We have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Corran Addison Designs Doppler paddleboards. Thursday was the big day! We got both the 10’6 and 11’6 models and I couldn’t wait to get out there and demo these sup’s! With gloom, rain, chilly air temps, 50 degree water, and crazy wind, perhaps the past two days haven’t been the best for getting out and demoing new boards. So take these first impressions with a grain of salt.
My impressions right out of the box were that the 10’6 is unbelievably lightweight. The ergonomic carry handle contributes to this feeling. This is a nice feature for anyone, but especially for smaller riders looking for a board that is easy to take anywhere.
The finish on the boards is nice and consistent. It is not a shiny epoxy board, but it is not exactly matte either. It definitely feels and looks like it will stand up well and be more resistant to chipping than some epoxy boards on the market…time will tell if that is true.
The deck pad feels comfortable to the touch and the dark color is nice so that it won’t show every bit of dirt. The fine vertical ridges in the deck pad should be comfortable underfoot, and minimize the angry toes death grip that some diamond deck pads inspire. The gore vent means you can forget all about it since it is self-regulating. And the fins are pretty cool. They are tool-less and just snap in and out, perfect for the forgetter of important things like screwdrivers and fins, this is a great feature.
Now there’s the shape! It has a keel style hull for cutting through the water and the tail is thin and pulled in so you can still surf this baby if you want to. The deck is concave, keeping your feet drier than most boards.
Onto the water…Thursday I took out the 10’6 paddleboard to demo. It was a very quick paddle with 15-20 mph winds and cold water inspiring you to stay on your board at all costs. The first thing I noticed after hopping on was that it felt very tippy. That came as a surprise to me and it seemed exacerbated by the concave deck. You are higher off the water and all of the volume of the board is in the front so it is an interesting sensation.
The board gets off to a quick start. There is no drag or hesitation when you start, even heading back into the wind. It glides nicely and tracks straight. To turn the board efficiently you really want to get back toward the tail and get that keel nose out of the water, but since that increased the potential of getting wet, I left the nose down and muscled through it, which really wasn’t too hard. When paddling into the wind it surprised me that there was water coming up over the front. It wasn’t too choppy out there, so that was unexpected.
Overall, it’s a nice board. I imagine after paddling for a good session you forget about the tippy factor, but it might come back and bite you if you let your guard down. Because of the weather and the need to get back to the shop, my paddle was VERY quick.
Yesterday morning I decided to get going earlier to give me more time to demo the board and hopefully beat the afternoon wind. Not so much. By the time I loaded up the 11’6 and headed to the lake, the winds were 18 mph, not exactly ideal. The 11’6 Doppler has 2 extra inches of width, which definitely add stability. However at my short stature, 32” wide makes me a bit of a rail whacker. It is a little tough to clear the paddle on both side of that 32” width. The extra foot of length provides noticeably more glide. This board cuts effortlessly through the water. It tracks incredibly well. Turning was a challenge because I was still hesitant to step back on that thin tail knowing that the water is only about 50 degrees and I only had board shorts and a rash guard. I think if you get that thick keel-style hull out of the water it will turn pretty easily.
Once you get past the initial feeling that it is going to toss you in, I think the Corran Doppler will be a perfect cruiser for the person who paddles mostly flatwater but might want to dabble in the surf a bit. The 10’6 will be ideal for someone smaller and the weight and handle will make it a snap for just about anyone to handle. The 11’6 is perfect for someone a little bigger or for anyone who wants to maximize their glide and cruise-fast. On top of it all, all Corran paddleboards are made in the USA!