O’Shea’s inflatable stand up paddle board offerings are traditionally top drawer and the 10.6ft doesn’t fall short. In fact, at first glance, the 10.6ft is completely blemish free – not all inflatables are the same. There’s not an ounce of glue or seam stitch out of place with the 10.6ft.
Farrel and the guys have obviously put a lot of work into the R&D process, across all parts of the 10.6ft’s components. It has a great bag which is very easy to use and has plenty of space for all of your kit, including the pump and two piece aluminium paddle. The only thing we’d suggest is the addition of a waist belt for those off the beaten track sojourns, but that’s only a minor point.
As we’ve said, the board is well made with clearly defined and solid seams. It inflates easily to 15 PSI with moderate effort and, if memory serves us, the supplied pump this time has been tweaked making it the best O’Shea inflation tool yet.
The 10.6ft is light and easy to carry using the well positioned handle. It’s also comfortable when grabbing to clamber back on board after an unplanned swim. That said, the O’Shea is wonderfully stable, allowing you space to move around with ease, either to experiment with foot positions or just muck about. Pivoting from the tail or practising cross stepping to the nose is rewarding and the 10.6ft even makes a good Yoga platform. One of the team tried this and found hardly any ‘play’ in the deck – rigidity is, after all, key with inflatables. He also stayed completely moisture free with zero brine washing onto the deck.
Thruster fins work well – we’ve mentioned in previous O’Shea write ups how we like the thumb tightening system – and tracking/glide is faultless for a round nose SUP. Even with strong headwinds it behaves and as such will suit anyone getting to grips with SUP – beginners apply here.
During testing we put the 10.6ft in competition with a race board and, although we had to work hard, it did keep up. The 10.6ft performed surprising well. You quickly forgot about being aboard an iSUP and could really put the hammer down safe in the knowledge of the 10.6ft’s stability.
O’Shea’s range of inflatables really are great choices for those in the market for a blow up. The 10.6ft offers a stable, forgiving and easy to use platform without sacrificing performance. It can shift if paddlers switch up their stroke cadence and the 10.6ft ain’t no slouch on flat water. If Yoga is your thing then it works well and fishing types would also find it an efficient platform for casting a line. It’d also be great for beginner paddlers and families looking to load their kids up for social sweeping. Manufacturing is suitably high end and O’Shea prove top notch kit doesn’t have to break the bank.
Price: £679 with bag, pump and alloy paddle