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10 May 2015

The 2015 Naish Nalu 11'

The new 2015 Naish Nalu GT 11'

Naish SUP boards are outstanding in general, there's a reason they are the leaders in the sport, however there is occasionally a board is introduced that really stands out as special. After spending a lot of time on short-wide style boards, I've been wanting the go against the trend of the past few years of riders trying to get on the smallest board possible, and get a board that would make riding knee to thigh-high surf fun to ride, a board that would get on the wave early yet still be maneuverable, nose ride, and bring back the fun of longboard style surfing. In the past the 11'4" and 11'6" Nalu boards that have been in the Naish line for years have been a good choice for novice or 210lb+ rider, but I have always thought they were a bit boring with the advent of the 10'10 Naish Nalu. What caught my eye on the Nalu 11' was the wide nose outline and the thinner rail profile, (much thinner rails even than the Nalu 10'6"). These features for me spelled fun in small and/or slow waves.
My first session was in knee to thigh-high mushy surf with a little chop, conditions I'd normally not mess with and opt for a distance paddle on my race/touring board. I chose to de-fang the Nalu 11' a bit and install 4.25 tri-fin setup rather than the stock 9" center fin with side bites. I was really pleased with this board performed in poor surf. If you get toward the nose on take-off you can can get on a wave well before it breaks, at least milking a bit longer ride in small stuff. The really great part is how well this board maneuvers, it can drop in, bottom turn, nose ride and cut back in marginal sloppy surf, all while feeling plenty stable and never feeling like a barge as most 11' and up boards do. To sum this board up, it has the glide of a 11' plus board, but has the maneuverability of most 10' boards on the market. I still think if the surf is much over waist-high I'll opt for a Mana 9'5" or 8"10", however for anything smaller I'll grab this board every time. If you are in the area of 180lbs-225lbs and want a board that will put a smile on your face in less than optimal surf, this board is for you. If you are lighter than 180lbs or so you might want to get the Nalu 10'6". Albeit I'd choose the Nalu 10'6" GT with sidelights rather than the GS model.
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