Like to go fast? Check. Like to go on long distance paddle adventures? Check. We review some of the top 2013 touring/race stand up paddle boards.
I think it’s easy for people to get the wrong idea about touring/race stand up paddle boards when they come into the shop to talk about paddle boards. It’s always the same story, “I’m just a beginner, I don’t need a board like that”. In fact, even a casual paddler could really enjoy a touring board. That casual paddler could end up falling in love with SUP and eventually give racing or long distance touring a try. The other major benefit to these displacement hull boards is speed. So if you like to go fast, you should absolutely consider a touring/race board for your next SUP purchase.
I’ve given several touring/race SUP boards a try and was blown away by the stability and smooth glide thru the water. Like most people, at first I assumed that they would be super unstable and difficult to paddle. I was wrong on both counts. In this article I will give you some basic information about what makes a touring/race SUP board different from other paddle boards and why one of these boards could be perfect for you.
Characteristics of a Touring or Race Board
- Displacement Hull. The first and most obvious characteristic of a touring or race board is going to the pointed nose which is referred to as a displacement hull. This will look similar to the shape of a boat and allows the board to slice thru the water for increased stability and speed. This is most desirable in flat water conditions but also allows the board to cut thru chop and give you a more powerful push with each paddle stroke.
- Narrow Profile. Most touring or race boards will be slightly more narrow than a traditional paddle board, this sleek design decreases drag and overall weight allowing the board to move faster and be more fluid in the water. Common widths in these types of boards are anywhere from 25″- 32″.
- Longer Length. Touring and race boards can range in length based on what they are built to do. A race trainer (shaped like a race board, but shorter) could start around 10’0″ long and actual race boards can go up to 18’0″ with the most common race sizes being 12’6″ or 14’0″.
- More Volume / Thicker Profile. Since touring and race boards are generally more narrow than traditional boards, they make up for that lost volume in their thickness. This is also the reason why these narrow boards still feel so stable.
Now that you understand a little bit more about touring and race boards, let get to the good part. Here are 5 touring and race boards that we love for the 2013 SUP season.
Bic Wing Ace-Tec
The perfect board for someone looking to get into longer distance paddles, fitness training or recreational racing is the brand new Bic Wing. This board is brand new for the 2013 paddle season and available in 2 lengths. The 11’0″ Bic Wing has a width of 29″ and can handle a rider just under 200 lbs. This size is great for someone looking to to some longer distance paddles, the rider that just likes to go fast or cross train. The 12’6 Bic Wing is great for racing or accommodates larger riders. The added volume in the 12’6″ can handle a paddler up to 280 lbs! For the paddle enthusiast looking for a versatile, fast and super fun board, this is a great place to start.
Flat water high performance at a pretty unbelievable price, the Naish Glide, 12’6″ is perfect for the fitness enthusiast or the customer looking to start recreational racing. At 30″ wide and almost 6″ thick, this board offers stability while the V-shaped nose slices thru the water for exceptional glide and speed. The 12’6 length is enough to get into elite race classes so for any entry-level race paddlers, this board will give you seriously high performance at a pretty amazing price. And added bonus – this model comes with an eco-friendly Naish board bag.
For the adventure paddler looking to do some long-distance exploring, Rogue’s top touring board is the 11’4 Drifter. Thanks to it’s slightly shorter length, this board is amazingly easy to maneuver and control yet fast and performance oriented with the displacement hull up front. With a 30″ width and 6″ thickness the Drifter rides smooth and fast while maintaining comfortable for a rider of any skill level. Plus, it includes tie downs at the nose that are perfect for strapping your PFD or gear for longer journeys.
Shaped for performance and with one goal in mind, winning races, the Rogue Psycho is built to compete with some of the toughest race boards in the industry. With it’s aggressive shape and slim 28″ width, the Psycho will slice through just about any water conditions with ease and propel you forward with every stroke. This amazingly lightweight board is tough as nails thanks to it’s top secret carbon construction and the recessed deck pad will lock your feet in for added stability. High quality race boards under $2000 are pretty much unheard of so we give this hidden gem two thumbs up!
Naish Javelin GX
Cutting straight to the point, the Naish Javelin is no joke. We are talking about balls of steel here. The Javelin 12’6 and 14′ are designed for fast, high performance in each race class. With a drop-nose displacement hull and rounded rails, these boards are made to glide seamlessly at high speeds, making the Javelin an ideal board for any race enthusiast. With a super slim profile, 28″ on the 12’6″ and 26″ on the 14’0″, the Javelin is sleek, fast and extremely stable thanks to the drop down deck pad and grippy inside rails. When you are ready to step up to the race plate, trust your friends at Naish to set you up on the perfect board.
Hopefully this article pointed out some key reasons why touring and race boards are perfect for so many different types of paddlers. Keep an eye out for any local demos coming up and get out on a displacement hull board and see for yourself! For more info on touring and race boards, stop by the shop and check one out in person.