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Choosing a New SUP Race Board

In the last issue of The Catch, we talked about what new paddlers should consider when looking to buy their first board.  In this post I want to look at what more experienced paddlers, who are racers or serious fitness trainers, should consider when upgrading or buying a new board.  

Obviously for experienced paddlers, the importance of trying before you buy is huge.  Unlike less experienced paddlers, more experienced ones will likely have more opportunity to try different boards and will be more discerning in terms of what they are looking for.  Demoing boards at races or swapping boards with friends and training partners present opportunities to test out different boards, and even if you don’t get a chance to test out the exact board you’re interested in buying, trying a board that is similar should give you an idea of how well a particular board might work for you.  

In this post we’ll consider things to look for when trying different boards, and then take a look at a protocol for testing boards should you have an opportunity to do a bit more than just take one for a quick spin.  Some of the ideas I’ll share here come from my own experience testing boards before I wound up riding for Starboard, some come from my experience SUP training and racing, and some from my sprint canoe days as the same principles of paddling apply to both canoe and SUP.  

Stability is important 

If you can’t stand on the board you’re trying to paddle, you can’t paddle it fast or well enough to get a good aerobic workout.  Put another way, if you can’t string a couple of really good, fully loaded strokes together on flat water then the board you’re testing is too unstable for you. Go with something more stable, even if you think it is a slower board.  You’ll be faster on that “slower” board because being more stable than you will be on a tippy board that is supposed to be faster will allow you to paddle better.   And even if you can paddle with fully loaded strokes on a tippy board on flat water, there is no guarantee you’ll be able to handle that same board on the ocean. Know the water you’re planning to paddle your new board in.  Don’t get a tippy flat-water board if a lot of your paddling is going to be in bigger water.  

While it is true that you can develop better balance and become more stable on just about any board, it can take a huge commitment to do so.  You have to put the time in. This is especially true the older you are as our balance, unfortunately, deteriorates with age.  Be honest with yourself and about the time you have available to master a skinny, tippy board.  You’re looking at basically a 6-day-a-week commitment for an entire season or more.  Remember, it’s not just a case of being able to stand on the board.  It’s about taking quality strokes.  If you can’t string a couple of fully loaded strokes together on flat water when testing a board, it’s going to take some time and a lot of work just to learn how to do that well in the flats, let alone in rougher water.  In this instance I would strongly recommend you buy a slightly more stable board and use it for a few years until you develop better SUP balance, skills and technique.  Then you can try upgrading again to something less stable.  Remember, if you’ve taken care of your original board you’ll always get good resale value for it and not really lose that much as the resale market is quite strong, and you’ll have had a couple of seasons of far more productive paddling on it than on one that is too unstable for you.  

The most important thing to recognize when considering a board’s stability is that you need to feel fairly comfortable on a board to paddle really well.  If your board is too unstable to allow that, chances are you’ll be paddling poorly.  Nobody ever goes fast paddling poorly, and you risk locking in bad habits that will be hard to break in the future, and even risking injury when you do so.  You’re far better off spending your time on a slightly more stable board that you can find comfort on and, if you do choose to go with a “faster” less stable board I’d strongly recommend dividing your time between it and something more stable.  In this way you can at least paddle well in between sessions on the less stable board and continue to nurture good technique.  Gradually, if you’re willing to put the time in, you’ll feel comfortable enough to paddle well on the tippy board, and your technique will never have really suffered during that time.  

Board width

Generally, narrower boards are less stable than wider boards although there are some exceptions determined by board shape.  So, when we are considering board width we’re really talking about things we’ve already discussed regarding stability.  However, there are other issues to consider with regards to board width as well.  

While narrower boards are generally faster, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. As explained above, if you can’t stand on the narrower board it isn’t going to be faster.  However, there is also something called the “planing surface” that is associated with width that needs to be considered as well.  

In general, a wider board is going to have more wetted surface as well as a larger frontal profile, both of which increase its resistance to moving through the water in comparison to a narrower board.  However, to some degree this difference is reduced once the board is at speed and sitting higher in the water.  If the paddler riding the wider board is good at getting weight off the board and onto the paddle and gets the board moving fast enough, the wetted surface and frontal profile are both greatly reduced.   In fact, they can be reduced to the point where a wider board can actually have less resistance to forward movement through the water than a narrower board because, in effect, it is actually skittering across the surface of the water more than it is moving through it.  Watch Connor Baxter racing the 200m sprint at the 2019 ICF Worlds in China on his 22.5” All Star against a field of guys on narrower boards and you’ll see this.  At speed, his board is just skipping across the top of the water while the narrower boards are all sitting deeper and, in comparison, sort of plowing through it.  

