Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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6’11 Faking review

The SHORT SUP revolution has been growing in little pockets across the U.K over the last 12 months.These smaller Paddle surf boards are insane in waves, I wouldn’t consider one for anything else !
Here we read about Nathan Fletcher from Cornwall who purchased the popular 6’11 GONG Faking from us ….see his views
some info on the board

DIMENSIONS

Length: 213 cm = 6’11
Width: 30 ‘3 / 4 = 78 cm
Thickness: 4 “7 / 8 = 12.3 cm
Volume: 115 Litres ( maximum weight 107kg)
Fins: quad or tri fin
Weight: 8.20 kg (indicative weight + or – 5%)

Check more pics and info on ordering a short SUP HERE

Firstly a bit of background. I have been surfing SUP’s since last july on a starboard 9ft stinger. Whilst the stinger was good fun it always felt a touch sluggish. I disliked the need to jump to the back of the board to get it to turn and then forward to trim it.

I started hunting around for alternatives and found ‘Gong’ and SUP Gower. I got in touch with Matt and quizzed / annoyed him about the various boards. I ended up picking the faking 6’11”, handed over the deposit and waited for the board to make its way from China to France and then onto the uk.

It arrived whilst I was out at work so had a day sat at my desk like a kid at Christmas itching to open my new toy. The journey home was almost unbearable! Once back I set about getting it open and 20 mins later (yes, it was that well packaged) I was in! What a beauty. I had looked at pictures For the last couple of months but the first thing that crossed my mind was… yikes it’s pretty short! Am I going to be able to surf that?

I had a couple of days to wait before I could test it, but come Friday evening I was straight down to Gwithian. Sadly I was greeted by wind, chop and fairly rubbish looking waves… Not to be deterred (I had a new board after all) I suited up and headed down the cliff. The shorter and much lighter board making this a much less precarious scramble, a mega plus point in my eyes.

Leash on, I headed into the slop. No messing around starting on my knees, I thought. I popped to my feet… and promptly fell off! A couple of repeat performances and feeling like a beginner again I finally got up and stayed up. Success!

Next up, paddling…

Because of the short length the board it tips both side to side and front to back. Although not drastically different to a longer board it definitely helps to have your feet separated front to back to counteract the tipping whilst paddling. The most noticeable difference was the workout this gives your legs!

Catching waves…

Once comfortable I picked one of the constantly moving peaks and paddled into it… The board pearled and nose dived, flinging me off! Too far forward, I thought, as i came up spluttering. Next wave the nose pops out of the water and chucks me off the back. Fine! – too far back. As I swam back to the board for the umteenth time I wondered whethered I had made a mistake.

With a bit of fine tuning and alot of falling off I caught one. The board pearled a little and then popped out and up onto the wave. It shot forward and took me by surprise! It was so much faster than my previous board. By the time I had recovered from my shock the wave had crumbled and I jumped off grinning like a Cheshire cat!

A paddle and a fair bit of time under water later, I caught another wave and started playing around with carving. Again it is so much more responsive than my 9ft board. Any thoughts of a mistake had been banished as I wizzed along. (in my mind I looked like a pro but I imagine reality would say otherwise!)

After a few more waves and many more dunkings I called it a day. I scrambled back to the van after what felt like 2.5 hours and looked at the clock. I’d been in for 45 mins and felt shattered! These short boards are intensive workouts.

The next session was much easier as there was no chop to knock you off balance. I still spent a fair bit of time in the water rather than on it but I did get more waves, my confidence growing with each one.

Since then I have been in at various different beaches from little coves to hollower breaks. All of which the board took in it’s stride. I’m at the bottom of a steep learning curve and I spend alot of time looking silly as the board finds inventive ways of chucking me in, but, it is such fun… I can take the drops on steeper waves without scaring myself senseless. It is easier to put together sections by outrunning whitewater. The board carves brilliantly and is super responsive.

It may not be as good paddling in chop as a longer board as it seems more effected by it (though i think as my balance improves this will be less of a factor) but I think that it is far outweighed by the quality of the rides.

Put it this way, I have been going out in worse conditions than I ever did on the big board as one wave is worth the burning legs and frequent trips underwater.

I guess it’s not for everyone, you can’t sit out back and pick up ripples. It’s closer to surfing shortboards – shorter faster waves but I reckon it’s a price worth paying for the maneuverabilty, speed and fun it generates.

Overall I am super happy with it and would recommend the experience (and it is an experience) to anyone! Nathan. F

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Francis street
Brynmill
Swansea, SA1 4NH
Phone: 01792 446511
Website: http://www.supgower.com
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Here at SUP Gower We offer SUP Lessons, Hire and hold all the brands we feel offer the best value. Our showroom is stocked with boards, paddles, and all the gear you need to get on the water. Starboard, Fanatic, Jp Australia, Naish, Barker SUP , NSP , BIC & much more.
Call us on 01792 446511 to discuss your paddle or board requirements.

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