NAH-SKWELL FIT 11’ TEST REVIEW
Such a fun little board that can turn its hand to many things. A touring kind of shape with all-water abilities, it turns tightly, nips in and out of surf, manoeuvres around rocks and glides great when it goes calm. Could easily be a one-board quiver for those that just want to ‘paddle’, but quite seriously.
At first you think, ‘oh, a tourer’. But once the Fit is out of the bag you see the ultra wide tail, which itself is lifted more than you’d expect, and the underside of the nose is in fact a double-concave design rather than a typical cutting bow. It’s what we’re starting to expect from Nah Skwell, intelligently original without being different for the sake of it. The deck grip is super comfy and looks good over the bamboo laminate. The recessed handle is a beauty and that raked back fin starts the grin spreading early on.
The Fit series boards help you discover the joy of paddling and achieve the fluid-stroke-feeling unique to this sport. With its displacement bow, the FIT glides without effort. It picks up speed in the swell and begins to surf at the first sign of undulation. The wide tail responds gently to foot pressure and allows easy manoeuvring in small waves.
First steps with the Fit will be simple enough for a regular paddler; it’s optimised for stability with a deck that’s flat to the rails and straight, tall boxy rails. This reassurance comes at no cost to its liveliness though: the kicked-up tail is a real asset to its rapid handling. Just a half step back onto it and you’ll be kick-turning in conditions that might normally buck you off.
At 11’ it fits better, we think, than a regular 12’6 tourer in really confused seas and this opens up a few more days each month when you can enjoy this board. And you’ll want to keep paddling it because there’s not a lot it doesn’t like doing.
The Fit hops into small waves and steers lightly compared to the usual displacement board experience, again the tail lift helps to offset nose steering before it can start to be a problem. It cuts pleasingly through glassy water and is light to turn with the paddle which would make it a great instructor’s platform: a sweet gliding board that isn’t a strain to move between your clients with.
For the Paddle Science article this issue, our in-house physiotherapist ended up using the Fit as a vehicle to demonstrate how doing drills in rough water can promote your balance and ability. That it was her first time on the board speaks volumes about how it will encourage you to try things you wouldn’t normally do.
We loved it; it’s one of those boards that brings a smile to your face wherever you’re going with it.