The iSUP Experience

Not Your Father’s Rubber Duck Stand Up Paddle Board

It is no secret that each new innovation in the world of stand up paddle boarding is an effort to correct the sins of a predecessor. From the earliest Peruvian paddle boats that were the precursor to the SUP boards we use to today, which led to beach boys using paddles on their surf boards to photograph tourists to the ever-evolving stand up boards of today, the sport has grown with each new concept. But not without detractors along the way. Surfers scoffed at the use of paddles while paddle boarders insulted the inflatable board, referring to is as a rubber duck.

But the iSUP experience, or the inflatable stand up paddle board experience is worth considering – and not just for an easy paddle on a nearby lake. These boards are ready to play with the big boys and a company like Mistral, long known for its prowess amongst the windsurfing crowd, has introduced an inflatable board worth considering.

The Mistral M1 12’6” Race SUP and Mistral 14’ SUP Race Inflatable Paddle Boards

Mistral M1 iSUP

Mistral M1 iSUP in either side is a formidable competitor on the race circuit.

enter into the fray with those divisive comments in mind and a quickly as they can, leave the detractors in their wake. Much like the standard SUP made by the same company in the same lengths, the inflatable SUP, or iSUP offers more than just speed.

Like its cored cousins, the board is designed with an elevated attention to detail. It is well glued in the spots that other inflatables fail to do giving you the peace of mind that what needs to be reinforced is. It does come with its own pump and repair kits and because it is lightweight, it transports without the need for a roof rack.

It does perform differently and some hardcore SUPers might be quick to point this out. For instance, as you crest a wave, the Mistral iSUP makes a slight bend and heads straight into the next wave. It will sort of “pop” as it re-adjusts itself. This isn’t necessarily a downside but it is a little different for the SUPer who is used to a certain reaction from the board. It will, however do almost exactly as well as the hard board. A step back on the board to execute a quick turn will reveal a surprisingly reactive spin.

This is the future of racing iSUPs. These boards are quick and agile, the shorter of the two is better used by newer racers while the longer Mistral will dispel any questions about whether an inflatable can compete with the hard boards.

The 2015 race season starts with the Orange Bowl in Miami and if you are traveling, nothing beats the ability to journey with an inflatable. These boards should compete well in this competition.

Speak Your Mind