JOBE offered to let us try this board on our recent SUP Marathon. It’s a little bigger than most 12.6ft touring / race boards available but a similar shape. It’s a good looking board and we liked the graphics and appearance. Quite a few people asked: ‘is that really an inflatable?’
On water it felt very firm and stable. The 31” width makes it a bit slower than some but it’s a good solid platform. During testing we hit a few choppy patches and gusty winds up to 20mph. Lots of passing boats made the Thames more choppy than usual, but the board coped well.
We swapped a paddlers 12.6ft board with the JOBE, when she was struggling to balance, and she found it to be much more stable. For less experienced riders this board may actually be faster in rough conditions because they can focus on moving forward rather than staying upright.
The red deck is practical and does not require constant cleaning. In London this is a big bonus, as Thames mud makes white boards age very quickly. Some manufacturers seem more geared up to selling boards designed for use on clean beaches – not for use on urban rivers, estuaries and canals where most of the world’s population live.
The centre fin is a box type nylon fin, which means you could replace it for a quality carbon fin or a weed fin. It is easy enough to remove.
The rucksack is not the best in terms of shoulder straps and comfort – not ideal if you have carry the board for long distances. However it is waterproof and lightweight, which makes carrying wet kit easier.
The pump provided works well. I was able to get the board up to 16psi (1psi over the recommended maximum) efficiently and quickly. It’s one of the new generation of longer, thinner pumps, which makes the inflation process better. As a cyclist used to using track pumps I could never understand why for years buyers of air boards, selling for £800 plus, were being provided cheap and ineffective pumps – this is now being addressed.
Overall we like this board and will be including them in our fleet for SUP lessons and hire. The RRP of £800 makes it one of the cheapest 12.6ft boards available in the UK. A good touring air board for heavier riders and for anyone who puts a premium on stability.
For more information: www.jobesports.com/products/sup/
Thanks to Paul Hyman at Active 360 for penning this report.