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Board advice

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Created by bigsplash Two weeks ago, 24 Jul 2022
bigsplash
15 posts
24 Jul 2022 8:11AM
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Hi, I have come to SUPing from open canoeing so have decent paddle technique & have had fun on flat water and v small surf on my low end AM Beast iSUP.
I'd love to take the surfing further, I'm OK at paddling out over surf but struggling surfing in and have decided that I need a rigid board.
I can't see me carving any tight turns on a short board anytime soon and am interested in a longboard. Would love to nose ride one day!
Taking all this into consideration (aims, age, budget) I've narrowed down my search to the Fanatic Stylemaster (10' x 30.5) and the Naish Nalu (10'6" x 30).
I would be surfing in UK on relatively small beach breaks (predominantly) and want a board that I can develop my skills on that is a bit forgiving!
Are these good options?
I understand that the Nalu will likely perform on flat water better but on surf what is likely to be the difference between them?
Have I missed other awesome options?
Any opinions, help or advice appreciated.

Pete

colas
4591 posts
24 Jul 2022 11:18AM
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You have missed a lot of options. Basically most brands now have good noseriders in their line.

What you must take into consideration is
- your weight and height. 30" width will be too narrow if you are big, 10' too long if you are small.
- are the boards in stock? Imports to the UK are a bit unreliable currently, even for materials for locally built gear.

Also, depending on your weight, 10' may be too cumbersome for "small beach breaks" waves that are less predictable than point breaks. Something a tad shorter (but more than 9'0") may be easier to handle and not nosedive in waves suddenly breaking.

bigsplash
15 posts
24 Jul 2022 4:00PM
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Thanks for your reply colas - good point, should have included height & weight but can't see a way to edit my OP.
I'm 52, 182 cm (6') tall and 78 kg (12 stone 5).
Putting availability to one side for the moment I narrowed my selection based upon reviews etc. But, not being experienced in this arena, it's not clear how else I can differentiate between the many options. E.g. don't really understand the difference between beach & point breaks but thought I understood longer boards to be better at catching anything - assuming not too big, short or dumpy!
Is there any other critical information missing that would help this experienced community to help me find my next board?
Thanks, Pete

colas
4591 posts
24 Jul 2022 10:19PM
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bigsplash said..
Putting availability to one side for the moment I narrowed my selection based upon reviews etc. But, not being experienced in this arena, it's not clear how else I can differentiate between the many options. E.g. don't really understand the difference between beach & point breaks but thought I understood longer boards to be better at catching anything


Reading reviews can be misleading, as everything in surfing is a compromise. E.g. What is a stable board for an advanced rider will not feel stable for a beginner or intermediate. Boards with a flatter rocker will catch anything... but they will be tricky to handle if you do not know how to quickly adjust your position on them especially in beach breaks. A board with a bit more of rocker will be much more user friendly at the expense of a tad less glide.

I suggest you subscribe to "Supboarder Pro" supboardermag.com/pro/ as they are UK-based, so they know your waves and what gear is easily available, and have sound advice for beginners, and you can ask them questions. It is quite cheap as you can subscribe per month.

And as you are tall and not light, I would advise to get a board at least 32" wide, you will progress much faster.

bigsplash
15 posts
24 Jul 2022 11:01PM
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Thank you for taking the time to respond again colas. I'm already subscribed to supboarder Pro but this forum was recommended to me and I believe there is great power in community discussion.
Pete

theSeb
41 posts
25 Jul 2022 5:47PM
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Nice boards, but I think there are better and more forgiving options for learning on. I am biased, since it's the board that I own, but I would recommend a Starboard Wedge. They are relatively affordable in the Limited construction. Considering your weight, I would say the 9'2" x 32" would be a great choice for you. You can surf it off the tail longboard style and it will engage the rail and carve too.

I am not sure where in the UK you are, but where I am the conditions can go from 1/2 foot in the morning to 2-3 foot in the afternoon to flat the next morning and the board works in all of those. I can paddle it on flat days and I can catch ankle biters. Then it works beautifully in 3-4 foot onshore blown out mush.

Kisutch
240 posts
26 Jul 2022 1:41AM
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The Naish Nalu (the all-arounder one, not performance longboard one) catches waves amazingly well and is great for down-the-line cruising in smaller surf. My friend has worked his way down in volume on performance longboards, but still loves his original Nalu and takes it out when it's not powerful, and it'd be great in flatwater, one would always have a use for it. These boards can be scary to learn on cause they're heavy. I bruised rib falling on Nalu and was terrified seeing it miss my wife's head when she took a nose-dive when learning, but maybe it's not that different than a 9'.

