Surftech French 10’6″ B-1 Review

CKS Squad Favorites, River/Surf, Stand Up Boards
bobby@coloradokayak.com

Surftech French 10’6″ B-1 Review

Inflatable vs. hard shell SUP for the river. That is the the great debate. Epoxy boards are slick and fast, but ding easily. Plastic boards are durable, but heavy. Inflatables are also very durable (as well as the only ultra portable option), but are not stiff, and do not have great speed…Wouldn’t it be cool if someone came up with a light, stiff fast, high performance, stable, bombproof board? Surftech may have just changed the name of the game by releasing the  French 10’6″ B-1. This board uses “BOUNCE” technology, which is an extremely light and strong plastic / composite like substance. The exact details of BOUNCE technology are classified. Obtaining the ingredient list for this substrate is about as difficult as finding the exact location of Jimmy Hoffa’s body. Not gonna happen. To be honest, it really does not matter all that much. All that you need to know is that this board is as close to indestructible as they come, but also has the performance characteristics of TufLite or epoxy. Do you like apples?

Specs:


http://youtu.be/TctIGk2bJx8
This video is great. It highlights the incredible durability of The B-1.

Pros:

  • BOUNCE technology is incredible for river SUP. It is also good for people that tend to be rough on their gear. There are a few nearly indestructible boards out there, but up until now there hasn’t been one that is this light, stiff and fast. 29 lbs is pretty light for a stand up board. A C4 Waterman CMAC ATB   is one of the lightest SUP’s on the market, and it comes in at about 20 lbs. For 9lbs more you get a board that can splat rocks, be dropped off of cars, and handle the many abuses of real world river SUP’ing.

    This is a closeup of the BOUNCE technology board material. Bombproof, light, stiff and fast.
  • A lot of attention has been given to the durability of this material(BOUNCE). Besides being really strong, it is also fast and stiff. I spoke with Ken “Hobie” Hoeve and asked him how this board compared to TuffLite and epoxy SUP’s. He said that he would have a tough time telling the difference if someone hadn’t told him that the board was constructed from a new material. He liked the “best of both worlds” approach that the B-1 has; as durable as roto-mold plastic, almost as light as epoxy, and as stiff and fast as anything out there.

    Hobie is carving it up on Big Sur at epic flows this summer
  • The R&D team that helped create this board is world class. Dane Jackson (2012 Tribe Rider of the Year), Ken “Hobie” Hoeve and Taylor Robertson all had quite a bit of input of this SUP.  Basically, this a all around SUP that excels in the river, flats and ocean.

  • The channels on the bottom of the board create stability and tracking. They help keep the board stable when surfing. Check out Dane Jackson testing out his B-1. I think that his SUP head stands and 360 jumps at the Glenwood Wave were his of making sure the channels work properly.

  • The Surftech B1 has a weight limit of well over 200 lbs. Hobie is 225 lbs, and has been using it all summer. Lighter riders will feel more stable on the board, and heavier ones will be able to carve and surf really well…and still go down river.
  • Made in the USA.
  • The center box  single fin design works well for a versatile board like this. It is highly recommended to use a soft flexible core fin. They tend to dissipate the energy that happens when the fin collides with rock, and will save lots of time and money over the long term (i.e- broken fins and center box). The really cool thing about a fin like the Pro Tek Super Flex Center Fin   is that it can actually be shaven down to any size. If you buy the 7″ version, you can use a roto-sander and make it any size or shape that you want.

    Pro Teck Super Flex 7″ Center Fin. Almost as indestructible as the B-1.
  • If you can only afford one board for your arsenal, this is the one for you. There are surf specific boards like the Badfish, river runners like the Universal, and now boards like B-1 that do it all.

    The B-1 is good for those that want one board for everything.

Cons:

  • The B-1 isn’t inflatable. It’s still 10’6″ at the end of the day. If you live somewhere where space is very limited, you may want to buy a board that will roll up and fit in the closet during the off season.
  • Did Surftech design a board that will last too long? If you like to buy new gear every year, and have “the latest greatest”, you may be stuck with this board because it has the potential to last exponentially longer than other SUP’s.
  • It’s got a center box single fin and no thruster options. It is currently is only available in a 10’6″ version. If you are very light and small, or very heavy, you only have one model to choose from.

