Our paddle board season has now started. This week at TJBoardhire we have been thrilled to receive our new fleet of paddle boards for the coming season. Having been so impressed with last seasons fleet of Hatha paddle boards, we were in no doubt about the SUP company that we wanted to continue to support . Hatha’s kit is ideal for our SUP school, being robust, stable, durable and excellent quality. Added to this, Dan and Tara are the most genuine, down to earth people and a pleasure to work with.
Today we decided to test and review the Stride and where better on a windy day, than the sheltered Chichester Canal where we teach all of our beginner lessons. Taking the paddle boards for the 3-mile trip to the canal basin and back and stopping off for the obligatory coffee and cake at the canal cafe, we were able to put the boards to the test.
The package is priced at £675.00 and comes with a fibreglass 3- piece travel paddle, double action pump, rucksack style wheeled bag, carry strap, heavy duty coiled leash, repair kit and 9” FCS fin system. The board is 13’ long, 30” wide and 6” deep. The double skinned construction ensures that you can have absolute confidence in the quality of the kit and the Thermo Fusion Technology results in a lighter and stronger product. The board feels very light to carry, weighing in around 10.5Kgs and the recommended PSI is 15-18.
Firstly, to comment on the transportability of the kit. Arriving at Hunston, we parked in the car park and carried our kit for 50 meters around to the pontoon. The kit comes packaged in a heavy-duty rucksack, that has strong adjustable shoulder and waist straps, with a curved design making it easy to carry. Additionally, it has a doubled wheeled construction which will make it an excellent choice for taking away on trips and dragging around airports etc.
Inflation was super easy. The twin action pump allows you to switch between double or single inflation at the flick of a lever, and the paddle board was pumped and ready to go with minimal effort in around 7–8 minutes, inflated to 15 Psi. The Stride paddle board has adopted the US Box FCS fin system, which is quick and easy to insert and adds a real touch of quality. The only tweak we would make to the fin system would be to swap out the FCS screw and replace with a thumb fin screw, this makes it super easy to insert and remove the fin without the need for tools. We were also impressed with the heavy-duty coiled leash supplied with the package, the Velcro ankle cuff highlights the Hatha logo, again showcasing attention to detail. The board comes with bungee straps on the front and back, giving lots of room for additional kit to be carried if required and with the rear bungee straps, you can distribute the weight evenly over the length of the paddle board to avoid nose heavy loads. The inclusion of D rings on the top and bottom of the nose area, ensures that securing your board or towing is easily achieved and multiple carry handles front and rear and side grab handles add to the boards’ versatility. The Stride paddle board also comes equipped with Hatha’s patented ‘Cario carry system’ , an extra option for carrying your paddle board over longer distances.
The supplied paddle is Hathas standard three-piece travel paddle. As paddles go, this is a huge step up from the paddles that come bundled with most packages. More attention to detail is revealed, as each supplied paddle matches the colour scheme of the paddle board it is supplied with. The adjustable fibreglass paddle is light and has a durable composite blade, resulting in a strong durable product. The lever locks and clamps are sturdy and strong and provide a tight locking mechanism to avoid rattles and movement in the paddle. One neat trick with the travel paddle allows you to remove the centre section, which shortens the paddle and transforms it into a child’s paddle.
Once on the water the paddle board shape comes alive, rewarding the user with long glides for each paddle stroke executed. The pointed nose ensures that this paddle board tracks and points well, with limited need for switching paddling sides. The 13’ length rewards the user with forward speed and glide, as expected the longer length results in the reduction of manoeuvrability for turns, but then this is a 13‘ touring board. The addition of the 9” FCS fin drives the paddle board forward, again aiding straight line tracking. Pumped to 15 PSI on this occasion, the board remained rigid with no deflection or flex, thanks to the Thermo Fusion Technology. With a comfortable grippy heat sealed deck pad and vibrant colours, this board certainly looks the business and performs well. It is fantastic to see the attention to detail that Hatha have put into this paddle board, alongside the well-appointed accessories that come with it.
In all, this is an excellent touring board, which is incredibly good value for money and we are looking forward to a summer of lessons, tours and hires to really put this kit to the test