Category Archives: Stand up paddle surfing

Gong Curve 7.6 XTR

The Gong Curve is the second Gongsup that i have managed to get my hands on. I already have the 6.10 Fatal. Which is fine on glassy days. As soon as there is a bit of chop though it is a nightmare to stand on. So i decided to get a second gongsup with a few more litres to make it easier to manage on choppier days. it is amazing how an extra 10 litres can make when the chop gets up.

A picture of the Gong Curve 7.6 xtr
This picture gives you some idea as to why this board is called the Curve. it has a continuous rocker out line

Over the last few months i have used the Curve 7.6 Xtr in just about all conditions. From glassy to 25 knots of wind and from thigh high to double over head high waves.  So how does it perform, to be honest it has outperformed all my expectations. It has definatly taken my wave riding to another level.

a picture of the quad fin set up of the gong curve 7.6 str
My favourite fin set up at the moment. Quad fin for speed and drive. Why keeping the fins small though for maximum manoeuvrability.

So lets go through what i have learnt about the Gong Curve 7.6 XTR. For a start the curve lives up to its name and has a lot of rocker. Which helps when padderling out as it pops over the white water with ease. That isnt the only plus though so much rocker makes the drop in a breeze. You can drop in on just about any steepness of wave with very little chance of catching the nose on the way down. This gives you so much confidence on the take off. The slight down side to this amount of rocker is you need more front foot pressure to get that initial acceleration. However after a couple of sessions on the board this soon becomes second nature.

a picture of the outline of the gong curve 7.6 str
You can see the outline here. 28 and 3 quarters wide where you stand. With a pulled in nose and plenty of rocker

So now down to the most crucial point of any board, What does it perform like once on the wave. The curve 7.6 has really good acceleration and top speed. Therefore giving you options to do drawn out bottom turns, Charge to make the next section of the wave or the most important to me. The ability to drop down the wave and do tight bottom turns without stalling while keeping enough speed to power you back up for a top turn.

A picture of the deck of the gong curve
Gong really do make some cracking boards and the curve range is certainly a gem…

Overall the gong Curve is superb. It will help anyone who is serious about wave riding to develop and improve their wave riding. Even if the curve is not to your liking. Gong have so many sups in their range. You will find the right one for you. I cannot recommend gong highly enough.

go get yourself one you won’t regret it.

 

Summer Waves at camber Sands (Harbour arm Sup)

How often does every surfer dream of waves at their local break in the summer when it is lovely and warm. When in reality we all end up only getting wet when it is damp cold and horrible weather during the winter months. this senario regularly applies to us who livbe on the south east corner of the UK. Where swell only usually manages to work its way up the English channel. When we are wearing hoods,Boots and gloves.

barry on the starboard pod in warm summer waves
Air temp over 20 deg c and shoulder high waves.

So what a pleasent surprise the 8th of july turned out to be. Shoulder high sets coming through over the high water. In 20 degrees of warmth and the wind dropped right out and swung offshore as well. What more could you ask for when you only have a 10min drive to get to the beach. It is on these days that you love living close to Camber Sands. As it will suck in any swell that is coming up the channel and works as well as anywhere on the south coast east of the aisle of Wight.

we all love fun in the sun
Shoulder high waves what a joy

With just Rich out on his waveski, Tris from the kitesurf centre and myself you cannot say that there was much in the way of a crowd. What it did mean was we could all have the pick of the waves as they came through.

All in all it turned out to be a great evening session in the middle of the summer and to boot Richard and myself came back the next morning and grabbed ourselves some glassy thigh high wonder walls  WAHOO

Sup Surf in Algarve In shorts (Albufeira)

It does not matter what sport you are doing. Some days are going to be better than others. Then occasionally you get a day that is a real treat and when you have finished you look back on the day with a big smile on your face. This is what happened to richard and myself on our last day in the Algarve. We had been staying in Albufeira just up the road fromwhere Lee and Emma had been staying. They had flown back the previous day and after a week of chasing waves on the south and west coast of Portugal. Wedecided to have a relaxing paddle right off the beach where lee and Emma had been staying for the last month.

Richard took the above video while taking a drink break and applying some more sun screen.

We had been wearing a wetsuit all week while we had been surfing. Well sup and a waveski as the water in portugal in march is pretty cold. However as we were only intending to have a leisurely paddle. We decided to just wear a pair of board shorts and soak up the sunshine. The treat started when we got to the beach. We were treated to a chest high wave breaking in the exact spot where we were launching from. With the rest of the long beach being completely flat. So Richard on his waveski and myself on The starboard POD. Spent the next two hours catching waves totally on our own and just in shorts. This was the best SUP surf i had of the whole trip. Not the biggest or fastest wave we saw but the most enjoyable. This wave was what the sup was invented for. We both finished with huge smiles on our faces and went home very happy people.

