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

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stand Up Paddleboard Reviews

Before I launch into my review of the Angulo 10-2 Perfect Wave stand up paddle board (SUP), a few essential points must be made, firstly about me. I am a 62 year old, life long surfer, having started at age 16 in Southern California. I am in excellent physical condition and work at it. I have owned and surfed all kinds of surfboards, and I have never advanced beyond the skill level of advanced intermediate recreational surfer. I am an amateur student of surfboard design and production and most things related to the sport of surfing.

Second, all surfboard/paddleboard reviews are personal and subjective and should be viewed with a skeptical eye. Not all reviews are without bias or an agenda. (In the interest of full disclosure it must be stated that I produce and maintain the Angulo SUP blog. Other than that, I have no other affiliation with the surfing industry.) No review can ever take the place of your own good judgment and needs. Needs are personal and change with time, therefore what you think of a paddleboard now, may change in six months based upon various conditions and facts (like you are a lot better at stand up paddle surfing after doing it for a year than you were when you started).

Finally, when considering the purchase of a SUP, Try Before You Buy! Most reputable dealers, and those who are in it for the long run, will have demo days, or boards you can try. Many sellers will take you out paddling. Getting your feet on the board, and paddling it in the water is always the best way to do your research on any individual board you are considering. After all, these things are expensive!

Angulo 10-2 Perfect Wave Stand Up Paddleboard
Ed Angulo is the shaper of the Angulo line of SUPs. Ed is literally world famous, and all the famous shapers know him and vice versa. He has designed all manner of watercraft including SUPs, surfboards, and wind surfing boards for over 40 years. He has been in business on Maui for most his life. His family is involved in the surfing world as well. Son Josh is a world champion wind surfer and Mark is a well known and respected surfer and shaper on Maui. Ed knows his stuff, and you won't get a bad design or board from Ed Angulo....i.e. you can trust him.

To date, Ed has designed two lines of SUPs. His first line came out in late 2007 and became the 2008 model year SUPs. The full line of these composite production boards is sold. They are available only as used models, where ever and if you can find them. His second and more progressive line hit the market in 2008. Ed has steadily made design improvements which have been well received by "Angulophytes" the world over. Ed is always in full design mode and has pre-production models in various stages of refinement in his Hawaii shop. Currently his 2009/2010 line includes a 9-8 high performance model, and a 10' noserider model. These boards are not yet available, but will be available later this year. For more information on the Angulo line of stand up paddleboards, check out the Angulo blog periodically.

The Angulo 10-2 Perfect Wave is the current Angulo full performance model. It is designed primarily to surf waves of almost any size that a recreational SUP surfer might find. The design is a big leap forward over it's nearest last ancestor, the Angulo 10-4 Olohe. Some differences include:
  • Two inches shorter
  • Pulled in nose
  • Overall faster shape
  • Double wing pin tail
  • Increased tail and nose rocker
  • More radical double concave bottom, blended to vee out the tail
  • Dropped rails
  • Shockingly bright orange paint job (you'll never lose this board!)
Paddle-ability vs. Surf-ability
The holy grail in board design for a stand up paddle board built primarily to surf is that it would be a loose, high performance carving platform that would be stable and easy to paddle in all but the roughest sea conditions. (It just isn't that much fun to have a SUP that surfs like a shortboard, but is so difficult to stand on that you wear yourself out in a short time just balancing on it, and then climbing back on it over and over again. ) To date, no board I have ridden, and no board currently on the market meets the holy grail criteria for the average SUP surfer. But with the increased interest in the surfing community in stand up paddle surfing, there is no doubt that the march towards the holy grail is in full effect, and we are getting closer.

