ISLE Explorer 11′ Paddle Board Package Review

inflatable sup buying guide

In my opinion, there is nothing better than being deeply connected with the water. Isle Surf and SUP, launched in 2004, have a notable line of stand up inflatable paddle boards. So, it is to no surprise that this Airtech inflatable explorer will be just as great as the rest. We have been using this paddleboard for the last month and it has truly been a great time. Even with a semi-basic design, this board has impressed me. Nobody wants to fall into the water or have their paddling buddy fall in, which can be avoided by this paddleboard as its stable, super rigid, and very well made.

Technical Specifications For Isle Explorer

Before we get into the details behind the ISLE Airtech Inflatable Explorer Stand Up Paddle Board, we should go through some of the basic specifications. This paddleboard comes in two lengths, an 11 ft. model, and a 12 ft. model.

11 ft. Model Specifications

  • Length: 11 ft.
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Volume: 238 L
  • Weight: 22 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 275 lbs.
  • Guarantee: 30-Day
  • Warranty: 1 Year

12 ft. Model Specifications

  • Length: 12 ft.
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Volume: 272 L
  • Weight: 24 lbs.
  • Weight Capacity: 300 lbs.
  • Guarantee: 30-Day
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Design Features

isle explorer 11 paddle boardThis ISLE Explorer paddle board is built with the outdoor enthusiast in mind. It is designed to offer paddlers with the highest level of convenience, performance, and functionality. It features tail and nose grab handles, center grab handle, front bungee, rear bungee, brushed EVA traction, center D-Rings, tail D-Rings, and a high-pressure valve.

The tail and nose grab handles are reinforced to ensure that transportation is very easy, regardless of whether it’s on shores, docks, or riverbeds. It can also be used as a leash or tie up point. While the center grab handle is great to allow you with no stress and comfortable transport. They are placed in a way to offer you with the maximum amount of leverage to move with ease. It also stays flush while it’s not in use. The center handle has a little bit of rubber padding on it, which makes it more comfortable and durable.

The front and rear bungees are an expandable system that allows paddlers to be safe while still having access to their gear. You can easily attach items, such as snacks, camera, and sunglasses.

The brushed EVA traction gives the paddlers the maximum amount of comfort under their feet. It’s also non-abrasive while your knee paddling or just having a relaxing time on the deck. Regardless of how you’re using the paddle, it’s bound to be a comfortable experience.

The center D-Rings give you the ability to the add more bungees or completely secure your cooler without worrying about it falling off. While the tail mounted D-Rings are perfect for tying the SUP up to the dock, a boat or even attaching a leash.

The high pressure valve gives up to 12 PSI, while being easily locked into a closed or open position to allow for a simple and rapid deflation or inflation. All of which will be done within five minutes.

Explorer 11 Performance

Overall, the performance of this paddle board is very good. It might be the best board in the market, but it has a very good price to features ratio. It has also proven itself on choppy ocean waters where it still feels stable and secure. As ISLE is one of the premier names in the stand-up paddleboard industry, the Explorer is no exception. Everything from the dimensions to the materials used shows a quality build. It is designed to showcase durability and high performance. The Explorer is specially created for touring, which means that it is highly functional with a three-fin setup, stable and sturdy platform, allowing it to track straight in any weather condition.

The six-inch thickness gives more buoyancy even if there is a heavier load on the board, allowing you to stack up extra gear for longer trips. There are three fins in this design, with two of them attached and the larger fin can be detached if necessary. This allows paddlers to have versatility, which allows the board to be great in the open ocean or shallow river water. The six-inch thickness is also great for supporting the weight capacity, which are 275 lbs. for the 11 ft. model and 300 lbs. for the 12 ft. model.

Weight

At 22 lbs., this isn’t the lightest paddle board, but it isn’t the heaviest SUP by any means. It’s comfortable enough to be able to carry without any problem. The 11 ft. model is 22 lbs. and the 12 ft. model is 24 lbs., which is only two pounds difference. The Airtech Fusion Lite enables the paddle board to be made with a high tech proprietary process machine that is made with a drop stitch that has a bonding layer and special seal. It is then fused with a higher density machine laminated PVC layer. This removes human errors or factors to create unique and consistent bonds. This would not be possible if they did not use machines and instead used hand gluing. The use of machines allowed them to be lightweight and durable.

They used military grade PVC throughout the paddleboard making it rigid and long-lasting. On top of that, the equipment used also increase the durability and performance as well as the aesthetics. This paddleboard comes in two color choices, which are blue and yellow. Many users love the looks and the color choices of this paddle board.

