Epoxy paddleboards are pretty popular with a lot of paddlers. But if there is one thing they don’t like about this type of SUP, it’s that it is too stiff to the point that it’s not the most comfortable board. As expected, ISLE has a new epoxy SUP that is meant to change the way you look at these hard paddleboards.
Meet the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard. This SUP is the answer to all your hard paddleboard woes, well, probably not all. However, it’s a great innovation of ISLE especially when you’re looking for a SUP with more grip and softness but retains the advantages of an epoxy SUP.
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ISLE Paddle Boards
Whether you’re a newbie or an advanced paddler, you will hear about ISLE. It is one of the most famous paddleboard brands and for good reason – they’re made for everyone, their boards are affordable, and they have great designs.
It was only in 2004 when ISLE was founded. A couple of surfers straight from college started this brand with the mission of sharing the benefits of paddleboarding. They believe that paddleboarding is more than just a water sport, it’s also a healthy activity that exercises yet calms your mind and body. The company started just at the backyards of the owners’ family homes.
Not long after, ISLE was known worldwide. They have an e-commerce site that has the easiest order process which helps in encouraging buyers to be loyal customers of the brand. They have also built their own physical store in San Diego, CA. Even if the company has grown, the owners are determined to bring paddleboarding to everyone.
Today, ISLE paddleboards come in various styles and they cater to different types of paddlers. Some are best for beginners while some for the more advanced. And what makes these boards even better are their reasonable prices and high-quality designs and materials.
A Quick Overview of the ISLE Soft Top Paddle Board
What is all the rage with the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard? Is it still considered a paddleboard even when it has a soft top? According to ISLE, their Soft Top SUP is still an epoxy paddleboard. It has all the features of one including the foam inside. The main difference is that this paddleboard uses a softshell EVA top.
Needless to say, the main feature of this model is its softshell EVA top. This top is made of soft material that will be easy on your feet. If you’re planning to bring your dog with you, this softshell top will be even more of an advantage. The top, which is also designed with a better grip, makes it easier to balance on the board.
Other than being dog-friendly, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is also an excellent choice for kids and families. ISLE made sure that this new line of paddleboards is best for vacations and parents. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ll be too large for regular paddlers. The Soft Top paddleboard still maintains a standard width.
In spite of being an all-around paddleboard, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is marketed as a versatile SUP for beginners. Sure, it can be used by advanced paddlers but this board’s capabilities are more suited for people who are new to SUP.
Features of the ISLE Soft Top Paddle Board
ISLE claims that their Soft Top paddleboard has a revamped construction. This new construction includes a new texture for the mat and other design features that make it more comfortable to carry and use. Here are those innovations.
Comfort-Textured Crocodile Skin
The comfort-textured croc skin is one of the best features of the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard. Its texture makes it easier for anyone to balance on the paddleboard. Even when your kid is just sitting down, the grip of the board helps in keeping them stationary amid the bumps and waves.
This feature is also responsible for making this SUP dog-friendly. The grip that this board gives is also good for your furry friend’s claws.
Double-String Foam Core with Fiberglass Wrap
This feature is one of the newest innovations of ISLE on their paddleboards. The double-string foam core with fiberglass wrap is a change from their old construction design.
What this feature does is ensure that the paddleboard has better rigidity and strength when you are catching some waves. And no, you don’t have to be doing SUP surfing to notice this. Overall, the new construction makes the board more durable and long-lasting.
Did you know that the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard’s package comes with an adjustable paddle? ISLE is including their hybrid 2-piece adjustable SUP paddle. This paddle uses different materials for the shaft and the blade. The shaft is made up of carbon while the blade uses nylon.
Of course, ISLE includes its usual coil leash. The leash that’s included in the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is 10 feet long. This ensures that you have enough length to move around your paddleboard. To add to that, the leash is in a coil so that it doesn’t disturb you when you stand up.
Custom All-Around Fin
Another feature that is new to ISLE’s paddleboards is the custom all-around fin. This fin makes it ideal for you to go on flatwater SUP or surfing. This further proves that the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is meant to be perfect for any kind of SUP style.
Front Bungee System
Last but not least is the front bungee system. Ever wondered where to place your water bottle? It’s right here. The front bungee system is the ideal place to store your cargo. What ISLE does differently is adding more strings to secure larger items. This way, they will be in place even if you crash through waves.
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Pros and Cons of the ISLE Soft Top Paddle Board
There are a lot of things to love in the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard. However, is it as good as a regular epoxy paddleboard? Read on to find the pros and cons of this new model.
