I'll add that more flexible boards are easier to ride through the chop . . .
yep. more flex = better in chop..... guess what its worse at? your right upwind performance.
So. very flexible, lots of rocker, rounded tips make for a plush ride. But a power hungry ride.
More width and length gives better upwind performance too...
So to get a board thats good in chop with reasonable upwind you need to ballance size, width, rocker, shape, flexibility..... to get what you want.
I only ride in chop/swell. The only flat i find is inbetween waves.
So... my board is abit longer than normal. 142cm. it has reasonable width. 42cm. Its rounded at the tips and is flexible with intermediate rocker. So.... the longer length and width counteract the flex and shape to give a board thats has reasonable upwind while giving awesome chop slicing performance.
as for the original question -- the longer the board the better it deals with chop for the same reason that a longer boat can deal with chop better than a short boat. I dunno if the width matters. I agree with the other stuff tho about flex, rocker and shape.
One other thing for good chop handling is having soft tips. They make a huge difference. If you have a chance have a look how soft are the tips on something like a North x-ride or on any of the Shinn boards (like a monk or a supershinn).
Thanks all for the advice. It sounds like board size, on it's own, you want bigger.
The other attributes like rocker and flex all seem to be a trade off of chop handle verses upwind ability. Unfortunately my specific problem is upwind performance in medium chop (maybe 6-8") AND medium swell (2-4'.) I'm renting boards in Maui next month so I'll try a number of different ones, but I want to know what I'm looking at as I evaluate.
Is progressive flex the same as soft tips? That sounds like a nice compromise to try.
Yes, I actually have a Mako King. I learned to stay upwind in chop on it and love the board. I've ridden it mutant and strapless and several combinations thereof. I then took what I learned and was able to stay upwind on my old Airush X-Over 142x42(ish.) I enjoyed the feel of the real TT and am leaning towards it for my trick days, as opposed to cruising having a relaxed good ride, or riding directional/strapless.
The only problem is I watched the Joyride DVD and started a back to the basics review of stance and riding "ass-in." I've seen the light on how fast and comfortable you can ride leaned back, hips forward, but I lost that hard earned upwind (despite the chop) ability.
I think the key is when in swell (and chop) you have to ride very dynamically with the conditions. You can't just set a tack and hold it...which I'm trying to do while perfecting my basic stance. I'm in the doldrums here, so I'm killing time w/ theory until I get back to the real stage: practice.
Long thin used to be best for chop. But, a longer board will flex more by comparison sucking power. (curves/ rocker suck power) Short flexi board used to suck power but rode chop well. What was a great help for me was the modern Shinn Monk and Dundee, that I find ride chop brilliantly, but don't suck nearly as much power as older boards did. I am sure there are other makes that do the same job as Shinn. Perhaps they have a stiff centre and flex tips as above post, makes sense?, but my Dundee certainly is super smooth, with only slightly less power than my stiff Nobile 666.
I sail in gnarly breaking bay chop with onshore wind most of the time. I use a Mako 150 below 18kt and a Mako 135 above 18kt, body weight 75kg. Both work great in their respective conditions and are very comfortable to ride. They don't go upwind quite as well as a squared up twin tip, but they do OK. With a squared up twin tip, I'll stab a tip in breaking chop and crash several times a session - with the rounded Mako that rarely happens. The 135 is a ton of fun, but don't go out underpowered.
pdb1121 wrote:Unfortunately my specific problem is upwind performance in medium chop (maybe 6-8") AND medium swell (2-4'.) I'm renting boards in Maui next month so I'll try a number of different ones, but I want to know what I'm looking at as I evaluate.
I've seen the light on how fast and comfortable you can ride leaned back, hips forward, but I lost that hard earned upwind (despite the chop) ability.
What I find works for me is one hand on the bar near the centre and the other out to the side allowing me to twist more and focus on a point on the horizon. This helps me go upwind more regardless of board size/shape. I also find this to be a comfortable stance for me rather than both hands on the bar. After working on strengthening exercises to overcome and prevent "kiters elbow", I can occasionally steer my kite with one hand as well.
I only seem to have both hands on the bar when I'm first water starting, turning, needing more power in the kite or jumping. I'm also more balanced when going over waves with the other arm out to the windward side. Makes me feel more like I'm skateboarding or surfing as I jump over the waves and chop like they're my own skate park.
it doesn't matter what shape the board is, if you have enough power, it will go upwind. if you can't get upwind in the chop, it has nothing to do with the board, because all boards go upwind. you need to work on your technique.
the answers you are getting here are talking about which boards are more convenient to ride when in choppy water. boards that are are flatter and have less flex kill your knees when there is chop everywhere.
i would advise riding what you have before buying a boring board like the mako, yes the board helps a little bit but it's not going to make a difference if you are struggling to stay upwind to begin with.
@dyyylan: agreed, technique is the key. I'm headed to Maui and it's cheaper to rent boards than get scalped by the airlines carrying your own. I'm trying to get educated for when I chose rental boards.
@ontario: I've got the one hand down. Problem is I stick my butt out. Learned to go upwind that way too, but after trying to refine my stance, I'm having trouble staying upwind again. I think it's both the way I angle the rail when I'm leaned way back, and the fact I'm trying to just set my stance and go. In swell, I think the original key was learning how to approach the waves and surf each part of the wave differently.