Isle 11 ft. Explorer Inflatable SUP Review

Isle 11' Explorer inflatable SUP

Isle Surf and SUP was founded in 2004 and is based out of San Diego, California.

They have a great line of inflatable stand up paddle boards and after many comments and questions from visitors to our site regarding the Isle boards, I was super happy to get the chance to review one.

I’ve been paddling the extremely versatile 11’ Isle Explorer ISUP for the last month and enjoying every minute of it.

This board is well made, super rigid, stable, and has all the great features you would want.

Overall this board impressed me. The design is semi-basic but it has all the important points covered and most importantly it paddles well.

Specs For The Isle Explorer

  • 11’ long
  • 32” wide
  • 6” thick
  • weighs 19.1 lbs.
  • can hold up to 275 lbs.
  • air pressure: 15 PSI
  • two attached small fins, one larger removable fin

Material: Military grade drop stitch PVC

Pros: Strong, rigid, extremely stable, durable, bungee tie down system at front and back, center padded carry handle, 3 fins – 2 attached small fins and one large removable fin, large fin screws in and is very secure and strong, priced well

Cons:  No D-rings at nose and tail, can feel a little sluggish

Where To Buy The 11′ Explorer

Click here for the best price on the Isle 11′ Explorer inflatable SUP at

More In-Depth Info On The Isle Explorer

paddling the Isle 11' inflatable paddle board

The Isle 11 ft. Explorer is designed to suit a large range of people. The length and shape of the board make it ideal for flat water cruising, exploring lakes, rivers or ocean bays.

The tri-fin configuration allows a lot of versatility and makes this board equally at home on shallow rivers or for touring on open water.

When paddling on open water secure the larger fin for better tracking and performance.

I found the Explorer to be very rigid, stable and easy to paddle. It is not the fastest board out there but it is fun to ride and as the name implies, it is a great board for exploring all different waterways.

It can be inflated up to 15 PSI and is able to hold a lot of weight.  With Darryl and our two dogs on this board, we regularly have it loaded up with 300 lbs.

Great Features

I like that for a good price this board covers all the important bases.  The shape is designed for easy paddling. It tracks well and turns easily.

The shape and width do create a little drag so don’t expect miracles with speed but all things considered it cruises well and is especially great at plowing through chop and waves.

It has a large bungee system at the front of the board and a smaller bungee cord section at the back. This allows you to secure all the gear you need for a day of exploring.

Isle front bungee system

The foot pad is not super long as the front bungee system takes up a lot of space at the nose of the board. However it is long enough to be functional and is comfortable to stand on.

Isle Explorer ISUP with paddle

I quite like the center carry handle on this board. It has some rubber padding on it, which not only makes it more durable but also a lot more comfortable to carry.

Little things like this are a nice touch and I wish all ISUP’s had padded carry handles.  There are also carry handles at the front and back of the board… these are not padded.

At only 19 lbs. the Explorer is very easy to carry and transport anywhere.

Isle inflatable sup padded carry handle

Removable Fin

I like the fin box on this board. It is a little different than others I have seen and at first glance I thought it might be a little tricky to use.

However it ended up being simple to secure the fin into the fin box. It slides in and is secured by screwing it down.

There are no extra parts to be concerned about losing and once attached it felt very secure and strong. It’s a nice system.

Explorer fin box

Isle Explorer fin

I would recommend always using the larger fin when paddling on open water. It really helps with the tracking and performance.

In shallow water or when paddling in rivers with debris, you can leave the large fin off and rely solely on the two smaller attached side fins.

This fin system makes the Explorer quite versatile for all different uses.

6” Drop-Stitch Material

The 6” thickness of this ISUP makes it extremely stable and rigid even when carrying a lot of weight.

Isle states that they use military grade PVC material in the construction of their boards and when inflated the Explorer felt durable and strong.

They also claim you can run over their board with a car and it will be fine. I wasn’t going to put this statement to the test but I always love a company that will stand behind their product.


This inflatable SUP has four D-rings up front being used by the bungee system and 4 D-rings at the back being used by the back bungee system.

It also has 4 center D-rings that can be conveniently used to attach a seat if wanted.

