COMPACT SHAPE SURFBOARDS FOR KITESURF
Our buyer's guide
In the last few years the use of "pointless" boards, called compact or blunt noses , has become widespread in kitesurfing and even more so in kitesurfing . To tell the truth, most of the kitesurf executive's of the new generation are of this type, but it is not always clear what their use should be and above all how to choose them according to their level, weight, conditions.
Let's briefly see what are the characteristics that these tables have in common, always keeping in mind that even apparently minimal variations in shape can result in very different behaviors underfoot ... in short, as if to say, you should not do all the grass a bundle!
Characteristics of a compact shape
We immediately say that it is not our intention to delve into fluid dynamics dissertations, or to go into too much detail about these shapes and how they work: we will limit ourselves to some general considerations.
The first evidence that catches the eye is that the compact boards do not have the classic nose . The tip is cut off. But not just that. Also the stern is generally cut.
In addition to this, compact surfboards are characterized by having parallel , or nearly so, rails . They are generally also quite wide boards . The rocker is not very pronounced, sometimes even almost flat.
The shorter tip and the compact size translate into easy handling because a shorter board turns tighter. Being shorter the volume is concentrated in the center and also the area in which to place the feet is not as wide as on a traditional surfboard where it is always necessary to move the feet a lot back and forth and the weights to get the best trim in the gait or while it surprises.
The compact shape also helps a lot in the case of strapless jumps rotations and other maneuvers because it allows you to maintain better control.
The more parallel rails ensure grip and control especially in the chop.
Finally, these shapes mean that most of the surface of the board is in the water and so the board also begins to glide first and is able to generate a greater speed.
On the other hand they have less grip on the wave wall and the lack of rockers tends to make them gutter in the waves to a certain extent.
The result of these features is that a compact board works more evenly with the whole bottom (hull) and the surf has a slightly different style and setting than a traditional board and we could define it more "skate" . Who uses a surfskate will understand what we mean.
Let's take an example.
With a surfboard you set the bottom turn to get ready for the top turn on the lip, all in one smooth, continuous movement.
To close powerful top turns a small compression is required before entering the bottom turn so as to exit the curve with more power and close even tighter lines.
Choose the size of a compact table
One thing to pay close attention to when buying a compact board is the size.
It is easy enough to understand that if at my usual 6 feet I remove the tip it becomes a 5.6 or less, but as we have seen it is not just this but also rails, stern, volume distributions etc. If I take two boards, one compact and one no, of the same length, the compact board in comparison will be a raft. Impossible to turn. The right size of a compact table for a rider weighing 75 kg is generally around 5 feet. Choosing a table larger than the one indicated in the tables does not mean simplifying your life but complicating it because it becomes more difficult to maneuver.
Therefore it is essential to refer to the manufacturer's measurement tables and in cases where the weight is between two measures, or in any case in case of doubt between two measurements, it is always better to choose the smaller one. In fact, when it comes to compact boards, what generally happens for surfboards is not worth it, where a couple of liters more always help and rarely get in the way. Choosing the size of a compact table, if you have to choose, make a mistake, never in excess. Not that I go planing a little later but then it will be fine.
For whom compact boards are recommended
Compact boards are generally chosen on the one hand by those looking for comfort in gait, good haul and small waves . The compact surfboards in fact give the best on medium-small waves (up to the bust or shoulders), not too steep and generally in conditions not ideal for surfing, such as onshore wind and chop. The compact shape also combines very well with use without strap.
But the compact directional boards are not chosen just to go in the waves. These are boards that have no rivals when it comes to freestyle strapless because the more compact shape facilitates jumps and rotations giving more pop and better control in the air. So if your goal is to get closer to this discipline and try to do some maneuvering, then a compact board is without a doubt the best choice.
Which compact table to buy
If you're trying to figure out which compact table is the best, I'm sorry to disappoint you but I can't help you. As always, what is best to do something, such as jumping, probably isn't for doing other things like surfing. In addition, styles, abilities and many other factors influence the choice of a table, ensuring that the most suitable table for one is not necessarily suitable for others.
What we can say is that the world of compact surfboards is actually much more varied than it seems . Each brand offers different shapes and understanding some of the main differences can help you identify the most suitable model based on the use you want to make of it.
That the compact boards do not go well for surfing is not true. But they are suitable for certain conditions and not for others. For example, if you're looking for a board to take on vacation to go surfing in One Eye, better a classic shape. The compact boards, however, are able to keep you entertained when the conditions are not so perfect ... and therefore are good for 90% of the outings in our Mediterranean. Onshore wind, chop, waves not so high and not powerful enough.
If you are looking for a compact surfboard, choose a model that is not too flat and with a stern that is not too big. A little rocker will allow you to tackle even a little more measurement without any problems.
Of course it will also be suitable for doing some freesyle, but if this is your only goal and you want to use it mainly on flat water or if you go out to the lake, or if you have another board for the waves, then you can also orient yourself on a pure freestyle board.
Pure freestyle compact tables
In freestyle strapless compact boards are unrivaled. They have a lot more pop and once in the air they are more manageable. The purest freestyle models are those with a flatter rocker, almost parallel rails, a pointed toe and tail and the stern is large enough to give you as much thrust as possible and to facilitate landing.
In general they are also very boliniere tables, comfortable in gait and very early gliding.
The downside however is that they are difficult to use on the waves.
Compact table for beginners?
If you are a beginner and you are looking for a first directional board to get closer to this world, a compact board can do the job for you without problems. The stability of a compact shape will undoubtedly be of great help in learning the jibe and in general they are easy to run because they do not require you to move your feet much.
They also make the transition from a twintip not too traumatic.
Even if you're good at skateboarding, you might find yourself better with this type of shape.
Alternatively you could consider directional tables with a lot of volume, like fish. The important thing is to always choose a table that has the right balance between stability and handling. Ok, so to large tables, but do not overdo it.
Unlike directional boards that are very popular with beginners a few years ago, like Nugged , the most modern shapes like the new Fish or the compact boards are definitely more manageable and still allow you to get close to the waves and surf. Which with a Nugged type board was practically impossible, especially for a beginner.