ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP Review (Ever Reliable!)

ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP Review

Every season is paddleboarding season. That’s why it only makes sense that you have your own paddleboard so you can just grab it and go outside whenever you want. However, not all paddleboards are affordable. If you’re someone who doesn’t want to invest so much in a paddleboard that might break, then you’ll need the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP.

The ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is one of ISLE’s more popular inflatable stand-up paddleboards. It’s meant for people who want to have their own SUP. It’s also priced reasonably (much like most of ISLE’s paddleboards), so it’s perfect for anyone starting out in SUP. To know more about this SUP, read on for a full review. 

ISLE Explorer Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board & iSUP Bundle Accessory Pack — Durable, Lightweight with Stable Wide Stance — 300 Pound Capacity, 11'6" Long, 6" Thick
  • iSUP FOR ALL YOUR ADVENTURES: All types of water and conditions. Great for yoga, pets, fishing, and touring. All of your cargo will fit on this board. A 6-point front expandable bungee system paired with a 4-point rear expandable bungee system lets paddlers store and access essential gear for long journeys and short adventures.
  • ULTRA DURABLE DESIGN: Constructed with Military-Grade PVC that is 6" thick when fully inflated. Forget about dings or blown seams thanks to our AIRTECH FUSION LITE manufacturing process that’s durable and lightweight with a unique bond that can't be achieved via traditional hand-gluing.
  • INCLUDES iSUP ACCESSORY BUNDLE: All inflatable stand up paddle boards come with a complete package that includes: Adjustable Carbon Shaft / Nylon Blade Paddle, Carry Backpack, High-Pressure Pump, Coil Leash, ISLE Sticker Pack & Manual, and Snap-In Travel Fin.
  • GROOVED EVA TRACTION PAD: ISLE's updated soft brushed EVA traction pad now has grooves for extra traction and maximum comfort on bare skin. It’s non-abrasive when knee paddling or practicing yoga on the deck, yet it's still durable enough for your pet's rough paws.
  • WHY SHOP ISLE? Born and bred on the water in San Diego, California since 2004. Our team is committed to bringing you the best quality paddle boards designed and tested by people who surf and paddle daily. Ride it and love it for 60 days or return it! If you don’t love your board we will take it back + 2 YEAR WARRANTY ON MATERIALS!

ISLE Paddle Boards

Does ISLE sound familiar to you? It’s probably because it’s one of the popular manufacturers of SUP. Even if the company only started manufacturing its products in 2004, it has already gained a huge following thanks to its affordable pricing unique designs, and high-quality materials. 

ISLE was founded by a bunch of fresh graduates who share a passion for stand-up paddleboarding. Together, they built a company in their parents’ garages. Yes, back in the day, they didn’t have any physical store let alone a factory to make their paddleboards. 

Nonetheless, the owners were determined to make paddleboarding accessible to everyone. This includes people who don’t consider themselves sporty and people who believe that SUP is only for the rich. If you ever see an ISLE paddleboard today, you’ll find that most, if not all, of its paddleboards, are less than $1,000. 

But ISLE didn’t stop with at affordability. The company is also determined to make sure its paddleboards are made of high-quality materials. You’ll see this in the durability and longevity of ISLE’s paddleboards. And to top it all off, ISLE made sure that its paddleboards are attention-grabbing and beautifully-designed.

A Quick Overview of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

The ISLE Airtech Explorer is an inflatable stand-up paddleboard that is meant for anyone looking to start their SUP hobby. It’s great for an all-around SUP but the good thing is that it’s also very beginner-friendly. This means that it is lightweight and easy to use. 

As an iSUP, the ISLE Airtech Explorer, commonly known as ISLE Explorer, has to be inflated before it’s used. It can hold up to 17 PSI. What does that mean? In simple terms, 17 PSI gives the paddleboard a very hard feel that makes it similar to a conventional (epoxy) SUP. If you’re looking for an inflatable paddleboard that feels like the real thing, then this is the one for you. 

Other than the impressive quality and make of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP, one of the things that people love about it is its design. A quick look at this iSUP and you’ll easily fall in love with it. It comes in three colors and all of them sport a yacht-like design where the middle of the board has a wood-like paint on it.

Overall, the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is a beautiful paddleboard to have. However, it’s more than just a good design. It’s also a reliable iSUP that beginners can easily bring wherever they want to go. You can choose between two lengths – the 11’ and the 12’.

Features of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

Features of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

What makes the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP so great? Are there features that prove that it’s made for long-term use? Here are all of those features and more. 

AirTech Fusion Lite Material

The most popular feature of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is its AirTech Fusion Lite material. This is a material innovation of ISLE as they continue to find ways to make their inflatable paddleboards lightweight yet durable. 

The AirTech Fusion Lite technology fuses the PVC outer layer to the dropstitch found inside the paddleboard. This leaves you with an iSUP that is light and easy to carry. This feature has brought the overall weight down to 22 lbs. To give you an idea, a hard paddleboard weighs approximately 30 lbs.

Other than making the whole iSUP lightweight, the AirTech Fusion Lite Material has also made the PVC material more durable even when you fill the inflatable capacity to 17 PSI. If you’re wondering how ISLE ever made their iSUP feel like a hard paddleboard, this is your answer. 

Touring Shape

Do you know what makes the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP unique? Its shape. Sure, it has a great design and color scheme but if you look past that, you’ll notice the actual shape of this iSUP. 

Unlike other entry-level iSUP, the ISLE Explorer has a shape of a touring paddleboard. It has a more pointed nose. This makes it ideal for long-distance paddleboarding. The shape also allows you to achieve higher speeds. While still not as good as a hard paddleboard, it goes near it.

