed a 12'6 raceboard, so I could go fast.

Pretty soon, I was paddling my 8'10 surf SUP 6 miles per outing.... even in blizzards..... and enjoying the heck out of every trip.

Funny thing is.... after 8 years of paddling the shallow edges, I am still awed by the nature I witness on every trip.
But many of the "fast" guys saying I would get bored.... faded from the paddle scene.

Bottom line.... I have always been a huge fan of smaller SUPs for flat-water.
Easy to load, lug and store
They fit in small creeks and tight marshes, but still fine for long straight paddles.
I did a video once of paddling a straight line for a mile, on an 8'10 surf SUP.

Full disclosure: I am part of the Sunova family now, because I love the people and the products.

Here is my full review of the 9'5 The ONE
Showing surfing, but the entire review was done during a winter flat-water paddle, in full wetsuit.
I was 109 kg at the time, so a LOT heavier than you folks.
When I handed it to my students, they love it..... both as an effortless paddler and easy to load on or in the car.

It is 32" wide, with full enough rails to give a new paddler a comfortable learning experience, and good enough design to ease you into a lifetime of surfing, once you are ready.

Very light for its size and price.... extremely durable

It comes in larger sizes as well... but I think this size may hit all your needs.

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
24 Dec 2018 9:49PM
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Hi Supthecreek,

Thank you for the excellent reply and back story into your history and experiences.
I actually have seen the video previously and subscribed to your channel yesterday and am planning on going through some of your video's / reviews etc. in the coming days / weeks, you make it look so easy :) ... I love how flat your lakes, estuaries are and when you mentioned you often head down some very small offshoot's and having a short board enables you to do so, it made me stop and think about how I never have considered going into some really small rivers like that. I really do think that we are going to love getting out and exploring some places that wouldn't otherwise be possible.

I guess the next step for me will be to find a place that has both boards I am considering and actually have a go, see how easy / difficult it is to paddle around, balance, hopefully soon start moving my feet around a little etc.

We also aren't really worried about how fast we paddle around, obviously we don't want our boards to be extremely slow but often we would just get out and paddle, have a chat as we go, have the option to go a bit harder and get our heart rate up if we want, but also mostly just enjoy getting out somewhere and exploring, using this time to 'get away' from daily stresses etc. As well as one day giving it a go in some small surf hopefully.

my partner is quite fearful of waves as she has never spent any time growing up in the ocean - so baby steps and we will just go at her pace and see what happens in this area, she absolutely loved the SUP lesson we had last week in a local lake in really flat conditions and are actually doing a night session this Friday, so we will always be able to do that together even if she doesn't end up heading into the surf.

Thanks again and hope you have a fantastic Christmas.

supthecreek
1637 posts
24 Dec 2018 10:43PM
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Whatever boards you decide on:
great paddle experiences are more a result of good trip planning than anything else!
Every time I paddle, I study the wind, tides and weather before I decide where to paddle.
I am lucky..... although I live in a very windy place, there are endless route options.
I can always fins a "lee" spot, where I can use a land form to block the wind and give me an enjoyable session.

Always paddle INTO the tide or wind when starting off, so the return trip will be easier,... and know when the tide and wind changes.

When I see a window of opportunity, I drop everything and go paddling.
at dawn, at dusk.... whenever the wind goes still.
I pick the place with the right tidal flow and go!

any questions you have about paddling or gear... please ask or PM me, about anything paddling!

Paddling to me is serenity and total immersion into the nature around me.
Many times I just stop paddling and stand motionless..... listening to the world around me.
Freeking awesome!

Go get some!!!

Some moments from this month.... all but the first one are at, or near freezing.... pure contentment!









cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
25 Dec 2018 8:19AM
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I apologize if I repeat other people's comments - I haven't read everything. If you plan to be on flat water for along time then you probably won't outgrow your boards very quickly (unlike when you start in the surf, your needs can change rapidly) so you can afford to get a good board from the get-go.