As a progressive shaper, Ed is fully aware of all the nuances and needs in SUP surfing. But he is also a pragmatist, having learned from many years of making a living in the surfboard industry. Because SUP is new, Ed did not want to design and create a SUP that was so advanced no one could ride it. That is one of his primary criteria. He wants to lead and grow with the community/industry, developing products that meet the needs of the end user. I believe he has done this with his stand up paddleboards. He will continue to innovate with the growth of the sport. Ed doesn't share with me all his thoughts and secrets, but his prototype 2009/2010 models incorporate advanced design elements like concave decks for lowered center of gravity thus enhancing stability, advanced rail design that maintains flotation but allows for loose carving and ease of maneuverability, and even more radical bottom designs that are fast, yet stable.

Greatest Strengths of the 10-2 Angulo Perfect Wave - Stability and Speed
While the 10-2 is only slightly less stable than it's 10-4 parent, the increase in speed (and maneuverability) is almost night and day. The primary difficulty in surfing the 10-2 is usually slowing it down. Fortunately, due to enough rocker, directional changes, while not considered radically loose and flexible, can be accomplished enough in order to meet the demands of good surfing.

The 10-2 is truly an "all around" (AA) surfing SUP, in that the board will surf all kinds of waves, in almost all sizes very well. I have surfed the 10-2 in double overhead big swell, as well as dinky, ankle slapping weak wind swell. The board handles late and steep takeoffs quite well, and gets up to speed very quickly. Conversely, it is a fun and stable paddler, one that you could use for coastal or lake cruises, or even the occasional short to medium distance races. (That said, I wouldn't recommend the 10-2 for a person who primarily wants to paddle and not surf. I would point those persons to the Angulo 10-10 or 11-11.)

At 24 pounds the 10-2 is of an average to lighter weight for a composite construction board. The 2008 line is manufactured by Cobra, the same business that produces the Surftech boards. The 10-2 is four (4) pounds lighter than the 10-4, and for a person who only weights 150 pounds (that would be me) this is a lot of weight savings.

While I would not call the 10-2 a full performance SUP from the surfboard world perspective (and there are other SUPs out there that are more maneuverable) much can be done to loosen up the board with fins. The 10-2 is made with two Future Fins fin slots, and a standard longboard center fin box. The selection and use of fins is highly personal but I have found that as a general rule, my 10-2 is much more maneuverable and I can "throw it around" much more easily using a thruster type fin set-up. I can also use a 2+1 set-up which provides additional drive and stability for surfing larger waves.

But the bottom line on maneuverability is that the 10-2 is a bit stiffer than loose, more solid than squirrelly and a good choice for the SUP surfer who is just starting or up to the beginning advanced stages of his/her SUP surfing journey. However, if your personal preference is not oriented towards modern era "shortboard-like" performance, the 10-2 will provide the thrills and satisfaction you are seeking in a performance SUP.

Durability
The earlier line of Angulo SUPs was manufactured in China. I owned the 10-4 and in my opinion it was bombproof. That was one tough stand up paddleboard. Paint chipping comes with the territory with this type of construction, and I did have some chipping which I was able to fix quite easily with Surftech touch up paint (white). The only crack in the composite construction I received was from a hellacious crash (my fault) with another Angulo SUP (11-9) which sustained no damage whatsoever.

I'm not as happy with the Cobra product primarily because along with the requisite paint chips (which come from my poor paddling techniques and off balance rail whacks) I have received several very small, non-leaking cracks in the pvc sheet wrap. They are more a nuisance than anything else, but it causes me to think that the build is slightly less durable than the 2008 line of Chinese built production boards.

Also, Angulo does not currently provide touch up paints for any of it's SUPs, something I wish they would do. But, the alternative is to take your board in (kind of a hassle) to Home Depot or another outfit that sells paint, and have the color you need matched with their scanning software.

Summary
In this world you get what you pay for...if you're lucky. The Angulo product is well designed, and well built. Angulo SUPs will be around for a while, and they are constantly evolving to meet the needs and demands of the growing SUP paddling and SUP surfing community. I personally am very satisfied with my Angulo boards. They do what they say they'll do, and have provided me with hours and hours of ocean going paddling and surfing recreation, and physical fitness workouts that are inspiring and (most importantly) fun!

