Looking to upgrade my sup in 2022. I've been paddling a 2019 Starboard Allstar 14x26 for 2 years. I paddle primarily in the ocean with strong currents, tides, and wind. The Allstar has been a great first board, but I have found the primary stability to be "twitchy" with great secondary stability. I don't notice it in calmer conditions, but in open water situations with cross currents, wind, boat wake, etc., I spend more time focusing on stability vs paddling speed.
I've been fortunate and been able to paddle a few other boards for comparison. The 2018 Blackfish (14x25) was super stable, but not as fast. The 2019 NSP Carolina (14x24) was great, but I stuffed the nose going into large swells where the Allstar would maintain some speed and punch through. I even paddled the 2021 Starboard Sprint (14x23) and thought its primary stability was better than my Allstars.
I'm interested in open water races (Blackburn challenge, Carolina cup, etc) and am 6 feet tall and 200lbs. My shortlist of boards is as follows:
1. SIC Atlantis 14x24
2 Infinity Blackfish Dugout 14x24
3. Starboard Allstar 14x24
4. NSP Carolina 14x23.5
5. Speedboard Speeder GS 14X26
I've heard the Blackfish is slower than the rest on flatwater. The Atlantis doesn't drain water from the cockpit as quickly as you'd like. The Allstar still sounds like it is lower in primary stability than the other boards. The Carolina looks like they've reduced the volume in the bow to prevent it stuffing in waves, but I'm concerned about the durability of the cockpit rails given previous issues.
Since it's almost impossible to demo boards here in the northeast in the USA and they have all changed designs significantly, I'd welcome any thoughts, input, or experience with any of the boards listed or another brand/model I should consider.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide!
Hi, have you had a chance to paddle the Atlantis? I have a paddle buddy who is close to pulling the trigger on one and they are finally in stock here in 24" and 26" widths. I am considering one as well but if water doesn't drain quickly, that could be an issue.
Have you considered, or had a chance to paddle the Updated Sunova Allwater faast pro? I weigh over 200 pounds and am a bit shorter than you,. I'm on the 14 x 27". It is quite forgiving in a variety of conditions. The Paulownia wood construction is said to be more durable than Balsa, which is quite soft. The updated Allwater still has a bit of give, providing somewhat of a dampening effect, and I'm finding it to be durable. No issues with rail damage at all.
No, I haven't paddled the Atlantis. I have a friend with an RS and I'm hoping to paddle it soon since the bottom design looks similar. Thanks for the Sunova suggestion! I'll have to check them out.
Naish Maliko is also worth considering - easy to punch through the waves with loads of stability in choppy waters and tracks like a dream.
I still think the JL Sidewinder is a great all round board, great secondary balance and is only 9KG and does not damage easily.
I have tested the 2021 Allstar 14x26 and share your views on the lack of primary stability.
I have the 2021 NSP Carolina 14x25. It is great in rougher seas, made me learn to like to paddle in chop. Primary stability is good, secondary stability great. The dugout is really deep, which I like. So deep that if you stop, your feet get wet. It seems to find an easy way in between waves, specially sidechop. I call it seaworthy. Downwinds are fun too although there's not that much rocker, which in the other hand makes it fast on totally calm waters. There's been no durablity issues at all, some 30 times out so far, each time transported on top of a car, not a single ding or paint scratch on it.
My two cents here: I have an SIC RS 14 x 24.5. It is fast on flats and does very well on moderate swell and chop, but it would not be my board of choice for open ocean conditions. I had a custom Blackfish 14 x 27 and it was a beast in rough water. I could take it out on super rough and windy days when no one else would go out. But it was a slow pig on flat and downwind for me. Assets soon become liabilities. It's a trade off. You already recognize the Blackfish 25 as very stable, but a bit slow. 14 x 24 Blackfish dugout and SIC Atlantis sound really good. Have heard that the Atlantis is it is very stable and fast. Shape may be sleeker than the Blackfish, which I think has a more parallel rail outline. Have not ridden either, but don't think you could go wrong. If I were you and had to pick, I would probably go Atlantis. I have no experience with Starboard or NSP, but great brands as well. In the conditions that you ride, I would think stability over speed.
