When should I consider a hard board over an inflatable?
If seeking top end on-water performance, then regardless of the hype, a laminated hard board will outperform an inflatable every time as long as it is fit for purpose.
Can I travel with a hard board?
In reality, it is best to avoid travelling by air with your board. Even if it can be put onto the aircraft, the odds of damage are always high no matter how well you protect your board. If you must, then do your home-work before you buy your ticket, not afterwards.
What would I need to check for?
Airline bag policy and book before arrival at the airport. Confirm size and weight limits of airline. Be clear on the over-size charge. Arrive early to be at the front of the line and to deal with the logistics.
What are the length limits for airlines?
These vary greatly, up to the point where some airlines will not take anything much bigger than a pair of snow-skis. In fairness, is becoming harder each year to travel with a surfboard, SUP or windsurf board as airlines simply do not want the responsibility or hassle. Here is an
excellent link current 2019
A board bag can certainly provide added protection to your board when on the roof of your vehicle, at home, on the beach and when travelling by air. Board bags
vary from dust covers to full blown heavy duty items. The added weight needs to be factored in when preparing for airline travel. You have to provide the total weight of bag and board. You want substantial internal padding, wide mouthed easy entry, bullet proof zippers, water proof internal membrane, carry handles, ‘Fragile’ or ‘Top Load Only’ stickers. You can purchase board bags with wheels, but the added weight will cost you in transport fees, so consider this as a separate add on accessory. Pack your leash separately and you paddle, as these can ‘ding’ your board.
What are the advantages over and inflatable?
Repairing a hard board
, is actually not so difficult depending on extent of damage. Small dings are easy to repair with simple off the shelf repair kits for fibreglass with general purpose resins, or epoxy and carbon which requires more curing time and care. Major repairs can be passed on to professional repairers. Cosmetic issues are less concerning than actual structural damage.
What about repairs?
Repairing a hard board, is actually not so difficult depending on extent of damage. Small dings are easy to repair with simple off the shelf repair kits for fibreglass with general purpose resins, or epoxy and carbon which requires more curing time and care. Major repairs can be passed on to professional repairers. Cosmetic issues are less concerning than actual structural damage.
What is de-lamination?
Deeper cuts and cracks to hard boards, will cause water to enter into the internal layers of the board, which will be have a foam core of some description. Water enters and spreads and this is the worse case scenario. With UV exposure, the water heats and migrates back to the inner skin of the board and peels away the outer lamination from the inside out, exposing itself as bubbles. This is called de-lamination. If you ding your board to this degree, cease using immediately, or at the very least, seal with aluminium tape until you can repair and do not store in strong UV.
What about rail tape?
Rail tape is a high strength polymer which is sometimes adhered along the rails of the board. The best material is also used to protect helicopter rotor blades. Mostly the purpose is to prevent the paddle scuffing the side of the board. In truth the better the paddler is technically, the less likely they will impact the board with each stroke. Mostly this is an optional extra feature but advisable for first time users wishing to protect the sides of their new boards.
What is a US Fin Box?
This is a universal sized fin box that accommodates a standard fin which will have a small brass rod which engages into the box and is secured with plate and screw. They are available in all shapes and sizes for varying performance needs. Check out our fins
Future Fins and Fin Boxes?
Yes and indeed, more so than kitesurfing. Like SUP it requires core muscle engagement and balance which ensures you of a good workout. In this regards, windsurfing is superior to kitesurfing when it comes to offering a means to body strengthening and improved balance.
Futures brand offers a wide range of fins. Alternatively there are generic aftermarket fins available that fit to Future Fin Boxes. Check out our fins.
Tuttle Boxes and Power Boxes?
Windsurfing brought about these designs as an advancement over the US Box. Beginning with the Power Box which is a through the board system of connection using a singular long bolt this was further evolved to the Tuttle box relies upon 2 bolts. Power Box fin arrangements are common for Free Ride boards
, whereas expect to see Tuttle Boxes used for Slalom and foil fitment solutions. We also use a Power Box for our Albatross
and Freebird boards
12’6 or 14’ board length?
