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Boards for Vertical or Horizontal surfing?

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Created by colas 1 month ago, 19 Oct 2020
colas
4028 posts
19 Oct 2020 6:07PM
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In another thread, estingo was asking a question on the difference between some Gong boards, but I think this is not specific to the Gong brand, and deserves its own subject: (I will only speak of Gong models, as they are the ones I know best, but you can apply it to most brands lines)

What are the differences between boards designed for horizontal and vertical surfing?

Basically, SUP "shortboards" (as opposed to longboard SUPs) can be classified in 2 categories, depending if they favor:
- Horizontal surfing, such as cutbacks where you stay roughly on the same height on the wave during the turn and want to maximize glide and speed.
- Vertical surfing, where you want to go straight up & down the face for radical rollers, and want to tighten the trajectory to the max at the expense of speed: you can see how rider "pinch" the tail at the end of the bottom turn to force the board to suddenly get vertical.

In the Gong line, the Mob and Karmen are designed for Horizontal surfing, the Fatal and Alley for vertical surfing. And Mob and Fatal are shorter so more adapted to slower/smaller waves, while Karmen and Alley to faster/bigger waves.

"Vertical" boards are less stable, as stability will prevent the board to rock 'n roll quickly to tighten the curves to the max to go vertical. This is done by plenty of shape details: curved outline, pulled-in nose and tail, centered volume, thin rails at nose an tail, more rocker... When you put your foot off-center on a vertical board, you expect it to react a lot by rotating longitudinally (rocking) and/or laterally (rolling). Vertical boards are the ones you see people use most of the time in contests, unless in hellish conditions.

"Horizontal" boards are more stable: When you put your foot off-center you expect the board to resist and the result is that your force will "squeeze" the board on he water and translate this push in an added burst of speed for a carving turn instead of braking and whipping the board full vertical. Fishes and SImmons are examples of Horizontal shapes.

The problem in chop is that a "Vertical" board will also react a lot to pushes by the chop as well as with your feet. And even more if they are short. What will happen is when the nose hits a chop, it will rock more the board than an "Horizontal" board, slowing you and putting you off balance. But more experienced riders will still manage a Vertical board by anticipating more the chop, and being able to correct things easier, as it will react quickly to their input.

Basically, after the first steps on a big, longboard-like board, you want continue your surfing progression on Horizontal boards, and only attempt Vertical boards when you feel ready to begin trading stability for performance. (as a guesstimate, it takes roughly 2 years for many people) And It is nice to have both in your quiver, anyways, even if they are similar in dimensions.

Souwester
WA, 1123 posts
19 Oct 2020 8:49PM
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Well put Colas, I agree. I attempted the vertical type of board and when waves were at a level that suited my ability on it, the board was awesome. Unfortunately more often then not it wasn't and I was getting frustrated and had a plateau in effect. For my current one board quiver situation I needed a board I could surf a lot of different waves in.

I will work my way back to trying a vertical type of SUP when I a comfortable spending the dough and having a few boards. I do remember vividly dropping a bottom turn and just putting a bit of pressure on the smaller board and it woild
just crank around and up - remarkable

colas
4028 posts
19 Oct 2020 9:50PM
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I would add that you do not need to "progress" to Vertical boards. Horizontal boards work in all conditions, and will be help you tackle all conditions: their speed and stability will help make fast sections, have the speed for carving turns, etc... They can be your trusted functional companion(s) that you can rely on and enjoy all the time.

Surfing Vertical boards is akin to "showing off", to put you in critical places and displaying your expertise. It is fun, but it is in no way mandatory to be a competent and happy surfer.

slsurf
19 posts
20 Oct 2020 12:53AM
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How about someone like Moritz Mauch on a lower volume karmen (more carving shape) getting vertical? Not sure how much stability he gains from the shape at that size, maybe more range of waves. Definitely small board with pulled in nose tail is easiest for vertical and hardest to stand on. For most short wide is the way to go for sharper turns, I briefly tried a 6'10 mini simmons version and it was super turney not much carve and easy to stand on.

Do you think it takes 2 years practice using a small "vertical" board to get good standing balance and paddling or do you mean 2 years of sup surfing total?

estingo
40 posts
20 Oct 2020 5:02AM
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Thank you Colas for opening this new thread!

