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Downwinders help Starboard ACE

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Created by nate1980 6 months ago, 2 Dec 2019
nate1980
5 posts
2 Dec 2019 7:32PM
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Hi everyone,
I have recently purchased a second hand Starboard ACE 2014 23.5 x 14 in great condition and super keen to get better at downwinding.
I am in SA and it is the first sup I have owned, I have paddled plenty of other recreational sups and with reasonable ease.
I have had it for about 6 weeks and paddled it about 20-25 times, balance is getting better and I am now getting familiar with the best feet positions for flat water, catching waves and trying to change direction.
My question is, am I trying to learn on one of the most unstable sups ??
I dont fall off hardly at all in flat water or moderate chop, but I am having trouble changing direction while catching runners.
I am getting taken wherever the chop/run wants to take me because I am standing just back from the handle with a neutral stance (maybe one foot slightly infront of the other) but when I get on a bigger runner I want to get back to my surfing stance (right foot back) and get back so I can change direction a little and keep the board planing on the back half but its bloody hard with how skinny this board goes from 2/3rds back ??
I have watched guys walk back an forth but cant see it being possible on these tapered tail boards compared to the wider square tail boards ?
Tonight I paddled about 2km out to sea into a 25-30knot SW, fell off 5-6 times then turned around and caught some big chops back in.
Nailed a couple 1-2ft runners by hopping back to surf stance and getting a few paddles in to keep going but there was heaps of cross chop which sucked and made it pretty tippy !!
Do I keep persisting with the board and just suck it up or should I look forward to getting a wider board ??Thanks in advance

GatunCocobolo
1 posts
3 Dec 2019 2:05AM
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Very difficult board with any side wind or chop due to the high freeboard and narrow tail. Even the Miller's run is only 15 degrees off at best. Board works best if dead-on or off. Good on ya for paddling upwind 2 km against 25 knts. Dedication. Have to get off that tail immediately before each wave ends. Bit narrow too for intermediates. You went straight to expert on equipment. The glide is much more forgiving.

WaveScience
VIC, 110 posts
3 Dec 2019 6:23PM
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Downwinding a dugout is a little different to downwinding a flat deck in my opinion. I have found that it is less about walking all the way back into the narrow recesses of the dugout and more about using the rocker and massive volume of the nose to your advantage. Except for really big days with steep drops, you can often get away with taking one decent step back and then lowering your centre of gravity by really bending the knees and rocking your weight back and forth to clear the wave in front.

The best part about the Ace is that you can catch bumps on lighter days when many other downwind boards are really struggling to get anywhere.

The downside is that on bigger days when you are genuinely forced to run to the back of the board, the nature of the rails really doesn't allow for much control - you become a passenger at the mercy of the wave. If you go looking for video footage of anyone genuinely surfing an Ace in a genuine surf zone (ie controlling the board and cutting back either side), you will probably be searching for a while. It's very difficult to do and you don't often see people taking Aces into a 3'+ surf break for a surf session because that's not much fun.

nosaj27
QLD, 271 posts
3 Dec 2019 7:33PM
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The Ace is a downwind weapon once you get used to it. Not sure of your size or paddling ability but a 23" Ace in downwind conditions can be a struggle for even the best paddlers. So you might want to see if you can borrow a 25" Ace and see if that is easier for you.

JEG
VIC, 1469 posts
4 Dec 2019 8:29AM
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nate1980, have a look at this vid and see how they control the ace or some dugout board. Looks like the latest dugout board's starting look like a canoe shape.

Area10
1464 posts
4 Dec 2019 9:00AM
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I love Downwinding. I had a14x25 carbon Ace and gave it away to a friend. It is fast, sure, but fun? No, unless the conditions are very small. It's a racers' board really - for people who want speed at all costs, and have energy and skills to spare.

I downwind low volume flat deck boards now, because I like stability, control and surfability, and don't want to sacrifice that for an extra 0.1mph average speed.

Your mileage may vary.

Bowerboy
NSW, 98 posts
4 Dec 2019 3:28PM
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A dugout does not surf in the same way a surfboard does. In fact it is the opposite. If you try to carve it left like a surfboard it will go to the right. Dugouts respond to hull steering, if you tilt it right it will go left. A 23 inch ace would be a really twitchy beast that would like nothing better than to throw you out. The ace is such a fast high performance board that if you really take off on a big runner you can lose control easily.

I'm not in your league but I had a 27 Ace and have since moved to a bullet which is a far more predictable board. Not as fast but I am going faster because I get time to link runners a bit better.

Good on you giving it a crack. Hopefully the downwind crew are growing in adelaide as you have killer conditions!

PhilBennett
42 posts
4 Dec 2019 11:53PM
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I went from 2 years of sup surfing and then trying racing with a 23.5x12'6 ace.

Bowerboy nailed it I think. I had to learn it myself and wondering what the hell I was doing wrong when watching everyone surfing normally. These Ace's at that width is the complete opposite. Lean right to turn left and vice versa. It doesnt take much pressure but one you get the hang of it it becomes second nature. DOnt expect any strong turns but more gradual slow gliding ones.

