Having tested a number of Loco surf SUPs in the past, it was with great intrigue that we laid hands on the brand’s popular 12.6ft Tourer. Billed as an all round flat water stand up paddle board, it would be interesting to see how it would stand up against summer south coast chop.
At first glance it’s a svelte and fast looking piece of kit. The pronounced deep vee nose, designed to cut through water like a hot knife through butter, leads to a squared off tail – this Loco means business. The wood veneer lends an air of quality to proceedings and it was screaming to get wet.
A deep set handle ensures efficient and balanced meanderings to the put in before hopping on board. Straight away the stability of the Loco 12.6ft comes to the fore. The slightly concaved deck, with super comfy non slip pad, lowers the rider closer to the water – composed and level sums up the launch.
Shuffling back and forth along the 12.6ft’s centre line will either engage or lift the nose. Buried deep, it pierces the brine with ease, deflecting water along the nose spine. Shift weight back and the glide still remains impressive – so much so that it was begging to ride some lumps.
Loco’s 12.6ft actually makes a decent downwind board. For an all-rounder it picks up rollers with ease and as long as the rider remains proactive there shouldn’t be too many issues. Take off on a steep section, hang right off the tail and keep the bow from tripping, while accurate trimming, left and right, will keep the slide going.
It came as no surprise, considering Loco’s wave pedigree, that the 12.6ft performs in small swells. For such a flat water orientated board it handles liquid walls with ease and, while paddlers won’t necessarily smash a roundhouse cutty, it’s perfect for summer wave fun – if the rider can set a rail.
Back to flat water and touring missions are sublime; the 12.6ft eating up miles like a hungry horse. Care needs to be taken if negotiating rocky coastlines, nooks and crannies – you don’t want to ding your precious toy – but it’s perfect for exploring all stretches of water.
With fantastic glide, plus surprising downwind and surf performance, Loco’s 12.6ft Tourer is a good all round stand up paddle board. Check out the brand’s 14ft racer for increased performance or their surf line for full power wave shreddage. For most, the 12.6ft would make a good one-board-only quiver – or partner it with something surfier.
Price: £1099 inc bag
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