Airis 11’ HardTop SUV Review

The Airis 11’ HardTop SUV is a new model for 2013 and has some unique features that make it stand out.  Besides being well made it has fiberglass steps that add rigidity when paddling.

Quick Stats


  • 11 feet long
  • 31 inches wide
  • 6 inches thick
  • weighs 26.5 lbs.
  • can hold up to 250 lbs.
  • has one large rear skeg

Material: This board uses the Walker Bay patented AirWeb construction which makes it stiffer and more rigid.

Pros: Rigid, unique fiberglass braces to stand on, stable, light weight and easy to travel with, comes with awesome deluxe backpack/carry bag, bungee tie down cords at bow and stern

Cons: Not super speedy.

Available At:

Click here for the best deal on the 11′ Airis SUV at

More In-Depth Info

I was pretty psyched to try out this board as I knew how good the Airis line of inflatable kayaks were. Their ISUP’s are made with the same AirWeb construction as the kayaks, which creates a very rigid product.

I knew their lineup of inflatable boards would be well made but I was curious with how well they would perform.

The 11′ HardTop SUV is the most versatile of their SUP models and great for beginners to intermediate riders.

My First Impressions

My first impression was likely the same as everyone else’s if you have ever tried an ISUP before… the HardTop SUV is unique.

Not only does it inflate to a rigid air pressure but it also has fiberglass steps to place your feet on that make you feel like you are paddling a fiberglass board.

The concept in my opinion is fascinating. Take an inflatable SUP, make sure the construction is solid and that it inflates to a rigid air pressure then add some fiberglass plates to enhance the rigidity and performance of the board. No other ISUP manufacturer has done this.

The plates do add a little weight and a little bulk when rolling the board back up into the carry bag.  However they are still a nice feature and overall the board paddles quite well.


Similar to most ISUP’s, with one main air chamber, the set-up is a snap.

Take it out of its carry bag, unroll, and inflate. It comes with a good high-pressure hand pump.  Or to save a little time you could invest in an electric pump which inflates the board in a matter of one or two minutes.



As mentioned before I really like the length of an 11’ board.

It has enough length to be good for touring but still be compact enough to maneuver easily and handle well.

It tracks well, glides nicely through the water, and handles a little chop in the water with ease.  I don’t find that it moves all that fast, but overall the performance is good.

The 6” thickness makes it ultra stable.  The extra thickness makes it ideal for people of all shapes, sizes as well as age groups.

Beginners will appreciate the extra thickness and stability as it makes for a more secure ride.

I find the 6” boards to be far more secure feeling when in ocean waves as well.


Important Features

There are a few features that are worth pointing out on the HardTop SUV.

1. Of course the first to mention are the RigiDeck™ EVA covered fiberglass steps which make the board extremely rigid under your feet.

2. There are D-rings and bungee cords at the front and back of the board.

These can be used to secure gear and accessories such as fishing gear, clothes, water bottle, dry bag, etc.

3. The large rear skeg helps the board to track straight.

4. The valves are premium one-way valves that make inflation very easy.

5. All of the Airis ISUP’s come with a deluxe AirPack carrying bag.

The bag can easily hold your board, the pump, the repair kit and even your paddle. It’s fairly comfortable to use and makes traveling with the board easy.

6. The hand pump that comes with the Airis boards is a two-way high-pressure pump.

It has an adjustable valve for high and low pressure pumping as well as a pressure gauge to check the inflation level.



Ultimately the HardTop SUV offers a convenient method of getting out on the water anywhere you want to go.

The convenience of owning and using an inflatable stand-up paddleboard is pretty cool.

The Down Side

The down side is that this board will not roll up quite as small as some of the other ISUP’s out there because of the fiberglass plates.

It still rolls up into a compact package but it is just a slightly larger package than some others that are similar in size.

I also like to keep a board at 25 lbs. or under as I find it easier to carry.

This one weighs 26.5 lbs. and truthfully it makes very little difference compared to carrying a 25 lbs. board but it would be nice if it weighed just a few pounds less.

However it paddles well and is a nice board.

