Evergreen Stand Up Paddle Boards is a PNW based SUP company that specializes in designs suited for the conditions found along the north part of the west coast. A lot of the other SUPs you’ll see were designed in or for Hawaii. That’s great if you live in Hawaii, but not ideal if you are paddling here where the waves are smaller.
For smaller surf you don’t need as aggressive a rocker which means the SUP will paddle more efficiently for easy wave catching and for better flatwater performance.
You can read my review of the Evergreen Whisper SUP here. The Legend I tested is made up of the same beautiful bamboo construction and has also survived a lot of action as a rental board in the Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham fleet. Aside from some beauty marks the Legend I have looks great.
Evergreen used a 1.5lb EPS core covered with 2 two layers of 6oz cloth and epoxy then a 2mm layer of real bamboo. The finishing layer is a polished polyester resin that brings out a really warm colour from the bamboo layer.
I didn’t get a chance to surf the Legend which makes me sad….=-( I was trying to line up a day to get out to Jordan River with a friend so we could try this SUP out in the waves and get some photos. I asked to keep the Legend a bit longer, but I guess they sold every one them they have a KPS Bellingham so they need this one back to let people demo/rent.
You can check out the video of Andy in some small surf with an Evergreen Legend above and here is what he has to say about it:
“While the outline of the board looks traditional, this board has more to it than is obvious at first glance. The bottom shape of this board is biased towards speed. This means that while you are paddling around the Puget Sound, you are going to be cruising at a faster pace than a board designed exclusively to ride big waves and cut through Hawaiin chop. This results in a more efficient glide in non-surf conditions. This speed transitions into being able to catch waves further out in the surf, giving you longer rides. On the wave the wide squash tail allows the board to bite into the wave, giving the board a playful and lively feel, while at the same time, giving the board more volume in the tail, allowing you to get back further on the tail. This tail shape also allows the board to stand on its tail for storage purposes.”
The Legend is 11′ 3″ x 31.5″ that’s a great all around size for flatwater paddling and fun surfing. Any smaller and you can’t really get anywhere on flatwater and any bigger and it’s a pig to try and maneuver on waves. The 31.5″ is a good choice for width. You can float a larger paddle and provide user friendly stability without slowing down the board so much that it’s hard to paddle.
Evergreen offers another SUP called the Spirit that’s essentially a Legend with a 30.5″ width. The slightly narrower shape makes it faster albeit a tad less stable. This would be a good choice for an experienced SUPer who wants enhanced wave catching performance in a all around SUP.
So you are interested in a new SUP and trying to decide between an Evergreen Legend and Whisper?
The answer is easy:
- If you want to surf you buy the Legend.
- If you want to race or go real fast on flatwater you buy the Whisper.
- If you want to do both you buy both!
If you can’t decide or aren’t sure what you’ll do with your new SUP getting a versatile surf shaped SUP like the Legend is a smart move since it can really do it all.
The demo board I had came with a black EVA deck pad installed. This provides great traction when wet and is very comfy for bare feet. The bamboo finish of the Legend is stunning so I’m not sure I’d use the EVA deck pad. I’d certainly be tempted to use some clear stick on traction material so I could enjoy the good looks of this board even more. You can always ask for the EVA deck pad [free when you buy an Evergreen SUP] and install it later if wax or clear stick on traction isn’t your thing.
I understand you can get all the Evergreen SUPs in a classic white surfboard finish as well. It does look sharp, but I am a huge fan of the warmth of the bamboo finish. It’s good to have choices though.
Kite Paddle Surf Bellingham is offering a package deal for the Legend of a SUP + carbon paddle + bag for $1199US. I bought a similar SUP a couple years ago for $1600 and then paid another $500 for a carbon paddle and bag. So this is a great deal to get you started as a stand up paddler without killing your bank account.
You’ll get a single 9″ fin and a set of 4″ FCS thruster fins with your Legend. Leave the thruster fins off for flatwater paddling for less drag and push the 9″ fin all the way back in the fin box for better straight-line tracking. When it’s time to surf you can stick to the single fin at first since it will let you paddle faster and if you push it forward in the fin box it will turn easier. Once you are catching waves regularly add the 4″ thrusters in for more drive in your turns.
The photo above provides a side by side comparison of the Whisper and the Legend. The Whispers knife like nose and the Legend’s surf rocker are easy to spot.
I’m hoping to get more time on these Evergreen SUPs later this year. They’ve got a raceboard prototype I love to check out and I want to get the Legend into the surf for myself and see what I think.
So much great gear….so little time!….life is tough…=-)