ISUP D-rings

It is worth noting there is no D-ring at the nose (for towing) and also no D-ring at the back for securing your SUP leash. These are not critical but always handy to have.

If you would like to add them on yourself a package of D-rings are very affordable and can be glued on with some strong waterproof glue.

I attached my ankle leash to the bungee-cord D-rings behind me and that worked fine… although I do prefer my leash attached to the back of the board.

Isle Explorer Setup

As with most inflatable paddle boards, the setup is simple.

Take it out of the carry bag, unroll and inflate. I found the hand pump that comes with this board decent but not great.

It worked but I have used others that were a little easier in the high-pressure mode. It comes with a pressure gauge so you are able to see what PSI level you are at. The Explorer can be inflated up to 15 PSI.

At this point I normally use my electric pump, which does the job super fast and with no effort on my part.

The valve is a one-way Halkey-Roberts style valve.  This is a very typical valve for an inflatable SUP.  It works great, is easy to use and air leakage is very unlikely.

Once inflated secure the fin and you are good to go… 5–10 minutes top, depending on the pump you use.

Isle Explorer backpack carry bag

rolled up Isle inflatable paddle board

Isle hand pump

one-way halkey roberts sup valve

11’ Explorer Weight

The new Isle Explorer weighs 19.1 lbs.  The one I have is an older model and it weighs 29 lbs.

I found it a little on the heavy side at 29 lbs. and that was one of my major complaints about this board.

I was very happy to see that Isle now uses new Airtech Fusion Light Construction, which has knocked a good 10 lbs. off the weight.

I do not know if the strong construction is compromised in any way from this new lighter weight.

I have heard of no issues or complaints so at this point I have to think that Isle has done a great job in improving this ISUP and making it more portable and functional for all.

carrying the Isle Explorer ISUP

Isle Backpack Carry Bag

With the Isle boards you get the choice of two different carry bags.

  1. Their regular inflatable SUP carrying back pack
  2. Or their inflatable SUP wheeled travel bag

The regular cary back pack comes included with the board.  It has mesh sides so that the board can breath and bungee ties on the front of the bag.  Overall this bag works just fine.

Isle ISUP carry back pack

If you plan to do any airplane travel or don’t want to have to lug the pack on your shoulders then the wheeled travel bag is an awesome choice.

The wheeled travel bag is the one I tested out and I liked it a lot.

This bag gives you the option of pulling it on wheels or to carry it on your back like a backpack.  It feels strong, the zippers are sturdy and the carry handles and straps are solid.

Isle travel backpack carry bag  Isle travel backpack carry bag with wheels

Isle travel bag padded handle

The backpack straps tuck away so that they do not get caught or torn when pulling the board or when checking it on an airplane.

I found it a little heavy to carry on my back for too far of a distance (with the Explorer inside) so the wheels make it convenient to take anywhere.

However if you do choose to carry it on your shoulders there are adjustable shoulder straps and also a waist strap that really helps for support.

The front of the bag has a large zippered pocket that fits the pump, the fin and the repair kit.

The main zipper opens all the way up so you can easily place the board in the bag and it also holds a travel paddle.

Explorer Performance

Overall the performance is good. It doesn’t necessarily excel in any which way but we still love paddling it.

This is our go-to board when we want to bring out both dogs on one board.  Darryl also loves using the Explorer in choppy ocean water as it feels very secure and stable.

Unless you are looking for more speed I think the majority of people would be very happy with it.

It is designed to help you feel stable and secure and it is quite versatile and fun to use.


Seth and I paddling the Isle Explorer

Isle 11' inflatable SUP at Johnson Lake

Isle 11' ISUP pivot turn

The Negative

There were not a lot of negatives with this ISUP… At least not many that really matter.

A couple more D-rings would be nice to have but are not critical.

It can feel a little sluggish in the water especially when loaded with lots of weight.  The stability that it offers does compromise the speed and maneuverability some.

However being the fastest on the water is not always that important and overall the Explorer is a nice ride.