Final Thoughts

Overall I was impressed.  I have used it mostly on mountain lakes and ocean bays and found that it paddles well.  The price is decent and about what you’d expect it to be for a board of this quality.

The Airis SUP’s are manufactured in North America which is a bonus as well.

Where to Buy

Click Here For The Best Deal On The 11′ Airis SUV At

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  1. Brian Jensen says:

    I’ve been wanting to do some ocean and freshwater fishing off of an SUP for a while, mostly to keep the costs down. I don’t have room to store a fiberglass SUP so i’m looking more seriously at the Inflatables. I know that fishing hooks and inflatable crafts don’t really mix too well but was wondering if you had any insight.

    • Hey Brian, it’s not a problem. Lot’s of people fish from inflatable SUP’s and inflatable kayaks. These boards are super tough and you would really have to purposely jam the hook in there to puncture it. As long as you are conscious of it you should have no problems.

  2. Just wondering what’s your thoughts on which inflatable is best for a 170 pound male who likes to use the board to surf waves or maneuver in rivers? My hubby has been paddle boarding for a few years so he’s not a beginner but would like one that handles well in the ocean, especially riding waves.

    • The shorter boards tend to be easier to maneuver in rivers or through surf. A 6″ thick board will be more stable and possibly more supportive for him but a 4″ board is going to be easier to maneuver quickly. I think however that he would do okay with an 11′ board as well as this size tends to be fairly versatile. The Sea Eagle Longboard is a good one to take a look at or check out the NRS SUP’s… I haven’t reviewed them yet but they have a few models that are ideal for rivers and surf. I have a friend who uses the NRS Tyrant 4 for some pretty extreme river paddling and loves it.

  3. Thanks for the advice. I think I will go with the Tyrant since he loves playing in the surf and river rapids.

  4. Very nice review. I am new to the sport and don’t have the space for a normal board, so I am looking to purchase an ISUP soon. I am 6’1″ 200 lbs and I’m curious if I the 11 foot Airis will be sufficient for me. I will be using in ocean bays mostly, but would like to take it out into ocean as well, just beyond the break. I won’t be surfing on it, so I’m thinking it’s between the 11 foot and the 12.5 foot. Would the longer one be more stable in the semi choppy waters? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Chris, I think you would be fine with the 11′ board. It can hold quite a bit of weight with no issues. The 12’6″ is definitely a little more stable in choppy waters but it is also a little harder to maneuver through the swells. I don’t think you can go wrong either way but definitely no problem with an 11′ board.

      • Great, thank you! I think I’m leaning toward a longer board, I’m more interested in the touring aspect. One more quick question..I have not seen any Airis boards in person, but did see the Naish one in a local store. I was impressed at how durable and hard the material felt on the Naish. How does the Airis compare in terms of durability, and stiffness when blown up? Again, thank you!

  5. Great review! Thanks! You really got me in trouble now, trying to decide between this Airis 11′ or the Starboard Astro Blend (11’2″) .. I’m 5’7″ and 160lbs, but I’ve learned over time to respect the 6″ inflatable boards when it comes to stiffness. The Starboard is a respected brand and I’ve heard so many good things about the Astro Whooper and Blend, but it’s roughly twice the price of the Airis 11′ ($1,500 vs $900), and I got myself wondering if it really justifies the price difference! Any thoughts?

    • I wish I could compare the two models but I don’t have any experience yet with the Starboard Astro Blend… but like you I have heard great things about Starboard. I’m just not sure if the big price increase is worth it or not. I agree the stiffness of the 6″ thick boards is hard to beat. Another one to take a look at is the Sea Eagle Needlenose. I just took it out for the first time yesterday and was extremely impressed with it. If you are looking for a touring board, this one was one of the best I’ve tried for speed and tracking. I’ll post a review this week. Hopefully I will be able to test out the Starboard SUP’s in the near future. Good luck!!

