Richard from Naish came over to Stand Up Paddle Surfing HQ last weekend with one of the lovely looking Naish 11’6’’ stand up paddle boards. I had been keen to give one a try since seeing some of the footage of the board in action on the Naish website.
I really wanted to get the board into waves, as I feel this is the only way of testing a board properly, unfortunately it was blowing a stiff Force 5 onshore, not ideal stand up paddle surfing conditions, but Richard had made the effort to come over so I thought I should make the effort to get out on the water.
Retail Price : £799 with paddle. £749 without
Wood Deck, Epoxy Construction
Size : 11’6’’ long
29 ¾’’ wide
5 ½’’ Thickness
Shaper: Harold Iggy
The first thing you notice about this board is that it is impressively striking. The yellow colour is loud and proud and the deck has a great tribal design running across it with the wood veneer visible on the top of the deck. I should mention that the gloopy looking stuff on the deck is wax, as this board does not come with a deck grip. I did not notice the lack of deck grip in the water, the surf wax worked fine.
The board has a small mast track set in the centre and next to it a carrying handle, which all SUP boards should have ! The bottom of the board is pure yellow and has a single fin at the rear. There is a fair amount of rocker on the tail and the nose, and the board has a lot of thickness and 5 ½’’, which means it should paddle well, and as it turned out was well needed for the conditions of the test.
The board come in two packages either with or without the Naish Aluminium paddle, which has a white blade and aluminium T-bar handle. Retail cost is a reasonable £749 without paddle and £799 with.
Lets get in the water
Richard showed me how to carry the board with the handle and we were off. Nearly getting blown away as I headed over the sea wall, all we could see was windsurfers looping and jumping having fun in the waves. This is not the day for stand up paddle surfing I thought! Once we managed to get to the water’s edge and I started paddling out the wind was really pushing against me. This is where the volume and thickness of the board really came into its own helping to glide through the water into the wind.
I am currently training for some distance paddling events and this board would be absolutely perfect for distance due to the thickness, volume and the amount of glide you can get. Back to the surf, the waves were small and junky, but as soon as I got the naish into the first one it was off like a rocket, no doubt helped by the wind on my back.
In the surf the board has the feel of an old school 1960’s longboard, it is easy to cross step on and very stable. Turning it was a lot easier that I thought it would be, I guess because of the tail rocker. As soon as I moved my foot back over the fin the nose came up and a quick stroke with the paddle and we were off in the other direction. It certainly does not feel like an 11’6’’ board in the water.
It was a short surf session, due to the wind but I got a good impression of the Naish 11’6’’. It’s a board that would be perfect for beginners, but still have enough of a learning curve for intermediates in the surf. It’s a fun board and it will pick up waves really easily. It also paddles well and, although it was a rough and windy day, I am sure on flat water it goes like a rocket. The carry handle is a great feature. I personally would not use the mast track, but I am sure there are some windsurfers out there who would. My only nagging doubt is that the board maybe too big for smaller riders and some females. Naish are ahead of me there offering a shorter and narrower version in 10’6’’. I love the look of the board, I think the wood veneer and tribal design looks stunning. I am looking forward to taking this out in the summer for some flat water sessions.
Thanks alot to Richard from Naish for coming over and being the photographer.