It makes more sense to me to place the "pro" boards that are in general narrower in the "vertical" category even though there come a lot more shape options to play for a "vertical" board than just the width. So my drop down after 2 years of an all wave 9'0 @ 159 liters (Horizontal board) to a Gong Fatal 7'6 @ 120 liters (Vertical board) was even after the guestimate from Colas for me a too big step. I didn't want to sell it and I learned it the hard way and I didn't had joy in supping because I was just trying to balance this "thing" after a half a year, watching clips and reading on lateral balance did I managed to enjoy the fatal and wasn't it burden for me anymore to take it.

but when I was having a session and someone asked if he could try the Fatal and in return did I got my hands on a Naish 8'3 with 130 liters was if for me clear I want something like that, 29 fewer liters as the all wave but just as stable and not worrying about this stability thing. To put it in the metaphor perspective was that a "horizontal" board (the Naish).

Now back to my current quiver, I have the Quatro 8'0 x 28,5 which is a "vertical" board and not very well for choppy conditions, even though I think if you practice well and get used to it, it's do-able but again the slighly fun factor is dropping because you need to focus on balancing that thing rather than surfing it. Which will result in a much tiring session then when on a Horizontal board, however on the wave it's better to be always on the "vertical" board. So I can 100% agree that I'm trading the stability for performance.

My "horizontal" board for wind and choppy conditions is the 7'10 x 32" it's so stable and I am very comfortable on it, just like the feeling I had on the all wave. Before this one I had the RRD Cosmo pro 8'5 x 32" with 130 liters, awesome looking board with wings and nice carbon finish but it was a bit too stable, I had the feeling I was standing "above" the water. Didn't want to sell it but I did, got the Naish for it.

Now looking at a third option, that's what this thread started off at the Sunova Speeed, to consider if it's my third option, longer, narrower, etc. But as it is a more "vertical" board do I think it's maybe not the one I'm looking for. Maybe I just need to test it in Dutch choppy waves and see what it gives to my experience. Anyway, I believe my third option should be a "horizontal" one that still is fun enough to take.

Again thanks for all the rising questions that I have and I hope I could share my thought on my search using the words, idea, and theory of Colas.

slsurf
19 posts
20 Oct 2020 8:20AM
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I have an 8'5 speed. It is very high volume for me and the apex of the rail sits out of the water so it can feel twitchy in chop until you get used to the feeling. I use it in longboard conditions, lots of fun. It is stable but I think it would be a lot of work at 1.2 ratio, ok for beach break or glassy conditions. I don't think it goes vertical that great on the frontside due to the big nose and length of mine, you can cut back well though if you get on the tail.

colas
4028 posts
20 Oct 2020 3:10PM
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Select to expand quote
slsurf said..
How about someone like Moritz Mauch on a lower volume karmen (more carving shape) getting vertical? Not sure how much stability he gains from the shape at that size, maybe more range of waves. Definitely small board with pulled in nose tail is easiest for vertical and hardest to stand on. For most short wide is the way to go for sharper turns, I briefly tried a 6'10 mini simmons version and it was super turney not much carve and easy to stand on.

Do you think it takes 2 years practice using a small "vertical" board to get good standing balance and paddling or do you mean 2 years of sup surfing total?


As always, it is not clear cut. A pro rider will be able to go vertical with an horizontal board, and make fast sections with a vertical board. And the Karmen is not as "Horizontal" as say a Mob, it is a bit more like a kind of hybrid.
And a pro may not fall a lot in chop on a vertical board, but he can get more quickly tired, and paddle less efficiently.

I was thinking 2 years of being at ease really surfing on an horizontal board, let's say under the 1.3 guild factor (ratio board volume in liters / rider weight in kg). At least that's what I needed with 2 to 3 sessions per week. For instance I consider the 9'0" 159 liters board that estingo mention is for his weight still a beginner board, it was too early to go directly to a vertical board from it.

Also, A vertical board will need to be pumped in turns to generate speed, and will amplify mistakes, so it is not just a question of paddling stability, you also need to properly surf a board, with a good flexion/extension of the body in turns. Otherwise it will just hamper your progression.

estingo
40 posts
20 Oct 2020 5:53PM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..

slsurf said..
How about someone like Moritz Mauch on a lower volume karmen (more carving shape) getting vertical? Not sure how much stability he gains from the shape at that size, maybe more range of waves. Definitely small board with pulled in nose tail is easiest for vertical and hardest to stand on. For most short wide is the way to go for sharper turns, I briefly tried a 6'10 mini simmons version and it was super turney not much carve and easy to stand on.

Do you think it takes 2 years practice using a small "vertical" board to get good standing balance and paddling or do you mean 2 years of sup surfing total?



