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Welcome to CorrAn stand up Paddleboards From high end surf and race shapes, to inexpensive entry level paddleboards we make it all

Dean Botcher prepares for Dusi

Dean was one of the four paddlers who attempted the grueling 120km Dusi marathon race on a paddle board in 2014. All four competitors finished the race, but it wasn’t without mishaps. Dean had some board problems that set him back, so this year he’s opted to compete on the Dusi paddleboard itself. The AerialiteX construction over the foam core will give him the strength he needs to bank the board down the rock infested river, be light enough for the long steep portages (with board on shoulder), and fast enough for the hard exhausting flatwater sections.

With international paddlers like Slater Trout, and John Stalone (also on a Dusi) competing this year, Dean is going to need everything stacked in his favor to have a go at the win. As you can see, he’s training hard, is looking in top shape, and is getting his board race legal.

The Dusi marathon is held in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, in late February. Each year alternates, and in 2015 the 2000 kayakers competing will be using 17′ single kayaks. In 2014 they used two man kayaks. You can read about the 2014 Dusi here.

Race Number

2015 Combat proto

I thought I’d post some images of the new 2015 Combat prototype.

We have long been believers in hard shell boards for use in whitewater. The ability to create refined shapes, with changing rail design through the length of the board, specific rockers and subtle hull shapes and deck contours, combined with a stiff shell that doesn’t reverberate when hitting waves, creates a board that is significantly easier to paddle than any inflatable shape – all other things being equal.

But this does not mean that inflatable boards do not have their place. Indeed, they do. For many, storage and transport is a problem. For others, they hike in long distances to get to their favorite runs. And finally, there are simply believers out there who want an inflatable. So our goal has been to give all those advantages of storage, and transport, in a design which is as close as possible to a hard shell design as can be had. In essence – to recreate the Streetfighter as closely as possible.

Obviously, it’s not possible to design the refined subtleties of a contoured hard shell board, but we have gotten closer than anyone else. The thick 8″ rails make the board as forgiving as possible in the most turbulent conditions, while the lowered standing area at 4″ increases stability significantly (for every 1/2″ you lower the standing area, it has about the same effect as increasing width by 1″ for stability). The 8″ construction also makes the board much stiffer, reducing as much as possible the effect of the “yoga on a waterbed feel” that most inflatable boards have.

But this is old news. Whats new for 2015?

We’ve increased the length from 9’3″ to 10′, carried more width through the ends, widened the standing area of the board, and doubled the amount of drainage. The end result… a board which is faster, more stable, easier to control, faster draining and simply more enjoyable to paddle than the original design, making it easily the top choice for 2015 for those looking to whitewater sup on an inflatable board.

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Plastic, Kevlar or Inflatable – the choice

Inflatable boards have a lot of traction now, mostly because they’re a better option to an expensive epoxy board that explodes when it hits rocks. But the problem with them is that you cannot actually design a “real” shape. Look at kayaks – the intricacy of the hull and deck design. Because of the construction method, all you can adjust on an inflatable is the outline and to a degree, the rocker. This essentially means that, for all practical purposes, you’re learning to paddle on the SUP version of a squirt boat crossed with a door.  Hardly ideal. But people see other paddlers on them (for the reason above), and assume this is the way to go. Its not. You’re far better off on a hard shell. Plastic makes the most sense, as any kayaker worth his salt will tell you after 30 years of plastic kayak success. It’s the strongest and cheapest. However, kevlar/AerialiteX construction boards offer all the advantages of plastic in performance, with decreased weight, and when built right, close to the strength of inflatable. They cost more, sure…

I’m in a unique position – Corran SUP is the ONLY manufacturer that produces all three – Inflatable, Kevlar and Plastic, so we have no vested interest in recommending one over the other. It’s all the same to us. Other people cannot do that – they only make one style and so have to push that. As the designer at Corran SUP who makes all three, I can tell you this in making your decision:

1) If you’re looking for the best mix of ease, a board that will help your WW kills progression, let you spend more time paddling your board rather than getting back onto it, resist all you can throw at it and be very affordable to buy, Plastic is where you want to go.  The shapes like the Streetfighter are refined, designed to optimum, weigh no more than a kayak, and they will take as any kayaker knows years and years of abuse. The stiffer hull reduces you getting bucked around, the high sidewalls offer forgiveness… look at kayak designs, and which ones are easy (creek boats) and why… and apply that knowledge to SUP shapes. The concepts are the same in rivers whether you’re sitting, kneeling or standing.

2) Epoxy Kavlar/AerialiteX will have all the advantages of optimized shape, taken to another level. You can do some subtle things to shape that even plastic doesn’t allow, but its a small differance. The real key here is that you can make the board as light or heavy as you like. If you’re on a slalom coruse for example 99% of the time, then having a slalom shape makes sense, built as light as a slalom kayak. If you’re only surfing waves, and not running anything thats rock abusive, then an optimized surf shape like the Overthruster that we make (there are others too from other people). They cost more than plastic of course, and can;t take the abuse of plastic, but they are stiff and performance based. For the technical paddler, these are magic.

3)If your main issue is you have limited space to store or transport a board, or you’re doing some serious hiking into riverers, then inflatable is the way to go. This is where they shine. Even with the very best shapes (our combat is about as good as it gets in “recreating” a Streetfighter sype shape) they are a distant third to plastic and Kevlar in performance AND ease!!! Understand this – Inflatable shapes are the hardest to master – rapids you can do with one eye closed on a board like the Streetfighter take full concentration on any inflatable. But their advantage is storage and transport. They’re not cheap either, like Kevlar.

This is how you should choose…. where are you paddling (rocky rivers or deep ones)? What are your goals (progress, running harder and harder rivers, become a great surfer, or hike into remote places)? Is price a concern? Don;t just run out and get what Johnny is using – he’s probably only on what hes using because he doesn’t know any better either. Figure out what you’re doing, where, why and then choose accordingly.

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