Unless you do plan to try and go fast, length and width are your friends. Don't go narrower than 32" or it can become tippy.

You have to think about the factors that will stop you and your wife from wanting to go back for another paddle. Feeling unstable will do that. But there are two other factors that often don't get mentioned.

All the boards weigh different amounts. If you get a heavy board you may find a reluctance to drag them out, load them on the car, and carry them to the water. So I would argue it is worth paying a little more to get a lighter board.

Second, the normal stats of width and volume can be misleading. Simply put, if one board was rectangular, and the other was classical surfboard shape, and the they had the same "width", volume and length, then the surf-board-shape board with therefore have to be thicker and "boxier". I guess my real message is that a thicker board can get "corky" (they bob around and are thus less stable) whereas a thinner board will have a lower center of gravity (center of mass) and will be more stable. This also means you will be less susceptible to side chop and side winds.

If you can rent a board for a while, or demo the boards and take them for a proper paddle (in testing conditions - most boards will feel good in glassy conditions) then you should get a feel for what it will be like to own the boards.

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
25 Dec 2018 3:28PM
Thumbs Up

Hi cantSUPenough,

Thanks for your info and thoughts, very sound advice indeed and thank you for the info about thickness, somethingI wouldn't have thought about being so new to it ... I have noticed some boards list the thickness and some don't.

What would be an approx. thickness to go for in your experience?(roughly 9.5 - 10.5' length board) or is this one of those silly questions with a 100 different possibilities? (apologies if it is) - our aims are not necessarily about speed across the water, but more about enjoying being out there while we learn, mostly flat conditions (lakes etc) to start with but moving towards choppy, some swell, and maybe some surf in the future ... once we get into the ocean then I am guessing we need to be competent enough to get out past the breaks and then back in again at the end of our session (in the beginning of our ocean adventures) .. once we get better at that then possibly attempt SUP surfing a little.

Agreed that we will need to try and get out and test out some boards and just see what feels best, absolutely correct in what you say about feeling unstable, too heavy to lug around etc ... lots of learning coming our way, exciting

really appreciate your reply and sharing your thoughts, thanks again

cheers

colas
2914 posts
25 Dec 2018 3:12PM
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I second what cantSUPenough said.

Basically, you want a flat deck and thick rails for stability. A domed deck and thin rails are great once you know how to surf, but will be harder to learn on.

On the 4 boards you listed for instance, the first 2 specifically state they have a flat deck and medium rails. good!
The last says "rolled deck", avoid.
Thickness is not very important by itself. the volume and planshape are important (wider nose & tail = stabler)

Note that since you are both not too tall and will practice on flat water, you do not need extra stable boards (do not seek wider than 32", more than 30" should be OK), and be at least 10' for a pleasant paddling.

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
25 Dec 2018 8:34PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Colas,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience, appreciate it.

I am leaning towards the ECS boards as they are based a cpl hours north of us, they also offer a "30 day risk free trial" ... in which you can return the board to them and swap it out for a different model / size. So we will have to find some time and go and check them out and have a go on the water. The SUNS board seems to be based out of WA and I couldn't find anyone listed as a distributor / seller over in NSW. I am one of those people who need to touch something before buying. Also the ECS price is good for our budget and comes with the bag, paddle, fins and leash included.

Thanks again.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1723 posts
26 Dec 2018 7:58AM
Thumbs Up

As Colas mentioned, the profile of the deck is important. But, in my opinion, this is one area where time will affect your choice. Many people get on a board with a domed deck and don't like it - but I think most grow to like it. But the only reasons for a domed deck are if you are surfing (big boxy rails are not great) and if the volume is such that the rails are slightly under water (water over the rails can provide stability - but that is something you normally only think about when you are pushing the boundaries of volume vs stability) - none of which are important to you right now.

