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Sunova 7'11" Speeed // Review

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Created by Casso > 9 months ago, 3 Oct 2016
Casso
NSW, 3351 posts
3 Oct 2016 2:23PM
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I had snagged one of those days that seemed like the planets had aligned. There had been a project scheduling mix up at work and I'd suddenly found myself with a free Thursday, all to myself. The kids were at school and the wife was at work and the fact that it was a last-minute, unscheduled day off meant that nobody had a chance to leave me with a list of jobs to do or errands to run. Perfect. It was a sunny spring day with a nice little swell running and a light offshore wind puffing.

I checked my local beachy after the school drop off to find some great, uncrowded waves pulsing through with the gentlemen's hour crew just starting to hit it. I'd been admiring Sunova's funky looking Speeed model for nearly a year and had recently found out a demo 7'11" version was patiently waiting to be test driven at Balmoral Paddle Surf, about 30 minutes away. I had the time, I had the inclination - let's give it a whirl, hey? I bid farewell to those perfect little waves and headed south to go and pick up the board.

I stopped at every beach on the way, trying to ascertain the best break to test out the Speeed. I found a really nice one, not too far from the shop. It was a little bigger than the rest and looked picture perfect with the sun still out but now back-dropped by some dark storm clouds out to sea. The contrast was making the aqua-blue water literally glow and with the wind still light and offshore, I was simply frothing to get out there. I quickly continued on my way and arrived at the shop, picked up the board and headed back to... Wait. Hang on. Picked up the board? We need to just stop there for a second. This thing looks soooo cool. The standard Sunova XXX TEC construction with the combination of black resin etched balsa, plain balsa, black rails brushed with silver paint and the black decals make these boards REAL head-turners. I was blown away by the weight too. I think it might be the lightest 94L board I have ever picked up.


Bit like a whaleshark


Black resin etched balsa


Awesome LiftSUP handle


Substantial tail pad kicker


Quality 3D fins as standard

I got to chatting with the guys in the shop and started looking over the other Sunovas they have on demo there. I soon had a mental list of all the goodies I wanted to try: this Speeed, then the Style, then the Flow, maybe the Shroom, definitely the Acid and they talked of a 12 foot gun thing they call the Search which was soon to arrive and sounded right up my alley. I think I'm going to be a busy boy over the next few weeks.

An hour later, I'd finally managed to get the Speeed in the car and started to head back to that epic bank I'd seen earlier. You know the drill - missed it by 20 minutes. The wind had swung around to that evil cross-onshore direction and picked up in ferocity. The dark clouds that were originally out to sea had rolled in, blocked out the sun and had even started spitting on me - just to add extra salt to the wounds. The tide had come in just enough to fatten out the little peelers and you wouldn't believe it, a school sport group was waxing up and about to invade the only decent bank on the beach. Urrrrrgh.

Ah, well. I had this gorgeous piece of styrofoam and balsa under my arm and nothing was going to stop me grabbing a couple of waves to see if it surfed as good as it looked. The Speeed is supposed to excel in these conditions anyway.

I jumped on and after an initial wobble, found the sweet spot to paddle from and started making my way out the back. The first bit of whitewater approached. It was about two foot high which would normally mean I was about to get wet but the 7'11" upped and overed it incredibly well, amazingly well. I was left standing on the seaward side of the foamy hurdle, wondering to myself, how did that even happen? I guess the slight nose flick of the whaleshark-esk front end of the Speeed was able to redirect the rest of the board over the whitewater with minimal impact to a smooth paddle line towards the calmness of the trough behind. I was very impressed, and consequently confident that I could get over almost anything. The next wave was a set. I thought, OK, let's see how this cheeky Speeed can handle head high whitewater, that happens to only just break in front of my board. Ummm - not well. That was a long shot though.

It wasn't long before I was out the back, waiting for my inaugural wave with my 20, or so, new school sport friends. My feet were wet but I wasn't sinking up to my shins/knees like I do on my other boards which are only three to four litres less in volume. It was a pleasant change and definitely made paddling for waves much more efficient. I think the nature of the construction is conducive to more float at the same volume - meaning you will be more comfortable if sticking to your standard volume or more radical on a wave by being able to drop a few litres via width, thickness or length.

My first wave was a mid sized one. A right hander. A bit of a fat one but the Speeed let me pick it up easily. It was very fast yet full enough to allow me a minimal bottom turn before trying a re-entry over the closing out section. I was still quite a way forward on the very comfy and grippy deck pad and found myself with plenty of acceleration but wrestling a bit with the balsa bad boy through those two turns. Coming down from the re-entry I edged my back foot back onto the tail pad, just beyond the hips in the rails, and leant into another bottom turn. Ahhhh - that was better. A bit of drive and a much more fluid arc. A little foam bounce and my first wave on Speeed was complete. The paddle back out had me pondering … so the large, parallel railed, mid section of the board is probably a great place to hang out when quick acceleration and early planing is required but that area behind the hips is where you want to be for all the explosive action to occur. That'll be where the real party is at. Let's do some experimenting on the next one and see how far we can push it.