More Pics Of The Isle Explorer

pulling the Isle travel bag

standing on inflatable stand up paddle board

top view of isle explorer sup

Isle SUP height comparison

Where To Buy The Isle Explorer Inflatable SUP

There is a new and improved model for the Isle Explorer now available at Amazon called the Isle Airtech 11′ Explorer inflatable SUP.  This new board comes with a 3-piece paddle, a backpack, a hand pump, a repair kit and fins.

We have been using this paddle board for roughly 2 years now and have had no issues.  For the price, it is a great buy.

It can withstand a lot of abuse and Isle backs up their commitment to quality with a great 2-year warranty against factory defects.

Click Here For Current Prices On The 11′ Isle Explorer Inflatable SUP At

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  1. How do you like this compared to the Tower Paddle Board Adventurer? Have you gotten to try the Adventurer 2 ?
    How is the stability, weight support, speed and tracking between the two?

    • I find the Tower Adventurer to be quite basic in design. It’s tough as nails and super rigid but lacking in features and performance. So although I feel the Tower board is super stable and nearly indestructible I would personally choose the Isle Explorer over it. However I do like the look of the Tower Adventurer 2. I haven’t tried it yet but it looks like it would perform much better. It’s hard to compare without trying it but this one looks more comparable to the Isle Explorer. I did like the Explorer a lot, it had all the main features covered and it was stable and tracked well. I like the extra length of the Isle board but the Tower one is a little lighter and is able to hold up to 400 lbs. Sorry I can’t help you more, hopefully I’ll get to review the new Tower board soon.

  2. Robert says:

    Thanks for the fantastic information…love your site! I’m torn between the Isle 11′ Explorer and the Red 10’6″ Ride. How would you compare the performance of the two? This will be my second SUP, but first inflatable. I want it to double as my wife’s board or a guest board. I do enjoy small surf as well as flat water, so wondering if a 2014 Ride may be the better bet, even though it’s more expensive. Thank you.

    • Hi Robert, I like the Isle board a lot as I find it paddles well and provides all the right features for a good price. The Red board is of course more expensive but it is a top of the line product. It’s hard to beat in quality and performance. The Red board is able to be inflated to a higher air pressure creating a more rigid platform and ultimately it will glide better through the water. That being said both would suit flat water as well as small surf with no problems. I like the bungee tie-down cords on the Isle board as well…They are very handy for securing a water bottle or other small items. Ultimately I don’t feel it is necessary to spend the extra money for the Red board but no doubt about it that Red board will last you a very long time.

  3. John Fox says:

    Great review. I second the request for a comparison between this and the Tower Adventurer 2. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to review that board soon since at this price point they seem very similar on paper.

  4. Thank you for a great review. I think this will be the board for me. Has all the features and quality that i am looking for. I am new to the sport, but after reading your review which helped to answer 99.9% of my questions I will be ordering one soon. The standard back pack (no wheels) looks like it is part mesh fabric, is this correct?


    • Fantastic! So glad you found the review helpful… the Isle SUP is a good one. Yes you are right, the backpack has big side mesh panels and the front is a nylon fabric. It is quite sturdy and fits the board well.

  5. Madison says:

    My husband and I both got an Isle Board. He went with the explorer which he LOVES, and I went with the 10 4 Women’s board that I can not get enough of. We both take our 90 lb dog on our board and we can still steer pretty well. We have also taken our friends out with us and the boards still do fantastic. We mainly use it for the lake and river. My husband fishes off of his and he thinks its the best thing ever. I do yoga and light core exercises on mine and its just great! Super satisfied with our boards. The only con is that they are not the fastest boards but we were not choosing them for speed. LOVE LOVE LOVE our SUPS!

    • Awesome comment Madison. Love to hear about others who are as addicted to SUP’s as I am 🙂 So nice to hear that you are both really happy with your Isle boards as well. Paddling with a 90 lbs. dog is impressive! Enjoy!!

  6. Do you think this board would hold up if I sat my four year old on it?
    She probably weighs about 40lbs and I am a small amount of gear/ water.