I think you are on to a great plan - go and try the ECS boards make sure they feel good under foot, do the demo on an imperfect day, and relax knowing that whatever you choose you can change.

angie pangi
QLD, 1763 posts
26 Dec 2018 7:50AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
GM32 said..
Hi all,

Im an absolute beginner to SUP (have had 1 lesson) and really love it ... I'm looking to buy a board and one for my partner as well.Some info on us:
47 yrs old
170cm
78kgs
no water sports background thats worth mentioning.

my partner:
36 yrs old
168cm
61kgs
no waters sports background apart from swimming (pool)

We both would start off by spending a lot of time in the flat water / lakes in and around the Wollongong area to gain confidence and then slowly start to get into some more choppy stuff, eventually into the ocean and attempt to surf some small waves ... hopefully.

As someone who is brand new to the sport there is really loads of different boards available and its really tough to make an informed decision so I am hoping that some of you would be willing to pass on some of your knowledge, experience and advice. Its a jungle out there.

We would both like a board (a board each) that can be used in flat water but also out in the ocean and some small swell / waves .. we don't want a board that we will grow out of in 6 months but also we understand if its too advanced then it will make it very hard to actually learn the basics .. and if too advanced then we may not enjoy it and usually when that happens, you stop doing that activity.

Ive been looking at the following and maybe some of you have some 1st hand experience or at least a mate who has owned one and can give some feedback on.

ECS EVO 10' x 31 x 4.5 (162L) - ecsboards-australia.com.au/collections/sup-boards/products/evo-blue
ECS Wideboy 9.5 x 32 x 4-7/16 (156L) - ecsboards-australia.com.au/collections/sup-boards/products/wideboy-bamboo-construction
SUNS Cruise 9.8 x 32 (168L) - standupsurfshop.com.au/boards/suns-sup/suns-cruise-9-8-x-32-package-adjustable-paddle.html
Sunova One Eco Tec 9.5 x 32 (160L) - standupsurfshop.com.au/boards/sunova-sup/sunova-one-eco-tec-9-5-x-32.html

Any comments or other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Budget is stretched out to about $1500 (each board / package)

Cheers
Grant


Hi Grant

Also give some thought to ONE sup these are molded construction boards and an aussie designed brand of high quality and performance. The 10ft x 30 would suit you both well. You can check them out at
www.oneoceansportsaustralia.com

You could package each board up with a ONE paddle and you would be set.

Jump online site have a read and if u have any question please contact us.

Cheers Angie Jackson

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
26 Dec 2018 12:58PM
Thumbs Up

Hi cantSUPenough,

Great point about trying on an 'imperfect' day, again something I probably wouldn't have thought about that.

My gut seems to be telling me that we will spend more time in flat and choppy water rather than actually trying to catch waves, especially in the first 6-8 months, maybe some paddling out behind the waves and just having to balance amongst the swell and chop as we go up and down the coast a little.

Thanks again for sharing your experience to help

Cheers
Grant

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
26 Dec 2018 1:09PM
Thumbs Up

Hi angie pangi,

Thanks for the link and suggestion about the ONE board, I'll keep it mind and wait to see how we go with the others first, its pretty confusing with all the different choices available and being so new you don't know what is good or not etc.

If things don't go well with the others, i'll be in touch and see if you can suggest any local (Wollongong) places that sell the boards so we can demo

Cheers
Grant

hman72
1 posts
26 Dec 2018 7:14PM
Thumbs Up

Hey,

the ECS boards are great value as they are a full package. I think JB paddle sports at Huskisson have them to demo which is an easier trip than going to Newcastle. Either the evo or wideboy.
cheers

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
27 Dec 2018 8:00AM
Thumbs Up

Hi hman72,

Thanks for the feedback on the ECS boards and also about the place in Huskisson .. I googled quickly and found the following:

Jervis Bay Stand Up Paddle - they have the ECS Evo advertised online
&
Jervis Bay Kayak & Paddlesports - They don't mention ECS online
both places are in Huskisson

Def much closer, thanks so much, we will head down there to see what they have to demo.
Thanks heaps for letting me know.

