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Downwind and race boards compared to my surf SUP ?

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Created by London Saturday, 13 Jul 2018
London
SA, 30 posts
Saturday , 14 Jul 2018 12:41AM
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Can anybody tell me the difference between a race board, touring board and a downwind board ? They all look the same to me...long thin and pointed noses... I can guess and say same but more nose kick in a downwind board ?

as a current sup surfer who wants a good 2nd hand downwind board. Must I go for something specifically designed for downwind ? Or can I use any large 12 foot plus board ? Or 14' better

im 95 kg and mid 50s so want something easy to ride and super stable to learn the game . As with surfing sups I suspect the longer and wider the better when learning ? But I'm surprised they all seem very thin.

I surf a 32 wide 9'5 Nash mana and love its stability... so how come the down winder boards seem all to be 25 to 28. Surely that will mean they are less stable than my 9 foot surf sup ?

Also on a surf sup a wide nose means stability so why are open ocean boards so thin on the nose ?

im paranoid I'm going to snap my strap and loose my board anyway so don't want to also be tippy....

My main mission is to try ride swells, it looks awesome on all the videos I have seen.

also I notice a lot of manufacturers don't seem to even have a board specifically for down winding in their ranges ?

Any advice welcome

WaveScience
VIC, 37 posts
Saturday , 14 Jul 2018 9:22PM
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Select to expand quote
London said..


also I notice a lot of manufacturers don't seem to even have a board specifically for down winding in their ranges ?





Most manufacturers that you are referring to have prioritised racing over downwinding. Some of them actually seem to think it's the same thing.

A touring board is designed for mostly flat water and comfort. You will find most touring boards at least 30" wide. They tend to struggle to catch ocean swells as they don't have the speed .

There are many different types of race board so it is hard to pin down exactly what defines a race board. Some are 12'6", some are 14', some are 17' and beyond (aka - Unlimited). These Unlimited boards most often come with a steering system. Some race boards are designed for flat water, some for surf races, some are all rounders - they do everything fairly well but nothing perfectly. Some downwind well, others don't.

If your intention is just to downwind and catch the ocean swells, then there is no substitute for a board designed specifically for downwinding.

As for the width of boards, what you will find is that a 14' x 28" board is generally about as stable as your 9'5" x 32". Or at least, not that much less stable. The length of a 14' board aids stability significantly. Unlimited length boards are even more stable again and that makes up for the narrow width.

Again, if your intention is to downwind, then you should be looking at at least a 14' but if your storage and transport allows, then an Unlimited downwind board with steering is the duck's nuts.

London
SA, 30 posts
Saturday , 14 Jul 2018 9:40PM
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Thanks great description. Very helpful. What is interesting is how few of the big manufacturers actually have a board specifically for down wind.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1536 posts
Sunday , 15 Jul 2018 10:40AM
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I don't know anything about downwinding, only properly tried once, but do try to test ride a board before you buy. I have a 14' x 26" wide Naish Javelin which is known (I am reliably informed) as a good downwinder - but for me (6'3 94 kg and frequent surfer on 8'10 x 29" 115L Acid) it is pretty tippy. The 26" width is an issue, but it is also the fact that you are quite a few inches above the water - plus I imagine the hull-shape contributes as well.

There are "dug-out" designs and other designs that would appear to me to be much more stable, plus the option to go to 28" or 29" in width. I would like to trade mine in - it is very fast on flat water, but cross-chop makes it uncomfortable.

And another novice comment; stability is also important when downwinding so that you have the confidence to move fore/aft on the board and paddle hard when you need to. Narrower may be faster, but when you are in the water climbing back on your board you are going pretty slow...

Nlakes
QLD, 3 posts
Monday , 16 Jul 2018 2:16PM
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Here are some of the main manufacturers Down wind oriented boards but there are heaps more ;
Fanatic = Falcon
Naish = Maliko or Glide
Starboard = Ace or "28 Allstar
JP = Downwind race
SIC = Bullet v1 or v2
One = Storm
Blue Planet = Bump rider
Sunova = Ocean Faast

If you are a beginner and looking for stability the SIC Bullet V1 or 2 , One Storm and Naish Glide are all hard to beat in my opinion

Slab
834 posts
Monday , 16 Jul 2018 12:39PM
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JL m14 or JL Rail x28 wide

i have the M14....bought primarily for DW but that side of things dried up where I live so I use it for touring along the coastline to find surf spots. It surfs much better than many of the other race/downwind sort of boards that most people buy nowadays. I had a new Allstar x27 wide...the hybrid model. Whilst it was quite a fast Board it was awful for surfing waves......sold it!

