Review by Rebecca Parsons
Shopping for a sustainably-produced SUP is a double-edged sword. On one hand, you're stoked on the idea of lessening your carbon footprint and riding a eco-friendly craft. But on the other, you don't want to pay big bucks or sacrifice performance in the process. Luckily, there is a sled out there that combines everything you want into a tidy little package. Cue NSP's DC Surf Wide.
NSP has been in the business of making boards since 2001, but in 2010 they introduced a line of sustainable boards featuring the world's first and only patent pending CocoMat technology. The technology uses raw coconut husk fibers from sustainable plantations to create a strong micro-sandwich for the boards.
NSP's line of CocoMat boards is wide and includes options for both surf and SUP. On the surf side, they offer a classic longboard, performance longboard and a fun board. On the SUP side, they have a performance touring board, all-around board, cruiser, and a surf shape. We decided to put their surf shape, the DC Surfwide, to the test.
The DC Surfwide comes in a few different size options: 8'3", 8'7", and 8'10". All are 32 inches wide and 4.5 inches thick. The volumes are 141, 146, and 151 liters, respectively.
In an effort to make the boards as eco-friendly as possible, NSP incorporates SecureCell EPS blanks into their surf and SUP manufacturing processes, resulting in minimal dust waste. They also use an eco-friendly, bio-based epoxy resin from Sicomin epoxy systems on all of their CocoMat boards. And as opposed to using dyes laden with solvents and toxic additives, they use water-based dye pigments. These efforts have resulted in DC Surfwide being recognized by Sustainable Surf as a Level One EcoBoard Project board.
Upon first glance, the DC Surfwide looks like any other surf SUP. But upon closer examination, you can easily see the coconut fibers woven throughout the board, making for a unique aesthetic and conversation starter. As advertised, the board is incredibly light which makes it easy to carry, paddle and maneuver through the lineup.
Designed by legendary shaper Dale Chapman, the board features a square tail for added stability and a double concave bottom that helps with cranking powerful turns in even small or messy conditions. The five fin boxes are a key feature, allowing for a tri- or quad-fin setup, depending on preference and conditions.
The width of the board was something we both appreciated and were frustrated with. While the generous width and thickness made the board easy to balance on, it made powerful turns and carves somewhat challenging for a petite SUP surfer. The board sits high on the water, making it more suitable for beginner to intermediate SUP surfers or an experienced paddler carrying a bit more weight. With so much to love about this board and the technology behind it, we hope NSP adds a couple narrower options to their quiver down the line.
Recently, NSP has upgraded the DC Surfwide to include CocoFlax technology, which features flax fibers on the rail sections to improve the strength and rigidity of the board. The innovative design took home the 2019 "Product of the Year" award at Paddle Expo for both its performance and sustainable production practices.
NSP is a trailblazer when it comes to sustainable surf crafts. With the DC Surfwide as their debut sustainable surf SUP, we're excited to see what the future holds.