Tower Paddleboards iSUP Adventurer $800
The Good: Fully equipped paddleboard fits in the trunk of a car, easy to transport, easy to store. A stable and stiff 6″ thick board.
The Bad: Not as stiff as a fiberglass board so it flexes a bit on rough water, but it’s only noticeable on the real rough stuff. The thickness of the board means a bit more drag compared to thinner fiberglass boards.
The Ugly: The included pump hose was a pain and had to be rigged up to get the board fully inflated in the field.
The world of Stand-up paddleboards (SUPs) has been gaining momentum in the past few years. Today, it’s almost impossible to find a body of water without a few SUPs happily cruising around. One of the main drawbacks to the traditional fiberglass SUP is how bulky they can be, both during storage and when travelling to your favorite flatwater. Tower Paddleboard’s iSUP Adventurer inflatable stand-up paddleboard is compact when rolled up, but still transforms to a rigid 9’10″ long stable board capable of conquering any water you’ve got your eye on. With a comfortable diamond grid deck pad, multiple anchor points, and burly skin it’s easy to spend a day on the water with the Adventurer board.
We took the iSUP Adventurer out for review on Northern California’s Sacramento River, and into the brackish waters of the Elkhorn Slough near Santa Cruz. Both trips had rough cold water, fast currents, and plenty of local wildlife. The first set up with the Adventurer took only 15 minutes, which involved unrolling and inflating the paddleboard, and installing the removable skeg. Clean-up took about 20 minutes, including a wipe-down and fast roll back into the original box. The paddleboard easily fit into the trunk of a Honda civic along with an inflatable kayak, the assorted paddles and PFDs. Once on the water, the paddleboard was fast and nimble, with very little flex thanks to the 6″ thickness of the board. On rougher water in the rapids, a bit of flex was noticed, but it took real waves to find any real indication that it was not a rigid board. During the Elkhorn Slough run, about 2 miles of paddling against the incoming tide really tested out the speed and drag of the paddleboard, and it did take a bit more effort than the comparable 10′ fiberglass board to get back to the car. This is likely due to the additional friction from the inflatable shell materials, but overall it’s a small price to pay for the portability of the inflatable board.
Overall, if SUP is on your mind, an inflatable board is a great option. Easy to store, easy to transport, and still a blast out on the water; and for the price, it’s a hard package to beat.