In my search to find a SUP for surfing the Oregon coast I recently tried the Boardworks Infinity carver 9’10″. The board is marketed for “for bigger guys who are experienced SUP surfers looking to step down in size/length and step up their performance.” And, that is exactly what I was looking for.
The Board is constructed using Boardworks TEC technology, basically; epoxy sandwich construction. Based on my experience with the new Boardworks M&M, this construction is extremely durable although a bit heavy. The board dimensions (Length: 9’10”, Nose: 19”, Width: 29 1/2”, Tail: 16 3/4”, Thickness: 4”, Volume 145L) are similar to many performance boards, although the carver is a little narrower than most in the same length class.
My first 20-30 minutes in the Oregon waves with the Carver wasn’t stellar. The relatively narrow tail and nose kept sinking as I tried to frantically paddle to get past the shore break. Luckily, after some trial and error, I was able to find that sweet spot, and actually stand and paddle. Once I had the balance point figured out, the board turned out to be very stable and easy to paddle along the outside as well as through the waves. The 9’10” provided plenty of buoyancy which made waiting for waves relatively effortless, unlike many smaller boards that must stay in motion to float. Although the board is floaty, the relatively narrow tail makes it easy to sink to tail and perform 180 degree spins in a split second to catch incoming waves.
Due to its length and flat bottom along the middle, the board excels in its ability to catch waves. It catches waves so easily that I think it has the potential to be a blast in a gorge down winder. The great glide also allows relatively effortless cruising on the outside to explore other breaks along the shore. This is something that can be a chore on shorter surf style sups, especially for heavier riders. Although the board is almost 10 feet in length, it still provides an exciting ride, making carving and bottom turns effortless and fun. In addition, with the help of the paddle the board can be easily snapped around to cut-back or bounce off-the lip.
All in all, the board is performing better than I expected. I have had dozens of days on the board this winter ranging from well overhead to only waist high, and in glassy and choppy conditions, and the board has been a blast each time. On the choppy days it’s definitely a bit tippy on the paddle out but, my stability has greatly improved during every outing and the board has never been so uncomfortably tippy that lots of energy is consumed just trying to stand up. The board can be used in a quad or a 2+1 fin setup. The board is tough as nails and has taken some decent paddle strikes without a scratch. The only downside I can find in the carver is its weight, which makes it difficult to carry to more remote breaks.
If you are a bigger rider, 200+, the carver 9’10″ is a fun board for most days on the Oregon coast. If you are lighter, or you only plan on going out in clean conditions, the 9’4″ or the TL models will likely provide an even better performance on the wave.