Tuesday, May 2, 2017

SUP Speed Analysis, 14' vs. 12'6, Male vs. Female

There were a lot of good racers at last weekend's challenging "Key West Classic." That included at least one elite level racer in each of the four classes: Men's 14', Women's 14', Men's 12'6, and Women's 12'6. That provided an interesting opportunity to examine: A) The relative speeds of the best racers in each class. B) How "stacked" the field was in each class, i.e., how much difference in speed there was between the first and fifth place finisher within each class. Check it out in this chart-

Here's what I see:

1) 14' boards are about 0.5 kph faster than 12'6 boards, on average. This makes sense, because the theoretical "hull speed" of a 14' board is 9.3 kph, vs. 8.8 kph for a 12'6 board.

2) There are big differences in how "stacked" the various board classes are, as calculated by the percent difference in speed between the first place finisher and the fourth or fifth place finisher in each class. Men's 14' and women's 12'6 class are the most stacked, and women's 14' class is the least stacked. Conclusion- It would be great to get some more women in the 14' class.

Men's 14' Class- 8% difference between 1st and 5th
Women's 12'6 Class- 11% difference between 1st and 5th
Men's 12'6 Class- 18% difference between 1st and 5th
Women's 14' Class- 40% difference between 1st and 4th (only 4 competitors)

3) Looking just at the differences between the 1st place finishers in each class, the fastest men are a little bit faster than the fastest women. However, this difference is pretty small. In both the 14' and the 12'6 classes, the first place female is faster than the 5th place male.

1 comment:

boardsurfr said...

Interesting analysis. The advanced hull speed formulas also have weight factored in (more weight, higher bow wave). The effect should be larger on shorter boards, which would perhaps cause smaller speed differences in the 12.6 class. But I assume it's a much bigger factor that most women compete in 12.6.