I'd add the Fanatic Blitz to the list, the new 2022 shape works really well in open water conditions and catches bumps with ease. The slightly dug out deck provides a decent balance point. Naish Maliko is another decent board, tracks like a charm but not everyone's a big fan of flat decks.
As my measures are 6.2 / 200, I have paddled the 14x24 SIC Atlantis for half a year now.
I started with the Mark I RS 14x26 as my very first hardboard. As I liked its versatility in various conditions, it was very helpful to make me feel comfortable in "heavier" water (big inland lake) and downwind conditions, so I always could focus on paddling & catching some waves.
But on flatwater, it felt quite sluggish with its 26 with and its rocker,so I decided to go for a full displacement flatwater board (14?25 Whiplash from 2019) and decided to go for the Atlantis.
As I have neuer paddled a NSP or Starboard Allstar, I have no comparison to them at all, but in my point of view, the Atlantis really shines in upwind conditions, as its stiffnes, narrow width of 24 and the great nose shape makes it pierce effortless through upwind swell and bigger chop from the front. So if you need to go upwind before being able to enjoy a downwind session, this will be a perfect board.The fantastic nose shape just pierces every bit of water away efortlessly.
Having said that, you also feel the mediocre primary stability especially when facing swell or heavier chop from the side (when I have my seldom sessions in the mediterran sea) as you can feel the waves pushing against the high rails. Most of the time, you can finally handle this with the help of the really outstanding secondary stability but still you will focus too much on not falling of the board rather than focus on keep your stroke power and technique.
When it comes to downwind, I really like the rocker and the bottom shape (similar to 14inch Mark I RS) and the boards ability to really build up speed very fast for catching smaller bumps and waves.
On the other hand, the unbeaten capability of taking off on every bump/wave despite their size is still unbeaten with the Bullet and Bayonet (especially with the 17 length), so the capability of catching bumps for the Atlantis (in my opinion) is kinda in between the RS and the Bullet/Bayonet.
As it clearly is an allround racing board, you can compare its performance with the RS and the Allstar (as I suppose).
As I consider the 17x25 Bayonet as the perfect downwind board for my size (I also preder flat decks much more as it is much better in handling side chop&wind), I consider the 14x24 Atlantis as the perfect allround board, because it shines especially on "mediocre" conditions (8-20knots, waves up to 0,8m) as it is indeed a very quick board, outstanding upwind and quite well in downwind.
But with plus 6feet and 100lbs, you need to test if the primary stability with heaver side chop & wind will be good enough for you.
Quick update - I purchased a 2019 14x25 Whiplash from a friend in our local paddle club since he let me test paddle it and it was more affordable than buying a new board which I was having trouble finding. Although it is a flatwater design, the bottom is similar to the Blackfish and has an impressive amount of primary stability (at least compared to my Allstar). My biggest concern with the piercing nose was it was going to submarine going into ocean swell but that hasn't been the case. At 25 inches wide, it still has plenty of volume in the nose to lift it up, but it still does a great job piercing the small to medium chop instead of slapping like the Blackfish. I've only had it a few weeks, but it's a big improvement in primary stability and I'm really enjoying the quieter nose and improved glide.
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this thread. I'll try to update this post later in the summer with what I learn from additional time on the board.
PS - I had a chance to paddle the Speedboard GS at a local race in the 14X26. It's the first hollow board I've ever paddled. It was crazy light (23 lbs) so accelerated very quickly. I only had the opportunity to paddle in a river, but two things stood out to me. First, I'm 200 lbs and could feel the deck flexing significantly under my feet. Second, it has somewhat rounded rails which make it fast, but also mean it doesn't have the primary stability I was looking for.