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Beast mode – Hypr Nalu Hawaii Amakua 9.9ft x 27.5” x 160L performance longboard SUP review

Shaped by the legendary Ian Foo from Kona, Hawaii, Hypr Nalu boards are new to UK shores. Judging by comments we received during testing they’re extremely eye catching and deliver aesthetic lines that are fresh and bright. The hull’s pronounced (patented) double concave contours and swallow tail only adds to the intrigue.

Hypr’s Amakua 9.9ft is a performance orientated longboard shape that sports a thin rail profile, five fin box options (for a variety of configurations – thruster, quad, twin and single) and tribal influenced graphics.

Straight off the bat the Amakua is lightweight (8kg for a 9.9ft is impressive!) with a carefully positioned carry handle ideal for carting to and from the put in. The board’s deckpad, while comfy and grippy, does spoil the board’s aesthetic somewhat but it’s possible to purchase still in naked form and add traction as you see fit. In particular we recommend a kick block at the tail to aid full power moves on the water. Ian himself admits many paddlers prefer to add their own retrospectively but the option is there if you should require the board with.

At 27.5” the Amakua may feel wobby to the less experienced but actually we found its length aids stability and high intermediate plus paddlers will find it no trouble – secondary stability is good. Hopping aboard the Amakua sits relatively low in the water, even with 160L volume. It tracks great but riders will need to put the hammer down to increase lift and influence glide. That said it delivers paddlers to the peak without too much faff.

Picking up waves requires more critical positioning than the board’s length would have you believe. It likes some oomph and more vertical walls will reward. As you drop in the board’s lightweight nature comes to the fore. Feeling MUCH smaller when up to full power the Amakua loves to be chucked about, hacked, slashed and generally ridden in a high energy state. Back off the gas and the Amakua backs off also – this isn’t a sled for simply cruising your local.

We tested as both a thruster and quad fin and found there wasn’t really much in it (depending on fin sizes you choose). The supplied skegs, while fine, aren’t the highest quality, as such we opted for our own – a minor point but worth considering. Again, Ian says most riders implement their own exotics anyway.

You can ride the Amakua 9.9ft off the tail or a tad further forwards – it’s a shape that works well in either stance. A tricky beast to nose ride, for us, it favours a carving inspired driver. Smaller boned paddlers may have more success with toes over action, however. Bouncing lips at full power, on the other hand, was extremely fulfilling. And, whether us or the board, the Amakua helped up our backhand attack no end.

Conclusion

Beautifully designed Hypr Nalu’s Amakua 9.9ft takes a fresh look at performance longboard SUP surfing – something unique for the UK SUP market. While a few brands already manufacture similar sleds this is probably the most high performance type we’ve tried. Experienced paddlers can ride the Amakua like a smaller performance surf sled yet retain the benefits of a longer board – tracking and enhanced glide for instance. Loving a vertical wall, as opposed to mush burger slop, pro-active surfers will enjoy slashing and cracking lips with this machine. Step on board, pedal to the mettle and you’ll be ripping it with the best of ‘em.

Price: £1500

Info: http://hyprnalu.co.uk/amakua.html

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About SUPMagUK (487 Articles)
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Mag UK is the home of UK SUP. Paddle surfing, downwind SUP, all round SUP, SUP racing and more - it's all here!

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