Choosing a SUP Race Board: customize your racing paddleboard with the Flying Fish 3D board builder
The word “Slick” according to Google Translate is the definition of an impressive and efficient action or thing. That might also just be the definition of the new Flying Fish boards 3D custom board builder. The thing is impressive and can cause you to spend hours in front of your computer. Before you spend hours paddling on your new board.
Slick – adjective(of an action or thing) done or operating in an impressively smooth, efficient, and apparently effortless way.a slick piece of softwareSynonyms: efficient, smooth, smooth-running, polished, well-organized, well run, streamlined.
Flying Fish Board Company based in Stuart, Florida, built a reputation of custom boards that filled the void left behind by stock boards. As paddleboarding grew over the years, Flying Fish would provide paddlers with boards that would fit their style, their weight and height and the kind of paddling they wanted to do. Flying Fish’s “Find Your Glide” slogan comes from that belief of designing and handcrafting the lightest and most efficient boards possible. And they seemed to have achieved that lately with the addition of the 3D custom board design features to their website.
On the 3D Design Center page one can custom build their new racing or surfing paddleboard based on 4 models. After picking the initial model, it brings you to the configuration screen, with dimensions and volume predefined, and from there you can pick your boards length, width and thickness based with the help of a “Volume Wizard”. You simply pick a desired Volume for your board, and the wizard will suggest Length, Width and Thickness ideal for performance under that defined Volume.
The next steps would be to pick the extra features for your board. I am looking for a racing paddleboard, so I picked the Freeglide model as my base model. From there, on the race board option you can pick a deep or a normal step down deck. You know, this is where your feet stays as you paddle. The dimensions can be changed from the traditional 12’6″ and 14’0″ boards. Flying Fish gives you more options, like the 10’6″ length ideal for teenage racers or just shorter paddlers.
As you adjust the width, careful with a very narrow board that might not be that stable for your height. The cool thing about the custom board designer is that you can see the change on the screen, as you change width. Another cool feature is the possibility of choosing a cockpit. This is an important item on a race paddle board. As stated above, this is where your foot stays. Usually a deeper cockpit means more stability as you are sunken down and the side elevations allow for wider stance and keeping that extra balance with the side of your foot. From the base models, the Flight has the deeper deck, with a large difference of the front of the board, but not so much on the sides.
Extra features for your racing board
After picking the main features of your board, Flying Fish also paid attention to the details and offers a bunch of extra features for an added small cost. You can change the logos, add more handles, GoPro Mounts and bungee cords. Remember for racing, the more handles you have, the more options to hold your board and carry it under different conditions. Like on the beach, or putting it on the top of your car.
An important feature I did not see on the Flying Fish company board designer was the ability to pick a nose for your board. As this is such an important feature, it could be available but I can imagine why they didn’t. A different hull means more force needs to be applied, also means more displacement of water or less. It depends on what kind of paddling you do. For downwind a more pronounced keel will give you better tracking on the water, but will make it harder to turn your board. I believe Flying Fish is a board for performance and you can certainly inquire when requesting your board.
And that is exactly the next step: after picking all features for your board, you need to submit your profile. A form with a questionnaire about your paddling style with give the shaper an idea of what you are looking to achieve on your paddleboarding. Then you can even personalize the board with your name, date, etc…
This video from 2015 by Carolina Boards, gives a good run down of the different features on a racing paddleboard.
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