This an awesome board for the more experienced stand up paddle surfer. Before we get into the details lets just say a little about me. I am 6ft 2''and weigh 13 stone. I have been surfing for about 20 years, five of these longboarding. My first board was a Jimmy Lewis 11ft and this is a cracking board (see the Jimmy Lewis 11ft review here). I took the JL to Cornwall and competed on it during the SUP competition, but I could'nt help to notice that alot of the really hot stand up paddle surfing was being done on C4 boards.
C4 Waterman SUP Board Review
Check out Adam Zervas on his C4 Waterman stand up paddle board :
The day after the competition a bunch of us were free surfing and my friend Andy, from Air Head was riding his 10ft 6'' C4 board. I could not resist it asked Andy if I could try it out on a few waves. The C4 board was like a rocket, very loose and really easy to paddle. It was unstable compared to my Jimmy Lewis 11ft, but I was surprised how quickly I got used to it.
The C4 Waterman 10ft 6 is a handsome board. It has been designed by Dave Parmenter and Brian Keaulana, two Stand Up Paddle surfing legends, so it has a good pedigree. The boards dimensions are as follows : Height: 10'6" Nose: 21" Width: 28 1/2" Tail: 18" Thickness: 4" Weight: 19.5 lbs. There is a nice rocker running through the board and the tail is an interesting cross between round, square and pin. The C4 board comes fitted with a nice deck grip and even better a tail grip kit.
The C4 board is a tri fin design with two small outer fins and a larger centre fin (an 8 inch Stewart longboards fin on mine). Fitting the fin was a bit of a pain. I am not sure whether the fin box was slightly too big or the fin slightly too small, but it would not stay locked into position and the fin was loose in the box. I got a dremel on the fin to reduce the thickness of the area where the screw goes, and added two layers of electrical tape to the side of the fin and, hey presto, it fits perfectly.
After that bit of excitment I took the C4 board out for a wave at Bracklesham with Andy. The first thing that is worth noting is that the board comes with two extra leash plugs roughly two thirds and a third of the way along. The C4 board comes with some Velcro tape with the idea that you can attach the paddle via the tape and use it to carry the board. Top tip - bin the Velcro - it is not strong enough, and replace it with the same rope you use on a normal leash plug. Once you have done this (making sure that the leash rope is wide enough to feed the paddle handle through, you have the perfect method of carrying the board around. On those windy days it makes all the difference ! See this picture of me using the paddle to carry the board :
The first thing that you notice when surfing this C4 board is that it wants to be thrown into maneuvers. I tried sticking my paddle into the wave and rotating the board hard to cut back and immediately I had over cooked the maneuver, the board turned really fast and my body was left behind. This C4 board is loose, and I can't wait to spend more time surfing it, as it feels like it will really push and improve my stand up paddle surfing. If you are used to a single fin board you will have to work the board a bit more to get up to speed, as the tri fin design does have slightly more drag than a single fin, but with a couple of paddles this is really not a problem. The rails on the board are quite hard, not like the 50/50 rails on the Jimmy Lewis, but it gives the C4 board a really nice bite when turning hard.
Once you have trimmed the board it is easy to walk around it and get some nose riding in. Be warned its pretty easy to spin this board out while you are doing this, but you can get some great backwards surfing done if you are able to control it (just so I don't sound cocky, I have not mastered this yet and instead enjoy picking the seaweed out of my hair when this happens). I have seen Adam Zervas looking very cool doing this during the SUP Comp.
In conclusion this is a great intermediate / advanced board. It wants to get out into the waves and surf, I would probably not buy this for distance paddling. It has been well thought out with the deck grip, and tail grip. The system for carrying the board using the built in leash plugs is great as well. Once in the surf you are going to be pushed to find a board as loose and responsive as this. There is a reason why professional stand up paddle surfers like Adam Zervas and Brian Keaulana use C4 boards and I recommend you check one out. I hope this C4 board review is useful, for more information check out the C4 Board website.