Thinking about getting a stand-up paddleboard for yourself? Get ready because there are so many options out there. A lot of paddleboards range from $700-$1300 but this price range is too high if you’re just starting out. Is it even possible to find a decent SUP that costs less than $500?
Today is your lucky day because the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP is one of the most affordable iSUPs that will not hurt your wallet. For less than $400, you already get a decent paddleboard with all the equipment you need to get started. The question is, is it any good? Here’s a full review of it.
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Vilano Paddle Boards
Vilano, more commonly known as Vilano Bikes, started out selling affordable bicycles. The company was built by three friends who were very fond of outdoor activities like biking, riding, you name it! Because of that, the friends-turned-partners built Vilano Bikes.
Vilano Bikes is famous for its bikes especially mountain bikes and lycra cyclists. They also sell bike equipment and accessories. Not long after their launch, the partners launched other sports equipment such as paddleboards. Of all the product lines of Vilano Bikes, stand-up paddleboards are the only ones that aren’t bike-related.
You might be wondering, why branch out to SUPs and not just focus completely on bikes? This is because the partners have become acquainted with the sport and found it in their best interests to make their own SUP line. Just like their bikes, Vilano SUPs are affordable.
All of Vilano Bikes’ paddleboards come in a package. They include a paddle, pump, bag (for inflatable SUPs), and a leash. Some have their repair kits. All of the SUPs have a one-year warranty which is enough time to see if the paddleboard has any defects.
Unfortunately, you can buy Vilano SUPs on other e-commerce sites but not on the company’s site itself. Nonetheless, these sites also offer the full package stated above.
A Quick Overview of the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP
The most popular Vilano paddleboard is the Navigator 10’ iSUP. It’s a 10-foot inflatable paddleboard with a 32-inch width. If you have a background on SUP sizes, these dimensions mean that it’s meant for the average user. While the size doesn’t dictate the level of experience in paddleboarding, the Navigator’s dimensions can work well for the beginner to intermediate paddlers.
Just like any Vilano product, the most notable thing about the Navigator 10’ iSUP is its price. At less than $400, you already have a paddleboard that is decent for all-around SUP. You can use it for yoga, fishing, Pilates, casual, and sometimes, racing. However, since this is an inflatable SUP and it doesn’t have a pointed nose, it’s not the fastest board.
The Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP sports a semi-pointed nose. For an all-around paddleboard, it should be a little blunt, but since Vilano was going for an all-purpose SUP, the pointed nose can be forgiven. Besides, the more pointed the nose, the faster it is on water.
The Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP is ideal for beginner to intermediate paddlers who are looking for a decent paddleboard that will not make them invest so much. There are lots of iSUPs that cost above $700 and if you’re very price-sensitive, these boards are just too much.
With the Navigator 10’, you don’t have to worry about the price and the other equipment you need. The package includes a pump, leash, backpack, and paddle. It also comes with a removable fin that you can detach when you need to deflate the board.
Features of the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP
Does the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP have a lot of great features? Read on to see for yourself.
6-Inch Inflatable Board
The Navigator 10’ consists of a 6-inch-thick paddleboard when inflated. This thickness is meant to improve the sturdiness of the board, hence, improving the overall stability of it. Because it is thicker than most entry-level iSUPs, it is more stable even when there are small to medium waves.
Single-Layer PVC Material
The single-layer PVC material on the Navigator 10’ is made from military-grade materials. This material is durable and long-lasting, making it ideal for people who plan on using their iSUPs for a couple of years.
The PVC is supplemented by Korean dropstitching construction. This ensures that the whole shape of the paddleboard is maintained when deflated or inflated. The dropstitching used here also improves the durability of the whole iSUP.
Wide Diamond-Grooved EVA Foam Deck
One of the best features of the Vilano Navigator 10’ is the EVA foam deck pad. The deck pad spans more than half of the paddleboard. It starts right below the bungee system and up to the D-ring for the ankle leash.
This EVA foam deck is designed with diamond grooves. The purpose of these grooves is to improve your knee and foot grip on the paddleboard. Even when water washes over the iSUP, it won’t make you slip and slide. To add to that, there’s enough space for you to comfortably find your balance.
There is a total of 9 D-rings found on the Navigator 10’. Four of the D-rings are found near the nose; it makes up the bungee system. Another D-ring is found at the tail where you can attach the ankle leash that comes with the package.
The other 4 are found on the lower half of the paddleboard. These extra D-rings provide additional storage for your things. You need to have strings to make that storage though.
Removable Center Fin
The Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP uses a single-fin system. The single-fin system makes it easier for you to maintain the board especially when you need to deflate and pack it up. The center fin is detachable. This fin is also included in the whole package.
Full Equipment Package
It was mentioned a while ago that buying yourself a Navigator 10’ already includes all the things you need to go paddleboarding. Every purchase of the Navigator will include a 3-piece adjustable paddle, a pump, a backpack, a leash, and a center fin.
