It’s been a while since we laid hands on a Pendle Board. Back in 2015 we got chance to try the 9.6ft version – one of the first batches of the brand’s innovative half rigid/half inflatable SUPs (you can read the review on SUPM’s website). Fast forward to 2017 and the technology has been embraced by Duo Boards – as subsidiary of NoveNove. A line of (planing) windsurf and windSUP boards are bow available utilising the rigid/air concept. Over to Steph for more.
The half inflatable nose and half rigid tail concept, originally designed by Mat Pendle, is a board I always wanted to try. Working with NoveNove’s Cesare Cantagalli the WindSUP 86 is a striking board. If space is an issue but you are not a great fan of 100% inflatable boards then this could be a good compromise.
Inflating to 10/12 PSI takes no time and no sweat! As a windSUP you need to screw a special insert into the board’s deck, covered by a foam disc (don’t lose it or you are in trouble). Two positions are available. With five fin boxes there’s plenty of opportunity to change the fin configuration and tune. A centrally located handle makes it easy to carry to the beach, even with a sail attached.
On the water it takes a little time to get used to, mainly because you need to adapt to both air filled and hard areas of the board. The Duo’s inflatable section is very comfortable and floaty with plenty of stability. With only 10 knots of wind it glides nicely along – there’s no need to be an expert windsurfer, but maybe not a complete beginner either.
With quad fins it heads upwind like crazy – great if you’re into wave riding and needing to position yourself at the peak quickly after a glide. Stepping on the tail of the board, even just a little, you can instantly feel the performance change. It suddenly takes on a whole new dimension!
In SUP mode it handles nicely on flat water. Not super fast but adequate none the less. It does feel a little strange at first and watch out when stepping back as you lose the volume very quickly. Incorporating thin rails like this on a full inflatable board is tricky so the Duo concept is great.
Duo Board’s WindSUP 86 ticks all the right boxes for paddlers and windies. Add a foldable windsurf rig, a three piece carbon paddle and you’re good to go whatever the conditions. It’s a board that could you get you wet in any type of weather. The windSUP fitting is a little faffy but this is only a minor point. Ultimately the Duo Board is a good concept that’ll suit many paddlers/sailors who straddle both sports. For those wanting a full on windsurfing experience, albeit in inflatable form, check out Duo’s Wind Freeride range.
Price: 1449 Euro