WAHOO

Extreme SUP

After paddling my Starboard POD for about 4 years. Everything was becoming a bit easy and with the POD supposed to be a pretty extreme board for its day. I thought well it is time to come bang up to date as they say. So that is when i decided to get a new school extreme SUP. The gong 6.10 Fatal XTR pro looked like it should fit the bill perfectly.

 

The thing is the difference between the Gong 6.10 Fatal and the Starboard POD really is extreme. The POD may of been extreme in 2010. However it is nothing compared to the Gong xtr. I thought it would be fairly easy i can however let you know that it is not. For anyone thinking of buying a SUP under 7 feet and also under 100l. be prepared for another steep learning curve. As these boards really are extreme Sups and your technique will need to change to get anywhere near the potential out of the board. The video above is of myself who is still learning the board. The video below is of Leroy Xavier who shows you how an Extreme SUP should be wridden. Same board just his technique is a lot better. I am not trying to put anyone off because once you get on a wave all the hard work is more than made up for. As the Gong 6.10 turns like no other Sup that i have seen.

WAHOO…

Gong SUP paddle review. (Wave)

For about the last 4 years i have been using a Starboard full carbon wave paddle. With the largest blade that i could get my hands on. I have been using this paddle for wave riding and also distance paddling. The problem though with only having one paddle for all occasions is that everything is a compromise especially with the length of the paddle itself. For wave riding you are going to want a lot shorter paddle than for distance paddling. So i decided it was time for a second paddle.

a picture of a gongsup wave paddle.
The blade size gives you plenty of power on the wave

Fortunatly for me but not so fortunate for my age. I had a big birthday coming up. So my daughter Lisa and son in law Dan insisted on buying me a new paddle. With already having bought a board from Gong. The 6.10 fatal which is a cracking wave board. I decided to give one of Gongs paddles a go. At 139e for a carbon wave paddle this seemed the obvious choice. So i ordered the paddle which arrived very promptly from their warehouse in France.

A picture of the carbon shaft of the paddle
The oval carbon shaft is very comfortable and light in hand

Program :

Surf high performances. 100% dedicated to the glide and the moves.

Specifications :

Blade :
- Height : 45.7 cm = 18’’
- Width : 23.4 cm = 9’’ 1/5

Total weight for a 185 cm / 73’’ paddle :
- 727 g.

Price :

- Paddle Carbon Surf Cut & Glue : 139 € sold with the handle not glued.

Gluing option by the after sales GONG costs 10 €.

Order :

To order this product on line, please follow this link to gongsupshop.com :
GONG PADDLE SUP CARBON SURF

Sizes :

Cut & glue :
Available at 215 cm long with the handle not glued. You can cut and glue it yourself to make it at your perfect length. Or you can ask to our after sale to do it for 10 €.
By this way you can be sure to have the exact length you need, 193 cm for example.

A picture of the head of the gongsup wave paddle
The angle of rake on the blade is just right for wave riding, Giving great paddle power to catch the wave.

This is the charte size to choose your paddle’s sizes.
Before, please, note these points :
- Usually, a small SUPer prefers the smallest size in the charte, the opposite for a tall SUPer.
- A shorter paddle than what this charte advise will be more maneuvrable on the wave and allow you shorts turns and to put more angle on the board.
- On hollow waves, use a shorter paddle to be closer to the face in barrels and to reduce turn’s diameters.
- A shorter paddle means more frequency but is painless for your shoulders.
- A shorter paddle is advised for short and thin boards. This charte is designed for beginners on a big board from 11’ to 12’ like a NFA 12’ for example. Please, reduce the size of 1 or 2 inches per foot less. For example, a 6’2 tall SUPer will use a 79’’ on a 11’ or 12’ board, a 77’’ on a 10’, a 75 on a 9’, and a 73’’ on a short board like 8’ or less. So it is usefull to ride a paddle of your exact size when your are an expert.
- A short paddle is great for windy conditions.
- A long paddle is so powerful and efficient for take offs.
- A long paddle gives you a better balance.
- The more your paddle is long the more “row effect” you have, so the most difficult is to paddle straight.
- You definitely need more than one paddle in your quiver : you can break it and you need to choose it regarding to the conditions of the session and save your shoulders.
The paddle components don’t change this charte.

