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Blog Post

Hobie ATR vs. Naish Nalu series
06.30.2010
StandUp Paddle board shapes have moved far beyond simply increasing the dimensions and volume of surfboards. Shapers are fine-tuning paddling characteristics to increase tracking, glide and stability. There is a category of boards that still hold on to longboard roots while pushing the paddling characteristics to new levels. Many of our board lines fit the bill for a paddler who enjoys the longboard feel but also wants a good board for recreational flatwater paddling. The Hobie ATR and the Naish Nalu series are both very solid options for beginner to advanced paddlers who are looking to get a lot out of a single board.

The Hobie ATR line is one of our favorites. There is one feature that gives this board instant appeal for many customers. Itís as simple as the deck pad. Hobie has the most comfortable deck pad we have come across. For many first-timers, simply stepping onto the deck is the reason for their ATR purchase. Comfort means a lot to those who are more concerned with a leisurely paddle than performance. Plus, with the ATR you are not sacrificing performance for comfort. The ATR tracks well and is very stable.

The Nalu series is the all-round board from Naish. Compared to the Hobie ATR, the Nalu leans a bit more towards wave riding than flatwater paddling. The Nalu stands out from many other lines of longboard style sups because of itís size and construction options. The Nalu comes in 6 size options as compared to the 3 size options for Hobieís ATR. The construction options range from durable and inexpensive AST to the beautiful wood and bamboo models. It also comes in the ultra unique window model. A great option if you are paddling in crystal clear waters, or looking to snorkel from your board.

Side by side the ATR and Nalu have some very differentiating characteristics. One of the most notable differences is the tail shape. The ATR has a squared-off tail. This makes the ATR extra stable by having the added buoyancy at the rear of the board. This also makes the rails take on a longer straight line overall. This helps the board to track well in flatwater. The ATR works well as a board for those looking to equally paddle flatwater and waves. It is a great all-rounder. The Nalu has more of a rounded pintail. This is why the Nalu feels like a much smaller surfboard while on a wave. The tail shape allows for easier rail-to- rail turns and its bottom contours also give it the feel of a high performance longboard. You can see in the photos that the Nalu does not carry as much volume in the rear of the board like the ATR. This makes it a little less stable in flatwater, but makes for easy pivot turns.

Both boards carry a good amount of volume in the nose. The Nalu has a bit more nose rocker which further lends itself to wave riding. The ATR has a bit less rocker making it push less water while on flatwater. Another big difference between the two is the way the rails are handled. The ATR has thick rails running the full length. The Nalu's rails thin out at the edges. It is not a full step deck, but subtly done to keep the lines nice and smooth while getting the most turning performance. The thinner rails makes it possible to easily bury a rail and get surfboard-like bottom turns. The one disadvantage of less volume in the rail is a slight loss of overall stability. But as we have said, the Nalu leans more towards surf performance.

The ATR and the Nalu are good options for those looking for a single board to cover a lot of water situations. Choosing a board can be intimidating with all of the options now available. That is why we recommend calling or emailing us directly to get the right board for your specific needs. For your personal board recommendation give us a call at 1-877-473-1199 or email us at info@paddleboardspecialists.com. To see all of our board, paddle and package options visit paddleboardspecialists.com.