Moving on from last issue’s review of Hala’s Atcha 86 this time round we take a squizz at the brand’s tiny Milligram. Another whitewater iSUP it’s billed as a unique inflatable surfer that displays ‘nut’ like characteristics/compact sizing. Ready to fit into all manner of tight squeeze wave pockets it’s an eye catching design with a significant rocker and malleable click fins to boot.
So that rocker…All the way along the iSUP testing process we’re keen to point out how a board deflects, or bends at its weakest point (usually where the paddler stands). One thing most iSUPs should avoid is taking on the properties of a banana. In the case of Hala’s Milligram this isn’t quite so obvious as the nose rocker is significant. When you consider its intended use, however, this isn’t surprising.
We should also acknowledge the bomb proof, heavy duty construction of the Milligram which itself should be commended. Hala boards – from the ones we’ve tested to date – are seriously robust. The fin configuration options is also cap doffing worthy.
Hopping aboard the Milligram and the first thing paddlers will notice is the 4.75” thickness. Many iSUP are 6” so this reduction will instantly deliver a ‘lower to the water’ feel. It does have 30” of width so although it may feel ‘tippy’ this is in fact more reflective of a lively and manoeuvrable personality.
Straight lines with such a short sled aren’t as efficient as longer boards. But this is to be expected. You’re not going to be touring on the Milligram. But what you will be able to do is eke out turns on even the smallest of swells – be that river waves or open ocean types. Yep! For a supposed white water iSUP it’d make a good choice for anyone wanting to surf in conventional fashion. The nut shape works well with the Milligram actually holding a rail. Whilst 180s, shove its and every other trick (if you have the skills) is achievable.
Although we didn’t get to chuck the Milligram at a bona fide river wave we did put through paces on open water swells. It’s a fun board in surf and doesn’t really behave like an iSUP. The board’s built in rocker and superb construction – aiding rigidity – allows it to turn properly. Nearly as good as a hard SUP! Then that compact length comes into play for any paddler wanting to get new school. More stable than you’d think and a whole lot of fun. Note: Hala have recently changed their graphics but not overall shape.