But if you want to learn to turn, Nalu kind of tough (maybe the other LB shapes easier, I don't know). I found it much easier to learn when I got on a board like theSeb mentioned -- a curvy outline but not pulled in, so like a filled out shortboard shape (which folks on here and local shop recommended). Something like the Wedge mentioned above, Fanatic Allwave, the new Infinity Wide Speed, etc, could hopefully find one used. For me that type of board was easier to turn than Nalu - on 10-6 Nalu if I leaned in and weighted toes I'd face plant (I did this many times but it was super fun), on a 9'4" curved outline SUP this would make the board do a trimming turn - still have great memory of how cool it felt even though I was just barely turning. But the 9-4 curved outline board didn't catch waves as easily, that's good if you want to progress and learn the nuances of catching waves, but will reduce wave count initially.



bigsplash
15 posts
26 Jul 2022 2:41AM
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theSeb said..
Nice boards, but I think there are better and more forgiving options for learning on. I am biased, since it's the board that I own, but I would recommend a Starboard Wedge. They are relatively affordable in the Limited construction. Considering your weight, I would say the 9'2" x 32" would be a great choice for you. You can surf it off the tail longboard style and it will engage the rail and carve too.

I am not sure where in the UK you are, but where I am the conditions can go from 1/2 foot in the morning to 2-3 foot in the afternoon to flat the next morning and the board works in all of those. I can paddle it on flat days and I can catch ankle biters. Then it works beautifully in 3-4 foot onshore blown out mush.


Thanks Seb, some new ideas there - I'll definitely check out the Wedge.
I live in Leeds... pretty much as far from surf as you can get in the UK! Nearest waves are Cayton Bay on NE coast!

bigsplash
15 posts
26 Jul 2022 2:45AM
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Kisutch said..
The Naish Nalu (the all-arounder one, not performance longboard one) catches waves amazingly well and is great for down-the-line cruising in smaller surf. My friend has worked his way down in volume on performance longboards, but still loves his original Nalu and takes it out when it's not powerful, and it'd be great in flatwater, one would always have a use for it. These boards can be scary to learn on cause they're heavy. I bruised rib falling on Nalu and was terrified seeing it miss my wife's head when she took a nose-dive when learning, but maybe it's not that different than a 9'.

But if you want to learn to turn, Nalu kind of tough (maybe the other LB shapes easier, I don't know). I found it much easier to learn when I got on a board like theSeb mentioned -- a curvy outline but not pulled in, so like a filled out shortboard shape (which folks on here and local shop recommended). Something like the Wedge mentioned above, Fanatic Allwave, the new Infinity Wide Speed, etc, could hopefully find one used. For me that type of board was easier to turn than Nalu - on 10-6 Nalu if I leaned in and weighted toes I'd face plant (I did this many times but it was super fun), on a 9'4" curved outline SUP this would make the board do a trimming turn - still have great memory of how cool it felt even though I was just barely turning. But the 9-4 curved outline board didn't catch waves as easily, that's good if you want to progress and learn the nuances of catching waves, but will reduce wave count initially.






Thanks Kisutch, I do like the versatility of the Nalu. Also some interesting recommendations on shorter boards that I'd not really considered. Thank you for taking the time to explain about various trade offs. Pete

bigsplash
15 posts
26 Jul 2022 2:49AM
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Thanks for responses - all really helpful. I've also discovered *shock horror* that I'm not the first to ask these questions and have 'discovered' the search feature and found previous responses to similar questions. Thanks to all those people too!
I'm not in a hurry to buy and will continue to mull over options. Cheers

theSeb
41 posts
26 Jul 2022 3:18AM
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bigsplash said..


theSeb said..
Nice boards, but I think there are better and more forgiving options for learning on. I am biased, since it's the board that I own, but I would recommend a Starboard Wedge. They are relatively affordable in the Limited construction. Considering your weight, I would say the 9'2" x 32" would be a great choice for you. You can surf it off the tail longboard style and it will engage the rail and carve too.

I am not sure where in the UK you are, but where I am the conditions can go from 1/2 foot in the morning to 2-3 foot in the afternoon to flat the next morning and the board works in all of those. I can paddle it on flat days and I can catch ankle biters. Then it works beautifully in 3-4 foot onshore blown out mush.




Thanks Seb, some new ideas there - I'll definitely check out the Wedge.
I live in Leeds... pretty much as far from surf as you can get in the UK! Nearest waves are Cayton Bay on NE coast!



That's a pity. If you were closer to Devon, or Dorset, then you could try out my Wedge. Good luck in your epic journey.

colas
4591 posts
26 Jul 2022 1:57PM
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bigsplash said..
Thank you for taking the time to respond again colas. I'm already subscribed to supboarder Pro


Ah, cool.

Just for the record, I liked their test of the Gong boards, it was quite relevant in my opinion.
I would just ignore the huge amount of time they spend discussing about provided fins (for all brands). Fins are something personal that you change depending on the rider weight, technique, taste. And unlike factory-installed pads, they are easy to change. I never used factory-provided fins.

