Used & Abused Review: NAISH ‘GLIDE’ SUP 17 FT

By Australian Geographic Adventure 8 June 2011
Reading Time: 2 Minutes Print this page
USED BY: Australian Geographic Adventure ad guru Marc ‘Jimmy’ Connors

THE FIRST THING YOU notice is the sheer size of this craft; at 17 ft it dwarfs standard stand-up paddle (SUP) boards. The second is its plain shape. It’s aesthetic and beautiful in a design sense and looks like a massive big-wave surfboard gun as opposed to a large SUP. The reason for its size and shape is due to its end use: open-ocean paddling.

Similar to a ski it’s long and slim for speed and running with the swell with loads of volume for floatation. After a few mild ocean paddles to get a feel for the board, it was an early Sunday paddle with a building short-period south swell and accompanying 50 km southerly winds that were to be the conditions for the test.

For downwind paddling, these conditions are perfect. Strong southerly swells, helped by the southerly winds working in unison, turned the ocean into moving liquid energy, a dynamic and fast-moving conveyer belt, with ocean spray being blown off the crests of waves as they march forward. Dark-blue-open-ocean water
and grey skies added to the wild and woolly conditions.

Cruising in downwind conditions with a nice rolling swell like this, you are literally surfing the open-ocean swells, getting long continuous runs, sometimes with one swell ending and another swell instantly picking you up again. The Glide glides easily and often right up to another building swell that will sling shoot you forward at speed. This is exhilarating, but it’s the surfing stance and and the surfing feel that constantly makes you shout and holler with excitement. It’s physically demanding and takes good balance, and therefore practise, to become efficient. You also need to attain an effective and strong stroke, however once mastered, it’s fantastic for your fitness and a great alternative to simply surfing a SUP. It’s also great fun with friends as you try to outrun each other.

Steering is done via a rudder system which is controlled by the front foot. This takes a bit of getting used to, as do the subtle movements required on the board to achieve the best momentum and glide, but it’s a sport in which each time you participate you get better. Rapid improvement is tangible. It is difficult to enter and exit the ocean with a shore break, though, so care must be taken in regards to where you begin and end trips. The Glide is also great in flat water if the ocean is not your thing. 

Apart from blustery winds, carrying the Glide is easier than many SUPs due to its manageable width and it features a hand hold in the middle of the deck for comfort. Dimensions are 17′ x 26 3/4″ x 5 3/4″.

Priced from $2799,, 17-19 Anzac Parade Collaroy NSW, (02) 9971 0999