I bought this board some months ago (2020) after considerable research. This is my third 'flat water/touring/downwind' board and my third JL (I also have two JL Strikers - which I love). The issue is a low point in the deck. When getting out through a small waves or surfing runners, the deck fills up with water and it doesn't naturally drain, it stays in the depression. This isn't just damp, it is up to 7 litres of water which equates to up to 7kg slopping around my feet in my normal paddling position - around the lifting strap. It rather defeats the lightweight Carbon manufacturing.
The issue is to drain it, you have to stand almost at the back of the board (on the JL logo - which is 1m behind the strap), where it isn't the most stable in chop etc. Neither of my previous 14' and 12'6" boards (that had roughly the same deck layout - shallow inset) had this issue and I have not heard of anyone else locally who has either. I am BTW, 66kg so no heavyweight.
I emailed Jimmy Lewis and Rod (the Australian distributor) and got this from Jimmy "There's no design flaw and I wouldn't know if the factor made a mistake without actually seeing the board in person as photos don't show the real story. I doubt seriously that the factory accidentally made a dip in the deck where water pools up. I'd never heard of this happening on any Sidewinder before and if it was happening I would have heard about it. My guess is you're standing further forward than anyone else did causing the front to be lower and catching water".
My answer to that was "Sorry but I can and do paddle with feet near the centre of gravity (the strap: which I know isn't the same as the centre of buoyancy) and the only way to empty the deck of water is to stand on your deck logo at the back of the deck".
I am presuming that all other 2019 14' x 27" Sidewinders must have the same issue (as it can't be manufacturing can it?) and wonder about the 25" and 23" wide ones? Has anyone else run across this? I have no idea about the 12'6" JL Sidewinders. The two images are of the board in normal paddling position on the water. I tested it with me standing on the water and then used the level to emulate that on stands.
i have the same one in blue and if I am washing my board on a stand I do get water staying on the deck not sure if it's the same as your puddle but if I poured in on the deck carefully I would guess it's the same. However while I am paddling especially in chop it never gathers in one spot for long, any side to side movement gets rid of it pretty quick. DW runs I have water washing all over the board and again cannot stay in a 7kg pool for any amount of time.
Any drop deck will gather water and the previous model had a more raised deck but that created stability issues so they lowered it to get a better centre of gravity position for the rider.
i will attach a DW video showing how much water goes over the board however I am most times 79kg so I would rock the board more than you being a lot lighter, maybe a narrower board would make a difference at your size so it's easier to tip?????
From what I can see from your video, it is the same. My stance in similar conditions is also the same as yours. I certainly can't clear the water side-to-side without ending up in the water myself. I tried that quite a few times. Once the water is there, I can only get rid of most of it by taking a large step back (almost a metre in my case). Yes, the 25" version may reduce or eliminate that problem given I'm a lightweight :).
BTW, it is a matter of water "poured in on the deck carefully". It is more like throw a bucket of water at it.
It's an interesting problem because as you can see in my video the water clears by its self, the rocking is the chop not me. Maybe it is corking on the water because you are light given the volume of the boards which is for bigger people, some even say I should have a 25 at my weight? As I mentioned it never gathers for more than a second or 2 on a paddle so I guess it's a mystery?
I've had 3 Jimmy Lewis Sidewinders...The first generation & then the 23" & 25" models in the 2nd generation & water pooling on the deck has never been a problem...All the boards come out identically as they are built from a mold...I've raced them in the ocean & on flatwater...
Thanks Rob but that is 23" and 25" and not 27" that is under discussion, as I said in my original post. I am waiting for conditions suitable to do a video. There is zero chance that my observation of water pooling on the deck under average conditions is a mental anomaly.
Hi Tasilee, I know plenty of 27" wides have been sold with no issues from anyone else
66kg guy on a board that wide could be the cause of water pooling.
I do not think its appropriate to doubt the guy without more information as its unlikely he is just making it up.
Be more tolerant is my recommendation.
I think you've nailed the problem on your first line :
IMHO, if you want to downwind, get a downwind board.
Downwinding is so far removed from flat water and touring, you can't expect a flat water or touring board to downwind.
They don't downwind, so it's not fun, and it certainly isnt safe.
And in any real downwinder, you gotta be safe.
Once you're safe, only then are you going to have fun.
For the record, I have 6 boards. My downwind board is a ruddered SIC F16.
