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Convenient to store and simple to travel with, inflatable standup paddleboards are built for versatility. Of course, not all iSUPs are created equal and some are better equipped to handle a variety of paddling scenarios. The ISLE Explorer iSUP is a perfect example. This Swiss-Army-style board was built with functionality in mind and gives paddlers plenty of options to satisfy whatever their next paddling adventure calls for.
While you can choose between an 11- or 12-foot model, both options measure in at 32 inches wide and six inches thick. We immediately noticed the Explorer provides a stable platform that’s suitable for paddlers of all skill levels. Meanwhile, the three-fin setup offers a couple different options depending on the conditions for that day.
For those looking to get rowdy on the river, the two stubby side fins are enough to help with stability and tracking but still shallow enough to prevent you from getting bucked off by shallow rocks and branches. But when taking the Explorer into deeper waters, you can easily snap-in a larger center fin for improved tracking. While we loved how easy it was to pop the center fin in and out, a submerged log dislodged our fin, so we would only suggest using it in deeper water.
Just as its name suggests, this board has several features that make it optimal for stroking into uncharted waters. Those looking to carry a load will appreciate the ample lash points including seven reinforced D-Rings per side and a larger D-Ring in the back for attaching your leash. And with bungee straps on both the tail and nose section, we found that this board handled even the heftiest loads with ease. While the Explorer feels solid in the water, the comfortably padded nose, center and tail handles made for hassle-free portages – even with a weighted-down board.
Not to mention, ISLE’s proprietary Airtech Fusion uses a specialty machine to coat the drop stitch and bond the high-density PVC layer, thus eliminating the possibility of human gluing errors. This unique process results in the board being light enough to comfortably carry, but durable enough to withstand harsh environments like rivers.
So whether you’re a beginner just looking to cruise around on some local flatwater or someone ready to expand their range and do a multi-day expedition, ISLE’s latest inflatable offering will easily satisfy the explorer in all of us.
The article was originally published on Standup Paddling
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