A recent trip to California afforded me the opportunity to score some SoCal swells which quickly turned into sessions that felt nothing short of playful. The day blessed us with shoulder to head high waves going both right and left, beautiful weather and perfectly cool water temperature. Thanks to Chris Koerner, I got my first experience on the 10' C4 Waterman stand up paddle surfboard. The board was the traditional shaped Parmenter/Keaulana design with a fuller nose and traditional template.
Since I had been traveling over the previous two weeks, I was somewhat unsure of how my footing would be and how long it would take to get my "sea legs" back. I was stoked to find myself steady and stable from the get go which led to a memorable session. Here's my personal review of the 10' C4 Waterman Parmenter/Keaulana.
• Length: 10'0"
• Nose: 21 3/4"
• Width: 28 1/4"
• Tail: 17 3/4"
• Thickness: 3 7/8"
• Weight: 18.5 lbs
• Rounded Diamond Tail
• Fin Array: Thruster (Not standard on orders.)
Weight: 175 lbs
SUP Experience: Several Years
OCEAN & SURF CONDITIONS:
Swell - Consistent waist to head high faces on typical California style rolling waves. Bigger sets would suck out and stand up with enough power for nice carves off the top but rarely enough momentum to sustain a floater (Although Gerry Lopez pulled off a mean floater. The guy is legendary.).
Wind: Light, barely noticeable.
RATING SCALE: 0-2 Poor, 3-4 Below Average, 5-6 Average, 7-8 Very Good, 8-10 Excellent
FLAT WATER ATTRIBUTES
Stability: 8/10 As I mentioned earlier, it had been some time since I had paddled out in the surf before paddling out that morning. After days of driving and hours in a car, I was charged when I got up on the board and felt as stable as ever. Whether it was the build up of energy inside that made my balance more precise or whether it was the board's design, I'm not sure. But at 28 1/4" wide, the board was stable.
Paddling Speed: 8/10 The board seemed to have great glide though I'll admit, I had my focus on the waves on the horizon and wasn’t' analyzing how fast it took to get there.
Turning: 8/10 No problems turning the board around. I don't recall excess drag in turning the board, nor do I recall whipping it around faster than expected. On the flat water, I was able to turn the board 180 degrees with one stroke and not too much trouble.
Wave Entry: 9/10 California waves generally require a bit more glide to get into and this board didn’t disappoint. I wouldn't call it the "crowd pleaser" that can catch any wave, but it did get me into some waves just at the point where I thought I was going to end up backing out to reset for the following wave. Likewise, whitewater take-offs, where the wave has already broken and approaches were stable and somewhat controlled.
Maneuverability: 9/10 In the given conditions, I would give the board a 10/10 if I was able to ride the same board with stock 2+1 fins that come on the board. However, since I was riding a thruster setup, I'll leave it at 9/10 for lack of information. The board was loose and enjoyable. Setting up the bottom turn after takeoff was smooth, and I didn't find any "sticky" spots with the design. In other words, I didn't find any spots where the board seemed to stick to the water and not come around either off the bottom or the top of the wave. Great maneuverability.
Nose Riding: 7/10 When the section lined up for me, the journey to the nose was quick and natural. On this day, the noserides weren't for extended periods of time however, stepping up to the nose and stepping back to the tail, again felt natural.
Speed: N/A I've decided not to give a rating on speed since there weren't any "critical" sections that would allow me to test down the line speed. I can say that the board was able to make inside sections or extended rides.
SUMMARY: This being one of C4 Waterman's earlier designs, I was skeptical at first, but now I understand that there's no reason to fix something that isn't broken. I found the board to be a universally fun stick.