Review by Drew Lees
When we first saw GromSUP’s board offerings appear in the UK we were stoked that a brand had stepped up to service the kids end of the market – an area that’s important, as after all we need to keep new blood flowing into the sport and maintain momentum/progression/growth. OK, GromSUP isn’t the only brand supplying kiddy friendly SUP kit, but credit where credit’s due…
Enthusiastic oldies are one thing but there’s no substitute for the stoke of a nipper. We were keen to get hold of a GromSUP and put it through its paces but we also wanted an actual grom to test drive it. Drew Lees kindly loaned us his piloting services and scribbled down his thoughts. Over to Drew for the low down…
The GromSUP is a great beginner entry-level board for youths between 50-110lbs looking to start in SUP. It has an egg shape, which makes the board very stable and easy to get up and go although it does veer from side to side when you paddle along – this is normal with short boards though so not unexpected. The board is really light so young paddlers will have no problem carrying the board to the water.
Once afloat it is very easy to manoeuvre and turn. You can learn all the basic fundamentals of SUP on this board. Pivoting and spinning is fun and even the lightest of paddlers will have no problem turning. It is also very easy to change position, from parallel to surf stance, and learning to catch waves is a doddle – if this is your thing.
The GromSUP comes with a balanced carry handle so parents can walk their groms into the waves and save them wasting their energy, if they’re really young. The board is great in the surf as it is easy to get up to speed and catching waves is almost effortless. On flat water it’s not as fast as more pointy nosed SUPs, but it’s a good stand up to cruise on and check out your local spot. As a fun beach toy or something to enjoy the lake/river it works well.
The board is available in plenty of colours and grip patterns to cater for all tastes – the pink one tested here might not be for everyone. The board has a three fin setup with a large centre fin to make the board nice and stable. The fins are also very tough and can take a beating. In fact, overall durability of the GromSUP is pretty good – great if you’re a bit clumsy or drop the board when carrying.
The GromSUP is a great piece of gear for those kids looking to get out and going for a budget price on an all-round board. It’s pretty stable for lighter paddlers and is good for both flat water SUPing and tackling mellow waves. Good for learning the fundamentals of stand up, it takes a good deal of abuse and there’s no reason it couldn’t make up part of a quiver as you get better and add to your equipment list.