I've been surfing on sit on tops for 4 years and bought…
I've been surfing on sit on tops for 4 years and bought the Islander Hula for use in surf.
What is good: The quality of the finish is high. The kayak is pretty well bullet proof and the plastic is soft and comfortable on the bum and feet.
What is not so good: The design is dated. It is heavy for its size (20 kilos). It tracks badly on flat water and the bulbous nose ploughs into the surf when descending a wave making it difficult to turn.
Summary: There are more modern, lighter designs out there and the model is well past its sell by date.
I am a lifeguard and boating instructor on Dewart Lake at Camp…
I am a lifeguard and boating instructor on Dewart Lake at Camp Ella J. Logan in Indiana and I have been using the Islander Hula kayak for three years. Not only does Islander offer great colors, but a soft design. No snagging your swim suit on ill-shaped plastic and, unlike Ocean Kayaks, no back, abdomen, or thigh problems. You can sit comfortably in the Hula for three or four hours without feeling muscle strain. A back rest is always a nice addition for basic recreation, however.
The boat is lightweight and easy for one or two people to carry. Although there is no storage space on board, I have found that I can easily attach a cooler, water bottle, and/or throw rope to the front carrying hook. There is plenty of leg room so that you may even put a PFD under your legs.
My novice campers enjoy this particular boat because it is easy to turn and comfortable, so it is easy for them to learn the basics without having to work too hard to see a result of their skills. On the other hand, I have been kayaking for 7 years and I really enjoy this boat because I can hook up thigh straps and a paddle leash and head straight into the surf with a fun little boat that will do the job in the surf. It is stable and durable and, with the specially designed bailing system, does not retain excess water in the hull. It is also a great kayak for lifeguarding, as it is quick in the water.
The rocker (bottom underneath) and gunwales and rails (sides) are perfectly shaped to maximize versatility as a recreational kayak, but although it is a great boat for a novice to start with or an experienced kayaker to play in, an activity-specific kayak is a better choice for surfing and touring.
The only things I would add are a few more eyelets and the option of a fin package, but I give the Hula high marks and am pleased to suggest it.
Really fun little boat, manverable, catches waves well, and flat enough for…
Really fun little boat, manverable, catches waves well, and flat enough for me to nap on comfortably, my favorite up in the mangroves, easy to get on and off of with no scrapes. water bottle holder is right where you need it, could use a small storage area for a six pack though. I'm 5'8" 160lbs and have stood on it like a surfboard in small waves. affordable, well built, sturdy product for surfing and relaxing.
I bought the hula right before summer with full intentions of surfing…
I bought the hula right before summer with full intentions of surfing, and surfing, and some fishing. I am 6'1" and 165 lbs. This is an awesome boat for the price. I had never paddled at all before I bought this boat. It is stable enough for a beginner, and I cath every wave I want to with it. It takes a couple times out to get the hang of it, but after that it is very easy. It is tough to tuly carve in this boat(no fins), but I've done some pretty cool stuff with this boat in the surf. Going out is not hard at all, as long as you paddle straight out toward the waves. I've surfed this boat on up to 6 foot waves, and it did fine. I would usually have to lean back on steeper waves to keep from pearling(nosediving), but even that is pretty fun. I would recommend using a paddle leash attatched to the boat so when you fall off you don't have to chase it.just hold on to the paddle. Oh, and thigh braces are a must. Overall, great boat to start out in. now I'm gunna get a rodeo kayak and learn how to roll, so I can carve and get air on the waves.
This is a fun boat but I wouldn't recommend it for big…
This is a fun boat but I wouldn't recommend it for big paddlers. I had great fun with it on the beach - what I bought it for - playing in the waves in Pensacola. My teenage daughter totally loves it. She thinks it is her boat now. She used it on the Hiwassee (Class II) and on the Okatoma (Class I). It is very maneuverable, turns on a dime, so doesn't really track great. It is light, easy to cartop and carry and easy to store. For the price it is a great boat. We used it more this summer than any of my 4 other boats!!