As always, it is not clear cut. A pro rider will be able to go vertical with an horizontal board, and make fast sections with a vertical board. And the Karmen is not as "Horizontal" as say a Mob, it is a bit more like a kind of hybrid.
And a pro may not fall a lot in chop on a vertical board, but he can get more quickly tired, and paddle less efficiently.

I was thinking 2 years of being at ease really surfing on an horizontal board, let's say under the 1.3 guild factor (ratio board volume in liters / rider weight in kg). At least that's what I needed with 2 to 3 sessions per week. For instance I consider the 9'0" 159 liters board that estingo mention is for his weight still a beginner board, it was too early to go directly to a vertical board from it.

Also, A vertical board will need to be pumped in turns to generate speed, and will amplify mistakes, so it is not just a question of paddling stability, you also need to properly surf a board, with a good flexion/extension of the body in turns. Otherwise it will just hamper your progression.


Exactly my step down was too early to that specific "vertical" board. If I went down the same amount of liters to a "horizontal" board instead of the "vertical" one, would have been my fun-factor in the water to be much higher. Anyway, I learned it the hard way and I'm still learning, just 4 seasons in of sup surfing after the transition of normal surfing.

estingo
40 posts
18 Nov 2020 4:55AM
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Select to expand quote
estingo said..
Thank you Colas for opening this new thread!

It makes more sense to me to place the "pro" boards that are in general narrower in the "vertical" category even though there come a lot more shape options to play for a "vertical" board than just the width. So my drop down after 2 years of an all wave 9'0 @ 159 liters (Horizontal board) to a Gong Fatal 7'6 @ 120 liters (Vertical board) was even after the guestimate from Colas for me a too big step. I didn't want to sell it and I learned it the hard way and I didn't had joy in supping because I was just trying to balance this "thing" after a half a year, watching clips and reading on lateral balance did I managed to enjoy the fatal and wasn't it burden for me anymore to take it.

but when I was having a session and someone asked if he could try the Fatal and in return did I got my hands on a Naish 8'3 with 130 liters was if for me clear I want something like that, 29 fewer liters as the all wave but just as stable and not worrying about this stability thing. To put it in the metaphor perspective was that a "horizontal" board (the Naish).

Now back to my current quiver, I have the Quatro 8'0 x 28,5 which is a "vertical" board and not very well for choppy conditions, even though I think if you practice well and get used to it, it's do-able but again the slighly fun factor is dropping because you need to focus on balancing that thing rather than surfing it. Which will result in a much tiring session then when on a Horizontal board, however on the wave it's better to be always on the "vertical" board. So I can 100% agree that I'm trading the stability for performance.

My "horizontal" board for wind and choppy conditions is the 7'10 x 32" it's so stable and I am very comfortable on it, just like the feeling I had on the all wave. Before this one I had the RRD Cosmo pro 8'5 x 32" with 130 liters, awesome looking board with wings and nice carbon finish but it was a bit too stable, I had the feeling I was standing "above" the water. Didn't want to sell it but I did, got the Naish for it.

Now looking at a third option, that's what this thread started off at the Sunova Speeed, to consider if it's my third option, longer, narrower, etc. But as it is a more "vertical" board do I think it's maybe not the one I'm looking for. Maybe I just need to test it in Dutch choppy waves and see what it gives to my experience. Anyway, I believe my third option should be a "horizontal" one that still is fun enough to take.

Again thanks for all the rising questions that I have and I hope I could share my thought on my search using the words, idea, and theory of Colas.



Always good to respond to your own reactions. Anyway, I'm down to find my third option for a "horizontal" board, check out the options:

So what have we got here, from left to right:
- RRD Cotan 7'6 x 28" 110 liters 6,9 kg
- Gong Mob 7'6 x 29,8" 105 liters 6,4 kg
- Redwoodpaddle 7'6 x 30.5" 115 liters 8,2 kg
- Redwoodpaddle7'1 x 30" 100 liters 7,7kg
- SPG 3D Comp 8'0 x 29" 106 liters ??kg
- Kazuma Tanto 7'4 x 30" 105 liters ??kg
(www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Stand-Up-Paddle/Review/Kazuma-Tanto?page=1)
- Sunova Shroom 7'9 x 30" 105 liters 7,6 kg
(www.seabreeze.com.au/forums/Stand-Up-Paddle/Review/Sunova-Shroom-3?page=1#9)
- F-one Papenoo 7'7 x 29" 110 liters 7,7kg
- custom Hypernut7'2 x 28,3"96liters 7-8kg?
- custom SPG7'6 x 29"102liters 7-8kg?