Front and Back Bungee System

Ever wondered where and how you can bring your cargo with you? Say goodbye to strapping your cargo to your back. With the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP’s front and back bungee system, you have enough space on your paddleboard to store your things.

13 D-Rings

To further ensure that your cargo is safe, there is a total of 13 D-rings. There are 6 in the front, 4 at the back, 2 in the middle, and 1 at the back of the tail. 

These D-rings are where the bungee system can be attached. Meanwhile, the 1 D-ring at the back of the tail is meant for your leash.

Traction Pad

To help you your balance, the traction pad of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP covers a large part of the paddleboard. This pad has a good grip which makes it ideal for people who are planning to do some SUP yoga. Even when the pad gets wet, it doesn’t get slippery. 

Hybrid Travel Paddle

Did you know that the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP also comes with a paddle? ISLE went ahead and made sure that you don’t need anything else when you start your SUP journey. 

The paddle that comes with this package is the Hybrid Travel Paddle. It’s made of a carbon fiber shaft finished with a nylon blade. Because of the paddle’s materials, expect it to be lightweight. You won’t have a hard time carrying it with you to the water. 

If you’re wondering why it is called a “travel paddle” it’s because of the storage features of this paddle – you can split it into three sections. This way, you can store it in the SUP backpack that also comes with the package. 

Handles

There are three handles present on the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP. One is found right at the middle which you can hold when you want to carry your paddleboard sideways. The second handle is at the nose and the other is at the tail. 

These handles are meant to make carrying this lightweight iSUP a lot easier. The handles on the ends of the paddleboard will also make it easier for kids and teenagers to pull it along with them.

Pros and Cons of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

Pros and Cons of the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP

Is the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP for you? Find out in this pros and cons list. 

Pros

  • Perfect for beginners

True to its word, the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is perfect for newbies. The design and the portability of it make it easy for anyone to fall in love with SUP. ISLE made sure that the common hesitations on SUP were addressed by its design and weight.

  • All-around iSUP

Even if the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP has a shape of a touring SUP, it’s made to be an all-around paddleboard. You can use it for different SUP styles from yoga to surfing. 

  • Lightweight and easy to carry

It helps that the ISLE Explorer is an inflatable paddleboard. If you’re a beginner and you’re not used to carrying a paddleboard around, then you’ll find this iSUP a good fit for you. It’s only 22 lbs so even if you’re a teenager, you won’t have a hard time carrying it around. Besides, it has handles! 

  • Comes with a full package

The best part about the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is not just its AirTech Fusion but the whole package that comes with it when you buy from ISLE’s website. It comes with a paddle, a bag, a leash, and a pump. Not only do you save on these accessories but you also skip the hassle of buying these things piece by piece. 

  • Removable center fin

As an inflatable paddleboard, it’s important that you can roll the whole thing when it gets deflated. Fortunately, the center fin can easily be detached from the universal fin box. Although the side fins can’t be removed, this is already good enough so you can easily stash the iSUP inside the storage bag. 

  • Affordable

A retail price of less than $800 is one thing but to have a lot of accessories together in its package is one of the best deals you can ever find for a SUP. When you buy from the ISLE site, you get the whole package that comes with the accessories to start your first paddleboarding session. 

  • High-quality paddle

The paddle is easily a favorite since it’s collapsible and lightweight. For a freebie, it definitely exceeds expectations in terms of durability and performance. You won’t find the need to buy a new one in the near future. 

Cons

  • Issues on durability

Even if the ISLE Explorer iSUP has the brand of ISLE stamped on it, it’s not as durable as expected. There are complaints that this iSUP can easily break after a few years. For an inflatable paddleboard, this shouldn’t be the case since it is known for being tough even when driven over by a vehicle. 

  • Can feel sluggish on rougher waters

This is not entirely noticeable at first but when you get used to SUP, you’ll notice that this iSUP can feel a little sluggish. It gets even more obvious when there are small waves. 

  • Not a high-performer as expected

If there is one description that best fits the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP, it’s a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none kind of paddleboard. Unfortunately, even if its shape is best for touring, this didn’t make a significant difference in the iSUP’s performance when you tour. 

For beginners, this is definitely a good paddleboard but other than that, don’t expect it to be a great performer in the different SUP styles.

How Does the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP Compare with Other Paddle Boards?

How Does the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP Compare with Other Paddle Boards?

To know if the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is any good, you have to compare it with other similar entry-level paddleboards. 

First of all, the design and the quality of this iSUP is top-notch. There’s no doubt that ISLE has the upper hand here given that it really focused on design and technology since its foundation. Secondly, this paddleboard is truly meant for beginners. From the handles to the weight, ISLE put a lot of focus on making this board easy to carry and use. 

However, there are other models that are far sturdier than the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP. This is the area where the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP needs more improvement. No wonder it’s not for advanced paddlers. Advanced paddlers easily notice the shakiness of the whole board even when it’s on calm waters. 

Nonetheless, the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP is not at all bad when you compare it to other entry-level SUPs. It’s still relatively durable and sturdy compared to low-end iSUPs. It’s not perfect, yes, but it’s good enough to help you enjoy your first few years of stand-up paddleboarding. 

Verdict - Final Thoughts!

Verdict - Final Thoughts

Is buying the ISLE Airtech Explorer iSUP worth it? Yes, if and only if you’re a newbie who wants to own their very first paddleboard. If you fit that description, then you’ll find this iSUP the perfect deal. Not only is it complete with the right accessories, it’s also a great all-around iSUP that will allow you to try different styles.

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