I had a WS Ride for fishing and decided I needed a…
I had a WS Ride for fishing and decided I needed a smaller boat for fishing and riding the surf. I bought an Islander without test paddling it (bad mistake). The boat is flat bottomed, doesn't track, tippy, and hard to maneuver. I've had it in the surf, but it is SO tippy and hard to manuever that it is truly more work than fun. I haven't sold the boat becuase I have found that there is no one kayak for everything. I still like to play in the surf, so I'll keep it and just try and get better with it. I have bought a Necky Dolphin for fishing now. I haven't had it out yet, but I'm looking forward to testing it out.
I purchased two Islander Hulas this Spring as Great Lakes surf kayaks…
I purchased two Islander Hulas this Spring as Great Lakes surf kayaks and fun play boats for my kids (two are teenagers) and as a no wind alternative to my windsurfing addiction. The kids have used the boats a lot and even my eight year old loves it. She can handle it on flat water with no problem. Yesterday was our first chance to use them in 3-4 ft. Lake Huron waves. What a blast. I’ve used a Wilderness System Kaos and a Perception Torrent for surf kayaking at Cape Hatteras and the Hulas compare very well. I’m 6 ft., 180 lbs and, even though the boat is small, I had no problem catching the waves. The Hula felt more stable on the wave than either the Torrent or Kaos although it also seemed far more directional and I had trouble initiating a carve on the wave. The Hulas also seemed less prone to pearling when catching the wave or when trying to bust through them on the way out than the Kaos. The somewhat bulbous nose is probably the reason.The Hula also has a ‘softer’ design than either the Kaos or Torrent meaning I have far fewer bruises today. The Kaos was especially hard on the ankles as the foot braces were molded as hard edges. My 13 year old son (5’4”, 100 lbs) also used the boat and had a great time. He didn’t feel like he was being overwhelmed like he’s had on the Torrent because the Hula is smaller.I wondered about the durability of the plastic fittings but after some great wipe outs, lots of pressure on the thigh straps and the paddle leash being attched to one fitting, there were no problems. There was some water in the hull after our four hours of playing but no more than I’ve had with the Kaos or Torrent and certainly not enough to affect performance. Summary: The Hula is a great recreational surf kayak and play boat with a price that’s hard to beat. I highly recommend it for small to moderate surf. Final comment- wear a helmet on even the small days. I lost count of the number of times the boat grazed my helmeted head during wipe outs.
I bought my boat (Islander HULA) for fishing NJ resivours. I rigged…
I bought my boat (Islander HULA) for fishing NJ resivours. I rigged it up with a downrigger , fish finder , rod holders and pontoons so i can stand up in it. Works great!!! I put a small milk crate in the back for my tackle box and fish and have no complaints. For under $400 this is the way to go for fishing!!
I chose the Hula for several reasons: Budget, I wasn't experienced in…
I chose the Hula for several reasons: Budget, I wasn't experienced in closed cockpit, versatility. I use the Hula on Class II and III whitewater, and boy is it fun. I like getting splashed and being right there, so its okay for me. A little tippy at times, mostly because it is narrow and I am a big guy (6'2'', 220lbs.) It also can carve a nice edge. For a beginner with no roll to speak of, and one staying on II and III, this is a great boat.
I was looking for my first boat and after looking at several…
I was looking for my first boat and after looking at several styles had the Hula has one of my two final selections. I liked that it was small and light and very easy to transport. I would be using it primarily for wave surfing. A local dealer (T.I. Kayaks in Ocean City, NJ) allowed me to demo the boat twice. The first day the waves were not big but because the Hula was smaller than some others you could still catch some decent rides on less than huge waves. The second day the surf was somewhat choppy. I had trouble getting the boat comfortably throough the Breaks without tipping. Once I got out there and tried to ride the bigger ones in it was not tremendously easy. I caught a few perfectly and even though only a novice was still able to cut back and forth a little (I had thigh straps which helped). With practice I think the Hula would be a great surf boat but I was looking for something a little easier and selected a Frenzy instead because it is more versatile and can still ride the surf with more stability and is much less "tippy". Bottom line, if its your first boat, no matter what you may think, the Frenzy is a great choice because it is so stable. I will consider the Hula as my next affordable boat to surf, but not for a total beginner like me.