Of course, a lot of this has to do with Connor’s technique and unique talent as a sprinter, but there is something to be said for the wider board’s tendency to, once on top of the water, stay on top of the water more between strokes than a narrower board.  This has to do with the “planing surface”.  The wider board has a wider, flat bottom surface that allows it, once up, to resist sinking back deeper into the water between strokes more than the narrower, flat bottom surface of the skinnier board.  

One of the benefits of a wider planing surface is that it allows a paddler to take a little more time between strokes and still keep their board on top of the water.  It needs to be made perfectly clear that we’re talking about two boards in which the wider one is only slightly wider than the narrower one.  Also to be clear, this does not mean that one can take a considerably longer period of time between strokes on the wider board, as even with a wider planing surface it will still sink back into the water fairly quickly.  However, for a paddler with just a slightly slower recovery each stroke, it should allow them to keep their board on top of the water a little more.  On a narrower board, this same paddler would find their board dropping back more into the water between strokes, requiring them to lift it back up again in the next stroke.  Maybe the narrower width and smaller frontal profile of the narrow board is still going to make it faster for a particular paddler than the slightly wider board.  Then again, maybe it won’t.  The take away here is that it is not always as simple as “narrow is faster”.  A lot depends on how you actually paddle on the board in question.  

Whether one can take advantage of this planing surface effect depends a lot on the paddler and their ability to get the board to top speed and sitting high in the water.  Those that cannot generate that type of speed on a wider board or who don’t get as much of their body weight off of the board and onto the paddle will likely fair better on the narrower board.  However, they’ll have to paddle with a slightly faster stroke with less air time to keep their board relatively high in the water and not plowing through it.  A stronger paddler who can get their slightly wider board up on top of the water fairly easily and who naturally has a slightly lower stroke rate might well fair better on the wider board.  This is one of the reasons that a 21” wide board, for example, is not always faster than a 22.5” wide board.  A lot of it has to do with how a paddler paddles it and whether they can take advantage of the wider planing surface.  It also might have something to do with other design features, like volume.   

A slightly wider planing surface is likely to be useful when downinding in that it should give you a bit more stability and allow you catch waves a little easier and perhaps stay on them a little longer.  However, that advantage can be negated by the increased width making it harder to get to waves than it would be on a narrower board.  There’s very likely to be a tradeoff that can really only be assessed by trying the boards in the conditions you want to use your new board in.  

The other thing you’ll need to consider when considering board width is the “gear” that you prefer to paddle in.  Paddling is not unlike cycling in that we have different gears that we can use depending on the circumstance.  In paddling, the gear is determined by the amount of water you gather and hold on your blade.  In general, like in cycling, the gear and cadence are inversely proportional, meaning the heavier the gear (more water held on your blade) the lower the cadence and the lighter the gear (less water held on your blade) the higher the cadence.  

In paddling, the application of power in the heavier gear is generally slower than it is in a lighter gear.  We simply aren’t strong enough to rip it and work against a heavy load of water on the blade at the same rate as we can against a lighter load. This can create a problem when those used to paddling in a heavier great are switching to a narrower board.  

Because the narrow board has less wetted surface and a lower frontal profile it accelerates much more easily and quickly when we begin our pull than a wider board.  This can throw off the timing of a paddler’s pull, making them feel like the board is already moving faster than they are used to pulling before they are actually ready to pull.  I’ve always found when switching to a narrower board that initially I feel like I am “behind” the board with my pull.  I feel like I can’t find the connection I’m looking for because the board so quickly begins moving faster than the rate at which I am prepared to work against the water in my pull.  I’ve found it sometimes takes a considerable period of adjustment when switching for the first time from, say, a 23” All Star to a 19.75” Sprint.  I can take me a few weeks before my nervous system adjusts to the new speed with which I need to work against the water to find effective connection on the narrower board.  Until that happens, I am underachieving and not taking full advantage of the edge the narrower board provides. My pull is too slow to make the board accelerate the way it is capable of and, in fact, I am often initially slower on the narrower board than I am on my wider board.  

