Sunova Carver Unboxed

Well, the wait for me is over. My new Carver showed up today and I’m absolutely stoked to get it on the water. Packaging looked good and it arrived without damage other than a few cardboard indents to the deck pad that should refresh themselves over time.

I ordered the 5’10" x 20" 85l version that comes with a stock expected weight of 6kg.

I asked for 2 alterations:

  1. No footstrap inserts. (I don’t jump).
  2. Vapor instead of standard construction. (I was nervous about this decision but I watched Berts old layup videos and felt like I was still going to end up with a solid board).
    There was no charge for these alterations.

I threw the board onto the scale and it clocked in at 4.85kg or 10.7lbs which is obviously, significantly below the stock weight and is also over a pound lighter than my e3 Kalama 5’3"x22" 83l.

While I haven’t ridden it yet, I calculated the landing point for the foil and it looks like it should land almost dead center in the box. This would result in a total of only 4" added in front of my foil instead of the full 7" (in comparison to the e3). This also means that depending on how the board actually balances in the water, I may be able to cheat the foil farther forward to drop the nose length even more.

Last, I was concerned about the vapor construction and have ridden ultralight boards in the past that gave me pause on how long they would last. My first impression on the Sunova Vapor layup is that it is still quite strong and the board feels just as solid as any other production board I’ve picked up in the past. Just lighter.

Once I can get a few sessions in on this board I’ll write up a formal review, but straight out of the box I’m excited!

Thanks to Sunova for making great gear and thanks to Poseidon Standup for processing my order so quickly.


Looks amazing! Does that mean there might be a deal on an 83L E3? -)

Either a dirty cheap deal on it if you’re around the gorge, or, I’m considering being the change I want to see in the industry myself and just turning it into a cheap rental/gear library board for the local community to rip on. I refinished it so it doesn’t have a classic kalama look anymore but it has treated me well for the last 4 months and it will probably be lonely if it doesn’t get much more riding on it!


I’d be keen if I wasn’t in the beginning throes of this yet-to-be-determined ski season. Too many toys!!!

Holy cow, this board rips! First ride on it and hit a bunch of different conditions. Better than my 5’3" in every way! Managed to set my lightwind PR for my 850 on my first day trying it. Got up and stayed up on foil with zero issues, averaged 13 knots and lulls at 9 knots. What a blast!

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Since I have the same foil as you, cloud 850 and weigh 75 dry and have the takoon 6’6 by 21’ ,90l in 9-13 kn I could go with the 5m but also 6m. What wing size did you take? Riding in sweetwater lake

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I’m closer to 95kg with a thick wetsuit on at the moment and I was using the Cloud IX 4.2m SLE. I also had the Catalyst tail on the 850 which helped with lulls in the air, it was my first time riding that as well.

Riding in the Columbia River, so worth taking into account there is a river current pushing me upwind and making my 9-13 knots a touch stronger than your 9-13 knots.

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Second session was a banger as well!

Lulls down to 9-10 knots again, average 14 knots. Gust to 19 knots.
85l board carver 5’10"x20"
90kg rider plus wetsuit
Cloud IX fs700 with catalyst stab. 66cm mast.
Cloud IX 4.2m Ho’Okipa wing

Yet another shocker, can’t believe I got the 700 going in those conditions with that wing. Definitely another low end PR for that kit. A clear notch harder to get up on than the 850 but still very reasonable. The speed and maneuverability of the 700 plus catalyst with the 66cm mast was definitely outrunning me. Board was extremely fast rail to rail and yet, still very stable in gybes and efficient in upwind driving.
Loving this board !!

3rd session completed:
17 knots (13-23)
90kg rider
85l 5’10" Carver
46f degree air and 39f degree water (7.77c air and 3.88c water).
Cloud IX fs700 foil, catalyst stab, 66cm mast.
Cloud IX 4.2m SLE wing.

