KM Hawaii Cruiser Board Review
Make and Model: KM Hawaii Cruiser Bamboo Disclaimer: In all fairness, it should be known that I am a KM Hawaii dealer. I will do my best to be objective. Dimensions: Length: 11’6” Width: 32” Thickness: 4 ¾” Volume: 220L Fin Setup: 2 + 1 First Impression (on land): Visuals Visually, very impressive board out of the box; couldn’t keep my eyes off all the bamboo; seems like it’s everywhere. The deck pad is fantastic looking, big fan of the two-tone, diamond-shaped grip. I’m not a huge fan of the color combinations but others might be. I would personally like to see more color choices than the bright color contrasts available. Features This board has all the usual features of an all-around board. They did, however, add two extra tie- down pugs up front giving it a total of six. I believe there are some product manufacturers working on some attachments to anchor on these style tie-downs; this could add some serious functionality to the board. Having the ability to have the usual bungee tie-down and accessory plugs would be really cool. The deck pad has a nice little kicker raised up on the tail; should make surfing or buoy turns fun and stable. Weight The weight is not listed on the KM Hawaii website. My calibrated arm seems to think it’s about 30 pounds. Not too bad for a bamboo board at eleven and a half feet long. The recessed handle is a little small for my hamburger hands; not unmanageable, though.
On The Water:
Note: Primary stability is how the board feels when at rest and not moving. It’s how twitchy the board is when standing at rest; it’s often the first impression of how stable a board is. Secondary stability is how far you can lean on the rail without going in. This is usually what gets you wet. It’s not uncommon to have a board that feels unstable at rest and have awesome secondary stability. If this is the case, it will be twitchy to stand on and then be stable once moving or really leaned on its rail. Some boards have awesome primary stability. Then, once leaned on the rail, it will seem to let go and in you go.
It feels stable at first, although I was a little surprised at how low in the water it was. Being 220L of volume, I thought it would float me better. Being 6’6” and about 220 lbs, it was a little twitchy but it felt stable.
Felt really stable on its rails; never thought it would let me go, even pushing its weight limit.
Was really impressed with the speed; could actually feel the board get up on plane while paddling on flat water. Doesn’t push water like a lot of all-around boards tend to do. At one point, I had a boat wake sneak up on me; actually thought I might be able to catch it. Definitely able to get a good glide and speed up considerably.
My first impression was not good. I couldn’t go in a straight line to save my life; it felt like it had no fin at all. I thought I was having flash backs of SUP in Jamaica, not good. I added the two side fins and the issue went away completely. Once all three fins were added, it tracked straight and turned normal for the type of board.
The deck pad is great looking and comfortable. The only problem with it is a big one – it only goes from the tail to the carry handle. If you plan on having a ride-along or doing yoga (kids, dog, cooler), plan on adding some sort of traction. It’s super slippery and could scratch all that beautiful bamboo.
This board lives up to the all-around category I would put it in. I believe its primary intention is for surf. It’s also fun on flat water. However, I’d be careful adding too much gear if you’re on the bigger side.
$1,399.00 as tested
• Light weight
• Well designed planning hull actually planes
• Versatile tie-downs
• Very stable
• Short deck pad needs to extend farther forward
• Color combinations are not my favorite (personal gripe)
• Could float more weight for the dimensions
• Would like to be able to paddle forward without all three fins installed
This is a great all-around paddle board; it does all the things you would expect it to do. It does some of the things you’d expect it to do better than most. It has some flaws but what board doesn’t? It’s probably not a good first board – being on the expensive side – but would make a great addition to an existing quiver. Its ability to surf well and cruise on flat water well makes it a great addition for an active water person.
By: Chris Woodruff
Owner: Paddles By The Sea
What: Paddle Board and Kayak Rentals and Tours
Where: 3321 Bridge Plaza Dr Vero Beach FL