It is a scientific (hydro-dynamic) principal that longer is faster and no amount of forum debate will alter this reality. The longer board will glide for a longer duration before stalling, will cover greater distance with relatively less energy expenditure and can be designed more stable, narrower in relation to a same width 12’6 board.
Why purchase 12’6?
This is not a magical length, simply a ‘race ruling imposition’ established during the founding years of SUP racing. If you want to race in this division where applicable or if you are a junior aged paddler, or small adult, then perhaps it makes sense, but for the most part if racing is not on your radar and you can live with the longer board, the advice is to opt for the longer board.
What board for cruising?
is a lovely cruising board, that is fast and forgiving and highly versatile. Alternatively if you opt for the 12’6 size, then the Malia is our board of choice.
This is wide topic. You need to determine if you want to focus on flat water, rough water, technical or downwind. One board will not do it all superbly, but might come close. For flatter waters, our Vortex SD1
and Vortex are the benchmark for flat water performance. For rougher waters, our Equinox 14
and Equinox 12’6 are superb and also excellent downwind boards, our Equinox 14’ holds several South African downwind record times. The Vanquish
handles superbly in rough waters for off the beach paddling and is very forgiving. Our Slipstream 12’6
is high performing flat water board, which holds the record for the River Dart Race in the UK, Britain’s largest race and s the current Brazilian Champions choice.
These represent the pinnacle of speed and performance. From the paddler’s perspective, these boards are for the ‘purest’ paddler who recognises that length matters and that in the paddling world, if you want to replicate the performance merits of a kayak or canoe, this is as close an option in form and function as you find in a SUP. If you are a canoeist or kayaker wanting to enter the sport, it would not be unreasonable to leap frog all other considerations and opt for an unlimited which feature steering mechanisms. For the SUP paddler looking to reinvigorate their relationship with SUP, once you move up to an unlimited board, it’s very hard to move backwards. We have the Interceptor
for ocean paddling, ideally downwind or for coastal cruising in comfort. For flat waters, the Stealth
is not only a thing of beauty but sublimely fast and smooth to paddle.
Recreational paddle and surf?
boards tick the boxes and rely upon the Malibu surfboard shape that ensures stability, surf-ability and paddle-ability all in the one package. Easy, colourful, happy boards to live with, as a first time board these boards represent the board for all-comers, with the added flair of a wood veneer finish. If you want something with a bit more size and performance, then opt for the highly praised Levuka
From the very start of the sport of SUP, WindSUP® was something we embraced. Our Fiji
boards offer up the chance to screw in a mast foot and harness wind power and we have even created our own rigs to suit. These boards are ideal for recreational paddling, surf and WindSUP®
Which SUP surf board?
For dedicated SUP surfing we have two basic shapes. The classic shaped Cloud boards and the rectangular shaped Squab
boards. The Cloud
boards can handle shore break and messy waves and make for an ideal beginner to intermediate shape, that is fast and easy to handle and paddle. The Squab boards are more suited to cleaner waves and make ideal travelling companions and can generally be accepted by airlines. The advantage of the shape is that it will accommodate a heavier rider for less length on account of the increased surface area and its placement.
What materials do you use?
Our high-end race boards are all laminated in carbon fibre to the highest standards and exceed that of most all other leading brands on account of using an exclusive factory, not part of the mainstream mass-production market. Our Adventurist
includes carbon fibre and PVC reinforced standing area. The Sunburst uses conventional fibreglass (GRP), PVC reinforced standing area and laminated timber upper veneer while our Fiji and Levu boards are constructed from GRP and Epoxy for added durability as are our Albatross
What about soft top boards?
boards are fully coated in a soft EVA foam rubber and this includes the rails. The advantage is that the rails are protected from impact damage as are individuals should the board bump into legs when stood in the water. Falling onto the board, the EVA helps lower the impact. Ideal for families, hire and schools. This same technology is applied to our Freebird and Albatross windsurfing boards.
I want to learn to windsurf?
boards are ideal entry level and recreational boards. See our Windsurfing FAQ.
I am interested in Free Ride Boards