Yet another session on my tippiest/twitchiest kit ever. The short mast, small foil, and narrow board don’t do you any favors. Winds were coming from an odd direction creating cross chop. Again, I could feel a decrease in balance but it was still totally doable as a knee start but I preferred the rodeo stinkbug today. Takes off like a lightning bolt as soon as you sit up.

100% overpowered with the 4.2m on this kit. The 700 launched out of the water without hesitation. Definitely should have rigged a 3.5m wing. Not sure if I could have made a 3m work though? More tests to come.

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Thanks for the awesome feedback, I’m 75kg and thinking on 67L would I still benefit from his effiecnt shape on the water before going up on foil?

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Bwalnut, I like your posts. What is the reasoning behind using so short a mast?

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Assuming you are currently using a wider board, yes, you will still benefit from the new shape even at the shorter length. Sunova will customize anything you want though. If I were you, I’d go 5’6" at the shortest and then just ask them to decrease the liters to your preferred float value. This will give you the float you desire and a little more board length for exciting takeoffs.

Being on the 5’10" after my 5’3" I don’t think I’ll be going shorter again anytime soon. I was able to drop from an 1150 down to my 700 in the same wind by just adding that little bit of length.


Thanks Badger, I enjoy the writing and analytical side so having someplace to share my thoughts is nice.

Short mast use is something I get questioned on a lot. Here’s why it’s in my quiver:

  1. Better low end: There’s simply less drag in the water so this allows me to get up to foiling speed quicker with a smaller foil and wing.

  2. Faster turning: The shorter mast allows you to get rail to rail quicker. You can think of it like you think of the wingspan on your foil. The narrower the wingspan, or shorter the mast, the faster the turning.

  3. Good training for pitch control: On flatwater, light wind, small swell, it’s just good training to get a feel for where the foil is at and how to quickly move up and down swell, instead of straight through it. This translates into better pitch control in bigger surf later on. When riding tiny swell, it’s also easier to get the foil into the energy pocket with less mast to travel up and down.

  4. Harder to balance and highly responsive: In the water its undeniably tippier. In the air, it’s as twitchy/responsive as I can make my kit. As such, it’s just a skill builder for balance in the water and on foil. Since it’s already light wind or small swell when I’m using it, it’s just a good form of training to keep my sharp for the big days where I size up my mast and really want to push my foils hard.

  5. Use it or lose it: Riding a short mast is a skill IMO. If you don’t stay in tune with that skill, you can probably fall away from having access to it. Most of my friends ride 90s every day. I doubt they would be able to ride a 66 and do many high performance maneuvers. They would likely be stuck breaching far too often.

I ride my 66cm as much as I can which is quite a bit in east winds this time of year. In west winds over 20 knots I’m usually on my 76cm. I sold my 86cm since I almost never rode it due to a strong dislike for how slowly it turned.

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Great info, thanks. Now I wish I had kept the 68cm mast that I learned on.

That’s great to know thanks!

Do you negative shim your rear wing with the short mast? With a short mast producing less leverage for the rear wing to counteract there are probably efficiency gains to be had.

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Good question but no, I have not played with that yet. My newest stab is monoblock style so there’s no shimming to be had anymore.

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So refreshing to hear someone advocate for shorter masts!

I’ve only ever ridden a 65 cm mast and didn’t really see a need to change until comparing my setup to other riders’. I don’t ride huge waves and enjoy the fact that you really have to ride with the swell instead of just gliding over it. Makes it so much more of a dynamic experience - but yes you maybe loose a little efficiency / overall speed when tracking upwind.

When at the Gorge in 25 - 35 knots I was still having fun. That being said I wouldn’t mind trying a 75cm in those conditions :rofl:

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Woooo! I thought I was the only one!

I agree, I like moving with the swell, not just cutting through it! You can take my 76cm or 86cm mast for a spin in the Gorge anytime.

Almost done with my full review on the Carver. Have ridden it in 6-43 knots with foils from 700-1150. Anything special people really want to see in a formal review that is commonly missed?