After multiple times of emailing and sending messages with a lot of experienced suppersdid we made some conclusions. The Tomo shape will work good in in Dutch choppy waves with a period of max 6 to 7 seconds. How wider the tail the more stable the board wil be, together with the Parallel rails. Volume would be the best around the same as my Quatro so between 105 - 110 liters.
To make this list are credits to Colas, Kami and Reuben.

Curious if there are any other recommendations out there? or experiences that I missed on this forum here



colas
4028 posts
Thursday , 19 Nov 2020 3:13PM
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Nice list!

I will just add that you should not focus only on having a square nose end. Horizontal boards can also have wide but still rounded noses (or semi-pulled-in), trading a bit of stability for better paddling speed and turning radius. It is really the fast rocker, parallel rails, spread out volume distribution and powerful tail that makes a horizontal board. For instance in the Gong line the Fatal and Mob behave quite differently, although they could seem similar from their outline.

micksmith
VIC, 1451 posts
Friday , 20 Nov 2020 5:56PM
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Just been checking out the Gong range, pretty impressed actually with the way boards are explained in detail and more over the detail of everything. Pricing after conversion to aud is very impressive as well, not sure how it would pan out after transportation but I suspect it would still give the big boys a run for their money.
really like the look of the 7'8" Karmen in carbon.
Sorry don't mean to divert to making this about gong but it looks so damn good.

colas
4028 posts
Friday , 20 Nov 2020 5:58PM
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Select to expand quote
micksmith said..
not sure how it would pan out after transportation


Just FYI, Gong will not ship outside Europe because transport (fluctuating) prices and but also support issues outside of really fans of the brand. You really need a local distributor, it adds costs, but justified, a distributor is providing actual services. Just like OZ products like Quobba would benefit from an Euro distributor.

For what I know, Gong have been looking for OZ and US distributors for a long time (they even had an UK one at some time), and deals with potential OZ ones were nearly completed, but failed in part because they did not want to commit to selling the numbers needed for keeping the costs low enough, and Gong was a bit unsure to be able to ramp up production enough anyways. Boards are still a lot of manual work requiring skilled workers, ramping up production and keeping the quality is not easy. For instance, some kite manufacturers had to stop producing kite sails for some months to be able to bring their Wing line to the market.

estingo
40 posts
Saturday , 21 Nov 2020 3:27AM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..
Nice list!

I will just add that you should not focus only on having a square nose end. Horizontal boards can also have wide but still rounded noses (or semi-pulled-in), trading a bit of stability for better paddling speed and turning radius. It is really the fast rocker, parallel rails, spread out volume distribution and powerful tail that makes a horizontal board. For instance in the Gong line the Fatal and Mob behave quite differently, although they could seem similar from their outline.


Thanks Colas!

And I think I understand, for instance, I'm also considering a Jimmy Lewis Detroyer 8'0 30" @ 115 liter as I had the feeling that there is also a wide nose and more a board that can do it all kind of thing. I'm not only watching Tomo/stubby shape sups but I have to say I get indeed more attracted to it. Your comparison with the Fatal and the Mob is something that I would really want to find out for myself even though I believe it immediately if you say so.

Kami
1497 posts
Saturday , 21 Nov 2020 8:05AM
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More of what it has been said about different behavings of boards, the position of the widest point remains to me the most important characteristic of looseness and reactivity.
When this widest point is situated past the centre to the tail, the outline curve bending from the 3 points as the Widest one , hips tand nose width does an outline wider at tail than the nose is whatever the nose width is. While designing a board that it is the more important decision to give its own character and give to her the ability to "pin'' the face of the wave . Though, a 100 litres SUP will never "pin" or pierce the wave face as a 30 litres shortboard does to escape from tube locked down but it's still good to tend torward this kind of behaving.
In another topic, Colas is talking about the Hypernut review and in the same time slides in a Tomo shape review, it would have be good to point on the Widest point position.
So to make a common response at both topic Hypernut review and the present topic , I would say that the widest point combined with the proper rocker do the right board with behaving to hit the lip or carve the bottom.
Once the 3D rail line makes up with both outline and tail rocker altogether combined, the real behave of this 3D rail line comes from the mesures of those 2 curved components ( outline and rocker). This measure is ruled by this: Rounded outline curve goes with flater rocker curve and reverse : Straighter ouline curve comes along with tail lift.
Finally for a given widest point, I would say that to fit a vertical move a board needs a tail lift rocker combined with a straight outline and a horizontal move call for a flat rocker and a curvey outline.

