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SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks
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TOPIC: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks

SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 3 years, 7 months ago #31004

  • Jeroen
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Just wondering how others think to best deal with this: If I SUP through shallow water and the fins touch a rock, it's pretty difficult to keep my balance on the board. Obviously it gets a bit better if I stand on the board more diagonally, but it's still very tricky...

Any hints?
If you're happy, you're successful.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 4 months ago #32608

  • BT100
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Get your weight forward a little helps. How does the Pelican Flow surf river waves?

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 4 months ago #32609

  • Jeroen
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Standing more on the nose surely helps. As does bending your knees more, and keeping the paddle in or near the water for extar support.

The Pelican Flow surfs fine, although it's still a bit long for river waves, so you have to stand pretty much on its tail constantly. The board is relatively heavy, so all your moves work in slow motion, which is actually pretty good for learning.
If you're happy, you're successful.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 4 months ago #32611

  • corran
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I don;t use a fin on WW... and if you must... don;t let it hit a rock. there is no way you'll stay on if the fin hits

Corran

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 4 months ago #32612

  • Jeroen
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I tried it without a fin as well, but find it extremely difficult/tiring to get where I want to go. I do a lot of attaining as well, and fins can be real energy savers for that. Since we were talking about the Pelican Flow, what I like about that fin is that it's relatively flat, so if it catches, it slows the board down a little, but it doesn't completely stop you. The flat fin is not as effective as a 'real' one, but I find it a good compromise.
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If you're happy, you're successful.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 4 months ago #32613

I like to take some lines that are going to hit rocks... I usually go kung-fu, paddle always in the water, ready to drop my back knee to the board if the skeg hits really hard. I sorta like to hit rocks sometimes, if I'm ready for the hit! . I use flexible fins, like the FCS Dolphin in my inflatable, with 2" fixed side bites. If it is pretty bony, I'll just use the side bites.... Nevertheless, I prefer the tracking of a flexible fin, and just try to get ready if I think I'll make contact...

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 1 month ago #32770

You can use the seldom seen Jump Boof move! Right before the skegs catch rock..jump about 4 inches straight up..board scoots over rock..and you look totally jiggy doin it

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years, 1 month ago #32771

I like it! Moving forward to lift your skegs can work well too. I don't like running without fins - I prefer unbreakable 4" fins for the most part - never have to worry about breaking a fin box and have a almost unrepairable board.

Anyone in CO wanna head out sometime soon?

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 2 years ago #32775



The video doesn't really answer your question but its a resource. I like to paddle with fins, surfing without fins sucks. We walk forward on our boards a lot to get through bony sections and like Corran said...don't hit them.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 11 months ago #32788

Standing on moving water is difficult at first. Then it just makes sence and you relax so it is easy then. That is until you do big SURGING water.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 9 months ago #32803

  • corran
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We've totally solved this fin issue. Have a look at the "Streetfighter features" video I posted. This really solves the problem entirely.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 8 months ago #32893

  • kenhoeve
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On the river (unless surfing) I never use fins. Thats what my paddle is for

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 3 months ago #33329

  • tknight
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The key is to not hit the rocks with your fins. That means learning to read the river and know how and where you can put your board to help you navigate the rapid as best you can. Uses eddy's to control your downstream speed so the board doesn't get away from you and end up in place you can not make it down without hitting your fins. Another option is paddle in deeper water rivers. I always paddle with fins, it is undoubtedly more efficient as you do not have to waste as much of your strokes to control angle and can focus on acceleration and driving the board where you want it to go; the deep water. Fins also help you control you angle entering eddy's so you can penetrate into the pocket and not get spun out on the eddy line.

I do not recommend walking forward on your board, when you do and still hit your fin you have a much higher probability of going over the nose and winding up in shallow rocks. You can spin your board and take the shallow shoal tail first and stepping back to the nose to lift the fins; this way if they hit you have most of the board in front of you. The shape will have the impact more severe and can damage the fin and board; but both of those are easier and cheaper to fix than you.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 3 months ago #33353

  • corran
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The runs we're starting to run now, it's impossible to run with fins. Drops, slides, falls... it's creekboarding and the only way to not hit rocks is to not run the rapids

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 3 months ago #33355

Fins can make the SUP faster but they have to retract in to the SUP in rocks.
I kayak most of the time and SUPs will never be very fast in whitewater compared to kayaks.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33379

