Before I bought this board I could not find too many reviews on it, so now after a few months I decided to write one for the interested audience.
I'm 52 years old, weight 77 kilos, height 179cm, sup surfing for 3.5 years, before that prone surfing since I was 16. Switched to sup surfing because of back and neck problems. I was never really good at prone surfing, only an average surfer.
The sup opened a new world to me and I can say I'm addicted to sup surfing spending more time in the water and having allot of fun.
I try to switch to a new sup every year (a friend of mine is the owner of a JP shop...) and the list of boards I had so far is as follows:
Started with Wide Body 8'8" x 32" as my first sup ever, a great beginner board, easy to stand on and paddle, average speed and maneuverability on the wave. Went on to a Wide Body 8'2" x 32", improved maneuverability, still very easy to balance on but difficult to generate speed on (the 8"8" was much better in that aspect), maybe because of the length to width ratio. My board was an older model, the newer boards are better shaped and slightly narrower at 31.5" which improve the speed - I borrowed one for a demo and felt the difference. Next I wanted something that at least looks like a surfboard, so I went with a Fusion 8'5" x 30". Still very easy to stand on but what a difference in speed and fun!! the only problem I found riding this board was that the volume was high at about 130 liter, makes sense for a heavier rider than me but a bit too much for me. I played with different sizes of center fins and settled for the 5.5". Surfed this board during summer and winter at small and medium sized waves and enjoyed every moment.
Then I saw the new design of the surf slate and wanted to try this odd shaped board. read allot about the "square" design, it's benefits, main sources of information were about Tomo surfboards design.
Opted for the larger 8'2" x 30" size since most of the time the conditions are very choppy and mushy waves (and because I'm lazy...). The board exceeded my expectations, it's still very easy to balance on, catching waves is a breeze (no pan intended...) especially fun to catch a wave in the last possible second - acceleration is so much fun on this board! I can nose ride it and moving the back foot to the elevated pad converts it to a tight carver. the fins are relatively small but fit perfectly this board. in several occasions when I took a very late drop the width of the front "caught" on the wave but I found out that if on a late drop I approach in a slight angle to the wave there is no issue. Again, the speed of this board is really something to experience. my board is the pro model which is light, plus the finish and construction are very good, the board almost never leaves my car - the benefit of having grown up kids - not having to be the family driver..
I'm waiting to see how the board will behave in the winter, larger and more powerful waves, but have no doubt It will be magic.
what I would change in this board design? lower volume. 8-10 liters less (from 128 to 118-120) would make it perfect for me, but then again there is the 7'8" x 29"...maybe next year!
Thanks for the review Dean
The new slates look pretty interesting with the more pulled tail and nose. Keep us posted on how it handles some winter heft.
So, we had the first winter-ish storm this weekend, conditions were very difficult, 7 foot waves with 20 knots cross shore wind, but I went in anyway. I was the only sup in the water the rest were prone surfers.
The board handled great. I had to paddle all the time just to stay in the same location but when a set came in I just let the board turn with the wind and with 2-3 strokes was on the face of the wave, and man, what a rush!!!
In warp speed the board was very stable, I was standing mid-board to make is track better because the waves were fairly closed and very steep - you needed to pick up great speed to pass the closeout section without being swallowed.
Going back in was very difficult, I had to be on my knees because of the strong wind, needed resilience and patience.
I had a wonderful experience and gained allot of confidence with the ability of the surf-slate to handle all sorts of conditions.
In difficult conditions, the added volume and width are a significant advantage, and lets face it - how many perfect days do we have each year to justify that 100 liter board?
Overall, I'm very satisfied, had a great session!
Hi Dean, great lot of info on the Slate. I'm 71, 74 kg and, like you, was an average prone surfer. Also like you, I'm now hooked on Sup'ing. I have a Speeed 8'10" and, although it's great ON the wave, I still find it's a bit tippy when there's some chop at the take-off point. [Being 71 might be a bit tippy too!] I'm hoping to demo a Slate in Merimbula in November. I'll let you all know how it goes.
CaptainJimbo, Great stuff mate. My 70 years seem a little lighter now!!
I had a first generation Slate 7'6" x 29" x 115. The points on the nose caught twice on hollow waves. Adios.
The latest version appears to have eliminated that problem.