In response to a facebook comment my dad posted on a recent paddle picture… “Explain”, I thought I would detail how I came to obtain such rad photos of myself paddling! Normally I am taking the pictures and thus, there aren’t many taken of me.
It started at my house (by house I mean tinny gypsy shack in a friends drive way I am occupying until I head to New Zealand this fall) a week ago when J.D. Platt (Ex Pro Snowboarder, amazing dog trainer and owner of K9 Kings Entertainment, and great paddling buddy) mentioned this sick inflatable company, Hala. We had arranged to demo Stand On Liquid (SOL) boards in the coming weeks, which we were amped about, but there were no Oregon retailers that distributed Hala…J.D. was on a mission to obtain a narrow inflatable that could potentially be used for racing, while I was interested in a bomber touring board for my upcoming New Zealand trip. How could we get our hands on these Hala boards?
Thats were the cold call comes in. I sent a blind email to Peter Hall, the owner of Hala, detailing my trip itinerary and previous experience in the paddle industry (which only amounts to 1.5 years total paddle experience, a half season instructing, writing for SOL, and a massive amount of passion for touring). To my surprise and excitement, Peter emailed me back almost immediately and put me in touch with ambassador Paul Clark (owner/operator of Black and Red Photography) who lives in Bend, OR and has one of every Hala board (lucky devil).
So the short answer to my Dad’s facebook comment: “Explain” is that I got a bunch of sweet photos of myself demoing the Hala-Nass board from Paul because terns out he is a photographer too.
Thoughts on the Hala-Nass:
The length of the board is great. I have been on inflatable less than 12’6 and found them useful for exploring small streams and high water in the spring time, however, for the large water ways I plan to visit in New Zealand (Fjord Lands, Able Tazman peninsula, ect.) and multi-day tours, the length is an absolute necessity.
The rocker in the board. I haven’t seen rocker in a board since last winter when I was up to my waist in pow-pow. Rad. I dug it. I think the less surface area on the water when holding gear, the better. Although I only weighted the front of the Nass, the rocker helped keep the board high on the water and buoyant. Loved it.
The flexy fin seemed useful for rocky water, or unforeseeable obstacles that one is likely to encounter on a tour.
Most importantly, the mounted D rings mean real durability for strapping down gear. I have used boards in the past that had malfunctions regarding the tie-down mechanisms and the D rings are essentially bomb proof. I like that they skipped the plastic here.
Stay tuned for reviews on the SOL inflatables. Demo going down this Monday!