HYPR NALU KAIMANA 10’6 TEST REPORT
The big 10’6 Kaimana is a smooth riding prowler of a board which feels very refined in the water. It packs a lot of volume and size but the Kaimana is beautifully crafted with a very thin profile at the nose and tail and is light and easy to handle. The low profile has noticeable benefits in side winds and rough water and it’s a real treat to paddle on a run up the coast. More impressively, we felt the Kaimana really stands out as genuine bigger-wave winter performer. A dual-purpose gem.
This is the sixth board from Hypr Nalu that we’ve tested and still the design and finish of these boards impresses. If you like beautiful kit that draws admiring comments and look this is the brand for you. Like its stablemates, the Kaimana is totally unique in the SUP world, encircled with its Polynesian dragon and capped with balsa nose and tail blocks. There’s a definite big-wave aura about the Kaimana, and underneath the deep double-concave and chined rails add to the mystique. The rails are strengthened with carbon cloth, and there’s a versatile four-plus-one fin set up, camera mount and two leash plugs which hint at one of the intended purposes of this board.
The 10-6 Kaimana adds flatwater distance paddling versatility and delivers extra glide compared to the 9’6″, and is suitable for a wider range of paddlers and conditions. That being said if wave riding is your passion and you want down the line speed without compromising too much manoeuvrability then the Kaimana can definitely handle it. Our 10’6 model has been tested in some of the most extreme conditions the ocean has to offer, charging 20ft monsters in Tahiti and giving the rider a thrill they’ll never forget. List price includes board, board bag, full carbon one piece oval shaft paddle, set of 5 fins and leash.
The Kaimana weighs in a shade of 10kg which is pretty light for its numbers. This easy handling continues onto the water as the broad deck ever so slightly cambers down to the rails to create a low profile which reduced the annoying effect of the strong Fistral northerlies lifting the windward rail! It heads smoothly out into the surf, knifing through whitewater without losing momentum and parks steadily as you wait between sets.
The take-off is very forgiving: the Kaimana holds a straight line and build and holds its speed till the wave takes over. Dropping in is so smooth, there’s a feeling of complete control and you can set an edge without having to stamp your back foot way far back – this is a 10’6 board but it is far removed from the standard all-rounder experience! We’ve no doubt that it would serve as an excellent board for big winter Atlantic swells.
But when the sea calms down the Kaimana pulls double-duty as a smooth coastal cruiser and fitness board. This is a gorgeous bit of kit on and off the water, if you feel like treating yourself to a board to cherish for years that can face down the biggest swells when they roll in, this could be it.
User weight recommended: Up to 95kg
Fin setup: Single, Thruster or Quad