Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
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9’1 GONG ASYL SUP Board Review

Nick Wall reviews the 9’1 GONG ASYL Stand up paddle board

This might not be a very constructive review as I absolutely love this board!

Quick disclaimer: I’m 95Kg on a good day, (must cut the beers down), and come from a windsurfing, snowboarding background, not a surfing background. If I start banging on about cut backs etc., take it with a big pinch of salt. If you were standing on beach watching you’d probably be thinking who’s that dork, but this is how it feels on the board.

I live and paddle on the South coast of Devon (Lyme Regis), but when conditions are right head up to Saunton on North coast quite a bit. 2:45am alarm calls, with the long summer hours of light, are not uncommon. First light, clean waves with with a dolphin swimming up to the board, that’s pretty much as good as it gets in my book!. So if there are waves at my local beach, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be windy, mushy etc., but I actually really like the challenge of paddling when it’s windy\ choppy. I needed something that could handle local “waves” and trips to “proper” surf. I haven’t had the luxury of trying many boards, so I can’t really compare this to anything else apart from my 11ft “barge”. I did go on a Surf Tech demo day a few months back, but conditions were flat, but went for the Gong.

When the board arrived and I pulled the board out of the box for the first time…wow, it looked gorgeous. I was in 2 minds as to putting the grip deck on!

I’ve used board now in everything from: just paddling around in wind blown chop with no waves, wind blown waves (a 5.0m windsurfing day), a little reef break, to clean head high at Saunton, and everything in between. I think the paddling stability is really good, paddling out through white water or in windy conditions doesn’t pose any major problems. Getting onto waves is pretty straightforward, as long as you are paddling correctly, no row affect. Again, I can’t compare it to any other board, but in less-than-ideal conditions, it stays on the wave nicely, and a lot of fun can be had. The nose is plenty big enough to get right up on it and muck about with hang 5s etc. (pinch of salt moment here).

In ideal surf conditions, I had the best time ever! I’m sure the short SUPs are even more accentuated, but it feels like the Asyl turns on a six pence, flies down the line, pretty much goes wherever you point it. You can get the board turned really quickly, so spotting a wave coming at the last minute while you’re paddling out doesn’t mean you’re going to miss it, and it seemed to handle late drops well. Bottom turns were awesome, I need to fine tune were I’m pressuring the rails\ tail. I’m only scratching at the surface of what it can do, I need to improve my technique to scratch it some more!

I’ve got the stock fins it came with in quad mode at the moment, but will mess about with config to see the difference, but think I will get some of the Scarfini fins off Matt.

Every time I go out, I’m learning something new, getting a little bit better. I SUP to have fun, and I’m having a lot of fun on this board…job done.

I will add one more thing, I got myself a decent paddle a couple of months back, I went for a ZRE. The difference a decent light paddle has made to my SUP has been…transformational. If you are using a shonky\ heavy paddle, get yourself a decent paddle, you won’t regret it.

Great review Nick ..Thanks so much …A SUP GOWER T-shirt on its way to you !


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Here at SUP Gower We offer Stand up paddle lessons & Foiling Lessons ( wing sup - wing foil - sup foil -surf-foil & Efoil ) Plus Hire & Clinics. Our showroom and Plant based Cafe is stocked with boards, paddles, coffee & cake and all the food and gear you need to get on the water. GROUND plant based & much more.
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