The first time we stepped on this board, we couldn’t stop smiling. It was long, wide, stable and for some reason it put this silly grin on your face that you just can't get rid of. Up to this point, it is the most stable board we've ever stood on. In fact it took a double hop with one foot on the rail to tip it over. The NSP 11’ stand up paddle surfboard is not a high performance piece of equipment but it is tons of fun in surf up to about shoulder high and in flat water. We had so much fun on the board we got a pair for right conditions. The board comes with a pre-installed deck pad. It also comes wiht fins, and leash. In this review we’ll go over the equipment and performance.
The 11’ NSP stand up paddle board is constructed with the durable epoxy construction that NSP has built a reputation around. This construction has made NSP a favorite for rentals and surf schools along with flat water paddlers and experiences stand up paddlers whose local surf conditions lend themselves well to this board. For durability, most dings on all stand up paddle boards come from banging the rail with the paddle by new paddlers who are still learning to control the paddle blade. While NSP construction will allow for small dents and nicks from strong rail-bangers, we have yet to see one of these boards take on water. Additionally the small dents are definitely more favorable than the shattering and normally occurs with a traditionally glassed board and a stiff whack with a paddle. In a nutshell, you won’t have to worry about little dings with this board. The construction gets thumbs up.
The board comes preinstalled with a full length deck pad. It’s thinner than the typical self-adhesive pads that come on most boards however it’s still comfortable and grippy. We have no complaints on the grip stickiness. The only issue we had the with grip was after we left ours in the van on a hot day and the deck pad bubbled up in a few places. All it took to fix was something pointy to poke a hole in the bubbles before pushing out the air and sticking the pad back down. We haven’t had a bubble since.
NSP provides a set of fins and a leash with their stand up paddle package. The 9’ center fin is actually a pretty sweet fin. It’s a fiberglass fin with a traditional outline. We were running the fin almost all the way to the front of the finbox. The side fins are of a system called MT-4 which installs with a fat screw through the top of the board. That said, you won’t be able to run any of your FCS or Futures fins with it, but the stock side fins are great. The leash will suffice for small waves or flat water to keep the board from floating away. While most leashes have a swivel at both the ankle cuff and the rail saver, the leash included has only one swivel which is near the rail saver. It wasn’t an issue but something to be aware of. When we were taking the board out in shoulder high surf when we got stuck in the whitewater, the leash stretched longer than we were comfortable with. A stiffer cord would be better on the leash however, as is, it should suit most people fine in medium-small surf.
For a board that is 11 feet long, 31 inches wide, and 4 5/8 inches thick, the board performed surprisingly well. A more experienced rider of about 175 lbs found the board to be much more maneuverable and fun in the surf than expected. A lighter rider of 125 lbs felt a little overwhelmed by the immense volume of the board. However, watching from the beach, she appeared to ride the board well. Although you won’t be snapping this board vertically off the lip, you’ll get some nice bottom turns and will be able to travel the face of the wave from top to bottom. There is a considerable amount of nose rocker on this board which makes for easy entry into waves and less chance for pearling or digging the nose when taking off on a wave. The rocker combined with the stability of the board, makes for smooth entry into waves and fun on the water. Although we never hung five during our testing, the noseriding was abundant and the hang fives probably would have been there if the waves were a little more powerful.
In conclusion, the 11’ NSP stand up paddle surfboard is a great board for anyone who has smaller or mushier waves where they surf. It is also an excellent board for learning to both flat water paddle and surf. This is where the board shines. It is stable, fun and has an inset handle in the middle of the board for easy carrying. In fact, after trying one out at a local demo day, we picked up two of them for small surf days and for teaching first time paddlers. It’ll easily float a beginner of 200+ lbs and one of our testers easily paddled the board around in the flat water with someone sitting on the nose making a combined weight of approximately 320 lbs. It would make an excellent board for the whole family. For more information and to find a retailer near you visit www.newsurfproject.com.