Hybrid SUP-yak Impresses Casual Paddlers

The Ocean Kayak Nalu began turning heads when it was released about four years ago. Today, this hybrid Kayak-SUP continues to impress those who come across it. Incredibly versatile, the Nalu is meant to offer the best of both worlds with the ability to both sit and stand while you paddle.

Nalu from Ocean Kayak
The Nalu 12.5

Over the years the Nalu has become popular among casual, recreational paddlers just looking to have some fun in either position. A big point of interest has been the price, which is relatively low for typical SUP board. To top it off, we at ACK offer a package deal involving the Nalu which couples the board/kayak with a paddle and leash for some great savings. A recent reviewer going by the name “Beach Bum” submitted this lengthy review sharing his very positive experience with our packaged Nalu 12.5:

A great package deal.
A great package deal.

“I wanted both a kayak and SUP but didn’t want spend $,2000 for both.  Then I came across the Nalu Hybrid.  At first, I couldn’t believe that you could have the best of both worlds with one product without a lot of compromise.  I spent hours scouring the web for reviews and more information.  The more I checked the more I was convinced that this may be the perfect product for people who recreationally enjoy both kayaking and paddle boarding.  I purchased this product around a year ago and let me tell you that I could not have been happier and the price for the package deal at ACK is was one of the best values around.  I use it all the time in the creeks and ocean.  It is very stable and works as expected as a kayak or SUP.  Not sure if they still make the smaller version but I would recommend the larger size of 12.5 which is still very maneuverable and glides nicely.  Enjoy!” – Beach Bum

See more about the Nalu in this video from Ocean Kayak:

SUP + Kayak = SUPYak?

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 WatercraftWhat 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 KayakIntended 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.

Joseph @ACK