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Old 02-03-2017, 13:43   #1
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iSup Recommendations

Looking to add an inflatable SUP to the mix. Anyone have any recommendations as far as brands, materials, construction, design? Also what to look out for or stay away from?

Thanks!
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Old 02-03-2017, 15:17   #2
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Re: iSup Recommendations

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Looking to add an inflatable SUP to the mix. Anyone have any recommendations as far as brands, materials, construction, design? Also what to look out for or stay away from?

Thanks!
I have been thinking about the same thing. I am going to go with a SUP from ISLE. Can buy them off of Amazon and the benefits that brings. Will likely go with their entry level called PEAK, which is standard at $500 and 10'. They also have a higher level called Airtech. Prices start at $600 and climb to $1400+. and come in lengths from 10' to 15'-ish. Both versions come with everything you need, including a carrying bag, pump and paddle.

The brand (ISLE), generally, seems to be in the middle of the road price-wise. The great reviews on Amazon and some other sites suggest the quality is right. I don't want to go cheap and have it break a thousand miles from the US. I also don't think I need the fastest or longest distance SUP as I'll really just be using it around the boat/bay, not for expeditions/SUPs miles to go camping/etc.

As for length, the longer generally results in better tracking/speed/distance, but tales up more space. First one will be on the shorter size of 10' because both my wife and I will be using it (I'm 190 pounds, for what its worth, and I'm sure the 10' will be fine for me and will even carry my 120 pound wife along). Will give me the option of upgrading to a 12' later, if I grow to want the extra performance.

I think you are generally stuck with PVC, so one shouldn't store them in the sun for long periods of time. I haven't seen a SUP made out of the higher quality UV-resistance stuff dinghies are made out of. The high end brands/prices seem to just inflate to a higher PSI, which makes them harder, allowing it to track better in the water (again, not something I care about with my intro SUP'ing skills).

I'm sure other options out there work well enough too. This is just the path I'm going down until I get a steal for a Tower or iRocker, the other two brands with good reputations (and prices to match the Airtech's).
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Old 02-03-2017, 15:46   #3
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Re: iSup Recommendations

I'm not entirely sure how many different manufacturers actually feed all the "brands." But I'd make sure that any "cheap" ones are drop-stitched high-pressure (18 psi IIRC) inflatables. I've been pretty happy with the "slingshot" brand SUPs we bought a couple of years ago. I've noticed some shops still have 2016 models for a couple hundred less than the new 2017 ones. As far as I could see, the only difference is the color scheme. Also sometimes the difference in price has to do with whether or not a paddle is included and what kind. And a pump that has both inflation and deflation capability makes putting them away a bit easier.
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Old 02-03-2017, 17:48   #4
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Re: iSup Recommendations

We've had a couple of Tower inflatables boards for a few years. They are holding up well so far. Stay away from the aluminum paddles. They will freeze up/corrode in no time on a cruising boat.
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Old 03-03-2017, 04:40   #5
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Re: iSup Recommendations

Like falling eggs, my guess is that there only a couple factories in China producing the various 'brands'. Recently met someone with a 'European' brand that looked pretty much the same as an 'American' brand in terms of materials and construction.

Doesn't look like anyone uses Hypalon but doubt typical Sup consumers would know the difference or be willing to pay the difference.

Also have decided to go with the Peak by Isle as a starter board, should have it in a couple weeks and will report back.
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Old 04-03-2017, 04:00   #6
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Re: iSup Recommendations

Anyone have any experience with the costco models - Jimmy Styks Thresher or the Sportsstuff ISUP?
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Old 16-03-2017, 18:44   #7
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Re: iSup Recommendations

Well, our friend who came to visit and brought us our Peak which we have played around with now for a couple days. My general impression is that it is pretty good quality and I think a board that most would be happy with for putzing around. Comes with a pump, repair kit, leash, and backpack to store it in. I think a good value.

That said my big complaint is with the lock for the skeg. The skeg itself looks to be zytel or other fiber reinforced nylon which is great but the lock for the skeg relies on a small plastic cam that appears to be thermoplastic. The tolerances were off on the assembly and the stupid little plastic piece broke the second time I installed the skeg.

We aren't exactly anywhere convenient to have the manufacturer just send us a replacement so basically this sup sucks.

Once we get a couple of spares life will be good but in the meantime I'm less than happy with out purchase thanks to a stupid little piece of poorly designed plastic. If you decide to get one have the manufacturer send you some spares before you go anywhere with it, I am quite certain they are well aware of this problem.
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Old 17-03-2017, 07:26   #8
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Re: iSup Recommendations

That really stinks! Maybe you can use a little 4200 or something to stick it on in the meantime? Something strong enough so that it works, but can be removed later.