- Paddle of 63’’ for a SUPer size from 4’7’’ to 4’10’’.
- Paddle of 65’’ for a SUPer size from 4’9’’ to 5’0’’.
- Paddle of 67’’ for a SUPer size from 4’11’’ to 5’2’’.
- Paddle of 69’’ for a SUPer size from 5’1’’ to 5’4’’.
- Paddle of 71’’ for a SUPer size from 5’3’’ to 5’6’’.
- Paddle of 73’’ for a SUPer size from 5’5’’ to 5’8’’.
- Paddle of 75’’ for a SUPer size from 5’7’’ to 5’10’’.
- Paddle of 77’’ for a SUPer size from 5’9’’ to 6’0’’.
- Paddle of 79’’ for a SUPer size from 5’11’’ to 6’2’’.
- Paddle of 81’’ for a SUPer size from 6’0’’ to 6’4’’.
- Paddle of 83’’ for a SUPer size from 6’5’’ and more.

The information above was taken from the Gong website.

A picture of the whole sup paddle
The gongsup Paddle is a great cost effective way of getting your hands on a carbon paddle.

So now to the important part what does the paddle perform like. All though being a bit heavier and the blade being smaller than my Starboard paddle. The Gong carbon wave paddle gives you plenty of power to catch waves with ease. The paddle is light and balanced in your hands making transitions easy. it also keeps your speed up when trying to make different sections and reforms on the wave.

Overall 4 out of 5, Only reason not giving 5 out of 5 is that the paddle could be a little lighter. This really is knit picking though. As if you are looking at a cost effective carbon wave paddle then the Gong should be right at the top of your list

 

Sup Surf in Albufeira Portugal

After a week charging around the Algarve trying to find waves that were not blown out by the Northerly wind. Rich the Ski and myself decided to have a leisurely paddle down by the hotel that Lee and Emma had been staying at.

supping at albufeira in a pair of shorts
What can be more fun than surfing in just a pair of shorts

So we just grabbed our boards well i grabbed my board and Richard grabbed his Waveski. Put on a pair of shorts and headed for the beach. What a pleasent surprise we were greeted with. A lovely little fun wave to finish off a great week in Portugal.

backside wave ride in the algarve
The sun was shining a fun wave and a great setting.

Rich the ski took these pictures while taking a break on the beach. What great memories. I ask anyone how many times can you remember surfing in just a pair of shorts.

front side wave riding in Albufeira
A cracking little fun wave

This sup surfing session is our last memory of Albufeira in the Algarve. We were sitting on the plane home feeling pretty smug with ourselves.

nose riding in albufeira
A wave with not another person out apart from Richard and myself

WAHOO

New Sup Short Board Gong 6.10 Fatal XTR Pro

Just got my hands on a gong fatal 6.10 xtr pro. I have been riding my starboard POD for at least 3 years now and it has become second nature riding and paddling the POD. So i thought it was time i took a look at a radical short board SUP. After looking around and ruling out most of the major manufacturers as soon as i had a look at the price that they are now asking for their boards. I decided on a gongsup. I decided on the 6.10 fatal xtr and bit the bullet and ordered one. They only sell on line direct so you get your board much cheaper than you would do from a shop.

Gongs 6.10 short board sup
The 6.10 Fatal by Gong is a pure short board sup.

The new 6.10 fatal arrived promptly from their wear house in France. At 95l the 6.10 fatal is a good 10l less volume than the Starboard POD. I  thought how hard can the drop down in size be. My first outing on the board in choppy small waves soon answered that question. Very, To start with just trying to stand on the 6.10 fatal seemed hardly possible. I soon found out that i was now back on a steep learning curve to try and get used to the 6.10  fatal. I have now had 4 sessions on the board all in small surf. The hardest thing about the board is the initial getting up on the board. I have changed my technique markedly from the starboard Pod. I will go in to more detail in my full review of the board in another article. Simply put though it is all down to keeping your centre of gravity as low as possible. I have only used the board in small slow surf so far and basically the board comes alive instantly it is on any sort of a wave. It accelerates and turns on waves that the Starboard POD would just be meandering along.

quad fin set up with 4.5 inch and 3.5 inch fins
With quad fin set up and plenty of nose and tail rocker. This board turns like a dream and gets you more vertical than you ever thought possible on a sup.

So watch this space as i will give a full unbiased review of the board once i am riding it to its potential and have ridden it in a whole mixture of different conditions and wave sizes. My first opinion is though that the Gong 6.10 Fatal is going to totally change my supping in clean waves up to head high.#

WAHOO.

I just took the gong 6.10 and the starboard POD to north devon for a few days. We had head high and a half down to shoulder high waves. This board has now proved to me just how quick it will turn and is manageable in the white water. At the moment it seems a perfect board for chest to head high waves. It is going to be so good over the next few months trying the 6.10 out in different conditions. There is nothing like a new learning curve to get you going.

