Hardboard SUP boards

Hardboard SUP boards


Mistral SUP Hardboards 

Mistral has been at the forefront of designing some of the leading high-performance carbon fibre and fibreglass stand-up paddleboards. Designed with a purpose in mind, a laminated stand-up paddleboard offers performance advantages over that of an inflatable paddleboard, and for those with space and means of transportation, it is often the preferred construction to invest in in the long term.

As a testament to our SUP design excellence, our SUP race boards have proven themselves on the international, national, and local SUP race scene since 2015, representing a decade of outstanding performance SUP designs that have proven seminal in the SUP racing world. From the design of SUP race boards, other Mistral SUP designs have flowed into SUP surfing, SUP adventuring, and versatile SUP recreational boards.

The Benefits of SUP Hardboards

While most hype is aimed at the inflatable paddleboard being superior to the SUP hardboard, the reality remains that if you want the best paddleboarding riding experience, you cannot beat a hardboard for responsiveness, glide, and speed. Inflatable SUPs are predominantly promoted based on convenience, but for many, it's inconvenient to inflate and deflate whenever you want to go on the water. 

Durability remains a key factor in respect of ownership of a SUP hardboard. A SUP hardboard that has been taken care of will often outlive an inflatable paddleboard. Repairs are generally easy and are within the skills of many with some practical skills. From a design perspective, the design of a SUP hardboard is only limited by the designer's imagination. No matter what anyone tells you, a hardboard versus an inflatable of a like-for-like design will always be superior in performance to that of the inflatable. 

•  Faster transition time from vehicle to the water
•  Responsiveness
•  Higher speeds
•  Longer glide times and distance
•  Superior race craft
•  Superior for wave riding
•  Superior touring and cruising experience.
•  Longevity
•  Repairability
•  Less wind-affected
•  Wide range of construction types for differing budgets
•  Vast array of differing and specific designs.

What Makes a SUP Hardboard Higher Performing than an Inflatable SUP

Inflatable paddleboard makers write many marketing contradictions, promoting that an inflatable SUP can be as high-performing as a SUP hardboard equivalent. A SUP hardboard's added longitudinal nose-to-tail rigidity translates into less loss of hull speed. Flex, as experienced with inflatable paddleboards, results in a loss of force and speed.

Beyond the superior stiffness is superior overall hydrodynamics, whereby the hard hull surface sheds water more readily than a soft PVC skin. Hence, the drag on the hull is less than that of an inflatable SUP.

SUP designers can add hard and soft rails (edges), tucked under rails, differing tail and bow shapes, concaves and convexes, and rocker curvature (curvature fore and aft along the waterline). All these added nuances result in the potential for far superior SUP performance.

How are SUP Hardboards Made

Various approaches to construction are used and can be broken down into two basic approaches.

Moulding: A mould is made from an original shape, and multiple reproductions are made in this mould. This approach is taken when mass production of the original shape is planned, usually over several years. Alteration of the shape is not possible or desirable. 

CNC / Hand Lamination: This is a process of cutting a foam blank using a computer-aided cutting machine, finishing it by hand and hand-laminating it using resins and woven cloth; fibreglass, carbon, and kevlar are used exclusively or in combinations. Currently, all our SUP hardboards are made in this way.

SUP Hardboard Lamination Materials 

Sandwich Construction: A foam or wood veneer layer of 0.5 to 2mm is commonly laminated between the foam and the woven resin-infused fabric. This technique is used especially where reinforcement is needed in the deck area or where added longitudinal stiffness is required from nose to tail. Cosmetically, wood veneer laminates are often used to enhance the look and appeal, as used with our Sunburst boards.

Woven Fabric Laminate: Fiberglass, Carbon Fibre, or Kevlar are the most common fabrics that cover the foam shape. They can be used exclusively or in combination. Fibreglass is the most economical fabric and offers good impact resistance and overall strength, while carbon fibre is very much stronger in creating rigidity and is a lightweight product that's more costly but, in fact, not particularly resistant to impact. Kevlar is rarely used but offers high impact resistance on rail edges and is lightweight. Our Adventurist and Vanquish boards use both carbon and kevlar, our Vortex race boards use carbon exclusively for longitudinal strength and reduced weight, 

Epoxy Resin: This liquid is worked into the fabric to create a hard shell. Epoxy is preferred over the more traditional use of vinylester resin for its strength and greater resistance to scratching. All our SUP hardboards are constructed using epoxy resin.

