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 three different brands: Hala Gear, based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, NRS, based in Moscow, Idaho, and STAR, an NRS house brand. All brands offer several different board designs, performance characteristics, and construction techniques that allow the designs to 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. Every brand we carry pays attention to the materials and the details and the brands stand behind their products.

Hala stands out for their 5-year warranty, welded seams and some of their boards include a paddle in the kit, while both NRS and STAR are known for quality materials and construction and standing behind their products.

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.

All-Water Boards

Let's start with the most accessible type of SUP: 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. They excel in flat water but are versatile enough to explore mild rivers or oceans.

NRS Mayra

NRS Mayra Inflatable SUP Board

The NRS 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!

Board Dimensions
10'4" x 34" x 5"
Board Weight
26 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
220 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
3 years
MSRP
$1,095.00

Hala Asana 

Hala Gear Asana Inflatable SUP Kit

The Asana is Hala's yoga-specific board (with a rocker that makes it playful). It is ultra-stable (34" wide) which means it isn't as fast for touring. Its wide deck pad provides ample room for any yoga moves and comfort for passengers.

Board Dimensions
10'6" x 34" x 6"
Board Weight
22.5 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Paddle Included
Yes
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,199.00

Hala Straight Up + Hoss

Hala Gear Straight Up Kit

Hala Gear Hoss Inflatable SUP Kit

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.

Board Dimensions

Straight Up: 10' x 33" x 6"

Hoss: 10'10 x 35" x 6"

Board Weight

Straight Up: 23 lbs.

Hoss: 23.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

Straight Up: 250 lbs.

Hoss: 280 lbs.

Paddle Included
Yes (both boards)
Board Warranty
5 years (both boards)
MSRP
$1,199.00 (both boards)

Hala Carbon Straight Up + Carbon Hoss 

Hala Gear Carbon Straight Up Inflatable SUP Kit

Hala Gear Carbon Hoss Inflatable SUP Kit

The Carbon Straight Up + Hoss boards by Hala are the higher-performing counterparts to the standard Straight Up + Hoss. Less bend in your board = far more glide and speed. Their carbon construction makes them extra rigid (and this isn't that floppy PVC-Carbon that other brands use, these boards are stiff!). Their more streamlined profiles offer more speed on the water while making them slightly less stable than their non-carbon versions.

Board Dimensions

Carbon Straight Up: 10'6" x 32" x 6"

Carbon Hoss: 11' x 33" x 6"

Board Weight

Carbon Straight Up: 24 lbs.

Carbon Hoss: 25.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

Carbon Straight Up: 275 lbs.

Carbon Hoss: 275 lbs.

Paddle Included
Yes (both boards)
Board Warranty
5 years (both boards)
MSRP
$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 out on the lake. These fast SUPs are inherently less stable than their slower, wider all-water counterparts.

STAR Photon

NRS Photon Inflatable SUP Board

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.

Board Dimensions
11'6" x 32" x 6"
Board Weight
18.1 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
250 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
1 year
MSRP
$895.00

Hala Playa

Hala Gear Playa Inflatable SUP Kit

The Playa is the member of Hala's All-Water 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 rocker profile makes this non-carbon version of the Playa a great wave catcher on the ocean as well playful and fun on the lake!

Board Dimensions
10'11" x 30" x 4.75"
Board Weight
23 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
220 lbs.
Paddle Included
Yes
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,199.00

Hala Carbon Playa

Hala Gear Carbon Playa Inflatable SUP Kit

The Carbon Playa by Hala is a versatile touring board that also will have fun ocean surfing longboard-friendly waves. It is designed for those ocean paddles where you'll surf breaks and crush miles all in one outing.

Board Dimensions
11' x 32" x 6"
Board Weight
23 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
225 lbs.
Paddle Included
Yes
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,499.00

Hala Nass + Nass-T

Hala Gear Carbon Nass Inflatable SUP Kit

Hala Gear Carbon Nass-T Inflatable SUP Kit

The Hala Nass and Nass-T are Hala's carbon racing/touring boards, built for high-performance and speed. Enjoy cutting through miles of morning glass on the lake! 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. The Nass-T is FAST and gets more stable as you get more speed. Glide, glide, glide!

Board Dimensions

Nass: 12'6" x 30" x 6"

Nass-T: 14' x 28" x 4.75"

Board Weight

Nass: 25 lbs.

Nass-T: 27.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

Nass: 250 lbs.

Nass-T: 250 lbs.

Paddle Included
Yes (both boards)
Board Warranty
5 years (both boards)
MSRP
$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!

NRS Heron

NRS Heron Inflatable SUP Board

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 is a behemoth of a board and comes stock with numerous angler-specific rigging options, so you'll have a fully-functioning fishing rig right out of the box.

Board Dimensions
11' x 39" x 7"
Board Weight
30 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
300 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
3 years
MSRP
$1,395.00

NRS Osprey

NRS Osprey Inflatable SUP Board

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!

