Note: The Mistral Kailua is not available anymore. Check out the iRocker Cruiser instead. It’s just more stable and more versatile.
Mistral Fit Kailua
Imagine floating across a calm, serene lake. You can hear the birds chirp, the languid branches rustle in the gentle wind, and fresh air filling up your lungs. In the midst of this inspiring and energizing scenery, you perform your yoga poses on a soft but stable SUP.
This is the enchanting promise of the Kailua inflatable SUP from Mistral. And I must say that it is quite tempting. But does the fitness-centric board deliver on its promise? Let’s find out…
The Real Review
The first test for any iSUP, because they are filled with air, is whether they can match the stability and rigidity provided by the hardboard variety. This is even more pertinent when the board claims to be a fitness accessory. The Kailua passes the first test with relative ease. When pumped up to the recommended PSI, the Kailua delivers a firm platform for you to do your stretches. There is none of the nervous shakes or flexing, considering it is an air-filled board. After a while on the water, as you focus on your stretches and breathing pattern, you will probably forget it is an inflatable board.
Even when the board is inflated a shade below the optimum pressure, it manages to hold firm over water. This impressed me. But then again, since it is a Mistral creation, I have come to expect the best out of it.
A slight concern I have with the board’s dimension is that it can be a bit narrow. At 32-inches wide, it does offer enough space for a comfortable workout; however, for those who are new to the sport, they may find themselves tilting overboard in the midst of a downward dog pose. To clarify, this issue is not common, and may be faced only by newbies.
A Rugged Construction
Saying than an inflatable SUP should have a rugged construction is a bit like saying that a piece of candy needs to be sweet. But when I turned my attention to what lies beneath the board’s beautiful top, I was quite impressed.
To give the Kailua its ever-steady core, Mistral has called for the toughest materials and assembled them together with fine craftsmanship. You will find a 660D drop stitch core, featuring thousands of fine polyester threads at 2600 g/sq. meter. This provides an almost unbreakable link to the top and bottom of the board. The threads can absorb more air and be inflated to a higher pressure than recommended if you are looking for a smooth gliding experience.
If the core sounds rugged enough, the top and bottom layers of the board amp up the tough act.
Each layer cocoons the core with four layers of protective material. That makes it eight in total. The layers are composed of a heavy-duty 1000 denier PVC, hardened rubber materials, multiple layers of urethane, and polymer. You have a base cloth that lies above the core, then two layers of sheet topped up by an extra layer of fabric that features a 1000D stitch. The cherry on the cake is that the board’s skin comes with UV protection. No matter how much time you spend under the sun, the board’s good looks will not fade.
A Real Looker
Talking of looks, any Mistral board, whether inflated or hardwood, makes a style statement. The Kailua is no different. Being a fitness-centric board, the visual design does play an important part. No one would want to work out or do yoga on a dull, uninspired platform.
The Mistral Fit Kailua comes in two bright colors – blue and orange. Both options have a white base on which sits the graphic design. The blue board has a thick grey stem at the center, offset by bright and dark shades of blue. The orange option has a thick yellow stem at the center, offset by grey and orange. The board’s name, Kailua, is printed on the stem with a graphic of a figure in a yoga pose.
One look at the SUP and you would want to do your yoga on the colorful, cheerful board.
A Fitness Machine
Now, most fitness boards provide a similar amount of features; the Kailua, I feel, is a step above the rest.
As a yoga board, it feels firm, sturdy, yet light under your hands and feet. A super soft, non-slip EVA deck pad offers a cushioned platform that prevents easy fatigue. It also provides a soft landing for your knees, as you go through the yoga poses like the Surya Namaskar. But where it truly makes a mark is in offering an additional work out option. Enter: resistance bands.
Mistral’s Kailua comes with a pair of resistance bands that you can attach to the D-Rings. You can now do a variety of plyometric movements, such as squats. You can even work out your arms and shoulders, part of isometric movements, by pulling against the bands.
The true USP of the board perhaps lies in its ability to transform from a fitness board to a floating kayak, a touring SUP, or even a downwind sail. There are multiple D-Rings on the board that allow you to attach or carry various kinds of additional accessories. A kayak seat can be fixed, you could carry your food and drinks secured to the bungee cord at the nose, or attach a wind sail. If all this sounds complicated, then just grab a paddle and head out on the lake. The board’s detachable centre fin slices through the water, offering a smooth tracking experience.
The Mistral Fit Kailua is a handy investment if you are big on SUP yoga and fitness. It’s not the cheapest board on the market, but it comes with a lot of really cool features.
All things said the Mistral Kailua is an impressive iSUP and a handy fitness companion.
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