For a soft top paddleboard, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard has definitely exceeded expectations on its pricing. For less than $900, you already get a paddleboard with a paddle. It also comes with a warranty. So if you’re looking for a board that will not leave you feeling guilty about spending, then this SUP is right for you.
- Makes it easier to balance
This is all because of the grip. The croc grip is very helpful in keeping your balance. As a beginner, you want your very first paddleboard to be easy to stand on. The ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is exactly that. The comfort-textured grip is also soft on the feet.
- Easy to carry
One of the most underrated features of the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is the lift SUP handle. This handle is just like any handle but it’s placed right in the middle of the paddleboard. Don’t worry, it can be pushed inside so it doesn’t make you trip when you’re on your paddleboard.
Back to the handle, this lift SUP handle makes it easy for you to carry your board on foot. Since it’s in the middle, the weight is distributed evenly. Overall, it feels like you’re just carrying a long bag.
- Dog-friendly and kid-friendly
If you’re planning to bring your kid or dog with you, then you’ll love the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard. The croc grip and the soft-shell EVA top makes everything more comfortable. Compare this to a hard paddleboard that is too rough on the paws of your dogs and you’ll realize that ISLE has hit a jackpot in this new design.
- Perfect for beginners
ISLE stays committed to its mission by making this paddleboard ideal for beginners. Even if this is an epoxy paddleboard, ISLE has designed it to be perfect for beginners. There aren’t any complicated parts and intimidating instructions for you to get on the water.
- Already comes with a paddle
It’s a big relief that this paddleboard already comes with a paddle. Can you imagine scrambling for a paddleboard that is not too expensive? Fortunately, ISLE has taken this inconvenience off your hands. You’ll find the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard packaged with a paddle when you buy on ISLE’s site.
One of the best things about the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is its versatility. Whether you plan on going SUP yoga or SUP fishing, this paddleboard can be your best companion. There’s no need for you to buy another paddleboard just so you can fish while stand-up paddleboarding.
- Has enough gear storage
Finally, there’s also enough storage for all your gear. In all honesty, you don’t need a lot of cargo when you go out to the waters but it’s good that ISLE thought about increasing the reach of the bungee system.
- Easily dented
This is probably from the fact that the paddleboard uses a softshell EVA layer on top. While the dents don’t last for a long time, there are still dents that come from mounting them on your car. Depending on how tight you lock the paddleboard, the dent can last for a couple of minutes to a few hours. As an epoxy paddleboard, the dents can be disturbing even if they’re temporary.
- Only has one size
The ISLE Soft Top paddleboard only comes in one size – 10’5”. While this is the most common size for SUPs, having only one size can be limiting. If you prefer a larger and longer paddleboard, this model will not be ideal.
- Has some durability issues
Unfortunately for the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard, it isn’t as durable as it’s marketed. Apart from the complaints about the dents when placed on top of the car, there are other concerns about the longevity of the paddleboard.
There have been instances where the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard becomes unusable after a few months. This is unacceptable for a paddleboard since its usual lifespan should be at least 3 years.
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How Does the ISLE Soft Top Paddle Board Compare with Other Paddle Boards?
Are there any other soft top paddleboards in the market? Of course, there are so the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is hardly the only one of its kind. The question now is if this paddleboard is better than the others.
When it comes to price, soft top SUPs are more affordable than their conventional hard paddleboard counterparts. However, they’re not nearly as affordable as inflatable SUPs. If you compare the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard to other soft top models, you’ll realize that the ISLE model is moderately priced.
As for its quality, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard offers excellent quality compared to its competitors. You can attribute this to the continuous innovation being done at ISLE. Even intermediate paddlers can attest to this model’s quality.
However, just like other soft top SUPs, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is not immune to dents and dings. It is a lot similar to its competitors for this problem, too. You can blame it on the fact that soft tops are definitely more sensitive to the sharp corners and handles they are attached to when being transported in a car.
Nonetheless, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is still a very durable paddleboard. Maybe it’s not as durable as an inflatable paddleboard, but it’s definitely good enough for beginners. It can last you a few years and ISLE offers a warranty to support it, too.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
Overall, the ISLE Soft Top paddleboard is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an epoxy paddleboard that has a better grip and a softer shell. It’s ideal for beginners and paddlers who want to bring their kids or dogs along on the board.
As a mid-range paddleboard, it’s priced just right especially when you know that it’s made from quality materials. ISLE itself has made a few design changes to make sure that the overall construction gives a great performance. If you’re looking for a trustworthy paddleboard to use for all sorts of SUP styles, this model is for you.