I’ve spent the past year and half, on custom Skip Smith SUPs. Everything from a 10’0, 8’6, 8’0, and my personal favorite, a 7’10. If you haven’t ridden one of his boards, you are really missing out.
Here is my short review of my custom 7’10 x 29.25 x 105L, quad fin:
-Float: I’m at 170lbs, and this board floats me perfectly. I was so worried this board was going to be too small for me, that I actually had him make me a 8’6 as well. I used the 8’6 one time, and never went back. There is something about the way he designs these, that throws all other things out of the window. I’ve been on much longer and wider boards, that didn’t float me as well as this board. Not sure why, but I like it!
-Glide: This board paddles really well for being so short. I use this board if it is ankle high, or head high plus, and have no issues. I don’t catch the waves super early like on a 10’0 board, but still do not have to wait until it breaks to get on the wave. I can still paddle in early, way before the wave breaks. I think the extra width near nose and at the tail, really helps catch the mushy waves. You can slide one foot forward and put pressure closer to the front, and catch the small stuff with ease.
-Once on the wave: This is why I personally ride Skip’s boards. Once you are on the wave, it really feels like you are on a short board. The board is so light and lively under your feet, and you can generate so much speed. It also feels like a real surfboard and isn’t bouncy like most of the production boards. I can dig in for an aggressive bottom turn, slide the tail out on the wave face, or run to the nose and hang ten. It just does everything well.
-Big waves: I’ve been on as big of waves as we get here in Florida during some hurricane swell, and it worked incredible. It stays smooth in the water with no bouncing, turns on a dime, and just works great. I thought for sure that the extra width would not allow it to do well in big surf, but that is not the case at all. I find myself sliding my back foot right over the rail for aggressive bottom turns, and it holds like a champ.
-Durability: I tend to break a lot of boards. Mostly kiteboards, but also surfboards from time to time. So, I was a bit worried about going with a custom SUP. I’ve had my 7’10 for over a year now, and only had to have 1 minor repair. The board is very durable and it still going strong
-Overall: There are a lot of really good boards out on the market, and they all work and are fun to ride. But for me, this is truly one of the most, if not the most, high performance SUP’s out there. It does everything well, whether it is ankle high, or head high plus. His boards are for those looking to make that next step to up their level of riding. You don’t need to go as short as I did, but don’t be scared to go shorter than what you may ride now. You will be surprised at how easy they are to paddle, catch waves, and have a blast. Grab a demo from the shop, and see for yourself!