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NRS vs. Hala SUPs: How to Choose?

Thinking about buying a new SUP but feeling overwhelmed by all of the different choices? CKS Online did the hard work of comparing all of our different SUP models so that you don’t have to!

CKS Online currently carries inflatable SUPs (stand-up paddleboards) from two different brands: Hala Gear, based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and NRS, based in Moscow, Idaho. Both brands offer several different board options that excel in whitewater, flat water, surf, fishing, and everything in between. Today’s inflatable SUPs are high-performing yet packable and travel ready, suitable for any adventure!

Whether you’re a family guy looking to hit the lake with the kiddos, an avid whitewater kayaker trying to switch things up on her local run, or someone simply aiming to spend more time outside, we’ve got the board for you.

 

Flat Water Boards

Let’s start with the most accessible type of SUP: Flatwater, or “all-water” boards, tend to be more stable and forgiving than river or surf boards and they have plenty of room for cargo, kids and pets.


Board Name
NRS Mayra
Hala Asana
Hala Straight Up + Hoss
Hala Carbon Straight Up + Carbon Hoss 
Descrip-tion

The Mayra is an all-around inflatable SUP loved by yogis, families, and those looking for extra stability and versatility in calm waters. Its smooth foam deck pad feels just like your yoga mat at home!
The Asana is Hala’s yoga-specific board. It is ultra-stable but does not excel at touring or fitness paddling. Its wide deck pad provides ample room and comfort for passengers.
The Hala Straight Up + Hoss are the same board shape offered in two different sizes to best suit different sized paddlers. Both boards offer a happy balance between stability and maneuverability in an affordable package.
The Carbon Straight Up + Hoss boards by Hala are the higher-performing counterparts to the standard Straight Up + Hoss. Their carbon construction makes them extra rigid, and their more streamlined profiles offer more speed and less stability on the water.

Board Dimen-sions

10’4″ x 34″ x 5″
10’6″ x 34″ x 6″

Straight Up: 10′ x 33″ x 6″

Hoss: 10’10” x 35″ x 6″ 

Carbon Straight Up: 10’6″ x 32″ x 6″

Carbon Hoss: 11′ x 33″ x 6″

Board Weight

26 lbs.
22.5 lbs.

Straight Up: 23 lbs.

Hoss: 23.5 lbs.

Carbon Straight Up: 24 lbs.

Carbon Hoss: 25.5 lbs. 

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

220 lbs.
275 lbs.

Straight Up: 250 lbs.

Hoss: 280 lbs.

Carbon Straight Up: 275 lbs.

Carbon Hoss: 275 lbs.

Paddle Included

No
Yes
Yes (both boards)
Yes (both boards)

Board Warranty

3 years
5 years
5 years (both boards)
5 years (both boards)

MSRP

$1,095.00
$1,199.00

$1,199.00 (both boards)

$1,499.00 (both boards)

Fitness + Touring Boards

Next, we have fitness and touring boards. These boards are narrower and longer than all-water boards so that you can get lots of miles in during your pre-work paddle or weekend cruise. These fast SUPs are inherently less stable than their slower, wider all-water counterparts.



Board Name
NRS STAR Photon
Hala Playa
Hala Carbon Playa
Hala Nass + Nass-T
Descrip-tion

The STAR Photon is a versatile touring board in an affordable package. It is just as comfortable loading up gear for a weekend expedition as it is getting miles in for an on-the-water workout.
The Playa is part of Hala’s budget-friendly lineup that excels at touring. Its pointed tip and tail and streamlined profile make it easy and quick to paddle on all of your adventures.

The Carbon Playa by Hala is a versatile touring board that also excels at ocean surfing. It is designed for those ocean paddles where you’ll surf breaks and crush miles all in one outing.

The Hala Nass and Nass-T are Hala’s racing boards, built for high-performance and speed. The Nass is 1.5′ shorter and a little wider than the Nass-T, making it perfect for the everyday paddler looking for a fitness or expedition board.

Board Dimen-sions

11’6″ x 32″ x 6″
11′ x 32″ x 6″

10’11” x 30″ x 4.75″

Nass: 12’6″ x 30″ x 6″

Nass-T: 14′ x 28″ x 4.75″ 

Board Weight

18.1 lbs.
23 lbs.
23 lbs.

Nass: 25 lbs.

Nass-T: 27.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

250 lbs.
225 lbs.
220 lbs.

Nass: 250 lbs.

Nass-T: 250 lbs.

