Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

Flat deck or dugout

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Created by AlistairH Sunday, 16 Sep 2018
AlistairH
WA, 32 posts
Sunday , 16 Sep 2018 6:32PM
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Hi All,

I'm just wondering if anyone has a list of advantages one design has over the other.

DavidJohn
VIC, 15995 posts
Monday , 17 Sep 2018 11:42AM
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A dugout is slightly faster downwind in light to moderate conditions for some people but there are many disadvantages including being much harder to get back into after a fall and being extremely heavy and sluggish if swamped by a wave until all the water drains back out.

E T
QLD, 2282 posts
Monday , 17 Sep 2018 1:18PM
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Definitely FLAT DECK.

ET.

Area10
1350 posts
Monday , 17 Sep 2018 1:21PM
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The principal advantage of a dugout is added stability, since the standing area can be at water level.

Related to this, the high sides mean that in chop the board is not getting water on the deck, slowing it down, which is what happens if you lower a flat deck board towards the waterline (ie. have a thin board).

In general, you might consider a dugout if you are a very serious racer. But for most people the downsides of ownership of a dugout (difficult to carry and transport, hard to get back in after a fall, easy-to-damage upper rails, swamping, windage, sheer ugliness, difficult to surf, harder maybe to buoy turn, restricted feet positioning, etc) mean that the best choice is a compromise- a mildly sunken deck (like on the SIC RS for instance) or a flat one.

paul.j
QLD, 2698 posts
Monday , 17 Sep 2018 6:44PM
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Select to expand quote
Area10 said..
The principal advantage of a dugout is added stability, since the standing area can be at water level.

Related to this, the high sides mean that in chop the board is not getting water on the deck, slowing it down, which is what happens if you lower a flat deck board towards the waterline (ie. have a thin board).

In general, you might consider a dugout if you are a very serious racer. But for most people the downsides of ownership of a dugout (difficult to carry and transport, hard to get back in after a fall, easy-to-damage upper rails, swamping, windage, sheer ugliness, difficult to surf, harder maybe to buoy turn, restricted feet positioning, etc) mean that the best choice is a compromise- a mildly sunken deck (like on the SIC RS for instance) or a flat one.


I really dislike this advise and read quite a few dugout V's flatdeck write ups you have commented on and think the advice is a fair way off and maybe scaring people who would benefit greatly from riding one. Not trying to have a go at you but maybe think you are selling the dugout design short as from what I see many people who struggle to get DWing get on a board built right and the difference is amazing!! I think a serious racer has the skill to make a flatdeck work and this is why some of the top guys still use them but for the average paddler a dugout will open a new world if they get the right one.
Down sides to a dugout.
The suck in the surf and are harder to turn in a course race out and yes they take about 15 seconds longer to get back into but this is really it.

The advantages:
*Allows far greater designs. Designers can really play with volume distribution.
*far better water flow around the board in rough conditions.
*Far better upwind
*faster for 90% of people downwind, this is real and one of the main reasons is you do not have to move anywhere near as much to trim the board and the board will do so much more of the work alot if the time you just have to lean on the rails. unless you have amazing foot work and are twinkle toes you will get a far faster average speed. A flatdeck can go just as quick but requires far more rider input to make it happen.This can also reduce the amount of times you fall out as well as less moving means more time thinking about timing you paddle strokes and getting the small things that do make a difference right.
*A more stable board
*also allows you to ride a wider board if you want and this is a big one. These shapes DW are amazing and going a inch wider than you might think is not really going to make a huge difference for most people as the shapes work so well

Also remember not all dugouts work just like all flat deck dont work so you still might want to see if what you are buying has actually been tested as I have seen some pretty badly designed dugouts coming onto the market!!

Area10
1350 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 3:50AM
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Yep, well, everyone writes from their own experience I guess. And I just wrote mine. I'd never have another dugout. And I *like* footwork when downwinding, it's part of the fun. And I like surfing my longer boards. And I downwind in a group of people requiring stacking boards on a roof rack, and a dugout is just plain antisocial for that.

By contrast, you are an active racer who sells dugouts. So there's a big difference in our aims and backgrounds. So it would be strange if our viewpoints were perfectly aligned.