    • Yes you bet. People have told me they paddle the Isle Explorer with their 90 lbs. dog and it works great. I don’t think you’ll have any issues. I’ve paddled a similar sized and quality board with my very pregnant friend sitting up front plus my little dog. These boards can handle a lot 🙂

  7. Jennifer says:

    I was looking at the 10’4″ Isle women’s board and the tower adventurer 2 as well as the Isle Explorer. How do you think these would perform next to a double kayak as we plan to take some family excursions in the bay and the Long Island sound. Could I paddle one of these easier and keep up with a double kayak? Or are the inflatables in general just too slow? Also want to put one child on the board with me.

    • A good inflatable SUP will paddle just as fast as a fiberglass board of similar size. As far as keeping up with the tandem kayak it totally depends on what kind of kayak it is. I have stand-up paddled with others who are in kayaks before and haven’t had much of an issue keeping up. However in general I think a tandem kayak will paddle faster, especially since it is being powered by two. I find the Isle Explorer perfect for one person plus a child. That board is super stable and easy to paddle. It provides enough room for a child to sit up front comfortably.

  8. Is this board like a float ? I’ve never had one an am lookin to buy a paddle board. (These are alot cheaper) Do they “cruse” the same as a fiberglass board ?

    • Hey Kylee, I’m not sure exactly what you mean by a float, but it does cruise really nicely. The Isle Explorer is super stable, I find it is great for beginners and has all the right features. It’s a fun paddle board and actually quite versatile as well. I find the inflatable SUP’s cruise just as well as a fiberglass board of similar size. They are pretty awesome and of course super portable.

  9. I am torn to decide between the Tower Aventurer2 and the Isle Explorer. I am 6’5″ tall and solid 250lbs (all muscle still)….why is the Adventurer2 board rated so much higher weight capacity than the explorer? The explorer is more attractive for the front/rear cargo design and extra length.

    • I agree that the Isle SUP is the more attractive board. You would probably be okay on it, I feel like the Isle board can hold a lot more than the weight limit they give. However the Tower Adventurer2 is supposedly able to hold up to 400 lbs., which is pretty nice. I really don’t know why the Tower boards have such a high weight capacity… it is supposedly because of the material and the construction. However they don’t seem that different to me from other boards when inflated. So I’m not sure if other companies are just understating the weight limit. I like the extra length of the Isle board as well but the Adventurer2 does get great reviews. I think performance wise they will be quite similar, but the Adventurer2 will likely be a little easier to turn and maneuver quickly. Good luck!

  10. I have the AW Glider hard board from Isle–and love the board. And now planning to get my wife the Explorer. And have a 2nd board for times I do not want to take out the hard board. Love the customer service of Isle.

  11. Allison, thanks for all the great reviews on your site! How do you feel about the Explorer vs the NN? I’m deciding between three boards; Isle 11′, Isle 12’6 and Needlenose 126. Users will be myself, my wife and my daughter (175, 110, 60 lbs) mainly on small lakes and rivers, very occasionally on the Great Lakes or ocean. My thought is to buy two boards from the above; probably Isle 11′ for the girls and one of the 12’6 models for me.

    • Hi Dino, Glad you are finding the site helpful! I like the Explorer, it is very stable and I think provides good value for the money. It is ideal for beginners. However the Needlenose is a far better performer and an overall better board. The Explorer is versatile and ultra stable on choppy water however it is a little slow moving on flat water. The Needlenose is the board my partner and I paddle most and it is always a favorite with our friends, especially the 126 model. I think you’d be really happy with it. Getting both the Explorer and the NN126 would give you a good mix. I do personally prefer the NN126 to the Isle 12’6″ Touring. The Touring is still a good board but performance wise, the NN is hard to beat.

  12. Pump help, please! We just got two of these Isle 11′ Explorer boards and really enjoy them. However, we also got the BTP Two Stage Electric Turbo Pump from Sea Eagle, and we are having major problems trying to use it with this board! I know others have successfully used it, so I’m trying to figure out what we’re doing wrong. The pump comes with a series of white connectors, none of which seems to fit well with the board valve, even while holding the tube in place. Unlike the connector that comes with the hand pump, which screws down securely into the board for pumping, the white attachments that came with the pump are just a straight tube – no screw-in action. And since none of them fits snugly into the board, there ends up being a ton of air hissing out, and the pump can’t get enough of a seal to register the PSI. As the board gets more inflated, eventually there’s as much air hissing out as going in, and it seems like the pump is really struggling without achieving/registering any PSI. Any advice on getting this to work would be much appreciated… we weren’t thrilled about being stuck using the hand pump, especially after shelling out for the electric one!

