|14' Stingray Salt by Suplove|
|Friday, 06 May 2011 00:00|
A direct descendant of the Suplove Stingray 12'6" and created by world renowned Naval Architect, Andrew Dovell, the Suplove Stingray Salt 14' is a open water racing phenomenon. The Stingray Salt 14' is purposely designed to be the fastest 14' open water stand up paddle board commercially available on the market today. Its success is no accident. Fast and stable, the Salt 14' will improve your paddling times and enhance your paddling pleasure, be it on an elite or recreational level. Are you up for it / do you fit the legend / are you ready for paddle success? (Join the Gear Talk Group on Sup Connect.)
Just like the board's description promised, this is an excellent stand up paddle board for racing and fitness. Matt Johnston, Suplove's owner, says that it was "designed for speed" and he is right. I gave it a shot, raced with this sup board a few times, and was very impressed, making the 14' Stingray Salt one of my favorite stand up paddle (sup) race boards. Now, due to some of the design features for speed, the board is not the best choice for your non-serious, recreational paddler. But if it's speed and fitness that you're looking for, this is an excellent choice, especially in light of the glide, relative minimal yaw, and low-center of gravity. (Become friends with Matt Johnston on Sup Connect.)
As I hinted, glide, relative minimal yaw, and low-center of gravity are some of the highlights of this model. The v-shaped bottom (contrasted with flat or fairly round bottoms) minimizes the hull's contact with the water, thereby reducing resistance and increasing speed. And due to characteristics of that same bottom (together with a relative low rockers and other features) the 14' Stingray Salt has relative no yaw problem. (Yaw is the board's behavior of veering off course as a result of paddle strokes.) For me, I needed to switch sides with my paddle strokes not so much to correct for the sup board's yaw but rather to reduce the fatigue of paddling only on one side. Then, there is the lower-center of gravity. The paddler stands very close (if not exactly at) the waterline. That, in turn, lowers the paddler's center of gravity, thereby maximizing balance and allowing you to transfer more power toward your stroke, with the end result of maximizing speed. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention weight. The board is very lightweight and on par with the standard of high-class stand up paddle (sup) race boards. (Sign up to Sup Connect Newsletter to stay in the sup loop.)
The board was designed for speed and with that (as it's usually always the case) come some downfalls. It's not as stable as some of the slower, more recrational cross-over or touring boards. While reducing the water resistance, that v-bottom also reduces stability. Now the 14' Stingray Salt is a second generation of Stingray stand up paddle (sup) race boards by Suplove, where stability was significantly improved by increasing width and adding volume to the tail. As a result, the Salt stand up paddle (sup) race board is considerably more stable than its predecessor and still incredibly fast, but it is not a touring/recreational board and as such it's not nearly as stable. Now as far as a stand up paddle (sup) race board goes, I found the 14' Stingray Salt to be neither more nor less stable than its racing counterparts: it displayed the typical "tipieness" found in stand up paddle (sup) race boards on flatwater conditions. With that in mind, like Matt Johnston put it, this sup race board was "designed for speed" and makes for an excellent sup board choice for stand up paddle racing. (Join the SUP Racing Group on Sup Connect.)
Disclaimer: Review notes are taken by Andre Niemeyer, other Supconnect staff, and/or contributors. Review notes are typically taken from a one-time use and assessment. Several features were gauged, ranging from design and construction to pricepoint and usability. Now some of these features, such as durability, may receive an initial assessment based on the construction materials and foil, among other things. But this is not a final and definitive assessment. For some features, durability included, any final and definitive assessment requires a longitudinal study. No such study has been made for review notes. These notes are initial, not final, assessment reports.
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