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WindSUP: Sealion XL vs Exocet 10'0 / 10'2
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Joined: 22 May 2014
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Location: North Shore Italy

PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 4:43 am    Post subject: WindSUP: Sealion XL vs Exocet 10'0 / 10'2 Reply with quote

I am having a hard time deciding between:

AHD Sealion XL
150L, 9'0 x 29", 10.5kg, twin US box + dagger fin in Powerbox aft masttrack
new 2014 Exocet 10'2 Windsup
150L, 10'2 x 31", 13.9kg (AST) - ??kg (carbon), center US box + 2 FCS
Exocet 10'0 Windsup (daggerboard)
175L, 10'0 x 32", 13.9kg (AST), center Power box + daggerboard

About a year ago I decided to pick up windsurfing which I started in my twenties.
I now have a Tabou Rocket 125L Freeride board which I use with North X-Type Freeride sails [5.4, 6.6, 7.8]
I also got a Naish SUP to get out with the GF, it's a Nalu 201L, 10'10 x 32", 14kg, single US box
To make a long story short, I regretted the Nalu 10'10 because I bought it based on my GF's SUP board (Mana 9'5) which had the wrong volume stated on the official Naish website.
But than I tried the mastfoot option Smile

The board has been good fun over a year now, I enjoy flatwater paddling and first time wave SUPing with my GF but most of all sailing the SUP at my homespot right before my door. I can spend any spare time, lunches, evenings etc. during the work week, which complete the real wind-search trips during the weekends with the van. On those trips I can find sideshore / offshore winds in the winter, although a lot of the time too much wind for a lightwind SUP. In the summer it's usually light winds onshore or cross-on.
The conditions in my homespot are far from perfect. A bay sheltered from prevailing winds by a big mountain coming in always onshore or cross-on. If there is decent wind out it never comes in clean with puffs, lulls and shifts and most of the time big and confusing waves. We have very very small rock beaches with deep waters and just taking off is difficult. I tried windsurfing my spot several times with the 125L Rocket but anything under +20knts is just frustration.

The Nalu with her 200L is a steady platform to get out at my homespot, upwind more than half an our to than finally being rewarded with stronger cleaner wind and waves to enjoy. Sometimes the wind from where I have to take off is so weak that I need to paddle all the way out with the gear on the board between my legs and rig my sail in open water. Taping the paddle onto the boom than gives piece of mind when the wind drops completely, I de-rig and paddle home.

So I initially bought the Nalu 10'10 as a SUP that can windsurf, which actually doesn't do so bad. See:
Now I want a long surfboard that can SUP. Let's say 75% WS 25% SUP.
Above all I would like something shorter and lighter than the Nalu, which is a tanker.
Also something a bit more active and looser. To go upwind now I use a 32cm dagger fin in the US box but that makes the board feel like a train on rails, especially because of the multi concave bottom.

I have been searching the forum about windSUP's and found some good information but unfortunately not about the particular boards I am interested in.
It seems that the Exocet 11'8 is a popular board and also positive voices about the 10'0 model, which are both dagger boards. No Exocet action video's on the internet. No reviews or ANYTHING at all about the new 2014 9'2 and 10'2 boards. The only video I found about the 10'2 model in carbon shows great potential though:
The Exocet is a difficult board to find here, more expensive and surely more difficult to resell.

There are heaps of video's about the Sealion. What bothers me is that they almost are in offshore conditions on clean waves. No video's about flatwater or mushy conditions.
My Sealion dealer is trying to convince me that the board works at my homespot but no possibility to try it out.
He says AHD tried the +10' sizes years ago but eventually dropped these.
I do like the Sealion concept and the thought of getting my feet wet in wavesailing excites me.
My 2 boards right now are passive, an active board would make me a better windsurfer, hopefully / maybe..
Finding someone else than my Sealion dealer convincing me sure would help!

Here are some notes I made about the 2 boards.
Any thoughts or recommendations are highly appreciated.

