Gavin Randall sent in his review of the Naish 10ft 6 stand up paddle board, but will it save his marriage ?
Looks can be deceiving. At first glance, similarish to the Naish 11ft6, but closer up, and once in the water, the 10ft6 is definitely not a scaled down version of the veritable super cruiser.
At its heart the 10ft6 reveals a thoroughbred surfing shape coming straight from the hand of Harold Iggy who has been at the forefront of surf and windsurf design for over 40 years, hell the guy was originally taught to shape by Rabbit Kekai – that’s heritage! The board, a sleek pintail who’s smooth curves are blended with beautiful rails, nice an’ hard off the tail, into a simple but effective single concave to slight concave V panel hull - A timeless combination known for speed, agility and control.
The immediate impression is a board that will surf well, but still retains the length and float to enjoy other aspects of SUP. The finish and quality of glass is excellent, it’s a lot tougher than other boards I’ve had, the board is light and a very well balanced and refreshingly deep handhold boosts portability.
In clean waist to shoulder high waves the board is plain easy to surf. Catching waves is straightforward with the mid-size length being easy to power in but yet not too long to be a handicap as with some of the 11ft+ boards. On the face the board is satisfyingly loose, even coming from a 9ft fish. Possibly stepping back further and putting a bit more muscle into the turns is necessary, but the reward is a lovely off the tail ride.
Above shoulder high the Naish comes into its own, the length gets you in super early and on the face it is surefooted and solid. The board speeds down the line and revels in long carves. If it gets steep coming off the top or you drop in late the smooth rocker and nose lift is there to help you escape sticking the nose in.
Fin-wise the Naish comes with a quality set of stiff glass fins, two 4.5” side fins and a 9” centre fin. As an all around set up for all riders it works, but by utilizing the side fins and popping in a 4.75” or so rear you get a more of a conventional thruster setup that instantly makes an already good surfing board better still. Like riding a progressive longboard, loose enough to throw about yet solid enough to lay it into some really nice carves.
And the good times don’t stop there; As you would expect from a windsurfing legend like Robby Naish the board also sails very well. From flat water ‘old school’ freestyle in a few knots, to planning speeds, to playing in waves, it is nothing less than great fun – Infact I’d go as far as to say it’s possibly the funnest windsurfer I’ve ever ridden because free from straps you can really move around the board and play. If you are a lapsed windsurfer, especially from ‘back in the day‘ of one board one sail, this is the SUP for you.
So how to summise? At 10ft6 x 28” 4 3/4” the Naish is easily floaty enough for a light to med weight learner. A heavier weight rider would be Ok if they could already surf and liked a more challenging start.
But make no mistake its learnable suitability does not come with a loss of performance. I’ve been lucky enough to surf quite a few boards, Starboards, C4s, Jimmy lewis etc, against these the Naish stands out, it really does surf that well. It sits in my quiver as the board for bigger days, but if I got to the beach and it was small I know I would still have fun. In some ways it is the perfect all-rounder.
But how can it save marital bliss? Its all in the colour. Cleverly Naish has a yellow hull/wood deck theme throughout their boards, so if like me your wife wouldn’t know a pin from a fish you can easily slip other models into the shed and if questioned just say ‘what, that old yellow board!!’. The only problem I can forsee is which one to get next, the 9ft3, the 9ft6 quad, or what about the 11ft6 gun!!!
Availability: Call Naish Sails UK on 02380 894333 for your nearest dealer.