What's the Best Dugout SUP Board You Can Buy?
Testing a new paddle board is always fun and informative. On Monday March 11, 2019 I was able to get on the new 2019 NSP Carolina 14’ x 24.25". I was very interested and excited to try the 24.25" wide Carolina after spending over 200 hours testing a 21.5" version. For perspective, I am 180 pounds, 5’10”, and an advanced stand up paddle boarder.
The location for testing was in Osterville, MA following a circular route around an Island. Sky's were sunny with a brisk wind from the south ranging from 11-14 knots. The waters were choppy and with swells 1-2 feet, some very close in occurrence and some more spaced out. For most of the paddling, I was headed into an aggressive wind, but did experience cross winds as well.
I was rewarded at the end with a mild downwinder back, which was another positive check mark for our test. The 24.25" wide Carolina is very stable, comfortable, and responsive. Not having to worry about stability allowed me to stay more focused on my stroke and rhythm. Compared to the 21.5", my central nervous system was more relaxed thus more efficient. I expended significantly less energy and effort to maintain my balance and it was tremendously easier for my level as a paddler.
The 24.25" width will make me a better and more versatile paddler which I am very excited about. As mentioned in many of my blogs, I thoroughly enjoy the lower center of gravity whilst using a dugout sup. Being closer to the water gives a feel and control that can not be duplicated with a conventional deck paddle board. I can feel a slightly faster top speed with the 21.5", but the ride of the 24.25" earns our Vermont Ski and Sport ★★★★★ award as the best dugout SUP board to buy for most paddlers.
Alain Teurquetil, the lead designer for NSP, made the Carolina faster, more stable, and easier to paddle in a myriad of conditions. "Alain hit it out of the park" is an understatement!
It was remarkable how responsive this board reacts to foot steering. When it railed up on edge, it was so easy to maintain balance and tracking without missing a stroke. Compared to my 2017 and 2018 NSP Sonic 24.5", this is a totally different board. I also tested walking up and down the deck and it felt steady and made for a great platform. The superior stability and ride had me smiling and it truly felt wider than a 24.25” in a good way!
The NSP Carolina glides and feels like it's alive, reacting positively to all water conditions seamlessly. I never felt like I was going to fall in and my paddling was the best it's ever been in windy and textured waters. In terms of MPH, the Carolina gets up and goes and maintains boat speed marvelously. I surmise that this will be one of the fastest hulls out there this 2019 season.
In today's market place, many people are influenced that they have to own the narrowest sup to be good! This is not the case. Being comfortable, efficient, and maximizing your fun on water will pay dividends towards your performance! In closing, the NSP Carolina 24.25" is a board that you will have a blast on anywhere, anytime, in any condition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonathan Bischof does not own a suit or tie and would much rather be outside. A day doesn’t go by that he does not enjoy and partake in his favorite sports SUP, Ski, Windsurfing, and Kettlebells. Being a ski coach, fitness trainer, and SUP coach, his background enables him to understand techniques and how equipment works. If you're looking to learn more or have any questions he’s always available to share his knowledge and experience. Feel free to call, text, or email me.
- Header Photo - Paddler: Travis Grant | Photo: Georgia Schofield