Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

Is the Starboard Pocket Rocket too small for me?

Reply
Created by ursblank A week ago, 5 Nov 2019
ursblank
23 posts
5 Nov 2019 9:54PM
Thumbs Up

Hi,

I've got a Starboard Pocket Rocket (2013 model; 8'5x30"; 130l). I am a bit worried wether this is the right board for me (186cm, 74kg, feeling comfortable with my 8'0 Malibu surfboard and wave sailing; due to shoulder issues I changed from the Mailibu to SUP). Unfortunately, I have only limited number of days in the waves with the SUP, i.e about one week in Klitmoller/North Sea and maybe a couple of week-ends. The SUP is basically an alternative to wave sailing when the wind is to weak.

Last week, I had three sessions in 1-2ft waves with some wind chop. The first session was super frustrating, because I was falling constantly. The second and third session the next days was already better and real fun, but it was so tiring for my legs that I had to stop after about 90 minutes. If I had the possibility to get in the water more often, I'd be convinced that this board is the right toy for me. However, I'm a bit worried that next year I will have to start from scratch again. That's why I'm wondering, whether I should sell it and get a board which is more stable (larger and longer) and thus less tiring or whether I should stick with it?

Another thing that I found a bit disappointing: I expected that the board would be able to catch the waves earlier.

What do you think? Would an allround SUP (e.g. 9'-10') a better choice?

Thanks!

colas
3470 posts
5 Nov 2019 11:04PM
Thumbs Up

With your prone surfboard & Windsurfing experience, I guess you underestimated two main difficulties with SUPing:[1] SUPing in chop is extra, extra hard
[2] Paddling a SUP efficiently (for catching waves) is very technical, and takes lots of time and practice.

So you should get a 9'6" / 10'+ x 32"+ board if you do not want / cannot invest time and commitment in developing the proper techniques, otherwise you will be very frustrated. More length for catching waves, more width for stability in chop.

A "cruiser" (12'+, pulled in nose with front rocker) could be hyper fun in your conditions.

Surlygringo
7 posts
6 Nov 2019 2:38AM
Thumbs Up

Before you give up on the board I would decide on what style of surfing is the most fun for you. If you have small junky waves and want get in and make a few quick turns before the wave goes flat/closes out/you're on the sand: I vote for giving the pocket rocket a chance. You know how to surf, you just have to make some adjustments since you are now on a sup. I am sure there is advice all over the forums on how to take off on a short sup. Once you are pointed in the right direction it will come together pretty quickly. It also is helpful to spend some time paddling flat water on your surf sup, especially when it is windy.

If you have good footwork/have small lined up surf or just want to get in early and cruise down the line; trade the pocket rocket in on a performance longboard sup. Maybe 9'6" or 10' x 29-30" around the same volume as your PR. It will paddle faster and get into a passing boatwake. It will be more fun to cruise around on flat water. On the downside you need footwork and good technique to get in a few quick turns on a short interval wave.



colas
3470 posts
6 Nov 2019 3:50PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
Surlygringo said..
You know how to surf, you just have to make some adjustments since you are now on a sup.


The problem is that these "adjustments" will take a hundred of sessions to acquire for going out in chop. You cannot make them if you are in the mindset of just doing SUP when you cannot WIndsurf, and not expecting to learn how to SUP.

I also was a Windsurfer and a Surfer, and it took me 18 months (~ 150 sessions) on a 8'11" x 30" x 145 liters (for my 100kg) to get down in size, and chop was still horrible for me.

Surlygringo
7 posts
7 Nov 2019 4:28AM
Thumbs Up

You are right Colas a bigger board will always be easier in chop. I also get that everyone's board balance and learning curves are different. And it is different if you are going to put the board in a shed and only haul it out once a year for a trip to the sea. However, Ursblank only weighs 74kg. It seems to me that an 8'6" x30" x 130ltrs pocket rocket will be about the same stability for his size as the 8'11"x30"x 145 you learned on at 100kg. The PR has a lot of width forward and at 8'6" it is long enough that one does not have to worry about fore and aft balance. If he is willing to paddle some on flat water when he is not at the ocean I think it is totally doable.