  6. Hello Admin,

    been scouring the web and the ONLY place where Ive found ANY substantial info on hte Airis boards is HERE. Thanx for that. Im 180 lb 6ft guy, kitesurfing for 12 years. Live in the mexican caribe where we have VERY FEW waves but many days when there IS some wave action and NO wind would like an ISUP. Used a friends RIGID Starboard 8ft something….last pacific waves…and found it to be QUITE challenging but good workout. Never tried a LONGER sup in waves.
    Was hoping to get some info, maybe from your heavier male friend you have mentioned, about using the STUBBY 9ft Airis in WAVES….as compared to the 11footer. Also, you refer always to ONE central large fin…does it have the 2small lateral fins for a “thruster” setup on the STubby??

    thanx so much for any more info you could give on the board. When paddling through the break, on your knees, do you find that the fiberglass platforms are uncomfortable?? I could imagine situations where part of the kneecap might be on the fiberglass and the shin catching the border between that fiberglass and the rest of hte rubber hull.

    Good day
    Joseph in Cancun

    • Hi Joseph, I think you would be okay on the 9′ Airis SUP. The fact that it is 6″ thick allows it to hold quite a bit of weight so no problems using this board in waves. The 9′ board will be easier to maneuver in waves for sure but the 11′ board is definitely a little better for flat water touring. However I don’t think you can go wrong either way, they are both fairly versatile. Unfortunately the Airis SUP’s do not have the two smaller lateral fins, only the large center fin. The fiberglass plates are actually very comfortable… they are covered with a rubber traction pad and are fairly big, I haven’t had any issues with them at all when paddling on my knees.

  7. Hello, thanks a lot for your reviews. I need some advice from knowledgeable people like you.
    I am 186 lbs, 6′ 1″ male. I live in chicago (lake) but also spend som,e time in Michigan (rivers).
    I triend the seagle 12.6 needlehead in both river and lake, for the river seemed a bit too loo long, but not too much, but for the lake, when the water get a bit rougher the needle seems to piercing the wave and make it very unstable. look and seems like that nose is not made for a bit of swell.
    By readign your reviews I saw the Airis 11 and 12.6. both 6′ inches thick. Do you think this will handle better in rough waters at lake michigan, since the bow its curved up. Also, tough on the 12.6 first but teh 11 seems good too. knowing my weight, height and paddling places, which one do you think will betetr fit?
    finaly, the airis has only one fin, will that affect manuevring on lake or river?
    Thanks a bunch


    • Hi Richard, You are right the SE Needlenose is definitely best suited for flat water. The 12’6″ Airis SUP would maneuver better in waves or rougher water. I wouldn’t worry about the fact that it only has one fin… it still tracks really well in flat water and performs great. I find it more stable than the Needlenose. I have to admit that I do prefer the Needlenose though in open water but if you will be in waves or rivers more often then the Airis is likely a better fit. Cheers!

  8. Thanks a lot. last question: per my description of paddle places, would you recommend the 11 or 12.6?

  9. Hi – love this website. I just bought the airis 11′
    hardtop isup. Two questions:

    1) want to get the optional kayak backrest
    from Airis, but cannot find it sold separately.
    Have you found the same? Is there another
    brand I should get?

    2) is there an electric pump that you would
    recommend for this that may plug into a
    cigarette lighter type connection?


    • Thanks Glen… glad you are finding the site helpful!! I love the Airis 11′, I think you’ll really like it. I’m not sure why but I don’t think Airis is selling the backrest separately right now. However you could basically use any seat that attaches to the D-rings. Check out as they carry quite a few options…
      As for as an electric pump, I haven’t used the cigarette lighter type but I know Sea Eagle sells one… or you can usually find one at most sporting type stores. If it doesn’t come with the right adapter you can probably take the adapter from the hand pump and sort of fit it on… sometimes they don’t fit quite right on another pump but there’s usually a way to make it work. Hope that helps, happy paddling!

