Saturday, October 6, 2012

Got a New Board- Exocet WindSUP 11'8"

Oh. Yeah. Baby.

I just got the new board that I've been lusting after for a year. It's the Exocet WindSUP 11'8", AST construction, purple color, 360 x 79 cm, 220 liters volume, 56 cm Allgaier daggerboard, 44 cm powerbox fin.

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Mowing the lawn can wait.

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I've got the footstraps in the outboard positions for flatwater blasting. There's also a centered footstrap orientation for wavesailing, but there are rarely any waves around here so I'm tuning for flatwater. Of course, some people say they don't even use the footstraps when they wavesail this board, so maybe when I wavesail it I can just step around the straps.

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This underside view shows the "step-tail" design, which combines a flat "swallow tail" planing surface with a longer "pin tail" for smooth gliding and catching waves. The 44 cm powerbox stock fin should be good for early planing with my 8.0 sail, but I'll use a much smaller fin for waveriding and SUP- either my 32 cm MauiUltraFin or my 25 cm WeedWave fin. The Allgaier daggerboard system is apparently the WindSUP's one Achilles heel. It's fine at low speed, but at planing speed the loose lips peel partly open, allowing water to shoot through the center of the board and adding drag that limits your maximum speed.

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Hibuscus flower motif with flying fish, fitting for Florida. "Exocet" means flying fish in French, and Exocoetidae is the scientific name for the flying fishes family.

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I bought the board at "Ace Performer," a nice local windsurf / sup / kite / kayak shop located near the Sanibel Causeway in Fort Myers. (Warning: The Ace Performer website has an incredibly annoying "magical sparkling" sound effect that repeats. Turn off your sound before you click the link.) Notwithstanding his website sound effect choices, the shop owner, Roy Massey, seems like a very cool guy. I'm looking forward to sailing with him and meeting the rest of the local crew at their regular launch sites on the causeway (for flatwater) and on Captiva Island (for the best waves in SW Florida).

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Roy gave me some free rack pads to help advertise the shop.

Naturally, I'm desperate to get the thing in the water. The SW Florida weekend forecast looks typically devoid of planing-strength winds or rideable waves, but I should still be good to go for a paddle in the Imperial River or a non-planing cruise with an 8.0 sail at Wiggins Pass. Naturally I'll post a review once I have some data.

PS- Last week I found out that a tidal creek one block from my house links up with the scenic Imperial River. I can carry my SUP board down there without even having to put it on the car! I figured it out by doing the route in reverse, paddling from the kayak dock at Riverside Park in Olde Bonita Springs. Stoke!

25 comments:

JSW225 said...

I am incredibly jealous. I demand that you drop what you're doing now, test it, and write a review for us.

James Douglass said...

I just got back from Wiggins Pass. The wind was side-onshore around 6 knots. There was a tiny bit of chop but no swell. I used an 8.0 sail. The board was very stable- no surprises there. It tracked upwind pretty well with the daggerboard down, although I felt like it lost some speed when the broad nose would "thud" on a piece of chop. When I was a little more powered and could rail the board to leeward a bit it didn't thud as much. I worked my way far upwind, then kicked up the daggerboard to do broad reaches downwind. That's where the board felt best. It had real good glide even in the super light wind, and it would start sliding and speeding up even on the microscopic little bits of chop out there. Can't wait to get it in some real conditions.

Chuck said...

James,

You are going to love the WindSUP ad especially once you get it out in the waves and wind. It makes real light wind wave sailing so much fun and so easy! Even just out on the ocean, you can sail-surf swells way downwind, then kick down the dagger board and sail back up wind! Also, those foot straps are handy for having something to grab onto and handle the board in and out of the surf!
It also catches waves easily in the paddle SUP surfing mode but I would prefer a lighter board for just paddling in the surf. On flat water though it paddles nicely and is a great board for introducing newcomers to SUP and Windsurfing too thanks to its great stability.

Have fun and post some more pictures.

Chuck Rhodes
Emerald Isle, NC

LJR said...

