You can't enter a California lineup without noticing the huge percentage of boards shaped by the man himself Steve Boehne, and on our last trip to SoCal, the same held true. Infinity Surfboards are not only a common sight for longboarders, but many stand up paddlers have taken to his designs as well. To read our interview with Steve Boehne, click here. While on the road, we got our hands on the Infinity 10' Kuku Hoe stand up paddle surfboard manufactured by Surftech with Tuflite technology. In fact we came across UK longboard champion Tim Mellors who also happened to be riding the same board while on holiday. We put the boards to the test and this is the report.
The interesting note on this board is that
everyone's experience with the board was totally different. I thought the board
was a champ, while Tim and, Assc. Editor Bill Ward felt the boards was a bit
stiff. However, one conclusion that we all agreed on was that this board is a
When we first
inspected the 4 7/8” thickness and narrow 28” wide outline, our initial
impression was that this would be a super board for a 200 lb.+ surfer who is
looking for some performance. To our surprise, this was not the case for our experience.
It would definitely float a heavier surfer, no problem, but the performance was
not what we expected. At 175 lbs and 6’ tall, I had absolutely no complaints
about the board whatsoever, while Tim and Bill who are both bigger and stronger
than I were indifferent with how it performed.
We were riding the
sandbars of Southern California in waist to
head high with occasional plus waves. It was really a magical couple days where
the waves were peeling rights and lefts with plenty of swell for everyone. In
these conditions, honestly, I had absolutely no complaints whatsoever. The
board responded when I wanted it to from bottom turns, snaps off the top, late
take-offs, cutbacks, noserides, and hang fives. I wouldn’t have changed a thing
about the design. Again, I need to mention that Bill and Tim didn’t find the
same performance characteristics in the board that I did but for some reason
the board matched up with my style of surfing. In fact, Bill said to me after
watching from the shore and paddling out, “Nate, watching you from the beach, I
wouldn’t have known if you were riding that board or your little 9’4”
performance board back home.”
Why did the board
lend itself so well to my style? Well, when we were talking about it after our
second day of surfing, we came to the following conclusion. Whether it’s
accurate or not, we’re not sure but it makes sense to us. With my surfing
style, I tend to be a little heavy on my back foot. This makes for powerful
bottom turns however, if you’re too heavy on that back foot, boards in general
will slow down and stall out. The same holds true for snaps off the top. In the
past, I would occasionally get too heavy on that back foot when coming off the
lip, which in turn slows down the board and makes it hard for me to recover
from the turn, resulting in a stall at the top and. . . end of wave. With this board, I had no
trouble at all keeping the board under my feet. Our explanation is that this
extra thickness in the board and tail compensated for my heavy back foot and resulted
in just the right amount of buoyancy for me.
Where might the
limits be? The limitation might be in down the line speed. In the surf we were
riding, the down the line speed was not a critical element for riding the
waves. The board’s performance was smooth and even without abrupt accelerations
or slow downs. It sort of felt like the board was on cruise control throughout
the wave. Personally, I really liked it because I could focus more on the turns
and cutbacks than controlling speed.
What fins were we
running on the board? Standard side bites with about a 7” center fin with more
of a fuller, old-school outline, with a wider base and less rake. The fin was
run almost to the very front of the fin box.
What does this
mean for you? If you tend to be heavy on your back foot, this might be the
perfect board for you. The extra thickness will push back on your when your
natural tendency is to over-sink the tail.
Again, it’s thick but it’s a performance shape. There’s a prominent vee
bottom through the tail which makes for smooth rail to rail transitions but for
increased tippiness in the flat water. Personally, I didn’t find it a challenge
to balance on the board, but it’s likely that an absolute beginner might.
I know this has
been sort of an unconventional review, but we had an unconventional experience
with the board. For me, the board was right on the money. If you think this is
the board for you, contact Infinity Surfboards or your local Infinity or
Surftech retailer and check if they have any demo boards available. It could be
just what you’re looking for.