I want to thank you so much for the Comet GT.
I am an architect and ex-bike racer, new to SUP, but I bring from work & bikes a respect for technical aspects of performance. In SUP, I can see that the biomechanics of the stroke are not yet worked out — that’s exciting and makes me recall the fun of growing within a sport as I did with windsurfing (started in 1982, still do it).
In SUP, the equipment also has a way to go.
For me, the issues of concern are not talked about much: displacement/water flow and water release.
I have worked on boat projects with naval engineers and was so excited when I came across your story with the original Comet design. I have become obsessed with watching how SUP boards release water from the stern. One big discovery came when I installed a Black Project fin in my Infinity Whiplash to replace the stock FCS fin. The Black Project fin is carefully foiled andI noticed an immediate dramatic change in the board’s wake, namely a reduction with a noticeable increase in average speed. But nothing compares to what I saw in videos of the Comet: smooth water release, no wake, no pulsing wave from the stroke.
I was hooked.
Take a look at a Starboard and you’ll see a trailing wave… yuck.
My other obsession is with what I call displacement (maybe the wrong word) and water flow. Last summer I needed a board for an event and the only thing I could get on short notice was a Laird LXR. Stable, but otherwise a pig. I noticed that the board makes two wakes: one up front where the bow hits the water, and a secondary one farther back where the board sits in the water. I couldn’t help but feel that I was pushing through the water rather than gliding.
There’s a third thing that I observe, which is yaw. I see a lot of boards that twist under the pressure of the stroke, leaving a sideways wake off the fin. Could be design (vertical rails?) or could be technique… not sure yet. I don’t see that on the Comet, that’s for sure.
Anyway, with my obsessions in mind, I looked carefully at lots of other boards and nothing compared to what I saw in the videos of the Hovie Comet.
I’ve now ridden it and it does everything I dreamed of. The board has a single clean minimal wake, and it releases so cleanly off the stern. The wide tail is great — it resists dipping into the water and is so stable on turns and downwind. As you say, it has an incredible glide — it just wants to go forward. Nothing like it.
Plus, everything about your design is so smart. I love the simple and perfectly balanced handle, and the short pad with the textured aft area for pivot turns. The board is crazy light. Exquisite in form and function.
Let me get my act together and we’ll discuss the GTO.