G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Friday, November 23, 2007

SUP Quiver?

I thought I would try and start a conversation re SUP design and whether or not SUPing was getting so sophisticated and advanced as to need more than one in one's possession, i.e. a quiver.

Just about everyone I know who is an avid surfer has more than one the very least a longboard and a shortboard. These two types of wave craft both surf waves but in a different way thus adding to the enjoyment of the sport. Why should it be different with SUPs?

The Quiver
As a beginning SUP practitioner I initially invested in one SUP, one paddle, and one leash, thinking that this would serve all my SUPing needs. As I have progressed in the practice I realize that as in lay down surfboard surfing, one size (surfboard) does not fit all conditions. In SUPing one could easily have a SUP for surfing, a SUP for distance paddling and cruising, a SUP for racing, and a SUP somewhere in between. The "in between" model would be the closest one could come to "one size fits all" but it could have serious shortcomings when compared to a SUP built and ridden for a specific purpose.

On this blog we have a pretty good discussion going re fins on SUPs. Over at Pono House, Bill is making plans for a multi-SUP comparison test and study to be accomplished in Maui. I hope he does his testing and review with the "one size fits all" notion in mind, and gives us his results and opinions.

My SUP History
My first SUP is an 10'4" Angulo Ohole. At $1700 for the board and $300 for the Kialoa Kole paddle it was a considerable investment and at least one of the big reasons why most SUPers at this stage are older men (that is to say, not kids) who are well off enough to afford gaining entry into this new way of enjoying the ocean and the surf. I wanted a board I could handle in everyday conditons, paddle for exercise and surf (which was a primary requirement). At 150 pounds the 10'4" Angulo fit just right. Although the 10'8" is meant for both surfing and paddling, and the 11''9" for paddling and some surfing, the 10'4" is for mostly surfing. Another reason I bought Angulo is that it was a "bird in the hand". It was the only SUP brand I could find that was available to demo, and it was in stock. I could have it now! And that's what I did...paddled it, surfed it, got hooked, bought it.

Now that I've surfed it pretty extensively for a little over two months, I know some of it's limitations as I perceive them and I wonder how other boards like it (SUPs meant for surfing) perform based on their design and fin set-up.

SUPs Meant For Surfing
So I'd like to start the discussion with SUPs meant for surfing. I've posted four pics here that I downloaded from the Becker Surfboards website. The primary reason I downloaded these four boards is the photo perspective...the plan shape and the rocker are clearly distinguishable. These boards also give us a general frame of reference but all designs and brands are welcome. I'm not pimping any particular shaper or manufacturer.

What do you think are the primary design elements that make for a good surfing SUP? What are the trade-offs? Are those trade-offs inevitable? Is there a "one-size-fits-all" SUP?

I'd be interested in talking about anything on topic that you've got to offer. Thanks.

SUP Dimensions - Top (Board #1) to Bottom (Board #4)
Board #1 - Laird 12’1" Standup Paddle Board
Price : $1660.00
Length: 12’1" 368.30 cm
nose: 21.00" 53.34 cm
mid: 31.00" 78.74 cm
tail: 19.25" 48.90 cm
thick: 4.13" 10.49 cm

Board #2 -
Ron House 10' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1550.00
H: 10’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly

Board #3 -
Ron House 11' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1620.00
H: 11’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly

Board #4 -
Ron House 12' Stand Up Paddle Board
Price : $1685.00
H: 12’
W: From 28-29”
T: 4 ¼”
*Exact dimensions may vary slightly


  1. I want a SUP that surfs like a shortboard, meaning it needs to be fast and come alive with excitement on a wave.

    The JL 10 has some of that feel, but is too wobbly at my weight. But it did give me a taste of what is possible.

    The Angulo is fairly tame, but the size suits me well.

    I plan to check out Blane Chambers new production board sizes when available. I've heard from good sources, his shapes surf like shortboards. Some prefer a SUP with a longboard feel. Kyle Bernhardt's SUP is said be really good in this class of SUP.

    I will avoid SUPs without nose scoop. Living on the east coast, I need nose scoop. The Angulo needs more. JL got it right on the 10. He got it wrong on the 11'

  2. NC
    Please want a SUP that surfs like a shortboard, but prefer a SUP with a longboard feel. Does that mean you want it loose for surfing and stable for paddling? Do you think those two elements are compatible? Re the boards you mentioned, what are the fundamental plan shapes that differentiate one from another? How do you think those shapes affect performance? Thanks for joining in, good comments.

