I tested the 96 Atcha over the 2023 river season, paddling Colorado's Eagle, Gore, Crystal, Blue, and Arkansas rivers. The river rocker on the Atcha is intense, and I love it! It allows the board to ride the wave trains with ease.
The upgraded StompBox is a big improvement and allows the paddler to paddle more confidently, knowing he/she will not get snagged by the center fin. The 96 Atcha is nimble enough to handle just about anything the river throws at you. And I’m sure the Atcha allowed me to shave a few seconds off my Vail whitewater series race times.
Hala is one of the leaders in the inflatable whitewater SUP market, and they are always looking for ways to improve their boards. Pursuing perfection led them to release the Stompbox 2.0, a retractable center fin.
The box includes a 9” retractable fin that springs back into the board when it comes in contact with rocks or the river bottom. The patented StompBox 2.0 gives the board better control and drive while preventing you from supermanning off your board.
Likewise, Hala improved the shape of their premier whitewater board by enhancing the rocker profile. The center handle lays flat, so you're less likely to snag your foot on it;
And thetwo grab handles on the upper edges of the board are useful for pulling the board up the river bank or climbing back onto your board. All Hala boards are constructed with welded seams which are stronger and last longer. Hala boards also come with an industry-leading five-year warranty.
If you want to get into whitewater paddleboarding, the Atcha is the board for you!
The 96 Atcha retails for $1,299.
Dimensions: 9’6” x 36” x 6”; the Atcha is also available in 8’6” and 7’11” length
Michael Chebatoris is a Colorado-based Hala Team Rider. He discovered SUP in 2016 and since raced in the Vail White Water Series, the GoPro Games, and the Yampa River Fest. When he's not on the water, Michael runs well-known paddling blog, Paddle Examiner. He wants aspiring paddlers to know that even if whitewater seems intimidating, paddling flatwater is just as rewarding; the important thing is getting out there.