Stand up paddle boarding in Swansea & Gower
Tel : 01792 446511

GONG 12ft NFA Review

Steve from Scotland – currently the U.K ‘s only 12FT NFA owner reviews the board for us .

12ft Gong NFA III Review
By Steve Williams, owner of first ever 12ft NFA in the country!

Firstly, it’s probably a good idea to say why I opted for such a big beast of a SUP!

I’ve been surfing longboards on the south east coast of Scotland for a few years. My main spot is about 25 mins drive away, however, I live only one minute’s drive away from one of the best beaches and coast lines in the country. Surely an opportunity there!

The beach on my doorstep is a good few miles inland but gets decent longboarding waves about half a dozen times a year. This is when there is a big enough swell to allow the waves to travel further up the coast. When that happens, and the wind dies down, the waves line up and you get long long peelers. Otherwise, there’s not much prone surfing there to be had…unless you have a SUP and don’t mind knee high waves and that is fine by me.

I was after a SUP that was big, very surfable and also okay for some short cruising around the coastline…and that’s where I came to the 12ft NFA. It reminded me a bit like a Starboard Big Easy but with less volume, far better tail and rocker for surfing. The NFA’s tail is really thinned out….brilliant!

I’m 90kg so if I was looking for the correct board for weight ratio I would have gone 11ft NFA but for the small weak waves I wanted to ride and for the cruising I wanted bigger and longer.

So, how has it been so far?

Cruising on the sea: I’ve been out plenty times for calm paddles around the bay and the coastline. You simple get on and paddle…no need to worry about stability as it is very very stable….amazingly stable. It’s no speed machine in a straight line but just cruises along fine on a calm day…just enjoy the scenery and paddle. It’ll be great to get the youngster on too.

Surfing: This big mother was built for the surf no doubt about it! I’ve not had chance to get it in decent surf but I’ve had it out in knee high peelers and it just goes great and catches everything. You can stand further back on the board and turn it no problem at all – the tinned out tail allows that. It flies on a wave too…once you get it trimming it just takes off and you have a great feeling of glide and due to its size it doesn’t get affected but little bumps or lumps of water on the wave. It is such a well thought out board…the nose rocker is just right that I had no pearling. Can’t wait to get it in some waist high surf. If you have the skills you could do loads on this board but for me it is like a mellow gliding machine – just brilliant fun. I was super stoked on the first surf session.

So, there must be a downside to this board? Only one I can think of is the weight carrying it to the water….I’m reasonable fit and strong but I’m just glad when the tide is in. The carry handle is deep but my fingers slip out when wet. If there’s no wind then putting it on the shoulder is fine for short distances.

It comes with a 2+1 set up and fins to match but I have taken the side fins out and will keep experimenting with different single fins to I get the right one. I think a 9inch single will be good for most things….but you could go 8/8.5 for surfing in small stuff I reckon.

The build quality seems fine to me – only time will tell on durability – but if you look after it I don’t see any problems. Now to the price… can anyone argue with £649 for a new 12 ft SUP – superb!!

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