Thoughts on Downwind SUP Stand Up Boards


I think that a quiver of downwind boards is going to be preferable…at least for me and my lack of endurance and paddling skills. I just finished the Coast Guard race this morning which was basically just paddling. There was no wind except for maybe 2 gusts I felt but still under 10 mph. I caught a couple good runners but that was about it for me.

Anyway, here’s my thoughts and opinion after spending the past few months doing downwinders. Obviously, in a few months I am still a beginner although I am getting a good feel for what works for me and what doesn’t. These are my personal opinions and should be taken with a grain of salt. If you are an experienced paddler, feel free to chime in with some comments.

Here’s what I’m thinking…a quiver of 2 distance boards. The first one will be somewhere between 14′ – 16′ and will be for runs where the waves are above waist high. This can be for larger swell days or rougher seas. It will have more rocker so I don’t pearl dive and will probably be more of a planing type hull so I can ride the waves. This board will need to be more stable as it will be harder to balance in rougher seas. This is basically what I have now in the Vortice XP and F-15 custom.

The second board will be designed for flatter conditions with waves waist high or lower. Wind at my back will be a good help but what I really want is more glide. I’m hoping that this can still be fairly stable as I don’t want to spend a lot of energy just trying to stay dry although it won’t need to be as stable as the first board. I’m thinking that this will be closer to a displacement hull and will have lots and lots of glide. I’m just thinking out loud so far but this board will hopefully catch very small waves with ease and stay on them. If you’ve tried something like this, leave a comment and share what your experience is.

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5 Responses to “Thoughts on Downwind SUP Stand Up Boards”

  1. Evan Leong 1evan

    I was tossing frisbees at the park today with my son and could not stop thinking about the similarities in design between the frisbees and stand up racing boards. What I mean is the difference between the Aerobie and a regular frisbee is night and day. The Aerobie is a flat ring and regular frisbee is like a plate. The Aerobie flies so much farther and with less effort than the frisbee. The difference is the design. So that brings me to my point. When are we going to see the drastically different designs that allow us to glide with more ease than we can imagine? I can’t wait for that to come…

  2. suplicious 2suplicious

    I’m sorry, but I didn’t know exactly where to post this question, which is totally unrelated to this particular post. I’m a female and I just recently purchased a SUP board. I bought is mainly to cruise, which I do at Kailua Beach, Ala Moana Beach, and sometimes in the canal near my home. Do you know of a group of SUPers that get together and just cruise on their boards at different spots. I’d like to do this, but I’m hesitant about doing this by myself for the safety factor.

  3. DW 3DW

    I hope as more boards come to market we get some good all around models that come closer to doing everything with one board.

    I’m hopeful the production Bark from Surftech, or Foote’s board he built for Rand could fill that need. Both look promising.

  4. Evan Leong 4evan

    suplicious – Congrats on your new board. What did you get? I’m sure there are groups of people that get together but I’m not sure or any formal ones. If you’re at Ala Moana you should be pretty safe. Just watch out for swimmers and other people and you should see a lot of SUP’s in the water. Another good resource if you’re looking for community is Rand’s forum at

    DW – I’m hoping the same thing. I’m not sure an all in one will be the best option but we’ll see. I still think that one for flat water and one for waves will be more preferable.

  5. suplicious 5suplicious

    Thanks for the reply. I have the Tropical Blends Beach Boy. I’d like to SUP cruise at Waikiki or Moanalua Bay but I don’t know the water there too well, so I figure if there are some people that go out there I could tag along sometime.

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