What is SUP Board Rocker

How Do Rail Shapes Affect SUP Board Handling

What Do Concaves Do

Why are There Dug-Out Boards

What are the Different SUP Board Tail Shapes

SUP Hardboards for the Surf

SUP Hardboard All-Rounders / Multi-Sport Boards

Race SUP Paddleboards

SUP hardboard race boards are highly specialised, and the top models are designed by experts knowledgeable in the nuances of board design form and function. Since 2015, Mistral has designed and developed SUP boards such as the Vortex, Equinox, and Vanquish, each for specific SUP race conditions. The Vortex has been the winning SUP board across multiple SUP race divisions since 2015 of the famous 11 Cities SUP Tour Race in Holland and many other international events, in addition to holding a Guinness Book World record for the number of miles paddled in 24 hours. The Equinox open water SUP board has won events worldwide in Europe, South Africa, and Tahiti, and the Vanquish was a past winning board at the Pan American Games in Peru. SUP race boards fall under 12'6 and 14' race divisions. These purpose-made SUP race boards are created for flat to rough waters and are unmatched in speed and efficiency. Race boards can be as narrow as 20" up to 24" for flat waters and 23 to 27" for rougher waters; much wider than this, they lose their speed edge.

Adventuring, Cruising, Touring SUP Hardboards

Whether embarking on a SUP adventure, cruising, or touring, our SUP hardboard designs offer speed and efficiency over water, elevating your aspirations from a casual interest to something more hardcore. For the dedicated rider, a SUP hardboard represents the most efficient and satisfying choice. Our 12'6 Adventurist and 14' Adventurist represent the best in adventuring, cruising and touring platforms. SUP adventure, cruising, and touring boards should be stable yet fast, with a long glide and the ability to carry enough cargo to meet your needs, usually within dry bags. If a Kayak seat can be attached using D-rings fixed to the deck, this is an advantage for longer distances.

Choosing Your Ideal SUP Hardboard

Paddleboard specifications of width x length x thickness x volume are critical factors affecting performance and manageability in different water conditions. The paddleboard must match your body mass, height, ability, and intended use. If the paddleboard is just for you, consider your pre-existing skills, previous water sports experience, body weight, and height, as these factors help determine your optimum paddleboard specifications needs. 

Paddleboard Length

The primary performance rule is that the longer the board, the faster its potential top speed and glide time. SUP boards under 10' are considered short, suited to surfing, kids and small adults and highly manoeuvrable, such as our Seaspray boards. 10' (305cm) to 12’ (366cm) boards are ideal for all-round use, and 12' (366cm) and up upwards for faster speeds over water and long-distance paddleboarding. Race boards are required to be 12'6 or 14' in length. 

Paddleboard Stability Factors

Length x width x thickness are key stability factors. Width is the primary design factor for accessing paddleboard stability. A wide, stable paddleboard is considered to be greater than 31” (79cm) in width. The most popular design specifications fall between 32-34” (81cm-86cm) and 10-11ft (305cm-335cm) in length. 

Paddleboard Board Thickness

SUP hardboards vary greatly in thickness from 4" (10 cm) to over 10". 

Paddleboard Volume and Body Mass 

Each paddleboard's internal volume, measured in litres, contributes to buoyancy. Your body mass should not sink the board by more than 50%; every 1kg mass will sink 1 lt of volume (buoyancy). A 100 kg rider would sink a board of 200 litres by 50%. If you wish to paddleboard with your dog, allow for their weight and add 1" of board width for increased stability. 

Your Ability Will Determine Your Stability

If you have good balance and pre-existing skill sets from windsurfing, snowboarding, surfing, and other board sports, you will likely manage a narrow paddleboard below 32” (81 cm) in width. 

Accessorise Your Mistral Paddleboarding Lifestyle

Enhance your paddleboarding experience with Mistral water wear and Mistral apparel, which includes SUP paddling garments and a variety of SUP accessories, including an extensive range of paddleboard paddles, UV-protective men's Lycra® and UV-protective women's Lycra®  in addition to change robes and men's wetsuits and women's wetsuits and an array of apparel in addition to waterproof dry bags contributing to your paddling enjoyment. Also, consider a protective SUP paddle bag to prevent dings, scratches, and UV damage, which we have available in 9'6, 10'5, and 11'9 sizes.