Words: Anne Egan & Peter Tranter
Photos: Peter Tranter
I was delighted to try another Aqua Marina board; the Hyper has a very different look and feel to the Aqua Marina Fusion I reviewed a few months ago. I liked them both but enjoyed paddling the Hyper more for the reasons outlined below.
The new colours are bolder than in previous years, which gives the boards a more serious-looking edge and uses a double chamber inflatable system, providing an inner and outer chamber. Should the outer chamber be pierced, the inner chamber will still allow flotation – a very cool concept. The overall build quality of the Aqua Marina Hyper iSUP is excellent.
Tracking and speed are the qualities of the Hyper. I felt very comfortable from a balanced point of view, even when standing still to breathe in the beauty and quietness as I enjoyed time on the river on this September evening. The only moment of concern was surrounded and slightly cornered by a mother swan and her equally sized gaggle of five cygnets, who wanted to understand what I was doing in their ‘neighbourhood’.
Before the swan encounter, I enjoyed the peace and quiet of the empty marina. The weather was perfect, with little wind; unlike the last test, there wasn’t a beautiful sunset to enjoy, but the conditions were perfect to try out this lovely board.
The board does not come with a paddle, so I had the absolute joy of using my Black Project Tempo X, which is perfectly sized for my height, weight and small hands and makes paddling feel effortless. I found this board easy to paddle in a straight line and could gather speed and change direction with little effort. New for 2023, the Hyper models are now equipped with rectangular hydrodynamic rail edges and a FORE KEEL™ design for improved water stroke and straight-line tracking. It gives the board more bite and hold to the rear than in other inflatables.
Beginners will appreciate how easy it is to balance on the board, while experienced paddlers will enjoy its responsiveness and agility. It can easily handle the light chop and small waves made by river cruisers, which will make it suitable for coastal adventures. The 12’6” length also provides excellent glide, allowing the rider to travel more efficiently.
The deck pad is comfortable and provides excellent traction, ensuring a secure footing, even in wet conditions. I wore Keen water shoes for the test, and even with those, I still felt very connected to the board. . This size and dimension combination make the Hyper versatile enough for various water activities, from leisurely paddling to yoga sessions.
Flattened bungee cords
The primary advantage of iSUPs is their portability, and the Hyper excels in this area, being reasonably light in weight and fitting snugly into the included backpack (made from recycled plastic bottles), making it easy to transport with ample storage space for the board and accessories. The flattened bungee cords, as opposed to the usual ropes, were easy to use, and they’re just that little more secure. The 12’6” has plenty of potential to carry extra baggage with the cords both front and rear plus four D-rings on the deck.
The Hyper offers impressive value for its price point. While it may not be the cheapest inflatable paddleboard on the market, it more than justifies its cost with its quality construction and performance.
The Hyper is a standout inflatable paddleboard that delivers performance and value. It’s sturdy construction, versatile design, and thoughtful accessories make it an excellent choice for paddlers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner looking to embark on your SUP journey or an experienced rider seeking a dependable and versatile board, the Hyper offers the perfect blend of stability, manoeuvrability, and affordability.
Price: 11’6″ £619.00; 12’6″ £699.00
Info: www.aquamarina.com/ products/touring/hyper/