I'd never recommend a dugout to a beginner. Too much chance of dinging yourself on the dugout walls, and getting back into a narrow dugout in 30+ knots is a nightmare for most people. Sure, in mild downwind you can stand there like a statue in a dugout. But where's the fun in that? It's all about downwind *surfing* for me.

Just depends what you want out of your paddling experience. Maybe if you come from a canoe background, dugouts might feel more natural to you, and you wouldn't mind how damned ugly they are either.

E T
QLD, 2282 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 8:16AM
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Select to expand quote
paul.j said..

Area10 said..
The principal advantage of a dugout is added stability, since the standing area can be at water level.

Related to this, the high sides mean that in chop the board is not getting water on the deck, slowing it down, which is what happens if you lower a flat deck board towards the waterline (ie. have a thin board).

In general, you might consider a dugout if you are a very serious racer. But for most people the downsides of ownership of a dugout (difficult to carry and transport, hard to get back in after a fall, easy-to-damage upper rails, swamping, windage, sheer ugliness, difficult to surf, harder maybe to buoy turn, restricted feet positioning, etc) mean that the best choice is a compromise- a mildly sunken deck (like on the SIC RS for instance) or a flat one.



I really dislike this advise and read quite a few dugout V's flatdeck write ups you have commented on and think the advice is a fair way off and maybe scaring people who would benefit greatly from riding one. Not trying to have a go at you but maybe think you are selling the dugout design short as from what I see many people who struggle to get DWing get on a board built right and the difference is amazing!! I think a serious racer has the skill to make a flatdeck work and this is why some of the top guys still use them but for the average paddler a dugout will open a new world if they get the right one.
Down sides to a dugout.
The suck in the surf and are harder to turn in a course race out and yes they take about 15 seconds longer to get back into but this is really it.

The advantages:
*Allows far greater designs. Designers can really play with volume distribution.
*far better water flow around the board in rough conditions.
*Far better upwind
*faster for 90% of people downwind, this is real and one of the main reasons is you do not have to move anywhere near as much to trim the board and the board will do so much more of the work alot if the time you just have to lean on the rails. unless you have amazing foot work and are twinkle toes you will get a far faster average speed. A flatdeck can go just as quick but requires far more rider input to make it happen.This can also reduce the amount of times you fall out as well as less moving means more time thinking about timing you paddle strokes and getting the small things that do make a difference right.
*A more stable board
*also allows you to ride a wider board if you want and this is a big one. These shapes DW are amazing and going a inch wider than you might think is not really going to make a huge difference for most people as the shapes work so well

Also remember not all dugouts work just like all flat deck dont work so you still might want to see if what you are buying has actually been tested as I have seen some pretty badly designed dugouts coming onto the market!!


Paul, whilst no-one could doubt your knowledge or indeed your skills, your comments probably only apply to a very small percentage of the SUPping populace.

I am no authority but I have been SUPping in all forms for 10 years or so now and I have to agree with AREA10, dugouts are not user friendly for the bulk of people.

There are some fortunate people who are sponsored, wealthy or just plain lucky who get to SUP consistently, they can learn the skills, tailor their abilities and learn quickly due to the time they have available to be on the water. A dugout is probably a good choice for them.
I would guess to say that if a survey was taken of people who paddle dugouts you would not find many who only have a dugout as their sole board.

In my opinion most paddlers get to SUP on an irregular basis. Therefore they need a user friendly board that they can jump on and go, have fun and enjoy themselves.

i think most people would take a flat deck as user friendly on most days of the week.

Cheers.

ET.

JBFletch
QLD, 1279 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 8:21AM
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I think the key to this is really identifying the type of paddling you will be doing?

If you are solely going to be DWing, in choppy and "runner" type conditions, then a dugout is a no brainer.

If you crossover to multiple types of race paddling (tech, DW, flatwater and even small wave surfing) then a flat deck is probably a better option. (due to reasons outlined by Jacko)

I'm lucky enough to have access to both and really love the dugout for DWing.
But if this was not the case I think I'd go a flat deck, simply for it's useability.

supthecreek
1535 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 12:16PM
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Dugouts have their place.
I know lots of people that love them, so they are worth a look.

Seabreeze is filled with many talented paddlers that could benefit greatly from a dugout.

