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Quiver partners – Redwood Paddle Phenix 9ft x 31,5” x 144L & Source LTD 8.5ft x 31” x 116L comparison review

As more paddlers become involved in stand up paddle surfing and develop their skills one board no longer fits the bill. Should you want to maximise your time in wave environments, across most UK conditions, then an arsenal of tools is where it’s at. Quivers give versatility to SUP surf sessions, allow different breaks to be accessed and give riders the ability to switch styles as their mood dictates. Redwood Paddle’s Phenix 9ft and Source LTD 8.5ft are the perfect complimentary pair – SUPM test team member Stephane Lefevre takes a closer look.

Phenix 9ft

‘RWP manufacture lovely looking boards, their wood effect aesthetic and tinted resin finish are just high class and lends the Phenix an air of ‘custom’ look. Lifting the Phenix you feel its quality oozing from the construction – plus the price will give you a mile wide smile!

An all round SUP with a longboard wave pedigree RWP’s Phenix 9ft is wide and stable but nonetheless light (both to ride and carry) as well as being responsive in the water. With a width of 32″ it’s stable to paddle out to the peak but surprisingly doesn’t feel cumbersome when up and riding surf. Even with almost the same quoted width as the Source LTD it’s a very different beast to pilot.

The Phenix’s shape owes much to longboard on the nose stylin’ but is slightly wider than full on performance orientated machines. There’s not a huge amount of nose rocker so you have to step back to the tail on take off. Having made the drop riders also need to keep weight rearward otherwise the Phenix can pearl when slingshotting out of the wave’s trough. That said, with correct trim it turns very smoothly, in progressive fashion, during both top and bottom carves. It’ll also catch every wave you paddle for – something your mates will be 100% envious of.

Thanks to its fairly wide boxy tail and rounded nose RWP’s Pehnix gets riders back out to the take off and over white water efficiently. Anxious or first time wave riders will find it a good tutor for learning all those important fundamentals while more advanced riders, wanting to milk the most of slacker surf days or develop their hang fives/tens, will find favour with the Phenix 9ft. And let’s not forget its ability to carve mellow roundhouses for good measure.

As an added bonus RWP’s Phenix 9ft has enough volume and stability for cruising about on the flat with the family or mates. If one board is what you need then the Phenix will fit the bill but as part of a quiver it really serves those relaxed surf sessions well.’

Source 8.5ft LTD

‘RWP’s Source 8.5ft LTD wood and tinted resin look simply stunning. We know it’s a head turner as everyone on the beach made comments during testing – this must be a good sign? As with RWP’s Phenix build quality will make you think you’ve purchased a custom sled, even though it isn’t. Chris DeFrance, Redwood’s head shaper/designer, should definitely get a massive pat on the back for his aesthetics.

The Source LTD 8.5ft is a wave board and that’s that – don’t expect a cruise along SUP as you’ll be disappointed. Paddling from the beach it tracks okay but riders need to keep the cadence up if they’re to stay dry. At 31” wide and 8.5ft long you would expect a fair amount of stability but the Source LTD requires some getting used to. As SUPM has said in the past dimensions only tell part of the story. What’s more important is the hull shape and overall contours.

Thin rails and a moderately pulled in nose means medium weight SUPers may take a while to get used to the Source’s characteristics –  especially on days with loads of water movement or too much wind in the mix. Don’t be put off by this, however, it’s no way unstable. It’s perfectly acceptable for a board this size, and style, to challenge paddlers – especially if you’re progressing and stepping down from a bigger stand up paddle surf board. And with waves in mind what you lose in stability is more than made up with manoeuvrability.

This board is a wave ridding machine that will put a smile on your face. From the first moment riders drop in the Source’s thin rails give it a super responsive feeling and manoeuvres, such as tight pocket turns, are rewarding and fulfilling. Whether waves are small or big RWP’s Source 8.5ft will handle everything you throw it at – slashy in the small stuff or a thoroughbred charger when swells ramp up. If you ride a smaller surf SUP already then you could use the Source LTD as a step up stick for bigger waves.

Being loose does mean paddlers will need to tune the Source correctly with fins, which is easy enough as it has five boxes. Go quad for bigger surf, and a grippier feel, or thruster for more drive off the bottom. Personally I like it as a quad and found smaller days with this set up suited my style better.

A Pro version in carbon is also available but since the LTD was very light and well-built we don’t see the point in spending the extra money unless you are very serious and looking at competing. The Source comes in different sizes to suit all weights but it’s the 8.5ft that’s RWP’s best seller – and it’s not hard to see why. A cracking little board for surf breaks of all descriptions.’

Conclusion

As the perfect pair RWP’s Phenix 9ft and Source LTD 8.5ft are hard to beat. Suiting all types of paddle surfing aficionados, from the aspiring ripper to the seasoned pro, both SUPs are poised to take you where the surfing bug seems to be headed. For small waves or a mellower, more traditional longboard wave riding experience, grab the Phenix. And when surf ramps up, and/or you fancy a bit of slashing and ripping it’s time to bust out the Source LTD. Well made, looking almost custom-esque to the naked eye, both SUPs are well priced without falling into the budget category. So for riders after a quiver Redwood’s Phenix 9ft and Source LTD 8.5ft could very well be your sleds of choice.

Prices:

Source LTD range from 699€

Phenix LTD range from 749€

Info:

http://redwoodpaddle.com/gb/10-source

http://redwoodpaddle.com/gb/24-phenix

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About SUPMagUK (469 Articles)
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Mag UK is the home of UK SUP. Paddle surfing, downwind SUP, all round SUP, SUP racing and more - it's all here!

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