Well-known for eye-catching graphics and innovative technology, Hala Gear is one of the handful of standup paddle board companies focused on the inflatables market – most feature hard-shells with a few inflatables thrown into the mix.
Founded in 2011 by Peter Hall, Hala Gear headquarters is based out of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The company philosophy is committed to performance, durability and quality – in fact, each of the Hala inflatable boards carries a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.
For 2019, Hala has 19 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 6’11” to 14’0″. This includes the introduction/evolution of two new models – the Carbon Playita 2+2 and the Peno 2+2 – and the retirement of both the Daze workhorse and Luya. All 2019 boards feature updated graphics and color schemes. Boards range in price from $999 to $1599, with some minor pricing changes.
For 2019, Hala Boards continue to feature three general construction types – carbon, core and fusion. The Carbon boards feature a carbon/kevlar-type woven stringer, strategically placed to give an extra layer down the central length of the board for rigidity and performance. The Core boards are constructed with two layers of drop-stitch material and are typically found in the boards that will see more hard-core action. The Fusion SUPs utilize a newer laminating technology that saves material and weight, making them lighter and less costly.
Also for 2019, Hala has refined their previous 3-style rocker construction, now separating the full rocker into surf and river, while maintaining the progressive and glide rockers. The Surf rocker features a minimal rise in the tail with a curved nose; this places the center of balance back further to allow the nose to rise naturally. The River rocker features a precise curve from tail to nose allowing maneuverability and surfability. The Progressive and Glide rockers continue to focus on performance and speed.
A new, patented “double stack ” technology debuts on the 9′ x 32″ Carbon Playita 2+2 and has been revamped on the 6’11” x 32″ Peno surf boards. The double stack technology is a method of construction that gives the boards a narrower 2-inch rail, which is then double-stacked 2″ for rigidity, stability and volume. This creates a surfing inflatable that handles closer to a hard board. Both boards feature the new “surf” rocker; with the Playita geared towards performance ocean surfing and the Peno as performance river surfing. The two boards will debut at $1499 and $1299 respectively.
All 2019 Hala boards now feature woven mesh d-rings rather than metal d-rings. The mesh d-rings are softer, lighter-weight with a higher tensile strength, eliminating scratching issues associated with metal. The d-ring locations have become more centralized, allowing better control over weight distribution when carrying gear.
The performance-oriented Carbon series with woven Kevlar-type stringer consist of the 14′ x 26″ Nass-T, 12’6″ x 30″ Nass, 10’11” x 30″ Playa, 11′ x 34″ Hoss and 10’6″ x 32″ Straight Up and new Playita 2+2. The five original models continue virtually unchanged except for a graphics makeover and d-ring redesign; prices remain the same for 2019 at $1399 for the Hoss and Straight UP, $1499 for the Nass and Playa, topping at $1599 for the Nass-T.
The “light-yet-tough” Rival Fusion series includes the Rival Hoss, Rival Playa, Rival Straight UP, Rival Nass and Rival Asana. The Asana fitness board has been redesigned in the more portable Fusion construction rather than the heavier Core construction of 2018. Graphics and d-ring setup on all five boards have undergone a redesign as well. Prices on the Rival Hoss and Rival Straight UP packages will increase $100, making all the Rival packages equally priced at $1199. Each of the Rival series will also be bundled with an upgraded 3-pc carbon breakdown paddle touted to be stronger yet lighter. An upgraded t-grip handle has also been designed to prevent potential “handle spinning” issues.
In the rugged Core series, the River rocker will be found on the 9’6″ x 36 Atcha, 8’6″ x 34″ Atcha 86, 10’10” x 35″ Rado and 10′ x 34″ Radito. Both the Rado and Radito have been redesigned with click fin boxes rather than the fixed side fins, allowing more customization options. Otherwise the boards remain the same with updated graphics and d-rings. Prices increase slightly on the Rado and Radito to $1349 while both Atcha’s remain at $1299. The burly 11′ x 36″ Fame board continues as a fishing favorite with a more stable progressive rocker, a possible added stomp box and similar graphics redesign – at $1299, there is no price increase.
Also in the Core series, the Surf Rocker can be found on the 8′ x 30″ Gram and 6’11” x 30 Milligram boards, again featuring new graphics but with prices remaining the same at $1099 and $999 respectively.
All 2019 Hala iSUPs come with the Back Country Comfort Rolling Backpack or Travel Tough Backpack – both feature integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. All boards come with the Hala pump and pressure gauge, repair kit and instructions. The Rival series – called the Straight-To-The-Water package – also include an adjustable, carbon breakdown paddle.
You can also read our Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Hala Gear Inflatable Paddle Board.