2023 starboard best inflatable touring stand up paddle boards

The Starboard 9’5″ x 32″ Surf Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board

Michael from Sunset SUP tried out the Starboard 9’5″ Surf Deluxe DC. Sit back and enjoy his experiences of trying an inflatable SUP for the first time.

I recently had the opportunity to take my inflatable Wide Point (Surf) 9’5″ x 32″ board out for a stand-up paddle surf session for the very first time. This board is relatively wide and has a unique feature – it comes with two side fin boxes where you can insert real surfing fins, which is not something that is typically found on inflatable boards. In addition, this is the first board I have seen that has a double chamber design. This means that there is an inflatable section on the outside and an inflatable section on the inside. The purpose of this design is to provide an extra layer of protection in the event that the board gets punctured. While I have never personally experienced this, it is a possibility that you could end up getting thrown onto a reef or something similar and puncturing the side of the board. The central chamber is supposed to have enough air to allow you to safely paddle back to shore. I think this is a really cool feature that I have not seen on any other boards before.

Overall, I was really impressed with how well this board performed. The tail was pulled in nice and tight, which made it easy to get good turns, and the fact that we were able to use actual proper surfing fins was a major plus. The board was very easy to turn and it was a dream to ride down the wave. This is likely due to the pronounced nose rocker, which helps to prevent the board from pearling (submerging the nose of the board under the water). The board was also very lightweight, which made it easy to manoeuvre. We took it out into some small waves and it held up really well. As far as inflatable boards go, this is the best one I have ever used in the surf.

Now, I still believe that solid boards or hardboards are generally better in the surf than inflatable boards. However, this inflatable board is definitely a cut above the rest. I would rate it an 8 out of 10, which is a pretty high rating considering my previous experiences with inflatable boards. I am actually happy to take this board on international surfing trips, which is a testament to how much I like it.

I have not yet had the opportunity to take this board out in big waves, but that is something I plan to do once the winter season rolls around and we start getting bigger waves in the area. I will be sure to film that experience and share it with you so you can see how the board performs in those conditions.

The only downside that I found with this board was that the thick nose of the inflatable board seemed to push me back a bit as I was going over a wave. This is in contrast to a solid board, which tends to “pop up” a bit more. However, I think that with more time and skill, I could overcome this issue. I believe that the issue I experienced was just due to the fact that it was my first time on the board and I was still getting accustomed to it. I think that after a while, it would not be a problem at all.

In conclusion, the only real downside that I found with this inflatable board was the thick nose, which made it a bit more challenging to get over waves. However, I believe that this is something that can be overcome with more time and skill. Apart from that, I was really impressed with the performance of this inflatable paddle surf board. It was a dream to catch and ride waves on, and it was easy to stay on and turn. I really, really like this board and I would highly recommend it to others.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.