Starboard POD 7.4 Sup, Board Review

a picture of the starboard POD 7.4 from above
great all round board turns well and nose rides as well

I have owned a Starboard POD 7.4  for over 3 years now and have surfed it probably well over a 100 times. In waves from literally just over knee high to double over head. The board is a quad fin set up which in my opinion is the best set up for a short sup. The volume of the board is a 105l and is 29.5 inches wide.

the starboard POD has a quad fin setr up.
Quad fin set up which gives you great tight turning ability.

I weigh just under 75kg and stability wise the POD is fine. As you can imagine at only 7.4 long the glide you get from the board from each paddle stroke is very limited. Also if you are coming down in size from a much larger board you will have to concentrate much harder on your paddling technique. Once you have got it though you will be able to paddle the POD in pretty much a straight line. As far as the the shape of the board goes it is probably now classed as a bit old school for a short sup. There is plenty of volume up towards the nose of the board and the nose of the board is fairly wide. The tail of the board is pulled in and pretty narrow.

an epic day stand up paddle surfing at camber Sands.
As good as it gets at Camber Sands.

Now the main priority of any board what does it surf like. Where we live on the south east corner of England. The majority of the time we get short period wind driven swell. even in these far from unideal conditions the starboard POD will get up and perform in anything over waist high. It will accelerate really quickly on to a wave and the majority of the time you just need a couple of paddle strokes to make the take off. Even in these mushy waves that we get the POD .

Another great sup wave at camber.
Who says you cant surf at Camber

will turn tightly in the bottom turn and get you back up to the lip with plenty of speed to get a top turn in. Also this great board from Starboard with its fairly wide nose is a doddle to nose ride.

Paddling out through the shore break at Camber.
Waves always come when you are paddling out

I have also had 5 trips down to Devon with the starboard POD. In better quality surf from waist to double over head high. The pod takes it all in its stride. On the smaller stuff the acceleration is instant and you can really tighten up the turns. In the larger waves long drawn out turns are a real joy and the board never seems out of its comfort zone.

a picture of a wavesup and a waveski
My wave SUP a starboard pod and richard,s waveski

So as you can guess my over all opinion of the Starboard POD. Is that if you want a single SUP wave board that does everything pretty well. Then this is a board you should put on your short list. That is if you can find one. Starboard did not make this model for very long. Why i do not know and i have never seen a second hand one for sale.

WAHOO.

Best waves at Camber so far this Winter Thursday 8th January

What a great session thyursday the 8th of jan turned out to be. The forecast had the wind swinging from south west to north west by lunchtime. They did have though the wind staying at about 20mph though. So we did not get our hopes up to much for an epic session.bThe wind swang mid morning right on cue and we were also in for a pleasent surprise. Once the wind went north west it dropped out almost completely. So by the time we got afloat for a surf a couple of hours later the conditions had cleaned up and there were some lovely over head high waves to be had.

barry on the starboard pod going back side.
There were both lefts and rights to be had

These waves are the best we have had at Camber this winter by far. There were lefts and rights to be had with only the odd wave closing out. out that day was Tom from the kitesurf centre on his starboard pocket rocket. Richard on his pro design waveski and myself on my starboard pod. the bar up by the green light at the entrance to the river Rother was definitely the place to be and we had about 2 and a half hours of sheer fun

barry going front side on the starboard pod.
Great waves and blue skies WAHOO

Hopefully we will have more days like this before the winter swell ends in a couple of months time. Tom, Rich and myself all came off with huge smiles on our faces.

Blown out wave at Broomhill Sands. (19th Dec)

The forecast was for a front to go through over night and then the wind to swing to the NW between 6 and 9 in the morning. I had spoken to Richard and we were hoping to wake up with the wind already in the NW and starting to clean Camber up for a good surf. So i went to bed in anticipation of some wave riding coming up the next day. The front though was a bit slow clearing the south east of the UK. The wind never clocked in to the NW until about 9.30 so it was a matter of waiting a couple of hours and then having a sup at Broomhill sands on the dropping tide.

When we arrived there was a fair breeze from the WNW. Which is just off shore at Camber. With hind sight i should of taken the starboard pod up to the harbour arm and not gone out at the stoney car park at Broomhill Sands. The problem was though there was a lovely looking head high shoulder running to the left. So i got sucked out by the great looking wave. Richard with his waveski decided to wait a while and see how i got on. Which proved to be the right decision. Once out the back the wind was blowing quite hard and because i was supping it was hard to just not get blown down wind. I stayed out about 45 min and only managed to get on one decent shoulder and managed to get 3 bottom turns in. Not the best day i have ever had at Camber on the sup. Ol well the forecast for tomorrow is for head high waves over the high water. So a sup up by the harbour arm is on the cards.

Fingers crossed.