Review & pics: Tez Plavenieks
Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co’s 11’5 compact touring iSUP comes hot on the heels of the brand’s all-round 10’6 inflatable. This time the tourer is set to deliver better glide, tracking and carrying capacity for essential items. And deliver it does…
Having inflated the 11’5, it sets up with a very flat rocker and slight teardrop shape. There’s a good chunk of Dropstitch underfoot where riders paddle from. This isn’t to say the front section won’t accommodate you carting gear. It will. But the shape suggests the emphasis has been placed on the paddler and their ride experience.
Setting off, the FWBPC compact tourer rushes away from the beach with admirable zoom. It’s not blisteringly quick but still quick enough and holds its own against other similar style sleds. The board’s beauty is revealed upon hitting confused water states and potentially nasty flotsam and chop. Navigating areas like this is super easy with the 11’5, and it makes quick work of getting paddlers through to the next calm section.
Should you get a breeze on your back and a few bumps to run down, the Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co compact tourer will surge forwards and make a decent impression of a downwind board. But all with composure remaining intact. At no point do you feel nervous under steam, so a confidence boosted experience is what you get with this board. Of course, all this is rounded out by Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co livery, which is distinct and shouts quality.
An adventure paddling board in the purest sense, the 11’5 compact tourer is set to unlock all kinds of fun SUP experiences. Whether this is hardcore multi-day paddling or short sojourns along your local stretch to the pub. Whatever your requirements it’s all good. With everything done in a very composed way, this is an impressive board that doesn’t misbehave.