Thursday August 23, 2012 - New Brighton to Sewer Peak Channel RT (low route out, high route back). Sports Tracker link. New Brighton, to the channel at Sewers, up and out and back to NB via Sponge Bob. First 3 miles into an 8-9 mph headwind, then downwind in 6-7 mph tailwind. No surf from NB to 2nd Peak. Only 1st and SP had any waves at all. One lone surf school class out at 1st Pk. Sun off NB and Cap, overcast up at the Point. Really good day for a paddle.
Granted, all this is measured by me and I'm not what you would call a fast paddler. But that is really irrelevant because I am measuring against myself and the clock and the board. The point here is that compared against a flat water board design like my 12-6 Bark Competitor the Shaka not only holds it own, but exceeds the performance I could expect from the Bark in ALL conditions. The Bark should be expected to excel in flat water padding, but again, the Shaka holds it's own. Where the Shaka excels (going downwind) there is no comparison.
This is proven out in the final 3.5 miles of the run where I averaged 4.55 mph. It should be noted that the wind dropped off a bit and the wind swell was minuscule. I was amazed with the glides I was getting in the almost non-existent swells. This was proved out factually by the tracking app. It just doesn't take much swell or wind to push the Shaka downwind at a very acceptable speed.
Initially I purchased the Shaka for downwinders. But the versatility of this board makes it an solid value. I was originally going to keep my Bark but now there's really no need to. The Shaka is all the board I need for everything I do SUP, except surfing.