With the disclaimer that I am a Gong ambassador, I would think you would be quite happy with the NFA 9'0" XL (for the 32" width), and the 10' if your waves are long (you can surf them for a long time) and mellow (not hollow). The 10'0" XL would be too big for you, adding a lot of stability, but stability means it will be harder to roll to engage turns.

bigsplash
15 posts
26 Jul 2022 2:29PM
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colas said..

bigsplash said..
Thank you for taking the time to respond again colas. I'm already subscribed to supboarder Pro



Ah, cool.

Just for the record, I liked their test of the Gong boards, it was quite relevant in my opinion.
I would just ignore the huge amount of time they spend discussing about provided fins (for all brands). Fins are something personal that you change depending on the rider weight, technique, taste. And unlike factory-installed pads, they are easy to change. I never used factory-provided fins.

With the disclaimer that I am a Gong ambassador, I would think you would be quite happy with the NFA 9'0" XL (for the 32" width), and the 10' if your waves are long (you can surf them for a long time) and mellow (not hollow). The 10'0" XL would be too big for you, adding a lot of stability, but stability means it will be harder to roll to engage turns.


Thanks colas, I had never heard of Gong before and was impressed with the review. I thought the board looked good & price point amazing. Seemed a bit heavier than some of it's peers, not too worried about that in the water - more thinking about long walks!

colas
4591 posts
27 Jul 2022 12:16AM
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bigsplash said..
Seemed a bit heavier than some of it's peers, not too worried about that in the water - more thinking about long walks!


Everything is a compromise. Gong carbon boards (the "Pro") were lighter in 2019, but customers were asking for more impact resistance so in 2020 the PVC sandwich covered the whole board (previously it was only the deck) at the expense of added weight, and were not really found of the "brushed carbon" look so they switched to an opaque, thus thicker, heavier - but also more scratch-resistant - paint layer (if you look around a lot of brands also ditched the brushed carbon look).

Compromises, compromises... "Cheap, light, strong: choose two", as the saying goes...

I like light boards so I stocked on some 2019 boards, but I must use rail guards on them, not on the 2022 (although I end up using mostly the 2022 ones).

bigsplash
15 posts
27 Jul 2022 5:01AM
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Everything is a compromise, very true colas!
I'm now looking more closely at Gong & I'm interested to see where it lands in the SB PRO head to head when they conclude in a couple of weeks.
Just as well as the one I'm most interested in (10' NFA FSP PRO) is out of stock!

bigsplash
15 posts
28 Jul 2022 12:34AM
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theSeb said..

That's a pity. If you were closer to Devon, or Dorset, then you could try out my Wedge. Good luck in your epic journey.


theSeb - apologies, I missed this. That's a really kind offer and if I was down that way I would have taken you up on it - albeit a bit sheepishly as my skills are not that great...

theSeb
41 posts
28 Jul 2022 4:32AM
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colas said..
I forgot: take also into account the fact that even in stock, Gong boards will be still shipped from France to the UK, and crossing the border seems a mess currently...


I must say I quite enjoy the look of gong boards myself. Are there any shops in France that one could buy from, or is it via the website only? I may be tempted to pick one up the next time I am passing through

bigsplash
15 posts
2 Aug 2022 10:46PM
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I have been exchanging messages with Gong and had been close to deciding on one of their boards only to find they are not shipping boards > 9' to the UK due to Brexit. This is a bit of a blow but at least it narrows the selection.
I think this is what you were referring to colas in an earlier post that now seems to have disappeared from this thread.

grgd
SA, 12 posts
3 Aug 2022 7:13AM
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Drive over and pick it up :-).

colas
4591 posts
3 Aug 2022 2:15PM
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bigsplash said..
I think this is what you were referring to colas in an earlier post that now seems to have disappeared from this thread.


Yes, due to Brexit the situation changes constantly on what it is possible to ship at reasonable prices :-(

Note that most companies have stopped selling goods to and from the UK, because if the customer wants to return the parcel (as he is entitled without having to give a reason -, the paperwork and costs are so huge that the only option is just to have the good destroyed... which even costs extra money to the company! I read that as a workaround, UK businesses tend to also open headquarters in Europe, so that they can ship goods first between the UK and EU HQs instead of directly to the customer.

PS: The admin often silently deletes posts related to this brand.

bigsplash
15 posts
5 Aug 2022 3:17AM
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grgd said..
Drive over and pick it up :-).



Great idea... I could keep going and paddle the Ardeche & Drome while I'm there!

bigsplash
15 posts
5 Aug 2022 3:21AM
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colas said..


PS: The admin often silently deletes posts related to this brand.



... going, going Gong!

bigsplash
15 posts
5 Aug 2022 4:04AM
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I'm currently looking at a late contender, that of Local board shaper Loco. The Logger and Hybrid boards have caught my eye having been tipped off about them yesterday!

bigsplash
15 posts
Friday , 12 Aug 2022 6:23AM
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So... I bought the Loco 20'x29" Logger today after all my mulling over options!






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