Area10
1300 posts
Tuesday , 17 Jul 2018 9:54AM
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Yeah, ideally get a 14ft dedicated downwind board, like the Jimmy Lewis M14 (28"
wide), Rail 14x28, or a SIC Bullet (27.5"
wide). Maybe also a Naish Maliko 14x28 (don't go narrower for your first board), or you might find an old Coreban Dart maybe, or an earlier model 14x29 Naish Glide (be careful which model Glide you get). Stability = speed + fun when you are starting out downwinding. Most of the all-waters race boards (like the All Star) are pretty tricky to downwind and not much fun, really, unless you are a dedicated racer. The Bark Vapor downwinds well too, is stable for its width, and would be a reasonable used option if you aren't downwinding in really nuking conditions. There are some specialist early model Fanatic Falcons and Starboard All Stars that were aimed squarely at downwinding but you'd need to be a bit of a gear freak to know which particular models from the past to look out for. Maybe an old Starboard Coast Runner if you can find one going very cheap.

But overall it's hard to beat a M14, Rail 14x28, or SIC Bullet, really, for getting into downwinding, and general choppy conditions paddling. Or the Jimmy Lewis Rail 26.5" wide if you balance is very good, and likewise the SIC Bayonet: but they will be significantly harder work unless you are pretty damn good, so be honest to yourself about your abilities.

GMilne
NSW, 32 posts
Tuesday , 17 Jul 2018 1:30PM
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There are plenty of options out there, for my 1st down wind board i went to as cheap as i could find at 28" wide, as mentioned here the length makes a massive difference.
As with the surf SUP you will become comfortable and want to go narrower, i went down to 24 for lighter days. I am now riding an 18 x 25" unlimited and i would say it has as much stability as my 28".

To put the length in perspective, i have 2 flat water boards 14x28 & 18x24, the 18 is at least twice as stable as the 14 and significantly narrower.

Demo, Demo Demo, is the best option

Michi68
1 posts
Tuesday , 17 Jul 2018 1:17PM
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Hi from Germany,

where the storage possibilities (in my case) are pretty small. It will be impossible for me to get 14 ft Hardboard, so the longest I can handle is a 12 6er. As I don?t live by the sea, I have to take the board at least 800 km to get on the open water, of course this would be limited to 3-4 weeks a year.

I?m therefore thinking about getting a 14 ft ISup (the Starboard Allwater Airline 14 x 28 Downwind comes to my mind) instead of a 12 6er.
Would it be comparable in catching the bumps? Speaking of 14 ISup vs 12 6 Hardboard.

Sorry for hijacking

Michi

Area10
1300 posts
Tuesday , 17 Jul 2018 3:04PM
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A hard board of pretty much any length will be better for downwinding than an inflatable of any length IMO. I have a couple of 12ft hard boards and a 16ft inflatable and I'd always take the 12fters in anything over 20 knots.

infltables tend to stick to the water and flex. And they have no real rail shape, so carving is difficult, and paddling crosswind is extremely difficult.

infjatables are great for many things (I own three). But they are really pretty crap for two things: surfing and downwinding.

People will now try to tell you different. But they are wrong: you *can* downwind or surf on an iSUP if there is no other option available. But better to find another option if you can IMO.

supthecreek
1476 posts
Wednesday , 18 Jul 2018 4:07AM
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Select to expand quote
London said..
Can anybody tell me the difference between a race board, touring board and a downwind board ? They all look the same to me...long thin and pointed noses... I can guess and say same but more nose kick in a downwind board ?

as a current sup surfer who wants a good 2nd hand downwind board. Must I go for something specifically designed for downwind ? Or can I use any large 12 foot plus board ? Or 14' better

im 95 kg and mid 50s so want something easy to ride and super stable to learn the game . As with surfing sups I suspect the longer and wider the better when learning ? But I'm surprised they all seem very thin.

I surf a 32 wide 9'5 Nash mana and love its stability... so how come the down winder boards seem all to be 25 to 28. Surely that will mean they are less stable than my 9 foot surf sup ?

Also on a surf sup a wide nose means stability so why are open ocean boards so thin on the nose ?

im paranoid I'm going to snap my strap and loose my board anyway so don't want to also be tippy....

My main mission is to try ride swells, it looks awesome on all the videos I have seen.

also I notice a lot of manufacturers don't seem to even have a board specifically for down winding in their ranges ?

Any advice welcome


Hi London

My goto board for all things flat-water is the 14' Search by Sunova. (14' x 30" at 218 liters)
full disclosure, I am part of the Sunova Team (at 70 years old)

I'm a big guy (106 kg) who paddles in a lot of interesting conditions..
stability is a "must" for me.... since I am always alone in winter outings.

I have zero interest in downwinding, but a big friend (6'4 - 130 kg) used in in the 35 mile open ocean crossing at the Cape Cod Bay Challenge, and loved it.

It was designed as an all around board for flat-water, surfing and downwind.

I think for a casual downwinder, this would suit you just fine, plus give you a board that's awesome in so many conditions.

It's fairly light, amazing construction and not stupid expensive.

Here's a video of how I use it, so you can judge for yourself.




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"Downwind and race boards compared to my surf SUP ?" started by London