I’m just gonna get it out of the way and say that inflatable paddle boards are the future of paddle boarding. I know that it’s hard to bury a habit but believe me; you have to try an inflatable paddle board. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that inflatable boards will out-perform your generic solid boards but there is a lot more to them which makes them significantly a smarter purchase.
But here’s the tick: not all inflatable boards can compete with the traditional ones and that’s why you must do your research before you jump on the first inflatable board you spot.
So, the fact that you’re here means that you are looking for a big board, and right now you are really interested in the XTERRA touring SUP. However, you still have some questions, some concerns; so let me help you.
First of all, the XTERRA is large and when I say large, I mean as big as a kayak. This thing is huge which means more stability but is that all you’re looking for? I would say no because once you decide on inflatable boards, a million other question pups up in your head.
So, let’s take this board under the scope. The XTERRA is 12’6” long and that means it can carry two people on their back head to feet. It’s 30 inches wide which makes it easy stand comfortably on this board with your feet near both edges and establish great balance. In addition to that, this board is 6 inches thick and that guarantees you remain high above water level (fun fact: it feels great to dive off this board).
This board has enough stainless steel D-rings which is very rare amongst inflatable boards. It has one ring on the nose of the deck to help toe or secure the board, 4 d-rings below that one which serve as to store anything from your sandals to your paddle and a rear D-ring which can be used to install an ankle leash (which I strongly advise).
Not only is it as big as a kayak but the XTERRA looks like one as well. The board comes in an attractive red colour and a large gripping pad which covers the back half of the deck. The pad doesn’t only help you maintain balance when on top of the board but it also makes it much easier to climb back on top after you fall or jump off. Speaking of which, you might think that the board will flip if you try to climb back up but believe me, that doesn’t even happen with smaller inflatable boards; imagine flipping this big guy.
Size isn’t always everything because when it comes to inflatable boards, construction is a critical influencer over the quality of the board. Not to worry though because the XTERRA is fortified with military grade material, rigid drop-stitch and double sided reinforcement which makes the board almost indestructible. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about your board warping at any minute.
Big boards are usually harder to manoeuvre but once on water this big boy can surprise you. On water, the XTERRA performs very well and picks steady speed continuously and although it can be slower than smaller boards, it is much more stable and easier to control if you distribute your weight on it correctly.
The XTERRA has one gigantic central fin which is uncommon but still practical. The central fin will grant you easy control on calm water and it also handles current significantly well. But stay away from shallow water because the fin is large and might get damaged.
Now big board lovers are going to love this one even more because not only does this cover everything you’re looking for in a large board but it’s also inflatable but what does that mean? Well, it means that you can basically deflate, roll up this 12 feet long monster and put it back in its small back pack. So, forget about where you have to put this board or how are you going to get it to the beach because you can literally carry it in your back pack seamlessly.
Now you might wonder if it’s hard to pump up something this big and all I’m going to tell you is that it’s not easy. The board comes with a back pack, a long paddle and a conveniently (not really) high pressure manual pump. The pump is alright and it takes around 10 minutes to fully inflate the board (15 psi) and that can be a little demanding, especially when the pressure gouge points over 10 psi. My advice to you is to just get an electric pump because even if you don’t need it for the board, you will be needing it with a hundred other things. Trust me just buy one and save yourself the trouble.
Lastly, the board is pretty light (31 pounds) considering its size and you can easily carry it using the central carrying handle on the deck. Nevertheless, it performs extremely well and has an astounding weight limit of 275 pounds while maintaining maximal efficiency. That means you can pick up a friend or a pet easily on this board with no concerns.