We’ve put O’Shea’s previous GT iSUP versions to good use over the years. In particular travelling with it abroad and using for all round family SUP fun as well as covering distance with even mellow SUP surfing lobbed in for good measure. The 2021 QSX version, tested here, is poised to get all paddlers into affordable SUP touring without hassle.
Review & pics: Tez Plavenieks
So called touring boards (which is a label I don’t personally care for as it suggests hardcore Bear Grylls isms) are much more versatile than you’d initially think. It’s a point I’ve made often. O’Shea’s 2021 GT is no different in that sense. Therefore paddlers taking those first tentative steps right up to advanced sweepers would do well with gear such as this.
For the new season O’Shea retain much of what the GT’s about as well as improving upon a few things. Glide is great with only a few short paddle strokes needed to get it zooming. Tracking is admirable with it holding a line fairly well – even in tricky, choppy, current affected locations. Stability is fine, although the super-lightweight nature of the QSX GT does mean it rides higher on the water as opposed to sinking into it. This can make it slightly more susceptible to cross wind but is reflective of inflatable boards as a whole, whatever the brand.
The most noticeable trait with the GT is just how rigid it is – the Quad Stringer Technology doing its job perfectly. All inflatables bend to some degree. Rigidity, and how much of it you have, is possibly the biggest factor affecting performance. Manufacturing and overall shape influences this, as in low-quality air boards using poor quality materials and shoddy production techniques, doesn’t do anyone any favours. But the foundations of a quality product need to be in place first, which it is here.
The GT’s a versatile bit of kit that’ll take entry level SUPers on their first forays but allow experienced paddlers to enjoy stand up across a broader spectrum of conditions – all without breaking the bank though. As such the O’Shea QSX GT 11’2 would make a good first choice board that’ll last long into future seasons.
An upgrade on an already quality inflatable stand up paddle board O’Shea’s 2021 QSX GT 11’2 is worth a look whatever style of paddling you’re into. Whether beginner, intermediate or advanced you’re certain to find a SUP application the GT fits and love taking it for a spin. Rigidity is excellent, which in turns boosts performance, and with a wallet friendly price there’s nothing to not like.
Price: £ 599