Originally Posted by Jonathan
Did you read the review of the 12'6" SUP Board - summed up saying that none of the SUP boards are really very good with a sail. Absolute rubbish, the 12'6" is fantastic and contrary to what they said points very well upwind even with a wave fin because of the length of the waterline. I'm certain that they didn't even try it. There seems to be a smugness form Boards Mag that really leaves me cold.
Actually, I own a 12'6 Starboard (bought as a result of doing that test), and use it regularly in both windsurfing and SUP mode. I've been out on it in both styles this morning, in fact. There were other issues going on in that test write-up though, with regard to the windsurfing suitability of SUPs. The UK importers felt, and we agreed completely, that pushing SUPs for their windsurfing potential simply wasn't a wise plan for the UK market. Firstly, they wanted to see Starboard SUPs sell as quality boards in their own right, and not be seen in any way as glorified windsurfing boards (seeing as we have a strong surfing market to compete with here). Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, it is a tricky one for other reasons. SUPS are not built strongly enough to cope with regular whacks from the mast, which is what is very likely to happen if the board is used by beginners or intermediates for windsurfing. They had nightmare visions of a long stream of 'warranty' crushed decks coming in. And also, yes, if you're good enough to ease a board upwind on its waterline length, they do go upwind perfectly well. But we put early intermediates on one, in about half a knot of tide, and they simply couldn't cope. It is not an ideal board for upwind performance compared to other boards with daggerboards. So again, it's all comparative really. The bottom line we felt is that people should buy the 12'6 because it is a damn good SUP, and if they are a competent windsurfer and want to use it as such as well, then fine. But to actually promote its windsurfing capabilities at all will inevitably mean that some people will buy it primarily as a windsurfer. And then the problems will start.
As for the long board waveriding issue, our problem was actually the other way round. We have absolutely no issues with long board waveriding. It IS different to short board waveriding. What we were concerned about was the sudden plethora of pictures appearing showing people hitting big lips and getting huge jumps on long boards, at the same time as the "you can use these boards in the waves" message. Which simply wasn't right. Unfortunately I guess on both these issues we didn't really explain ourselves as well as we should have, since quite a few people have ended up getting the wrong end of the stick about what we were trying to say. Apologies for any confusion caused.