Skinny skinny or kinds chubby?

Anybody ridden one of the long skinny Kalamas? 7’8 by 18" I am about to torture myself for the next year to learn this whole downwind sup thing. Dave is saying those skinny ones are easier to learn on…I dont see how that is possible. If pedigo and finch wheren’t doing this shit I wouldn’t have to go through the hell I know it is.

Things I am curious about on the long ones. What is the lam schedule? Are their stringers for the standing area? Could it be easier to learn on? Why do I hate myself enough to try this.

I was thinking about 6’8 x 24 for my first sup now I am wondeint if 7’2 x 22 might be easier to learn on…


Following as a fellow downwinder curious foiler. The Maui guys make it sound like downwinding starts at 18+ winds. Not sure that will be much good for those of us here in Florida. Have done some really fun downwind runs on the wing in really light 10-13 breezes. Basically just used the wing to get on foil and then connect the seems all the way downwind while holding the wing. Seems like downwind sup’ing in those conditions should be possible and after the torture of the learning curve is over more fun. Also thinking these new downwind shapes would be great for lightwind winging. Would rather use a big board and my 6m then buy a giant 8m Wing.

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Everything I hear is narrow gets off the water faster. You can add length to get the stability back. Either of your dimensions sounds like a great starting point.

If you’ve never sup paddled before I would think erring in the wider side would be better. It’s a lot about sup paddle technique. Commit to riding the board all the time when you get it. Flat water paddling. Sup foil surf. Sup downwind. You’ve gotta learn how to paddle efficiently and get to a sprint stroke.


Very interested in this topic, since i’m also struggling on what board to buy for downwinding.
In the last Casey’s catch interview with Tomoko, she mentioned that going from a ‘standard’ Sup to a Barracuda was game changing, easier to pop up and she could pop up with a smaller foil. She adviced me to go longer.
The only thing i’m a bit concerned is the volume of the board, in my specific case since i weight only 60 kg and all the board are going to come out now longer than 7” are more than 110lt


I have a 6’0 x 21 - 89L, narrow board makes it easier for sure.

I’m making some new longer boards to see how it goes. I’m surprised that good experienced sup dw foilers are using it (DK, Tomo, Jeremy, etc…). Because if you can take of on a shorter board it is better.
Kane said he likes the longer board for racing as you can use a small foil without struggling.

Longer boards will definetly help the sport grow for sure.


I am just trying to weigh is it better to go long and skinny or shorter and fatter…It will be obviously less stable on the long and skinny but if it gets up easier then it would be worth it. I sont mind knee paddling out there

I have not tried a barracuda type shaped board yet… I have an older wider board 6’6x30… after a lot of practice in the smallest little bumps I am able to get up and going in pretty small conditions but have never been able to flat water start. For sure the narrower sticks are going to get you out of the water faster but you can 100% make a wider one work.
I am with you in the fact that trying to stand on a 18” wide board sounds like more time flopping around in the water than on the board.
Would really like to try one that’s for sure!!!

I have no personal experience but a friend of mine is a solid SUP foiler and he says his new 8’ x 20" board is more stable than his 6’-3" x 25" board. He says the narrow boards rock less side to side. The other thing to keep in mind is many people are knee paddling them to get outside and into position then stand when ready to go. Kalama had an interview on YT where he said the same - once they realized they didn’t have to stand all the time he realized they could go narrower.

It seems the position of the foil tracks to match what foil you’re riding is critical, i.e. a Kalama board designed to work with GoFoil does not work so great with Armstrong or Lift foils.


I ride Gofoil could you ask him if he could pass on some deminsions / track placement info? I might try long and skinny.

Also if anyone is curious these new skinny boards are basically shrunk down prone race paddle boards like bark ect. So if you want a template you can just start with those and shrink them.

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A sup dw foil board is not for paddling it is made for flying, with eough experience you don’t really paddle much, only couple stokes to get going, then if you don’t make any mistake you don’t use your paddle. But in order to achieve that you need to master the basics which is efficent paddling technique and this requiere solide stance.

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I might be wrong but to me those long skinny boards are good for either dw condition with ground swell (usually hard to take off as theose swell moves very fast without steep face) or seems to work on any big days (like the Gorge).
Now i wonder if it works good on a average dw conditon, I would be worried about the swing weight and the touch down.

I have a 5’7 x 22.5 and 6’0 x 21, both supr light and I can feel the 5’7 is more efficient while flying on light dw (5 to 12 nd).

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Also I wonder about the weight of those boards ??

This was my thought process as well but thinking about it will a narrow thinner nose that is longer have that much more swing weight? Also the mast is about a third of the way up so they might not ride quite as long. They use them on the Kehei run and that is very short period chop. I probably wont build one for a couple months anyway, hopefully some first hand accounts will show up. KD was saying being able to ride a smaller foil made up for the extra length but he is also a freak of nature.

When I look at the video, I don’t really like the way it is ridden. Super low on the mast, lot’s of touchdown and the long gunny nose looks weird. But I guess it is just another way, a different way to foil dw, definetly cruising mode (doesn’t mean not fast and not fun).

Couple notes on the ‘cuda style boards:

They actually have relatively low swing weight and turn really well! The pointy, thin nose and tail plus standing basically in the middle of it makes them feel shorter than you’d expect.

Being so skinny (18-20”) they give you way more tail clearance in turns. This means you can ride a shorter mast without breaching in turns making it even easier to get up.

The odd flying attitude in the Gofoil videos is probably more of a Gofoil thing than a ‘cuda thing. Most gofoils ride pretty nose-up. I have been running and recommending 1-2° baseplate shim in the back for downwind. Jeremy Riggs board has some baseplate shim built in.

One of the most important parts of learning and progression is being able to find and push your limits. By reducing the consequences of a fall, these style boards nave made me more comfortable pushing my limits downwind.

These are perfect for anyone who is looking to learn and push their limits at any level. It seems to quarter the time it takes beginners to learn, open up flat water starts to everyone, and let’s intermediate riders get on smaller foils.

Looking at what I want after riding them, I’d like one for training and racing. I still want something around 6-7’ for surfing and playing.
The most important thing I’m learning is I want a constant width across all my boards from 3’ to 8’. Right now for high performance boards I don’t see much reason to go above 20” wide at any length or volume. The ease of takeoff and rail clearance are crucial to me.


Thanks for the feedback. Really interesting.

Hey Kane long time bro. It’s David from the West side (well I moved to Florida last year lol) This is great to hear. I only prone but really want to get into DWing what dims would you suggest for the barracuda style? I am 5’8 175 and feel old lol.

I was thinking like 7’4 x 20 but have no clue really.

I run a base plate shim on my Gofoils as well. I only ride the rs 1k in the surf now and 1150 shorerunning. They have been amazing for me. Pedigo made me a sweet little shim.

I’m still so confused about those news design (ultra long/ultra skinny).

I guess the only way to have all my answers is to try myself. Off course I bebieve what Kane is saying about it. I also Talked to TJ, Jeremy and they said the same.

But since dw conditions are very different regarding where you live, I really want to see if I need it. I have no problem taking off on my 6’0 with art 1099 and 999. I haven’t tried the 899 but that the goal and if those longer boards make it easy and are still super fun to ride, then it might be worth switching to this. Also it is a good way to go prone dw foiling.

I’m pretty sure we will see flat water take off prone soon with those skinny board.

Kane or Jeremy to be the first to do it ???