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.
The 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.
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.