Isle Explorer Inflatable Paddleboard – Highly Versatile SUP
I had never really thought much of the inflatable SUPs until I got the chance to take one out on a botched climbing trip to B.C. I was shocked that an inflatable boat could be so sturdy. Ironically, it was the same time that I had been throwing around the idea of bringing some sort of boat with me on my frequent road trips for work.
I did not want to have a board/boat on my roof when traveling for work so I was looking for something that could fit in the back seat of my work car. The Isle Explorer Inflatable Paddleboard $795 ended up being the perfect choice for this. The board, paddle, fin, and pump all fit into the large backpack (about 75L pack) that comes with it.
This gives you the ability to stash the entire kit in the back of your car and forget it’s there until you’re ready to paddle. Additionally, the pack is constructed like a backpacking pack with padded straps, water bottle pockets, and a waist strap. This feature opens up the option to hike into remote lakes and rivers for some secluded paddling.
The 12-foot length (also comes in 11ft), pointed nose, a plethora of bungee cords, D rings, and high ride height makes the board very versatile for a variety of situations and water types. So far, I have put it through the wringer in three different scenarios:
Flatwater River Floats- The front and back bungees accompanied by the extra d-rings allow you to load it up with all the river float essentials such as a large cooler, drybags, spare life jackets, or even a small grill. On a recent trip, I was able to stow a loaded full-size cooler on the front. The soft padding on the deck is very comfortable while also maintaining enough grip to keep you from slipping and sliding.
Choppy Chesapeake Bay Fishing- All of the rigging and storage mentioned above also applies to fishing applications. Additionally, this board is extremely stable, so stable that I was able to easily cast a rod while standing in choppy surf. I would assume that it’s also very stable when reeling in the big one, but I have not been lucky enough to reel any keepers in with it yet.
Excursion with the Pup- The stability mentioned above adds a ton of value when it comes to taking the dogs out for a paddle. My 75lb hound dog was able to comfortably hang out on the front of the board while I paddled through choppy conditions. I was also impressed with the durability of the board and deck padding. Gentle is not a word that I would use to describe myself or my pup but the board held up great (think long claws and submerged rock encounters).
Isle Explorer Inflatable Paddleboard
In addition to the pack, the board also comes with a 3-piece adjustable paddle and a hand pump to inflate it. The paddle seems to be strong and has had no issues after a season of saltwater abuse. The hand pump is strong and works well but I must admit that inflating the board by hand takes some effort. It takes me about 10 minutes to fully inflate it which serves as a great warm-up! Isle also sells some car and electric pumps to help with this if needed. All in all, if you are looking for an easily transportable and highly versatile SUP, I would check out the Isle Explorer. (https://www.islesurfandsup.com/stand-up-paddle-boards/inflatables/explorer/
Andrew is a trail runner, climber, paddler, snowboarder, marketer, and most importantly a dog dad. Andrew grew up in suburban Philadelphia and now lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
While he lives pretty far from the mountains, he puts a heavy focus on preparing for them and inspiring others to do the same. He first fell in love with the mountains on family trips to the White Mountains and the Adirondacks. He spent the majority of his early life competitively running and leisurely paddling, however after college he began focusing on learning to climb, snowboard, and backpack.
Over the past ten years since then, he has been fortunate enough to gain some amazing experiences exploring North America. Some of the most memorable thus far are alpine climbing in the Sierra, trail running in Alberta, learning to splitboard in NH, countless days hiking in the Catskills, or a plethora of mellow days paddling the Chesapeake Bay with friends.
When he can’t be in the mountains Andrew is often running or hiking with his favorite training partners, his two rescue dogs Calvin and Enzo. Andrew is also a self-proclaimed gear junkie and confessed that his gear loft is the most organized place in his home.