The 12'6 race board division refuses to go away and what will hold it in place will be better by design solutions. Our 12'6 flat water Slipstream is a wonderfully slick board - low centre of gravity, low windage, low drag, it's quick and agile and has already won many a trophy and the record holding board of one of Britain's most hotly contested races, the River Dart Race and winner of the Battle of the Thames London. In the USA, Seychelle has won many a race on it.
Developing an ocean going 12'6 is however a very different consideration, first of all you have to assume rough water, shore break, catching bumps downwind and pushing up wind. In short what you want to do, is create a board that is intuitive, that does some of the thinking for you. It must work with water not against it and that actually means you must design the board, so as it can pitch and roll freely and the rider must move with it. Creating a 'stiff board' will dumb it down so as it fights against the movement of water. We therefore had to design a board that has a 'soft' interaction with the water on the one hand and 'punchy' when it needs to be, especially upwind.
STABILITY 3 SPEED 5 AGILTY 5
12'6 x 25.25" x 9' x 10.0kg
Designed by Steve West and Chris Diplock, creators of the highly successful Vortex and Equinox 14', the concept was created from a brief that ensured the board would not be complicated by adding in stand in areas, which on the face of it, can cause real headaches in surf conditions and downwind, as available deck space gets taken up with side walls and reboarding after a fall, needs to be as quick and easy as possible. The first prototype lacked volume in the nose and throughout. It was not 'rounded' enough, but performed 'OK' so we beefed everything up and rounded out the flat spots, to create a genuinely lovely board. Our thanks to Ryan James and Pete Holliday for testing and feedback.
- We've opted for keeping lots of volume upfront.
- A soft, rounded, displaced under belly nose section to keep displacement speed high.
- The high volume and slight shovel-nose, ensures nose diving is kept to a minimum.
- A long running wide single concave keeps water flow fast and even and limits getting bogged down.
- The ample wide 25.25" wide platform, makes you feel very much at ease in the standing area.
- Flat standing area with high grip diamond grip, 2mm thickness to limit water uptake.
- Bevelled edges makes for comfortable, secure wide foot placement if needed.
- At no point are the rails overly sharp, only within the standiing area are they marginally 'edged'.
- A gradual reduction in volume toward the tail ensures the rear rails can be engaged at speed.
- The overall feel is one that is light, nimble and highly responsive.
- It's fast to accelerate and naturally seeks out and runs with the bumps with ease.
Note the concaved centre line which runs throughout and rounded, full under belly and rails.
Comfortable paddling area, with no high sided rails taking up space, which also improves re-mounting.
Note the natural roll and pitch, which makes for a very intuitive natured board. It likes to follow the
waters natural pathway and this free movement, permits you to very easily control the boards direction of travel
through rail transition, steering strokes and weight shifting. On the flatter water it moves well with no fuss or drama and the moment
you drop the nose into small bumps going downwind, it locks in and wantingly follows with only small encouragment.
Upwind, into the bumps there is some soft-pitching of the nose, the marginal rocker line, minimising any
aggresive movement, thereby limiting any slowing of progress.