Hi James

How does the 11’8” wind sup go as a all rounder cruiser / surf paddle board?

James Douglass said...

Chuck- I continue to enjoy the windsup a lot, although finding waves to use it in on this of Florida is tough! I'll try to post some more pictures.

LJR- It's an excellent cruiser + beginner paddleboard with a lot of glide and a lot of stability. In surf it catches waves quite easily but it's kind of heavy and technical to turn. I haven't tried it in good waves, though.

jmogyoro said...

Have you ever weighed this board? I have the bamboo version and it is much heavier than spec. 37.5 lbs. Spec for AST max is 36.8. The bamboo is supposed to be around 31. Don't know if there is something wrong. I am measuring with no fin, no dagger, no footstraps, no mast base. Thanks.

James Douglass said...

Hi Jm- I have never weighed mine, but I will confirm that it is heavy, probably at least as heavy as yours. The guy who own the Ace Performer windsurf shop in Fort Myers has the bamboo version, which definitely feels lighter than mine. You should contact him and ask him how much his weighs so you can compare it to yours and see if yours is unusually heavy for its construction.

Mr Hickey said...

Hi James - the windsup seems to have an updated dagger board in the picts on the exocet site - know anything about it?


ateve

James Douglass said...

Hi ateve- I haven't heard anything about an updated daggerboard for the windsup, but it would be great if they would give it a Kona ONE daggerboard. Can you post a link to the pics you saw?

Mr Hickey said...

http://www.exocet-original.com/wind-sup118.php is the one on the site now days.

Sorry name is Steve - hit the wrong key!

James Douglass said...

Same daggerboard, just with a white plastic gasket instead of black.

Mr Hickey said...

hmm...seems to have a deck plate similar to the Kona - interesting.

Cat said...

Hi James,

Nice blog! If I could bend your ear, for a 70 kg not particularly strong girl beginner windsurfer do you think the 11'8" would be too big to handle or the 10' would be the best way to go? It'd be using it for cruising around and relatively small waves, and I want it to 'grow' with me as I learn. There are high praises online for the 11'8" but not so much chat about the 10'. I understand the 11'8" is more powerful, able to catch waves more easily, can handle conditions that other boards can't so is 'safer' in that sense, and better for cruising, whereas the 10' trades all this for being more maneuverable, but for me at my weight perhaps the 10' is essentially equivalent to a heavier person on the 11'8". Thoughts? The place I'm buying it off recommends me to get the 10' due to my weight, but I don't see anyone online saying something similar and I'd like more opinions... I've been recommended to not get a bamboo version as even though it's lighter as the AST will be easier to repair as I'm a beginner. Though online someone who got the 10' seemed to recommended to get the bamboo version due to their AST one breaking http://www.iwindsurf.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30106&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=0&sid=55bf9bec51aae4718c73c5c55ac43c71 ...

Thoughts?

Thanks!

James Douglass said...

Hi Cat,

I think you would enjoy either size, but you might find the 10' more enjoyable if you're sailing in waves. The bamboo construction is noticeably lighter for its size than the AST, so if you get the 11'8 you might want to get it in bamboo.

-James

Ittiandro Vivona said...

I do mostly subplaning ( both by choice and necessity, given the prevailing conditions here) and the Bic 293 SUP I have is a very poor performer in sub-planing. Currently I am looking at the Exocet Wind SUP 11”8” and the 11”6 Bic ACE TEC Windsup. I could get the Bic Windsup for about $ 400 less than the Exocet. What worries me, though, is that the Bic Wind SUP still has the same( just longer) flat bottom of her “ planing” sister Bic293 Core I want to get away from, and I wouldn’t want to trade a one dollar bill for ..four quarters. The Exocet, on the other hand has a double concave hull, which should ensure a better gliding in sub-planing.
I weigh 85 kg, I don’t do wave sailing,I sub-plane mostly in flat water or small waves, speed or planing are not my priorities, but stability is, especially when gybing and tacking.
I wonder if there is really a substantial difference on account of the hull design. Definitely, if I compare my 293 cm flat bottomed Bic 293 with the double concave hull of the old 12 ‘ Mistral Competition I tried, there is a HUGE difference in subplaning, but perhaps the 12’ length of the Bic Wind SUP makes up for it.
Can you or anybody comment on this?

