Honu is an Australian Inflatable SUP brand that has recently released a range of high-end boards that are both eco-friendly and engineered for performance. The range includes the Airlie (Kids), Bondi (hybrid-surf), Byron (all-round), and the Sorrento (touring). These boards not only look great, but have been designed to compete with the best in the industry in terms of performance.
Honu was kind enough to send us one of their Byron All-Rounders to try out and share our thoughts.
- Length: 10’6″
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 4.72″
- Volume: 245 L
- Rider Weight: 40-120Kg
- Inclusions: Bag, HP8 pump, coil leash, repair kit, fins
- Board Weight: 7.7 Kg
- Warranty: 2 + 2 year manufacturer’s warranty
The Byron is Honu’s all-round board, designed to be suitable for almost all environments and for a range of riders. It’s perfect for exploring rivers, cruising on lakes, or having fun in small waves.
It measures 10.6 feet long and 32” wide, which is in line with most all-round SUPs on the market. However, at 4.7” in thickness it is thinner than many boards, providing increased stability and responsiveness. At only 7.7kg the Byron is also very lightweight but doesn’t compromise on stability, being suitable for riders in the weight range of 40-120kg.
The Byron represents the most versatile board in the Honu lineup. In fact, Honu describe it as “the Swiss army knife of inflatable paddle boards”. It’s designed to perform well in flat water as well as the surf and be suitable for a range of skill levels and rider weights.
We’re yet to test the Byron in the surf but have tested it in a range of flat water conditions with a variety of rider weights and skill levels and have found it to excel in all situations.
At only 7.7kg the Byron is very lightweight. Compared to other boards we’ve used, the Honu felt noticeably lighter both when packed away and when fully inflated. This is a big plus if you intend to carry the board at all and it also contributes to it being more responsive in the water.
Rigidity is extremely important in an inflatable paddle board as it impacts the maneuverability and responsiveness. There are a range of factors in construction that influence rigidity, including the air pressure the board can be inflated to, which is measured in PSI.
The recommended PSI range of the Byron is 16-20, which is pretty standard for this type of board. However, Honu also incorporates their X-Woven Drop Stitch and Triple Bonded Rail technologies which add extra strength to the board, meaning it can retain rigidity without the need for additional thickness. In fact, SUP Boarder Mag found the Honu boards to be up there with the most rigid boards they have tested.
We used the board at around 17-18 PSI and found it to be rock solid, with no noticeable flex.
The Byron is 4.7” thick, which makes it one of the thinnest boards on the market. This contributes to its lower weight, as mentioned above, but also provides additional stability and responsiveness.
As explained by Earth River SUP, much of the industry has moved towards 6” boards to gain extra rigidity, and “while rigidity is an attribute we look for in a paddle board, it can be better achieved with proper use of materials and construction methods, without having to resort to the shortcut of making the board thicker than it should optimally be.”
The traction pad on the Byron features a hexagonal design which we found provides ample grip along with being comfortable underfoot during longer paddles. There is also a raised kick pad at the tail to assist with SUP surfing. The traction pad incorporates the boards colourway and adds to the overall aesthetic.
We found the Byron to be super stable thanks to the impressive rigidity and low profile design. We tested this board with first timers as well as experienced SUP riders, all of whom found the board to be well balanced in the water.
At 10’6” in length and 32” in width, the Byron is the perfect size and shape to achieve a balance between maneuverability and tracking/glide. Compared to other boards of the same length, we found the weight and thickness make the Byron very responsive to quick turns and maneuvers. This makes it a great option if you expect it to be used by a range of riders and skill levels, including smaller riders who may struggle to maneuver a more bulky board.
At a longer length than Honu’s Bondi or Airlie, the Byron will provide superior water tracking and glide, without compromising on stability. It also features a premium US box style fin to assist with tracking in the water.
If, however, you’re looking to cover longer distances, you may want to consider a touring board such as the Honu Sorrento, which features a longer, narrower shape, and a touring style fin, providing superior glide and speed.
- Safety Leash
- Dual bungies
- iSUP Backpack
- Dual Action Pump
In summary, the Byron is an excellent all-round SUP. It integrates cutting edge technology to deliver industry leading thickness and weight without compromising on rigidity and stability.
It makes it an excellent option for beginners, families, or those looking for a board to use in a range of environments. We have no hesitation in recommending the Byron as an all-round option.
What’s more, you’ll be supporting an Australian business that is committed to environmental causes and implementing the best environmental practices for their products.