Naish One Air 12.6 inflatable racing and touring Stand Up Paddle board
A lot of people want to be active and enjoy the outdoors in the UAE but the extreme summer heat prevents a lot of people from taking up an activity all year round. Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is the perfect outdoor sport for the region. We have great sea conditions all year round and interesting and diverse areas to paddle – on the beach, in mangroves and through water channels with exciting skylines. You can even find surfing conditions on some days.
The hardest thing is where to start and which paddle board to buy as a beginner. Most people get hooked after their first try but then are lost with the right selection of their first SUP. iSUPs (inflatable SUP) are the best solution since they are easy to transport and to store but some especially cheaper models lack in performance. Naish is one of the pioneering companies for SUPs and also one of the top brands available. You can see a lot of Naish boards on the beach standing out with their bright yellow colour. Their great design is only one reason for their popularity; the more important one is their quality and performance, which makes it worth paying a premium for a Naish board rather than a cheaper competitor.
The same applies for the Naish One Air 12.6, which is one of the more expensive iSUPs but especially with iSUPs you should not compromise on the quality. The Naish one is built with durable double layer hull and reinforced seams, which can be a weak point in the very hot conditions here. The double rail construction adds to the stiffness and protects the board from aberrations and cuts on the sides. It also has an integrated number guide on the deck pad for referencing proper stance position, which is great for beginners. The foam coating provides solid stand even in waves and the board has a front tie-down area, which is handy for all sorts of things e.g. a water bottle. The Naish One falls in the category of racing and touring but since we have here mainly flat water conditions, I think it is a great choice for beginners since you will enjoy the iSUP even if you progress to advanced levels and the learning curve with SUP is quite steep at the beginning. Stiffness is the most important thing for iSUPs and the biggest difference to rigid boards but the One Air is handling as good as a rigid board if pump up the recommended pressure of 14PSI which will take you approx five minutes and which is a good warm up before the paddle. The iSup comes with almost all the accessories you need – pump with pressure gauge, very comfortable rucksack for transport. For only AED 5,300 including the paddle and leash.
Tested by: Daniel Birkhofer
Photos by: Jung Francisco