If you are going to go narrower with your new board, be prepared for a period of adjustment in which you’ll need to learn to pull more dynamically.  Herein lies where the concept of gears comes in.  If you’re one that is not particularly quick working against the water anyway, and prefer a slower, “heavier”, pull against the water loaded on your blade, you’re going to have a real challenge adjusting to your new board if you go too narrow.  Because your new, narrower board will be so responsive to the paddle as it initially enters the water, you’re going to feel like the board is moving out from underneath you before you’re ready to pull and you’ll struggle to find water to pull against at the speed you’re used to pulling through the rest of the stroke.  This difficulty in finding connection is not only going to mean you’re slower than you should be, but it is going to affect your balance and your technique as a whole.  The only way to reacquire the connection that you’re used to finding on your wider board and to begin to maximize what the new, narrower board can offer you is to learn to pull faster, so that your pull against the water on your blade is a little faster than the speed at which the board is moving through the water.  Essentially, this means that you need to develop comfort paddling in an entirely different gear. 

The reality is that some people, who choose to go too narrow in one step, aren’t going to be able to make this adjustment in the time they are willing to spend paddling on their new board.  They’ll struggle to be able to take fully loaded, connected strokes and won’t be moving the board anywhere close to the way the board is designed to be moved. They’d be far better off being just a little more conservative in terms of board width and settling on something a little wider.   

Volume

One of the things to look out for when considering a narrow board is to make sure it floats you properly.  If you do your research you’ll see that most narrower boards have less volume. If you’re heavy, there’s going to be a point where a narrower board doesn’t have the volume to float you properly. When this happens, the board sits deeper in the water than it is designed to and it won’t perform as well as intended.  You’ll be doing a lot of work to get the board up out of the water and, like described above with regards to the planing surface, if the volume is too low it will sink back deeper into the water too quickly between strokes. 

You need to consider the volume of the board you’re looking at purchasing very carefully, especially if you are a heavier paddler. I’ve tested lots of different boards. When I choose a really narrow board, I make sure it has substantially more volume than the other boards I am comparing it against, including ones that are slightly wider.  I’ve noticed lower volume boards I’ve tested don’t float me as well and are harder for me to keep on top of the water as well, even if they are a little wider.  Often, they also feel less stable.  

In my experience, higher volume boards tend to sit on top of the water better and therefore maintain speed a bit more easily. They seem to perform considerably better in chop and downwind conditions where a buoyant board is important. Some of the lower volume boards I’ve tried, even those that are slightly on the wider side, end up underwater more in chop, particularly going upwind, and that makes the board a lot slower.  A “dry ride” is definitely faster than one in which the nose of your board always seems to be partially submerged. 

Some of the lower volume boards I’ve tried have seemed to work pretty well until I’ve become really tired and my stroke has become a little less dynamic.  Then I’ve started to notice them begin to sit too deep in the water.  They have all been less forgiving in this regard than the slightly higher volume boards I’ve tried, demanding I maintain a dynamic stroke at all times. I don’t care who you are, eventually you’ll get tired and your stroke will lose some of its zip. When that happened to me, the lower volume boards sank into the water, probably deeper than they were designed to, and that resulted in a dramatic loss of speed.  That loss of speed that comes with fatigue has always been much less pronounced on higher volume boards I have tested.

That said, if you’re a lighter paddler your need for volume is not as great.  You may even find a really chunky board a little too much to handle in certain windy conditions or to throw around turns in technical races.

The take home point is this: don’t forget to consider volume when you are choosing your board. At some point if you’re a heavier paddler, there is a balancing point between width and volume that you don’t want to cross. If you opt to go too narrow and the board doesn’t have sufficient volume to make up for it you’ll likely be in trouble and the narrow “rocket” you just bought might not be as fast for you as you’re hoping it will be.  Fortunately, a lot of board brands provide suggested paddler weight ranges for each board width.  These recommend ranges are based on both the width and volume and should help you determine the right width/volume board for you.  

Dugout vs. flat deck

One of the things you’ll need to consider is whether you want to go with a dugout or a flat-decked board.  Dugouts have become more and more popular to the point where if you want a Starboard race board, for example, you’re going to have to get a dugout.  It’s all they have in race boards now.  

In my opinion this is for good reason.  Dugouts see you standing much lower and closer to the surface of the water, meaning your center of mass is lower which instantly provides more stability.  All other things being equal, a dugout should be more stable than a flat-decked board.  Furthermore, the high side walls of the dugout create a lot more secondary stability, effectively providing the board with more width when it is leaned.  