    • Okay that’s no good. One of the white valve adapters should fit snuggly into the valve. I use this pump on the Isle Explorer often and it has worked well. If I remember correctly one of the white valve connectors fits really snuggly… you kind of have to push it in and then when you are finished inflating be careful unhooking the hose as the white connector can sometimes get stuck and the hose will come out of the connector piece and the air will hiss out… if that makes since. So one of them should fit really snuggly. Very strange if you don’t have a piece that fits like this. Another option is to attach the electric pump hose onto your manual pump hose (so it’s a double hose) and that way you can use the connector piece that screws into your valve. It’s a little slower to inflate but works well. Or… you can buy a Halkey Roberts valve adapter from Amazon and fit it onto your electric pump hose. I pulled one off another pump and have used it… I can’t guarantee that those sold on Amazon will fit your hose perfectly as I’m not 100% sure they are the same size as mine, but they look exactly the same and I don’t imagine there is much variation. Hope that helps, good luck!!

  13. Hey, I was wondering what your thoughts were on the Isle 12’6″. I’m around 190 pounds and like to carry my 75 pound Labrador with me or even another person. I have the solstice bali but would like something that holds more weight for dog/passenger or is faster / more efficient when I’m on it by myself. Usually paddle relatively calm lakes. I’ve also looked at the 14 foot eagle nose but not sure what would be best. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

    • Hey Austin, I haven’t paddled the Isle 12’6″ but I’ve heard good things and I find the Isle brand of ISUP’s to be well made, durable and overall very functional. I think their 12’6″ SUP is a good board and would likely suit your needs well. I personally really like the SE Needlenose.. the design of it helps it to paddle faster and cut through the water a little better. Also it is quite a bit lighter than the Isle SUP (even the 14’Needlenose), which makes it very portable and easy to handle. I have friends who have the 14′ Needlenose and they paddle it with their large Labradoodle. They do great on it. I find the 14′ board takes a little extra effort to get going but once moving, it paddles really well. However nothing bad to say about the Isle 12’6″ and I have no doubt it is a great board. I’m not sure what the weight capacity is for it, but I don’t think you would have any issues loading it right up. Cheers.

  14. Also, need some advice on paddles. I’m 6’2” and like a long paddle, but I bent, then broke the alloy adjustable bulletproof paddle. What is a solid paddle that I can really dig in without fear of damaging the paddle? I don’t really care about weight so I was hoping to stay cheaper than the 250 dollar category.

    • There are so many SUP paddles to choose from, it’s a little crazy. I like the Werner paddles a lot. They seem to be very durable and I rarely have any criticism with them. The Werner Soul might be one for you to consider. It’s priced over 250 but I’ve seen it on sale at several online stores right now. A solid shaft as opposed to a 2-piece will be a little stronger. A full sized blade might suit you best. It’ll take a little more effort to use but will give you more power. Another one to consider is the Starboard Enduro Tiki Tech. I just tried it out yesterday and for paddles in the 200 – 250 price range, I thought this one was excellent. I tried the 2-peice with a large blade. I’m not sure how much it weighed but it felt fairly light and a lot more solid than other paddles in a similar class. My boyfriend actually really liked it as well. Starboard products in general I find to be excellent. I think if you search around a bit you can find it for roughly $200. For sizing at 10″ to your height. So you would need a paddle that is 84″ long.

  15. Thank you for your comprehensive review. I am searching for the best InflatableSUP for a surprise gift for my wife with a target price of $800 or less. She tried boarding with LL Bean and was advised to get a 11′ board (5’7″ and 115 pounds). I had settled on the Isle Explorer or the Sea Eagle Long Board, but I just read your review of theTen Toes 10′ board. How important is the length of the board – my wife would paddle primary Ina lake and I calm ocean water? Which board would you recommend for my price point of $800 max? I believe stability and control would be the most important features as opposed to speed.