Ursblank, did you have fun on the PR? Were you tired, but psyched about riding a sup when you got out of the water? If so, hold onto the PR and put in some time on flat water or in chop when it isn't blowing hard enough to windsurf. The next time you go to the ocean your leg strength and feel for board balance will be improved.

If when you got out of the water you thought "this sport is way too much work," get a bigger board. You need to be having fun. Perhaps you could try/demo a bigger board before you sell the PR?

ursblank
23 posts
7 Nov 2019 7:33PM
Thumbs Up

Hi both,

Thanks for your replies!
@Colas: I definately underestimated how difficult it is to handle wind chop. Without the chop, I managed to catch some waves and everything was a lot easier. However, it was still tiring for my legs. Probably I am just physically unfit.
When I wrote "The SUP is basically an alternative to wave sailing when the wind is to weak", I mean the situation (which we have often in Denmark) that the wind goes down and turns to offshore, so normally there is not much wind chop.

@SurlyGringo: I was frustrated in the choppy conditions, but in the cleaner conditions, I had a lot of fun and I can't wait to get on the water again! In the past, I used the PR many times on flat water before and I will try to do it even more. This year I didn't have much possibilities due to family issues (small kid and pregnant wife )

I think I will give the Pocket Rocket a second chance and maybe rent another board to test. I recently learned that windsurfers here often own very large SUP's like 32" wide (e.g. JP Surf Wide, Fanatic Allwaves etc.).

Foghorn
WA, 362 posts
10 Nov 2019 8:27AM
Thumbs Up

Just use it as much as possible the PR is actually very stable .May be you just need to change your foot positioning from parallel to semi surf stance keeping your feet away from the rails.

BigZ
38 posts
10 Nov 2019 11:18AM
Thumbs Up

For your 74 kg, the 130l PR is on a large size for SUP surfing. Just keep practicing.

colas
3470 posts
10 Nov 2019 4:37PM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
ursblank said..
@Colas: I definately underestimated how difficult it is to handle wind chop. Without the chop, I managed to catch some waves and everything was a lot easier. However, it was still tiring for my legs. Probably I am just physically unfit.



It is more of a training, just like any new activity your body must learn by itself, you must get your "sea legs". The more you practice, the less you spend energy.

You need both "theoretical" work (reading advice): bending the knees, keeping the feet closer to the string, looking far ahead on the horizon, be proactive, use the paddle leverage in the water, use the head like the kayakers, etc, etc, ... but also practice time on the water for your body to memorize the unconscious reflexes.

And extra volume (for your weight) with a relatively narrow board is not a good combo, as it will promote a "cork effect" (or standing on a barrel). A wider board, even with less volume, will be easier.

JonathanC
VIC, 888 posts
Monday , 11 Nov 2019 3:03PM
Thumbs Up

Totally agree Colas, I was surfing my 2019 Starboard 7'10 x 28 Pro (103 litres) this morning and I'm convinced it's no more stable for me at 65kg than my old 7'7 x 27 (92l). Feels super corky because I'm too light for it, wish I'd gone the 29 wide model.

rgmacca
84 posts
Tuesday , 12 Nov 2019 6:23AM
Thumbs Up

My thoughts.

i sup in uk North Sea. Similar weight experience in water etc.
I started on a 10'6 x30 x 160lt.
Moved to a 10x30 135lt, bought additional 9'2x29x120lt.

yes pocket rocket will be fine on the right day.
If you want more waves and an easy option, but still as much fun go performance long board. Better glide, catch waves easy, can style it ??
why make life hard if finances permit.
Thats if you like long board style boards of course.



Subscribe
Reply

Forums > Stand Up Paddle General


"Is the Starboard Pocket Rocket too small for me?" started by ursblank