Board Dimensions
10'8" x 36" x 6"
Board Weight
34 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
3 years
MSRP
$1,345.00

Hala Fame

Hala Gear Fame Inflatable SUP Kit

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 Dimensions
11'3" x 36" x 6"
Board Weight
30.5 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
325 lbs.
Paddle Included
Yes
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,399.00

River + Whitewater Boards 

Hala Gear got their start making river-specific boards with the patented StompBox retractable center fin technology--an incredible game-changer for the whitewater SUP world. 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. Every board in the Hala river series (including the Fame and Rado/Radito) will feature the StompBox retractable center fin.

NRS Quiver

NRS Quiver Inflatable SUP Board

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.

Board Dimensions

9.8: 9'8" x 36" x 6"

10.4: 10'4 x 35" x 6"

Board Weight

9.8: 26 lbs.

10.4: 28 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
250 lbs. (both sizes)
Paddle Included
No (both sizes)
Board Warranty
3 years (both sizes)
MSRP
$1,195.00 (both sizes)

Hala Atcha 711

Hala Gear Atcha 711 Inflatable SUP

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.

Board Dimensions
7'11" x 34" x 6"
Board Weight
22.5 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,299.00

Hala Atcha 86

Hala Gear Atcha 86 Inflatable SUP

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.

Board Dimensions
8'6" x 34" x 6"
Board Weight
22.5 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,299.00

Hala Atcha 96

Hala Gear Atcha 96 Inflatable SUP

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 Dimensions
9'6" x 36" x 6"
Board Weight
26.2 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
275 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$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.

NRS Whip

NRS Whip Inflatable SUP Board

The NRS Whip is a park-and-play favorite with some downriver capabilities. It is available in two sizes to round out any quiver.

Board Dimensions

7.8: 7'8" x 33" x 5"

8.4: 8'4 x 34" x 5"

Board Weight

7.8: 20 lbs.

8.4: 22 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

7.8: 150 lbs.

8.4: 180 lbs.

Paddle Included
No (both sizes)
Board Warranty
3 years (both sizes)
MSRP
$1,045.00 (both sizes)

Hala Milligram

Hala Gear Milligram Inflatable SUP

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!" 

Board Dimensions
6'11" x 30" x 4.75"
Board Weight
14.8 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
220 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$999.00

Hala Peno

Hala Gear Peno Inflatable SUP

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!

Board Dimensions
6'11" x 32" x 2"+3"
Board Weight
24 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
230 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$1,199.00

Hala Playita

Hala Playita Inflatable SUP Kit

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 Dimensions
9' x 31" x 2"+2"
Board Weight
23 lbs.
Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity
250 lbs.
Paddle Included
No
Board Warranty
5 years
MSRP
$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.

NRS Youth Amp

NRS Youth Amp Inflatable SUP Board

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.

STAR Phase

NRS STAR Phase Inflatable SUP Board

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.

This is the board you'd want if you are more flatwater-focused than river-focused and not looking to spend over a grand.

Board Dimensions

10.2: 10'2" x 35" x 5"

10.6: 10'6" x 34" x 5"

10.8: 10'8" x 35" x 6"

Board Weight

10.2: 16.2 lbs.

10.6: 17.5 lbs.

10.8: 19.8 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

10.2: 180 lbs.

10.6: 200 lbs.

10.8: 250 lbs.

Paddle Included
No (all sizes)
Board Warranty
1 year (all sizes)
MSRP
$845.00 (all sizes)

NRS Thrive

NRS Thrive Inflatable SUP Board

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! 

This is the board you'd want if you are more flatwater-focused than river-focused and can afford a little splurge. The Thrive is realistically quite comparable to the Hala Straight Up + Hoss boards.

Board Dimensions

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"

Board Weight

9.10: 23 lbs.

10.3: 25 lbs.

10.8: 29 lbs.

11.0: 31 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

9.10: 180 lbs.

10.3: 200 lbs.

10.8: 250 lbs.

11.0: 275 lbs.

Paddle Included
No (all sizes)
Board Warranty
3 years (all sizes)
MSRP
$1,095.00 (all sizes)

Hala Radito + Rado

Hala Gear Radito Inflatable SUP Kit

Hala Gear Rado Inflatable SUP Kit

The Hala Radito + Rado are the same board shape in different sizes. They are Hala's most popular boards and both 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 so they will excel in whitewater in addition to touring decently well in flatwater. 

These are the boards you'd want if you are more river-focused than flatwater-focused but still need a board that can do it all. There really isn't another board like it out there!

Board Dimensions

Radito: 10' x 34" x 6"

Rado: 10'10" x 35" x 6"

Board Weight

Radito: 26.5 lbs.

Rado: 28.5 lbs.

Optimal Paddler Weight Capacity

Radito: 300 lbs.

Rado: 325 lbs.

Paddle Included
Yes (both boards)
Board Warranty
5 years (both boards)
MSRP
$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 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.

1 comment

Scott

Scott

I live the river boats and am wondering if you’ll offer one with 4 drings that can accept a seat for sit down boating? Thx

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