    • Hi John, I agree that 11′ is an ideal length for her. My favourite of those three boards is the Sea Eagle Longboard. It is the most versatile and I feel it performs the best. The Isle Explorer is super stable even on ocean waves. However it is a little more sluggish to paddle. That being said it is still a favourite in my household whenever anyone wants extra stability. The Ten Toes board is a lot of fun and it is a good price point. It is not quite as stable as the other two but for cruising around it paddles well. It is also super portable. You can’t really go wrong any which way and even though I prefer the Longboard, if stability is the main factor the Isle Explorer will be great and is priced well.

      • Thank you for you reply. A couple of follow-up questions:

        1. Is it correct that length of board is more about stability and speed than the height or weight of the user?

        2. I noticed that you reviewed a Wakoda board a while back that you liked but I believe is no longer available. Wakoda now has a LA 132 (11’0″) board that is below my $800 price point. Do you have an opinion on this board?

        Thanks again

        • Hey John, The answer to your first question is yes absolutely. Although in my experience a larger person does like a larger board. However for your wife she would have no problem on a board of any size – even one shorter than 11 feet. 11′ is just a nice length for touring and overall versatility. I don’t find the quality of the Wakooda boards to be quite as good as the Sea Eagle or Isle SUP’s. I also don’t find their performance to be anything great. However I’ve never had an issue with them and although basic in design they paddle just fine. For the price the LA132 is a good deal.

  16. Hi! Great website you have here! Enjoying all the info. I am looking to buy either the isle, touring 12’6 , isle explorer or possibly a sea eagle. I am a 5′ 7″ 123 lb woman who would occasionally be paddling with a 65lb lab. Would be using on lakes primarily. I am a beginner but am interested in getting something that does perform decent. What do you think?

    • Allison says:

      The Isle Touring performs a lot better than the Explorer but the Explorer is slightly more stable. I think initially you will be much more comfortable on the Isle Explorer with your lab but you might eventually prefer something that cuts through the water better, especially if you will be mainly paddling on lakes. I have a friend who paddles the Sea Eagle 12’6″ Needlenose with a big labradoodle. It took a few times initially to get comfortable but they do great on it now and that board really performs well. If you want to go for a performance board then I would say stick to the 12’6″ length and 6″ thickness so there is more stability and room for the dog. If you go shorter like the Isle Explorer then it is nice to have the extra width to add more stability – but it will be a slower paddle. Hope that helps!

  17. First time I have stumbled across the site, and am already a huge fan!

    Couple of questions around the Isle Explorer…what keeps it out of the Top 5? Did you find it stable enough to Yoga on (although not the main function)? A lot of people seem to narrow it down to the Red Paddle Co Ride 10 6 and Isle Explorer 11, you made a previous comment that you preferred the Isle. Still true?

    • Allison says:

      Hi Chuck, I like the Isle Explorer and we actually use it often. However in my opinion it is not a top 5 board. It is stable and easy enough to paddle but it doesn’t stand out when it comes to speed, quick turns or maneuvers. It’s kind of basic but fairly versatile and has good features. It is definitely stable enough for yoga. The Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride is for sure the better SUP… Red Paddle Co makes higher end boards. However I feel for the money you get a really good deal with Isle and I have had no troubles with the Explorer at all.

  18. Roger Feldman says:

    Thanks for your comprehensive review of the Isle Explorer. I’m on the fence between it and the ISLE 10’5 Versa Epoxy SUP. Have you ever had an opportunity to try it? I’ll be using my board for recreational and exercise paddling along the ocean coastline in mostly calm to sometime slightly choppy water. Thanks!

    • Hi Roger, No I haven’t tried the Isle 10’5″ Versa Epoxy board unfortunately. It looks like a nice all-around SUP and probably is quite versatile. The advantage with the Isle Explorer is that it is so extremely portable being an inflatable and it is nice and stable in choppy water. I also like that the Explorer has the bungee cords for securing gear, which is kind of nice for bringing along a water bottle or dry bag. The Explorer is also a lot lighter making it easier to carry and likely faster to turn. It is ideal for paddling along a coastline. Isle is a great company however so I am sure either board would be great. Good luck and happy paddling!

