At A Glance
This board has a super interesting shape. For me, it was reminiscent of a Donald Takayama style performance nose rider longboard. It has a huge squared off spoon like nose with loads of bottom shape, straight parallel rails with lovely rounded tops into a sharper edge, going down to super pinched-in, performance looking pintail.
In terms of finish, it looks great, nothing too showy or lairy in terms of graphics. The whole board is laminated in a light wood finish and looks immaculate. It draws inspiration from the Firewire surfboard range, which would make sense, given Sunova was set up by Bert Berger, previously one of the top guys at Firewire. The board was set up on a single fin, but there are fin boxes to allow for side bites for further grip should it be required.
On The Water
I was super excited to try this board. I like the feel of a longboard style SUP, but for me, a lot of the SUP longboards on offer are a bit too much about compromise. By that, I mean the board is a little bit of an all-rounder that could be fun in the surf, but also a good one to take friends out paddling on. This board, from the moment you step on it or even pick it up, you can tell there is no compromise.
I’m 85kg with a wetsuit on, and the 112-litre volume of a 9’6" length meant this was a stable, but a wetted paddling experience to me. Don’t expect this to feel like the 10-foot cruisers that are so popular. The narrow pintail gives the board a twitchiness that lets you know it's going to be super fun on the wave as soon as you jump on.
The test conditions were a small clean glassy beach break. The first wave you catch on this board, and it’s almost intuitive to take a little stroll up the nose, and with the nose on this beauty, it’s almost begging for it. That said, picking out a nice section to take a gouge out of and stepping back over the tail and letting it fly also comes naturally to this board.
The Style wants to perform how you want to ride it. If you are looking to cruise and glide between sections, then this is a winner, definitely delivering that classic longboard feel. However, equally, if you want to start laying out some single fin style, a bit of a soul arch and then big roundhouse cutbacks, this would be an awesome choice of board. It's a great all-rounder as long as you understand what you are getting, a performance longboard with attitude...
Who would I recommend this board to? It’s not a cruiser; it’s not a family board. Yes, at a push a lighter rider could potter on flat water, but make no mistake this is a purebred long board style SUP board. This would make an excellent board for an already proficient surfer, looking to delve into the world of SUP surfing feet first and who has an eye for the more soulful, stylish aspects rather than the smash and grab of aggressive short board riding.
This is a really enjoyable board to ride, and arguably the most exciting aspects of SUP surfing lie in boards like this. While many shapers are dropping length, cutting off noses and going wide, I love the narrow, long, glide of the Style. When I first got into SUP surfing, it was on a big 11-foot log, paddling into big slow fat waves.
You could eye them up on the horizon and then start paddling, get up some speed and slide onto them well before they were even breaking. The problem that you quickly came to realise was turning wasn’t really an option. This is where boards like the Style rock, you can get onto wave using its glide and length, but when you want to actually perform on the wave the characteristics of this board completely allow for this in spades.
This review was in Issue 3 of Tonic.For more information visit Sunova
By Luke BolsinLuke Bolsin has been on the water all his life and taught a wide range of water sports since 2001, and is passionate about being on the water and sharing the stoke with others. He has been paddling stand up since 2008, initially as a cross trainer for no wind or flat days. However in recent years has become totally hooked on SUP for all conditions, be it down wind paddling in swells, SUP surfing, racing, or mooching on calm days around quiet coves. As well as working for SUP Tonic as our Web Editor he divides his time running his own SUP school and rental business in Cornwall, in the UK's South West, as well as being a teacher and a dad. Luke competes on a recreational level in variety of SUP events in his locality, and is part of a burgeoning paddle scene in the heart of UK's surfing region.