Back foot moving from speed zone to action zone


Climbs foam really well ... and turns heads

It was another right hander, a little bigger than the first. The Speeed, once again, picked it up with minimal effort and I was soon flying down the face towards the beach. With a lot more consciousness of my foot to board relationship than I normally would have, I hopped my back foot right back to the substantial tail pad kicker and pulled into a bottom turn. Ping. With the drive through the turn and maybe the effect of the parabolic balsa rails, I was slingshotted out of the turn and up to the top of the wave in literally no time at all. Everything was happening so quickly. I didn't have time to think. I was running on instinct. I stomped on the tail, buried the paddle in the top of the wave and pushed with all my might to crank out a top turn hook. It felt really nice. Smooth, fast, flowing and in control even with a touch of fin release as the board came off the rail and flattened out. Even after a critical change of direction like that, the Speeed maintained momentum wonderfully. With just a little weight transition forward, to that nice big planing area, I was off and ready for my next maneuver.


Slingshot bottom turn


Snap to power slide

On the way back out again, I was presented with a smaller set approaching that looked like nobody else could get. So due to the fact that good, unridden waves are taboo in Sydney I thought I might just have enough time to swing at the last minute and give it a crack. That I did. But I was very late. The lip was pitching, I was still scratching to get onto it, backwash was adding wobble to the whole scene. This was going to get ugly. I free fell with the lip down to the bottom of the wave. My legs buckled with the impact of the Speeed piercing the surface during its submarine impersonation. I held my breath and prepared myself to start looking for lobsters. Then, amazingly, that little nose flick at the front of the Speeed decided it had other ideas. With a glassy bow wave splaying out from all three sides of the nose, the Speeed popped up and we were off and running again. The hydrodynamics of that crazy design are very impressive. With enough flat planing area to maintain mind blowing speeds yet enough rocker in just the right places to pull a fully submerged board back to the surface (with little to no help from the rider), it's pretty amazing.

Fifteen waves later and I'd been able to test out the 7'11" Speeed in all sorts of waves. Quick lefts, slow rights, sucky ones, fat ones, closeouts and shorebreaks. Once I'd fully dialled in the sweet spot for each type of turn, I was having an absolute ball, even in the now sloppy conditions. I could have stayed out for another hour or two I was having that much fun but the school pickup thing was calling. Maybe I should just hang on to AA's demo for a while longer so I can get an even better feel for it. That way I'll know exactly what dimensions I need to tweak when I order my custom made Speeed! What do you reckon AA?


That gouging hook turn

Highs
- Light weight
- Looks awesome
- Super strong construction
- Impeccable workmanship and materials
- High quality 3D fins as standard
- Really fast through fat sections
- Turns on a dime when back foot is on the kicker
- Paddles into waves fantastically
- Pops over whitewater really well
- Comfortable and grippy deck pad
- Retractable LiftSUP handle means no more stubbed toes
- Comes in a plethora of sizes and volumes.

Lows
- Takes a few waves to find the sweet spot for each type of turn
- Doesn't come with a quad option as standard (for the quad die-hards).


A little video of the Speeed session

colas
2160 posts
3 Oct 2016 12:59PM
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Thanks for the great review Casso!

On the subject of sensitive rear foot positioning, I found that on these kind of boards, having a pad that have features that you can feel easily underfoot helps a lot: holes in the pad, arches...
It could be interesting to remove some bits of pad near the front fins to have this kind of "landmark"? (well, not on the demo board obviously :-) )

PS: on impromptu session like this, how do you find a video guy/gal at the ready?

margeaux
QLD, 29 posts
3 Oct 2016 3:37PM
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Paparazzi

Supmaori
564 posts
3 Oct 2016 4:02PM
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Awesome review Casso I have the 8'5 and although I'm still waiting for some decent swell ..the couple of surfs I've had have been impressive..great looking board, top construction .
Chur

Casso
NSW, 3351 posts
3 Oct 2016 7:36PM
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Please note: I've just found out that the 3D fins are an optional upgrade.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1349 posts
3 Oct 2016 11:15PM
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Great review! And nice story too. Didn't take you long to master it!

Kami
1182 posts
4 Oct 2016 4:54AM
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Nice and pleasant reading . Thx Casso. Great review too proving that Bert did a good job thinking about his board.
My dime would be to say: chop few inches off the total length of this board to have the perfect rear foot position inducing all the maneuvers you may imagine . Definitely need a 7' version of the Speeed to my opinion.(humble one)

exiled
105 posts
4 Oct 2016 9:25AM
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To be fair, the stock fins on the speeed are pretty nice. I do think they come a little over finned. I went down a size on my 8'8 speeed, and I think I will probably go even smaller.

