Some boards you just want to look at, and the Hanalei is one of those. I think for me it was the fact it felt well proportioned, at 130 litres spread over the 10-foot length and 28-inch width the volume seems relatively well distributed throughout the board, and to the untrained eye, it could look more like a scaled up prone longboard or mal rather than a chunky cruising SUP. Jimmy Lewis is a very well respected shaper, and this board comes with an excellent pedigree, and that shows in its lines, from the smooth tapering rails to the pulled in performance tail and concave running up through the hull.
On the 10’0 model which is the smallest in the series at 130 litres, there is a 7-inch single fin US box and side bites using a Futures box. The 7-inch fin seemed small to me, given this is the size of the fin on my 6’6 prone single fin surfboard, but I suppose it gives an indication that this board is designed to surf, not just flat water cruise.
Graphics are clean and simple, with the iconic Jimmy Lewis shark and the name of the model being pretty much it, other than some good looking clean lines on the nose. It’s got an understated classic feel to it. The finish is great, polished and smooth, and although Jimmy gets his production boards out of the Kinetic factory in Vietnam, it still had a quality custom feel to it. He claims he can’t even finish his own boards as well as them!
I took this board out initially in head high mellow surf and also waist high slop. Bearing in mind my standard surf shape is fairly typical 110-litre shortboard style surf SUP, but I also enjoy surfing the odd log or prone longboard, I was surprised how challenging I found this board when I first jumped on it. That was to say; I don’t think I was quite expecting it to feel as it did. The low volume and narrow width made for a really lively surfing experience.
On a wave, this board felt great ridden from the middle, and it was lovely to trim it up and down the wave. The first few waves I caught I rode like this, and then started to play with moving up and down the board, nose rides were easily doable, but I think a bigger fin would have helped. If I owned one of these, I’d be tempted to have a separate single 9-inch fin to swap out for the 7-inch on mellow days or flat water.
However the most exciting part of this board was surfing it from the tail; carving and cutbacks were really sharp and on point, almost like surfing a smaller board, and I was really surprised what I could get away with a bit of speed under my rail. From the Hanalei, I got a satisfying surfing experience, even in the smaller stuff, where it was surprisingly easy to get going due to high glide potential of its length.
On flat water at 80kg, this wouldn’t be my first choice for a cruising board, but that said, it was more than doable, and the long waterline and narrow width gave it more glide than a lot of higher volume shorter all-rounders I’ve ridden. That said; don’t expect to get the dog or kids on the front of this one, unless they are happy to possibly end up swimming. If I was looking for something cruisier, the 10’4 or 10’8 options might be more suited to a man of my stature, but this could work well as a cruising stick for a lighter human!
Jimmy Lewis has done what he does best and cracked out a performance surf stick, set to go up against some of the other longboard surf options the big boys are throwing into production. I like that where many are trying to reduce the length and cram in volume, Jimmy has reduced volume and drawn-out the length. In many countries, SUP surf competitions are offering a 10’0" plus fleet entries, and this seems to be aiming square at those paddlers.
To say this is a no-nonsense surf shape would be accurate, but slightly unfair, as I could also see this working as part of a quiver sharing arrangement. For instance, this could be a great surf stick for Dad, but equally offer a nice cruiser for a lighter partner or family of paddlers looking to do some mileage with the kids, as the reduced width would work well for them. With the Jimmy Lewis heritage, I think this would be a good buy for anyone primarily aspiring to longboard style SUP surfing with the added benefit of flat water options.
This review was in Issue 5 of SUP Tonic.For more information visit Jimmy Lewis
By Luke BolsinLuke Bolsin has been on the water all his life and taught a wide range of water sports since 2001, and is passionate about being on the water and sharing the stoke with others. He has been paddling stand up since 2008, initially as a cross trainer for no wind or flat days. However in recent years has become totally hooked on SUP for all conditions, be it down wind paddling in swells, SUP surfing, racing, or mooching on calm days around quiet coves. As well as working for SUP Tonic as our Web Editor he divides his time running his own SUP school and rental business in Cornwall, in the UK's South West, as well as being a teacher and a dad. Luke competes on a recreational level in variety of SUP events in his locality, and is part of a burgeoning paddle scene in the heart of UK's surfing region.