Thanks

Ittiandro

Ittiandro Vivona said...

Correction: the 1st line of my post should read Bic 293 Core instead of SUP

Ittiandro

James Douglass said...

Hi Ittiandro- You are absolutely right that windsurfing shortboards like the Bic 293 poor sub-planing performers. There is a huge difference between 293 cm and 360 cm. Both the Exocet WindSUP 11'8 and the Bic Windsup 11'6 will perform much better in sub-planing mode. In sub-planing mode there will not be much difference in the performance of the exocet windsup and the bic windsup. Both will glide almost as well as your old mistral competition, and they will be much more stable. So if you want the board primarily for sub-planing conditions, the cheaper bic would be fine. However, the bic windsup will not plane nearly as nicely as the exocet windsup. So if you want the board to be able to plane well when it gets windy, the exocet windsup is a better choice.

Ittiandro Vivona said...

HI James
Thanks for your reply.One more thing. I weigh 85 kg and I windsurf only in light winds/subplaning, no speed, no waves sailing, no..acrobatics... Just plain cruising. Would the smaller Exocet do just as well ? The Exocets are expensive. The 10 ft model is cheaper. If it can do the job, why not buying it instead of the 11.8 ( which is also heavy, by the way)?
Can you give me a sense of what should I expect from the 10 ft model as compared to the 11.8?

Thanks

Franco

James Douglass said...

Hi Franco,

For subplaning cruising in light winds, longer boards are faster. The 10.0 will work ok, but the 11.8 ft will glide better. If you want something that glides a lot better than the bic 293, the 11.8 is better.

-James

Abigail Burrows said...

Hi James -

I realize this post started years ago... but I stumbled on it and wonder if you wouldn't mind weighing in:

I'm in the market for a paddleboard, and also want to get back into windsurfing (i'd say I am an advanced beginner) and am very curious about the Exocet Windsup (2016 model). As has been the case for awhile, it seems, there are a lot of skeptics out there who say that a hybrid board will not be great for either activity, but 'ok' for each and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a SUP and windsurfer separately.

Is it worth it, in your opinion, to consider the hybrid and is it still the case that the Exocet is one of the best options out there? I am interested in being able to grow into both activities. If this is my only board - will I be limiting myself?

SUP conditions: flat/choppy, interested in decent glide, efficiency of movement and maneuverability/handling. Do not plan on surfing or getting into waves.

Windsurfing conditions: when it's too windy to paddle! (Newport, RI) Still choppy, most likely will stick to sub 20mph. Upwind sailing is my biggest challenge.

Me: 5'4" and I hate heavy boards if I can't carry them and/or move them through the water.

Thanks for your time!!

Abby

James Douglass said...

Hi Abby,

I definitely think the hybrids are worth it and the Exocet Windsup is ideal for both the type of sup you're interested in and the type of windsurfing you're interested in. You won't be limited in either windsurfing or sup with an Exocet Windsup.

While both the 11'8 windsup and the 10'0 windsup are easy to move on the water, the 10'0 would be easier to carry, so that would be my first choice for you. (The 11'8 is a big board, so naturally it's heavy.) Also, the version with the wood deck is a few pounds lighter than the AST construction one.

Hope you can get on the water soon!

-James

Abigail Burrows said...

Thanks so much, James! I am definitely anxious to get on the water... it's hard to be patient with this decision! ($$$)
I think someone had mentioned that the smaller board might be tougher to sail, or, as a SUP might not get as much glide as the longer board - but the weight difference is pretty significant, so hopefully with my size it will work out. It sounds like I will be able to demo one this weekend in my area, so i'll let you know how it works out.

