I'm a hard core Hobie fan ( TI and I14T) and now my wife and I are getting really interested in adding some inflatable SUPs to our fleet. She tried out a hard shell fiberglass one this week and was hooked. I'm an old surfer and don't need to try one to know I'll like it. I started researching and found out that not everyone likes the inflatable SUPs. Also noticed a huge range of prices and the typical low-end manufacturers names. Lets face it, some companies give inflatable boats a bad name, no matter whether they make RIBs, kayaks, or probably SUPs. I was also glad to read that Hobie's version is rated highly among the collection. We are outfitting our 41 ft. sailing catamaran ( not a Hobie, sorry) for an extended sail up and down the Bahamas and Central America over the next few years, and want to take some SUPs with us. The inflatables would work very well as far as traveling and storage on the catamaran.
I've noticed that the different SUPs across the board are specifying their displacement in liters. I am assuming this is a measure of positive flotation, and therefore payload i.e. rider weight. I weigh about 230 lbs. Is there a formula somewhere for SUP length vs displacement vs payload? I mean, if you had two models each rated at 245 liters, you would think they would perform the same, but you have to subtract the weight of the board itself from the displacement and there must be some margin over rider weight that makes the board float and perform well? I can see that longer skinnier boards will track better and shorter, wider boards with upturned blunt noses will surf better, even with same displacement. Isn't it easier from an engineering standpoint to make a short, wide board stiffer, pneumatically speaking?
Are long skinny boards wobbly in pitch due to flex?
Glad to see there's a section on the forum for this. I need to find out if Hobie makes a board for big guys. They gotta if they wanna compete in the Hawaiian market, I suspect.
Island life in the Devil's Triangle: http://2gringos.blogspot.com