I disagree on the sup not being as fast as kayaks. I am often noticing that I am indeed going faster than many of my kayaking friends in comparable length boats. This is an exciting discussion because there are many advances to be made in terms of retractable fins. I like Corran's pivoting fin however I also like having my fins much farther forward on the board from the tail becuse the performance is greatly increased and they dont hit as much. In addition the "jump boof " is a good way to get over a rock while unweighting a board to clear the rock. Try it- its fun.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33380

  • corran
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The flip up skeg and boof buddy were pivotal to me in being able to take WW sup from something amusing to something really effective. Before then it was a challenge and a lark - something to make class 3 more attractive - and class4 a real challenge. Now, combined with the streetfighter, both are simple and I feel like I'm stand up kayaking these rivers as opposed to just surviving and having a ball.

Dan is right - in the right conditions the SUP is as fast as a kayak. SUP will never be a kayak (like a open canoe will never match a decked C1 for river running ability) but as any open boater will tell you, its exactly this that makes OC1 attractive and a challenge - it IS harder.

This is just so much fun!!!

Corran

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33385

My SUP is fast when surfing but in class 3 rapids I miss the one thing kayak's, IK's and C1's have that is hard to do on a SUP, the brace. It is the one thing I miss the most. It is easy to catch eddies but the brace is kind of hard on a SUP. The body weight is spread out over a long area across the bottom of any river craft like kayak's, IK's or C1's. The weight is only directly under my feet on the SUP. It was the first thing I noticed when paddled the SUP. You walk back and forth to reposition this weight. This focused weight is what I think is the main reason that SUP's are slower. You do everything with your feet under you or you fall off the SUP. I am attached with my other river craft but you stick your to the SUP and that is all you have! I never liked drop-stitched floors in my rafts. They tear easily, have not ability to stay stiff in any waves and trying to but a ton of air pressure in them just pushes them to failure on their seams. The hard plastic SUP's hurt to fall on and are heavy. I just made my own so I would not have to deal with most of the current SUP river boards.

SUP.JPG

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33386

  • corran
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I think you need to "dance" more on the deck of your board - this distributes weight all over the board and apart from making the brace more dynamic and effective, also helps you maximize speed through superior trim (to kayaks and C1).

I don;t think )personally) that SUP is as fast as either a kayak or C1, BUT I also don;t think this is critical - we have other advantages, and disadvantages too.

Corran

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33388

yea for sure I do have problems moving around on the SUP. It makes for bad body sway in the rapids. I am going to try to move all that waisted energy down to my knees. Then maybe on to the SUP. I want more speed. I learned to stand on an IK and my feet were stuck in place on top of it. So trim is an interesting concept on a SUP. In IK's, C1,s and Kayaks , you can only move your waist back and forth to trim. And sideways. On the SUP you have complete freedom to go to any point on the board. I can sink my noise surfing and walk back to bring it out. The SUP will surf underwater it is so fast. But when going down stream it is hard to get up enough speed to even think about breaking a big wave. I slice everything. On flat water the SUP moves fast and in Class 3 and 4 whitewater they never seem to get much increase in speed from one wave to the next. You just start over every wave you paddle through.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33389

  • corran
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Are you on an inflatable?

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33390

Yes it is an inflatable.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33391

  • corran
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As soon as you described the problem, I knew that it was because it's an inflatable.

99% of your "bad body sway" is coming from this. Inflatables are notorious for not having a "direct contact feel" with the water. It's a very mushy "dulled down" feeling combined with a almost sea-sick wobble/sway/reverb. In a nutshell, inflatables make whitewater SUP one whole grade harder than a rigid board - even the best ones (never mind the crappy ones). I can run effortlessly rapids on my rigid board that require complete concentration on an inflatable.

This does not mean that they do not have their place - they do. Convenient transport and storage, very strong for the weight.... but there is no perfect solution. Plastic gives you a "direct contact" control feel with the water, as does epoxy. Plastic is inexpensive, almost unbreakable, but a little heavy. Epoxy (and epoxy kevlar) is more susceptible to damage and is expensive but gives you that direct contact feel with the water, but they're expensive. Each process has its strengths and weaknesses. There is no perfect solution.