- (aggressive) wavesailing primarily in the wave zone
- active input and technique needed, loose & maneuverable (translates to real wavesailing)
- shortboard + smaller sails (under powered = slower to get over break)
- side offshore & side-shore winds + slow & clean waves
- 8-13 knts wind?
- planes on a wave
- lightweight and short
- fishtail design?
- central upwind fin option in powerbox
- no footstrap option
- 1.100€

EXOCET WINDSUP 10'2 or 10'0
- more freeriding and longboard style waveriding in different conditions
- more of a passive board, less loose?
- longboard + bigger sails (needed to get over break and mush)
- no problem in onshore winds + mushy waves & confused seas
- 4-20 knts wind?
- planes by wind power only, better glide
- heavier and longer (- transport & portability - vulnerable for damage)
- step tail design (reduced board length when planning)
- daggerboard on 10'0, no daggerboard on 10'2
- footstrap option (better freerides)
- 10'0: 1000€ (used AST) - 1.400€ (AST)
- 2014 10'2: 1.400€ (AST) - 2.200€ (carbon)

similar topics:

Last edited by antonputman on Wed May 28, 2014 1:28 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know anything about the other two boards, but have 8-10 hours sailing my SeaLion 8'3"/135 liters in one to three feet of Gorge (i.e., onshore conditions) swell and modest chop plus 15-20 miles of flatwater paddling so far. I may be able to shed a tiny amount of light on it for you. I weigh in the low 170s these days.

I was seeking a 75/25 or 80/20 WS/SUP balance, and even without clean ocean waves (its primary venue) readily accessible, I'd say it meets that criteria. Advanced skills with this type of board would obviously expand both performance regimes very significantly.

It paddles like one would expect a short wide board to paddle ... in a series of modest left and right arcs. Technique is helping to reduce that wandering (I've never SUPed before), but then I don't mind the meandering path because my paddling is in many miles of meandering sloughs/bayous/watery paths between islands in a river delta nature preserve minutes from home. No hurry, no waves to catch, no motor boats ... just me, a lot of birds, and an occasional kayaker or fisherman, smack in the heart of my local three contiguous cities. When the Columbia River is flat, or when I get better and can handle more terrain in paddle mode, the Columbia is just a few paddle strokes (and a ten-degree water temp drop in the spring) away. Paddling for several miles in that environment is easy and relaxing ... i.e., it would be boring if it weren't scenic (one -- but certainly not I -- might speculate that it's a lot like most kiting we see. Very Happy ) Terrain (or major wind gusts?), not distance, should be your only challenge when paddling past your mountain wind shadow to reach the good waves.

We also often get big (up to a kilometer) wind shadows (and sudden wind drops) here, especially in the spring and early summer. I like your idea of carrying a paddle (e.g., collapsible carbon) to reach the wind line and to get me back if it drops or shifts too much too quickly. Not sure about paddling while dragging a rigged sail, but it might be worth rigging/derigging offshore as you suggested.

The videos you refer to show expert, probably life-long, surfers having a blast carving up actual waves with paddles and SeaLions. From my non-surfing background and my seriously impaired balance, that's so far beyond my reach that I'd say that's all just trick photography. What it does do is prove the BOARD can do those things, giving me some hope I can tap into some of them. I can vouch that it does slash very hard and tight under sail even when not really planing*. Crest a swell on or off a plane, mash on the aft lee rail or tail, pump if necessary, and I’m planing straight down the swell in an instant (in onshore/Gorge winds). Shift that back foot to the windward tail/rail and I’m planing (or not, if the wind is too light) back up the face again.

* I say "not really planing" because, as close examination of the videos shows, the difference between not planing and planing is very often just a pump, a leech fanning action, and/or a bit of foot-induced board re-trimming to catch a passing bump or just dive off even the tiniest lip. This sucker is LOOSE, which is exactly what I wanted. Cruising on it is boring (except when guarding against getting pitched in gusts and in off-the-lips), but terrain-following keeps the mind and body challenged even at slogging and modest planing speeds.

Its responsiveness to turning or pumping inputs lets me play with much smaller sails than I'm used to. In wind in which I'd normally use a 6.2 even for endless carving, this thing is fun and even planes much of the time with a 4.7. If that differential extrapolates in some fashion, I rather expect it to remain fun, and plane well, in wind at or below 15 mph/13 kts with my 6.2. Since it supposedly handles a 7.0, maybe I can enjoy it and even carve some pieces of chop in the low teens with the 7m sail I bought just for this board based on the sail's highly regarded stump-pulling power.

On the flip side, it is also fun on a 5.7 when the wind is gusting into the 30s (mph). Its upper wind limiting factor should be hull aerodynamics, mitigated by hiding behind the peaks, operator skill, and armor. I thus hope to enjoy it well into the realm usually reserved for footstraps ... at least 30 mph average if the gusts aren't too huge. That would normally be a 4.2 or 3.7, but I'd expect to use my 3.2 with this 30" wide beast. Maybe not, as I've already sailed it briefly in winds averaging upper 20s with my 5.2.

