I am really excited about this class of boards, and this board in particular. I take people out for lessons on most weekends, especially during the spring and summer months. In many cases, the people I take out really take to the sport and love it, but what board to buy is often a problem. We are landlocked here in Austin Texas, so most of the people that paddle here, are not looking for a board they can surf on. They just want a good board to hit the lake on.
I have a huge preference towards racing style boards for this purpose. They glide better, go faster, and are more silent through the water. The problem arises when these people, who are not yet completely sold on how much use they will get out of a paddle board, actually see the price tag. Most race boards are $2000-$3000. It is very difficult for a newbie to justify that kind of money on their first board. Unfortunately, many of the same people that buy a cheaper Surf/All Around style SUP, end up eventually getting a race board anyway, as they become more experienced paddlers. Not a huge problem, but it does mean you ended up spending more money in the long run.
Boards like this one from Riviera may end up solving this problem. Its kind of like having your cake, and eating it too. You can get a race shape inspired board, that is ideal for most flat-water circumstances, without breaking the bank. In addition, they have opted to go a little wider than most race boards, which make this ideal for beginners, as it will be a very stable board. One other thing to note, is this may end up being a good solution for people to fish from. With its width and overall volume, it should make for a steady platform to fish from. In addition it has lots of tie-downs. Plus having a semi-displacement shaped nose will allow it to travel more quietly through the water, which is a requirement for fisherman, who are looking to sneak up on their prey.
I have yet to ride this particular board, but I know a few people that have, and were very impressed. The feedback I received was, it wasn’t quite as fast as a traditional 12’6 Race Board, but had great glide, and great stability. For the price they are asking, I think it really addresses the needs mentioned above. According to a company representative, these boards are available now.
Make sure to watch the video for pricing and specs from Brandon!