MHL Custom 14’ Race Board
Review by: John Sloan
I just drove 7 hours for a Stand Up Paddleboard race. 7 hours for a race that I’ve done absolutely zero training for. Unless you count the previous race I participated in Puerto Rico, where I spent more time in the water than I did on my board… I always have an excuse. “My paddle was too short, my paddle was too long, the water was really slow that day”. And of course, “my board is just too slow”. That has been my “go-to” for the past 12 months. I’ve never even owned my own board. Always borrowing whatever board wasn’t being used for the upcoming races, always defaulted to me. One middle of the pack finish after another. I grew tired of watching my peers progress in the sport that we all know and love. After witnessing two of my closest paddling buddies come off podium performances on their new custom MHL boards, I decided to follow suit. I picked up a brand spankin’ new MHL 14’x25” before the Wrightsville Beach Carolina Cup and never looked back. Well, that’s not entirely true. I looked back on the 172 people that were behind me!
- 14’ MHL Custom Raceboard
- 100% premium carbon fiber construction
- Handcrafted in Puerto Rico
- Custom shape & custom graphics
- 25” wide (width can be whatever you want it to be!)
- recessed deck for added stability
- Drain holes on the deck to keep your toes dry!
Preface: I am 6’0” and 175 lbs.
MHL boards are popping up on podiums all over the southeast. The handcrafted custom boards are a superior design made with superior materials, making them the fastest stand up crafts on the water. Not to mention, they are hands down the best looking boards you’ve ever seen. Don’t even try and say looks don’t matter… The beautiful colors and lines are vibrant in the sun offer a great conversation piece. The Puerto Rican designer, Ely, can do pretty much anything you want her to! I opted for a green fade with my companies logo. Who doesn’t love a shameless plug?
the nose has extra volume, keeping you from getting blasted by oncoming swell and wake. But the hull of the board meets the nose in the water, providing a full 14’ of water line for the extra glide, making it a suitable board for conditions ranging from flat water to open ocean. The tail narrows quite a bit to reduce drag and keep those drafters from riding you the whole race! Ask anyone who was behind me in Wrightsville, they’ll tell you it was not a fun place to be! I went with a 25” wide board, making it substantially more narrow than most production boards out there. While this worried me a bit, the recessed deck got my center of gravity closer to the water, making for a very stable ride and less drag,ultimately leading to my fastest 6 mile race ever at 1 hour and 8 minutes!
Holes cut from the deck to the rails release any unwanted water that begins to pool on the deck. The graphics and paint job is nothing short of stunning! At least 30 people came up to me and commented on the look of the board. MHL does all the design and paint themselves and take extra pride in their work. High Country is one of the only retailers in the world that carries MHL Custom, and they stock a variety of the boards with different graphics. But if you want something special, they will work with you and MHL to get the board made!
My advice is to go with an MHL board that is already made. This will eliminate dealing with a 1-2 month waiting process, a higher than anticipated cost, and the fear of the board arriving to the states broken! I would also recommend not getting to crazy on the width! Losing an inch or two can work against you if you’re spending the whole day in the water! At 175 lbs, 25” was a perfect choice! Chop it down a bit if you are shorter, and are absolutely confident in your athletic ability!
My new MHL custom 14 footer changed my paddling game. I am more excited than ever to get on the water to paddle because I finally have the board I love. If speed and performance is what you are looking for, and you are tired of watching the same people pass you race after race, than look no further than MHL Custom Boards. they say “it’s the indian not the arrow”, I can promise you a nice arrow doesn’t hurt! This Indian will sleep happy in his tipi after the best SUP race of my career!
lightweight full carbon construction with beautiful aesthetics
A bit pricey and difficult to find
The absolute fastest board on the water!