Now I am used to it I could never see myself on anything wider than 23.5, so I think stick with it!!!

nate1980
5 posts
6 Dec 2019 4:18PM
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Thanks everyone for your input !
Greatly appreciated.
@gatuncocobolo what do you mean by 15degrees in regard to the Miller's Run ?
I guess my suspicions were right that I wasn't going to be able to control it like a flat deck.
Oh well, I reckon I am going to stick with it and ride it like it's designed to .
I have caught 1-2 ft waves on it and can keep it straight which is fun, I might get a flat deck down the track.
The challenge of improving my balance is what I also wanted so I guess this board will do that :)
Great video @JEG cheers.
Happy Suppin crew !

JEG
VIC, 1469 posts
7 Dec 2019 8:39AM
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How much do you weight nate1980?

nate1980
5 posts
7 Dec 2019 6:20PM
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Select to expand quote
JEG said..
How much do you weight nate1980?



83kgs 183cm tall JEG

JEG
VIC, 1469 posts
7 Dec 2019 11:17PM
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Select to expand quote
nate1980 said..

JEG said..
How much do you weight nate1980?




83kgs 183cm tall JEG


Don't know how you paddle that board out on the chop, let alone dw conditions and you must have great balance. Who recommend you that size or was it an impulse buy? I would recommend a wider board than that and dugouts is like you either like it or hate relationship but thier soo much fun once you get the right design size board.

nate1980
5 posts
13 Dec 2019 7:37PM
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PhilBennett said..
I went from 2 years of sup surfing and then trying racing with a 23.5x12'6 ace.

Bowerboy nailed it I think. I had to learn it myself and wondering what the hell I was doing wrong when watching everyone surfing normally. These Ace's at that width is the complete opposite. Lean right to turn left and vice versa. It doesnt take much pressure but one you get the hang of it it becomes second nature. DOnt expect any strong turns but more gradual slow gliding ones.

Now I am used to it I could never see myself on anything wider than 23.5, so I think stick with it!!!


Thanks for your reply Phil
I am going to stick at it with the 23.5 Ace, I am getting better balance each time I paddle it and it really does motor along on the runs !!
I have been practicing on the super flat glassy days by moving up and down the board trying different feet positions and balancing with one foot right on the back and the nose in the air, I would like to do a surf course race on it one day.
I also enjoy popping over waves/white water on the way out.
Happy paddlingCheers

JZOrewa
34 posts
18 Dec 2019 11:44AM
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I usually paddle my Carolina 22.5 and try to use it on every kind of condition even being 195 tall and 86 kg. Recently I got a 25.5 Sonic and it looks like a cruise ship. It's incredible how 1.5 extra inches on each side make a lot of extra stability, and off course the proper nose and rocker make downwinding way more easy.
Some can say that, if you can handle a narrow board, it goes faster downwinding, but as soon as you fall or it gets full of water you loose all the ground you made. And off course, when you do a long run (2hs +), riding a narrow board drains all your energy because you can't relax your legs for a second.
So now I do most part of my DW on the Sonic and it is way more enjoyable, and I reckon I'm going faster because I fall less.
Regarding steering these dugout boards, as someone mentioned, you have to roll the board like a boat, and going back and forth is part of the thing. Many times when catching a big wave I go to my surfing stance but because of the pin tail, If I step too far back it sinks the tail and slows down the board, so you have to quickly go back forward.

burchas
34 posts
21 Dec 2019 6:16AM
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nate1980 said..


I am going to stick at it with the 23.5 Ace, I am getting better balance each time I paddle it and it really does motor along on the runs !!



If you are going to stick with it, watch this video if you haven't already. Although this kid is a phenom I think there are still good take aways from that vid.

nate1980
5 posts
24 Dec 2019 7:57PM
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burchas said..

nate1980 said..


I am going to stick at it with the 23.5 Ace, I am getting better balance each time I paddle it and it really does motor along on the runs !!




If you are going to stick with it, watch this video if you haven't already. Although this kid is a phenom I think there are still good take aways from that vid.



Thanks Burchas
That vid is awesome !! Can totally appreciate the footwork that he is doing, even he is working overtime to keep it from tipping at some points.
That board is exactly what I have ! I can see how also he walks back and forth by using the middle of the board.
The board is so responsive to any weight either side of the middle.
Its so good to see that the board can be ridden like that though, it has inspired me to keep training on it and learning how it wants to be ridden.
Cheers for the post mate

burchas
34 posts
24 Dec 2019 11:57PM
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Yeah, pretty inspiring. Especially if you consider the kid who's riding it is 14 at that time! One thing that might help with this board is a good fin choice. Something with a good roll control until you dial-in the secondary stability in the bumps.

JonathanC
VIC, 898 posts
25 Dec 2019 10:39AM
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burchas said..
Yeah, pretty inspiring. Especially if you consider the kid who's riding it is 14 at that time! One thing that might help with this board is a good fin choice. Something with a good roll control until you dial-in the secondary stability in the bumps.


I've got a 2013 Ace, says 25" but actually 24" when you measure it to the widest point. Out of all the fancy fins I've tried I prefer the clip in FCS 9" dolphin for downwinding. Seems to make steering it on the wave more forgiving. Up to about 20 knots I love it !



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"Downwinders help Starboard ACE" started by nate1980