Trying to find a sup surfboard that is well suited to UK conditions has so many factors linked to it.
- How heavy is the paddler
- What is the skill level
- What sort of conditions do you surf in
Being what I see as a normal sized bloke at 95kg I was looking for a board with about 130 litres. This sort of volume gives me plenty of float without being too bloated but the volume doesn’t say how stable it will be so let’s look into this a bit more.
The board of choice in this test is the Mistral Wave 8’6 Diamond Head with a fish tail. It was chosen as it has the perfect volume of 130 litres but not quite so wide as some at 30 inches and tri fin setup.
Anyone that surfs knows that south coast waves are slower and less punchy than our atlantic cousins get so for bigger guys or novice riders we need a board with float and glide with an effective rocker line.
Having the volume in the board helps to keep it above water i.e not sunk which can make things more tricky when paddling out. The downside to too much volume is when you are on the wave it can work against you and feel more bouncy.
Rocker plays an important part in a boards ability to perform and too much can mean the board is slower to pop up on the wave. The Mistral has a nice balanced rocker that gave it a smooth feel on smaller and larger waves that didn’t need too much power to pop it up.
The rails are sharp enough to give a good bite during carving turns whilst the board has a thick enough profile to evenly balance the volume throughout the waterline.The width of the board at 30 inches makes it very stable without being tricky to lean. I know that some o the boards we have tried that are often wider can feel a bit sticky as they need to be pushed down harder on the rail to get the board over so finding that perfect balance of width really helps here.
I would say that the 8’6 Mistral Diamond Head is versatile and capable of handling our UK conditions really well. It is pretty fast and responsive whilst maintain an easy to use feel.
This Wave board will satisfy the more extreme wave riders, allowing them to ride in all sorts of wave conditions. The 8’6 is a fast and responsive board and the board of choice for guys who are looking for the best a wave surfing SUP board can offer.
LENGTH 8‘6“ | 258 CM
WIDTH 30“ | 76 CM
THICKNESS 4 1/4“ | 11 CM
VOLUME 130 L
WEIGHT 18.3 LBS | 8.3 KG