Whether it’s stand up paddling or prone paddle surfing, trying new board shapes is a never-ending adventure. Switching up your equipment from time to time will improve your skills and help form you into a well rounded surfer. That’s said, it’s always an eye-opener when moving from a wide nosed board to a pointy nosed stand up paddle board. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the challenges of moving to a pointy nosed board
First, let’s understand how wide nosed boards behave in the water. Then, we can understand how a pulled in nose differs in the water. On a wide nosed stand up paddle board, the nose is extremely predictable. It adds volume and side to side stability to the board as it relentlessly stays afloat. In fact, it’s not uncommon for a stand up paddle board to take off on a wave only to have the nose of the board bury itself below the surface of the water then quickly resurface allowing the rider to finish the wave with style.
A wide nose is definitely more stable and forgiving in the surf. Not only is great in the turbulent waters that are often found just before dropping in on a wave, but you can basically just stick the nose of your board somewhere in the vicinity of the take off zone and let the movement of the wave swing the nose where it needs to be to catch a wave. So long as you’re sort of in the vicinity, you’ve got a good chance for a successful take off.
Now, let’s talk about a pulled in pointy nose. First off all, with less volume in the nose, a pointy stand up paddle board is generally more side to side tippy as well as from front to back. On the wave, less volume in the nose means the board is not able to correct itself like a wide nose does. If you start tipping to one side, you’re going to keep tipping until you plant you paddle and push yourself back up. That auto-correction that you had before is not longer there. When the nose starts to go under, it’s probably not coming back out, and you’re diving for pearls.
Additionally, when taking off on a wave, you can’t just stick your pointy nose in the take off zone and hope for the best. The center of your board has to be in the take off zone to make the drop. That’s right, instead of being able to stick your nose in the critical take off area, you have to put your whole body in there. That usually means later take-offs, more wipeouts, and more of getting caught inside, but the reward is worth it. A pointy nosed board is going to be extremely fast and usually more responsive.
So, in a nutshell, wide nosed boards are generally more stable, self correcting, and forgiving. Pointy nosed stand up boards are faster, more maneuverable, and less forgiving. With a wide nose board, you can usually focus your energy where the nose is pointed, while on a pulled in nosed board, what matters is where your body is.
It’s always a challenge moving to a board with a pulled in nose, however with a couple surf sessions, some flat water training, and the observation of good technique, you will quickly progress and soon enough that tippy little board will become your friend in all condition