It’s no secret my fondness towards the original FWBPC Classic 9’11. From the moment I stepped aboard that orange and white stripped, retro-influenced longboard style surf SUP I was smitten. Over the past few years it’s seen its fair share of wave action with a smattering of flat water chucked in for good measure. When Fresh announced their return, and an updated Classic, I was therefore intrigued, if a little nervous.
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The V2 Classic 9’11 comes with a new colourway in standard construction. It’s also available in Pawlonia wood. The blue and white looks distinctly different to its orange and white sibling making for a beach stand out. Reinforced Kevlar rails give additional durability whereas lighter weight and knuckle under carry handle are welcome tweaks. The overall shape, however, remains unchanged.
Stepping aboard the V2 Classic 9’11 and that reduction of weight comes to the fore. This Classic feels looser and livelier than the original. Board weight, even within the same range – can drastically alter performance. Sure enough once on a wave it’s more throwabout than previous but retains glide and momentum carrying properties that make the Classic good for slack waves. Riding from the tail delivers carving performance that belies its overall dimensions – manoeuvrability is tip top. As such the Classic 9’11 can’t be judged on looks alone. It needs riding.
When confronted by punchier, hollower swells, the Classic 9’11 steps up. It’s a board that has a large section of flat rocker but right up front the additional pronounced nose kick allows tight fit to wave pockets and zero pearling during take off. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how critical a wave you can ride with this surf inspired SUP. For true traditionalists, hang a few toes over or modern rippers can lay a rail for some gouging carves. Tail squirters should also apply.
Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co make a welcome return with their updated Classic 9’11 longboard style surf SUP. Taking an already well-liked performance sled (by me at least) and tweaking a small amount to improve upon this is no mean feat. Often changes can worsen things – but not here. The Classic 9’11 continues the trend of quality SUP log surfer that many real world riders (and some pros) will find favour with. Welcome back!
Classic Surf SUPs, are also available in the larger 10’6 x 32 177L size.