ISLE AirTech Explorer Set-Up

The set-up is actually quite simple, as you’ll find is with most inflatable paddle boards. You simply have to take it out of its carry bag, unroll it, and inflate it up. The hand pump that this board comes with is not of the highest quality but it does do the job fine. There are other hand pumps that have been easier in the higher pressure modes. It also comes with a pressure gauge, which allows you to clearly see the PSI level that you’re at. It can be inflated up to fifteen PSI. Electric pumps are able to get the job done faster with little to no effort.

There is a Halkey-Roberts style one-way valve that is quite typical for inflatable SUPs. It is unlikely that you’ll experience any air leakages. It is also quite simple and easy to use while working great. It typically only takes around five to ten minutes to inflate, which of course depends on the pump that you’re using. Regardless, it is not hard to setup and it doesn’t take too long for you to get on the water.

ISLE Carry Bag

isle explorer whats included in packageWith ISLE paddle boards you usually have the choice of two types of carrying bags, those being the standard carrying backpack or their wheeled travel bag. The standard carry backpack is included with the board that has bungee ties on the front and mesh sides to allow the board to breathe.

If you’re planning on traveling and wish to take this paddle board with you, the wheeled travel bag is the ideal option for you. This will allow you to have a more comfortable journey, as you won’t have to lug the backpack on your shoulders. The wheeled bag allows you to either carry it on your back like a normal backpack or pull it on its wheels. It’s made with strong materials, with solid carry handles, solid straps, and sturdy zippers.

The straps of the backpacks tuck away neatly so that they do not get torn or caught when pulling it. So, you won’t have to worry about any tears while you check it in and pull it onto and off of the airplane. The standard backpack might get heavy after a while or carrying it, so if you predict a longer distance of having to carry it, then you might want to consider purchasing the wheeled travel bag. However, if you just want to use the backpack that the paddleboard comes with, rest assured it is a great bag that also has a waist strap and adjustable shoulder straps for additional support.

As this set comes complete with a hybrid 3-piece adjustable travel paddle, high-pressure hand pump, leash, and center fin – you need something that is able to fit all of this in. The backpack and the wheeled travel bag are both big enough to fit all the equipment. The front features a large zippered pocket that can easily fit the repair kit, the fin, and the pump. While the main zipper pocket can open up completely to easily fit the board and travel paddle.

Is This Paddle Board For You?

One of the features that we loved with this board was the board’s D-Ring system. Many inflatable SUPs only come with three or sometimes four D-Rings, which doesn’t offer much in terms of storage. The Explorer, on the other hand, comes with fourteen D-Rings. Yeah, you read that right. Fourteen. You’ll find these spread across the board with four on the sides, four on the tail, and six located close to the nose. While most won’t be using all of these, it’s a good system to have in case you wish to attach a kayak seat, storing shoes or even snacks for those longer journeys. The explorer also comes with a couple additional handles, which allow you to have another person easily help you in getting the board in and out of the water.

If you’re looking for speed, then this product won’t be for you. Though this product won’t give you much in terms of speed, it does have a lot of other factors going for it. If you enjoy cruising, either with a partner or alone, then this will be the perfect board for you. The board is also built with touring in mind, which means that it’ll be durable and sturdy.

Many users of this board commented on its maneuverability, decent speed, and straight tracking. All of which makes it the perfect option for longer voyages, whether they are on the open waters, lakes, or even rivers. Other users, along with us, loved the stability that this board offers. Though it’s relatively slender, it still remains stable due to its length and shape. But by far the best part of this board is that it is inflatable, which allows traveling a lot easier than with traditional paddleboards that would be too much hassle to bring anywhere. So, if you’ve got a smaller car, a car without a roof rack, or just live in an apartment that doesn’t have too much storage space – you’ve now got a SUP that won’t take up too much room but will offer you all the great things about paddle boards.

isle explorer can carry a lotThe only real problem that we seemed to have with this paddle board was the rolling it up when it has been deflated. We were never quite able to completely roll it up to be smaller which sometimes made it difficult to place it back into its bag. As this paddleboard is made with tougher materials, the inflation time may be longer, especially with the hand pump.

Wrapping Up

You might have a hard time finding a better touring SUP than this ISLE Airtech Inflatable Explorer Stand Up Paddle Board. It maneuvers with ease, moves at a great speed, and tracks straight – giving you everything that a touring SUP should have. It’s also great for beginners as it is stable enough to let you remain relatively dry while paddling. The set also comes with all the necessary equipment, such as a backpack, a leash, a pump, a pump, and of course the paddle board. The unique bungee tie system and non-slip traction pad allow the paddler to have a comfortable journey on the water. With everything that this paddleboard has to offer, it’s no surprise that this inflatable paddle has become a loved choice for many paddlers.

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