Review & pics: Tez Plavenieks
This is the shortest board I think I’ve ever tested. At 5’7 in length, it’s smaller than me standing on its end. When I’d fully inflated the 2021 Naish Hover inflatable, I did have a little chuckle. SUP/wing foil boards are undoubtedly compact, and whilst there are shorter boards out there, this one is dinky.
But. It’s got a lot of thickness and width. So while the Hover air is short, it’s also chunky. And it’s super stiff to boot. The shorter nature of the Hover means there’s less deflection as you’d get in a longer iSUP. Both these points transfer to the water where the 130L is stable (trust me when I say more than you’d think) and rock-solid rigid.
A long carbon plate is glued to the board’s underside with twin US track boxes to make the Hover foil compatible. You can fit most foils, not just Naish, and the plate copes with the forces a foil produces when in use.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get much in the way of swell during testing so winging it was. At 90kg dry, I had no issue getting set in relatively choppy water. There’s plenty of stability for knee starts, and the Naish Hover is pretty composed. Pumping yourself up on foil isn’t quite the same feeling as a hardboard. After all, the 130L is made of PVC, which does stick more to the water. Also, there’re no additional hull chines to aid release. So it takes a tad longer for the Hover to lift and fly.
Once up and foiling, the Naish Hover inflatable is a fun ride. There are no probs will feeling directly connected to the foil. In this sense, it’s the same as a hardboard. Composed, and we’ll mannered it flies with ease. And that width helps promote rider confidence when in flight. Should you touch down, then concentration is needed as like I said before, there are no cutouts in the hull to help pop you back up. But it’s doable and still, top drawer performance orientated.
The 2021 Naish Hover inflatable SUP/wing foil board does exactly what it says on the tin. It’s a good option for anyone who wants to travel with foil gear or for those with limited storage space. Packing down to a small rucksack, even the included pump had a nice feature in that the pump handle width can be reduced by unscrewing the ends. The Naish Hover air is well made from quality Drop stitch/PVC (as you’d expect) and has a top-shelf aesthetic. A blow-up foil board like this might also be a good choice for riders slightly nervous about falling when learning. The spongey, soft surface to bounce off is welcome. Many will enjoy the Naish Hover inflatable, that’s for sure.