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WindSUP Advice for 50/50 Use, Daggerboard vs Center Fin, Choices Narrowed to 3

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Created by ericjayowsley 4 months ago, 17 Jul 2017
ericjayowsley
3 posts
17 Jul 2017 11:23PM
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Hello,

I have been conducting online research for the purchase of a new windSUP. I'm looking for that one board solution to family vacations that allows me to surf small waves, sail in light to moderate winds and explore the creeks and inlets along the coast under paddle.

I'll also mention that I am 6'2" and 180 lbs. I am an adequate surfer, an experienced paddler, a proficient sailor and a novice windsurfer.

I have narrowed my choices to three hardboard boards:

1) Starboard Blend WindSUP 11'2 x 30" in Starshot Blue with center dagger fin.
2) Bic 11'6 x 32" Ace-Tec Performer Wind with daggerboard.
3) Kona Molokai 10.7 AST (10'7" x 32") with daggerboard.

I am convinced that I want a daggerboard/fin of some sort for learning to windsurf. I am a sailor at heart and the notion of using a board with a daggerboard/fin of some sort just makes sense for getting upwind. I have eliminated any board from consideration that doesn't have central lateral wind resistance -- that includes the 10'6" Bic and the many otherwise great-looking options from Fanatic or JP. I've also eliminated the Exocet WindSUP boards because my reading leads me to believe that they are more windsurf oriented, and wouldn't allow me to paddle surf as well.

From a windsurf perspective, the Bic or the Kona with their deployable/retractable daggerboards seem like great options. For surf, however, the Starboard with the dagger fin removed and a lightweight plug fit into the tuttle box, would be lighter and have less resistance.

My question for this forum is which would you choose for true 50/50 use? I fully recognize that compromises exist in all three boards (and all boards in general). I really only get to use my boards on vacation. One annual vacation puts me at the beach where surf is my primary concern. My other vacation puts me on a lake where sailing would be the top priority. If I rate those priorities equally as high for each vacation, does any one board stand out as a better compromise for my overall use? At the root of the question is whether the center dagger fin is a bigger detractor from the Starboard's windsurf ability than the Bic's or Kona's daggerboard trunks are for paddle surf ability.

Many thanks,
Eric

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 919 posts
18 Jul 2017 7:25AM
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Buy the 11'6 BIC, it's bulletproof and cheaper than anything else. You won't be disappointed. The big dagger board is essential for light wind use. The dagger board can be removed and a plug inserted on the top to give a clear deck for SUP too. If you're in Brissy you're welcome to try mine.

33frupus
VIC, 115 posts
18 Jul 2017 8:14AM
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I have the 10'6 bic. ( no centreboard or fin) i went for the bic because the board was going to have multiple users and I needed something tough. I'm happy with the upwind performance . Negatives are no ability to fit straps and I'm not sure about the new fcs fin system, the thrusters are fitted with a grub screw but the centre fin is a press fit and I'm sure one day it will just float off in the distance .
if you lose control of this thing in the surf you could wipe out an entire footy team.

azuli
QLD, 80 posts
18 Jul 2017 8:24AM
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I recently faced the same problem but I haven't tried any of the boards on your shortlist so can't offer an opinion on them.

Another option is to get a centreboard from an old longboard (or a new Algiers rotating CB) and fit it to a good second hand SUP.
The choice of board will always be a compromise between surfing and sailing performance mainly due to rocker and volume.

I have an old Mistral Pacifico that was great to take on the yacht, lake, rivers, etc, or take the dog for a sup or sail (eva deck provided good grip for the pooch) but it lacked a centreboard so had poor upwind ability which limited it's suitability for learners, and general cruising range.

Since I got back into course racing last year I have rediscovered the versatility of raceboards like the F2 Lightning and Mistral Equipe, for cruising as they perform very well in both light and strong winds, and can go anywhere, but while I sometimes use my raceboard as a flatwater SUP, it is unsuitable for the surf.

I had an old Windsurfer centreboard and case from a dearly departed Wally lying in the shed, so a couple of weeks ago I put it into the Mistral Pacifico. Some people have just added another a finbox in the bottom towards the middle of their SUP board, but I wanted a larger foil that could be rotated while sailing.

