When it comes to stand up paddle boards, there are two fundamental questions you should ask yourself before you make any purchase and those are: What type of board am I looking for? And what brand can I trust?
The answer to the first question is usually not that complicated as you’ll surely pick the board that looks best for you, the one whose size fits you well and the one with the best body features. However, the answer to the second question might be more complicated than it would seem.
Evidently, familiar brands are easier to trust because they’ve exhibited a rich record and a more or less solid reputation but that isn’t always the case.
In this situation, the Blue Wave Sports makes a great example of why we can also trust new faces in the industry. Their Manta Ray 12′ inflatable stand up paddle board is strictly made of military grade PVC material which is then reinforced by a drop stitch construction making it virtually indestructible. Nevertheless, these claims may sound vague for the moment but let me list for you some of the reasons which make this inflatable paddle board a smart choice.
First, when we talk about size and shape specifically, you’ll find that a lot of the inflatable stand up paddle boards on the market look funny because they do not match the profile of the authentic hard board. The Blue Wave Sports on the other hand has placed much more emphasis on body design in order to achieve that natural look while maintaining all the special aspects of an inflatable board.
This board is 12 feet long and 30 inches wide which make it compatible with teenagers, young adults and adults. Some professional paddlers have expressed their concern over the ability of complete beginner to handle a board this large but in my opinion, you do not have to worry about that unless you’re willing to use the board in extreme situations. If you’re a beginner then restrain yourself to calm and smooth currents and upgrade slowly.
When it comes to thickness, the Manta Ray 12′ Inflatable SUP Board measures 6 inches and that is significant for one basic reason. Simply put, most boards that are 4 inches thick or under are prone to being submerged at the center under extra weight which is enough of a reason to favour 6 inches. Add to that, the size of the board helps the weight limit reach up to 280 lbs which can be 1 user or 1 user + a child or a pet.
As mentioned earlier, the basic features of any board are very relevant if you intend to set a verdict and luckily the Manta Ray 12′ Inflatable SUP board happens to have a lot to offer on this facade.
First of all, the stainless steel D-rings on the nose are connected via a bungee cord to enable you to store or transport a small cargo anywhere you like and that will prove extremely useful with time.
Another feature that is worth mentioning is the futuristic traction non-slip EVA pad which will help you maintain a solid balance while standing and also make it a lot easier for you to get back on top of the board once you fall in the water.
Further, the fin system on this board is excellent for both beginners and professionals alike. The board is equipped with two smaller permanent side fins and a central removable one which should be removed when surfing in shallow waters or in strong currents.
The package in which the board comes is strong signifier to whether you should stick with it or switch it because it can make a whole lot of difference.
Fortunately, the Manta Ray 12′ inflatable stand up paddle board comes in a very appropriate package which includes a standard collapsible aluminium paddle which is light and solid, a high pressure hand pump which is an essential item for every inflatable paddle board (Board is inflated to 15 PSI) and last but definitely not least, the package includes a carry bag back pack which will come in extremely handy when you’ll need to transport or store the board.