I'm UK based and after a new rigid board (currently have an isup). For coastal waters plus lochs and lakes. To carry camping kit for multi day trips plus fittest/training/pleasure unloaded SUPing days. I weigh 100Kg with about 10kg of that (temporary, I hope!) 'padding'.
I am torn what to buy - specifically if I want a 14' or a 12'6"
I am looking at the Starboard touring in the 12'6" x 31" or 14' X 30" variations. sup.star-board.com/products/touring/ There is only 6 litres of volume difference between the two and Starboard claim the shorter board to be the more stable of the two, but slower.
I'd be interested in anyone with more real world touring experience than me who could advise. I get the impression a 12'6" tourer is better if the sea state or wind picks up and catches you out but the 14' is faster. It's just how much faster and how much more capable in busy sea and if the trade off favours one over the other.
The extra factor is price! I can get a very very good deal on a 2018 version of the 12'6" but would have to pay full RRP for a 2019 14' making about a 35% difference in price between the two. Keen to save the cash but don't want it to sway me into a poor choice. Buy right and buy once and all that.
Thanks in advance.
I have toured on the ocean and lakes on 12'6" and 14 foot boards, and prefer 14 footers. Opinions vary and while the the speed increase may only be slight, a longer board will give you more space on the deck for your gear, and the longer board typically accommodates a larger paddler better, and gives you more options for weight distribution. As far as performance goes when things get rough? This is also subjective, but I don't think there is a penalty for a 14 footer in rough seas as compared to a 12'6". Some may prefer a 12'6" in really short period swell, and the length will make it more manoeuvearable and easier to surf on downwinders, but also makes for a bit more work to make connections going downwind for those glides. It's more of a function of board design in rough conditions as opposed to a difference in length for a 12'6" compared to a 14' for handling. There shouldn't be much of a difference at all, and a longer board typically can be a bit narrower and offer similar stability compared to a shorter option.
Sounds like you are getting a good deal for what you are looking at, but you may want to consider offerings from Sunova, One, SIC as well. The Onesup Evo 2.0, Sunova Expedition, and SIC Okeanos. Many options for you, and the Starboard will get the job done for you.
Thanks for the contributions. I guess the only way to really confirm would be a test paddle but getting a relevant one with the right boards and the right conditions is probably impossible.
Conditions locally rarely have a nice clean swell, when it picks up it is more about a confused chop and making progress in cross or cross on wind conditions. So I guess tracking ability and stability are the key factors in a touring board to be relied upon to help you get home when it gets up on you. As well as speed/efficiency and load capacity all the rest of the time obviously.