Who is Martino Rogai
Weight: 73 kg
Years paddling: 15 from kanu, 3 from SUP
Results to date: Kanu – 27 time Italian champion of different Kanu categories, 3 time European champion Kanu Italian Sup champion 2015 class 14’0 – 1st Nidau race Switzerland Sup tour 2015
Forward by Martino:
The board I am using for my 2015 and 2016 is the new Jimmy Lewis UBoat. A lot of improvements have gone into this board so let me give you my own view on it.
The biggest advancement of the UBoat is the stability. I know Jimmy has worked over the entire board to improve this – the tail is a fair bit wider and thinner, rails have a bit more of a sharp edge and the deck is a little lower to bring the rider closer to the water level and reduce centre of balance.
A big part of making a fast board is increasing waterline and by using the reverse bow shape has helped to maximise this, certainly for flat water conditions. Another part of this concept is the breaking of the flow of water that the piercing bow creates.
Uboat 2016 – 14’
The 2016 UBoat is about 10kg, built in a carbon sandwich construction and more importantly is extremely strong.
I ride pretty hard and in race lineups boards do get bashed so it’s pretty cool to have a tough board that isn’t going to fall apart.
I’ve never ridden the 27 wide model, but to be honest the 25 is so stable I can’t really see the need for me. For anyone who has really put the hammer down when racing you’ll know that things happen so much quicker and a wobble can easily grow especially in chop, but this didn’t happen with the new UBoat even on buoy turns.
The highest speed for me is when I have the nose slightly out of the water and the tail a little lifted to reduce the waters ability to hold onto the tail. Obviously it’s not always possible to keep the board trimmed in this way, but that is the optimum for flat water. You’ll need to improvise when it gets choppy or going downwind.
Keeping speed is easily maintained if you keep a good balance and rhythm. This comes down to practice and not throwing yourself around to erratically to upset the board in the water.
Downwind conditions are a bit trickier as the board is so flat and you need to paddle with a stance that has one foot slightly shifted back so you can easily lift the nose before it buries.
Upwind and into chop the board pierces the waves and the nose really helps to stop bow steering so you can keep a better line for longer.
So who do I see this board working for?
Obviously a more seasoned racer will love this board for all of its assets, but amateurs will find themselves loving the ease in which it can be paddled and the speed it delivers.
The most experts will immediately get the most of the board. The amateurs don’t have to worry about balance so they can try themselves on a race board thus improving their skills.
Uboat 2016 – 14’
The 2016 UBoat has the same characteristics as the UBoat 14 so it performs in a similar way. Coming in at 8.5kg it’s pretty tough again and really versatile.
I found the average and top speed of the UBoat 12’6 are not too dissimilar. Certainly top speed is right there but the average speed for me over a few miles is only a little slower.
Being that bit shorter does make this board a bit more versatile if you are racing in the sea and waves or choppier waters especially if you are 80kg and less.