Paddling the Boundary Waters in Minnesota
By Regina Oakes
I was looking forward to the day the Hala Gram arrived. My plan is to have the Hala Gram will be my constant companion when I head to a location with waves—Over the past few years, I enjoyed paddleboard surfing in Hawaii, Maine, Costa Rica, Mexico or Siargao island, Philippines—but paddleboard rentals are not usually ideal. I also knew that it would be months until I see the ocean and I was excited to get my little Hala Gram out on the water. It arrived almost the day before we left for the Boundary Waters–It looked small but boy does it take the cake with it’s amazing design and structure!
Once we got to Ely, Minnesota at the mouth of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, I was excited to get on board and take it for a spin! I attached all the available fins and it rode like it was made for flatwater! We stayed in a cabin at the Pinepoint village of Camp du nord on Burntside Lake. The kids were whisked off in the morning for activities leaving us adults to explore and have fun on our own. I used my Hala Gram to commute to the main camp section where we would pick up our children and have lunch with the community.
From our cabin I would do a morning paddle and explore the little islands and islets in the North Arm of the lake. The water was so clear and I could see all the way down to the rocks.
Sunset paddles were peaceful and idyllic. One evening, we took the paddleboards and canoes and searched out a small island for an evening cookout. The Hala Gram and I took the kids from small tiny island to small tiny island where they would jump off and play.
I could not believe the stability of the Hala Gram, I would lay it on the water and I could seriously do a jump start and land on this board! One of my son’s favorite SUP games is called “Titanic” where he and a friend or two would try to push each other off the board and flip the board over. He could not barely flip this board over! I know that it is not built to be a touring board but it holds it own in flat water–I can turn it so fast, I can imagine it on the ocean ready to catch another wave…it is just like me–a small but tough workhorse
I am impressed and I look forward to taking a touring Hala Board on our Boundary Waters backcountry trip next year and this little Hala Gram to my next surfing adventure!