The Verdict:

The Surftech B-1 is an exciting board to have in our lineup here at CKS. It performs on waves, downriver, flat water and the ocean, as well as anything out there. It is also constructed from a material that is light an INCREDIBLY strong. The river SUP scene has been waiting for a board like this for quite some time. Inland SUP’ers are getting good enough where they are able to paddle class III and IV runs now (even some class V here and there). Because of this, they need a board that can withstand the rigors of advanced down river stand up paddling. The B-1 is light, stiff, bomber and fast. Go check one out, you won’t be dissapointed.

13 thoughts on “Surftech French 10’6″ B-1 Review

  1. Scott

    You guys really need to check out Glide. By far the best option for rivers, strong as the B1, designed for the rivers, and tons of shapes.

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      Thanks for the info. I will forward the link to the SUP buyers.

  2. TEJ

    That this is sick. Plus MADE IN USA!!!

    Boooya

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  6. BUYER BEWARE

    DO NOT PURCHASE THIS BOARD!!!! I extensively researched SUP’s on the internet for a durable high end SUP that I could use for surfing, casual paddling, and rig up to fish. I thought this board would be perfect for me so I bought it, happily paying a large premium over other boards since it seems “indestructible”. Plus, I had been a huge Surftech fan and loyal customer for a decade and have owned more than 12 Surftech boards in various technologies. I was so stoked to get this board….was completely enjoying it, AND then 9 months into ownership a large portion of the deck completely delaminated. My board was used normally a few times per week and stored on a rack in a cool shaded garage when not in use…and yes 9 months into ownership, it severely delaminated!!! And what’s worse than the delaminated deck is the 3 month run-around- and poor treatment this longtime customer and advocate received from Surftech. They will not help in any way to remedy my situation (replace, repair, point we where to go to get it repaired) After months of back and forth, submitting several videos of the damage, going through countless channels, the best they could do is offer me a new B1 at a slight discount…wtf!!! So BUYER BEWARE…PLEASE DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY…you may be able to hit this board with a baseball bat without dinging it, but it will likely delaminate in less than a year…and Surftech will do nothing to help you get it repaired or replaced!!!!

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      HI-
      Did you purchase the board from a retailer? If so, maybe have them get in touch and see what they can do. If you purchased it from CKS we’ll surely help you out.
      On that note, we have sold quite a few of those boards, and have had very few problems with them (in proportion to how many we have sold).
      There are quite a few B1’s in the Arkansas Valley that are alive and well. It’s not to say that this board does not have some flaws here and there; all SUP’s do…
      But I would also stand behind the B1 saying that it is a unique board, and has also been reworked for 2014.
      And YES, it is expensive…SORRY you had to deal with that.
      Feel free to email bobby@coloradokayak.com if you want any help with dealer relations…

  7. BUYER BEWARE

    Yes, I purchased this board through a dealer and they represented me in most of my communications with Surftech…along with the countless interactions that I had on my own behalf. Anyway, ironically, after months of struggle and denial, two days after I published about 50 negative online reviews like the one above….I got a call that a new board is on its way. I came back here to remove my previous post since my situation has been fixed and I’m now happy…..but for some reason I can’t delete my comment….so if you have the ability to remove it, feel free to…and thanks for letting my voice be heard!!!!

  8. Marc

    How do you repair the board? I bought it used, and it’s slightly chipping at the nose?

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      You can use ding dough, or some sort of patching compound for smaller punctures.
      This material should also work:
      http://www.coloradokayak.com/FCS-All-Tech-Putty

  9. Michele Yant

    We purchased this board from surf tech for my son and thought we were getting a quality product made in the USA but the board delaminated after one year and has become very itchy to pick up. The board is like handling Fiberglass insulation. Customer service said the board can’t be in too much sun, crazy,crazy! Stay away from all boards made by this company. Surf tech

  10. Michele Yant

    Summary: We purchased this board from surf tech for my son and thought we were getting a quality product made in the USA but the board delaminated after one year and has become very itchy to pick up. The board is like handling Fiberglass insulation. Customer service said the board can’t be in too much sun, crazy,crazy! Stay away from all boards made by this company. Surf tech

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