SUP! - Mountain Buzz

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Old 09-18-2013   #1
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 264

WasSUP y'all!

Well the hard shell kayaks have been sitting against the house for two years now unused! Wife and I have both tried SUPing and thoroughly enjoyed it! Now have the kayaks listed on the swap and wanting to get some SUPs to add to our inflatable collection (16' Maravia and Mini Me). Planning to head out to BV next weekend to camp out and demo as many boards as possible from CKS to see what we like...We have tried some noodly tacos (Sevylor Samoa, and some foam board). So we know what we don't want and realize you get what you pay for but with that in mind what are some of you paddling and what do you like or don't like about the board you have?

Of course, I am looking for the "one ski quiver" but realize one board is not going to do everything great. I am interested in mostly a river running board for runs on the Colorado River, Roaring Fork, etc. Would also like a board that can handle whitewater park waves, ocean swell, occasional flat water paddling, etc.

A little about me and the wife. I am 6' 194# and she is 5'5" 130#. I would say I will be more aggressive with the board than her i.e. I will be wanting to run Shoshone on the board whereas she would be happy with the Grizzly section. I have been looking at the following boards and have them on the list to demo next weekend (keep in mind I haven't tried any of them so my comment next to them is sort of an assumption but also a cry for help to get some input from you all!):

1. Hala Atcha - maybe too small for my weight but maybe perfect for her?
2. Hala Hoss BT - maybe too big and clumsy?
3. NRS Czar 6 - seems like a fun board for me and is dynamic with all the fin options?
4. Starboard Whopper - probably out of my price range...$1500 new and can't find one with a demo price! Might not even demo it if the only choice is to buy new?
5. Badfish MCiT - does this board hold water on the deck due to its shape with the side chambers? Definitely want a board that will keep you dry on the deck for sitting down and having a beer on flat water...and maybe doing some SUP yoga poses ya know...cause you can...

Any other inflatables we should consider? I think we are primarily interested in the inflatables because of the ability to travel with them as well as take on raft trips to inflate/deflate when we want for the bigger rapids, etc.

Thoughts? Thanks for the any input! Much appreciated!

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Old 09-18-2013   #2
Redpaddle's Avatar
Newport, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1989
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 214
I've paddled a lot of different SUP designs, and own a C4 iSUP XXL. I love my board but it is 1st generation inflatable SUP design and the newer boards out there certainly upgraded the shapes and features well.

Here's my 2cents:

Hala Hoss: great board, more traditional shape but lots of stability, more versatile.

Hala Atcha: beefcake of a board, amazing stability, great downriver but a bit slow for anything else (surfing, flatwater)

Badfish MCIT: surprisingly fun board (I thought it looked like a minimized ducky), good stability but surprising agility too, good all rounder but a little slow on flatwater. Does hold a little water on the deck but if you wanted to stay dry, stay in your kayak!

Starboard Whopper: Eyeing this as my next board, especially the 6" model. I think this is probably one of the top of the line downriver/surfing boards out there, it is a good simple and clean design that will excel in a wide range of uses.

NRS Czar: no experience

I too, at one time, was looking for "one board to rule them all" but realized I was compromising too much in performance on ocean surf and flatwater cruising. I went to hard boards for that and kept the inflatable for rivers. If you're hoping to use them mostly on rivers and especially in Colorado, I'd lean towards the Hala boards. The company is great; based in Steamboat and focused on boards for Colorado:super stable and well constructed. Starboard makes some sweet boards but they are targeting a much wider use niche (all round) and have their background in windsurf and ocean riding. Also, the size and location of Hala might make service issues much easier to deal with as compared to Starboard.

But, you'll be demoing a lot it sounds so you'll have a good chance to see what you like/don't like about different companies and shapes. Jealous!
"Paddle silently, boof loudly"
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Old 09-21-2013   #3
Len's Avatar
Buena Vista, Colorado
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 99
Since you're grabbing demos from CKS, also consider taking out the C4 BK pro (their demo is camo). I tried that board along side the astro whopper fun and the c4 won out. Even though it was a bit narrower in the waist than the whopper, stability felt pretty close, it was faster, and far more ridged. I didn't try the whopper deluxe though - I think the extra 2" might make a big difference in that design. Both shapes seem like they'd be suitable for small ocean surf, amongst other uses. I'm not sure you'll find a do-it-all board that'll also cover performance river surfing. I tried. I ended up with a badfish river surfer and feel like I made the right decision.

If the river stays up above 300cfs today, we're going to surf the staircase wave at 11:00 or so -- it's midway thought the bv river park, accessed from the picnic area. Head on down if you have time. Depending on who else comes out today... we'll have a couple of badfish 6'11" river surfers and an mvpS that you can try out - and maybe shake you of that 1 board intention. Here's a vid from yesterday showing the quality of the wave and poor quality of the surfer:

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Old 09-25-2013   #4
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 264
Thanks for your input RedPaddle and Len. Bailing on plans for Buena and trying to stay local (Roaring Fork Valley) next weekend. Planning to pick up a Hala Atcha and Hoss BT tomorrow in Vail to demo and then source a few other boards locally.

Thanks again for your input...much appreciated.

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Old 09-29-2013   #5
Carbondale, Colorado
Paddling Since: 2007
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 264
Thought I would report back that I tried out the Hala Atcha, Hala Hoss BT, Hala Straight Up, Badfish MCiT, and the Badfish MVP. The Hoss BT won for me. Super stable, confidence boosting, and surprisingly agile for it's size even with a cooler strapped to the bow! The other boards were fun and the MVP was awesome for surfing but man does it hurt when you fall on that thing and bash your shins.

For what I will be doing (mostly river running and some flat water touring as well as some traveling, overnight raft trips) I thought the Hoss was the overall best package. After trying all the boards on small waves I am convinced if river surfing is your main motive then the hard boards not inflatable boards are the way to go. Man was it a blast on grizzly. SUPing made the class II rapids the funnest they have ever been!
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Old 09-30-2013   #6
fort collins, Colorado
Paddling Since: 07'
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 11
I have an NRS Tyrant up for sale on the swap page that may suit both you and your wife.
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