Paddle Included

No
Yes
Yes
Yes (both boards)

Board Warranty

1 year
5 years
5 years
5 years

MSRP

$895.00
$1,199.00

$1,499.00

$1,499.00 (both boards) 

Fishing Boards

SUP has become a very popular way to get on the water with your fishing gear without the hassle of a raft or drift boat. NRS and Hala Gear both offer large inflatable fishing boards that are stable, rugged, and ready to rig!

Board Name
NRS Heron
NRS Osprey
Hala Fame
Descrip-tion

The NRS Heron is a SUP fisherman’s dream. Its 7″ dual side chambers act like outriggers for superior stability, while its heavy-duty PVC construction will handle abuse for years. Not to mention, it comes stock with numerous angler-specific rigging options, so you’ll have a fully-functioning fishing rig right out of the box.
The NRS Osprey is the most nimble fishing SUP that CKS Online offers. Its relatively narrow shape and nearly flat profile combine to make it the ultimate casting platform that can go anywhere you’d ever want to go. Its versatile design makes it at home hitting the river or taking the kids or pups out for a cruise as well!
The Hala Fame was originally designed for adaptive paddlers. Turns out, its stability and comfort on the water make it a great casting platform! It also features Hala’s patented StompBox retractable center fin so you can paddle through shallow waters with ease and worry less about getting caught up in the weeds.

Board Dimen-sions

11′ x 39″ x 7″
10’8″ x 36″ x 6″
11’3″ x 36″ x 6″

Board Weight

30 lbs.
34 lbs.
30.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

300 lbs.
275 lbs.
325 lbs.

Paddle Included

No
No
Yes

Board Warranty

3 years
3 years
5 years

MSRP

$1,395.00
$1,345.00
$1,399.00

River + Whitewater Boards 

Hala Gear got their start making river-specific boards with the patented StompBox retractable center fin technology. Other brands are quickly following suit by making high-performing inflatable river boards to add to their lineups. Whitewater SUPs are wider and more rockered from tip to tail than flatwater boards, allowing them to be stable yet maneuverable when navigating rapids.




Board Name
NRS Quiver
Hala Atcha 711
Hala Atcha 86
Hala Atcha 96
Descrip-tion

The NRS Quiver is designed to be stable and responsive when paddling downriver, making it suitable for beginners and advanced paddlers alike. Size up if you’re larger or looking for more stability, size down if you’re smaller or looking for more play.
The Hala Atcha 711 is an incredibly playful downriver SUP. Designed with surfing in mind, the 711 is not a great option for beginner paddlers looking for stability on whitewater, but could be a good fit for kids or smaller paddlers looking to hit the river.
The Hala Atcha 86 is the missing piece in Hala’s lineup that bridges the gap between the design of the 711 and the 96. As happy playing as it is stomping rapids, the Atcha 86 sets the bar for whitewater SUP versatility.
The Hala Atcha 96 is the original whitewater paddleboard. Its wide shape offers ample stability for beginner paddlers or advanced paddlers looking to crush big water runs. Its pronounced rocker makes it relatively playful, and its large shape has plenty of room for gear rigging.

Board Dimen-sions

9.8: 9’8″ x 36″ x 6″

10.4: 10’4″ x 35″ x 6″

7’11” x 34″ x 6″
8’6″ x 34″ x 6″
9’6″ x 36″ x 6″

Board Weight

9.8: 26 lbs.

10.4: 28 lbs.

22.5 lbs.
22.5 lbs.
26.2 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

250 lbs. (both sizes)
275 lbs.
250 lbs.
275 lbs.

Paddle Included

No (both sizes)
No
No
No

Board Warranty

3 years (both sizes)
5 years
5 years
5 years

MSRP

$1,195.00
$1,299.00
$1,299.00
$1,299.00

Ocean + River Surf Boards 

Even more niche than whitewater SUPs, NRS and Hala Gear both make surf-specific inflatable SUPs for park-and-play fun at your local surf wave or for ocean surfing next time you hit the beach. These boards are typically not recommended for flatwater paddling or downriver paddling.


Board Name
NRS Whip
Hala Milligram
Hala Peno
Hala Playita
Descrip-tion

The NRS Whip is a park-and-play favorite with some downriver capabilities. It is available in two sizes to round out any quiver.
The Hala Milligram is a longer surf SUP that feels like a short board due to its nut shape and swallow tail. “It paddles out like a six-eleven and then surfs like a five-six!” 