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Pros and Cons of the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP
In spite of having an affordable price, a lot of buyers are skeptical about the quality of the Navigator 10’. Is it as good as you think it is? Here is a list of pros and cons that you should know.
- Comes in a complete package
One of the, if not the best, part of buying the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP are the tools and accessories that come with it. You don’t need to buy anything else once you get this package. There’s a pump, a paddle, a bungee system, and a leash. It also has a repair kit and a removable fin.
- Has a lot of storage space
If you look closely at the Navigator 10’ iSUP, you’ll notice that there are a lot of D-rings on the side. Apart from the D-rings that support the bungee system, there are 4 others on the side for extra storage. These make it so convenient to bring things that won’t fit the bungee system in front.
- Perfect for all-purpose paddleboarding
Vilano wasn’t overselling its Navigator 10’ when they said that it’s perfect as an all-around iSUP. Compared to other all-around boards, it has a slightly pointed nose to increase its speed. If you were worrying that it was going to be too slow, it isn’t. Now, you can do fishing, yoga, casual, and racing.
- The deck pad is spacious
If you’re planning to go SUP yoga or Pilates, then this paddleboard is perfect for you. The board itself is 32 inches wide so there’s a lot of space. But what makes it even better is that Vilano almost covered the whole deck pad with a diamond-grooved traction pad. This means that the space you occupy will give you a lot of balance since the grooves improve your grip on the board.
- Easy to use
Even if this iSUP is an inflatable board, you can’t complain about its inconvenience. The Navigator 10’ is so easy to prepare. It only takes a few minutes to inflate the whole thing and to drag it to the water. Besides, it’s only 25 pounds so you can easily carry it with you.
- Great customer service
Another advantage of buying from Vilano is the outstanding customer service. When you have a clarification or a defect on your paddleboard, you can easily contact them from Vilano’s website. While it’s ironic that you can find the customer service there but you can’t buy an iSUP on-site, the latter is easily compensated. The customer service is just so easy to talk to and they will handle all your concerns on the iSUP.
- Not ideal for heavy paddlers
The Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP is only ideal for people who weigh less than 250 lbs. Although the maximum weight allowed is up to 280 lbs, you wouldn’t want to push the paddleboard to its limits because it’s not going to be stable.
- Can’t be bought on the Vilano website
One of the inconveniences in buying the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP is you can’t buy it on their site. For some reason, Vilano Bikes doesn’t have a link to buy their paddleboards there. They do, however, have a list of where you can buy them. The problem is that even on those links, it’s hard to get your hands on the paddleboard because it’s always out of stock.
- Only best for flat and calm waters
This iSUP has its faults, too. Since it’s not built for advanced paddlers, the Navigator 10’ is only best for flat and calm waters. Sure, you can go for a few medium waves but you’re going to have a hard time maneuvering the board. It’s best that you buy a different iSUP for that.
- There’s just one layer of PVC
Although inflatable paddleboards are known to be more durable than your traditional paddleboards, it would still be a lot better if you have more than one layer of PVC. Unfortunately for the Navigator, you only get one layer of PVC all throughout the paddleboard. This is definitely a letdown since a lot of its competitors have more than one layer.
- Warranty is short
A one-year warranty is normal for a lot of paddleboard manufacturers but those who have high-quality materials offer 2-3 years of warranty.
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How Does the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP Compare with Other Paddle Boards?
First of all, the Vilano Navigator 10’ iSUP is definitely one of the most affordable paddleboards on the market. There are a few brands that are this cheap, so you have fewer iSUPs to choose from.
As an all-around inflatable stand-up paddleboard, it is more versatile than others. This is because of the slightly sharp hull. When you compare the Navigator 10’ to other all-around iSUPs, you’ll notice that the hulls of the latter are round. They’re so round they look like a surfboard.
The advantage of having a pointed hull makes the Navigator 10’ faster and easier to maneuver. Unlike other iSUPs that become a drag when you’re on the water, this iSUP will not let you down. Besides, the Navigator 10’ is also very lightweight at just 25 pounds.
When it comes to durability and performance, this iSUP is just okay. It gets the job done and it lasts for a long time, so it’s not that bad. However, you shouldn’t expect high performance from this iSUP because it wasn’t built for that. The same goes for its competitors in this price range.
Verdict - Final Thoughts!
In summary, the Navigator 10’ iSUP is the ideal paddleboard for lightweight paddlers who want to have an entry-level iSUP. As an entry-level iSUP, the Navigator 10’ is a lot more affordable compared to its competitors. However, it’s not a high-grade iSUP nor a premium-branded board.
If you’re lightweight and you’re looking for a reasonably-priced iSUP, then you have to consider the Vilano Navigator 10’. It’s one of the best entry-level boards out there that won’t let you down.