June 14, 2019
Gear Review: Hala Rado
One of the leading innovators in inflatable standup paddleboards, Hala, has come out with the Hala Rado SUP. The Rado is part of Hala’s River Series which features a hand-full of different boards designed specifically for whitewater paddling. PaddleXaminer recently met up with Jeremiah William, Hala’s Colorado Tech Rep, in Vail, Colorado to test the Rado on Gore Creek. Jeremiah lives in Vail so it was a great opportunity for him to share his backyard with me!
The flow on the Gore was running over 800 CFS which is a pretty solid. We put-in at the same location as the GoPro Games downriver race from a few weeks prior. Jeremiah walked me through the features of the Rado.
The two features which I really dig are the stompbox retractable fin system and the river rocker on the board. In lower flows fin strikes can be a serious concern and can unexpectedly launch a paddler forward. The retractable fin system allows the fin to be pushed back into the board when it comes into contact with an obstacle in the water.
The aggressive river rocker on the Rado is ideal for whitewater paddling. The entire board is curved for maximum contact in whitewater so you can punch those holes with confidence!
As soon as I got on the water, I noticed the extra command I had with the Rado due to the river rocker design. The board was easy to turn and rode the waves with ease. We approached two big drops right after one of the many bridges standup paddlers have to duck under on Gore Creek; I followed Jeremiah’s line starting river left and moving river right to punch through the hole at the optimal spot. My first attempt was not a successful one, but I did get to test the side handles on the Rado after I took a brief swim!
The side handles are ideally placed at the ten and two positions if one is standing square on the board with your nose representing 12. After I gathered myself, we headed to the “Gunbarrel”, a half-mile section of Gore Creek which runs parallel to I-70. There are four big drops in secession which can be quite challenging and fun!
The board comes in a well designed suitcase/backpack which contains the board and pump. The backpack has a couple pockets to store fins and other essentials. The pack is equipped with wheels so you can easily roll it to where you need to go. For the more adventurous types, use the backpack straps so you can hike up to an alpine lake, and paddle in the beautiful landscape. The Rado River series is made with Core Constructiontm (double layer drop-stitch) so it’s ready to take a beating and keep on ticking! Hala, makes their home in Steamboat Springs, CO; they give a shout out to their home state using the Colorado flag colors are the Rado and Radito, the little brother to the Rado.
Features on the Hala Rado
- 10’10” long x 35” wide x 6” thick (330cm x 89cm x 15cm)
- 345L volume
- Patented Stompboxtm Fin System
- Two 4.5” Click Fins
- River Rocker
- Two Side Handles
- 12 soft rigging points
- Diamond groove deckpad
- Rolling Backpack
- Industry leading three-year warrant
The Hala Rado is a great river board for downriver or whitewater, it’s designed with the bigger paddler in mind and can also be used for carrying cargo, nephews, or furry friends! Try out the Hala Rado at GearSpace in Steamboat Springs CO, or any other Hala Outfitter.
Review written by PaddleXaminer.