I do wish the kick pad had an arch to it, because getting your foot back just right really makes this board something special. I may put a skimboard archbar in on mine.

Flying High
NSW, 208 posts
4 Oct 2016 11:58AM
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Select to expand quote
exiled said..
To be fair, the stock fins on the speeed are pretty nice. I do think they come a little over finned. I went down a size on my 8'8 speeed, and I think I will probably go even smaller.

I do wish the kick pad had an arch to it, because getting your foot back just right really makes this board something special. I may put a skimboard archbar in on mine.


What fins are you using now and what smaller ones are you considering?
I have the 8'8" and I think it is slightly over finned too but havent played around with smaller fins yet.

supthecreek
1238 posts
4 Oct 2016 10:30AM
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I use the same fins that Casso has in the pics on my 8'10 and my 9'2 Speeed
Also use them on my Acid.
I believe that the 3D Dimplex, 7.0 green set is discontinued, but they have a similar model now called:
Fastlight 7.0
Side fins: Height: 4.75" (120.65mm) Base: 4.65" (118.11mm)
Center Fin: Height: 4.49"(114.05mm) Base: 4.63" (117.06mm)

Just regular surfboard thruster set... not from their SUP fin line.


They are solid up to 8' faces so far... and never felt them to be small at all.

exiled
105 posts
4 Oct 2016 11:12AM
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Select to expand quote
Flying High said..

exiled said..
To be fair, the stock fins on the speeed are pretty nice. I do think they come a little over finned. I went down a size on my 8'8 speeed, and I think I will probably go even smaller.

I do wish the kick pad had an arch to it, because getting your foot back just right really makes this board something special. I may put a skimboard archbar in on mine.



What fins are you using now and what smaller ones are you considering?
I have the 8'8" and I think it is slightly over finned too but havent played around with smaller fins yet.


Current fins are NSV GLs, which are 4.73 base, 4.77 height, 16.12 area. So a little bit smaller than Shapers S8s. The stock fins were close to S9s. I'm 103 kg, so on paper these should be the perfect size for me even on a regular shortboard. I don't know if its the deep channels or what, but I feel like I can get away with less fin on this board.

I would probably get something in the '7' size. I'll probably try some FCS M7s first just because I have them laying around. Then maybe buy some c-drives just cause I'm curious.

colas
2160 posts
4 Oct 2016 3:03PM
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Select to expand quote
Kami said..
My dime would be to say: chop few inches off the total length of this board to have the perfect rear foot position inducing all the maneuvers you may imagine . Definitely need a 7' version of the Speeed to my opinion.(humble one)


I agree. When I must use a 8' board I realize how much a 7' board ease of handling comes from not having to move around so much

Tardy
1717 posts
4 Oct 2016 4:59PM
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Nice one casso ,I now know what you talking about having just brought a 7.0 .
it s a whole new world .
Its just the looseness of the boards at that size ..

burleighlocal
255 posts
4 Oct 2016 5:19PM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..
Thanks for the great review Casso!

On the subject of sensitive rear foot positioning, I found that on these kind of boards, having a pad that have features that you can feel easily underfoot helps a lot: holes in the pad, arches...
It could be interesting to remove some bits of pad near the front fins to have this kind of "landmark"? (well, not on the demo board obviously :-) )

PS: on impromptu session like this, how do you find a video guy/gal at the ready?



I was thinking the same thing, re.. the video and pics..funny.

burleighlocal
255 posts
4 Oct 2016 5:23PM
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I have to admit the pull up handle really is good. I wish all the manufacturers used it.

AA
NSW, 2083 posts
5 Oct 2016 11:16AM
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Ah a Casso review. Always a good read! Stoked your liking it Casso and we look forward to you putting more of Berts boards to the test.

GizzieNZ
3525 posts
5 Oct 2016 12:09PM
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Select to expand quote
burleighlocal said..
I have to admit the pull up handle really is good. I wish all the manufacturers used it.


would be feeling a bit hard done by if i bought another board and it didn't have one

Stev0
340 posts
5 Oct 2016 5:46PM
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Great review! You definitely should try the Acid (stay away from the brown acid though haha!)

This is my favourite bit: "kids were at school and the wife was at work and the fact that it was a last-minute, unscheduled day off meant that nobody had a chance to leave me with a list of jobs to do or errands to run. Perfect. It was a sunny spring day with a nice little swell running and a light offshore wind puffing."

How does Casso compare the Speed to the Minion?..

