AK Nomad 7’6 SUP foiling board goodies landed recently. You may have seen the recent post about our very first run on the AK Nomad. For this article, we’re going more in depth about the AK Nomad 7’6 and what makes it a good choice of downwind SUP crossover light wind wing board.
Downwind SUP foil boards – the real world rider issue.
Downwind SUP foil boards have certainly revolutionised the foiling industry in recent times. Their longer, narrower outline makes them super efficient for getting on foil. And whilst the moniker ‘downwind’ may be a little confusing there’s no doubt they work for a variety of foiling disciplines. Not just downwind alone.
And yet, as efficient as donwind SUP foil boards are there’s an issue. Especially when you consider real world riders in real world conditions (think choppy, rippy and tidal). From experience testing LOTS of performance race paddle boards we can guarantee that as soon as you step aboard narrow platforms stability (roll stability particularly) suffers. Downwind SUP foil boards may have length to halt nose to tail pitch but rail to rail stability can be extremely tricky. When you consider that foiling starts are key this can prove to be a real headache for some. Even the seasoned foiler.
The AK Nomad 7’6 SUP foiling board review.
As soon as we saw the listed dimensions of the AK 7’6 Nomad we knew this would work. At 7’6 x 24.5″ the AK Nomad is narrow enough for efficiency but still balanced and stable to actually learn how to use it.
When winging the 7’6 riders have the actual wing to help stabilise themselves as they get to their feet. In SUP foil or downwind foil mode, however, there’s still enough width that an experienced paddle boarder can get to grips without spending more time in the brine swimming. Don’t get us wrong, riders will still have to have their paddling skills dialled in prior. And chop or wind can cause headaches. None the less it’s still doable and therefore very applicable to first timers using a board like this or heavier riders in real world foiling conditions. In time, you may want to scale down your Nomad, which is perfectly possible with a 7’0 x 23″ x 115L and 6’6 x 20.5″ x 90L also available.
Other AK Nomad 7’6 design features.
Keeping stability in mind another design feature of the AK Nomad 7’6 is the bottom hull shape. The tail is very flat, utilising hard release rails with a degree of rail chine. Unlike other DW SUP foil boards, the pin tail isn’t quite as extreme. It’s there, for sure, but being flatter, with less side wall also helps with stationary stability yet retains foiling take off efficiency.
Meanwhile, upfront, the Nomad’s nose has been created to shed water and glide. If you should stuff it into the drink, or piece of chop, it corks back up effortlessly. Touchdowns, when winging, are also very forgiving. The concave deck aid comfort and helps deliver reactivity and nimbleness without the rider needing to over-commit. Finishing is top notch (as you’d expect with AK). And the option for footstraps is a welcome addition. All in the AK Nomad 7’6 is a very well thought out foil board that’ll help riders get into this aspect of the sport. It’s great to see accessibility rather than extreme, elitist, performance being the focus.
SUP foiling feels.
The first session we had with the AK Nomad 7’6 was an idyllic small wave session under an autumn sun. Surf was about waist high on the peak, fattening up to a rolling pulse of swell as it moved down the bank.
Taking off as we have done on other boards it quickly became apparent the technique required to foil with the 7’6 is slightly different. Whilst the Nomad is pumpable it leans more on glide. Having dialled in foot placement you need to let it run, build momentum and then lift. Over-egging things may see you get chucked off – as we did on our first few waves. Allowing the glide to do its thing riders still lift early, and once up it’s foiling as normal.
What about swing weight and yaw?
One thing we were pleasantly surprised by is the Nomad’s lack of swing weight. At 7’6 it’s a long sled for sure. But the forward placed foil tracks mean much of the length, once up and foiling is behind you. Pitch isn’t a problem, and swing weight isn’t noticeable for similar reasons.
Pumping between waves is efficient and it didn’t feel much different to the boards we’ve been riding in SUP foiling mode previously. It should also be noted that the Nomad’s 135L was negible too.
AK Nomad 7’6 SUP foiling board review conclusion.
AK’s Nomad 7’6 downwind SUP foil board has been very welcome. Having tried a number of similarly styled foil boards the tricky aspects of these designs have left us feeling a touch underwhelmed due to their technicalities. In contrast, the Nomad is much more doable, yet still with a performance edge. Coupled with the AK’s aesthetics and overall presentation the Nomad 7’6 is a real winner as a SUP foil board. Of course, the additional versatility for winging, downwind, flat water pop ups and pumping only makes it more desirable. The fact it’s also pretty competitive price wise only adds to the Nomad’s appeal.
We’ll be talking more about the AK Nomad 7’6 from a wing foiling point of view shortly. Stay tuned for that!
Find out more about the AK Nomad range here.
For more info about beginning your SUP foiling journey follow this link.