If you’ve never tried a dugout before, try one before you buy one.  It may not be for you.  You won’t have quite as wide a standing area as you can’t hang your toes over the edge of the board, and you’ll want to make sure that the standing area is flat enough and large enough to allow you to move around comfortably.   You’ll also likely find yourself in the market for a new paddle if you opt for a dugout, as you can be standing more than an inch lower on a dugout than on a flat deck.  You’ll notice that inch in your paddle pretty quickly as it will suddenly feel too long.  On the other hand, everyone that I know that has tried a dugout has loved it.  There is a lot to be said for the extra stability it provides and that might even allow you to go to a narrower board and still feel comfortable enough to paddle properly.  If you go for a dugout, make sure it drains well as carrying a lot of water with you while you wait for the board to drain isn’t ideal.  

Board shape

There’s lots of different approaches that the various brands take with regards to shape and they often change from year to year.  You’ll see concave bottoms and rounded bottoms and hard (sharp) rails (edges) or soft (rounded) rails.  Rounded bottoms and softer rails tend to be a little less stable but allow for more maneuverability.  These shape characteristics all come down to preference.  If you’re an experienced paddler you’ll likely already know what you like and what you’re looking for.  If you’re less experienced, you’ll probably be okay with any shape.  You may just have to take a little more time to adapt to it.  

Where shape really becomes critical is when we consider “rocker” and “water line”.  Rocker is the degree to which the board’s bottom deviates from being flat, nose to tail.  A board with a lot of rocker sits a little deeper in the middle and higher at the nose and tail so that it resembles, not surprisingly, the rocker feet of a rocking chair.  A board with very little rocker, which is essentially flat from nose to tail, is said to have a “long water line”.  Boards with long water lines are generally less maneuverable and track straighter.  They are faster in flat water but they likely won’t be quite as easy to ride in downwind conditions as you’ll find the nose will dig a lot.  You can downwind on them but you have to work a lot harder moving up and down your board.   

So, in general, a board with more rocker is better suited for bigger water and a board with a longer water line is better suited for the flats.  With most of today’s boards you can cross over from flat to smaller downwind conditions or from downwind and chop to the flats and find the board still works pretty well.  You may have to work a little harder moving up and down the board if you’re using a flat-water board to downwind, and you may lose a little bit of an edge when paddling an all-round board in the flats against a flat-water board, but most boards work fairly well in a variety of moderate conditions.  

The key when purchasing is to have a really clear idea of how you are going to use your board.  If you’re going to be using it primarily in larger, mixed conditions, you’ll likely be best off getting a good all-round board.  If, on the other hand, you’re going to be doing most of your paddling in the flats or small chop then a flat-water board is likely the best purchase.  Understand that your new board, whatever it may be, won’t be the best in every possible condition but you should try, at least, to choose the board that is the best in the conditions that you paddle in the most.  

If you really can’t make up your mind and have the budget, get a flat-water board and an all-round board!  You’ll be able to paddle effectively in pretty much any conditions and have a ton of fun switching between them and figuring out the nuances of each.  

Try before you buy and, if possible, test

I’ve mentioned it already.  Trying a board before you buy it is really an advantage.  If you can, try the specific board you’re considering, assess your ability to handle it, and get an idea of whether the transition to it is realistic and likely to be successful in the time you have available to paddle it.  Even if you can’t try the specific board you’re considering, trying one that is similar to it is going to be helpful.  

Suppose you paddle a 24” wide board and you’ve been considering buying a 14 x 21.5” Starboard Sprint but can’t find one to test.  Someone offers you a chance to test a 14 x 21.5” board from another brand.  Is testing it worthwhile?  Absolutely.  

For starters, you might find that you really like it and it’s a good deal.  Why hold out for another board if that one checks all the boxes?  But even if that is not the case, trying a similarly narrow board should help you get a pretty good idea as to whether going that narrow with your next purchase is a good idea or not.  The reality is, if you can’t take some good strokes on a 21.5” wide board from one brand, you’ll be unlikely to on another.  Trying that board can give you the information you need to save yourself the heartache of going too narrow too fast and, if it steers you in the direction of something more moderate and appropriate like a 22.5” wide board then the test paddle you did was well worth the time.  

The more boards you can try and the more conditions you can try them in, the better and more informed a decision you’ll be able to make when it comes time to pull the trigger on a new board purchase.  

