I am looking for an entry level, all round board, I think I've narrowed the search down to 10"6" x 32" (ish) around 180L, price point $1000 - $1200
I'm looking at the ECS Evo and Infinity, Ocean Earth Cruiser, NSP Elements All Round and Adventure X1 or X2 All Round. At this price point are they all going to be comparable quality? Anyone have experience with any one of these brands vs the others?
And what do you want to do? Surfing or cruising? Do you have any previous waveriding experience (whatever the craft)?
73kg, some surfing experience on a mini mal. Use will be 80% flat water with kids as passengers sometimes. I think the size is good for my intended purpose just not sure what to make of the different brands and price points
Hey Will - for flat water, an occasional surf, and fun with the kids, you should just find something that is affordable, appeals to the eye, and is not too heavy to load on the car. You are probably not going to stress it so much that you reveal any weaknesses. You do largely get what you pay for, but at 73 kg and your planned use, as long as what you receive does not have any defects you should be good to go.
The board dimensions you described (10"6" x 32" (ish) around 180L) should be stable enough. You could go wider for greater stability, especially if the kids are joining you. But that size will still be a fun place to start in the surf. (Personally, from a stability point of view, wider and thinner with the same literage can be a good move - when they are thick they can be "corky".)
If you get hooked (I did), then what you buy now will always be a good backup board. If you decide to surf more, or you want higher speed on the flat water, you can look for a higher performance board.
I have read good things on the forum about ECS and NSP - I don't know the other brand - and I have not used any of them. But $1000-$1200 is a pretty good price. You can drop to a lower price via surfboard warehouse. A close friend bought one, and I have seen others in the water, and they have held up well.
(Also, for what it is worth, the same close friend started on my 9'5x32", 155 L Starby widepoint and is the same weight as you. He struggled just a bit to start with (it was the biggest board I had), but it proved a good place to start. He also rode mini-mals for many years. He has now moved to a smaller board. But he did not try to ride the board with his kids - you need a bigger board for that.)
I hope that helps.
Starboard 9'5 whopper would be a good choice.