Introducing the new Kraken SUP models by Boardworks.
Available in 2 sizes 9’9 and 10’3 the Kraken SUPs are extra wide providing incredible stability for paddlers of all sizes and abilities. The Kraken features a pulled in nose and tail design with thinned out rails for excellent surf performance.
These models come with LiftSUP handles for easy portage and handling.
Height: 9′ 9″?Width: 34″?Thickness: 4 1/2″?Fins Included: 2+1 or Quad
SIZE AND ABILITY
Novice: up to 185lbs?Intermediate: up to 200lbs?Advanced: Up to 230lbs
Low Down: I first saw these new Boardworks Kraken’s when I was down at Outdoor Retailer this past summer. These boards come in a 9’9” and a 10’3” length, both are 34” wide and you can get them in a blue-gray like the one above or the sharp “Canadian” red which was the one I had sent up to Squamish. With the growing number of standup paddleboarders getting into paddle surfing, the Kraken looked to be a great combination of stability and performance that would fit a wide range of paddleboarders. I ordered the Kraken in the 9’9” length for a couple of our paddle surf courses in Tofino this past October. I was there for almost two weeks so I had lots of time to test the board out and a number of clients had a chance to give it a go as well.
First of all the Kraken is a beautiful looking board with great graphics and a stunning bamboo veneer under lay. I really like the Kraken logo which makes me think right away of the delicious Kraken Spiced Rum. I keep thinking that Boardworks should throw in a bottle of the rum with the purchase of a paddleboard in Canada since we need it more up here to keep warm. Seems to be a good match…maybe next year. Anyways, I like the salty pirate feel to the board.
I ended up getting the 9’9” in the red and it’s a really sweet looking board. With a sold out course in Tofino there was going to be a lot of clients that would have a chance to test it out and I am always excited to try out new paddle surf boards myself. Our surf courses are great for testing boards since client success depends on stability in trying to catch waves, yet having a board that they can handle and that will perform well as they begin to progress..
The first thing that was obvious was that it was quite stable in the flatwater due to the 34” of width. The stability underfoot inspired confidence getting through the whitewater and when standing out back waiting for surf. I have been surfing my 9’1” Mini Mod for a few months and really enjoy that in the surf but in the Mini Mod line it’s as small as I need to go at my height and weight of 6’1” 185 plus wetsuit. I don’t like feeling unstable when getting through the surf and waiting for waves in conditions that are not ideal which we tend to experience quite often on our coastline. Boards with a bit more stability will allow you to conserve more energy thus providing more time in the water as one of the benefits. I use up more energy with the 9’1″ Mini Mod than the Kraken which makes sense due to the difference in length and volume. Sometimes it’s just nice to surf waves with a board that has more width and volume and the Kraken has that. The other thing I really enjoyed about the Kraken is that it allowed me to tour from break to break in Tofino and not have that paddling distance become more of a challenge and take longer. It is shorter and wider with less volume in the tail so it does not track as well which is to be expected with a board like this but it did the job of touring from spot to spot. I certainly felt a lot better than the other guys looked paddling boards that were much smaller. I also have a bit of a stiffer lower back so the stability takes a lot of pressure of my lower back and allows me to have more fun and stay out longer.
The Kraken paddled into waves pretty easily and I enjoyed the performance in waist to shoulder high waves. With increased stability the Kraken provides much better forward stroke technique which allowing you to generate forward speed and increases your chances of catching waves. At that critical moment of when the wave picks you up this board has the stability to increase your chance of success in catching the wave or allowing you to get into the wave a little earlier. The Kraken has a pulled in nose with decent rocker which allowed for some later take offs and steeper drops. The tail is well foiled, nice thin rails which I believe is the key to this board as it becomes very lively once you have some speed on the wave. The closest board that I have tried that compares was the 10’2″ Extra Wide Boardworks Paddle Surf Hawaii All Arounder. The PSH may compare better with the 10’3″ Kraken as I felt the 9’9″ was livelier than the PSH most likely due to the shorter length. The fin set up is a 4 + 1 and can be set up as a thruster, quad, and single fin. Thanks to Jeff at Northern Board in Sooke for sending me some Gerry Lopez fins to test out. I set the Kraken up as a thruster with the Gerry Lopez FCS fins and was quite happy. I am still learning a lot about fins types, fin placement and fin setup for sup but I usually ride a thruster or 2 +1 on most of my boards. The board is also light which I really liked and allowed for easier control on the waves, accelerating to catch the waves and pivot turns. Going rail to rail is not as quick due to the width but I sure did have fun on this board.
Everyone who tried the Kraken at the course really liked it. It’s an ideal board for beginners and for experienced surfers. The beginners love the stability and the success they find with the board and the big guys love the performance. The board really fits a wide range of paddle surfers and can be used on the flatwater for smaller paddlers. It even works for big guy beginners!! Big Chad came to my Tofino Surf and Explore course and he runs about 6’3” 240 and had just learned to paddle surf in the course. He was finding success on the 11’6” Bray and a couple of days later I told him he should try the Kraken. I wanted to see how well or not well the board would work for him. I was pleasantly surprised with how well Chad surfed this board once he made the adjustment to the smaller size. He really liked it and this is what he had to say about it.
“Paddled the Kraken in Tofino with Norm Hann Expeditions, really liked it and thought it performed well for me. I’m 6’3″ and 235lbs and found it to be a fun, sporty, yet stable ride. Easy to catch waves on and fun to paddle back out into the surf with! Hope to have one in the quiver soon”
I really enjoy watching people find success paddle surfing. Chad liked it so much that it was really hard to get him back in.
BOTTOM LINE:This is a great looking, super fun, yet stable board that I think a lot of beginner paddle surfers will enjoy and find success on, yet those looking for performance will value the great surf design built into the Kraken. This board will fit a lot of paddlers and retailers are already finding success getting the Kraken under people’s feet. I know I will continue to enjoy the Kraken this season and I am looking forward to using this board for our upcoming surf courses and paddle surf adventures to Tofino and Nootka Island, B.C.