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Stepping Down

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Created by stubear 28 days ago, 20 Jul 2019
stubear
29 posts
20 Jul 2019 3:22PM
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Hi all,
Haven't posted for a while, but thought I'd get back amongst it!
I'm looking at a new board toward the end of the year and just tossing around a few ideas, looking for some feedback.
I'm currently on the ECS Evo 11'2 x 35. This is a great board for my family and I'm not getting rid of it, but a pain in the surf that I get here and I'm keen to make a fairly dramatic drop down to around a 9' length - give or take.
The waves I generally surf are soft, fairly thick beachies, with the occassional rivermouth surf thrown in, from very clean days to very messy, choppy days. I'm happy to just get out and have a crack in anything and everything really - as such looking for a board to do the same. As far as a 'SUP Surfer' goes I'm a beginner trying to move toward intermediate! Also, I'm 6'4" and 85kgs.
The boards I am looking at are the:
Creek 9'1 x 31 or 9'4 x 32
Skate 8'10 x 32"
JL Destroyer 8'10" x 31
JL Striker 9'5" x 31
I've also considered the JL Super Frank and the Shroom, but I'm thinking these as more specialised boards for perhaps a stronger surfer than I am. All the boards I'm looking at are around 136L to about 145L which sits me at 1.6/1.7 volume to weight ratio, which I'm happy with, I don't want to go too much lower.
These boards are on my radar as I have a 2015 JL Sidewinder and love the board, the construction is bullet proof and light, plus the service from Rob was great, so more than happy to stick with what I know and from reading the threads about the Destoryer models, they sound like they can be used in a range of conditions. Similar to the Sunova's, particularly the Creek reads as though it can be used very much as a performance board (not me yet), but also goes well in a wide range of conditions and caters for novices through to pros. Similar for the Skate from what I'm reading, plus I love the aesthetics of the Sunovas!

Anyway, just keen for a few thoughts and ideas, any average surfers out there on any of these boards or anyone have any general musings perhaps?

BigZ
34 posts
20 Jul 2019 9:49PM
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I am going to share my experience. It may save you some money :)

I am also 6'4 , but 240 pounds - pure muscle of course :).

When starting to learn SUS, I bought a new Naish Hokua 9'6x32x170 liters - I was about 250 at that time. The board was perfect for about 5-10 sessions. Then it felt like a boat. So I stepped down to Naish Hokua 9'6x29x145 liters. Thinking that this would be my ideal size I also bought it new. 5-10 sessions later it felt like a boat.

Now, I am on JL Destroyer 8'5 130L. And this one feels like a perfect size. But I am only into 4th session .... and I have three, practically new boards - two of them taking space in my garage.

If you get hooked on SUP surfing you will progress quite rapidly, which for most of us means you will want to progressively move to smaller boards.

All the boards you listed will be way to big for you in a few months or even weeks (assuming you will practice 2-3 times a week). You WILL NOT want to stay at 1.7 guilt factor. Trust me.

At your weight you eventually want to be on a 110-115 liter or even smaller - if you are athletic and progress quickly. A 130-150 liter board will soon be taking space in your shed or be sold with a rather large loss.

If I were you I would look for a relatively inexpensive used board around 130-140 liters and 31-33" wide. I would not agonize over a specific model . Any surf oriented SUP will do - the cheaper the better. The goal is to get comfortable with a lower volume. Use it for a few months (weeks), sell it and then buy a new, carefully researched and if possible demoed board of your target volume. Or if your target is 100 or so go through another used step down around 115-120.

Just my 2 cents.


BigZ

supthecreek
1747 posts
20 Jul 2019 11:46PM
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Select to expand quote
stubear said..
Hi all,
Haven't posted for a while, but thought I'd get back amongst it!
I'm looking at a new board toward the end of the year and just tossing around a few ideas, looking for some feedback.
I'm currently on the ECS Evo 11'2 x 35. This is a great board for my family and I'm not getting rid of it, but a pain in the surf that I get here and I'm keen to make a fairly dramatic drop down to around a 9' length - give or take.
The waves I generally surf are soft, fairly thick beachies, with the occassional rivermouth surf thrown in, from very clean days to very messy, choppy days. I'm happy to just get out and have a crack in anything and everything really - as such looking for a board to do the same. As far as a 'SUP Surfer' goes I'm a beginner trying to move toward intermediate! Also, I'm 6'4" and 85kgs.
The boards I am looking at are the:
Creek 9'1 x 31 or 9'4 x 32
Skate 8'10 x 32"
JL Destroyer 8'10" x 31
JL Striker 9'5" x 31
I've also considered the JL Super Frank and the Shroom, but I'm thinking these as more specialised boards for perhaps a stronger surfer than I am. All the boards I'm looking at are around 136L to about 145L which sits me at 1.6/1.7 volume to weight ratio, which I'm happy with, I don't want to go too much lower.
These boards are on my radar as I have a 2015 JL Sidewinder and love the board, the construction is bullet proof and light, plus the service from Rob was great, so more than happy to stick with what I know and from reading the threads about the Destoryer models, they sound like they can be used in a range of conditions. Similar to the Sunova's, particularly the Creek reads as though it can be used very much as a performance board (not me yet), but also goes well in a wide range of conditions and caters for novices through to pros. Similar for the Skate from what I'm reading, plus I love the aesthetics of the Sunovas!

