We first took a run at Kahuna Creations’ Shaka when creating SUPM’s Concrete Jungle land paddling feature in May 2015. As such we thought we should give it a second pass and put the Shaka through a more rigorous test.
For those looking to accurately recreate stand up paddle surfing on land the Shaka comes pretty damn close. At just over 3ft in length (46”) it’s a stubby looking piece of kit, much akin to a fish shaped surfboard. Keeping this fact in mind you’ll no doubt be forming opinions of what the Shaka’s ride properties are.
On the aesthetics front it’s a board which looks great and is superbly made. Constructed from Canadian 8-ply Maple, and featuring a Californian Beach Sand Grip there’s no scrimping from the brand and it’s awesome value for money. Graphics have been created by David Ray Gould and based on ancient Hawaiian petroglyphs.This adds to the Shaka’s surf personality and will touch all land paddlers with its rootsy look.
If you’re thinking ‘surf’ then you’d be correct. The board’s wide point comes in at 14” while also featuring a super pronounced rocker running the whole length of the board. This makes for deep, smooth carving flow and really does help replicate the kinds of maneuver you can achieve on your wave SUP.
The Shaka’s tail has a slight incline which does allow bigger limbed riders to chuck in a few kick turns and achieve more pivot. It doesn’t quite work on ramps (for those inclined) due to the weight of trucks and board, but it certainly allows different styles of land paddle surfer to be accommodated.
And speaking of components Kahuna Creations’ Shaka comes equipped with Bear trucks and 70mm 82A wheels – both of which are solid. The wheels themselves offer a great deal of grip when carving through moves. We did try a few slides and while the Shaka will release its tail riders will need to choose their surface wisely when aiming for this type of move. Somewhere that offers a degree of ‘slip’ will reward land paddlers looking to bust loose. If it’s wet the Shaka gives long slides. (One of our tester, pictured, is a big fan of tail slides and approved of the Shaka’s performance on moist surfaces).
Back on the flat and the Shaka offers a fast ride. Head for an incline, however, and riders will be further rewarded. Momentum carries through turns which gives land paddlers time to focus on their stick placement. (One of the reasons we’re fans of land paddling is the opportunity to consolidate muscle memory and practice moves which when not on the water).
Kahuna Creations’ Shaka is a great looking board, with a classic fish surfboard outline that recreates SUP surfing on land. If you’re looking to develop your wave skills then the Shaka can help. An efficient carver it mimics wave heads’ movements when out in the brine. Sliders will find the Shaka a good choice for getting some tail release for slides. If you’re a bigger boned individual kick style pivot turns are achievable while out and out speedsters will love the Shaka’s downwhill prowess. All in a beautifully crafted sled that’ll tick most boxes for land paddling aficionados. Partner with a decent paddle for improved performance.
Thanks to Raph Heathcote who helped with the Shaka review