pau hana calypso SUP

Overview: Pau Hana Calypso SUP/Kayak (With a Screen)

Are coming from a kayaking background and struggling to find a motivation to get back on the water?
Or is it that none of the boards out have sparked an interest in you?

Well, we are happy to introduce you to an awesome creation in the vivid selection of different types of paddleboards – a Kayak SUP. To make things even better, it’s made by a paddleboard specialist who’s been around since 2006.

The Pau Hana’s Calypso is one of a kind – premium build at superb value, and it basically ticks all the possible boxes for those who are after something out of the ordinary.

  • Use it as a SUP.
  • Use it as a Kayak.
  • Take it with you anywhere – it’s inflatable.
  • Compact storage.
  • It’s got a window on the deck!!
pau hana brand logo
Founded in 2006 Santa Clarita, California

Don’t get us wrong – this board performs just like any other paddle board should while having the capacity for much more. By its dimensions and features – it is a touring board, and thanks to its awesome features – it can be used as a kayak for all-around purposes.

pau hana calypso
SUP / Kayak with a window

So, what is it after all?

In essence, the Calypso is obviously a paddle board.

Well, it is actually an inflatable paddle board, but not only that – it’s an inflatable SUP that converts into a sit-on-top kayak with the added seat in the bundle. It also comes with a paddle that converts into a double-bladed kayaking paddle.

Oh, and not to forget – it’s got a window on the deck! The deck window is one of the newest features that’s been used in the paddle board industry, and we are more than happy to see Pau Hana implement this feature.

Why’s that, you might wonder?

– It’s because we are more than just excited to see where the inflatable paddle board industry will evolve in the next five years. We are currently at the very beginning of this booming market.

 

How does it work?


While the the recommended pressure for the board is 15PSI – the deck window is a separate piece that should be inflated to 3PSI.

 

 

More interesting features by Pau Hana


Since Pau Hana’s range consists of both solid and inflatable paddleboards, they’ve got a broad range of boards for Touring, Fishing, Racing, and a Surf SUP next to their wide variety of all-around boards. They have the knowledge and experience to pull off something like that without a hiccup.

More quirky features by Pau Hana

  • Outboard engine mounts on their mega SUP (15′ Bimini) that can fit up to 6 people on board.
  • They have a SUP for digital nomads – a highly compact SUP!
  • Plus a long list of hardboards with innovative technologies.
pau hana inflatable paddle board special features
Read more

 

 

 

Specs


Available at –

REI.com

PauHanaSurfco.com – Pau Hana dealers

 

Quick specs

  • MSRP: $1,249
  • Size – 11’6″ x 34″ x 6″
  • Volume – 236L
  • Weight – 24lbs / 10.8kg
  • Capacity – 338lbs / 155kg
  • Materials – Drop-stitch PVC
  • Recommended pressure – Board – 15PSI / Window – 3PSI

 

Key features

  • Kayak seat.
  • Wooden-finish design.
    That closely resembles a solid board.
  • 4x grab handles
    Nose & tail, two in the middle.
  • See-through window.
    No introductions are needed – it’s the main feature of this board.
  • Extra D-rings to attach the seat.
  • Hidden inflation valve on the deck.
    Covered by a flap.
  • 5mm thick extra-soft EVA deck pad.
    A must-have feature for all paddleboards for increased traction & vibration reduction.
  • Double bungee cords – front & rear.
    For extra gear needed for touring.
  • Flexible keel hull for improved tracking.
  • 2in1 Paddle – For kayaking and paddleboarding.
    Easily useable.
  • Kayak seat attachment with large cushion – a foam block.
  • Paddle holder inside the foam block.
calypso sup on a lake
Image – REI

 

Note

*You have to adjust the window while inflating for a proper fit.
*There’s threading in the fin box for the fin.
*It’s got a screw-in fin instead of a slide-in fin.

 

 

What’s in the bundle?


The bundle offers awesome value for the relatively low price tag. Many customers were happy with the overall quality standard found Pau Hana paddleboards.

  • 11’6 Calypso inflatable SUP.
  • Carry bag.
  • 9″ fin.
  • Separate peek-through window.
  • 2x bungee cords.
  • Double-action handpump.
  • Repair kit.
  • Paddleboarding paddle + kayak paddle blade extension.
  • Cushion foam block.
  • Kayak seat + attachments.
  • Coil leash.
  • High-pressure valve.