I’m sure this thing’s rocker cuts into its glide in displacement paddleboard mode, but its width and flotation more than make up for it in early planing and its rocker makes the board come to life when working the bumps. I’ll take that tradeoff any day, and I’m enjoying experimenting with dynamic foot positioning … something we don’t do much when using footstraps. Wanna jibe here, NOW, with zero forethought? Just slide that back foot a bit aft and crank one out; no need to extract the back foot from its strap first and step over it. Want to lift the nose over some foam or a bump, whether planing or not? Just shift your weight aft and let its rocker do the heavy lifting.

Its looseness comes largely from pronounced continuous rocker, IMO and confirmed by a very experienced professional shaper and board manufacturer. That adds to my hope that it will perform adequately or even quite well when surfing or even sailing with power down the faces of our swell and into the trough below. If the 16-footer fans are right and it pearls … well … thus the body and face armor. So far banking straight downwind off even a very small lip has not revealed a pearling problem; it IS, however, teaching me the hard way that I must use footwork on the twin tails to bottom turn, as opposed to simple heel pressure in a back strap like I do on my WSing wave boards.

I regarded this short WS + SUP platform as dipping my toe into SUP while isolating my knee surgery from footstraps for the season, figuring that if the SUP mode rewards warranted it, the 16 footers the local experts insist is necessary would be my next step. Um, for many reasons, I doubt that's going to interest me. Their criteria are much different from mine. I, and it sounds like you, are much more focussed on maneuverability, sailability, spontaneity, and lack of dependency on others. A big part of their scene is organized group downwinders, which require herding too many cats to suit me. For me the word combination, “organized fun” usually belongs in separate sentences -- if not chapters -- from the word, “wind”.

But here’s where these WS and SUP experts’ very emphatic warning comes back to me and, I suspect, you: their studied experience with short SUPs have convinced them 100% that short SUPs and Gorge (i.e., onshore and directly wind-generated swell) are virtually incompatible, that any SUP < 14 feet, often < 16 feet, will pearl into the back of the next swell and send the rider over the handlebars when running downwind. Shorter SUPs can escape that unpleasantness only when the waves/swell are separated by flats, in their extensive experience, which does not include SeaLions.

I hope the SeaLion is an exception to that rule of theirs, as it surely is nice to secure it inside my Subaru with several rigs and a paddle, close the tailgate, head for the beach, and carry it to the water or hike it half a mile in one hand very easily. I’ve even slightly modified its built-in flush handgrip with just some glue and grip material to allow me to carry it at my side with a sail plugged into it, as though it was a WS board with footstraps.

Mike \m/
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've sailed the 2 wind SUP's extensively.

the 10 footer i prefer since it planes readily and handles offshore and onshore conditions nearly equally. and it planes upwind into an onshore peak.

the 10'2" needs side off and planes only begrudgingly. turns great in DTL conditions, but frankly loses badly to the 10 footer during onshore conditions.

i've sailed the sea lion as a demo. it likes mushy waves and low winds. it does not like strong winds, steep waves, or onshore launches. i sailed it as the tide went away and the wind came up in juno beach and it became quite unruly as the waves got steeper and the wind stronger.

lots of folks want the physical package that the sea lion delivers, yet the performance of the windSUP 10 footer. no such animal exists. if one had light side off conditions often, one should choose the SL.

the rest of us need the windSUP 10 footer.

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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John, did you find that the SeaLion's sensitivity to stronger winds were due to the hull getting too much lift from the wind (hull aerodyamics), or hull performance at speed on rough water (hull hydrodynamics)? Since my swell size relies on strong and/or steady winds, I hope this SL is still manageable, maybe even fun with one's brain in gear and powered modestly, on the (relatively) steady 30 mph days when the swell jacks up. The 16-foot SUP guys love those days, but have to put all their weigh on the very tip of the tail to avoid pearling as they glide down the swell.

If that that question and its answer are of no interest to you and your venue, Anton, say so and I'll withdraw the question. I'm hoping to learn along with you in this thread, not divert it from your interests.
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

same reason surfboard fishes become unruly in steep fast breaking waves. too much design emphasis on planing early for snappy turns. they become too sensitive to rider inputs and chop to boot.
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jingebritsen wrote:
same reason surfboard fishes become unruly in steep fast breaking waves. too much design emphasis on planing early for snappy turns. they become too sensitive to rider inputs and chop to boot.

Got it. Thanks, John. Fortunately, "design emphasis on planing early for snappy turns" is what I was looking for. Now if I can just pull that off in our Gorge lake swell ...

It may also prove useful to Anton for short sessions in the disorganized shadow of his mountain. I have the impression so far, both first hand and from the SL videos, that although its intended venue is clean, organized ocean waves, its quick planing and turning can provide plenty of giggles on any usable bumps.

