The shorter stand-up is faster; turns quicker and is way more manageable than bigger ones. Once you ride one and try to go back to your 10' it gets in it's own way and you screw up your ride.
They really don't paddle that much slower than the bigger ones. Turning the board to catch the wave is way easier an quicker. Dropping in late is way easier and being smaller you can on it quicker and rip the wave way - way better.
I have full concave going into double concave with "V" in the tail. This makes the board faster. I also have a speed spot between your feet so it is faster. Very important is that I have softer rails going back further so the board is smoother and more maneuverable. My fins are moved up 4" further than all other manufacturers so the board is quicker turning.
These boards are big so you have to totally re-think fin placement. The back fin has a 10" box so you can cluster the fins together for tighter turns in smaller surf or move the fin back for overhead waves like a semi-gun. The adjustable gives this board a much bigger range. I have found that 3 fins (4 - 5/8") all the way around works best. The 2 + 1 has small fins on the sides which gives no punch and the 9.5" center fin in the back makes it stiff turning.
The round pin is 3 times better than a squash or swallow tail because round pins eliminate the 12" of straight rail in the tail right where you need curve to get tighter and quicker turns. The round pin rolls into turns quicker, smoother, and hangs in better when going fast. Ridding smaller boards has made this incredible sport way better than it already is. Thanks for the aloha Laird!!!
Just try one and you'll never look back.
Take one for a spin at cardiff reef.