The Nugget – Duotone’s lightwind / Stubby
This test first appeared in KW #100 in July 2019
TEST TEAM NOTES:
The Nugget is Duotone’s performance small wave ‘stubbie’, with reasonably parallel rails and the same cut-off nose as the Whip CSC, but also has a huge moon tail, similar to what you might see on a longboard or a mini-simmons surfboard.
The purpose of this is to allow you to easily release the tail on what might otherwise feel like quite a cumbersome board. The Nugget is more than two inches wider than the Whip CSC of the same length but, even with the extra size and volume, it’s very manoeuvrable.
There’s an easy, gratifying release off-the-lip to be had and the Nugget is quick to reengage as you drive out of your turn. You might expect a board this big to be a bit of a barge, but it actually responds to your input in a similar way that Duotone’s racier boards do. Pump your way through a bottom turn and it reacts promptly, accelerating back towards the wave. It’s just more sedate. Obviously it’s pretty wide (I tried the 5’0’’, which is 20 1⁄4’’ wide and 2 3/8’’ thick) , so it’s not as quick rail-to-rail as the Whip, nor could I bang out turns with as tight a radius, but the ride feel is actually quite similar, just a bit less responsive.
That said, what this board does that a more performance- orientated board can’t do is get you going in super light winds. I rode this in under 15 knots, when everyone else was on foils, and it went like an absolute bullet and the wide deck meant I had plenty of room to position myself further forward into a comfortable upwind riding position.
Likewise, that wide base makes it a very stable platform for tacks and gybes. Bigger riders, or people who are still getting their head around those trickier bits of footwork, will really appreciate that.
For such a slab-like board, the Nugget feels a lot smaller than it is (although I think the 5’3’’ version might be hard work for anyone under 95-100 kilos) but the one area in which I did find it held me back compared to a narrower board – was in the air. You might imagine that having so much base to show to the wind would make it stick to your feet when you’re doing ‘punts’, but it felt a little less keen to pop off the water and more unwieldy once airborne than something like a Pro WAM (which we tested earlier this year in KW 98, and in fairness, with much more wind to help).
However, you can’t have everything from a light wind board and if you’re really keen to push your strapless freestyle then you’ll probably be riding in stronger winds than this board is really intended for most of the time anyway. And that’s fine, because the real joy to be had from the Nugget is not the strong wind performance; it’s the true surf feelings that can be squeezed out of it in small waves and on marginal days.
SUMMARY: If you’re not sure whether to go for this or the Whip CSC, imagine choosing between a nice roomy VW Golf Plus and a Golf GTI. Both are going to have that same base level of feel and quality and will keep you happy, but the GTI’s going to be a bit more exciting. Still, you may come to find that you could use that extra bit of space – and this is that!
A surprisingly exciting and engaging board with performance that belies its size. Rapid upwind performance comes as standard and Duotone’s Pro Pads are standout designs for grip and comfort.
KW WOULD CHANGE: Nothing. If you’re determined to ride a directional when you ‘should’ be on a foil then this could be a session saver.
SIZES: 5’0’’ x 22.5’’ (volume: 25.6L ) and 5’3’’ x 21.5’’
More at www.duotonesports.com