I like this video of my friend Taku and his tiny daughter out for a casual surf and paddle on his dugout.

LucBenac
205 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 1:08PM
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Select to expand quote
supthecreek said..
Dugouts have their place.
I know lots of people that love them, so they are worth a look.

Seabreeze is filled with many talented paddlers that could benefit greatly from a dugout.

I like this video of my friend Taku and his tiny daughter out for a casual surf and paddle on his dugout.



I guess not a friend of a pfd fro his daughter....

Piros
QLD, 5190 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 3:10PM
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That is such a cool video STC re the dugout argument if you are all about racing , look at the last Molokai results ...speaks for itself. If you want the board for all types of paddling flat deck all day.

paul.j
QLD, 2698 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 6:14PM
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haha never seen so many green thumbs in a post, lucky the red thumbs are gone hey otherwise we would all be getting smashed!!

Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 6:56PM
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I've had both dugouts & flat decks & I've raced them both & downwinded on both....They certainly have there place but it depends on the paddler & what they want... If you want only one race board (pardon the pun) for all conditions & are a beginner to intermediate paddler then you can't go past a good flat deck board or even just ever so slightly recessed in the deck...Think Starboard All Star.... One of the winningest boards on the market... If you can afford to have a couple of boards in your quiver & you are a bit more serious about racing then a dugout is the way to go.... A lot of people struggle with dugouts especially if they are falling a lot...

AlistairH
WA, 32 posts
Tuesday , 18 Sep 2018 7:16PM
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A big Green Thumbs for all the comments!
I asked the question to see if there were pros and cons I hadn't consided!
Thanks

HBsups
55 posts
Wednesday , 19 Sep 2018 3:24AM
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I'm a fairly intermediate paddler who has just swapped from a flat deck NSP 2016 puma 14x26 to the dugout 2017 Sonic 14x26 and I much prefer the performance of the dugout.
I did my first race season this winter and swapped after watching a 'classic' aged paddler, somewhat my senior, in a sonic pull away from me and disappear while paddling he last leg of a race into large front quarter chop. I figured his stability was the big advantage (nothing to do with fitness on my part of course!) The next race when I had the new sonic my performance was much better relative to the rest of the pack - although that was might have been the advantage of the Sonic's pintail as conditions were relatively flat.
So far I've found that the sonic is more stable side to side, but the bigger advantage is that it seems to sit better in the chop. However the real revelation is that it is vastly superior in picking up bumps. I put that down to the lower centre of gravity as the two hull designs should be similar.
so far I haven't had any problems with water in the dugout - although I haven't been out in heinous conditions so far - and getting back hasn't been a problem.
Yep, it's heavier and slightly more difficult to deal with getting onto the car, but I reckon those issues are far outweighed by the on water advantages.
This isn't to say that the dugout sonic is better than something like a flat deck Allstar (I don't know either way), but I do think the benifits of the dugout aren't just limited to more experienced paddlers.

I'm certainly digging the dugout!

cheers HB

JEG
VIC, 861 posts
Wednesday , 19 Sep 2018 12:55PM
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Some of us have both and I found pros and cons for both flat and dugout deck. Imo, if you could only have one then a flat deck is your board.

swimarko
40 posts
Wednesday , 19 Sep 2018 6:50PM
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I like both, but also to consider if you live in area with cold seasons... dugout is more convenient for winter paddling as you don't get feet wet so fast or even stay dry when paddling flat waters. For this reason I decided to buy old/(ab)used Boga Typhoon and try to re-shape it into dugout. I hope it will work... pretty soon to find out...
www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,33128.0.html

JEG
VIC, 861 posts
Wednesday , 19 Sep 2018 9:57PM
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Select to expand quote
swimarko said..
I like both, but also to consider if you live in area with cold seasons... dugout is more convenient for winter paddling as you don't get feet wet so fast or even stay dry when paddling flat waters. For this reason I decided to buy old/(ab)used Boga Typhoon and try to re-shape it into dugout. I hope it will work... pretty soon to find out...
www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php/topic,33128.0.html


Nice project swimarko.

Scotty Mac
SA, 1800 posts
Today , 20 Sep 2018 11:45AM
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+ 1 dugout.



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"Flat deck or dugout" started by AlistairH