Aqua Marina Hyper 12’6 TEST REVIEW
Another well designed and engineered board from Aqua Marina, the 12’6 Hyper is a purposeful all-water tourer complete with features that suit it to any cruising application. We love the practical luggage storing systems and the swift-attach fin. The addition of the Fore Keel and REC edge at the tail give the Hyper great feel and further heighten its suitability in all-water conditions.
The Hyper 12’6 is a tourer/cruiser with a familiar touring outline. A long taper that starts just forward of the 32” mid-section draws in to a pointed touring nose. Underneath, Aqua Marina’s Fore Keel works like a cutting bow for consistent tracking. The tail is squared off with a sharp ‘REC’ edge underneath that promotes better water release. The Swift Attach Fins System (SAFS) centre fin is a neat tool-free system that locks the fin in securely, and without a fight.
The deck is loaded with features: the diamond cut EVA pad features a tail-kick and two flat ‘RED’ bungee straps over the tail. D-rings are placed to attach a kayak seat or for extra storage. Up front is a further cargo bungee set up plus a further adjustable ‘RED’ strap. You get double-chamber inflation on the Hyper; this takes the strain out of inflation and gives a residual 48 litre chamber for buoyancy.
As with all Aqua Marina’s ’23 boards, the Hyper package is smartly composed. A double-action pump, quick-detach race fin, coil leash all come in the neat eco-friendly Circupack backpack.
Adventure knows no boundaries with our HYPER inflatable SUP. With its sleek, modern silhouette and generous volume, you’ll not only find excellent cruising efficiency and straight-line tracking, but also superior loading capacity to transport all your gear. Perfect for multi-day trips or when you’re looking to explore greater distances, the HYPER is enjoyable for both first timers and seasoned paddlers alike.
Our HYPER models are now equipped with rectangular hydrodynamic rail edges (REC Edge™) for clean water release and a FORE KEEL™ design for improved water stroke and straight-line tracking.
We used the Hyper 12’6 in open water conditions and on some instructor training courses. One of the first things that caught our attention was how robust this board is. The double-chamber tech stiffens up the standing area and all the fittings and features seem welded to the board. We especially like the quick-detach fin – anyone who has struggled with traditional US centre fin plates and screws with cold fingers will agree.
The Hyper is a big board. It’s built for stability, load carrying and long cruises. That said, it can hold a decent pace and our instructor candidates comfortably managed sub three minute 400m splits. The Fore Keel seems to have a good effect on tracking and holding a line in quartering chop and you can really load the Hyper up (we practised unconscious casualty rescues with it) and be assured that there is a generous sweet spot standing area.
12’6 x 32” are practical dimensions for paddlers upgrading from a 10’6 and looking towards winter. Factor in the clever performance features (Fore Keel, REC edge) and very functional luggage stowing systems, and the Hyper presents as a slick, safe, and purposeful all-water cruiser.
Volume: 370 litres
Fin: Centre fin ‘Swift Attach’