 

pau hana calypso sup bundle

 

 

 

Technologies


The Calypso is a high-quality product that uses the latest technologies found in the inflatable industry.

  • Drop-stitch PVC.
  • Soft EVA deck pad.
  • Drop-stitch core.
  • Double Layer side rails.

As standard, the board has double-layer rails, and a soft 5mm EVA Deck Pad.

EVA stands for Ethylene Vinyl Acetate that’s commonly used in the watersports industry. It offers traction on the deck and also reduces the vibration from paddling on uneven surfaces. Designed for outdoors & wet conditions – it is a good-quality feature that’s seen on all the premium boards.

A double-layer railing is another feature among paddleboards that prevents the board from sharp punctures and offers increased weight capacity along the way.

The Drop-stitch core consists of thousands of fibers that connect the top and the bottom of the board. When inflated to its maximum recommended pressure, it gives the boards its rigidity which makes them almost indistinguishable from solid boards. It’s not a hoax, as many can’t tell the difference in performance.

drop stitch technology on the pau hana calypso isup

 

 

 

Kayak vs Paddle Board


There’s a large number of people who don’t believe in “hybrids”, or products that are made for multiple uses.

While it can also be the case with the Calypso SUP, we would much rather categorize it as a highly-capable and fun paddle board. It excels greatly on both occasions by a recreational paddler. Sure, it won’t be as efficient as a solid kayak, and not as durable as a solid paddle board – it’s still an awesome “solution” to a large audience out there who isn’t aware of such features.

Kayaking PROs

  • More stable.
  • Seated all the time.
  • Better power optimization.
  • Kayaks are faster than paddleboards.
  • Can travel longer distances in choppy waters.
  • Waterproof storage in front and back – can store more things safely.

Paddleboarding PROs

  • Relax riding.
  • Easy on/off the board.
  • Better view of the surroundings.
  • Inflatable boards are in high regard.
  • Sit down, stretch and relax, kneel or paddle by stand up – here’s a greater variety.
  • Easily accessible storage from the deck.

 

 

 

The Verdict


So, should you choose the Calypso for all-around paddling and for occasional kayaking?

What do others think of the board?

 

The Good

  • Versatility – You can use the Pau Hana Calypso for so many purposes: all-around paddling, touring and kayaking, exploring, etc. Paddle while standing, kneeling, or seated.
  • Window – Depending on where you live, the window is a feature that is definitely something you don’t basically see on any other board out there. 
  • High-quality accessories – Pau Hana hasn’t cut any corners when making their SUPs, and the Calypso is no exception. All the accessories are well-made. For example, the screw-in fin is a much better accessory than the slip-on found on most other iSUPs. They pay attention to details and all of their accessories.
  • Thought-out design – You’ll see features such as the valve cover flap, and the paddle holder inside the foam box. Extra bungees on the tail area are another nice addition to the front storage.
  • It’s surprisingly affordable – For under $1,200, we are surprised to see so many features packed into one board. It’s a premium build for recreational users.
  • It’s made by Pau Hana – A brand that’s known their wide variety of boards and great customer service.
  • You can flex with it – Well you’ve got a kayak with a window, that’s a cool thing to experiment.

 

The Bad

  • Might not be as durable for touring – Although the dimensions of the board indicate the Calypso as a touring board – the window might interfere with some heavy-duty use which means you’ll have to take extra care protecting the board.
  • The board is not in one piece – Without the window installed, the board is quite useless in average conditions where the water is not totally flat. Although it is an awesome feature indeed, you’ll always have to have it there.
  • Not as great visibility – The window can be a blessing or a curse. You’ll be needing super clear days to properly see through the window.

 

To Whom?

The Calypso SUP is definitely a choice for someone who likes to test out new gear and be on the frontier of new inventions. It is not a normal board, so to say, but much more suitable for someone who likes their things ‘different’, and all that in a good way!

Let us & others know about your thoughts on the board. Do you own one and would like to share your experience with the board? We‘d happy to cover that!

 

 

Read next – Pau Hana 10’10” Solo SUP Review

Ultra-portable touring SUP for digital nomads

pau hana solo sup 10 10

 

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About the author

Ermo J

I created Nulltuul to share my experience, knowledge, and analysis with other surf enthusiasts out there. If I'm not surfing on my travels, I like to photograph waves, surfers, and the surf lifestyle in general.

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