Words: Tez Plavenieks
Photos: Mike Pringuer
O’Shea’s GTR HPx 12’6 inflatable SUP landed just as the September 2023 heatwave arrived in the UK. With flat water in effect, it was the perfect chance to explore the brand’s hybrid race/touring paddle board and its performance.
As with all O’Shea inflatables, the manufacturing and quality are bang on. HPx construction ensures a light and rigid lay up. This provides the best combination of stiffness and weight. The board’s light weight allows it to drive through the water hard (when required). Whilst its rigidity provides efficiency. In combination, this equates to less effort required from the paddler but with better returns on performance.
Combination of riders
During testing, we had a combination of riders use the board, and all commented on the GTR’s glide. Keep in mind this is an iSUP, which is top drawer. Stick a few strokes in, and the 12’6 keeps going. For those considering SUP racing, this would be a massive plus point.
But the GTR isn’t limited to SUP racing alone. With paddlers wanting more bang for their buck, the O’Shea steps up to deliver on the touring front.
Multiple SUP disciplines
The GTR, at 28” wide, is just enough to accommodate a few essentials being lashed to the deck. You won’t necessarily be able to carry the kitchen sink with you on your travels, but a few bits can be taken. And then it’s a rapid rise to your chosen destination. So, fast touring if you like. Being able to cope with multiple SUP disciplines should certainly get your attention, and take note of the O’Shea GTR 12’6.
O’Shea’s comprehensive range of inflatable paddle boards means there’s something for everyone. The GTR 12’6 HPx fits the bill for riders who want to paddle fast and be competitive on a race course. Yet, at the same time, adventure paddling and touring are applicable with the same board. With that added value, the GTR is a sure-fire winner for riders wanting a performance-orientated iSUP that does multiple jobs. Tip-top construction and decent looks only add to the board’s appeal. Thanks also to Adrian Taylor and Tom Pringuer, who helped with this test.