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

Monday, November 21, 2011

SIMSUP 3 - First Paddle & Surf

SIMSUP #3, the third in the series of high performance SUP surfboards is by far the most radical of what is already a radical concept and design in stand up paddleboards. The SIMSUP series tends to bend the term "paddleboard" into a form that may not look quite "right," but when surfed transforms the mind vis a vis SUP surfboards.

The Original SIMSUP was a collaboration between L41 Surfboards Kirk McGinty and myself. The idea was to design and build a fast and maneuverable SUP surfboard that was also stable. The Original SIMSUP succeeded beyond our expectations. Each successive SIMSUP has been tweaked with performance enhancements in mind. SIMSUP 2 surfed better than #1, and was a bit less stable. SIMSUP 3 surfs better than #1 & 2 and is a bit less stable than 2. Any competent SUP surfer who has their 9'+ SUP chops down can ride SIMSUP 1 and be blown away by how the equipment will radicalized their surfing. The ability level must increase to take on SIMSUPs 2 & 3. But the awesomeness of what can be done on the advanced SIMSUP designs will never the less alter the surfers consciousness forever. At least this is what happened to me. Frankly, I'm as surprised as anyone that the SIMSUP series works as well as it does. But I am genuinely stoked and looking forward to many fun sessions in the future.

SIMSUP 3 (Simmy 3) first impressions:
  • Definitely tippier, I'm guessing due to a little less volume overall, especially in the rails. Perhaps it's light weight contributes in that the ocean can throw it around a bit easier. Anyway...I'll get used to it but it does require more energy to balance at rest, paddling through breaking waves, etc.
  • Surfs better than SimSups 1 & 2. Performance is impressive. For the stability it loses paddling, it gains it all back surfing. It's fast, sticks really well on top to bottom transitions in steep waves, does directional changes (180 turnbacks) like it's on a hinge (absolutely amazing) and handles foam better than any SUP I've ever ridden. I was able to ride a couple bigger waves from takeoff in front of the cave almost to the beach below that staircase at In-Betweens....a real Energizer Bunny, it just keeps going and going.
  • Waxed deck. I like it because it has the feel of a traditional surfboard, I feel more rooted to the board and connected to the waves. No slipping issues re paddling or surfing. I don't like it cuz it's kinda messy like wax can be. When I got out I had wax all over my paddle blade and handle...not bad really, but I had to wipe if off. (Maybe a less anally retentive person wouldn't be as perplexed.)
  • Weight. At 15.2 pounds, a real seems to paddle faster and it has to contribute to how easily it responds in the waves. A game changer and a great option to "weigh" for future boards. Kudos to the boyz at the Stretch factory who did the glassing and the vacuum bagging. (Glassing sched: 6+6oz. deck, plus deck patch) and 4+6oz. bottom.)
Video: Length 3:25 (no surfing shots)

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