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NAISH SUP Hokua Raptor V95 LE 2015-16 Board (includes boardbag)

AED 7'250.00 AED 5'438.00 inc. 5% VAT

NAISH - Dubai, UAE - Kiteandsurf.ae
Kitesurfing Board

 

Compact Surf (AKA Minion, Vanguard-Tomo) Shapes are the new trend in surfboard design. To most, it is the Firewire Vanguard surfboards line, launched a few years ago, that has paved the way to this new approach to high performance surfboard design. This concept that has proved to be quite functional and, not surprisingly, has affected the Kiteboarding and Windsurfing industries too. It was only matter of time before SUP board brands launched this kind of shapes and Naish SUP is among the first with the Raptor Line which consists of three, same length shapes: V95 (or S) 7’X28’’X4’’@95 L, V116 (or M) 7’X31’’X4 5/8’’@116 L and V128 7’X33’’X4 ¾’’@128 L. The Raptors are an addition to the high performance Hokua SUP surfboard lineup, so the correct name is Hokua Raptor LE. That being said, these boards are designed to make the most out of small and slow waves, being particularly loose and turny. The official launch happened in late March but we were given a sample of the V85 model for review purpose at the end of January. We’ve spent a lot of sessions with the Raptor S over the past three months, and that work has culminated in a full review so, without further ado, let’s proceed with having a look at this interesting shape starting, as usual, with the full tech specifications.

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Description

NAISH SUP Hokua Raptor V95 LE 2015-16 0 Board

NAISH SUP Hokua Raptor V95 LE 2015-16 0 Board

The Hokua Raptor V95 LE’s outline sports a pretty wide and flat nose and a bat tail, the latter reminiscent of the one featured by the old Naish Hokua 7’6’’ GT. As a result the rails are parallel for most of the length with a maximum width of 28’’ located at about mid-point. The bottom contours is characterized by a single concave in the nose section leading to a double concave with vee out the tail. The scoop-rocker line features a moderate nose and tail kick but overall it is fast. The rails are quite sharp in the tail, still relatively defined till mid-length. The board can be configured in a Quad-Fin setup only (4 FCS).

• Construction & Features

The Hokua Raptor V95 LE is built in Carbon PVC Sandwich technology with Full Carbon and Honeycomb  Sandwich Deck, CNC Cut EPS core and full PVC Sandwich bottom. At 14,5 Lb /6,1 Kg with fins, the board is very light. In terms of construction quality, the Hokua is well built and very impact resistant. As the other shapes of the Naish SUP line, the board is equipped with the excellent recessed ledge carry handle and a nice, heat embossed (to reduce water absorption) , multi-color EVA pad  with Tail Kick. The traction provided by this diamond grooved pad is pretty good. The board is bundled with 4 Fiberglass Resin Honeycomb fins and comes with a good “Eco Boardbag”.

• Performance

We have tested the Naish Hokua Raptor V95 in beach and reef breaks with waves ranging from mushy waist high to solid, glassy and hollow overhead.

Stability – Thanks to the Compact Surf Shape design, the Raptor S feels wider and more stable than a 28’’ wide board @ 95 Lt. However, don’t expect miracles in that regards as medium weight paddle surfer, let alone the heavyweights, will feel the board tippier. It should be noted, however, that secondary stability is pretty good thanks to the fat rails. In sum, lateral stability is very good to good for light paddlers, good to average for medium weight ones and average to poor for the heavyweights. The latter may want to consider at the very least the V116 model, better yet, the V128.

Row – Not that pronounced for a 7 footer, the row effect is still there in the average to moderate range, depending on the paddler weight, so adopting a shortboard paddling technique is highly recommended.

Takeoff – Coming straight to the point, the Hokua Raptor V95 catches waves effortlessly, like a far longer SUP board. This is undoubtedly one of the strong points of a Compact Surf Shape.

Nose sinking – The moderate nose kick prevents the board from nose sinking but in very choppy waves the wide nose can occasionally catch some bumps after the takeoff.

Carving – In mushy conditions (i.e. small to medium sized beach breaks) – the ideal playground of the board – the Hokua Raptor V95 is one of the best, if not the best, boards we’ve ever tested, no doubt about it. The board accelerates quickly feeling actually bigger but once in full planning mode it does feel shorter and very lively with a good skatey feeling. On top of that, the Raptor S is a very comfy, smooth riding board even in very choppy conditions. Ridden off the tail, the board allows to crank very tight turns with a good grip without killing too much speed through the flat spots too. Rail change fluidity is good, let alone vertical projection, as the board is able to hold power throughout the turns. Drive is pretty good, considering the board length. In small to medium sized point breaks the board is still able to perform, even though it requires a slight change in the riding technique (check the “Tips” section below). That being said, by pumping the board you’ll be surprised at how much this board is able to generate/keep speed, even on big chops.

Making it out – Easy for light paddlers, a bit more difficult for medium weight ones.

Nose riding – The wide nose provides room for nose riding tricks to the light paddle surfers.

Suitability – The board is best suited for intermediate to expert stand up paddle surfers.

Ideal conditions – Small to medium sized beach breaks are the ideal playground of this SUP surfboard.

Tips – In small and mushy waves the Raptor S should be ridden off the tail, flat on top of the water. In bigger and steeper waves  the board still allows a more front foot riding style by engaging the rails more and steering it off the back foot. Furthermore, the board paddles well but it is mandatory to find the sweet paddling spot on such a short shape. Remember that, given the uniqueness of this shape, you’ll need a few sessions to get dialed in.

OVERVIEW:

The Naish Hokua Raptor S LE is all about performance and fun in small beach breaks. It doesn’t end there, however, as this Compact Surf Shape still performs well even in solid overheads. In addition, the board is well built (pretty light and very impact/scratch-resistant) and bundled with more than decent fins and a nice bag. As an added benefit, the Raptor can be fitted inside a compact car. As such it comes highly recommended, especially to light intermediate paddle surfers for riding small beach breaks.

Naish Hokua Raptor V95 - Dubai, UAE - kiteandsurf.ae
Naish Hokua Raptor V95 - Dubai, UAE - kiteandsurf.ae

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