Field Notes: Time to ride high in the water with one of the easiest paddling boards in the line-up. With efficiency in every stroke, the nose shape is more like a boat to handle chop with bogging down as it “plows” through waves instead of skipping over the top of them. This unique design makes for safer, more confident handling when conditions change as they did in coastal North Carolina both in the Atlantic and on the Intracoastal Waterway. An extended, one-panel traction pad makes for quick, effortless changes in foot position or paddling kneeing or even sitting to relax or fish. Fishbone ranks among the most consistent in construction quality from tip to tail. And is consistent with the standards of Advanced Elements that AJ first experienced with inflatable expedition kayaks. With this 6” thick model, the 11’ length is a good choice for more paddlers. Moving up to the 12’6” EX version for 300lb payloads permits either heavier paddlers, overnight trips or extended touring. Three included tracking fins feature a deeper option for straight-line, distance paddles. The straight-up, 30” wide Fishbone paddleboard is more suited to open-water adventures given its profile, bow design and ability to move quickly to change foot and body position to compensate for winds, waves and currents: As always, be prepared and travel with others who are trained in SUP rescue including righting turtled boards. Based upon our assessment, consider it more closely categorized as “watercraft” rather than inflatable SUP built for casual use.
Pros: Reliable stainless steel-ringed gear tie-downs are attached strongly to handle heavier loads; Active Junky recommends paddlers select their own bungees or straps based upon what they want to do
Cons: Carry duffel included is only average, replace with a more durable option if extended or frequent travel is anticipated
Tester Comments: “Love the understated graphics that don’t distract from the activity at hand, knowing they provide fewer obvious cues on where exactly the paddler is (from front to back) while in motion. Active Junky likes this displacement-hulled board for more athletic paddlers who want to take on greater distances while being prepared for weather changes that could destabilize other, less-capable recreational boards. Consider Advanced Elements paddle and coiled leash are extra, including the unique SwitchIT system that comes with two, interchangeable blades.”
Key Attribute: Efficiency
Best For: Big, tough water and strong paddlers who set outrageous objectives (while keeping safety in mind including updated weather and water condition forecasts)
Length: 11 ft.
Width: 30 in.
Thickness: 6 in.
Weight: 26.5 lbs.
Capacity: 230 lbs.
Cash Back Amount$21.98