Anyway, just keen for a few thoughts and ideas, any average surfers out there on any of these boards or anyone have any general musings perhaps?


Hi Stu, welcome back!
Liters are relative.... it more depends on shape, surface area and age IMO

I appreciate that many have the goal of lower is better, but I suspect age, has a place in that equation.
Young legs and stamina utilize low volume boards easily.... not so much if you have some years on you.

Regarding the Sunova's you mentioned:
I got down to 95 kg by the time I got to Portugal and I found my 9'4 Creek just as user friendly as it was when I was 109 kg.
Given your height, I think the 9'4 is a good call.
There is no real downside to riding a bigger Creek... but I find riding one on the "small side" to be less effective, for me personally.
IMO: at 6'4 unless you are young and fit, the 9'1 would be a big step down and offer you less benefit than the 9'4.

My 42 year old buddy, very good SUP surfer.... 80 kg
Loves his 8'10 Creek which is 1.55 w/v for him.

The Skate is a very fun and stable board, best used on waves that don't have steep takeoff.
Great in low power waves.... one of my favorites.
However....maybe not the best choice for thick beachies you surf.

My buddy on his 8'10 Creek (at 1.55 w/v)





21 Jul 2019 7:35AM
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Hi Stubear, if you want the one board that does everything & is still super stable, light & strong well then the new JL Destroyer is killer :)
The Super Frank is very stable but really is your summer groveller/fish style sup...








MarkW81
VIC, 50 posts
21 Jul 2019 8:04AM
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I have JL Striker 9'5". Awesome board and the one I grab if I'm surfing a point break. However it doesn't have a lot of nose rocker, so maybe not perfect for your conditions. The Destroyer looks to be a better option for your needs.

I don't need to tell you anything about the quality of JL boards, they speak for themselves. And the design is as good as any going around. My Striker makes we look better than I am.

Cheers Mark

stubear
29 posts
21 Jul 2019 1:00PM
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Thanks guys for the responses. As I'm just starting to explore the possibilities for a new board and looking toward the end of the year I'll keep my eye out on the second hand market and see if anything pops up. I didn't really think of what happens after this board to be honest! The next board after the next one hey?!

I am curious STC around BigZ's comments about continuing to step down, do you feel there's plenty of longevity in the 9'4" Creek?

Rob, similar question, would the 8'10" destroyer be the 'right' idea size wise, or should I look at next size up/down?

21 Jul 2019 3:14PM
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Hi Stubear, the 8'10 would be the way to go based on what you've described & said...

MarkW81
VIC, 50 posts
21 Jul 2019 3:15PM
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If you progress down further in the future, you'll want to keep a 9'4" x 32" (or similar) for the choppy days.

JEG
VIC, 1206 posts
21 Jul 2019 6:21PM
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I never have a sunova.
I'm happy with Jimmy lewis design and quality and I would recommend the jl destroyer. if you want the challenge get the 8'5" or to be more comfortable the 8'10". I have the jl super frank lean 8x30 weight 80kg beginner to intermediate and I'm looking at my next board jl destroyer 7'7" x 29.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1787 posts
21 Jul 2019 7:27PM
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Select to expand quote
stubear said..
Thanks guys for the responses. As I'm just starting to explore the possibilities for a new board and looking toward the end of the year I'll keep my eye out on the second hand market and see if anything pops up. I didn't really think of what happens after this board to be honest! The next board after the next one hey?!

I am curious STC around BigZ's comments about continuing to step down, do you feel there's plenty of longevity in the 9'4" Creek?

Rob, similar question, would the 8'10" destroyer be the 'right' idea size wise, or should I look at next size up/down?



I may have missed this in your discussion, but are you younger, fit, and surfing frequently with a desire to get better, or are you getting out "once in a while" and thus not able to keep the strength and "balance muscle memory" in your legs, and not super ambitious about your surf performance?

