Rogue SUP: All Water Board Review

West Coast surf approach
After a great time at the Icon Sports/Rogue SUP booth, and in the demo pool at the Vancouver Outdoor show I took home my 12’ Rogue Hotrod All Water SUP. Aside from having great looks, which all Rogue SUP boards have I was more interested in its acclaimed All Water performance. This week I was going to test the board in flat-water, downwind and west coast surf conditions.
The specs on the Hotrod are 12’ by 4.5” by 30” and my first test was a flat-water training session on Alice Lake in Squamish. This is where I do all of my lessons, fitness classes, and clinics with and where I do most of my interval training.
Flatwater testing at Alice Lake
The first thing I noticed was how sporty the 12’ board felt under my feet. It seemed to be very responsive and due to the specs, did not feel bulky at all. It really didn’t feel like a 12 footer and I was very impressed with how easily it glided for a planing hull. Rogue says that the board has a slightly concave nose with a double concave tail that helps move water effectively, which it seemed to do. Since I do most of my training here at the lake I keep track of how long it takes me to do a length from a specified point A to point B. In the past I have been using an 11’ 6” training board. My times for 1 length were no better than 2:43. When I paddled the Rogue board my time dropped to 2:34 indicating I was more efficient even with a bit of a slight head wind. Yes it was a little longer but you could just feel that it was faster. Although people will not look to a planing hull to race with it’s nice to know that it is an efficient board to paddle on a lake and a great board to train with. The tail and rails of the board felt pretty loose so it was easy to edge and pivot turn with. The board does not have a lot of rocker, which helped it to move efficiently forward. I really liked the deck pad as well. I did a number of on board core exercises so using this board as a fitness tool will keep people happy as well.
A couple of days later Howe Sound was calling for the wind to blow 25-35 miles an hour from the south. Lance, Jen and I made our way down Brittania Beach and we launched from Lance’s coffee shop, Galileo. I was pretty stoked since the wind had picked up as forecasted and was generating a decent downwind swell. We hopped on our boards and had to cut across the wind and the waves to get to the main part of the channel so we could straight line it into Squamish. The sportiness that I felt on the lake was even more pronounced in the ocean. The tail certainly was loose but I liked the feel. It seemed to be a bit more challenging for me than other boards I have been on in that length range. Once we headed downwind the board really took off. I was able to surf waves and the board brought a smile to my face as I dug into the building swell. Since the board does not have the thickness and width of other boards that length I had to really use my footwork to catch and surf the waves which would please intermediate to expert paddlers. I felt I was always working on the waves and engaged. It is not a board I would put a rookie on in a downwind situation but it is a board you can grow into and enjoy the performance with. I really had to concentrate on the board because due the leaner specs, waves at a quartering angle could really tweak you off the board if you were not careful. The board does not have a lot of rocker so short wavelengths could pearl it if you don’t get on the back. I did find that water cleared off the nose of the board pretty well if the board started diving. Once the conditions eased a little I had both jen and lance try the board and both had really positive feedback. Lance had a big smile on his face and said after getting off his board, “this board really moves.” You had to work a little bit more to get into the waves but once you did the performance on the wave was better than the bulkier, wider boards. Over long runs this responsiveness and less stability will contribute to more fatigue but for the hour I was on it I enjoyed the performance. The ocean can make any board feel pretty small so if you think you would like to downwind with this board either as a female or male I would go with the 12’ length vs. the 11’ length. I was happy with the Hotrod’s downwind performance and outside of a14 footer this is the board I will use in future runs. I am still waiting to test a displacement hull in these conditions so i will have better feedback after this is accomplished.
Coastal Runs and Surfing
This past weekend I had a big smile on my face as I boarded the ferry to head over to Tofino. Tofino is one of my favorite places in the world and I was excited to test this board in the surf and on the rugged west coast. I took the board out the first evening I was there in waist to shoulder high conditions. I noticed immediately that the tail was pretty loose due to the single fin configuration. I also noticed immediately that due to the lack of rocker on this board it was easy to nosedive if you didn’t get onto the back. It was pretty easy to pick up waves, a result of the length and ease of paddling design. The board was pretty fast on the wave and would get down the line quick and link up sections pretty easily. I did not have the bottom turning capability and on-wave performance but that is to be expected with the 12-foot length. I think surfing the 11’ length or even the 10’ length with the thruster set up for both would be the ticket. I am also really interested to test Rogue’s surf specific sup’s to see what their performance is like. There is a lot less fatigue on the big boards when waiting for the surf to come in or when there is surface chop. Smaller surf boards cause you to work a little harder while waiting and when getting into the waves but the on-wave performance is much better with the shorter length and thruster set up. I did replace the factory fin with a harder surf fin. Future Fin’s Wave fin would be a great option for this board in the surf.
Surfing some ankle biters in Tofino
One of the great things about SUP on the coast is being able to paddle into a surf lineup or to a break from another area. I was staying Middle Beach lodge so I paddled around a couple of headlands and through open ocean conditions to get to the break at North Chesterman’s. I felt confident on the Hotrod in the presence of strong currents and bigger swells. The board again seemed to handle these coastal conditions effectively and on my return trip I was able so surf some of the downwind swells. For bigger and nastier ocean conditions I would feel much more comfortable with a little bit more volume and length under my feet, most likely a 14 foot board…but then again surfing the 12 once I got to the break was worth it.
Over all I think the “All Water” moniker fits this board pretty well. It looks amazing, paddles the flats well for a planing hull, makes for an exciting and challenging downwind ride, surfs pretty good for a 12 footer and handles the bottom end of the open ocean scale. Stick a couple of EZ plugs on the front and you have a pretty good touring board as well. I will always have the one board that does everything well in my quiver. These boards are really effective if you live near the ocean and like paddling all the different conditions the ocean, lakes or rives can throw at you. If your looking for one board that can do everything pretty well the Rogue All Water or “All Waterman” is a great option.
The Rogue Quiver
Thanks to Rogue for their support and sponsorship. Check out for their whole line of SUP’s. I am looking forward to more testing. Any questions about anything SUP or with board design feel free to email me at See you on the water.


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