If you want more speed and perhaps more carrying capacity, then a cruiser could be right for you. The cruiser's faster speed appeals to those wanting to cover more distance in an outing, those wanting an aerobic fitness workout and those wanting to trip (point A to point B).
Cruisers are great for recreational paddling, touring, sightseeing, exploring, tripping, camping, aerobic workouts, citizen level racing and mild downwinding. Some boards can even surf pretty well. Many are outfitted with gear lash points.
SCHEDULE A DEMO
Starboard Pocket Touring 9'6"
What? A 9'6" touring board. Yep, and she's really cute. I demoed this board at a show, expecting to sink it with my 175 lbs. Nope, not a bit. Then I took her for a spin and she moved right along and tracked straight. Okay, how come? Well, turns out she's got a 22" wide tail for stability and a large fin that actually extends beyond the tail of the board for tracking. What a clever combination. Now here's the kicker- a little wave from a motor boat came along and the wide tail of the board lifted up and away we went, riding this little wave. Amazing! Even our downwinding boards would have missed that wave. If you want a board you can shove in the back of your van or SUV that will please you every stroke and every time you look at her, you have to consider this beauty.
Starboard Pocket Touring 10'6"
Even at 10'6" this is short for a touring board, but add a foot to her sister board the 9'6" Pocket Tour and you've got a board that will cruise a bit faster, carry a larger paddler and offer a bit more stability. And, she may still fit in the back of the mini-van. Demo both and see which feels best to you.
Starboard Elite Tour 11'6"
We've always loved this length board for some of our small to medium sized fitness paddlers. By fitness paddler, we simply mean someone who wants to push a bit harder - to feel her muscles work and her heart elevate. Doesn't have to be a racer. At 11'6" this board offers performance with a bit less weight and a bit less windage - meaning she's a bit more manageable. And the shape - Starboard hit a visual sweet spot here. The proportions, the curvatures - she's just gorgeous. The 11'6 board maybe become the "Goldilock's Board" if folks find the pocket tourers too small and the 12'6 Tourer too big.
Naish Glide 12'
It's the beauty of this board that first attracts you, but it'll be the ride that seals the deal. Completely redesigned for 2016, this board now has a drop nose that gently parts the water, a thinner cross-section for easier handling and a skinnier tail offering improved turning. She's a perfect cruiser for the paddler 120 to 190 pounds, seeking a sophisticated board and not afraid to turn some heads.
Starboard Free Ride 12'2"
This is a board for the 175 to 210 pounder who seeks a responsive board for wavy lakes. Her most distinguishing feature is the hybrid nose (part planing, part displacement). This should lead to a nice surfy feel, yet improved glide. In the right conditions, she should downwind nicely yet offer a bit more stability than our true downwinders. First chance we get, we are taking her for run in Lake Ontario. If this sounds attractive to you, come in and demo this board.
This board is a beautiful, sexy, fast fitness or racing board. For the beginning SUPer, she'll be stable enough on flat water for you to work on technique and to crank out long runs. And for the intermediate SUPer, she'll handle some chop and allow you put the power down instead of lily dipping to maintain your balance.
Riviera Voyager 12'6"
The 12'6" Voyager is a perfect touring board. With her displacement nose and 12 feet, 6 inches of length, she moves easily across the water and is capable of carrying around 300# of total load. With this length and 31.5 inches in width she's also incredibly stable. And with 16 lash points between the tail and nose, she'll carry a lot of gear. So, if you are interested in a board that's quick, stable, able to carry a large rider plus some gear, this could be the board for you. Even if you don't need any of this, you still might be attracted to this board for it's clean design, light weight, easy paddling and terrific value.
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 sold a ton of these boards, generally to folks who had some surf background and could instantly discern 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.
Starboard Elite Tour 12'6"
We first got this board in 2015 and we were delighted. She combines style, design, comfort and performance all in one nice package and will be faster than her shorter siblings. Take her for an easy paddle, for a workout or even for a race. She's good up to about 230# of paddler and with the recessed standing area she's quite stable for a 30 inch wide board. This board will appeal to a lot of folks and maybe you too.
You just have to see this board in person to appreciate the beautiful lines and graphics. We fully expect Mark Raaphorst's latest designs to fly. A friend now living in Maui wrote last year to tell us the SIC boards were winning everything in Hawaii and we believe it. So, now we'll see if they win everything in New York. But, you don't have to be a racer to be a winner. Just owning one of these babies will boost your stock in everyone's eyes.
Starboard Elite Tour 14'
Carrying the same design philosophy and drop-dead beauty as the shorter boards in this line, the Elite Tour 14 is definitely for the performance paddler. The extra length adds speed, capacity and stability. She's not an elite racer nor a downwind specialist, but she'll represent herself well in either activity. And when she's not doing either of these, she's just plan fun to take out. If she's of interest, schedule a demo and see for yourself.
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.