On both days I tried testing it with the new CB the winds never go over 3kns so am still waiting for the right test conditions.

In theory it should be better than my old Wally for my needs as it is 25% lighter (15kg), has a power box to carry a better fin, is wider so provides more stability for SUPing, and learners, and has full EVA deck for the dog to grip claws into, and now has a decent CB to help it go upwind.

I have used the Pacifico in the surf at a number of places, but it is only good for small waves due to flat rocker, and large volume.

Back in the early '80s my windsurf quiver was a Wally for lightwind and racing and a Malibu surfboard converted with a mast base and footstraps for wavesailing (my avatar pic - this was before the first boom in custom waveboards) and the rigs were very primitive dacron windsurfer full/threeQtr/half sizes.

A modern equivalent all round quiver would be a decent windSUP (with a CB), a good all-round short board for waves/freeride (plenty to choose from), and good all round set of sails (again, plenty to choose from).

Al Planet
TAS, 1294 posts
18 Jul 2017 11:31AM
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The addition of a cb is great for sailing particularly in gusty offshore locations but I think the Starboard Blend would be my choice. I have owned a sup with cb and thought that the extra weight outweighed the advantages (particularly in the waves) but this may be different for you. Availability may be an issue in Australia.

Paddles B'mere
QLD, 919 posts
18 Jul 2017 12:53PM
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If you're in the market for a family windSUP like Eric is, then the weight of a centre board surely is at the bottom of the list of considerations. Up the very top of the list for family toys is durability. The last thing you need when on holidays is the kids dragging your windSUP down to the water and you stressing the whole time that they're going to whack it into a post or a rock. That's where the plastic BIC kills the competitors.

Contrary to what you may believe Al, I find the centreboard is good when the wind is really light, say 5-10 and it allows me to sail upwind easier. When you've got power and a bit of speed the rear fins work ok, but still not as good as a larger slalom type fin would work. I also don't use big sails and find a 6.5m sail more than enough for ease of use for cruising around. I don't use mine in big waves though , only smallish 1 foot bay mush.

jirvin4505
QLD, 819 posts
18 Jul 2017 2:17PM
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Just wondering get the centre board specific sup for learning durability needs etc..

surely a cheap surfboard is easy to pick up?

Al Planet
TAS, 1294 posts
18 Jul 2017 5:42PM
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Select to expand quote
Paddles B'mere said..
If you're in the market for a family windSUP like Eric is, then the weight of a centre board surely is at the bottom of the list of considerations. Up the very top of the list for family toys is durability. The last thing you need when on holidays is the kids dragging your windSUP down to the water and you stressing the whole time that they're going to whack it into a post or a rock. That's where the plastic BIC kills the competitors.

Contrary to what you may believe Al, I find the centreboard is good when the wind is really light, say 5-10 and it allows me to sail upwind easier. When you've got power and a bit of speed the rear fins work ok, but still not as good as a larger slalom type fin would work. I also don't use big sails and find a 6.5m sail more than enough for ease of use for cruising around. I don't use mine in big waves though , only smallish 1 foot bay mush.


The plastic Bic is tough but even it wont tolerate being dragged over rocks. An inflatable is the toughest and easiest for kids to carry (its very light) but not that great for surfing! Its always hard to have one board that does everything.

The Naish inflatable at Low Head.



Paddles B'mere
QLD, 919 posts
18 Jul 2017 5:59PM
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Yep true Al, everything's a compromise.

ericjayowsley
3 posts
18 Jul 2017 9:37PM
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Thanks, all, for the insights. I'm still on the fence about daggerboard vs. removable center fin. Both have their merits for getting upwind. The daggerboard is preferable for deploying at the right time on the fly. The center fin works fine for sailing upwind, but it's big advantage is the ability to remove it completely when paddle surfing is the order of the day. Beyond that, the weight seems to be the big differentiator. The Blend comes in at 26.45 lbs., the Bic at 33 lbs. That's not an insignificant difference in paddle mode. The Bic is a few inches longer and carries 30 addition liters of volume, but neither measurement is a selling point for me in paddle surf mode. It might be as simple as saying the Bic is a windsurfer that SUPs and the Blend is a SUP that windsurfs. Which sadly still doesn't help me decide.