  10. brad snell says:

    Just trying to make a decision on an inflatable for the coming season. I am in a mountain town in bc with lots of lakes and a few rivers I can run, but mostly flatter water. I also want the flexibility of bringing on holidays to hawaii/etc……I am leaning toward the Airis 11 right now after your reviews and some other research, coupled with the great price point. I also found this:
    The sea eagle 11 longboard………….Any idea which you would lean towards, also, If i go with the Airis, can you recommend a breakdown paddle at a good price? Thanks so much for your reviews it has been super helpful. I was going to just go and buy a tower adventurer off amazon but I am now more involved and am looking at other options…….Thanks!

    • Hi Brad, I have both the Airis 11′ and the SE Longboard… both good boards. I would say for flat water, the Airis is the superior SUP. The 6″ thickness makes it extremely stable and the fiberglass plates make it very rigid. The only downside to the Airis SUP is that the skeg can not be removed for shallow river paddling. Otherwise it’s an awesome board. My personal preference would be the Airis SUP but you really can’t go wrong either way. The Longboard is also great and very versatile. Both these boards are superior to the Tower SUP. The Tower board is extremely rigid and great for beginners but it is very basic and lacks in features and performance.

      As far as paddles go, if you plan to travel a 3-piece paddle is ideal for packing. I use the Accent Max FX 3-piece paddle for when I travel and often at home. It’s a middle of the road paddle, great for most people. If you live in Canada, you can find this paddle at Other options would be the Solstice 3-piece carbon paddle which is a little cheaper and a good buy for the price (best price I think at or if you wanted to go a little higher in quality and price the Werner Fiji 3-piece is a great one. Hope that helps! Good luck with your choice.

      • Thanks so much for the info as I am still on the fence as to what board i want to look at…….I like the rigidness of the Airis, but I am worried about not being able to remove the skeg, as I want to go on holidays with it, im wondering what it would be like to take to a place like hawaii?? I will likely use it more on flat water at home, but might get the courage up to hit the river. Then again with it being my first board purchase, I may just look for a solid all around board like the airis and then move into something different with my next board. All i know is i have used a couple hard boards as rentals and loved it. I like the flexibility of being able to travel with the inflatable and the price points are very good. Have you ever tried any other boards like yolo, red paddle, etc? If so do you have a take on any of these. I will likely look on amazon for the paddle as i live 30min from the US border and do most of my shopping down there anyways………Any other advice would be greatly appreciated!

        • The extra thickness and the skeg does make the Airis SUP a little bulkier for traveling but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. They both come with very similar backpacks and although it would be nice to be able to remove the skeg on the Airis SUP, it still fits nicely into its carry bag. The Longboard is very versatile though and is quite convenient. I kind of like the 6″ thickness of the Airis board as opposed to the 4″ thickness of the Longboard. The extra 2″ adds a lot of stability. I wouldn’t hesitate to take either board to Hawaii. It’s a tough call which one to choose. I have tried quite a few other boards including the RED paddle board. The RED boards are awesome but I personally think a little over priced. They are great to paddle but I don’t think they are that much better than the Airis or Sea Eagle’s for example to warrant the extra bucks. The NRS boards are also great and they have lots of options to choose from. I traveled with a C4 Waterman ISUP to Hawaii last year and it was good although I wouldn’t choose it over the Longboard or the Airis SUP. Hopefully I’m not confusing you even more 🙂

        • I love my Red paddle 12’6″ racing! But yes, they are definitely more expensive, but built like a tank. The skeg is removable too. You may last year models a little cheaper if you look around. Good luck with whatever you choose!

          • Hi – thanks for the review. I’m interested in either the needle nose or Airis 11. I know I want 6″ on both but I can’t tell which is better for my paddling conditions. I live in Florida so want something that works well in the intracoastal, in land bays, canals but also in the ocean (not as a surf board) but to track parallel the coast for some distance. I may use occasionally in a lake too. What are your thoughts? I’m 5’11” 168 pounds.


          • They’re definitely both great boards so you can’t go wrong either way. The Airis SUP is a little more versatile and I think can tackle the waves better. The Needlenose really excels on flat water. I like the tracking and the smooth glide of the Needlenose but the Airis board is very solid and handles well. They’re two of my favourites, it’s a tough call. I think if you will mostly be in ocean bays, I would probably go with the Airis but if you will mostly be in very flat water, then go with the Needlenose. Good luck!

