Board Review – 2019 Hala Straight Up Carbon

Two years ago I added the Hala Straight Up Carbon to my quiver, and I’m happy to report it’s a board that I still have as one of my four personal boards. I know how that sounds – sorry, not sorry!

This year’s redesign is honestly not that much different. The board performs exactly as the 2017 model did. It’s just as stable, maneuverable, and rigid! Hala even made a slight improvement by lengthening the Carbon fiber stringers from the previous year for just a little bit more rigidity. While I loved the red – the new blue and yellow colors are quite attractive. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like them, but I do. Ironically blue and yellow are an excellent choice because those are the colors that dogs can see! 

Let me explain again why I think the carbon technology is such a game changer for inflatables. When you stand on an inflatable in the water and jump up and down on the board you get what I like to call the “water mattress effect.” With a carbon stringer that water mattress effect is significantly lessened. 

This is wonderful when paddling with dogs! When a big dog moves around on a board that movement is translated throughout the board making it feel bouncy. Again, this feeling is significantly less with the stringers.  

Carbon technology is bridging the performance gap between hard boards and inflatables, so I’m really excited to recommend these to anyone who’s on the fence about what type of board to purchase.

A few other features that make this board a great dog-friendly option include:

  • Ten soft D-rings for strapping down gear and bags
  • Carry handles on the nose and the tail for easier loading and unloading
  • An all-around shape that’s efficient and stable for beginners and dogs
  • A stomp pad and a foot index for easier maneuvering 
  • A three-year warranty
  • A super tough rolling duffel bag for travel and storage