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THE ULTIMATE WINDSUP GUIDE:
HOW TO GET THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
WindSUP – the hybrid board that allows you to SUP on a flat day and Windsurf if the wind starts to pick up… what more could you want?!
There can be many sceptics when it comes to windSUPs as a ‘jack of all trades’ – are they really good at either let alone both?
We believe windSUPs can be the perfect all-rounder if you find what is right for you. As with SUP boards or windsurf boards, there are a range of windSUPs that vary in the level of sup: windsurf capabilities.
ENTRY WINDSUP– These are your paddleboards that simply have a universal joint fitting in the centre of the deck pad so that you can add a windsurfing rig to it. These are suitable for beginners if you want to have a go at windsurfing in light winds. To help go upwind, you can also buy the Drift-Stopper to attach around any inflatable board (the boards in this range don’t have an additional centre fin so drift stopper required).
They’re a great option if you are primarily after an all-round shape SUP but want the option to try windsurfing when the wind picks up slightly. (Use in winds of 0-10 knots)
Not recommended if you are looking to progress in windsurfing, as the main use is for SUP-ing.
Entry windSUPs are the Fanatic Premium range.
Fanatic Premium WindSUP.
Drift Stopper simply wraps around the board
STANDARD WINDSUP– The most popular hybrid model. These are your paddleboards that have the universal joint fitting and an additional centre fin on the underside of the board so that you can go upwind. Great use as a paddleboard as the shape hasn’t changed, but simply connect the extra fin and rig and you can windsurf when the wind is picking up.
Great value for money option as you can progress with this board paddleboarding and windsurfing until looking for something for higher winds and speeds. (Use in 0-15 knots)
Standard windSUPs are STX range, O’Shea, Mistral, JP and Jobe.
ADVANCED WINDSUP -
The true definition of a windSUP, these boards have the continued same shape for paddleboarding, yet have added features so that it can be a windsurf board that you can learn on and even progress into planning with footstraps on! (Use in 0-20 knots)
- Additional features such as:
> Rail Edge Technology – the material of an inflatable SUP results in drag against the water, which increases when windsurfing and moving at higher speed. With these WindSUPs ,the tail of the board around the fin has an added plastic rail on the underside to release water from the board more easily and allow for planning, without compromising its ability to roll up.
> Removable centre fin box and mast track – this allow for a seamless feel when paddling.
> Footstraps – due to the rails releasing the water smoothly, the board has planning capabilities and as such footstraps are a feature that can be screwed onto the board when necessary.
An advanced windsup would be the Starboard Windsurfing SUP Range.
The boards above are all suitable hybrids and don’t compromise on your paddling ability.
However, there is another option that isn’t officially a crossover board for the two sports but technically can be…
INFLATABLE WINDSURF BOARDS –
Want to get performance from your windsurfing board but can’t transport or store it easily? The inflatable windsurf market is the way.
They have superb volume and therefore are great for learning, but also have added features on the inflatable board so that it can be a progressive board for planning, using footstraps and in higher speeds/ winds. (Use in 0-25 knots).
Inflatable windsurf boards have rail release technology, footstraps, a stronger deck plate for the universal joint and removable centre fins.
The shape of these boards are how they differ to the windSUPs. The nose of the board is more shaped to cut through the water more efficiently, and the tail is squarer to release water better. They are shorter, more compact boards, and slightly wider to ease movement on the board when turning in windsurfing.
Albeit, we mention them on this windSUP blog as if you are looking to windsurf and SUP only occasionally, maybe with the family or on the odd day, then there is nothing stopping this board being paddled. As you would have seen with our SUP Blogs on board shape, these windsurf boards will not provide great paddleboarding performance because they are shorter with minimal glide in a straight line and wider so increase back twist.
Essentially, they are not designed for paddleboarding and we wouldn’t recommend if you want a paddleboard, but it is an option that you may benefit from if not good enough conditions to windsurf and you are resorted to SUPing.
We hope this blog has answered some of your questions. We love hearing your feed back so if you have a question, you would like us to look into in a blog, please let us know. Don’t forget that we are only a live chat, call, email or a visit away and are always happy to help you.
Once again, check out the complete WindSUP range here.