Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the regular paddle boards, all I’m saying is that I tried both and you really can tell that there is a huge difference between the two.
I tried many inflatable boards and it’s true that not all of them are great nor would they all reach up to your expectations but there’s always some degree of an advantage that is associated with inflatable paddle boards. (My opinion)
Lately, I have been acquainted with the new edition of the Aqua Marina Monster paddle board through a friend of mine who happens to be as enthusiastic as I am about the sport. You know how it goes: we exchanged boards, I lent him my theWeekender inflatable SUP by Ten Toes and he lent me his new Aqua Marina MONSTER, and I must admit that it is one of the most memorable inflatable boards I’ve ever tried.
It’s neither gigantic like the TOWER XPLORER nor too small. The Monster is a 12 feet long, 32 inches wide and 6 inches thick which does a great job keeping the board floating. It’s worth noting that maintaining balance on the board also depends on the weight of the user, and ensuring enough pumping to get the right air pressure.
Accordingly, the weight limit on this board is around 352 lbs so I could bring my dog with me.
Also, when I tried this board, I could sense that it’s very durable. So, I went online and did some research and it turned out that the makers of the board fortified the body with a double-wall drop-stitch PVC construction. Not only does that make the board strong but also suitable for advanced riders.
Moreover, a rigid board means less worrying and that is exactly the point behind stand up paddle boarding. If you cannot cruise peacefully and just go with the flow then you’re missing on the experience! Therefore, durability is definitely one of the top qualities you need to look for in an inflatable paddle board.
On a side note, I could never review a SUP without stressing the practicality of these things and I think that most people don’t realize that inflatable boards are much more rigid and practical than you imagine. Also, they are inflatable, which means that you can deflate, roll up and store or transport them easily. Another great feature of inflatable boards is that they are remarkably lighter than regular boards and the Aqua Marina MONSTER is quite the example of this, weighing something around 22 lbs.
The body of the monster is slim and looks really attractive at first sight. I loved the color and body design because not only are they beautiful but also unisex and is perfectly suitable for both male and females. Also, the deck of the board is mostly covered by a big gripping pad which helps you maintain balance on top of the board and also makes it easier to get back on top of it when you fall in the water.
The nose of the board is marked by 4 small d rings connected by a bungee cord where you can store your paddle or basically anything that would fit. The board also has a bigger D-ring on the tail that can facilitate towing or securing the board but it can also be used to install an ankle leach (which I strongly advise). And lastly, the manufacturer provides one single central removable fin for this board, unlike the common 3 fin systems. However, that doesn’t make much of a difference if you ask me because I could easily maneuver on this board when I personally tried it.
This board is beginner friendly as it comes with everything you’ll need to maintain it. That includes an (1) high pressure hand pump equipped with a pressure gauge on top to let you know when to stop (The regular PSI for these board is somewhere between 13 and 15 PSI) The package also comes with a (2) collapsible paddle which gives more points to practicality, (3) a repair kit which is never a bad thing and last but not least, the MONSTER comes rolled in a nice bag which is my favorite accessory because it saves you a whole lot of trouble when transporting or storing the board after you’re done using it.