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14′ Race iSUP Test 2022 / SUPBOARDER PRO HEAD TO HEAD

In this SUPboarder PRO head to head test we put 9 x 14' ( x 27" +/- 1") inflatable race SUPS priced between £699 and £1399 up against each other. With many of us wanting to race or do some fast touring a race inflatable board is a transportable and low cost alternative to a composite board and something many will be looking to add to their quiver! Carried out by our team of 8 testers, it's packed full of race iSUP information to help you understand which board will be right for YOU!

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Steve Main
Steve Main
1 month ago

I currently have a Fanatic Blitz 25.5 but looking to add a race isup. Getting a demo is problematic so is there a rule of thumb re isup width relative to a hardboard from a stability perspective? Basically i’m dithering between a 26” and 28” RS Air, i’m 100kg and find the Blitz unstable enough for my current balance skills, particularly when the water has a bit of chop.

Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Main

Hi Steve, are you looking to have a board that is more stable than your current composite board at 25.5 wide?
Or are you trying to get on the fastest inflatable paddleboard for your weight?
The 26 would obviously offer you the most speed.
Also what kind of conditions are you going to be paddling it in? If always on flat water than stability of the board wouldn’t be so much of a problem but if you were taking it out in open chop /swell I think the 28 would be a better move.

Steve Main
Steve Main
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

I’m aiming for a board that isn’t less stable…..if that makes sense. I’m probably not going to race the isup, just use it as a training tool to avoid the hardboard getting constantly dinged when going through locks etc. My primary paddling is on a locked river, some in the Thames where there can be what us inland dwellers call a reasonable amount of chop and then on holidays where I’d use it in the sea. I’ve just put a Blackproject Ray fin on the Blitz to help with stability. But at the same time I want to avoid training… Read more »

Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Main

Hey Steve. I’m feeling that the 26 would be the best choice.
But if you do race train on a 28 wide board yes it will give you a little bit more stability but at the same time it will allow you to feel like you’re paddling slower and having to put more put effort in. Then when you jump on your blitz you’ll have more power to put into the stroke.
Does that make sense?
But I guess you will still get this feeling with a 26 white board as well?!

Steve Main
Steve Main
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Great, thanks, appreciate the input and I think I’d settled on the 26 in my head. It will be interesting to see the pace difference between the hard board and the isup.

Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Main

Ok Steve sounds like a good move. Remember to lets us know what you think of it.

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve Main

gonna through a spanner in the works here 🙂 first off how tall are you? I understand why you want a training board, but as you say you struggle in chop on your Blitz, i would say keep training on that, really practice moving on the board, let all the boats hit you with side chop until your board is just part of you, yes it may get the odd ding here and there, but you can have it fixed up for a lot less than a training board and you’ll be even better in the races too. 🙂 As… Read more »

Steve Main
Steve Main
1 month ago

Thanks Jonny. I’m 6ft 3. I agree with your point on just using the hard board but to be totally honest i ‘need’ an isup to add convenience, getting out for a training session on the Thames before/after work, as well as where i have to park. Hardboards are amazing but they’re also a pain in the backside! You and Olivier have sent me back towards the 28, hunting out a demo sounds like the best way forward. I meant to pick your brains on this at the Shac race a couple of weeks back given your knowledge on isup… Read more »

Olivier Decroly
Olivier Decroly
1 month ago

I have Starboard Airline 28″ and is quite stable for my 95 kg. I use it mainly for training. Selecting fins depending on conditions will increase stability. My race Board is All Star 24,5″ and is as stable as my Airline 28″, if not more. I have tried Airline 26″ but feel more confortable on 28″, especially when choppy or open water. Of course, narrow will make you faster but I favor stability as during race, even on flat, it can be very turbulent (start, security boat or jet-ski,…)

Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago

Great feedback Olivier . You have a nice selection of boards. Happy racing 🙂

Olivier Decroly
Olivier Decroly
1 month ago
Reply to  Reuben Ellis

Just to add. I prefer a stable board for training, especially for the cold winter. Training is more about refining technique, fitness, endurance,… The board used for the races can be a bit more tippy to go faster. You can increase your balance skills in the mean time with a balance board (eg Indo Board,…)

Steve Main
Steve Main
1 month ago

Thanks Olivier, appreciate the feedback

Last edited 1 month ago by Steve Main
Edgold
Edgold
1 month ago

Was there a sense of which boards stood out as better in choppy open water conditions due to nose shape, rocker, and/or stiffness? I also noticed that you appear to have tested the All Star downwind version, which supposedly has more rocker up front (I may not be using that term correctly here). Did anyone notice this as a benefit in choppy water?

Last edited 1 month ago by Edgold
Reuben Ellis
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Edgold

Hey Edgold. Good question, Im going to get our tester Jonny to get back to you about this one.

jonathan Hebert
jonathan Hebert
1 month ago
Reply to  Edgold

Hi Ed The simple answer is – The Shark It was the stand out for me in the chop and flat water, both on the test and then at the two GB sup races in Falmouth, the way it cuts through the waves is just beautiful. However if you really want a board for those conditions i would always try and go Hardboard, the isups can do it, and they do a decent job, but they will always float on top of the water rather than actually connecting with it. Anyway .. Most of the others were about the same,… Read more »

Edgold
Edgold
1 month ago

This is such great information. Sounds like the nose cone really helps. The shark nose looks very similar to the Fit Ocean Force race board, which also has a carbon nose cone. I don’t think Fit Ocean sells to the US, however, which is where I live. I would really like to get a composite board, but I’m struggling with how to find a reasonable place to store it. I don’t have a garage and having it sit along a wall in the house is not something my spouse seems to be keen on. I’m also hesitant to store it… Read more »

Karel Tison
Karel Tison
1 month ago
Reply to  Edgold

Hi, have you considered the Decathlon 14×27 with the solid cone? I struggle to find any info about it on the web/youtube but the demo piece in the shop looked interesting due to its cone. The Shark was my favourite to go for but the real length over 14 feet stopped me to buy. Regards, Karel

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