I actually live in the United States. I turned to you all on this forum because I've found your discussions on other forum topics to be always helpful. Thanks for the offers to test a board. I appreciate it. And your thoughtful replies.

I've decided to take a windsurfing lesson next week and see what new info I can glean.

boardsurfr
322 posts
18 Jul 2017 10:42PM
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I have the BIC 10.6 and a few longboards with daggerboard. I like the Bic and have no problems going upwind. I'm an advanced windsurfer, but have heard from a friend who teaches beginners with the board that his beginners had no problems.

That said, the daggerboard in a longboard makes a huge difference when just cruising around on a light wind day. Instead of working to point 10-15 degrees upwind, you can easily point 30+ degrees. The Bic 11.6 should be great for that. A center fin does not come close.

On many boards, you can just pull the daggerboard out to remove it completely (some, like Konas, require screwing around a bit). My wife has a Bic Nova with daggerboard for light wind freestyle, and never uses the daggerboard. I'm not sure if the Bic 11.6 lets you pull the daggerboard out, but it probably does. You could then just tape the daggerboard box with some xply sail repair tape. That would give you an even smoother bottom surface for waves that you get with the center fin.

Nowadays, I'd also seriously consider an inflatable. They are fun, and some will even plane better than the Bic SUPs. However, they do not go upwind as well due to the round edges, even with a center fin. I have not sailed an inflatable with a daggerboard, though.

Beaglebuddy
1583 posts
19 Jul 2017 2:11PM
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A fixed center fin is a bad idea, it will hit bottom at some point and has tremendous leverage to tear out the fin box or at the least destroy the fin. Also makes the board difficult to carry around, put on the car etc.. A daggerboard can be removed which is what you will do with it most of the time.

ericjayowsley
3 posts
19 Jul 2017 11:36PM
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Select to expand quote
Beaglebuddy said..
A fixed center fin is a bad idea, it will hit bottom at some point and has tremendous leverage to tear out the fin box or at the least destroy the fin. Also makes the board difficult to carry around, put on the car etc.. A daggerboard can be removed which is what you will do with it most of the time.


When you say folks remove the daggerboard most of the time, is this for high-wind conditions? Waves? Given the nature of a SUP as a windsurfer, will the rocker, rail shape and volume really allow it to sail in anything other than optimal conditions without the daggerboard? I agree that I like the idea of being able to remove it completely, but if I were to find I don't use it very often at all, then a SUP with the center fin NOT installed would likely be a better choice for me. Can you elaborate?

Thanks,
Eric

ballast
QLD, 328 posts
20 Jul 2017 9:41AM
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I have a Fanatic Fly SUP with an mast base insert and also an inflatable Starboard Astro. The Fly has no centre fin and the Astro has a fixed fin option.
I only ever use the stubby fins supplied with the Astro on it, as the boxes are the stuck on type, not integrated.

My observations of the two is that the Fly is better to paddle, in the flat and in the small surf I take it in. However, it is difficult to make any ground up wind on it sailing it in the surf or flat water, due to the no centre fin and also rounded rails. I have tried teaching some friends and family on it, but it is not ideal due to this and also due to it being quite fragile.

Since I bought the inflatable, I have had quite a few fun light wind sessions sailing it. It performs really well in these conditions and goes to windward well considering the size of the fins. I have no issues with leaving the centre fin in most of the time as is short and wide and the same length as the rear fin.

I have never really pushed it hard, but the friend I bought it off had it planning with a larger pointer type fin.

Great for learners, as it there is not as issue to them or the board will falling onto the board. I also find myself mucking around trying things on it I might not on my Fly in light wind conditions for the same reason.

I have paddled it many times with the centre fin in and if anything it provides a bit more directional stability with no loss in performance. Obviously you would want to remove it for added maneuverability in the surf. But it is noticeably slower to paddle than the fly.

I think inflatables are a great option, made easier if you spend a bit more and buy a suitable 12v pump to inflate them.



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"WindSUP Advice for 50/50 Use, Daggerboard vs Center Fin, Choices Narrowed to 3" started by ericjayowsley