Thanks! ... and, I have to ask... you don't work for Exocet, do you?!

jmogyoro said...

Hello Abby,
I saw your post.I guess I am subscribed to this blog. James helped me years ago when I had some questions. I have the 11'8 windsup, bamboo. I thought I would tell you my experience (good and bad). Me=42, male, advanced beginner windsurfer, 170lbs. Was learning how to plane when I bought it. Started SUPing a few years ago. There are many "windsups" out there now and new ones all the time. What I think it still unique about this is that it will plane easily and has footstraps. That is still kinda rare I think. There are many without footstraps. You didn't mention planing, but that was important to me. It is super easy to sail and gets on a plane easily. Now about the weight. It is very heavy (underline heavy). Mine is over 35 lbs and I bought the light one (bamboo). That is crazy heavy compared to a SUP-only board. Pull up some specs on 12'6" SUPS (which is a common touring size). They will be ~23-27lbs. It is not enjoyable to load and carry the Exocet to the water. I use a SUP cart usually. I have another SUP (11'4" Naish Nalu). It is about 24 lbs. What a difference that 10 lbs makes. Oh, and the windsup has NO HANDLE. You can stick your hand in the centerboard slot but the board is not balanced to carry. BTW, the Naish has a windsurf mount. It is perfectly fine for a hybrid too but no planing and no footstraps, but it's light. I have paddled the exocet and put my daughter on the front. It will hold alot of weight. It is perfectly ok to paddle. Adequate. You won't win any races. Yes, there is a tradeoff for a hybrid in my opinion. If you want to paddle fast and cut through chop, you need a displacement hull, which is not a windsurfing shape. Sounds like you will get a chance to use it, which is great. I just bought mine off of the internet. Nobody had one around here. I don't think there is one magic board for everything, so you are doing the right thing....figure out what is most important and test (weight/transportability, upwind(need centerboard?), planing hull?, footstraps?,paddling speed, etc.). Advice you did not ask for...if you could rent/try any touring SUP board with a displacement shape so you can see what that feels like to paddle. Then you will know what you are missing in paddling performance and see if that matters to you. Thanks John

James Douglass said...

Thanks for chiming in with your experiences, John.

Abby- Yes, it's true that the 10'0 won't glide quite as well as an 11'8, but it will still glide pretty well. I'm confident that the 10'0 would be plenty long enough for you, and its daggerboard, special tail, and footstraps will make it a lot more suitable for windsurfing than most sup boards. As for carrying it, I like to carry my 11'8 balanced on top of my head, holding onto the footstraps. It takes a little practice but it's not too bad. It's a lot lighter than a typical plastic kayak, at any rate. I should post a video on how to pick up and carry a big board.

-James

Cat said...

Hi Abby,

See my post from Aug 2015. I ended up getting the 10'0 AST. I carry it with this http://www.supwheels.com/ . The strap handle it comes with doesn't quite fit the board - the board is I think too wide at the nose for it - but I manage to get it on. I've tried a friend's wheels of another brand that comes instead with a suction-cup handle, but for the Exocet board (unlike my friend's board) I found the suction-cup tends to slip off.

After putting on the wheels, I load on top of the board (well, actually the bottom of the board as it's facing down) the mast, boom etc and strap those on with two tie-down straps you use on roof racks.

It is still difficult pulling it through soft sand, and is particularly heavy with the gear on top, but it is the best I've come up with and works well enough for me. It's pretty fine on harder surfaces.

If I'm just carrying the board for paddling and don't want to worry about the wheels, I put the daggerboard in the board and use the handle of the daggerboard to help carry the board - I find that easier than trying to use the slot for the daggerboard as a handle. But I can't carry it that way very far.

Note I got the AST instead of the lighter bamboo at the dealer's suggestion - they said the AST is easier to fix than the bamboo, and I'm a beginner so may break things... haven't broken it yet though!

I'm a 70 kg, 5'7 girl and I'm not strong. I've used the board for flat-water paddling and windsurfing in light winds. I'm still a beginner.

Hope that helps!