Have you talked with the maker or Amazon?

I'll have to email them before hand to make sure I can pick up a replacement... Or check out others that won't break in such a stupid manner.
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Old 27-03-2017, 04:40   #9
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Re: iSup Recommendations

Well, the manufacturer was pretty good about responding and will be sending us two replacement parts. Got the feeling we weren't the only people to have this problem.

Unfortunately they will not pay for shipping outside of the US so we have to pay that part and have them sent to a marina somewhere so not really sure when it will work with our schedule to pick them up, maybe a couple weeks.

In the meantime the part that broke did so with the skeg installed which means we have been able to continue to use it. I am generally pleased with this particular product. Seems like good quality. Very light in weight. Easy to pump up. Six inches thick so pretty stiff when fully inflated. Paddle seems pretty good. Other than the one little broken piece, no complaints.

Fun too for those who haven't tried it. Great for tooling around mangrove creeks and the like or possibly further...

...recently met a young couple who flew into Georgetown with a pair of iSups and circumnavigated Great Exuma Island before paddling all the way up to Staniel Cay over a period of about four weeks. Impressive!
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Old 27-03-2017, 06:24   #10
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Re: iSup Recommendations

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Fun too for those who haven't tried it. Great for tooling around mangrove creeks and the like or possibly further...

...recently met a young couple who flew into Georgetown with a pair of iSups and circumnavigated Great Exuma Island before paddling all the way up to Staniel Cay over a period of about four weeks. Impressive!
Wow! That's impressive.. the Sou'side is pretty damn remote too. That would be an awesome trek.

I have a Starboard inflatable windsup (isup with drop down daggerboard). It's very robust and well built. No issues so far after 2 years, and no signs of showing any. Comes with a patch kit. The sail rig that comes with it fits into a compact storage bag.

I also looked at Naish boards and a few other high-end inflatables. My impression is, as with anything, you generally get what you pay for.
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Old 27-03-2017, 06:40   #11
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Re: iSup Recommendations

My recommendation is to get the thickest one you can find that takes the highest pressure - 15 psi or so. The thin or lower pressure ones bend when you stand on them. Then get a cheap electric pump to pump it up. Its hard to get sufficient pressure by hand. They are all PVC and if you leave them out the sun will get them. Ours popped a seam. 5200 sealed it up pretty well (but ugly) but it just opened somewhere else. After 3 times, we gave up on it. Cover it or deflate it.
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Old 27-03-2017, 09:30   #12
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Re: iSup Recommendations

We have both a Tower and an Isle SUP. I got into SUPing with an 11 foot hard epoxy board. My goal was to get out into the surf, learn on a big board and start downsizing. My wife bought the 10 foot Isle to join me on calmer waters. Of course I had to try it out... being a foot shorter, I expected it to be less stable. It wasn't. If anything, it was more stable. It also tracked just as well. Of course it flexed more than the epoxy board. That said, it didn't flex very much, even if it wasn't inflated all the way to 15 psi. Paddling it didn't seem to take very much more effort than the epoxy board. It even works pretty well in the surf. We got the Tower a year later so we could have two inflatables on the boat. It seems to flex more than the Isle, but performance and quality are similar. Haven't had any problems with the fins, but they don't inspire confidence. - John
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Old 04-09-2017, 06:55   #13
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Re: iSup Recommendations

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Well, the manufacturer was pretty good about responding and will be sending us two replacement parts. Got the feeling we weren't the only people to have this problem.



Unfortunately they will not pay for shipping outside of the US so we have to pay that part and have them sent to a marina somewhere so not really sure when it will work with our schedule to pick them up, maybe a couple weeks.



In the meantime the part that broke did so with the skeg installed which means we have been able to continue to use it. I am generally pleased with this particular product. Seems like good quality. Very light in weight. Easy to pump up. Six inches thick so pretty stiff when fully inflated. Paddle seems pretty good. Other than the one little broken piece, no complaints.

Delancey, any updates on your purchase? It is just about time for me to pull the trigger.
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Old 06-09-2017, 19:20   #14
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Re: iSup Recommendations

We went Mistral, very well made stiff boards. Got a deal from Riley Marine for leash, pump, bag, repair kit, very nice carbon paddle and shipping for about A$1500 each.

by the way we have had 2 Walker Bay Velocity (12ft) inflatable Kayaks that have held up well over quite a lot of use over 7 years. Definitely need to be mindful that these are all PVC, and you do not want to leave them fully inflated in the sun.
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