Corran SUP maybe be an (as yet) unfamiliar name to UK stand ups but with a large global following and a paddle sports pedigree stretching back to the 80s it’s a company we were keen to check out.
The brand is owned by ex-world champion kayaker Corran Addison, who held the record for largest waterfall huck (drop) for over a decade. It’ll come as no surprise Corran’s Thunder 12.6ft exhibits traits born from years of paddling expertise.
High performance inflatables used to lag way behind that of their hard shell siblings. These days, however, the margin is much smaller. Corran’s Thunder has bags of R&D inbuilt – the glaringly obvious being its tubular exo-skeleton that threads through a series of webbing loops across the deck. Giving extra rigidity it was something we were keen to investigate.
Another quirky feature is the articulating fin. Bolting onto the tail, rather than attaching via more familiar box system, it’s a skeg that raises as the paddler sweeps across shallows, snapping back into place once back in deeper water.
Inflating the Corran Thunder is standard procedure. Inserting the tent pole like exo-skeleton is a bit of faff. Getting the rods through the webbing loops is tricky although we’re informed by the importer this is being rectified for the next batch. Having inserted the rods you’ll need to screw on the fin which is simple enough with a large cross head screw driver. Then it’s to the put in.
At 30” wide the Thunder offers a relatively stable ride on flat water but all sweepers will benefit from proactivity on deck depending on conditions. Moving around will ensure the best trim for the water state on offer during each session.
The exo-skeleton certainly seems to do the trick. Many iSUPs suffer from slapping as you ride over chop and into wind – the Corran seems to float effortlessly over wavelets, the tubes pulling the nose into an elevated position giving a feeling of levitation.
Upwind and downwind, if there’s any breeze puffing, is pure gliding fun – the Thunder tracks and slides along efficiently. The only chink was when paddling across wind – chop would buffet the Thunder and dramatically increase the board’s weaving to and fro. More concentration and correctional strokes from the rider were therefore needed to stay on course.
The Thunder’s glide is impressive, picking up even the smallest runners with ease, and top speed on silky smooth water was delightful. It’s also worth noting the Thunder benefits from accurate edging – something unusual for an inflatable. It’s possible to stay stroking on one side with efficient rail trim; another sign of the brand’s kayaking heritage, but one which newbies will struggle with at first.
A super efficient board for flat water and coastal venues with moderate chop. Upwind and downwind glide is superb – the Thunder’s nose floating above ripples. Once you’ve got the hang of assembling the exo-skeleton and fin system the Corran 12.6ft is as much flat water SUP fun as you can muster.
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