Posted by: newenglandsup | April 2, 2009

Downwind Boards….more quiver conundrums!

Boards….purpose built downwind boards aren’t absolutely necessary but they make a HUGE difference in the fun factor and will function in lesser conditions than a regular board. If you find yourself enjoying downwind runs…get a board built for them…you won’t regret it. A board designed for downwind will get you on the swells easier and be faster. Brother Bill just completed the downwind showcase…part of the reason I was on Maui
http://www.kenalu.com/2009/03/11/2009-stand-up-paddle-racedistancedownwinder-showcase-part-1/
I got to try some of the best downwind boards available and was really happy that I did. Like everything else with standup I feel this is very personal. What I’m looking for in a board may not be what suits you. All the boards were great, fast, capable and each had riders that really liked them. Among my favorites were the Sandwich Island composites F-16 and F-14…particularly the F-16 MKII. The new model is more stable and seemed just as fast to my newb judgement.

The board that blew me away though was the Foote Maliko 14′. I had been paddling brother Bill’s Foote 12-6 on downwinders the days before and had a lot of fun on it but The 14′ was only 26″ wide where the 12-6 was 28. I thought for sure it would be too unstable for me. Very pleasantly surprised that it was ridiculously stable….and fast. I paddled out on it and couldn’t stop grinning…it just glided effortlessly. My only regret is I didn’t get to take it out for a downwind test….that would have been the balls! Conditions just weren’t there that day.
(edit:…it seems the 14′ is 27.25″ according to Bill F.)…explains the stability a bit….man that board felt so comfortably…kind of like slipping on an old pair of jeans. Just felt right!

I stole a couple of pictures from Ke Nalu of the Foote Maliko 14′ that were taken during the showcase.
Foote Maliko 14

Foote Maliko 14

I would love to get myself one of Bill Foote’s boards. One of these days when I save my pennies. He’s currently building a super narrow Maliko 14′ for Jeremy Riggs (unreal waterman on Maui). Jeremy has been paddling a 12-6 Foote and keeping in the running with the best paddlers on much longer boards. Should be interesting to see what the 14′ will do for him. Bill is documenting the build on the zone.
http://www.standupzone.com/forum/index.php?topic=3481.0

Update…here’s the finished Bill Foote Maliko 14′ for Jeremy. Can’t wait to hear how she runs.
maliko 14
More pics showing the shape and rocker on standupzone.

This is a relatively mild day at Maliko. Mark Raaphorst on one of his custom F-16′s. Take a look at the action and then think about what a wild day must be like….looks like fun to me!

To continue the stoke. here’s a Sam Pa’e vid of a downwind run on his custom built Vortice SP. Tell me this doesn’t look like a whole hell of a lot of fun!

Sam Pa’e 14′ Vortice SP Westside Run from Sam Pa'e on Vimeo.

standup paddlesurfing, standup, standup paddle surfing, SUP, surfing, downwind, sandwich island composites, Bill Foote, Maliko, standup paddleboard race, standup paddleboard racing

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