Built to tour – O’Shea Gran Tourer 11.2ft iSUP review


O’Shea Gran Tourer iSUPHaving put the O’Shea 10.2ft through its paces last year, Farrell O’Shea was keen for SUP Mag UK to get to grips with the brand’s 11.2ft GT (Gran Tourer) – something we were happy to oblige with.

Coming supplied with standard bag and pump, it was super easy to roll out, blow up and get ready to put in. One thing we like with O’Shea iSUPs is their super easy fin system. With optimised position and a simple thumb screw mechanism to secure, there’s no faffing and needing to carry a screwdriver. Obviously if you want extra security (or maybe you don’t have thumb strength) then use a cross head to tighten further, but it really isn’t needed as long as you keep the bolt corrosion free.

The GT is lightweight and manufactured from hard wearing Mirasol drop stitch. The middle webbing strap carry handle ensures an easy process of transporting to the water’s edge. Once there, put in and off you go.

On the water the 11.2ft rides from quite an elevated position – there’s a decent amount of board thickness under your feet. The pointy nose therefore glides over, rather than cuts through, chop and the overall sensation is one of floating on air (which you are doing in some ways).

With the recommended PSI (13-15), the GT is stiff and only minimal play can be felt when paddling. This isn’t anything that’ll put you off from the job in hand, however, and the GT glides effortlessly, chewing up miles easily. We used the O’Shea GT in both open water and inland environments. It copes well with coastal chop, and handles upwind and downwind with ease. Sweeping along our local canal was a truly sublime experience with the 11.2ft maintaining significant momentum, not having any flotsam to battle. During a few sessions we even loaded up the nose and secured, with supplied bungee, a dry bag. The high riding nature of the GT came into play and kept the nose from burying and speed maintained.

O’Shea Gran Tourer iSUP

O’Shea’s 11.2ft Gran Tourer is a quality example of an iSUP that adventure paddlers will adore. Covering distance and exploring nooks and crannies is this stick’s forte. And yet, even if banging out the miles or going feral for days on end isn’t your thing, you’ll have immense fun on the GT simply paddling around your local spot.

Further info: http://www.osheasurf.com/GT.html

Price: £749

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