2019 NSP Carolina Stand Up Paddleboard Review
It's been a fun time since September 2018, riding and testing the new 2019 NSP Carolina 14’ X 21.5". Being one of the first shops to ride and race the Carolina, we've had more time on water resulting in real experience and first hand knowledge. First off, for the performance seeking paddler who desires versatility, the NSP Carolina is a wonderful choice. It has earned our highest ★★★★★ rating from the team at Vermont Ski and Sport.
As many of of our followers know, we are sold on and committed to the dugout design and have been riding then for over 3 years. Our experience using the recessed deck (DUGOUT) with over 500 hours on water has allowed us to truly advise with first hand relatable expertise.
It's important for us to establish some important parameters before we delve into the NSP Carolina with our experience using it.
- All performance and race boards require a fundamentally strong modern athletic stance to appreciate they're potential and handling.
- With a narrower the board width, more muscular and neurological activity will be happening. For the untrained person this can and will lead to lower leg fatigue sooner than a wider board.
- The new designs for 2019 will allow the the performance seeking paddler the ability to use narrower boards than the past. It is very important to do a thorough profile assessment of rider and conditions to optimize the correct board dimensions. We specialize in this.
- Only paddle stroke efficiency and smoothness can unleash the boards full mojo!
It was a warm September Monday morning at Spofford Lake, New Hampshire when I met up with my friend, coach, and NSP Team manager Jeramie Vaine to get my first ride on the 2019 NSP Carolina Dugout.
I’ll always remember the initial pang of anxiety when Jeramie said “do you want to warm up first on your NSP Sonic 14’ X 24.5"? Because the Carolina I brought is a 14’ X 21.5" width.” It's important for people to know I always shied away from the narrower boards (21”, 22”, etc.) but after a few breathes I said “Im fine” and off we went.
I have to say I was amazed and actually grinning from ear to ear that I could even stand up, let alone cruise the lake unfeettered. My first impression was suddenly challenging everything I thought I knew about board widths, etc.
This review would be empty if I was not mentioning that Alian Teurquetil, the master mind head-designer for NSP race boards is an accomplished paddler in his own right. Alain’s ability to create a shape that seamlessly moves in the water with the correct input is his hallmark unequaled!
I have used the Carolina in lakes, river, and oceans bays and have encountered head winds, side winds, and strong currents. I keep coming back to how comfortable the board is in so many conditions and has allowed me to develop my technique further. The more efficient I am, the faster its goes! If there is such a thing as one board that that possibly can do it all the NSP Carolina is that stand up paddle board.
For Dugout prominence, I’m with James Taylor and going with the “[NSP] Carolina In my Mind”!
Since writing this article, I've traveled to ST. Barts for Caribbean testing on my 14' x 21.5".
I've realized that having the extra width of the 24.25" over the 21.5" will benefit me as a paddler in a wider spectrum of conditions, enabling me to be more comfortable and efficient. And isn't that the point after all?