I agree but if you want one board to do everything the Sidewinder is the perfect one board quiver...I've raced it downwind in the ocean both here & in Hawaii & plenty of flatwater races including a 45km flatwater race....Saying that I borrowed a 27" wide Sidewinder for a downwind race on Oahu & loved it... (actually winning my division)
i just think Tasilee is on too wide a board for his weight...The Sidewinder is very stable even at 23" & 25" wide so maybe he should trade it in for a 25" wide....
Here is an attempt to show the situation. The conditions weren't great, nor the videoing, but you get the idea.
Sorry but i don't see a problem other than you're too light for it soget a 25" wide Sidewinder...if the conditions were rougher or you were paddling harder the water would constantly wash off or be replaced...
So, Rob, the board is fine and I am too light for a 27" wide board that I paid $3,000 for? Really? In Tasmania, we very rarely get a chance to try a board out so you research thoroughly and then have to hope that it matches the advertising. Note also, this is my THIRD 'flat water' all-round board. One was 14'x30", and I was the same weight, and I had no problems with it. Ditto my older 12'6"x25". And for the record, my JL 10' Striker and my JL 8'11" Striker ditto.
And I am supposed to sell my 27" and buy another Sidewinder 14'x25"?
Poorly executed design, simple as that. Other high volume race/flat water/downwind boards have resolved the issue with drains.
Perfectly valid to buy a 27" wide down wind all round board even if you are lighter.
How about a little respect for a fellow paddler with a genuine grievance who has clearly documented the problem and even approached the manufacturer. Then ends up with bull$hit excuses/rationale from manufacturer and ex-distributor.
Hi JonathanC, actually not a poor design (see my previous post) I've raced sup's for over 10 years & if you want 1 board to do everything instead of multiple raceboards for different conditions the Sidewinder is the one board that will do everything WELL....
Tasilee has a problem with the board not suiting him...it's not the board that is the problem...if he's on the wrong size board get it sorted...I've had boards in the past that haven't suited me (either too wide & too narrow)... get one that suits your size/ability etc....bummer there's limited demo days in Tassie...that's life...I'm sure the shop he bought it from will help him resolve his issues...
Hi Tasiless, so it sounds like you bought the Sidewinder unseen based on research and lack of boards available in TAS for testing? Has there been any response from either your local dealer or AUS Importer or JL other than the less impressive message you posted above? Or even an offer to take a look at the board (via video link)?
I honesty don't think it is Tasilee that is the problem nor do I think the board is a problem as I have the same board and yes sometimes water does gather in that section but it easily cleared during paddling. So while it is true that the water will weigh 1kg for 1lt of water it is not there long enough to slow you down when you are moving a lot.
Why is that? As you can see in my video it always clears in seconds and the board moves a lot and always drains to the back or sides. Any recessed deck will gather water, a dugout needs drains because it is so dug out, this board is slightly recessed so drains won't work.
Is this resolvable through distributors, no it's not, will practice and technique help, maybe, a slight rocking from side to side always happens when I paddle and water goes away. Our balance gets better and we are able to do more side to side and rough water paddling improves balance even more and we go in all kinds of directions and water will not gather in one spot?
Keep at it Tasilee I think it will become less of a problem as time goes on, I remember it gathered more when I was not very good on the board and trying to get use to a narrower board after I had a 30 wide, it was my paddling that was bad not the board. Now I am more confident and stable it is never a problem.
I know that I am not the issue here. A typical session yesterday reinforced that. I took the Sidewinder to my usual surfing spot at Carlton River and got about 10 small waves. Going out through about small (1') waves, the deck fills with about 7 litres of water. Four litres drain out the back when I stand back about 1' from center and put in a few hard strokes. 3 litres remain regardless of how I paddle. I face into the light breeze and step 1m back and clear another ~2 litres leaving at least one on the center of the deck.
I get to the river and get onto the first small wave. Between 2 and 6 litres are back on the deck by the end of the run - and one has to be careful about that weight sloshing around when you decelerate quickly! It can be nasty. I then turn nose into the small swell and repeat the emptying of all but ~1 litre by stepping back and putting in a few hard strokes up the small waves. Repeat.
This type of issue never happened once on my 12'6" JP Carbon or my 14' Naish Glide - even though both boards had a similar deck concept (slightly recessed - intermediate between a flat deck and a dugout). And note that I would have been a TRIVIAL weight on the Glide!
I have done a video measuring water on the deck, accelerating, stepping back etc but I have not had time to voice-over to explain what is happening. I'll post it as soon as that is done.