I first got a chance to ride the Surftech Takayama 10’7” stand up board in Maui at Pono Bill’s board test. I think we were among the first people to ride it in the world which was nice. The first day I only had about 20 minutes on it in knee high surf so I couldn’t tell if it was good or not. It paddled fine and I did notice that from the nose I could control it on the wave better than I thought.
The next day I got 2 sessions on it at Kanaha on Maui. The waves were head high and some sets a little bigger. It was glassy conditions with very little wind. The Kanaha wave is pretty slow but it still has some juice in it. I was blown away by the Takayama during that session. Although it’s a little tippy due to the 27.5” width the board surfed way better than I expected.
I didn’t have high expectations of it at first. That’s because at first glance it just looks like a big longboard. I’ve tried a few boards like that and they were not for me. They were ok boards but not my riding style. I thought the Takayama would be the same story. I was wrong.
I caught the first waves and got on the tail and the board came alive. I was able to s turn it and cut back better than I had been able to do on other boards in the 10’6” range. The next wave I got all the way up on the nose for the first really good SUP nose ride I’d ever had. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself at how much fun I was having. I had to catch a plane that afternoon and was tired from the previous day but I had to get in 2 sessions on the Takayama.
After that last session I was convinced. I had to have one. I called to place my order only to find out that there were none in stock and the container was already spoken for. Well, that was a couple months back and I finally got my hands on one. I tried the 10’3” at Rest Camp in Makaha side to compare but I liked the 10’7” better. I just liked the added volume and the 10’3” took a bit more effort for me to stand on. It surfed good although I preferred the stability of the 10’7”.
Now that I actually have one of these I’ve been riding it pretty often. This board turns on a dime and I’ve had my best nose rides on it. It has a really convenient and useful handle area in the middle. The area is cut out and there are even finger grooves in it. This is a very comfortable way to carry the board.
Surftech has a pad that runs the full board. You have to buy the front piece separately although it fits pretty seamlessly. My only gripe about this pad is that it’s slippery. That can be remedied by waxing it (which I do) although in the future this will need to be upgraded.
The board comes with a Surftech fin which is a good all around fin. I’ve been playing with an 8.5” cutaway middle and another 9” middle. The smaller fins feel more responsive. I’ve been using small fins in a thruster setup lately on another board and really like the performance and feel. The middle is in the 10” box so it can be moved forward or back to change the feel and performance. I ordered some True Ames fins to run as a thruster on the Takayama and will post the results once I try it out.