Develop a board testing protocol

Sometimes we’re lucky and we have the opportunity to not only test paddle a board but to test a few of them.  Wouldn’t it be cool if you could develop some kind of test protocol that would allow you to not only subjectively assess a new board’s fit, but also generate some quantitative data that could tell you objectively which board is best for you?  It’s possible. 

If you’re going to do some serious testing you will have already figured out what you’ll be using your new board for – flat water racing, racing in all types of conditions, paddling downwind or some serious fitness training.  You’ll know whether you are looking for something specialized or an all-round board that is good in a variety of conditions.  You should have, by this point, talked to other paddlers about the boards they are on.  You’ll have looked at catalogs from the various manufacturers and read reviews on the internet.  You’re about as well informed as you can possibly be without having actually tried the boards you’ve researched.  

The first step in the process is to narrow down the number of boards you’re going to consider to two or three.  Your decision may be based on what is available to test as much as anything else.  Your task is to try to get some objective information about which board performs best for you, rather than deciding based entirely on subjective impressions which can be deceiving.  

If you’re looking for a downwind or ocean-only board it’s pretty hard to come up with some type of totally objective test.  The problem with testing on the ocean is that conditions, even when they appear to be pretty consistent, are actually pretty random compared to flat water.  While in flat water you can pretty easily ensure conditions are the same from test to test with a high level of certainty, it’s almost impossible to do that in the ocean.  The ocean is always changing and you just can’t do your testing with the same degree of control as you can in the flats.  So, let’s look at appropriate protocols for testing to find the best flat-water or all-round board for you.  

The first thing to consider is the type of event you want to compete in on your new board. If it is a 200m sprint on flat water you’re going to want to come up with a totally different test than if you are racing a 13-mile race in mixed conditions like the Carolina Cup.  Since more people tend to race distance races of 5 km or more in mixed conditions (flats and ocean), let’s set up in this example a test protocol to find the ideal board for that type of race.  You can use your protocol to generate objective data about which board works best for you in the flats and then you’ll have to make some more subjective observations about which works best in the ocean.  

If you’re testing to see which board is going to work best for a distance race in the flats, testing a board’s max speed is of limited value.  While it’s nice to know which board is going to get you off the line the fastest or help you pull out a big finish, you’re really looking for the board that performs best at an aggressive traveling pace.  To get meaningful data for that, you’re going to have to test each board for distances longer than just a short sprint.  The problem is, ideally you want to run tests between two boards back to back to minimize the possibility of changing conditions affecting your data.  If you test over too great a distance, fatigue is going to become a factor, favoring the board you test first and penalizing the one you test second.  So, you have to keep the distance of each test under control.  When I was testing for a new board to replace the one I raced at the 2015 Carolina Cup, I decided that testing for 3 minutes at an aggressive 5 km pace made the most sense.  I knew that I could do a number of 3-minute pieces at that intensity without fatigue becoming a factor, and I knew that the pace I’d be testing at was relevant to the types of distances I going to race my new board over.  

After doing my initial research, I decided to test four different all-round boards would best meet my needs for a race like the Carolina Cup or a flat-water race like Chattajack.  They needed to be ridable for me in the ocean but fast in the flats.  My testing would narrow the four test boards down to the one that was best for me, the way I paddle and the conditions I paddle in.  Fortunately, I was coaching with the Canadian Canoe Team at the time and had access to a pretty advanced accelerometer/GPS we were using to test some of the athletes and crews with.  Obviously, this helped me more easily gather accurate and meaningful data as well as more obscure data like time and distance to peak velocity.  That said, I think that most current GPS devices can accurately provide velocity and stroke rate information and perhaps distance per stroke information, so testing for this data should be possible for most paddlers with a decent GPS device. I am certain I could have run the same tests without using the National Team’s device.  

Obviously, you’re interested in velocity when you’re trying to figure out which board is fastest.  In a race pace test I think distance per stroke is an important piece of information as well as it tells you how far you can make the board move when the blade is in the water and how well it glides between strokes. However, it is important to control stroke rate in this type of test to ensure that the intensity is the same from test to test and to make distance per stroke data a relevant comparison from test to test.   Since it is hard to control stroke rate, even when using a Speed Coach or a metronome, to the point where it is identical from test to test, I decided to normalize stroke rate for all my 3-minute race pace tests by calculating a velocity/stroke rate ratio for each test run.

