Hi,

I’m an expert paddler and racer but not too serious about speed. Just quality and comradery.

I’m interested in an Infinity Blackfish 14′ x 27″. I’m only about 150 pounds, 62 years old and love the idea of a very light board. I’ve been paddling for 20 years. Is this going to be too buoyant for me?

I’m on a Starboard Allstar 12’6” x 24.5” now but would like a little more stability when the conditions get tougher. Especially when it happens unexpectedly.

Thanks for your input. Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks,

Kurt Feeter

(Clay’s twin brother from Stand Up Journal Magazine)

Response

Hi Kurt,

Thanks for reading PaddleXaminer and taking the time to participate in our “Ask a Paddler” forum. You’ve asked a great question and board width is something that vexes all standup paddlers.

Infinity SUP is my favorite board company, so we’re off to a good start! It sounds like you have a solid background paddling and have done a bit of research to narrow down your options to a board design that meets your criteria. All that is left to do is determine is the dimensions.

The Infinity Blackfish is an unrivaled rough water board whose performance and stability is greatly enhanced by the straight outline of the rails. I’ve paddled a Starboard Allstar with the same dimensions as yours as well as the Infinity Blackfish (12’6” and 14’ models). As luck would have it, I also weigh around 150 lbs, but am not going to stake a claim to being an expert paddler as I’ve seen what an expert can do on a board and that isn’t me.

That said, given the straight rail outline of the Infinity Blackfish I believe you will find it to be more stable than your Starboard Allstar. I have paddled a 14’ x 24” Blackfish in choppy ocean conditions with a fair amount of comfort. I feel the straight rails on the Infinity Blackfish enable you to paddle a narrower board than a different design would allow. Another thing to consider, a paddler can often go a tad narrower with a 14 ft board as the added length provides a bit of additional stability over a 12’6”.

Given what you’ve told me, I think a 14’ x 27” Infinity Blackfish is too conservative of a choice. I think you will be surprised how comfortable you feel on a 14’ x 24” Blackfish, but to play it safe go for a 14’ x 25” model.

I hope this helps! Looking forward to seeing you on the water and be sure to tag PaddleXaminer in a photo of you with your new board!

 

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Matt Chebatoris

Matt is a former national security professional and lifelong adventurer. He has published material on a variety of topics in the foreign policy arena and created PaddleXaminer™ as a platform to share his enjoyment of paddling with others. When not on the water, Matt can be found hiking along rugged mountain trails in the California wilderness. Matt resides in Los Angeles and is a member of the Lanakila Outrigger Canoe Club in Redondo Beach, California.