  3. I don't want a longboard feel. Sorry for the confusion.

    I hope we can have a shortboard feel in a SUP, while being somewhat stable.

    To me, the JL 10 feels like a shortboard. It screams down a wave and feels loose. Just need a little less wobble standing still.

    This Spring I think getting a Blane Chambers pop out will be possible.

    I hope there are other brands offering similar boards too. We'll know more in Jan when all is revealed at Surf Expo

  4. Hey All,
    This piece written by Scott Bass is very informative and interesting re this topic. I've sent an email to Scott inquiring about follow-up to the article or further references. I'll post anything I get back from him.

  5. You know I wrote this huge response for you about how I felt about quivers and I think I blew it when I went to submit it. Bummer. It was good too.

    Short Version:

    I'm getting a new Stamps (details to come- but it's going to be HOT) just for bigger days. And I won't ever get rid of the Green Mahi for everything else.

    So yes, I think we need sub quivers. I will sell my 12' SOS Big Red- if I kept it, I'd never use it then I'd just have a collection and not really a quiver.

    My regular surfboard quiver will shrink to one shortboard and one 9'6" Stamps LB.

    Actually, my regular surfboards are crying in neglect. I don't feel sorry for them.

  6. John
    A new SUP for bigger days? Does that mean it will double as a distance/day adventurer and you can ride it in the big surf like the pics you posted of your overhead surf the other day? I'm assuming it will be "bigger" overall than the Green Mahi. Dims for your new "gun" please.

    So it's looking like your answer to the questions is "Yes." And your solution would be a SUP for small surf days and a SUP for big surf days. SUPing revolving around surfing. What about distance

    Re more SUP design info there is a nice summary by Blane Chambers on the Stand Up Zone forum in the Shape Shack section that I think both of you guys (John and Linter) have read. But for those who haven't read it, it's very good. Blane also has a couple good threads on Swaylocks.

    Re your original "lost" answer that evaporated in cyberspace...When that happens to me I usually have a big boy tantrum complete with stream of consciousness cursing and rolling around on the ground as if possessed. Here's how I've fixed it...I copy the comment prior to submitting it. If something screws up I can paste it right back in. Works every time so far...if I remember to do it that is.

  7. From the Stand Up Zone Forum:

    "I think the ideal board quiver includes both a custom board for those dream days (designed with your size and preferred conditions in mind) and a production board that performs well in the conditions that you typically ride (in other words a great all around board."

    "That is exactly my thought of ideal 2 board quiver. I'll soon have a SOS Big Green as allrounder, and a 9'2 or 9'4 custom for those days we long for. Just have to decide on who's gonna make the custom..."

    "I want my board to feel as much like a shortboard as it can. I want to be able to trim as much as possible with front foot pressure from the tail/mid back and eliminate steps. Nothing against walking and nose riding (I too could eat Doritos and watch Joel Tudor videos all day). So, larger fins hold the tail down, which is the opposite of what I am after. Both Future and FCS offer fin sets that have trailer fins that are near or over 5 inches, so if you buy a big boy set, and a grom set, you can go super twin or a classic side bite/ larger trailer setup by mixing them up."

    "Stability, glide, and performance, are absolutely possible on much smaller boards. I am currently riding a 9', and awaiting the arrival of my new 8'6". If you are looking for a fun board in the surf, I think sub 10 will do, provided you have the right shape. If you are thinking of racing and/or touring then a longer waterline will be the way to go."

    Food for

  8. Ive just gone from a JL11 to a JL10 and am stoked, it surfs just like a short board and catches heaps more waves.I left the JL11 at home so I couldnt give up and go back,I'm so glad I persevered.I'm 50yrs 5'9" and 176lbs so anyone can do it. After 3 surfs and 3 lake sessions I rarely fall.The other good thing is you can dig the paddle into the wave and flick out almost pivoting the board 180 degrees and just paddle back out a definite no no for the JL11.Anyone thinking of downsizing just give it a go.
    Cheers from Australia

  9. Snappy
    That's a lot of maneuverability for only one foot in length. Are the basic shapes the same? How wide are the two boards? How about tail shape?

    It's very cool that you're getting the feel and shortboard surf you want from the JL 10'. I'd love to hear more.