If you like high performance equipment, then you'll really like our selection of Racers and Downwinders. Generally, these boards are long-ish, 12'6" to 14', and somewhat narrow (25 - 30 inch range). Elite flatwater racers can get even narrower, around 23 inches. The long lengths and the narrow widths are the factors that enable these boards to have more speed than a typical all-arounder or cruiser.
SCHEDULE A DEMO
The Vapor 12'6"
Brand new for 2016 and anxiously awaited! Our boards should be in soon and we'll update these comments shortly but what we do know is this board is strikingly good looking. A lot of extra attention has gone into her design and production of this board. Her nose is fuller and has a bit of rocker (upward sweep). In this regard, she's not a pure displacement board, more of a hybrid. The rails (sides of the board) are soft (rounded) and rather straight which should make her fast. This board might be the answer to those looking for a combo race/downwind board. We'll find out soon.
Ron House Coastal Cruiser 12'6"
This board was first recommended to us by Danny Ching, elite SUP racer. We had described our desires to downwind on Lake Ontario in choppy 3-5 ft conditions and Danny, a principle in 404 SUP's, recommended a competitor's board - the Ron House Coastal Cruiser. From the first moment we stepped onto this board, we knew it was special. She just does everything well, from cruising to downwinding to surfing. We've sold a ton of these boards, to folks who could instantly appreciate the responsiveness, speed, and agility. Over the last 2 years, this board has proven her superiority in every way. Take her for a cruise, on a downwind or into the surf. She'll never disappoint.
SIC Bullet 12'6"
One of our all time favorite downwinding boards. She bears a 28.25 inch width and a recessed deck that combine to offer more stability than some of her counterparts, and yet she has more than enough speed to catch our choppy Lake Ontario waves. Her softer rails won't grab when hit with cross currents and her rockered (upswept) nose avoids pearling (diving) when you catch that big wave. Altogether a fantastic downwinder and we high recommend her to anyone below 200 pounds. (Above that, see the Bullet 14.) But surprisingly, we sold a number of these to flatwater paddlers.
Riviera Race 12'6"
The Rivi race series offers tremendous performance for the buck. We try to stock two models, the 24 and the 26 inch wide versions. The 24 is for the serious competitor, willing to put in the time to learn the balance required in anything but flat water. But, there won't be many faster boards.The 26 offers perhaps a better compromise for the aspiring racer or fitness paddler. Plenty of speed and significantly more stability. New for 2016 are the "stressed" paint schemes that offer both less weight and a cool look.
MSRP: $1449 (Fiberglass Lay-up)
Bark Contender Lite 12'6"
This board brings both style and speed to the sub 160# rider. We haven't received our demo yet, but of particular interest will be the new nose configuration (rounder and blunter) that Joe Bark actually took from his winning prone board designs. This tends to be trending in boards designed for mixed water racing, and we expect Joe nailed it. Meanwhile, we are drooling at the styling and finish of this gorgeous board. We expect she'll attract both racers looking for an edge and fitness paddlers appreciative of the look.
SIC Bullet 14
After two seasons of downwinders, the Bullet 14 has definitely proven her merits as one of our all time favorites. Yes, there are some faster downwinders that might catch a wave or two more, but they do so at the sacrifice of stability and the discomfort that brings. Check out our comments about the Bullet 12 as they apply to this board too. So for pure paddling pleasure in downwind or simply flat conditions, it's hard to beat a Bullet.
Riviera Downwinder 14'
We got this board in last fall just in time for the Downwind series and had a lot of staff members and area riders try her out. At 26 inches wide, she can be a handful for an intermediate rider in say 3 foot conditions, but with the right rider she flies. This board will appeal to the experienced paddler looking to take up downwinding. Also, not surprising, we had a lot of interest from flatwater paddlers, drawn to her sleek lines. Here's a lot of board for a very affordable price.
Starboard All Star 14'
We haven't received our demo as of this writing, but we eagerly await it. All we have to go on is the reputation of this board ending up on so many race podiums as the winner. We'll give you our comments as soon as she arrives, but expect a good, no, stellar review.
MSRP: $2499 (Hybrid Carbon layup)
Bark Vapor 14'
Another new board for us in 2016. We'll add our comments as soon as our demos arrive. Meanwhile, see the comment section above for the Vapor 12'6.
For two years now, the X14 had been a proven winner of many hearts and if conditions are a little rough, many races. With a 28.25 inch width, this board offers both stability and speed. Her recessed, contoured foot well provides a secure feel and her recessed "EZ Grab" handle makes lifting and carrying a breeze. We stock the very affordable and very durable TWC construction. Overall, this board has everything to make the new paddler comfortable yet offers so much upward potential. It might be the only board you'll ever need.
Naish Glide 14
Naish has always had a cachet that other board lines envy and her classic good looks and solid construction justify her top of the line reputation. This board has appealed to larger paddlers looking for a nice cruising or racing board with solid stability. This board has been restyled and now has a drop nose and recessed deck which may add serious speed and even better stability than prior years. We are stocking the GTW configuration with its beautiful wood patterns. Let her inspire you to be the best you can be.
Riviera Race 14'
This series of boards are proven race winners. The 23 inch for the very gifted, the 25 inch for the serious and the 27 for the mortal, each offering a bit more stability with only small differences in speed. It will depend on conditions as to which board wins. Dead calm the 23 has the edge, small bumps and the 25 wins, 1 foot and the 27 comes home first. But, you don't have to race to appreciate the glide and attractive lines of these boards. An attractive and weight saving "Stressed" finish and some tweaking of the nose are new for 2016. Tons of bang for the buck.
Bark 14' D2
The D2 is the first iteration of the highly acclaimed Bark Dominator. We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of our demo to put her through the paces, but word is she's a winner. This board differs from the Vapor in the nose configuration, having the more conventional displacement nose. So, it will be interesting to compare the two boards in various conditions. She has about the same width as the Vapor (26.5 inches) but is reported to feel very stable.