I wanted to write a review because I had trouble finding information and deciding on board dims and this discussion forum helped me a lot. I'm 64kg 175 cm 57 years old. I usually use a 5/4 wetsuit.
I have been learning surf SUP for a little over a year with the dream (or delusion) of paddling something that surfs like a surfboard with the paddle advantages of a sup. It has been very challenging and super fun I'm hooked.
With the help of internet instruction videos on popping up from sitting and the crucial advice of Colas on shortboard stance, wave catching, and fins I was able to downsize twice and get on a Laird Surrator production board I bought used at 7'10 x 27.2 x 16 nose x 16.2 tail 94 liter approx 1.5 volume ratio.
But as great as the laird surfed it still felt like a very big board on the wave, especially the forward rail thickness. Also at a volume ratio of 1.5 I felt like it was too corky for my weight spread over a small outline.
I decided to downsize to 80 liters or 1.25 my weight. I did find the Gong Karmen model 7'3 which was almost exactly what I wanted (performance volume but some stability). But it was impractical to get Gong shipped to the U.S.
So I ended up ordering custom L41 www.l41surfcraft.com/ pics attached. Bruce Wayne model stepped rail diamond tail. 7'6 x 26.25 80 liters 18 inches nose and tail. Pics attached showing comparison with my other board. The wet surface area of the 2 boards is very similar. The L41 came in at 6.1 kgs with pads fins and leash standard construction, the laird carbon is 6.6.
Yesterday I tried the new L41 for first time a quick mostly flat water float test and found that the lower volume and stepped rail did calm down the board from jittering back and forth in the chop. However there was no free lunch as only a very light foot pressure will tip the board and there is much less secondary stability, it is harder to recover if the board gets tilted. Paddling speed is also slower as expected with less length and volume. Here is a video of my first minutes paddling on it...
Thanks for the review! I'm looking long and hard at the Bruce Wayne myself. I should have ordered before the prices went up!
Can't comment on the Bruce Wayne but I've got a original model simsup from L41 which i've had for 10 or more years, started my reduction in length from 10 footers with this 8 4 board but was at a stage when I wanted to retain lots of volume so it is a bit of a boat (32 wide, basically rectangle shape, around 135 l!) but surfs mush and the small stuff amazingly well, so much fun had some of my best ever sessions on it and still brings a smile to my face every time I get it out! S rails give it real bite even on a board of that size, turns surprisingly well if you move your back foot around, they definitely make some great boards....
Looks like a very nice board, with a fluid shape.
From your vid, it seems the right volume, even once you add the 5/4 wetsuit.
Your feet position seems perfect, you will just need to work a bit on your paddling technique: keeping the shaft more in a vertical plane, and entering water (the catch) a bit more forward. Your paddle may be a bit too long and may keep you from placing the top hand straight above the lower hand. Or you were just walking on eggs being used to this new balance.
Yeah I feel volume is right, but I don't know how far I will progress with my lateral balance. In water that calm no problem but my usual spot is harder. Paddling has been a work in progress for me, I have trouble finding the right amount of reach and twist without getting out of my balance zone. I had already cut my paddle down to just a little over my head height, I tried forehead height with another paddle and my bigger board but it made it very hard to brace and balance. I may have to try the shorter paddle again with this board.
I got some real waves yesterday and one thing that really stood out was how much easier it was to catch steeper waves that don't give you a long distance to roll in. I would have been knocked off or pearled on my other board but this one was so easy with just a few strokes and forward lean. I feel like the nose and nose scoop of this board is really magic.
So much easier to manage a smaller board on the inside and paddle through white water on my stomach, that also was really nice. A few times I thought my leash had broken when the board pulled though the white water so easily, I was surprised to see it pop up the other side.
I definitely need to work on my feet moving for turning the wide tail though, but I think that won't be hard to get used to. Already this board turns better than my bigger one.
So overall stoked on the new board, just need to keep progress on my paddle skills, might be limited to easier paddle conditions with it.
I had already cut my paddle down to just a little over my head height
It should be OK then, I don't think you need to cut it more. Practice will make wonders :-)