I Want to Transition to a SUP Race Board. What do you Recommend?

Infinity Blackfish, SUP race board, tyler bashor, santa monica pier
Photo: Onit Pro

Dear PaddleXaminer,

I’m a 71 years young paddler who for the past couple of years have been paddling in the under 12′ Rec class on a GUSU/Cronin custom built board. I’ve owned a Fanatic Fly Race 14′, but rarely paddle it. This past weekend I demo paddled a SIC RS 14 x 24.5″ and was surprised with how stable it was for me with my old guy legs. The sponsor of the event is also an Infinity dealer, but I never got to try that brand, but it looks every bit as interesting as the SIC RS.

I’m about through with paddling the rec board as that class seems to be disappearing rapidly and I’d like to stay competitive. Never first place, but often 3rd. Many of the area I paddle in Kentucky have wakes and chop to deal with so I’d like a board that I can continue to paddle at pace without having to be disrupted with instability caused by rough chop.

Does this make sense? I weigh in at 180 at 5’10 and as much as I’d like to shave a few pounds, I probably won’t. I’m the guy who gets the comment, “You can’t be 71!” Almost everyone around here “sits and paddles” but I never will.

Bob Diehl


Response

Hi Bob,

Queue the theme tune for Rocky, because you clearly possess the perseverance to rise to any challenge.

Your predicament is fairly common and you’re off to a great start by attending events to take advantage of the opportunity to demo new SUP race board designs. Based on the performance of athletes like Jade Howson and Tommy Buday, I think the SIC RS is a capable platform, but it’s a shame you didn’t get a chance to hop on an Infinity Blackfish at the event in Kentucky. 

At this point in time, I feel the Infinity Blackfish is the most capable all around SUP race board on the market. The Blackfish was initially conceived as an ocean racer, but paddlers around the globe have demonstrated its versatility and exceedingly high performance in the type of flat water choppy conditions you have described. This is primarily accomplished due to the Infinity Blackfish’s generous nose volume and straight rail outline.  

Most paddlers who transition to an Infinity Blackfish find they can comfortably paddle a narrower SUP race board than they are used to. I found this was the case for me as well when I tested the board. The Blackfish is so iconic that many other brand’s have sought to replicate Infinity’s success by modelling their shapes on Infinity’s designs. 

With an Infinity SUP you also have the piece of mind knowing the board you are paddling is the product of a combined 100+ years of shaping, testing and knowledge about what it takes to make a board perform on the water. I don’t think there is another SUP company on earth who can match Infinity’s knowledge base.  

Submit your Ask a Paddler questions to us at: info@paddlexaminer.com

Matt Chebatoris
About Matt Chebatoris 230 Articles
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.

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