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

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Shaka Continues to Amaze

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.

I continue to be completely impressed and stoked with the Angulo Shaka. The board paddles so well into a head wind and chop and with such stability it's just amazing. The bow just crushes the oncoming wind chop and waves, and you can push it through the waves with your legs as you pull it through with your paddle. Even in rolling back wash that puts a nasty cross hatch across the sea surface the Shaka maintains its stability. The result is that the paddler can continue to dig in and paddle steady and hard, without having to worry about balancing while keeping up a rhythmic pace that maintains board speed. Analyzing the data on Sports Tracker shows that I was able to paddle at an average speed of 3.6 mph into a brisk head wind. The wind increased during mile three and the sea surface became rougher than miles one and two but I was still able to keep up my pace.

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.

2 comments:

  1. That fact that you are saying you don't need your 12'6" Bark (one of the best flatwater/race boards out there) says a LOT about the Shaka's superb versatility.

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  2. Couldn't agree with you more Jeff.

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