Cheers

The Gambler
QLD, 48 posts
27 Dec 2018 10:03AM
Thumbs Up

Hi Grant,

All of the advice above is good and from very knowledgeable people!

Those boards you are looking at would all do the job and get you into supping.

My girl and I started 2 years ago on Fanatic Fly's ( a10.6 and a 9.6 ) which were excellent starters, and we quickly progressed.............

It is almost guaranteed that when you get comfortable with paddling, balance, turning, etc you will be eyeing off those waves and thinking hmmmm......... and then the addiction starts and you become more knowledgeable on equipment and you start looking at boards you wouldn't consider right now.

Enjoy the progression and completely accept that as you get into it, different boards start to look appealing and before you know it you are building a quiver of boards for every occasion.

Cheers

angie pangi
QLD, 1763 posts
27 Dec 2018 10:23AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
GM32 said..
Hi angie pangi,

Thanks for the link and suggestion about the ONE board, I'll keep it mind and wait to see how we go with the others first, its pretty confusing with all the different choices available and being so new you don't know what is good or not etc.

If things don't go well with the others, i'll be in touch and see if you can suggest any local (Wollongong) places that sell the boards so we can demo

Cheers
Grant



We do these boards direct only as if we were to run though shops with the surfing SUP's they just would have to retail for far to much so have decided for now we would rather keep the top end quality and just give the customer a better deal. These are sandwich PVC boards and in most cases should retail for around $1600 to $2000 so the deal we run with these is pretty good at the moment. Our main goal is to only make boards that are going to last and in 5 years time the board will still work how you want and will hold up to the test of time.

It is a confusing world at the moment when it comes to SUP's and just starting out and the difference between boards can be huge and most of the main difference is on the inside where you just can not see it until its to late. As time has gone on all boards have gotten better as in the early days there was no way anyone would touch some of the China stuff and the cheaper China stuff was really bad but these days it has improved and some stuff is getting better you just have to work out if the board you buy is a good one or bad one and thats where it can get tricky!
For us we would not make boards if i had to only make them in China as we could just never get the quality consistent enough to make a high end product we were happy with, but this is just us and i'm not saying others have not worked it out as i'm sure some have the hardest part is the customer just will never know until its to late.

Hope you find the perfect board and you get many hours enjoying the same stoke we feel every day and if you ever need a hand or have any questions feel free to just ask away.

By the way we are just about to bring in the if you buy it and don't like it then just send it back and swap it for something else just to make up for the not having demos's everywhere at the moment.

Angie

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
27 Dec 2018 3:11PM
Thumbs Up

Hi The Gambler,

hahaha yeah I have been reading through some of these forums and it seems like everyone has multiple boards and the sport seems very addictive. I think you are right and once we get comfy on flat water we will be looking more and more towards the waves, we are excited by the learning curve we will go through and seeing where we will be in 12 months time ... and another 12 months after that. exciting times indeed.

Thanks for confirming the advice others have given, it seems like a really good community and people are happy to help the newbies out, makes us feel a lot better in what we are going to spend out money on, appreciate it.

Cheers

GM32
NSW, 21 posts
27 Dec 2018 6:55PM
Thumbs Up

Hi Angie,

Thanks so much for the details and info about ONE sup, I just had another look around the website, congrats on all your success in the sport, outstanding. You make a lot of great points and excellent that you want to keep the price at lower point to help more people get out on the water, fantastic ... excellent news about the upcoming "swap if the board isn't right for you" type of deal, that will help a lot of people feel more comfortable when buying online, especially if interstate.I really appreciate the feedback and information you have given, I mentioned just previously about how good the community seems to be and that helps people who are brand new feel much better when buying a board for the first time.thanks again
Cheers



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"Beginner looking for some advice" started by GM32