  19. Hi, great aerials on the boards you tested, what I’m wondering about is, does it hurt the inflatable board to stay inflated for long periods of time?

    • Hi Brenda, It is no problem to leave the board inflated for long periods of time. However make sure to check the PSI level before taking it out again. Often they will lose a little air over time so it will probably need to be topped up. Also store it out of the elements to reduce wear on the material.

  20. Shane Dowler says:

    Hi Allison,

    Great site, I have really found in helpful in my search of a SUP, I like the unbiased reviews.

    I have only paddle boarded once on vacation and I know that I need to buy one for daily use. I live near the river which has flats and class one and two rapids. I am 5 feet 9 and 185lbs. I would prefer to buy a board that I can grow into. As many others have stated I am torn between the Isle Explorer, Red Co 10’6. The Red is about $300 more, I am trying to decide if it’s worth it. I would be open to any other suggestions as well. Also do most companies start having sales during the winter months, end of season?

    Thank you,


    • Hi Shane, The Isle Explorer is a great board and I have never been unhappy with it. However the Red Paddle Co ISUP is a higher-end product. You get more technical features on your board as well as a better backpack and pump. Some people swear by the Red boards and the 10’6″ Ride is a super good versatile board. Whether or not the extra cost is worth it is a hard call. You are definitely getting more for that higher price. However the Isle SUP will last a long time and be a lot of fun to use. The Red Ride is probably the one you’ll grow into more however as I feel you can get a better performance from in the long run, especially on rivers. The Isle Explorer is best suited for touring. Another one I would suggest taking a look at is the Starboard Whopper Deluxe (the pics on my review of the Whopper are outdated, it’s been redesigned since I did that review). It is a little shorter at 10′ long but is a super fun river board. The Starboard SUP’s are usually higher priced as well but ColoradoKayak has their Starboard ISUP’s on for a really good sale price right now. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you for mentioning Colorado Kayak, they had the Red 10-6 for over $300 off. I pulled the trigger, I didn’t want to miss this opportunity. I am really excited, thanks for the info and great site.

  21. Hi Allison!

    First of all thank you for your detailed, long term review! I’m about to move to San Diego from the frozen tundra of Chicago and while I only used a paddle board once, now doing a research to invest in one myself. Your review was extremely helpful and will highly likely buy the Explorer, but since I’m moving where the company is located I may test ride it myself first.
    My question: I was wondering, if the rear carrying handle could be used to attache the leash?

    • Hi Henrik, Yes you bet that shouldn’t be a problem. I have used the rear handle to attach the leash on other boards before. A D-ring is probably stronger and more useful but it should work fine with the handle. Good luck with your move, San Diego is so beautiful and ideal for SUP’ing! Happy paddling!!

  22. Hi Allison,
    A HUGE thank you for doing what you do—it’s fantastic to have so much comprehensive information in one place. And thank you for taking the time to answer each comment. I hope you don’t mind me adding one 🙂

    I just sold my Naish Odysseus in order to buy an inflatable. I was happy to see it go because it was so sluggish—a great workout, but frustrating and impossible to keep up with my friends! Next season I plan to do plenty of solo SUP (so keeping up with the pack isn’t an issue) but I would like something that tracks with more speed. I’ll be on lakes and flat water and I like to dabble in SUP yoga. I have a price cap of $800. I’m not crazy about the aesthetic of the ISLE 12’6″ touring but it seems like my best bet. Would you agree?

    Any advice hugely appreciated!! I won’t have a chance to test any boards out before I leave.

    • Sorry Zoe I am so late in answering your comment! I like the Explorer a lot but I find it kind of slow to paddle. If you want a little more speed take a look at the iRocker 11′ or the Tantrum Tow Ropes 12’6″. Both are priced well under your budget and impressed me with their performance, particularly with speed and tracking. The Isle Explorer however would be more stable for SUP yoga.

  23. Great Review! How do you compare this to the Body Glove Performer 11 iSUP?

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