  11. Duchess Raehn says:

    I appreciate your reviews of the Airis isups. I’m trying to decide between the 9′ and the 11′- I’m 5’4″ and 128 lbs. I’m leaning towards the Stubby 9′ because it sounds easier to carry and maneuver. I would use it on lakes and calm rivers. What would you recommend?

    • I find that most people prefer the 11′ Airis SUP. The size is just more versatile and it glides really smoothly through flat water. The 9′ SUP is easier to maneuver in waves or surf but there is not much difference in flat water and I don’t personally find the 11′ SUP harder to carry. For your size you could go either way, but I definitely prefer the 11′ SUP.

  12. Debra Fishkin says:

    Wondering if the Airis 11 will hold a man 6.2 230 lbs or is the needlenose better for a big man having to share with a smaller woman. Thanks for any advice

    • Both boards could work, they are both very rigid. I prefer the 6″ Needlenose if you are going to be paddling mostly on flat water. The hard pointy bow and the rigid frame really make it glide nicely and it is able to support a lot of weight.

  13. Hi, was interesting to see your website, but as a very satisfied owner of a Red Paddle Co 12’6 Race it’s a shame they don’t feature on this site.

    I notice the comment on your review above “The concept in my opinion is fascinating. Take an inflatable SUP, make sure the construction is solid and that it inflates to a rigid air pressure then add some fiberglass plates to enhance the rigidity and performance of the board. No other ISUP manufacturer has done this.” Well… With the Red Paddle Co boards you can inflate them well beyond the maximum recommended psi of most brands, and then can even enhance the ‘rigidity and performance of the board’ with the use of the RSS fiberglass battens.

    • Hi Justin, that is fantastic info to know! Thank you for the comment. I have not had the opportunity to try the Red 12’6″ Race but now I will be looking into it. I am actually in the process of reviewing one of the smaller Red SUP’s and I agree with you they are fantastic boards. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to review more of their models soon.

  14. Hi, I love , thank’s for all the infos!
    I just bought the needlenose 126 after reading your comments, and this board is perfect,!
    Now I want a second board, to surf small waves, and to run on flat water along with the needlenose (but slowly…), and for the kids.. I hesitate between the Isle 10′ (10′ x 31″ x 6″) ( and the Airis stubby 9.
    Your review of the Airis Stubby 9 was interesting, but is no more available, can you post it back ?
    thank ‘s alot

    • Allison says:

      Really glad to hear you are happy with the Needlenose. I haven’t had the opportunity to review the Isle boards yet. However I really like the sound of the Isle 10′ board that you mention. It looks like a great ISUP and perfect for small waves and flat water. Another good option is the Tower board. It’s basic but solid and really easy to paddle and maneuver for kids. It’s quite versatile and the price is good. The Airis 9′ Stubby is basically the same as the 11′ board just a couple feet shorter. It’s a nice board and handles well. You can’t really go wrong either way. Hopefully I can add a review for the Isle board soon.

  15. I just received my 11′ Airis and I plan to take it out for a trial this weekend. I inflated it this evening and I’m not sure if my gauge works right because I couldn’t get it to 10 psi. Also, is there a video on how to efficiently fold it back up? I found the pictures to not quite show me enough. Of course, I should have paid better attention when I unfolded it!

    • Allison says:

      Your gauge is probably fine. I find it’s quite difficult to get any of the boards up to a high PSI with the hand pumps that come with them. It’s doable but can be tough. I use either the K-Pump or an electric pump to inflate my boards now. They make it much easier to get more air pressure in the boards. Here’s some info we’ve written on the different pump options that might be helpful…

      • Thank you! I’ve taken it out twice now and love it. I ordered the electric battery operated pump that you mentioned. How did you modify it to fit the Airis? Also, I took my 20 lb dog on it yesterday and he did great!

  16. Great insight on all of the reviews. But I was of the understanding that the rating for air pressure was one of, if not the most, important indicator of quality (durability) and performance (rigidity), yet I’ve not seen a single reference to this attribute. The Airis sounds great, but I’m skeptical that they don’t even list this among their product specs on their site. Do you know what the Airis pressure rating is, and should I be concerned about air pressure rating?

