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Looking for Wave SUP recommendations

I’m looking for advice on picking between a couple different Naish Wave SUPs and compared to the Jimmy Lewis Mano.
I’m 195-200 pounds, and a very good downwind racing paddler, and an very basic wave SUP’er. I have lots of shortboard surfing experience.

I’m tried out these boards and am comfortable on these.

  1. HOKUA 8.5 GT-Performance Wave: 8’5 x 28" x 3 3/4", 115L, max rider weight: 185lbs/84kg
  2. Jimmy Lewis Mano: 9’0" x 27 3/4" x 4 1/8".

Both of these boards I found to be fun in waves up to shoulder high, and I haven’t yet had a chance to go in any bigger surf. They were both “tippy” at my weight, but I quickly got the hang of them. The shorter 8’5 Naish made me wish the owner, Oshri, had put a little wax above the front edge of the pad. I feel that I’ve got to spend more time on the small wave SUPs before I can make any sort of opinion.

I haven’t tried, and am very interested on opinions of the 8’10 Hokua LE: 8’10 x 27 3/4" x 4", 107L, 16 lb, max rider weight: 195 lb.

HOKUA 8.5 GT-Performance Wave: 8’5 x 28" x 3 3/4", 115L

8’10 Hokua LE: 8’10 x 27 3/4" x 4", 107L

Jimmy Lewis Mano: 9’0" x 27 3/4" x 4 1/8".

Wow, you like tippy boards. Never having owned a SUP, I bought a 9’5" Naish Mana (for the girlfriend – uh huh, right) and first thing I did was paddle it out the Kuau keyhole on a beautiful, rainy, empty, solid 8’ day, for some glassy Noriega’s. Not that board’s intended environment! But man that was fun. Glad I didn’t break it. My understanding is that the Mana’s surf more like longboards and the Hokua’s like shortboards.

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I’m 195lbs. I don’t go anything under 110 liters. Anything less and you’ll be spending more time in the water than on your board. I’d go with a 9’0 first before you try to go smaller. Once you are comfortable and can surf the 9’0 well then you can try to go smaller. Jus my 2 cents!

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I’ve been having fun on tippy boards because

  1. I’m teaching @beau and going out in small waves
  2. I like to be challenged, and a tippy board is challenging me aside from riding waves!

I suspect the balance work of a tippy board is good cross training for other sports.

Jerry Bess recommended the 8’8 version of the HOKUA X32 LE SERIES-Versatile Performance Wave: 8’8 x 32" by 4 7/8", 140L, max rider weight 225lb. The video makes small-medium waves look super fun. I’d probably want a different board for bigger waves.

Hi @justin.

I used the Naish Hokua 8’3 LE this past season on Maui and it was great for medium and big surf. It was plenty stable for me at 75kg and very friendly / light / nimble on the wave (especially after switching to a quad setup of four small fins). The nose rocker is a little steep which makes fast drops easy. The steep nose also helps lift the board above massive whitewater on the way out when you paddle back to the lineup.

The trade off is performance and board speed in small waves and when paddling in and out in a straight line especially against head wind. It is also a bit more difficult to develop speed when paddling into waves so you need to catch your waves closer to the drop and apply more front foot pressure relative to flatter and wider boards such as the 8’5.

I used the 8’10 LE a bit and didn’t think that the extra length was beneficial for me compared to the 8’3. But some of my friends love the 8’10 and use it in very big days. Since you are heavier than me it will offer more stability.

For smaller waves I’ll look beyond the 8’5. I think that the new 32’ wide hokua carbon boards should be faster and turnier for you.

I never tried a Jimmy Lewis board. Some of the folks in Kanaha use them and seem to like them a lot.

I hope this helps.


Kirk McGinty has created a very interesting board called the SIMSUP, out of Santa Cruz. Inspired by Bob Simmon’s high aspect ratio displacement hull design, these can be ridden shorter than you would expect for your size:

Here’s a new one called the SIMSUP ST:

More here: http://www.original-simsup.com