I personally don't like inflatables for the reasons you've described. But on the other hand I sell them hand over fist because for many people the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

Corran

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33393

It is odd that my SUP surfs so well. The roto-molded hard plastic SUP's do not seem to surf well at all. They scare me in Whitewater. Most of the guides I paddle with take the hard plastic SUPs down the river one time and all seem to have sore knees and many swims per run. The glass foam core SUP,s are great but they are so breakable, I only use them in flat water. I got a raft company to build my SUP but it was way expensive. It is super stable but it is hard to feel the water like kayaks as you say. I do have removable fins and the fins will retract into the SUP in rocks. I never use the fin much, I like to use the paddle instead. I know a couple other friends that are working on Inflatable SUP boards. But they have to put I-beam structures in them. Then they become complicated to build. It is like skiing where you have different skies for every condition so you will have a SUP's for every different situation.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33394

  • supzero
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I do have removable fins and the fins will retract into the SUP in rocks.

Sounds interesting: fins that retract into an inflatable board. Any chance you could post some photos of those fins?
SUPzero
supzero.com

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33396

  • corran
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If they're not wearing knee and shin guards I BET they have sore knees!!!! Climbing back on will tear them up if they're not protected. That's funny... lol

They're also raft guides - but try to find a kayaker who says an inflatable kayak is better than a hard shell plastic one.

Also, WHAT board are the raft guides on? Not all boards are good at all things...

Anyway, speaking from experience (and I have a lot ... I find the inflatable boards USEFUL when I'm traveling. Flying to Europe, its easy to take one and use it. But I also know I did extensive back to back testing (first of the Combat against other inflatable boards to get the Combat design right) running the same rapid over and over again on inflatable vs Hard shell, and in EVERY CASE (not one exception) the rapid was 2x easier on the hard shell... easier meaning either 2x more successful staying on/making the line on hard shell, and even when I stayed on the inflatable, it wasn't nearly as smooth, controlled or graceful.

Basically, the inflatable is like doing yoga on a waterbed (and this is on the Combat that's much better than the next best board I tested it against).

Like I said, they have their place (travel) and I use them when I have to, but its by far not my preference when I have the choice.

Fiberglass breaks for sure - Kevlar is pretty darn strong, but it can break eventually too. I've used a kevlar board for an entire season and beat the tar out of it...

Tried several times to run this rapid on Inflatable - never made it once - swam a bunch... sucked. Made it every time on the Streetfighter.
IMG_9821_2013-09-28.jpg


No Problem surfing Plastic...
Umko-Corran-008.jpg


The Hard shell gives you a "direct contact" feel of the water that is "dulled down" on a board that flex's and reverberates with every wave or water current contact. For me... there is no comparison in control comparing the two.
IMG_7868.jpg

IMG_8049_2013-09-28.jpg


Conversly, the inflatable (even the Combat which is much stiffer than any other I've tried) bucks you and you end up kneeling far more often.
IMG_7876.jpg


Inflatable is a constant balancing act...
IMG_8010.jpg


You see a lot more of this on an inflatable...
Screenshot2012-09-27at4.20.51PM.jpg


I Just don't see this kind of board control/rapid difficulty on inflatables... (loads of photos of people ENTERING rapids on them... but not paddling out the bottom...)
spitfire.jpg

waterfall.jpg


And I certainly don;t see an inflatable doing this...
afterburner.jpg

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33397

I have a friend that reps for Werner and is totally geared out with pads, ropes and more gear than a downhill mountain biker. I do not swim well with all that gear on. In fact I do not swim much at all. I see you drop to your knees in some pictures and I do that from fear when I approach big drops. On my knees is very stable on the SUP and that it is an easy way to stay on the SUP. I saw a ton of green hollow SUPs 4 years back and they just were not showing up much after that. They get water in them and it makes it difficult to control when that happens. I am not sure of the brand or who makes them. They were as slow as my SUP too. Your right that the lighter a SUP is and the more rigid it is makes the SUP faster. In California I see so few brands on the rivers there that it seems to be a sport for only a few individuals. I thought it would grow in size but it seems to be going the other way. I wanted to go do the Gauley this year but Class VI only gives me 6 days work per season and that will not pay my airfare. Does your SUPs surf underwater? How is that possible? It was what I never expected on my SUP.

Re: SUP on whitewater: fins on rocks 1 year, 2 months ago #33399

  • corran
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I have a life jacket and knee/shin guards, and full face helmet - thats it. Bag is in the hatch on the board...

Corran
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