    • Allison says:

      The air pressure rating for the Airis boards is 15 PSI. Airis doesn’t make a big deal about the air pressure rating because they say that the air pressure does not matter as much because of the way their boards are designed. Although the design of their boards is unique, I always inflate them up to at least 14 PSI. You can get away with a lot less but the more rigid the better performance in my opinion. The boards are solid so no worries there.

  17. Great site to get the info needed to make an important decision on which ISUP to buy! I am 6’2″ and 135 I have been considering the Airis 12’6″ for use in harbor and lakes, only occasionally taking it out into open ocean. I want an inflatable to tour primarily, I need it to track well. I am intrigued by the Airis 11′, but would it track as well as the larger board? Will it float me about the same?

    • Sorry, wrong stats, Im 6’2″ and 235lb!! big difference, haha!

      • Allison says:

        I’d go for the longer board Rob. I think you’d be okay with the 11′ Airis board but happier with the 12’6″ board… it’ll suit your size better. Both track fairly well and paddle nicely. The 11′ board is going to be a little easier to turn and maneuver but the 12’6″ board will glide a little better and overall I think support you better. Hope that helps.

  18. Duchess says:

    Just wanted to put in a plug for the Airis 11′ Hardtop- thanks to this website and other advice, I purchased this in May, and I have been delighted with it! Very seldom do I order something that does exactly what is promised! All of my friends are amazed at how sturdy it is- in fact, I taught my husband to paddleboard last weekend, and he preferred my ISUP over the regular SUP. He said he felt much more comfortable and balanced.
    I saw someone ask about PSI- it’s hard for me to inflate mine much over 8 PSI, but that seems to be more than adequate for me at 130lbs. In fact, my husband is at 200 lbs, and it was fine for him, but the directions say to inflate it to 10 PSI. It takes me a few minutes to inflate it with the hand pump, so I’m considering buying an electric pump to do the hard work. Although it is good exercise!
    I considered buying the 9′, but I’m glad I got the 11′ now- it’s easily maneuverable, has the bungee cords for storage on the front and back, and it has D rings to add a kayak seat to it- that will be for the winter time for me. I ordered mine from, and they threw in a free paddle!
    Thanks, ISUP World, for your help!

  19. A few words of caution regarding this product We bought this paddle board in May 2014. We love all the neat features (stability and tie downs) BUT we are greatly disappointed by the LEAK. Yes after the 5th use a seam on top started to leak air. We inflated, used and stored the paddleboard exactly as directed We immediately contacted our dealer upon discovering the leak. Since dearer is over 100 miles away we are trying to find time to make a 4 hour round trip drive for a promised replacement. Be sure to fill out the warranty online and if u can, find a dealer close to home. We are beginning to suspect that our board was simply a lemon. Hoping that Walker Bay will do the right thing and replace the board for the dealer without a hassle. Expecting to get our replacement board later this August. Will report back here about our experience.

  20. Any one who buys this board needs to BEWARE of dealer vs manufacturer inconsistencies regarding PSI. My dealer says 7psi. WalkerBay says 12 psi. Go figure. Might be best to buy directly from manufacturer if you can.

  21. Exchanged our still under warranty board yesterday from the dealer. Will now inflate 6-8 psi per dealer instructions. Excited to get back out on the water!

  22. Hello – this is Sean from Walker Bay Boats. I am the Director of Sales for the company. I wanted to address a few comments made in this thread;

    In regards to the PSI of the AIRIS SUP 11, this is a 6″ drop stitch board and does not need a lot of pressure (PSI) to perform. In fact, for most average weight people, you do not need more then 6.5 PSI to get optimal rigidity/glide. The recommended pressure is 8 PSI for this board but again, you will not notice much difference from 6.5 unless you are a heavier person. We put a recommended max pressure of 12 PSI on this product which is difficult to obtain and not necessary. The fibreglass steps built into the board add even more rigidity to the board where you need it most. The AIRIS SUP line is the only Hybrid inflatable board using the RIGIDECK system on the market. I suggest you try the different pressures to understand more of what I am talking about.

