We’ve been anxiously awaiting the new kayak colors from Native Watercraft and Liquid Logic ever since they announced their wacky new names like Lizard Lick, Gator Bait and Road Cone, along with the more normal names like Blue Lagoon, Hidden Oak and Copperhead. Boats featuring the new colors finally arrived at the ACK warehouse today and we were like kids on Christmas morning. We couldn’t wait to get them unwrapped and show off these great new colors! Enjoy the photos. The new colors are available on the Native Ultimate 12, Manta Ray 12 & 14, Liquid Logic Versa Board, Coupe and Deuce Coupe.
Over the last several years, we’ve begun to see a new revolution in kayak design focused on customer convenience specifically the integration of a kayak wheel. At first I was skeptical but through multiple uses I have personally grown to appreciate their usefulness. I think this is a good step in the right direction for some manufacturers including Feel Free and Native Watercraft both offering their own take on kayak wheel designs. I am curious to see if other kayak manufacturers will follow through with this trend as well.
There is no doubt that Stand Up Paddleboards (SUPs) are the latest craze in the paddling world but it’s easy to see why — the boards look slick, are easy to lug around and offer both a unique workout and a new perspective on paddling. In fact, SUPs have gained so much popularity over the last few years that they have been turning the heads of some top kayak manufacturers. These brands have responded by “hybridizing” boards with kayaks, creating a unique style of boat that we wanted to discuss in this blog.
So what is the difference between a SUP and a SUP/kayak hybrid? Well, while many people like the idea of a SUP, a common criticism is that they can be limited purpose vessels. If you want to do more than stand up and paddle, you’re pretty much out of luck. SUP/Kayak hybrids are meant to address this issue by combining the stability of a SUP with the customability of a kayak. Each of the hybrid manufacturers, which include Ocean Kayak, Native Watercraft, Liquid Logic and Diablo Paddlesports, have taken it upon themselves to incorporate their brand’s uniqueness with the benefits of a SUP. The different boards are described briefly below.
Versa Board 12-3 by Liquid Logic and Native Watercraft – What really sets the Versa Board apart from the rest are the seat configuration options. There is a cooler seat, a comfortable wedge or wedge deluxe seat and of course the First Class Swivel seat. Additionally, you’ll find a variety of other unique features including a drop down skeg, built in wheel for transport and a molded in rear handle. And, like all other hybrids, the Versa offers a number of accessory mounting options. Native Watercraft, Liquid Logic’s sister company offers an angler version too! The Versa Board is made of the same materials as your standard plastic kayak which makes it a bit heaver than your traditional composite SUPs but as a result boasts more stability.
Nalu 12.5 by Ocean Kayak – Intended for entry level, long distance and recreational paddlers, the Nalu is a simple and affordable hybrid that provides both speed and comfort. It comes outfitted with a seat, dry hatch and storage bungee and offers plenty of deck space for mounting accessories. Like the Versa, it can be outfitted for a variety of activities including fishing. It is also made of plastic.
Adios by Diablo Paddlesports – The Adios is more kayak than board, that being said, it incorporates SUP stability with a sit-on-top kayak’s maneuverability to create a very unique watercraft. With drink holders, extra space for storage and the optional Larry Chair, the Adios is made for comfort. More so than comfort, the Adios is quite the fishing machine. The mounting options are virtually unlimited and the ability to stand up makes it an ideal platform for sight casting. What really sets this one apart from the rest is the material it’s made of — Thermoformed ABS. For those looking for something a bit smaller, Diablo also offers the Chupacabra, a shorter version of the Adios. To read more about Diablo, click here.
For some, traditional SUPs will provide everything you need. For those intrigued persons who aren’t quite ready to give up everything they love about kayaking, we hope this will expose you to another option that may meet you in between. Thanks for reading and tell us what you think about these so called hybrids by commenting below.
They took the nation by storm and they’re here to stay.
I realize that most of our readers are paddlers of the kayak kind, but before you skim this over and move on to the next article, take a moment to consider trying a stand up paddleboard — if even just to break your curiosity. And for those who do SUP, well, this one’s for you too!
My curiosity of stand up paddleboards came about when a customer chatted me up about using a kayak paddle on a surfboard almost 10 years ago. He proceeded to say this was a big thing over on the west coast. Without hesitation I asked what the point was and he simply said “umm, it’s fun”. What I didn’t realize at the time was how quickly this new-to-most sport was to become one of the next big things in paddlesports.
At ACK, we were quick to acknowledge this growing trend, did our homework and settled on two brands, which were Hobie SUPs and SurfTech. This wasn’t simply by chance but by sheer determination on our part to find the best brands in the business. While dozens, if not more, SUP manufacturers exist, we knew we made the right move with these two brands. Both companies had been in the board making business for eons, but more importantly have proven themselves manufactures of quality products.
As “SUPing” became more popular, other manufactures took note and decided to try their hands at it but with a twist. Within a time span of just a few years, companies like Ocean Kayak (Nalu) and Native Watercraft (Versa Board) came up with their own renditions of SUPs, which I personally refer to as kayak/SUP hybrids. These SUPs offer best of both worlds meaning you can paddle them while standing but also have the option to sit. Furthermore, they offer a variety of outfitting options for both fishing and recreational use. One brand in particular, Diablo Paddlesports, edges more towards the kayak side of things but as pictured, the design clearly focuses on the ability to stand up.
So now this begs the question, what’s the big deal…why do I want to stand while I am paddling? Sure, it’s fun but depending on your personal recreational interests why one would SUP can vary. Standing can feel somewhat liberating and provides a new visual perspective of your surroundings. For the angler, specifically those that enjoy fly-fishing can take full advantage of being able to cast while standing but can also utilize a higher viewpoint for sight fishing. And of course, for the more courageous, you can hit the waves and even whitewater for the ultimate experience of it all.
If you already SUP, I applaud you, not because I personally enjoy it and think it’s a fun sport but rather because you simply gave it a shot. Sure, it may not be for everyone but I can tell you that almost every single person that I have professionally and personally introduced to SUPing enjoyed it. I challenge all of our readers to at least give it a shot. I can assure you that even if you don’t decide to add a SUP to your fleet, you’ll have to agree, you had fun trying it.
To view our complete line up of SUP boards and accessories, click here. We also have some great starter packages so check those out too!