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HOME arrow GEAR INSIGHTS arrow BOARD REVIEW (On Flat Water): Surftech and Infinity Surfboards Latest Release
BOARD REVIEW (On Flat Water): Surftech and Infinity Surfboards Latest Release PDF Print E-mail
By: Editor Nate Burgoyne   
Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Image    Steve Boehne has and extensive background in shaping big boards. At the Surf-n-Sea demo day over Memorial Day weekend, I seized the occasion to paddle out on the 11' Kuku Hoe stand up paddle surfboards produced by Surftech. At 175 lbs, the 11' Infinity/Kuku Hoe Nose Rider stand up paddle surfboard left me impressed. The Surftech-Inifinity production boards are hot off the press and have yet to appear on Surftech website so I had to at least take one for a paddle. It was a flat water paddle out, however, after sinking the nose and tail, I feel that I general idea of how the board might perform in surfing conditions.

 

 

ImageThe board is a fast paddler with minimal rocker. Relative to the paddling speed and momentum of of other stand up boards, it's definitely at the top of the list for glide, yet it didn't seem to carry with it uncontrolled momentum. Some stand up paddle boards have plenty of glide, however once the board gets going, it near impossible to turn. This did not seem to be the case with the 11' Infinity. Although it was built for heavier riders, I felt in control and balanced on the board. 

 

 Image   I was pleasantly surprised wihen I decided to give it the quick turn test...namely stepping back, sinking the tail and bringing the nose around 180 degrees. I was able to bring the nose completely around in two strokes, and no more. In no way did I feel hindered or overwhelmed by the length of volume of the board. I credit this to the rounded pin tail design and single-fin setup. The board felt loose and responsive to where I wanted to point the nose.

 

   A credit to the shape was the fact that I didn't have to think about what I was doing. On some boards, you have to analyze things one step at a time to get the board to do what you want, however the 11' Kuku Hoe felt very natural.

 

   The nose is wide. It looks like you could sit up there and have a picnic with the family if you got it locked into the wave just right. With no wave in sight I could easily get myself into the top 1/4 of the board's total length. I have the feeling it's another one of those boards that sucks you up to the nose for extended tip time. However, with the rounded pin tail and the how loose it felt in flat water, the board shouldn't be lacking in off-the-tail performance capability.

 

   In summary, the 11' Infinity Kuku Hoe produced by Surftech was definitely a favorite of mine at the Surf-n-Sea demo day. It was loose, fast, responsive, and asking for some waves. As I was paddling it back to the sand, I was definitely mind-surfing the gentle ripples that were gliding me to the shore.

feed2 Comments
Nate Burgoyne
May 28, 2008
67.49.173.21

Aloha Larry,
Thank you for your comment. As editor the SUPSURFMAG.COM I'll tell you that the staff and I couldn't agree with you more. (On a side note: Your comment was addressed to a blogger named Evan who has no affiliation with SUPSURFMAG.COM however, we are happy to respond to the comment and, truthfully, we support your view.)

We too have noticed that there has been too much pumping of mediocre equipment through blogs and review sites. In fact, I personally have spoken with a blogger who has publicly claimed a certain board as amazing, while privately admitting to me that it's tippy and skiddish off the bottom. I agree that such reviews definitely do a disservice to the industry.

If you read the reviews that we have done with other boards such as the Surftech Ali'i IV, we have made an effort to show both the pros and cons of the board.

With some of the greatest shapers in history producing stand up paddle surfboards, most boards are the perfect board for someone. I agree with you that the term "magic" is a personal thing and actually quite emotional. What's magic for one is probably not magic for another. I appreciate your bringing that to our attention. It's been removed from the review.

SUPSURFMAG.COM articles come from a collaboration of various writers. By nature, stand up paddlers are very positive and excited to share the stoke that they've found in the equipment. Most stand up paddlers that I have come to know, will get on a board and immediately start that mind-surf session where you begin to imagine all the things you could do on a certain board rather than what you couldn't do with that board.

There's certainly no justification for pumping inferior equipment. However, when you find something good, you feel an internal obligation to share it with others. This seems to hold true for everything from movies to ice-cream.

With surfboards, there are definitely some junk shapes out there, but there are also so many variables (wind, water conditions, wave height and shape) that one hesitates to pass judgment on something in a negative way until it's be tried and tested in all conditions.

Honestly, how many times have you taken out a surfboard, had a disappointing session, and vowed that you're going to sell the board and fix the problem with a new shape....only to take it out one last time, have a killer session kiss the board with affection and re-vow that you'll never sell it for as long as you live. In my opinion, it's the nature of the beast and a dichotomy that keeps us enthralled with surfing and on the search for the next magic moment.

What's the solution in reporting? One idea we have for our magazine is to determine a clear cut sort of matrix for board evaluation that is published with a review. IE: Conditions Tested In, Tester's Experience, Vertical Stability, Maneuverability, etc... and maybe a final note about how the board "feels". Suggestions for such categories would be greatly appreciated.

Again, thanks for your comment and contributions to the sport Larry. Even with the sport's exponential growth, all signs show that this is still just the beginning, and SUPSURFMAG.COM wants to do its part to help create a solid foundation of integrity for the sport.

Mahalo and Aloha,
Nate Burgoyne, Editor

Larry
May 28, 2008
68.1.167.131

Evan: I really am beginning to think that the SUP review community needs to step up to the plate and begin writing *real* reviews of the boards coming its way. A board is, almost by definition, a combination of compromises; and in so being, some aspects are bound to be great, some not so great, some neither here nor there. Because nothing is perfect, a review that only points out the positive is not much of a review at all and does a disservice to one and all. The community needs to stop gushing and start writing with a more seasoned, discerning eye. If everything is "magic," then nothing is magic. If you've got nothing constructively negative to neutral to say, then don't say anything at all and wait until you do; otherwise, all you're producing is fluff'n'puff.
That's my opinion ... and I'm sticking to it!


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