Photo of SUP taken by Allison Grappone

Cruising or Surfing; Build Your Own Wood SUP

Building A SUP for Cruising

Photo of SUP taken by Allison Grappone

Christophe Matson. Photo by Allison Grappone Used with permission

Ultimate freedom is defined as taking to the water in a small craft, or so thinks customer Christophe Matson.  Christophe has a lifelong love of being on the water.  This affinity, combined with his passion for boatbuilding, led him to build one of his now favorite watercraft: the Taal SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard.)

The Taal is 12 feet 6 inches in length and designed as a dispacement hull, rather than as a surf board.  It is optimized for speed, tracking, smoothness of ride and stability on flat water.  Christophe’s completed board weighs in at 30 pounds.

Plans for the Taal are available online from Duckworks.  The instructions have you build the craft from scratch, including the rib structure.  Christophe sourced the lumber, western red cedar and 3mm okoume marine plywood, from Goosebay.

Christophe enjoys the freedom the Taal gives him, whether he is cruising the harbor with his brother near their parents’ Connecticut home, or if he is leisurely exploring the rivers and lakes near his home in New Hampshire.  His wife also enjoys the Taal: She prefers to take her book, paddle about 100 feet from shore, and settle down for a bit of reading and sunbathing.  The venue can’t be beat!

“Everyone who has paddled our Taal has been impressed with its speed and stability. It’s a luxurious platform to paddle on, and it also looks gorgeous on the water. With the gentle curve of the deck meeting the distinctive transom, the sharp stem, and that classic look of wood, the Taal exudes style.” -Christophe Matson

Surfing with a SUP

Photo of Carl Mahlstedt surfing with his SUP

Carl Mahlstedt, Costa Rica, February 2019

Goosebay owner Carl Mahlstedt has a different take on the SUP.  For him, it’s all about the ocean, going fast, and riding the waves.  Surf SUPs have a different design from the cruising SUPs.  They have more rocker at the tail and nose which make them much more surf friendly.

Carl was an avid surfer years ago, but now exclusively surfs with a SUP.   For him, the advantages are many.  The broader and longer SUP allows the rider to stand, versus being supine on a traditional board.  The height advantage allows the rider to see where the best surf is, and to quickly paddle to the area; Traveling distances is much easier with a SUP than on a surf board.

His preference is a shorter board, typically 8-9 feet ,similar in length to a traditional longboard.  The length of the waterline increases the glide of the board.  The wider width gives it stability.  The paddle can even be planted, much like a ski pole, to facilitate quick turns.  When asked why choose to surf with a SUP as opposed to a traditional board, he replied , “Because it’s easier to cover long distances quickly, you’re more apt to catch the best waves using the SUP.  With the paddle, you have more power, everything else being equal.”

Kits to Build a Wood SUP

Carl Mahlstedt posed with his wooden SUP

Carl with his wood SUP built from a kit.

Ready to try your hand at building your own SUP?  Goosebay offers a selection of several suitable marine lumbers.  If you’d like to get a leg up on the construction, we also offer 5 SUP kits.  Each kit includes a pre-cut rib structure, ready to assemble, and complete instructions.  You add the lumber of your choice, epoxy and glass fabric for finishing.

As for which kit you should choose, if you like the idea of a cruising board, the “Clearwater” and “Lake Superior” are designed as flatwater  boards.  The “Orca” is basically the same board as the “Lake Superior”, but with more rocker at each end.  The “Orca,” along with the “Malco,” are designed to work for either surfing or cruising.  The “Stu,” however, is a short SUP built for agility and surfing.

Christophe’s Story: Building the Taal

Christophe Matson on his Taal SUP

Photo by Allison Grappone. Used with permission.

If you’d like to read more about Christophe Matson’s experience building his Taal, his full article, “Taal SUP; A board for touring” can be viewed online as published by Small Boats Monthly.  Many thanks to Christophe for sharing his experience and photos with us.

Supplies for building a SUP

Goosebay stocks the products you need to build your SUP:

Marine Lumber

Marine Plywood

West System Epoxy

Glass Cloth