More and more we’re seeing parallel rail concept designs, that’s been a trait of short performance surf SUPs the last few seasons, spreading to longer/bigger shapes – RRD’s Morpho 9.4ft being a case in point. On first look the Morpho’s cut off tail/nose and 9ft+ length gives it a striking aesthetic. This is only heightened when you flip the board over and note the deep chines cut into the hull. A 2+1 thruster fin set up, (with US Box middle and Futures side bites) completes the package. Over to test teamer Steph for the low down.
‘On the beach the Morpho looks great – eye catching it most definitely is. RRD build quality is second to none – the wood construction tested here also being tough and durable. Graphical livery is fun and modern and done in a way that only Italians can – stylish and crisp.
Adopting the cut off nose and tail concept, but in a bigger board, was going to make for an interesting sensation on the water. The Morpho is an all round SUP with a wave pedigree. It is stable but not as stable as I was expecting – there’s a lively personality just waiting to be unlocked. Following a few paddle strokes you get used to the Morpho and secondary stability is good.
Paddling on flat water is perfectly applicable for the Morpho, although the moderate diamond nose doesn’t allow for the most effective knifing through the water. That said it’s an easy SUP to pilot out to the line up and get into position.
Dropping in to your first wave the wide nose doesn’t get in the way and, in fact, I was rather impressed it never pearled in steeper waves. The nose also aids climbing white water on the way back out to the peak.
The tail is very wide and will help catch every little bump going, without too much effort. Cranking turns, however, requires a proactive approach from the rider. Moving feet from rail to rail is a must. Simply standing on the centre line won’t yield the result paddlers are after. The Morpho does deliver good speed along the wave, however, and with correct technique top turns are fulfilling.
If you are a bigger boned individual then eking out the RRD’s maximum performance will be easier – muscled up legs being able to push the tail into wave faces more aggressively. Smaller riders will find RRD’s Morpho 9.4ft great for cruising around and snagging long glides. If proper carves and lip punts are your thing, however, the brand’s C.O.T.A.N would be a better bet.’
RRD’s Morpho 9.4ft opens up the whole parallel SUP surfing world to larger paddlers. If you’re on the plus side of 85kg then chances are you’ll find the Morpho a great board to chuck around in small to medium sized swells. Offering enough stability to challenge junky conditions but perform in clean surf it’s a sled that’ll reward riders who know how to move their feet about the deck, from rail to rail. Paddling on the flat is fine and swell-less cruising is certainly doable. RRD’s attention to detail is top drawer and, as always, the brand’s manufacturing techniques are impressive. For those who fancy a looser ride in waves then consider swapping out the central fin.