Hands-on Gear Review

Naish Mana GS Review

The Mana is much more at home catching waves than for casual paddling.
2018 Naish Mana 10'0"
By: Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jun 23, 2018
Price:  $1,560 List
Pros:  Maneuverable, not the most stable
Cons:  Expensive, doesn't glide great
Manufacturer:   Naish
52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 12
  • Glide Performance - 35% 4
  • Stability - 25% 6
  • Maneuverability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 15% 6
  • Durability - 10% 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Our Verdict

One of the more surfing oriented stand up paddle boards of the bunch, the Naish Mana GS Series is a decent SUP but finished towards the bottom of the group. This board lacks the glide performance and stability to appeal to a broad audience, not to mention the sticker shock that many people will experience upon seeing the premium price. The Mana might be a top board for surfing, but it's mediocre for general paddling.

2018 Product Update and Name Change
Naish shifted the Mana 10'0" from it's GS construction to its GTW. Find details below.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

2018 GTW Mana versus the 2017 GS


Naish is now making the 10-foot Mana with some stellar new graphics (as seen below at left), an updated pad, and its GTW construction. The 2017 Mana that we tested, seen in the photo at right, had a GS construction, consisting of Naish's standard glass inlay and wood reinforcements to the stance zone. This version is still available for sale. We link to it above.

2018 Naish Mana 10'0"
Naish Mana GS 10'

The new GTW version has a higher end finish and wood reinforcements throughout the entire board. This is an upgrade, but not one that will be noticed by anyone but the most experienced paddlers. The board shape is unchanged, so our assessment of the 2017 model should provide insight that translates to this new version.

2017 Mana Performance Comparison


The Mana was relatively unimpressive across the board. This board gave a decent performance overall, falling a little short in terms of gliding but making up for it in maneuverability. All in all, it shows that this board's design is heavily focused towards surfing, to the detriment of its general paddling performance.

The Mana is a shorter SUP that is much surfier than other boards.
The Mana is a shorter SUP that is much surfier than other boards.

To evaluate stand up paddle boards, we conducted extensive research to select the top models, then bought all of them to test side-by-side. We scored each board form 0-100, basing this score on their performance in our five weighted rating metrics. These were Durability, Glide Performance, Maneuverability, and Ease of Transport. The following sections detail exactly how the Naish Mana did — where it excelled, as well as where it got swamped.

This group of boards -- an all-around  surfing  and touring model -- all performed very differently in our maneuverability tests.
This group of boards -- an all-around, surfing, and touring model -- all performed very differently in our maneuverability tests.

Glide Performance


By far the most significant rating metric in our entire testing process, this metric takes credit for 35% of the final score for each product. The Naish delivered a lackluster performance, earning a 4 out of 10. We based this score on the results of a time trial and a distance per paddle stroke test, conducted in both calm and choppy conditions.

The Mana scored in the middle of the pack for the calm water time trial test, hitting an average time of 75.67 seconds. This put it in fifth place overall, finishing about 10 seconds slower than the fastest board, the Saber. The Naish performed relatively similar on the rough water version of this test, once again finishing in fifth overall, but this time only trailing the Surftech Saber by about seven seconds with its time of 114.94.

For our glide per paddle stroke test, the Naish once again finished in the lower half of the pack. This test was designed to assess the efficiency of each board, seeing how far you traveled off of the effort for one paddle stroke. For the flat water test, it took an average of 47 paddle strokes to cross out test course — about ten more than the top performing board in this test, the Saber. The performance of the Naish dropped in the rough water version of this test, finishing in the second to last position. This board took 30 paddles to complete the course, about eight more than the top performing model, the BIC Ace -Tec.

Stability


Our stability metric encompassed three separate tests: handling in rough water, transporting extra weight, and how stable each board was for a beginning paddler. The Mana did fairly well in this metric, worth 25% of the overall score. Scoring a 6 out of 10 for its above-average performance, the Naish was decently stable.

For the first test, we compared how each board handled in rough water. It was about average at handling in rough water, handling most waves and wakes without knocking our testers off. This board is a little on the small side, meaning it's not the best suited for transporting extra passengers or tons of cargo. However, the Naish was still better at transporting cargo than the California Board Company, the Raven, and the Saber.

Finally, this board was about in the middle in terms of beginner preferences. It wasn't the favorite of any of the novice paddlers, but no one complained about using this one — once they found the correct footing.

The Naish has a triple-fin setup.
The Naish has a triple-fin setup.

Maneuverability


Comprising 15% of the overall score, our Maneuverability metric consisted of two tests. These were a time trial through a slalom course made with buoys and a U-turn test. The Naish once again scored a 6 out of 10, for its reasonably above average performance.

The Naish didn't impress us in the slalom course, putting up a time of 94.83 — the third-slowest time of the group. This board maneuvered around the buoys well but just didn't have the speed that other models in the group had. This model did redeem itself in our U-turn test, having one of the smallest turning radii of the group. The triple fin setup substantially helps this board carve, allowing it to complete relatively tight turns without back paddling.

The Naish is one of the shorter and lighter boards of the group  making it quite easy to carry.
The Naish is one of the shorter and lighter boards of the group, making it quite easy to carry.

Ease of Transport


Moving out of the water, our final two metrics evaluated and assessed the performance of each stand up paddle board on land. Our Ease of Transport metric accounted for 15% of the total score, with the Naish performing decently well, earning a 6 out of 10 for its efforts. To score the boards for this metric, we compared their weight, the difficulty in loading on a car and carrying, as well as the general ergonomics of the handle. The Naish is one of the lightest boards of the group, weighing in at 26 lbs, 8 oz. This board is relatively easy to load on a car — something that definitely could be accomplished by a single person.

The shorter Mana was very easy to load on a car  even without assistance.
The shorter Mana was very easy to load on a car, even without assistance.

This model is also quite easy to carry and isn't too bad to move, significantly helped by its shorter length. This board has an internal recessed handle that was relatively comfortable and ergonomic.

The Naish did suffer some cosmetic damage in the course of our testing.
The Naish did suffer some cosmetic damage in the course of our testing.

Durability


For the final metric in our review, we rated the Durability of each board. To assign scores for this metric — accounting for 10% of the total score — we conducted two distinct tests. The first was to perform a thorough evaluation of each board, carefully examining them for any damage sustained during our review. Second, we combed through all of the online forums and user reviews that we could find, looking for any common patterns of damage or issues. The Naish scored about average, earning a 5 out of 10 for its performance in this set of tests. This model had some scratches in the paint and a few scuffs on the side, but no other damage. We also didn't find any recurring issues noted online.

Value


This board isn't a great value, scoring poorly and having one of the highest list prices of the group.

Conclusion


The Naish is a decent board — designed for primarily surfing — and is relatively stable and is moderately maneuverable. However, this board lacks the general performance and appeal to win an award and is exceptionally expensive. It's a good choice if you plan on surfing your board all the time, but that's about it.

Marissa Fox

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: June 23, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 100%  (1)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...