The paddling season is in full swing right now in Colorado. The days are warm and the rivers are at peak flow. The crew here at Evergreen Mountain Sports have been hitting it hard this year. With a new compliment of whitewater SUPs at our disposal, matched with a sadistic desire for dawn patrol runs we’ve been able to put the new fleet through the wringer.
Our whitewater boards this year consists of a Hala Atcha 9’6, Hala Rado, Hala Radito, Hala Daze, and a DSP Rocky Mountain Slayer. As the season progresses, we’ll attempt to get a review out on each of these boards from a few different riders perspectives.
New for 2017, Hala introduces two new boards to the whitewater lineup; Rado & Radito. Similar in size to the Hoss and Straight-up, the Rad’s are essential beefed up, rockered up, Stompboxed up versions of the same. Here’s the spec break down:
Hala Rad: 10’10 x 35” x 6”
Hala Radito: 10’ x 34” x 6”
▪ Core Construction™
▪ Dynamic Board Shape
▪ Full Rocker
▪ 10 Soft Rigging Points
▪ 2 Rubber Side Handles
▪ Bottom D-Ring For Towing
▪ Diamond Groove 4mm EVA Deck Pad
▪ 1.5” Raised Stomp Pad
▪ 4 Fixed, Unbreakable, Low-Profile Side Fins
▪ Patent-Pending Stompbox™ Retractable Fin Built In
▪ Backcountry Rolling Backpack
▪ Industry-leading 3-Year Warranty
On the water
By the end of last season the Hala Hoss had become our go to board for running rivers. It’s size helped our gumby asses look better than we were by carrying us through the bigger stuff. Our one critique of the board was that we wished it had a stompbox and a bit more rocker…. apparently Hala did too!
The Rado is a big river board that perfectly combines stability and maneuverability. The Core Construction adds a confidence inspiring weight to the board while the rocker and swallowtail do a great job of helping the board move and punch through the chop. The nearly 11ft of board makes it fast on the water, cresting over smaller rapids, while giving the rider enough room to shift weight around.
The Radito, in similar fashion, is a smaller, more playful, version of the Rado. For larger riders (use to bigger boards) the Radito will feel squirrelly at first but even for me (6’3 & 165lbs) after a run or too I get comfortable and can push the board with ease. Both boards come with Stompbox and 4 fixed low profile fins. At first we were skeptical about having fixed fins, but Hala did their homework and the combo is spot on. Not having to worry about which fin combo to go with is one less thing to deal with.
There are a whole heap of subtle touches that Hala added to these boards. The 10 soft rigging points, two OhS@#t handles (which are really nice to have when you go for a swim), a d-ring under the nose (good for towing) and a few more that just you can look up on the website.
These boards rock! Hala nailed it this year by adding two more fun, burly whitewater SUPs to the lineup that excel in every aspect. If you’re in the market for a “do everything” board these are it.