There are several boards to consider for paddlers who want to go from an all-around board to a touring board with a flatwater-optimized displacement hull. But, the minute they say, “… I think I might want to race someday” I immediately introduce them to the Amundson TR-2.
John Amundson is known for shaping boards that go fast and track well (a.k.a glide) and his 12’6 TR-2 is no exception. This board is specifically designed for flatwater paddling, but we all know that “flat” is a relative term. I have found the TR-2 to be a very reliable, stable board when conditions get rough and choppy.
For example, the start of a race is usually through very rough, choppy water stirred up from the wakes of other SUPs. The TR2 allows paddlers to confidently paddle powerfully to pull out in front to find “clean” water while averting an unintended swim.
The “v-deck” on the nose of the board sheds water nicely so when a wake or wave comes over the top the water just sheds right off. The concave back portion of the board helps with stability and goes all the way through the tail. This also helps shed water.
I have been known to do some LONG paddles and the pad on the TR2 is one of the most comfortable I have found. This is very important when putting in the miles.
The deck on the TR2 has four inserts that you can use to attach a PFD or a dry bag using bungee cords. Another unique feature is a recessed sealed insert for adding a windsurf rig.
The volume at 239 liters will accommodate a beginning paddler up to 230 lbs or an advanced up to 270 lbs.
PROS: Super stable and continues to glide well in choppy water, easy-carry handle, inserts for bungee cords, comfortable deck pad. Don’t need to win the lottery to purchase.
CONS: A little bit heavy at 32.5 lbs. (NOTE: Amundson offers this SAME board in a gorgeous bamboo top sheet with carbon bottom/rail construction, the TR-X2, that is 4lbs lighter.)
SPECS: (view online)
Thickness: 6 1/4
Volume: 239 l
Weight: 32.5 lbs
MSRP: $1,449.95 (currently on sale! Call for current price 503-246-6646)
Weight: 160 lbs
Stability: Looks pretty stable atop every podium she stepped onto this summer
Tracking: Difficult. That is it is difficult to keep track of her 1st place finishes on the NW Paddle circuit
Glide: Yes, to a downwinder whenever possible
Quiver: Rueter 12’6″ Custom Race, Amundson 12’6 TR-X2, Amundson All-Around 11’6″, Lahui Kai 14′ (for sale), Naish Glide 14 (Downwinder)