If it is the former, then you can progress as BigZ describes (that is a pretty rapid growth rate, but I have also gone through a few boards), but if it is the latter then you may need to be more conservative - try one of the boards with a surf shape around 9'6 x 32" and minimum 140L. If you can't rent or borrow something around that size you will know after a session or two where you stand.

I don't have experience with any of those boards, but I am a similar height but heavier .

After surfing a 11'x35" board, a 9'6x32" is going to feel very small - but it will give you so much better surf performance you won't believe it!

(I personally went from a 10' board to a starby 9'5"x32 150L pretty quickly. Then I went to the 8'8x32" 145L (I think) Naish X32 4-5 months later. Many boards later I am on Sunova Acid - if I was at 88 kg I would be on my 8'7 106L board but I am riding heavier now...)

supthecreek
1747 posts
22 Jul 2019 9:30AM
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Select to expand quote
stubear said..
Thanks guys for the responses. As I'm just starting to explore the possibilities for a new board and looking toward the end of the year I'll keep my eye out on the second hand market and see if anything pops up. I didn't really think of what happens after this board to be honest! The next board after the next one hey?!

I am curious STC around BigZ's comments about continuing to step down, do you feel there's plenty of longevity in the 9'4" Creek?

Rob, similar question, would the 8'10" destroyer be the 'right' idea size wise, or should I look at next size up/down?


Hi Stu

You said:
"As far as a 'SUP Surfer' goes I'm a beginner trying to move toward intermediate!
IMO.... you will improve much faster on a board that you are not struggling on.

But It really doesn't matter what we say, they are just guidelines....
hopefully you can find some context in the replies, that you can view through your own lens.

Every person has different goals and potential.
Don't surf for us.... step back and think what "feels" best to you.

To answer your "longevity" question above:
A lot depends on your age and athletic ability.
I have had my 9'4 Creek for two years now.... it is still the board I choose most often.
I know, I'm never going to reach it's potential.
It is a keeper.
It plays smaller than it's numbers..... I stopped riding sub-9' boards after I got it.

IMO:
The 9'4 Creek will keep up with you, as you improve... it's a very versatile board.


BigZ
34 posts
22 Jul 2019 10:58AM
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Select to expand quote
supthecreek said..

stubear said..
Thanks guys for the responses. As I'm just starting to explore the possibilities for a new board and looking toward the end of the year I'll keep my eye out on the second hand market and see if anything pops up. I didn't really think of what happens after this board to be honest! The next board after the next one hey?!

I am curious STC around BigZ's comments about continuing to step down, do you feel there's plenty of longevity in the 9'4" Creek?

Rob, similar question, would the 8'10" destroyer be the 'right' idea size wise, or should I look at next size up/down?



Hi Stu

You said:
"As far as a 'SUP Surfer' goes I'm a beginner trying to move toward intermediate!
IMO.... you will improve much faster on a board that you are not struggling on.

But It really doesn't matter what we say, they are just guidelines....
hopefully you can find some context in the replies, that you can view through your own lens.

Every person has different goals and potential.
Don't surf for us.... step back and think what "feels" best to you.

To answer your "longevity" question above:
A lot depends on your age and athletic ability.
I have had my 9'4 Creek for two years now.... it is still the board I choose most often.
I know, I'm never going to reach it's potential.
It is a keeper.
It plays smaller than it's numbers..... I stopped riding sub-9' boards after I got it.

IMO:
The 9'4 Creek will keep up with you, as you improve... it's a very versatile board.




Supthecreek

We all the respect. Fitness and age aside (I am past 50 - way past ...). We are both oscillating around 100K. He is 84kg ....
Unless OP gains 20kg, he will outgrow 9'4 Creek very quickly.

RbGar
50 posts
22 Jul 2019 6:46PM
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If you can't stand on the board with confidence you're not going to catch waves and or progress at anything.

stubear
29 posts
23 Jul 2019 5:40AM
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Hey all, good thing I'm starting to think about my next board now as there's plenty to consider! Although these are two boards that I very much like, I think I'll keep my eye on the second hand market and be open to something a little bigger if needs be. If nothing pops up before now and buying time, well, I'll have to make a decision! Or just wait longer! Thanks for the feedback and sound advice guys.

BigZ
34 posts
24 Jul 2019 11:30AM
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This is my JL Destroyer 8'5. At 240 pounds, the deck is covered with water but still very stable and easy to catch waves. Amazing board.









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"Stepping Down" started by stubear