Hala Gram: First Look

Hala Gram

I had a chance to take the Hala Gram out a few times. The Gram has been discontinued, but you can still find it from a number of retailers. It’s the bigger brother to the Milligram, the other surf-focused board in the family (they also have the Peno). I’ve always been a fan of Hala’s board names; who knew there were so many “Hala”-based name puns.

At 8′ and chunky, the Gram is very much a surfing paddleboard, rather than a surfing shortboard. The length and volume let it surf all sorts of little waves that wouldn’t hold me on a shortboard. But once on the wave, the weight and bulk make themselves known. Especially compared to its smaller siblings, the Gram would make a good downriver whitewater board for a SUP’er who wants to head downstream but wants to do some surfing along the way.

Build quality is great, as expected from Hala. Given the board’s size, I noticed a big difference when I inflated it to its maximum PSI (15), rather than the 11-12 it was at when it was in my truck. Filling it out made for significantly less floppiness on the wave.

Given its spects, the Hala Gram is a competitor to my Glide Lochsa. The Lochsa has bigger shoulders and seems to want to track downriver and through waves and holes better, while the Gram’s five fin boxes and nose rocker make it a better surfer. Between the two, I’d take the Lochsa if I’m expecting bigger downriver whitewater, and the Gram if I’m expecting to surf more or needed an inflatable to save space.