After figuring out how I’d do my 3-minute race pace tests I decided I’d still test each board in a sprint, testing each for 30 seconds all out.  Though this all out top speed is not alone indicative of which board will be better in a distance race, it does provide interesting information as it is indicative of how a board might accelerate when required to in a race, which is obviously important.  I decided I could use this information as a tie-breaker if the results of the 3-minute race pace test were inconclusive.  Because I could, I decided that I would collect time and distance to peak speed data in the 30-second test as this could shed further light into the board’s ability to accelerate – useful off the start, when trying to catch up to someone, get on a wash in the draft train or catch a bump in the ocean.

Here is a protocol that I came up with:

Over a period of a week, I tested each board against each other and my old board and was able to rank my performance in the flats on each.  I made sure I got a good warm up on each and felt comfortable on each before each test.  Because sample size is important, I did multiple runs of each board head to head and made sure that if the first run was on board A in the first test, it was on board B in the second test.  Some of the results were really close, but because I had a sample size of 4 tests and the 30-second all out test results as well, I was able to clearly discern which board I performed best on in the flats.  I made sure to paddle each board in rougher water on Lake Ontario as well so I could cross reference the objective data from the flats with my subjective impressions of each in big water.   Fortunately, the board which performed best in the flats also performed well and was easy and comfortable to paddle in bigger water. 

Clearly, I was fortunate to have access to some technology that made the testing process easier and allowed me to feel confident in the accuracy of the data being generated, but I think anyone can get meaningful data from some sort of similar protocol with a GPS, or a stopwatch and a known distance, or a Speed Coach.  These devices are all readily available and many already have them.  You might just have to do a little more math than I did to properly interpret your data.

I strongly recommend that you test your boards systematically with some sort of similar protocol if you have that opportunity.  It is a fun process and really helps you have confidence in whatever board choice you end up making.  When developing your own test protocol, here are some things to consider:

  1. What boards are you testing?  Do some research and determine a maximum of three or four
    boards that you want to test.  You can’t test everything.
  1. Determine what questions you’re trying to answer.  Are you looking for the fastest board in a
    200m sprint or for a 5-mile race?  There is a big difference and you’re making an assumption
    that may not necessarily be true if you assume, without testing, that the board that’s faster in the
    sprint will be faster over distance.
  1. What variables are you going to control?  What exactly are you going to measure?  To me it
    makes sense to try to control stroke rate from board to board as you test.  You can measure
    time over a certain distance or distance travelled over a given time.  If you count strokes this
    can give you the data you need to determine distance per stroke.  You can determine velocity by calculating distance travelled in a given time or simply going to your GPS data to see if it can
    provide it for you (it may depend on the type/model of GPS you’re using)
  1. Where are you going to test?  You need flat water with constant current (preferably none) and
    pretty constant wind conditions (preferably none).  You’ll need a straight course for whatever distance you’re testing over, and you should endeavor to take the same line in each test.
  1. What is your schedule for testing?  You can’t test more than a couple of boards in a day without
    fatigue becoming a factor that will affect results.  You’ve got to test boards back-to-back on the
    same day to get a true comparison.   Comparing tests on different days can bring conditions
    into question.  Wind, current and water temperature will all affect board speed.  You can’t
    assume these conditions will be the same from one day to the next, but you can test by
    elimination. For example, if a is faster than b on day 1 and c is faster than a on day 2 then you can assume c is also faster than b, etc.
  1. The bigger the sample size, the more meaningful the results. For example, if you can run six tests for each board instead of just three you should have even more confidence in your results.
  1. Are you certain of your results?  When you narrow it down to what you think are the two
    fastest boards, test them against each other again to be sure. This is especially necessary if
    you’ve established the two fastest boards by elimination and haven’t tested them back-to-back
    on the same day.

There’s a lot to consider when buy a new board, and the more invested you are in the sport and the greater the demands you have for your board, the harder the decision of which board to buy can be.  Remember, there is really no such thing as “the fastest board”.  Someone has to paddle a board to make it move.  You’re looking for the board that is fastest for you. Hopefully the thoughts shared here will help you find that board, make the right choice and enjoy years of great paddling on it. 

Happy paddling!

 

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12ft 6in Darkroom Custom Racing Standup Paddleboard

one-1

one edge pro 2.0 hollow 14′ x 23.5”

all-star

2023 allstar wood carbon 14′ x 26”

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