July 29, 2017
Age of Portability
We are on the go because we can. Think about it, most products these days are made in single servings, or in to-go, easy rip-open consumption packaging. Hot and cold water bottles are trending super high as a way to carry your beverage without creating more waste. Love and applaud that! So why shouldn’t your play toys not come with that advantage too?
Well, if you are a SUP paddler, you are in luck because these days inflatable technology is literally blowing up! No longer are hardboards the only way to go for a legit ride.
Hala Gear SUP has discovered and tested new technology that is proving you can get the hardboard advantages in an inflatable board. Carbon Hybrid Inflatable and Glass Hybrid Inflatable technologies make it possible to feel as if you are riding a responsive, hardboard and at the end of the day – roll it up and pack it away for your next adventure.
Inflatable technologies will be introduced for the first time in the SUP industry with Hala Gear’s 2017 board line up and will be available online beginning January 2017 in Hala Gear retailers in North America and on their website.
Here are some questions and answers to help educate you on the next wave of Hybrid Inflatable technology:
CARBON HYBRID INFLATABLE
1. What is Carbon Hybrid Inflatable?
Carbon Hybrid Inflatable integrates the stiffness and performance of a carbon racing and touring board with the light portable feel of an inflatable. Carbon fiber composite material runs the length of the top and bottom of the Nass-T 14′ and Nass 12’6”.
The Nass-T 14′ is a full coverage board, which means the entire top and bottom of the board are covered in carbon fiber composite material.
The Nass 12’6 has a stringer down the center of the board that is located on both the top and bottom of the board.
2. What does it feel like?
The stiffness of the board is the first thing you will notice. There is minimal flex. It feels just like a hardboard.
3. How does it respond?
The response is immediate. The glide and speed created by the carbon under sheet allows the board to cut through the water like a knife. With inflatable boards the PVC tends to have a sticky feel on the water, not creating much release. With the new Carbon Hybrid Inflatables you have the glide, speed, and performance in a board you can store and transport easily without worrying about damaging it.
4. Why was the Carbon used as a full coverage on the Nass-T 14′?
The full coverage carbon on the Nass-T 14′ allows it to be stiffer, faster, and perform better, creating an inflatable board that can compete with high-end hardboards.
GLASS HYBRID INFLATABLE
1. What is Glass Hybrid Inflatable?
Glass Hybrid Inflatable integrates the stiffness of a fiberglass hardboard with the light portable feel of an inflatable. Fiberglass composite material extends along the top and bottom sheet of the Hoss, Straight Up, and Playa.
2. What does it feel like?
The feel of the Glass Hybrid Inflatable boards is similar to that of the Carbon Hybrid Inflatable boards. You will notice a massive increase in board rigidity with increased glide.
3. How does it respond?
The Glass Hybrid Inflatables are very responsive. A hard stroke in a pivot turn lifts the board and allows it to turn immediately. The glide and speed off of the glass under sheet cuts through the water. With the new Glass Hybrid Inflatables you have the glide, speed, and performance in a board you can store easily and that you don’t have to worry about damaging.
4. Why is this only on the Hoss, Straight Up and Playa models?
It is only available on the Hoss and Straight Up because they are high performance all around boards. It's available on the Playa to provide incredible stiffness in the 4.75” thick board and allow it to perform very well in ocean conditions.
The Hoss is a fast, stable board that can be used for fishing, lake, river, or ocean paddling. It's stable enough to carry a parent and child but fast enough for lake tours.
The Straight up is a sleeker version of the Hoss. A bit faster, narrower, allowing the paddler to cover more ground on a lake, easy rapids on a river, or surf green rollers in the ocean.
The Playa is a well-designed ocean and touring board that performs in a variety of conditions. The sleek fast outline allows it to be a great ocean touring, downwinding board or ocean surfer. The rocker profile allows the board to rise up and over waves while maintaining your speed and the low profile 4.75” thickness performs well in wind and chop.
5. How much does this drive the cost of the board up?
The high-performance Carbon and Glass Hybrid Inflatables are marginally more expensive than their 2016 predecessors retailing at about $100 higher.
6. Does it weigh more and if so, is the performance aspect worth it?
There is a slight increase in weight but the performance of the board is worth it. The 2017 Carbon and Glass Hybrid inflatables are 200% to 300% stiffer than the 2016 boards depending on the model. The 2017 boards offer an unparalleled response, speed, maneuverability, performance, and quality. No other inflatable board on the market comes close to the performance achieved by the Hybrid Inflatable Technology.
Can’t decide if this is for you? Try a demo board. Check out Hala's retailers or come on up to Steamboat to try one out.
Remember all Hala boards come with all you need to be portable around the world. No excess baggage fees when checking your Hala board and you might even be able to stash a few last minute extras in your board bag before your plane takes off.