We love toys/gadgets and little play things that aren’t the norm. With SIPA’s Drive Cruiser you get this by the bucket load and then some. First it was their self-inflatable stand up paddle boards they brought us and now it’s the Drive series.
What’s the Drive all about I hear you ask? Well, it’s exactly that: a mini jet propulsion system that sits encased in the middle part of the board’s deck, controlled via remote attached to your paddle and able to inflate (without the need of manual pump), increase the rate of knots you move through the water and with the addition of LED bottom lights illuminate your dusky SUP experience.
To be honest having the self-inflating version alone is cause for celebration. As much as we’re used to, and don’t mind, the blow up process it’s nice to not have to worry about this. Simply unfurl the board, remove the top lid of the drive unit, plug in the air pipe and switch on. In minutes you’ll have a fully inflated SIPA SUP all of your own. And then the fun really begins…
SIPA’s Drive unit stays in place with the board’s air pressure surrounding it. Making sure you’ve fully secured the jet’s casing lid it’s then onto the water. Sweeping along without the Drive actually on is a pretty standard experience. The Cruiser’s double lined Dropstitch material is fairly rigid, it cuts a decent track through the brine and glide is pretty good. Pivot turns and manoeuvring the Cruiser is rewarding as there’s a decent amount of width packed in that’ll help keep paddlers dry. (The Drive unit’s centralised position doesn’t affect manoeuvrability too much).
The supplied carbon shaft paddle is efficient to use and if you didn’t flick the switch you’d be none the wiser. Hold down the on button, however, for a few seconds and the Drive’s remote comes to life. Red and green LEDs tell you what’s happening and then it’s all systems go. With three speeds you can control the amount of boost you get incrementally. And boost is what you get.
Simply put the jet adds another few knots to your stroke speed. Of course you can simply stand on the Cruiser and let the engine do its work. Far more rewarding is paddling at the same time – it’s like someone hit fast forward. It really comes into its own if you have to paddle into wind/tide/swell. For anxious paddlers the Drive will be a comfort blanket giving you safe knowledge of being able to get home (as long as the battery’s charged!).
SIPA’s Drive Cruiser is a nifty little design that we had immense amounts of fun with. The self-inflating properties remove all the initial grunt work of blowing up while the jet propulsion system will give paddlers a much needed boost of speed when the going gets tough. Bottom LED’s are great when light is low or for night paddling and the included paddle is pretty good. With its simple to use shaft mounted control system, assembly, and effective on water performance SIPA have produced a high end product that looks the biz and is super fun to use.
Price: $2,090.00 USD