it's been some time since I wrote a board review, last one was the JP Surf Slate 8'2".
I see the benefits of the squarish design giving much more stability with an overall shorter length especially for less than perfect wave (and wind) conditions.
I was really interested in the Starboard hypernut design which in a way reminded me the "Tomo" surfboard designs.
The attributes that got me interested were the heavily channeled bottom, "nut" design, thinner rails, short length.
I found a used 7'8" carbon board and started experimenting with fins, leg position, takeoff technique and so on (if you haven't guessed so far I am an engineer..).
To make a long story short, after 2 or 3 times surfing with the hypernut I stopped using the JP surf slate and eventually sold it.
The more detailed version is that this board is lightning fast, turns on a dime if you place your rear leg on top of the fins, very forgiving in terms of stability, and absolutely a joy to ride from ankle bitters to about head high. Takeoff is super easy and I prefer not to paddle ahead of time but catching the wave much later when it is about to break, the acceleration and speed you get from the board are phenomenal.
In my opinion, the main point in having a short board is not to have a lot of weight at the front allowing you to pivot using the paddle much easier. For me is resembles allot the way a Fish surfboard behaves in the water.
The attention to details in the design of this board are really something to admire, it's the first time I own a Starboard and it is certainly a league of it's own. Ended up with 1 size smaller fins than the board originally came with and for my weight it is perfect allowing me to slide the tail from time to time in ways I did not think were even possible for me.
This board improved my surfing abilities allowing me to feel on the wave as if I'm riding a much shorter board.
My only problem was that the price of these boards (the carbon finish) is very high, even for used ones, but you get what you pay for.
Moving forward, I am now looking at the new 2021 Pro boards, especially the new 8' x 29" as a complementary board for clean and a bit more powerful waves, and did I mention for 2020 they cut the overall length to 7'6" and thinned the rails even more??
Like you Dean, I have the same feeling about a SUP. It has to behave like a short board and also more than an SB, it has to move like a fish. As my favorite SUP has been a fish of 6'5'' 28 " 85 litres for my 80 kg for the past years, I decide now to get a more comfortable paddling board while keeping the Fish behaving of my old faithful 6'5" .
As well as deciding to follow the genius concept of the Hypernut and like you I find that it's a lot of money worthing its excellent quality construction, I design for my own this board to make it built in a traditional and local way like EPS surfboards are.
I add a foil option to this 7'2" 28" 95 litres.
I set the fin plugs parallel with no toe because I will use www.fynsurf.com/fr/ . Those fins will allow moving the board extraordinary well in weak surf. If it gets hollower I will get H2 ( FCS) in quad set. H2 got a Toe already sets in.
I would add a bit of caution about the "Tomo" concept for SUPs.
Tomo prone surf boards work because they reduce the board, cutting out "uneeded" parts (nose length and main width).
But it is not as easy with SUPs, as you must still keep the necessary volume for paddling, and width for balance.
8'2" is just too big for a Tomo shape to work in SUPs as it is designed to work in surfboards. You are then adding board parts rather than removing it, the opposite of the original concept.
Basically, finding a performing "Tomo" SUP shape is all in getting the smallest board possible for your weight and abilities. Extra volume kills the performance very fast in these shapes, as they become hard to engage in turns. So, if you are looking for a very stable board, a big SUP Tomo is great. But if you want performance with them, you need to try to get the smallest one possible.