I met up with Joe Blair initially last October at Legoland in San Diego. Joe is a very animated guy and has decades of shaping experience with legends like Dick Brewer and Xanadu. Anytime I hear a shaper tell me how good their boards are I take it with a grain of salt. I finally ordered one and have to say that everything Joe claimed is true so far.
Rider: 34 yrs old; 6′ tall; 215 lbs
Rider Skill Level: Novice
Conditions: So far I’ve tested the Blair 9′11″ stand up paddle surfboard in all conditions; Light winds and fairly glassy to blazing 25 mph+ winds and choppy. I’ve had a range of sessions with waves that were knee high to double overhead. I rode it at Courts at Ala Moana and Puena Point North Shore.
Description: This board is a Blair stand up paddle board at 9′11″ x 29.5″ x 4 1/4″. It’s a quad with four fin boxes with fiberglass JB2 fins http://www.jblairsurf.com/#.
The board has wide hips and a pulled in nose and tail. The tail is a rounded pintail that Joe swears by. There’s a lot of nose rocker and a pointed nose.
I believe there is a single concave on the bottom starting toward the front and blending into a double concave toward the back. The rails are a little soft with a slight bevel.
The Blair stand up board is made out of EPS foam and Epoxy. It is extremely light at something like 18 lbs. It’s also not that thick so it’s easy to carry.
This board is light for its size. It’s definitely lighter than the 12′ Surftech Laird and around the same weight as the Jimmy 11′.
Pros: There are a few things that really stand out with this board. First off, it turns like a 9′ board. You can make sharp turns and I was able to come straight back up the face of the wave for the first time. Second, this board cuts through the whitewash better than anything I’ve ridden yet. I don’t feel as much of a jerk when hitting the whitewash and paddling out. Third, this board is very forgiving when dropping in. This is noticeable during late drops. The nose kick prevents pearling and the rail doesn’t dig in at the wrong time. This board is also very light and easy to carry.
Cons: At first I had a hard time paddling this board straight. It kept yawing left to right. After about 30 minutes I didn’t notice that anymore. I made the adjustments and the yawing went away. The paint job isn’t as pretty as the pop outs but I think that’s being improved.
Verdict: This board turns really well, is stable, light and super fun to ride. It turns like a shorter board and is very forgiving. I’m really liking this board. It’s a blast to ride.