Naish Hokua GTW is one of the most versatile SUP surfing boards out there. It packs a lot of performance yet in an accessible shape. Naish has teamed up with Gerry Lopez to design a wave board that performs well in both mushy stuff but that can also handle powerful overe-head's. So here's our view.
If you're stepping down from a larger SUP, something like a 10'6" then the Hokua will pose some balance challenges at the beginning but you'll quickly dial that board in. It's more stable than the MadDog, it paddles better in straight line and allows for much earlier takes off on the waves. Not as early as Nalu, but we were pretty impressed with how well it handled the euro-mush we're often getting instead of proper, clean faces.
When things got bigger and steeper (and choppier) the board was still very stable - especially for a wave-dedicated shape. It felt very smooth on the wave, pretty snappy and easy to drive off front foot with a nice feedback when pressed on the tail. It's not as tight as MadDog so the bottom turns are more drawn-out, but man - it's so smooth.
We do get asked a lot about the one board that we'd take with us for a trip and it's always between the Hokua and MadDog. The answer is this: Hokua will up your wave count for sure and will cut down on the time of you falling into the water. The MadDog will be more fun in steep stuff but will require a bit more balance and work to get on a wave. If you don't know what the conditions are going to be like - the Hokua GTW would be our choice to be chucked in the van. It's so much fun in pretty much any conditions!
Now, for the techy stuff:
|Hokua 8'6" GTW||8'6"/259.1 cm||28 1/4"/71.8 cm||3 3/4"/9.5 cm||108 L|
|Hokua 9'0" GTW||9'0"/274.3 cm||29"/73.7 cm||4 1/2"/11.4 cm||126 L|
|Hokua 9'6" GTW||9'6"/289.6 cm||29 3/4"/75.6 cm||4 1/2"/11.4 cm||145 L|