The commercials on "Survivor" are particularly long. Will the bathroom break be replaced by a sailing break, as Anton sprints to the edge of his yard for a few short reaches with 20 snappy turns between the reward and immunity challenges?
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi guys, thanks for the replies.

Yeah you got that right, I am a yachtsman by profession with more than 10 ocean crossings under my belt. I love the feeling off independence when I go out on my own, sometimes much offshore several miles out. When I do and depending on the conditions I take a kit with me; spare ropes, whistle, phone, sometimes even a the PLB etc.
Rigging in open water is something that I just recently practice. Thanks to the 200L SUP mind you.
"..paddling while dragging a rigged sail?" Nah, de-rigging is easy. But now I can also rig in pretty heavy swell and difficult conditions. North's Power XT extension is a lifesaver here. The most difficult part is threading the mast in the sleeve but with a little practice it is perfectly possible. I thought it was impossible to attach the extension to the UJ-pin but pushing hard down 90degrees and click, done. I bungee my paddle to my boom with the blade touching the leech. It does not interfere at all. When paddling out I have my XT extension stepped and the mast, top part into the bottom part, passing a loop from the leash attachment tied to the mastfoot.
The sail and boom between my legs in the length of the board.
One day I have to film it with the GoPro. Than try on the shortboard?

I am interested in the Sealion XL, which is 15L bigger than yours. One particular feature, the center dagger fin intrigues me. It's a Powerbox too! I could sail my way upwind with a freerinde fin and than when out of the bay, remove the fin without any problems. I like this option a lot more than a daggerboard which I think prone to failure.

About the trick photography, yeah I realize that they are experts riding in perfect conditions.
btw You can recognize Bruno Andre very easily!
Most Sealion video's are just plain publicity. And you have to admit they are good at it. I find it strange that Exocet does not seem to market their products in any way? No reviews, video's, blog or community.
I really had to search in Sealion video's to find something not so hero, in conditions no so perfect.
Some interesting video's:
~ very light wind, going over break, between surfers
~ windy, between wave shortboards doing a bit of freestyle, beginner waveriding levels
~ official video, speedrun in flat water
~ official video, row effect technique on flat water with an XL time: 0m54s
~ same video, 3 guys doing less than 3 strokes in flatware. time: 3m58s

Another thing about the Sealions is that there doesn't seem any active development going on. No new models or shape updates? The original Summerboard model, which has exactly the same dimensions than the XL model I am interested in, dates from 2009! This can also be a good thing as a proven shape doesn't need to be updated. Tabou for example sometimes keep a proven shape for 3 years.
The shape is a modern shape for sure, just look at Starboards Black Box, without the fishtail a real copycat. btw the Black Box now also comes in a 107L version!
What was the last update from Sealion? The 8'3 model you have right. When was this? The archives date only back to 2010.
On Sealions blogs I see a lot of time goes into the foil developments, and Bruno Andre seems to be spending a lot of time with these new projects. The question here is - are the Lions still alive?

Like I noted, the Sealion seems to plane off a wave other than by wind only, or you need a lot. This actively pumping and working the board is something I am very interested in because right now my boards are passive. There is just something liberating about footworking a board without straps, I even feel this on my Nalu constantly shifting my weight.
On the other hand footstraps allow you to drive up the speed through the fin. Speed is not what the Sealion is about.

Small sails. That's not so good news for me. Right now I have a Freeride quiver consisting 5.4, 6.6, 7.8 sizes on a 460 mast. The though of at least a new mast, 1-2 more sails and probably a new boom are not making me very happy, and surely not the GF when it's time to sleep on the pile of gear in the van. Do you think my X-Type sails are usable on a Sealion?
Freeride sails typically have a forward draft location and loose leeches. I don't know anything about wavesails but assume you need the contrary; a lower draft further back and a tight leech.

OK so here my verdict for the Sealion so far:
++ compact
+ introduction to active wavesailing
- needs a wave environment, not the case at my homespot
- less range in various conditions than longer windSUP board
-- more gear (wavesails, mast,..)

Last edited by antonputman on Sat May 24, 2014 2:37 am; edited 8 times in total
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Sealions look just like a Jimmy Lewis Rocket surfboard, which if I'm not mistaken is a retro model around for decades.
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PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 10:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you seen this forum on longboard/sup sailing

Love that naish video by the way. The extender for clew cam works really well
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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

until one sails the larger long boards that plane early and stay controllable in a larger range of conditions, people are attracted to smaller surf designs. seen it hundreds of times. also seen lots that drank that kool aid and never used those toys that much. lots even quit the sport. wonder when our little industry leaders will wake up and smell what they are shoveling?
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