Review: Tez Plavenieks Pics: Oli Lane-Peirce
Whilst SUPM has featured prone paddleboarding in its pages before, there’s never actually been a review of such a product. Hypr Hawaii’s head honcho Ian Foo is an avid connoisseur of paddling and paddling paddle craft. It’s, therefore, no surprise that prone platforms form part of the Hypr Hawaii range. And at the time of writing, a bunch of Hypr prone machines are set to land in the UK, including the 14’ x 20.5” tested here.
For me, prone is the original precursor to stand up. The latter follows the former, so they are intrinsically intertwined. If you fancy yourself as a paddle connoisseur also, then you’d do well to get on board.
The Hypr prone 14’ is a beautiful looking sled. Those brand unique hull cutouts are (as always) on point, but the board itself is an overall beauty. Just check out that sharp as a knife arrow head tail and striking colours.
I’ll not lie: if your experience doesn’t include narrow paddle vehicles, then even in the prone mode, you may find this sled tippy. Of course, everything is achievable. Adding a forward located stabilising fin will help. But you’ll need to concentrate when driving this baby regardless.
Speed does equal stability, so the faster you can stroke, the better. Head down, digging deep, you’ll be surprised how rapid the 14’ cuts through even choppy states. With confidence in the bag, switching to butterfly knee paddling may then be the go. And if you can sniff out a bump, this puppy loves a runner – even small nugs.
I couldn’t resist testing the stand up paddling performance of the Hypr prone. Having tested many narrow race boards in the past, I knew getting to my feet was doable. Even more so than lying down, the rolling nature of the Hypr is apparent.
What became quickly obvious was the need to use that roll and paddle in standing mode with railed trim. Keeping focus, the board moves super quick with paddle blade strokes, making it a really engaging experience for those that can.
Hypr Hawaii’s 14’ x10.5” prone paddleboard is a real paddlers craft. Beginners may not care for a toy like this, but those with any kind of waterman/woman aspirations will love the challenge and different experiences this board offers. If you’re ready to mix your paddling up, want a super high-end machine and are happy to chuck some cash at it, then this is your tool. Check-in and love it!