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Touring board design – whats going wrong?

In this SUPboarder PRO video, Reuben and Will share views from themselves and the SUPboarder community around SUP touring board designs and where they feel there is opportunity for brands to  think outside the box to meet the requirements of the paddling community.  Please share your own experiences and join this discussion.

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Kiddo
Kiddo
2 months ago

Thanks gents, great piece. I wanted to add that as a sup surfer I want more durability from my composite surf board constructions too. It’s ridiculous to spend £1400 on a board then immediately have to spend another £80 on rail tape (I wrap my nose as well as the rails). Every one of my paddle surf mates have had multiple dings requiring board repairs. It’s such a downer when you love a board and it’s gets hurt but the fact is they are just too fragile. There must be solutions to at least having tougher rails. The polypropylene idea… Read more »

rogermcintyre
rogermcintyre
2 months ago

Great discussion guys. I am a former sea kayaker / open boater / white water kayaker. I sold all the kit relating to these disciplines and converted to SUP surf and SUP touring. I have a Red Explorer a Fanatic 10.4 for a bit of WW and have taken delivery of a CT Starboard Generation. I would NEVER take my Generation on a serious tour, it would be dinged and scratched in no time. The Explorer is a brilliant bit of kit (never been deflated in the 2 years + I have owned it ) as pointed out by you… Read more »

sc2071
sc2071
2 months ago

I’m only getting into crusing and day touring, however I think a lot of these points resonate. Definitely the nose shape being suitable for open water and durability of hard boards. Nothing makes me more hesitant to purchase a hard board than spending double the price of a premium iSUP for the finish to be unsuitable for rugged outdoor use.

Neil Beeson
Neil Beeson
2 months ago

Thanks for this guys, great format. I’m moving up from an all-round iSUP and would dearly love a composite touring board but the cost v durability is giving me cause for concern. As a land-locked northerner I mainly do rivers / canals and I feel composites wouldn’t last long with some of the portaging we do. Did your reader survey reveal the percentage of different disciplines of SUP (race, surf, touring, recreational)? I do think manufacturers focus more on the glamour side of the sport (race, surf) rather than the less glamourous but, I suspect, larger participation side of the… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
2 months ago
Reply to  Neil Beeson

Hey Neil thanks again. Yeah we are gathering our Survey data soon and of course we will looking into trends and what you are all getting into.
But we see the Touring, Family fun and surf being the big three!

Windsup1
Windsup1
2 months ago

Give me an O’Shea GTE isup any day over a composite touring board for all the reasons you mentioned in your discussion. Had one for several years now and used it for the Caledonian Canal a couple of years ago after watching Will’s videos. Excellent in every aspect and even coped with 15-20 knot cross winds on Loch Ness. Taking on the Thames next. Even if composite touring boards improve I wouldn’t ever change to one. Definitely a composite board for surfing though (Starboard Pocket Rocket).

Reuben Ellis
2 months ago
Reply to  Windsup1

Wicked. So glad you are happy with your board.
Good luck on your next Thames trip. Let us know how you get on.

Harry Newton
Harry Newton
2 months ago

Great video.
I would want to see more of longer touring boards.
As you’re adding so much weight to them that extra length will make a big difference to the speed. More speed = longer distances
12’6 is too short.

Reuben Ellis
2 months ago
Reply to  Harry Newton

This is so true Harry. And it really makes a difference in flatwater. But the longer boards can be harder to handle in the more open water rougher water conditions. A board you can change the length of is what you need!

TimBouvry
TimBouvry
2 months ago

Being paint as my daily business (paint manufacturer) I definitely believe we can do a better job on the paint to make it more durable. We have all these areas where we use coating that are low maintenance and highly durable. Think about the antifoiling we use on ships, the coating we use on our volvo oceanrace ships, even the clearcoat we use on our airplanes!! Having a better topcoat-clearcoat system, so when you have a scratch it is in the clearcoat and not in the pigmented coating, also these clearecoats have such an easy way on refurbishing by yourself… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
2 months ago
Reply to  TimBouvry

BRANDS READ THIS COMMENT ABOVE… Great comment Tim. You are so right. Over the past few years I have being doing up a classic wooden motor launch and the have been using a wide range of paints from 2 pacs epoxy, 2 pac high gloss varnishes to the more traditional paints. And having the right paint is key to keeping the wood in good condition. And understanding how to manage the paint over years is key to making gear last the best too. The environmental balance is hard but if it means equipment lasts longer than maybe this is the… Read more »

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
2 months ago

great discussion!!! being landlocked makes it so hard to go for a decent tour on the Sea, and it’s something i really want to do so much more of. i know in the WW sup world they did have some plastic boards, although you dont see them about much now. when we did our tour down the river Wye, you certainly wouldnt have taken a hard board on that, i dont think it would have made it past 10km with all the rocks and swallows, to do it on a sup with a hollow hull and your kit inside would… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
2 months ago

Hey Jonny, Super good points raised there. The spring loaded fin is a great idea.
Board width is a really personal thing but a Starboard at 27″ would paddle really well. The kick pad can help keep the gear on but generally it will be too far back to really help hollow gear. Deck shape and good bungees should do the job.
Thanks for the comment and thoughts.

Jenee
Jenee
1 month ago

I have recently picked up a few Ocean Kayak Nalu 12.5’s. These poly boards really do feel like a cross between a kayak and SUP but I feel they were designed by kayakers, not SUPers. They have a nice large front hatch, rear bungee area and clips to add a kayak seat, which are all lovely but there is no center carry handle and only a rope at the front, no carry handle at the rear either. There is also not fin as such either and they have moulded foot wells into the top of the board, which for me… Read more »

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Reuben Ellis
1 month ago
Reply to  Jenee

Thanks for the comment Jenee. Totally agree.

Marek Wypych
Marek Wypych
22 days ago

For me one important advantage of iSUPs over hard boards is storage and transport. Possibly it is quite obvious and I am not the only one, and, although I do not know the market, I would guess that this could be one of several reasons why brands put more attention into the iSUPs than into the hard boards. With my wife we’ve just finished a 6 days trip via beautiful river and several lakes on all around iSUPs (fortunately with lot of D-rings, meant for kayak seats, which we have used to mount our gear with additional bungees), and now… Read more »

Last edited 22 days ago by Marek Wypych

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