With all the hype surrounding the Vanguard-style SUPs at the moment we thought it was worth getting an average weight rider on our smallest Short SUP to see how our version of the same concept stacks up? Here’s what Steve Laddiman thought of the 7’4” Loco SUP
7’4” Loco SUP Review
A bad back, resulting from an over exuberant windsurf session, had seen me demoted for a couple of weeks to driver and photographer for the rest of my sup surfing family. Luckily, Loco head honcho Joey T had sent me a Loco 7’4 in the post during this lay off period. So, as the Ibuprofen worked their magic over a couple of weeks, the froth began to boil over and I was looking for any opportunity to get this mini SUP wet and get to grips with what I imagined would be a tasty little beastie. At 7’4″ x 28″ and packing a 100 litres of float I anticipated it would be a challenge, especially after a debilitating lay off. The shape is similar to the other Short Sups in the 2015 range but to my eye has marginally more parallel rails and although unbelievably wide, there seemed to be a lot less volume in the tail, something I was especially keen to try. The board is billed as a short surf sup for kids, ladies and lightweights, though the 2015 version recommends a rider weight between 50 and 80kgs. At 77kgs I am towards the top end of the spectrum.
A one shot forecast for the North East saw the van packed Saturday night and a 5am Sunday morning start, to ensure a long enough day was had to justify the fuel spends. First port of call was a lesser frequented reef, populated by the friendliest locals i have yet to meet. Amazingly they called me over to a separate peak further out from the pack which i had to myself and my new toy for almost two hours. Perfect for getting to grips with this fishy little rip stick.
Empty waves meant i could go about finding out what the 7’4 could do in peace and was I in for a surprise!
First off, the board has plenty float for my weight and although its a touch tippy here and there it was nowhere near the challenge to stand on I had anticipated. First waves, as you do, were tentative but that didn’t last long. The board paddles easily into waves and rockets away with superb acceleration. The turns are where the money is though and I soon found that at last, I had a SUP under my feet that turned without delay. Slashes and cutbacks came easily with speed maintained between them ready for the next, and the next, and the next! Empty waves are one thing but long empty waves are another.
An error with the camera battery and the girls having more fun fossil hunting and exploring the coastline meant that there are no photos of this session. Probably a good thing, as although very friendly the locals weren’t too keen on this spot being overly publicised.
With the swell dropping we scanned the coast once more until we ended up at Cayton Bay. The last of the swell was dwindling rapidly but with a four hour drive ahead of us we had to get in and make the most of these brown but glassy waves (who says you can’t polish a turd!?)
A battery was found and a few pics snapped. small waves were torn and the day drew to a close. The conclusion was though…. small SUPs are not out of reach, if you can ride a sub 9ft board and are anywhere near my weight there is no reason not to and no more fun to be had on a SUP than one of these little wave monsters. Sub 80kgs, head high and below and at the price you can pick one of these up for, why would you not!?!
Those looking for a bit more of a comfort blanket or weighing in slightly heavier should consider the 7’10” x 29” at 115L and for the fuller figured rider the 8’4” x 30” 140L continues to be a popular with intermediate and advanced riders in head high or smaller.