Hatha SUP are a recent addition to the UK’s ever growing stand up paddle scene and another example of affordable kit designed for all round paddlers. That said the brand’s Warrior 10.6ft appealed to us for this particular test due to it being billed the brand’s most performance orientated wave model.
At first glance the Warrior 10.6ft is another round nose all comers SUP. But upon closer inspection the board’s front two thirds belie its wave slaying rear section. Tapering right down to a winger rail, complete with dove tail and five fin box set up, for a 10.6ft it’s a bit of an unusual looking stick. And the top layer of carbon is an aesthetically pleasing trait that adds a degree of stiffness to the board.
During its christening session the Warrior’s domed deck was the first thing we noticed. This may take a bit of getting used to as it makes the board feel rolly, but very comfortable. Tracking well the Warrior glides effortlessly and nose rocker stays clear of flotsam. If there’s a windy wave the Hatha retains composure as it sits slightly lower in the water – making it good for onshore days, exploring exposed offshore breaks or anxious paddlers still perfecting their skills.
Due to its length the Warrior isn’t super quick to pivot, when compared to short SUPs at least. It makes up for this, however, with super early drops – riders will catch swells from way out back and have plenty of time to set their rail.
Dropping down faces the Warrior accelerates to an impressive top speed. It’s a larger SUP though and control could be an issue for less experienced paddlers – especially in bigger surf. And care will need to be given when kicking out – you don’t want to take other water users out with a marauding board!
The magic of the Warrior lies in getting feet right onto the tail pad. If riders are slightly in front of this then standard 10.6ft surf performance will be the case – you’ll certainly be able to carve but it won’t be quite as critical. Above quad fins it’s a different story. Loose and slashy, relative to overall size, is what you’ll feel. While the Warrior certainly isn’t a full on rip ‘n’ tear machine it’s pretty good at bouncing a full throttle cut back and even a degree of lip bashing. Experienced riders will be able to poke the Warrior more vertical and eek out every last drop of performance.
Hatha’s Warrior 10.6ft really surprised us. We expected it to feel slightly dead when on a wave – just goes to show preconceptions shouldn’t be trusted. Riders will need to surf from the back section above fins, and a quad set up will deliver best results. From this position a whole load of wave fun can be had in bigger surf than you’d imagine. There’s a decent amount of grip through turns and for a longer board it reacts well to quick changes of direction. Plus, you get the flat water all round performance of a 10.6ft. We’d swap the supplied fins for something more performance orientated though and if you opt for thruster mode we’d suggest a smaller than provided middle skeg. It’s pretty affordable too!