Stealth

The motivation for this board is simple. We wanted to make a board capable of setting a 24hr distance record in the right hands and this we shall attempt in due course. With this in mind, the board naturally has to be fast over flat water and possess excellent glide qualities for each stroke taken. It must not be unfeasibly unstable, because long distance paddling requires comfort and it is essential to conserve energy and enjoy the ride.

Stealth

Unlimited 17.6

Key Features

Pro Level
Stability
Agility
Speed
Size
  • 17'6" x 24" x 307L
  • 13.5kg​

The motivation for this board is simple. We wanted to make a board capable of setting a 24hr distance record in the right hands and this we shall attempt in due course. With this in mind, the board naturally has to be fast over flat water and possess excellent glide qualities for each stroke taken. It must not be unfeasibly unstable, because long distance paddling requires comfort and it is essential to conserve energy and enjoy the ride.
Taking what we have learned with our Vortex boards we have applied some of their design features to bring about the best outcome of design over a longer length. Our 14’ Vortex board shape has been highly competitive and has in the past set the World Record for distance paddled over 24hrs, winner of the infamous 5 days 11 Cities Race in Holland on multiple occasions across many divisions both male and female and is the most successful board shape and model of its kind.

From the first point of contact at the nose, we’ve opted for our now famous sturgeon nose which has a reversed bow, serving to throw the bow wave backwards, not forwards and in so doing, eliminating the tendency of the board having to climb up and over its own bow wave.

This approach is essential in lowering ever increasing resistance as the board accelerates. With a bow of this shape, power to the blade results in more speed and avoids creating a mini mountain of water to climb over at the bow. This can take some getting used to, but from the moment you begin to work with the nuances of the bow, your best indicator of trim, you will reap the benefits in having this feedback of information.

Through out the board length, the rails remain soft, which may seem counter-intuitive, however we wanted to build in some level of intuitiveness into the board so as it would naturally follow small bumps rather than resist them. Hard rails dumb a board down and keep give it excellent tracking, however with such a long water line length and steering mechanism, the need for hard rails are not so relevant.

From the nose, the underwater cross-section features a subtle rounded displacement which we have taken back as far we can without compromising stability. This rounded displacement, ensures limited drag and maximum efficiency through the water, coupled with the inherent sleekness which only attains its full width just forward of center. Under the standing area, the hull transitions to a flatter configuration and then into a single, subtle concave to keep the water moving, finally rounding out towards the pin tail exit point.

The lowered standing area, serves to lower the paddlers center of gravity, making for comfortable standing and paddling and whilst we could go narrower, we have to weigh up time and distance factors. This is not a board just for short trips, but indeed a board that will take you a long way over many hours in comfort if needs be.

On board, the glide of the board is sublime as if sliding on ball bearings. As you add in power to the stroke, the response is immediate and always surprising. Up the stroke rate and the response is the same, but in fact a board such as this is just as happy with a longer, slower stroke rate given its length, glide and speed over water.

Rudder System
Fabricated from carbon fiber, the steering system is tunable in being able to be set at varying distances according to finding the ‘sweet spot’ that works for you. The nature of the board, will tend to mean you will be standing over the tiller arm for most of the time.

Supplied with 2 differing tiller arms, you can opt to set up for ‘Goofy’ (right foot forward) or ‘Regular’ (left foot forward). It’s important to establish which foot you favor and you establish this for example by standing feet together and have someone push you from behind. The foot you step forward with, will determine your ‘footedness’. Right foot forward will tend to mean you’re a Goofy footer, left foot forward and you will a ‘Regular’ or ‘Natural’.

Using the Rudder System
There’s an art to using the rudder system, the key to which is to use it as little as possible. Its best function is in compensating for any cross-winds, whereby you can offset side forces so as you can switch paddling sides in comfort as against paddling on one side for long periods of time.

Only small relative rudder movements are needed to bring about significant directional changes. Keep in mind, when the rudder is turned this creates resistance and drag needed to create the turning moment, but it will also result in some speed loss. Use the rudder sparingly and only when you cannot achieve with the paddle effectively what you need to do with the rudder. You should never have to over steer by exerting excess force to the tiller arm; apply subtle movements and anticipate early any correctional shifts required.

Setting the system up is a simple process, but worth the time and effort in order to suit paddling styles and standing position on the board. The fin supplied is in the order of 4” and raked enough to avoid tangling in the weeds and ample for the job in hand. Set at 65cm (25.5”) from the tail, directional stability is maximized without compromising drag in having too big of a fin area.

Rather than use stainless steel wire, we have opted for a high strength polymer based line as used in sailing and kiteboarding. This line will of course will not rust, stretch or indeed present problems of broken, sharp strands and is easily replaceable, but should give many years of service without issue.

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17'6" x 24.3" x 363L

Stealth

17'6" x 24" x 307L

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