My conclusion wil be to choose from Estingo list,
the hypernut will cover a whole range of wave due to widest point position more than rocker/outline combined curves. It's a kind of polymorphic board
Signature's- Kazuma- RRD for handle and carve fast clean waves. They are serious board, really!
Love the redWood Paddle too because of its widest point pulled back to the tail thus like too the pull in nose, another wicked board ;-)
Sunova/ F-one/ as all around Tomo boards due to extra width. Stable but not wicked as the last ones of the list are.
Karmen from Gong does not fit really the box of the Tomo shapes we are talking about.

I'm joining below a picture from the study of the curve rocker vs outline balance onmy son's board, lucky man





colas
4028 posts
Saturday , 21 Nov 2020 2:45PM
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estingo said..
I'm also considering a Jimmy Lewis Detroyer 8'0 30" @ 115 liter as I had the feeling that there is also a wide nose and more a board that can do it all kind of thing.


Yes, the longboard rockers packed into a short length (sub-8') make great horizontal boards: you get the glide of the shape plus the nimbleness of the short length.

estingo
40 posts
Sunday , 22 Nov 2020 3:10AM
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Select to expand quote
Kami said..
More of what it has been said about different behavings of boards, the position of the widest point remains to me the most important characteristic of looseness and reactivity.
When this widest point is situated past the centre to the tail, the outline curve bending from the 3 points as the Widest one , hips tand nose width does an outline wider at tail than the nose is whatever the nose width is. While designing a board that it is the more important decision to give its own character and give to her the ability to "pin'' the face of the wave . Though, a 100 litres SUP will never "pin" or pierce the wave face as a 30 litres shortboard does to escape from tube locked down but it's still good to tend torward this kind of behaving.
In another topic, Colas is talking about the Hypernut review and in the same time slides in a Tomo shape review, it would have be good to point on the Widest point position.
So to make a common response at both topic Hypernut review and the present topic , I would say that the widest point combined with the proper rocker do the right board with behaving to hit the lip or carve the bottom.
Once the 3D rail line makes up with both outline and tail rocker altogether combined, the real behave of this 3D rail line comes from the mesures of those 2 curved components ( outline and rocker). This measure is ruled by this: Rounded outline curve goes with flater rocker curve and reverse : Straighter ouline curve comes along with tail lift.
Finally for a given widest point, I would say that to fit a vertical move a board needs a tail lift rocker combined with a straight outline and a horizontal move call for a flat rocker and a curvey outline.

My conclusion wil be to choose from Estingo list,
the hypernut will cover a whole range of wave due to widest point position more than rocker/outline combined curves. It's a kind of polymorphic board
Signature's- Kazuma- RRD for handle and carve fast clean waves. They are serious board, really!
Love the redWood Paddle too because of its widest point pulled back to the tail thus like too the pull in nose, another wicked board ;-)
Sunova/ F-one/ as all around Tomo boards due to extra width. Stable but not wicked as the last ones of the list are.
Karmen from Gong does not fit really the box of the Tomo shapes we are talking about.

I'm joining below a picture from the study of the curve rocker vs outline balance onmy son's board, lucky man






Cool Analysis of the boards I have listed. Of course, I wouldn't expect anything else than that you recommend the Hypernut as we talked a lot about its stability, behaviour and the wide point position. Our conclusion was an ugly but very clever board that could be ridden smaller than the range of Starboard is offering (not the early models '16 & '17 as those were small)

And yes your son is lucky with such a designer-builder dad as a father, you rock!

One correction of your analysis is that the Gong was a Mob and not a Karmen. But why Colas started this thread was the difference between the boards of "Vertical" and "Horizontal" boards. So that could help people like me to understand why a board is or isn't working due to its shape, measurements, outline, bottom shape, etc, etc..
I have the feeling more horizontal boards are also like the Fanatic Allwave, Quatro Glide, Gong Karmen, Starboard widepoint, JP surf wide, for instance and if you compare the pro models of those brands that are narrower you'll go to the direction of "Vertical boards".

I just give my own spin on it as I like the Tomo shape a lot with the cutoff nose.
Anyway cool topic to discuss as there are much more factors going on than just the shape what you pointed out in your post.



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"Boards for Vertical or Horizontal surfing?" started by colas