As you might’ve guessed, Surftech originally started making Surf Boards. They’re been at it for 25 years now and I’ve always been impressed when riding a surf or SUP from Surftech. Unfortunately, they’ve done a pretty piss poor job of marketing their products online. I think they don’t get the credit they deserve for shaping some of the slickest SUP’s on the market.
The All-Arounder: Balboa Surftech 10’6″
One of the other issues I have with Surftech is their sheer number of boards. They have fifteen different varieties of All-Around boards. I’m not talking about different lengths or designs I mean 15 different boards, shaped in 15 different ways. The line I dig the most is the Balboa Surftech Line.
It features a slick bamboo veneer and it’s a pretty wide board. Surftech doesn’t specify the suggested weight (once again, poor online marketing) however I weight 175lbs and had no problem with it. This is a terrific beginners paddle board to learn on as it was very stable. It’s a single fin setup which is ideal for flat water cruising but it’s not great for trying to learn how to surf or for racing. It’s a little bit on the expensive end but the board will last you a lifetime.
Surftech’s Cheap All Around Board: Surftech Universal SUP Paddle Board
If you’re brand new to the sport, the Surftech Universal SUP is a terrific place to start. It’s not as slick as the Balboa and for experienced paddle boarder’s it is a little bit chunky. It’s 33.5″ wide and comes in four lengths 9’6″, 10’6″, 11’6″ and 12′. It’s deck is made out of a soft EVA pad which is perfect for Yoga or for a long cruise. It’s also super stable and terrific for larger paddlers, as it can carry a maximum weight of 240lbs.
Overall, it doesn’t move as nice as the Balboa and you certainly wouldn’t want to take this board surfing but it is an excellent choice if you’re just getting into the sport. It’s the cheapest model that Surftech offers and it doesn’t sacrifice any quality.
Racing & Cruising: Lahui Kai JM Race SUP
This is an elite SUP race board and comes highly recommended. It’s incredible light and it handles exceptionally well. The deck is very tactile and for a race board is relatively stable. If you’re going for a long paddle, it’s recommended that you don’t use an All-Arounder but rather you pick up a racing or touring board. If you’re a biker the difference between a touring board versus an all-around board is similar to riding a mountain bike as opposed to a road bike. You’re going to have to expend a lot more energy on a mountain bike or an all-arounder.
The Lahui comes in two sizes, a 12’6″ (more suitable for touring) and a 14’0 board which is truly an elite race board. It handles chop beautifully and tracks incredibly well. It’s an expensive purchase, but if you’re looking for a long distance board or something to compete with this board is top notch.
The Surf Line: Bamboo Generator
As you would expect from a company that has been making for surf boards for 25 years, they produce a high end surf SUP. If you’re serious about trying your hand at the sport you’re going to want to a 1+2 fin thruster setup which is ideal for surfing.
Depending on your skill level the board comes in a variety of sizes: 9’0, 9’6″, 10, 10’6″ and 11’6″. If you’re new to the sport opt for a bigger board, the 10 footer or the ten foot six will do nicely. The bigger board the more stable it is, of course you’re giving up a little bit of manoeuvrability by opting for a larger board. That said, being able to carve isn’t very practical if you can’t get get the basics down.
If you don’t live on the Westcoast you may never have even heard of Surftech. It’s an incredibly established brand, but they haven’t done a very good job marketing themselves to the folks outside of the surf culture. Don’t let that fool you, there is a reason they’ve been able to stay around for over two decades – they sell quality boards. If you’re convinced you’re going to be a lifelong SUPer Surftech provides an incredibly quality board at a fair price.