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WindSUP wazzup

Unfortunately it feels like the foils have taken the wind out of the WindSUP sails, pardon the pun. Just when WindSUPs and inflatables were starting to be a subject of discussion, the foils fired up.

Locally Franco Ittiandro has tried a number of boards, long and short, and has decided that his recent purchase of a BIC WindSUP 11'6" was the best fit ever ... He did have issues with the EVA skin, but it was covered under warranty ...

No, that is NOT Franco in the next images 😄
Franco is like me - older gentleman , heavyweight , still loving the wind and the water ...

The thing is, the WindSUP is NOT just for light winds, beginners, etc. The implication is obviously that you can stand up paddle as well, but most reading I have done on the subject (on windsurf forums), the majority of the people are windsurfing and quite often in the waves (not mast high though).

The most popular one on iwindsurf seems to be the Exocet WindSUP 11'8" (especially for the heavyweights like myself).

John Ingebritsen speaks favourably about ALL the Exocets on the North American iwindsurf forum.

People have even compared the Kona One with the Exocet WindSUP with some surprising results !!

but before we go any further, just check out what this windsurfer is saying about the Exocet WindSUP !!

it is from this discussion:


Owning both the Kona One and the Exocet Wind-SUP 11'8" I have had extensive experience sailing and paddling both over the last several years here in Eastern North Carolina. For sound side (flatter water) windsurfing I prefer the Kona One as the daggerboard system works better and I think it is a little faster board. However, for ocean and light wind wave sailing the 11'8" is the winner hands down. The Kona One also works quite well as an SUP but is a little narrower. Also due to its thicker hull you end up standing a litttle higher off the water. This contributes to a slightly higher center of gravity too which makes it a little more tipsy until you get used to it compared to the 11'8" when paddling. 

The 11'8" remains a super fun board for light wind ocean/wave sailing and especially fun for doing downwinders! This is because thanks to the daggerboard you can really cut high upwind and easily sail a couple miles up the beach. Then kick the dagger back up and blast back on deep planing broad reaches riding swells and waves as you go. Fun - Fun -Fun. Once back at your starting point, just repeat the process. I use an Aerotech Phantom 7.5 sail almost exclusively for this purpose. 

As an SUP it is very stable, easy to paddle, and paddles faster than you would think a big board like it would. I have also taught several rank beginners to windsurf on it as well as SUP paddle and it worked very well with more than ample stablity for that. 

I wrote a review on this board over a year ago which talks about how it performs as an SUP in paddling mode as well as under sail. You can check it out at: 


I have several other reports on the 11'8" posted on my blog there as well. 

My only big complaint is that it is a heavy board when carrying and or taking off your vehicle. However, once on the water its light wind performance and paddling ease more than make up for it. Also, I and others have had problems with the daggerboard gaskets coming out. However, since putting tape over the front edge of the gaskets and adjacent bottom surface, I have had no more problems with this. 

I think that if you want both a windsurfing and SUP all in one board that you can sail ocean, waves, flat water; teach beginners to windsurf on, teach beginners to SUP on, as well as have a fun SUP for both ocean and flat water paddling; then you can't go wrong with the 11'8". 

Good winds 


and also ...


I used to own the Kona and now own the 11'8. Here are my thoughts on the different aspects of their performance: 

Early Planing: I felt like the Kona needed 1-2 knots more wind to plane than a light-wind shortboard would need. For the 11'8 the planing threshold is more the same as what you'd expect for a big shortboard. 

Speed: I'm sure I haven't seen the true "top speed" of either board. They both go fast and stay pretty controlled when powered up. The Kona is a little more comfortable to sail overpowered, though, especially when having to bash over/through rough water. 

Jibing and Carving: The 11'8 carves and jibes better. 

Glide: Both boards seem to glide about the same to me in flat water, although the wider 11'8 may get slowed down a little more by head-on chop. 

Daggerboard: Kona daggerboard is more powerful for upwind sailing, and the gasket makes a better seal. The 11'8 daggerboard works adequately for getting you upwind, but it doesn't give enough power to let you "rail" the board. The 11'8 daggerboard also has a flimsier gasket more prone to catch water and break. 

Waves: The 11'8 is better for catching and riding waves and swells, both because of its shape and because of the centered footstrap options, which the Kona does not have. 

Beginners: Beginners like the 11'8 better because its more stable and the daggerboard isn't as sticky to operate. 


So, this makes deciding between a K1 and a WindSUP that much more difficult. If one is into the K1 races, there is no question what ti purchase, but otherwise ??

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