Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

NSP Flatwater 12’0

- published July 2012

88

2012

RATINGS

Versatility
7
Performance
8
Stability
6
Durability
10
Extra Features
8
Value
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$1.00
N/A
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THE GOOD

  • Good shape makes for a stable platform.
  • Cutting bow nose breaks through chop.
  • Good glide in most open water conditions.

THE BAD

Nose shape makes navigating through waves tricky until you learn the board’s tracking.

THE VERDICT

NSP has produced a touring board that will fit mid-weight touring paddlers and first time racers.  The combination of a cutting bow nose, pintail shape and epoxy construction create a board with constant drive, stable handling and speed to burn. Heavier paddlers looking for more stability should size up to the 14’ version.

FULL REVIEW

When I first viewed the NSP Touring series at Surf Expo in January, I knew they had something many SUP paddlers would soon be in the market for—an entry level touring and race board without a fragile shell or sky high price point.

While NSP had been known for beginner surfboards, the first view of this board confirms they have stepped up in the fit and finish department, producing a board with great lines and modern graphics. The deck pad, deck inserts, racing fin and lease setup complete a good overall package.

Stability
The cutting bow, 7 1/8” thickness and pin tail combine for a board that has plenty of side-to-side stability, but can hold its momentum well in a variety of conditions. Paddling into slight upwind chop, the cutting bow keeps the board neutral, allowing paddlers to concentrate on forward motion. Where wider nose boards bounce through chop, the NSP drives on a straight line.
The only downside I could see of the NSP bow shape was in pitching waves, which cause it to take hard lines and makes the board harder to steer. If rolling waves are your preference, you would do well to look at a more wave friendly craft.

Durability
The Epoxy E2 construction makes the NSP both durable and light-weight for its size and thickness—the board stuck me as well balanced out of the water and easy to carry and store.

The big picture
NSP has created a board for customers that are looking for a touring SUP that I would call fitness focused but race ready. You can do all your yoga/fishing/office work on this stable platform, but its pintail shape and cutting bow will reward your paddling efforts. While it won’t line up against pure race craft, its performance, durability and price make it a great choice for new to intermediate paddlers looking for a good workout and a good time.

How We Tested It

Weekend training around the Thimble Islands in June July- 2012.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$1.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Versatility
7
Performance
8
Stability
6
Durability
10
Extra Features
8
Value
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

Specs

  • Max Width: 31.12”
  • Thickness: 6 7/8”
  • Fin Setup: Single
  • Fin Size: 12” Race
  • Leash: 10’ Included

Weight

31.5 lbs

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