For more info on Angulo boards, or to demo any of the Angulo boards in the current model line-up, contact Andy at Santa Cruz Boardworks...831-419-1091 or email him at scboardsports@aol.com

Postscript
I couldn't wait for the 2010 noserider production model. In February, I will receive an Angulo AVBT - EPS/epoxy 10' noserider. I'm also first on the list to receive the new 9-8 high performance production SUP this summer.

9 comments:

  1. This is the best review of a SUP that I have read to date. Forthright and honest, it's devoid of the usual overheated prose that's become so common and makes one so suspicious of the writer. Way to go! Keep it up!

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  2. Thanks ef, that is exactly what I was trying to do.

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  3. Having jumped on the board today (a huge departure from my 11-6 hollow wood Waveyarder) I'd say the review is spot-on. Thanks for letting me take it for a test drive Gary!

    AG

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  4. I see you are 150 lbs. Is this going to work for a 210 lbs guy with some experience? I have tried and really like my wife's older Angulo 10-6 glass version (swallow tail single fin). Is there currently a board similar to the 10'6"?

    Dave

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  5. Hi Dave,

    To answer your first question...No, there is not currently a production model board that meets your description of the 10-6 custom you already own. Check out the Angulo blog to see the three production models that are available at this time.

    Second...Dave C. (who's profile is on the Angulo blog) is about 6'5" and weighs in the neighborhood of 200 pounds. He rides, and very much likes, the 10-2.

    Personally I think that the current models of Angulo production boards do not meet the "performance board" needs for guys like me who weigh less than about 165-170 pounds. (A caveat here...at 62 years old, and even in pretty good shape, I am no match for a 160 pound 32 year old athlete. A stronger, light guy could put more vertical moves into play than I. But we're talking "regular" recreational surfer here.) I do think the 10-2 is an excellent choice for bigger guys like yourself who want a performance board they can move around on the wave. A bigger, stronger person is needed to really make the 10-2 move.

    I think the 10-2 would be a great board for you to consider. But find one to try first, and try to surf it in some decent waves to see what you think. Depending upon what you're used to, it might be a bit tippy to paddle at first, but you would get used to that fast. There is plenty of stability built into the design. If you feel comfortable paddling the board, I'm sure you will be able to surf it really well. Any issues that would come up re: surfability, could I am sure be solved with the right fin combination. It's just a good solid design that will serve you well.

    About the importance of fins...I surf my 10-2 with a thruster set-up, running 4.5" sides and a 4.7" center. I run the center fin pretty far forward in the box because it really makes the board looser. I've never had a problem with tail sliding in small to head high waves, and I surf some fairly steep Norcal waves. My friend Art who weighs in the 190-205 range tried my board in small waves the other day and complained about tail slide. Perhaps a heavier rider would need to move the center fin back a bit, or maybe he just had too much weight forward in critical sections. I don't know, but I do know that a different fin placement or fin configuration would eliminate the tail slide for Art. Food for thought.

    If you're in the Norcal area give me a shout and we can set something up. If not, give Andy a call and he'll try and put something together for you. If you're in Hawaii Ed has some boards that you could paddle surf.

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  6. Mahalo for all the info!

    I'm on Oahu and 6'4" about 200-210 lbs (similar to Dave C). I'm curious about the 10-2, but didn't know about the stability, material (stiffness), and tail design since they are all different. I'll have to give it a try.

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  7. Is Andy going to have any boards at the Paddle Surf Santa Cruz race?

    http://www.paddlesurfsantacruz.com

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  8. Hi Anon,

    He hasn't said anything to me about it, but then I haven't talked to him in a while as he is skiing in Colorado or somewhere. (Some guys know how to live...no surf? Ski!)

    I'll check with him when he gets back and post a comment here with the info. Send him an email and let him know, he'd probably love to have some boards there.

    Thanks for the heads-up!

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  9. Finaly! Exactly what i was looking for... thank you at Visit: best rated stand up paddle boards

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