CAUTION
WA, 1000 posts
10 Oct 2016 1:12PM
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I HAVE THE 7'11. "the punt"
what a ripper it is, have now found sweet spot for paddling, learnt from the 1km paddle outs when up north...
anyhow, the more i ride it the more it blows me away. first 2 weeks quite unstable, falling heaps, had to learn to get up from sitting, these boards dont paddle on knees (and rightly so, anyone that paddles on their knees are not real surfers and deserve a slap). much comfier now.
im 6'2 and 80-82kg naked. finding i will need to keep on the no sugar diet as dont want to be much heavier for the 94l.
Findings:
- paddles into waves better than my previous 110l board, and better than my mates boards that are substantially more...
- speed it generates is awesome, can make sections when previous boards felt sluggish and could not
- when on tail she turns so nice. have found you can do those real nice drawn out turns to cut backs, or get back and really shove it and slide it like casso did above
- narrowness and low volume the board doesnt bounce and feel like a boat like a lot of sups (including my last 110l board) defo helps in decent offshore winds
- late drops, no worries with punt nose
- light as, good for those treks over sand dunes and rocky patches to get to northern spots...
- looks amazing, timber/carbon/silver. have had plenty of remarks as to the ugly punt or whaleshark nose but i love different, and love it.

keen to try some different fins, tho happy enough with the stock ones which are the glass sunova ones.
would be happier if the boxes were futures or fcs2, not a fan of sloppy fcs but Bert seems committed.
im a big fan of shapers fins from my previous sups and my surfboards and kiteboards (all futures), will prob order some fcs, maybe s6's or s7's.

not sure what others have felt in regards to the deck pad but i have lost skin on my knees and toes from just going from seated position to stand up, its like sandpaper. no chance of slipping, tho i think could be a little softer...

love these boards, keen to try acids one day too.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1349 posts
10 Oct 2016 4:09PM
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Great review! Thanks for going to the effort.

Impressive riding 94L @82kg! Being tall must help to get your back foot over the fins. That's where I struggle - getting my foot back when the wave isn't cranking.

CAUTION
WA, 1000 posts
11 Oct 2016 9:26AM
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if the wave is gutless i dont go back to kicker, more rear foot is at front section of rear pad, i go just behind the pad gap. front foot is either just in front of handle or on or just behind.
i recon wide stance is the key, keep front foot forward and then if wave is walling up and you get speed get foot right back, if not keep forward and use the paralel rails and the speed secret medicine to get frothing.

that guy
48 posts
30 Oct 2016 8:40AM
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great review - on the money :)

nicoo
VIC, 86 posts
30 Oct 2016 7:23PM
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Great review, thanks for putting in the effort! Your doing well for your weight on a 94 litres, you seemed to dail in pretty quickly. Video looks great.

MickChard
VIC, 142 posts
23 Nov 2016 2:01PM
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Casso what Sunova are u gonna call your go too board ????

Casso
NSW, 3351 posts
29 Nov 2016 3:32PM
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Select to expand quote
MickChard said..
Casso what Sunova are u gonna call your go too board ????


Right now it is the 7'10" Flow - especially when the waves are good. The Speeed still comes out when it is a bit fat or mushy.

Brenno
QLD, 498 posts
29 Nov 2016 6:30PM
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Select to expand quote
Stev0 said...
Great review! You definitely should try the Acid (stay away from the brown acid though haha!)

This is my favourite bit: "kids were at school and the wife was at work and the fact that it was a last-minute, unscheduled day off meant that nobody had a chance to leave me with a list of jobs to do or errands to run. Perfect. It was a sunny spring day with a nice little swell running and a light offshore wind puffing."

How does Casso compare the Speed to the Minion?..


So how does it compare?

MickChard
VIC, 142 posts
29 Nov 2016 10:25PM
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Nice casso...... I've the 8.7 flow atm and its pretty loose can only imagine how the 7.10 goes ...

Casso
NSW, 3351 posts
30 Nov 2016 8:23PM
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Select to expand quote
Brenno said...
Stev0 said...
Great review! You definitely should try the Acid (stay away from the brown acid though haha!)

This is my favourite bit: "kids were at school and the wife was at work and the fact that it was a last-minute, unscheduled day off meant that nobody had a chance to leave me with a list of jobs to do or errands to run. Perfect. It was a sunny spring day with a nice little swell running and a light offshore wind puffing."

How does Casso compare the Speed to the Minion?..


So how does it compare?

They are very similar. They have similar paddling speed and wave catching ease. The Minion might have a slightly quicker early planing speed but the Speeed is probably a bit looser and more radical off the tail. The Speeed seems to catch a nose rail less due to a more rounded plan shape up the front. The Speeed can only be risen as a thruster whereas the Minion can used in all the usual five fin combinations.



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"Sunova 7'11" Speeed // Review" started by Casso