If you're a shaper, you may not like reading this. I'm going to make generalizations about what shaping features I like and don't like. I'll accept what shapers like to say, it's the whole package and how it comes together that tells the story. But since I can't afford to buy a bunch of customs trying to get one right, I'm taking charge and will go into my first custom purchase with knowledge and experience. I will work with my shaper to get it right the first time, or at least very close. OK off the soap box now.
The SUPs I've tested that created my knowledge base.
Features I don't like in a SUP are vee under the paddle stance location. It creates instability that forces you to use a bigger SUP to overcome this problem. The JL 10 is the worst culprit. JL 10' is the fastest SUP on this list, but I'm betting the vee is not the magic bullet that gives it the speed. Maybe the vee allowed some compromise toward a speedier rocker, while the vee kept it loose. Anyway, my first custom will pass on this approach.
Chines, I'll pass in these too. The Naish has a chine that reminds me very much of what I saw on the 10'6 C4. Never tested the C4, only touched it. The Naish has a constant state of side to side wobble that the body must adjust too. It is the most unusual feeling board of everything I've tried in this regard.
Full noses combined with a low entry rocker. What a pain in the butt this shape is for paddling out. The JL 11 is the worst for this. Sometimes it throws you in reverse faster than you were going forward when the wave hits, regardless of how well you punched the wave.
I don't like big volume and thick rails. The chunkier the rail, the more it slams on the brakes when you wobble side to side. The board will wobble side to side a few degrees, but won't go any farther. Slamming on the brakes might be good for newbies not trying to fall, but imagine slamming on the brakes when you try to sink the rail and actually surf! Lean, stumble, fart, and fall. Not my idea of surfing.
Glide, who cares. I'm surfing, not kayaking. I think this feature in a SUP has no place here.
What I think I want in a custom board is the following:
The JL 10 nose. It is slightly pulled, yet still wide and semi full with the right amount of scoop. It punches through waves better than any board I've tried. It's more resistant to pearling too. You can nose ride it.
A flat or single concave flat bottom at the paddle stance location.
The slightest amount of vee at the tail required to loosen it up in combination with the rocker chosen. More vee in the tail makes it harder to wheelie and spin turn.
I want a 5 fin setup. My shortboard is a quad fin. I love it. I'd love to have the option to do quad or 2+1 on my next SUP.
I want it to be 4 1/4 thick, with deck domed just enough to take away the chunky rails.
Well that's the extent of my wish list for my first custom SUP. I'd guess this magic board will be ordered sometime this Spring. I'm going to Surf Expo, so stay tuned. The local SUP shop invited me to go. www.gopaddlesurf.com A great place to shop.
My reservations about not doing a custom board earlier come from my past experience trying to sell customs. They don't sell. Pop outs have good resale value and you can unload them on EBay.
I had my first session on the Kyle Bernhardt 10'6 today in very small waves. We had a great time. This board feels like a real (prone) surfboard. It just does things right. Nothing funky like some of the SUPs out there trying to be everything to everybody.
The shape could be called radical by SUP standards because it looks and feels like a real surfboard. The rails are thin and almost match my 9'2 longboard in thickness. The board specs may say 4" thick, but the truth is, that 4" is only at the very center of the board. The deck is domed heavy to get down to a real surfboard rail shape. Therefore, this 10'6 floats you more like a 10' x 28.5 x 4.25 thick rail convential SUP.
The KB felt immediately comfortable on a wave. I was even comfortable surfing backside, something I have not been suscessful at with other SUPs. My previous backside SUP surfing has been very awkward. SUPs don't repsond well for me backside, so I usually hop to goofy foot.
I was very pleased today with the surfing ability of this board.
If you're wondering where all these boards came from, it was Jim at Tropical Blends in Hawaii. Great guy and great service.
Jimmy Lewis 9'8 x 27" and 12' x 27.5" coming this Spring (March/April)
The 12 footer looks fun. Interesting big board!
Wow, my last post generated a lot of comments. Let me start by saying I'm no expert on small SUPs. My only experience is with the 10' x 28" JL and Angulo 10'4 x 29". Both good SUPs, each with their own good and bad points.
The Angulo is stable and the volume is comfortable. It surfs better than larger boards, but its not in the same league with the JL 10 surfing. Of course the superb surfing of the JL comes with a price, and that price is poor paddling stability. The million dollar question is, can we have JL surfing ability and Angulo stability in the same board? The JLs other advantage is speed. The speed makes it come to life on a wave, and that seems to loosen the board up even more, making it rip on even the mushiest of waves.
Where to go next? One comment posted suggested I look at Wave Rod boards. I have seen those boards in person. The shape didn't appeal to me. The square tail and vertical rails at the tail just don't look surfy. I understand the shaper won the Cardif by Sea contest on those boards, so we know they rip. But I have to like the looks of what I ride, just like when buying a car. It may be silly, but its how things work for me.
I know JL has a lot of new sizes coming in early 08. One of those might be the answer I'm looking for. I'm an impatient person, so I'll keep looking for something now. For those willing to wait, here are photos of some JLs in the pipeline.
Blane Chambers has many new pop-out sizes coming this Spring. Six sizes is what I heard.
We have a 2 large surfboard factories in my town. One factory has the APS3000 machine that shapes boards. The local SUP shop is getting setup to move into the custom SUP market. This will likely be the final solution once I better understand what I need and what works.
My issue with customs from a local shaper, is no local shaper actually SUPs. We have 6 or more good shapers, but until they actually do it, I'm not handing over my cash for their experiments.
Surfed the Angulo and the wife's 10' JL today. I miss the high performance of the JL. I'm too big for it, but it sure stokes me every time I catch a wave with it. Let the search begin again. I want something that surfs like the JL 10, but better suited to my weight. -
59 years old. 6'2 195 lbs. a.k.a. DW on the Standupzone.
Wife SUPs too. Started SUPing May 2007
Real Names: Dwight and Jacky Fisher,
Contact: fishersfortblog at bellsouth.net or phone 910-two nine seven - four five six seven.