‘Tis the time of year for breeze. And as such you may be looking for something to accompany your paddling activities. We’ve covered windSUP before so it’ll come as no surprise that the suggestion of attaching a sail to your board is a worthy recommendation. Many of the main brands offer this option, with O’Shea serving up a specific, optimised sled for this very thing – meet the brand’s Wind+SUP.
Coming as an inflatable board and rig combo, it has the distinct look and attention to detail that every O’Shea product is renowned for. The board itself it manufactured from high quality double layer Dropstitch. There are two fin boxes on the underside – one for general paddling and a centre option for when in windSUP mode. (This is to alleviate ‘side slip’ and help with progress upwind). The deck pad is grippy and comfy with a rig insert embedded beneath up front.
We were sent the Grom 3m sail, mast and boom, although alternative sizes are available. Everything you need for windSUP action is included in the compact rig’s bag, while the iSUP rucksack is heavy duty, wheeled and features a rubberise gripped top handle for increased comfort when transporting.
Inflation of the O’Shea Wind+SUP 11ft is standard procedure. The accompanying pump makes easy work of blowing up. Having completed the grunt work, it’s then a case of attaching the fin and off you go.
In paddling mode the 11ft tracks well and offers superb stability with its 34.5” width. Sliding over chop well, it’s a fun ride and everyone from kids to adults will love messing about on the O’Shea in SUP mode.
Attach the rig (which is quick and efficient to assemble) and the whole package is transformed into a wind powered machine. Those used to windsurfing will find great light air fun to be had with its simple design – light wind freestyle, cruising or heading off on touring missions are all good.
If you fancy introducing riders to the world of wind sports then it’s definitely applicable with O’Shea’s Wind+SUP package. The light weight rig is perfect for nailing sail handling fundamentals while the stable and soft platform of the 11ft inflatable makes it a joy to experiment with foot placements.
As a multiple discipline watersporst toy, O’Shea’s Wind+SUP package would be a great choice for paddlers looking to dabble with wind driven sports or those already into windsurfing wanting multiple light and no wind options. Good for beginners learning, while advanced windies will have fun with a bit of ‘dancing’, it’s also sweet in paddle mode and even performs well when a few bumps turn up. It’s worth getting the maximum PSI into the board for windSUP shenanigans and definitely utilise the secondary middle fin with sail attached. A must have set of tools for paddlers or windsurfers this autumn/winter wanting to maximise their brine time.
Price: £749 for board, rig packages start at £250 (complete)