    In terms of a leak mentioned, this should obviously not happen. Walker Bay AIRIS are built by a US company in North America and we take quality very seriously. As far as I know, we are the only company not producing inflatable SUP’s in Asia. We supply our dealers directly from the factory without using distributors which is why our pricing is so much better then most brands. We have the best warranty system in the business due to the fact that you are speaking directly with the factory if there is an issue. If there are any issues with your product, we typically will replace it right away as you see happened with the customer on this thread.

    Please feel free to contact me directly with any other questions regarding the AIRIS SUP product line or the award winning AIRIS inflatable kayak line.

    Thank you,

  23. As a longtime editor and then reviewer for PC Magazine during its heyday the thing I always most lamented was our inability to supply reviews of products over time. We did fine comparative reviews of features and were often able to test and compare performance over a short time period but looming deadlines always confronted us, generally just weeks away. I’ve now had the Airis 11? HardTop SUV for 2.5 years. It has hundreds of miles on it, most of that on the Hudson along the shore of Manhattan but also quite a few miles in the lower harbor and the Hudson many miles upriver north of the city. We have very diverse and sometimes extreme conditions here in the city. The river is not really a river here any longer, it is a flooded estuary and wide, 7/10ths of a mile wide where I normally paddle here off Hell’s Kitchen, midtown Manhattan (right next to the USS Intrepid). First, I agree with most of what the reviewer said. The only two points I disagree with are the board’s speed and the skeg. The skeg is a total compromise and the board would be better served with a box and choice of skegs. Let me explain why. Here in the Hudson we have a lot of current and a lot of wind, cross-chop, often a swell, sometimes clapodis, lots of wakes from ferries, tugs and barges. The built-in ruddy cannot handle this and thus the board does not track well. That said, the skeg would be fine on most lakes and rivers on a calm day. Add any wind and current though and you will always find yourself doing a nose draw to do course corrections. I also think the board is slow. It is fine if you will be paddling by yourself or with other slow and inexperienced paddlers. In two and a half years I’ve had a lot of experience in diverse conditions, received instruction from world class paddlers and developed a fairly strong forward stroke (I’m also a longtime sea kayaker and canoeist who has done longer trips and many Manhattan circumnavigations). I paddle frequently with groups out of Manhattan Kayak Company. They use Bic rigid SUPs, and even novice riders and riders not in particularly great shape can outpace when I’m on the Airis. When riding one of the Bics myself I can keep up just fine. Some very experienced guides with MKC have told me that its the flat bottom, rounded edge and central flex, yes, there’s still overall flex in the board despite the fiberglass shields (which, by the way, I really like). The shields helped me greatly in learning to SUP paddle, and I learned to paddle on the Airis. Those are my only criticisms. I really love the board. Unlike the owners just above, my board has given me no trouble at all in the 2.5 years I’ve had it. Like I’ve said I’ve put a lot of miles on it, hauled it by train and car and hiked it a long way without any issues. No leaks, no problems with the pump or gauge, it remains in perfect shape. It also folds up fine and is not heavy. In fact I bought the board to make it quicker for me to get on the water as I have three folding sea kayaks that are all heavier and more time-consuming to setup. So to sum up. I think the board is well-made and fun. It is slow but that won’t be a factor if you are usu paddling alone or with others on similar boards. I’d like to see the option of a removable skeg and the ability to add a longer one for better tracking. If you intend to go long distances or race you will definitely want a different model. Several friends have Reds boards and those fit the bill. In fact I will probably be replacing my own board with a Reds 14′ at some point.

    • I should also add that I thought I got a good deal when purchasing the board. I got a deal at for mine that included a solid (but heavy) Advanced Elements aluminum two-piece paddle that I still use, all for $899. This meant I was able to get on the water immediately without having to shell out another $100 – $300 for a paddle. The Reds board I described costs right around double what the Airis 11′ costs.

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