The Hala Peno features double-stack technology which gives it surprisingly sharp rails for an inflatable. Its duckbill nose shape was previously unique to playboats. It is a freestyle machine!

The Hala Playita is designed to rival fiberglass SUP surfboards but in an inflatable package. Its extremely sharp rails and innovative shape will let you surf any break!

Board Dimen-sions

7.8: 7’8″ x 33″ x 5″

8.4: 8’4″ x 34″ x 5″

6’11” x 30″ x 4.75″
6’11” x 32″ x 2″ + 3″

9′ x 31″ x 2″ + 2″

Board Weight

7.8: 20 lbs.

8.4: 22 lbs.

14.8 lbs.
24 lbs.
23 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

7.8: 150 lbs.

8.4: 180 lbs.

220 lbs.
230 lbs.
250 lbs.

Paddle Included

No
No
No
No

Board Warranty

3 years
5 years
5 years
5 years

MSRP

$1,045.00
$999.00
$1,199.00
$1,299.00

 

Kids’ Boards

Almost last but definitely not least, to keep your kids from hogging your board all of the time, just get them their own! NRS offers a small size, kids-specific board that is perfect for getting your youngster out on the water alongside you.

Board Name
NRS Youth Amp
Description

The NRS Youth Amp is specially designed for little shredders to hit the lake, river or ocean. Its confidence-inspiring and versatile shape will have them hooked on the sport in no time. The Amp’s 4″ rail height does not make it conducive for adults to try to paddle–the 120 lb. weight limit is there for a reason!

Board Dimensions

9’2″ x 29″ x 4″

Board Weight

21 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

120 lbs.

Paddle Included

No

Board Warranty

3 years

MSRP

$945.00

One Board Quivers

Are you feeling even more overwhelmed now that you’ve learned all about the different kinds of specialty SUPs? Thinking you’ll need at least three different boards to have a great summer? Check out these one-board-quivers that will do it all and do it all well, no holds barred.

Board Name
NRS STAR Phase
NRS Thrive
Hala Radito + Rado
Descrip-tion

The STAR Phase is an incredibly lightweight and versatile board available in three sizes to fit any size paddler. Its design is based off of the Thrive, but in a more affordable package.
The NRS Thrive has a beginner-friendly shape and is ready to take on any pond, lake, ocean or light river running. It is available in four different sizes to fit the whole family!
The Hala Radito + Rado are the same board shape in different sizes. They feature a slight nose rocker and a swallow tail shape to be maneuverable in whitewater yet stable in flatwater. Both boards also have Hala’s patented StompBox retractable center fin.

Board Dimen-sions

10.2: 10’2″ x 32″ x 5″

10.6: 10’6″ x 34″ x 5″

10.8: 10’8″ x 35″ x 6″

9.10: 9’10” x 30″ x 5″

10.3: 10’3″ x 32″ x 5″

10.8: 10’8″ x 34″ x 6″

11.0: 11′ x 36″ x 6″

Radito: 10′ x 34″ x 6″

Rado: 10’10” x 35″ x 6″

Board Weight

10.2: 16.2 lbs.

10.6: 17.5 lbs.

10.8: 19.8 lbs.

9.10: 23 lbs.

10.3: 25 lbs.

10.8: 29 lbs.

11.0: 31 lbs.

Radito: 26.5 lbs.

Rado: 28.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

10.2: 180 lbs.

10.6: 200 lbs.

10.8: 250 lbs.

9.10: 180 lbs.

10.3: 200 lbs. 

10.8: 250 lbs.

11.0: 275 lbs.

Radito: 300 lbs.

Rado: 325 lbs.

 

Paddle Included

No
No
Yes (both boards)

Board Warranty

1 year
3 years
5 years (both boards)

MSRP

$845.00
$1,095.00

$1,399.00 (both boards)

 

Summary

If you haven’t suspected by now, Hala Gear offers a huge range of inflatable SUPs with lots of specialty board options. They make multiple models that serve similar purposes and their high-performance boards come with a warranty to back them. But with increased quality of construction comes an increased price.

NRS makes high-quality boards for folks on a tighter budget; their boards serve their purposes well but they don’t offer as many specialty SUP options as Hala. The NRS STAR boards offer a more affordable option to even the NRS boards while maintaining a lot of their qualities, but make fewer board types to choose from.

No matter which SUP you choose, just know you are buying a whole lot of fun! Still not sure how to choose? Our customer service team would love to help you get on the best board for you and your needs.

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