Paddle Board Reviews: An Instructor’s Point of View

We invited Lia Adlparvar, a certified paddle board instructor and the owner of Tuga Paddle Boards a Canadian SUP manufacturer.

As one would expect, Lia has spent time riding a wide range of brands and types of paddle boards. These are a few of her favorite boards she ridden.

Rogue iSUP (11′ x 29″ x 5.5″) Review:

Rogue iSUP Review

The Rogue iSUP is a very user-friendly board. One of the first things that stand out is the carrying bag, which is stylish and has wheels (very handy for air travel). It also inflates to 25 PSI, which is as rigid as they come these days. It paddles quite smoothly thanks to its 29″ width. The centre of gravity is lower due to the 5.5″ thickness instead of the usual 6″. This makes the board feel a little more stable but it sacrifices volume, which could hurt bigger paddlers.

Jimmy Lewis Uboat (14′ x 25″) Review:

Jimmy Lewis U-Boat

This board is designed for racing, and it can be really fast when it gets going. At 25″ wide, this board can be quite unstable even for intermediate paddlers. However, experienced racers can make the most of this narrow body to maximize speed. Another drawback of its narrow body is that it is very difficult to turn (it is almost impossible to do so without pivot turning). It is a great race board and very well built. It can be challenging to use this board recreationally.

404 iSUP (10’2” x 32″ x 5″) Review:

The first thing that I noticed when trying this board was that it only goes to 20 PSI and 5″ thick, which is out of line with the industry leading boards that are boasting 6″ thickness and 25 PSI.  Although few people take the time to inflate the board past 20 PSI, it really improves the feel of the board on the water. The board is stable and treks well for its compact size. Depending on what you are looking for, I believe there are better options out there at this price range.

Starboard Atlas 12’ (12′ x 33″ x 4.6″) Review

starboard inflatable sup 12

At 12′ x 33″ x 4.6″ this board is almost unsinkable. It is a great board for friends and family because everyone can enjoy paddling it without compromising stability. The extra width does add stability compared to its other 12′ counterparts, but it makes it slightly slower as it creates more drag. The bigger size, although is great on the water, makes the board a bit harder to handle out of the water. It is a great board if you have a wide range of paddlers and the space to keep it.

Starboard SUP surf (7’4″ x 25.5″ x 3.9”):

Starboard SUP 7'4 Surf 2

This PRO design from Starboard caters to very experienced surfers and paddlers. The low volume gives it great agility in the waves but it makes the board very hard to balance when sitting on the lineup. It is a great board to surf but not a very enjoyable board to paddle. This board is for you if you would like to dedicate solely to SUP Surfing and performing aggressive maneuvers.