The Airtech inflatable Explorer by ISLE Surf is a top of the line paddle board that earned a high rating in a number of areas ranging from stability and tracking to durability and overall quality. It earned a top spot in our list of the leading paddle boards for a number of reasons and offers a stellar performance in a wide variety of water conditions.
Read on to learn just what makes it a leading SUP and how it performs out on the water.
Overview and Features
ISLE Surf has only been around since 2004, and since then they’ve totally dominated the market with their top of the line inflatable paddle boards. They have a great line to offer, with models available in a wide range of price points. Their latest model, the Airtech paddle board measures in at eleven feet and features the right combination of stability and speed.
This board is best described as stable and rigid. It also comes equipped with some great features that both beginners and seasoned boarders will love.
For the most part, this board really impressed us. With just a glance it looks pretty basic, but it actually comes equipped with some important features that will really enhance your boarding experience.
The board measures in at thirty-two inches wide, six inches thick, and eleven feet long. It weighs a mere nineteen pounds and has a user weight capacity of two hundred and seventy-five pounds. The user weight capacity is above average, considering most boards in this price range have an average max user weight of two hundred to two hundred and fifty pounds.
It comes with one large removable fin and a couple of small fixed fins, all of which are designed to significantly improve the board’s tracking ability.
The board is made out of military-grade drop stitch PVC, which means it can handle dangerous water conditions without the worry of sharp rocks or debris puncturing the surface of the board.
This is a great board for users of all skill levels, and it can be used in a variety of water conditions. The board is extremely rigid, stable, and durable. It comes equipped with bungee tie down systems located on the back and front. There’s also a center carry handle that’s padded, so getting this board in and out of the water is a breeze.
Overall, the board comes equipped with all the features the amateur and serious boarder could want.
The two small attached fins work to improve tracking, while the large removable fin is great for rougher water conditions. The large fin attaches via a screw and it’s very strong and secure. This innovative system does wonders in terms of the board’s tracking performance. Even in tough water conditions the board is a cinch to maneuver and simply glides across the water.
The large bungee storage system on the front and back will allow you to carry along some much-needed gear. On the front of the board, you’ll find four D-rings for the bungee system. There is an additional four rings located at the back of the board. This model also features four more rings in the center of the board that you can use to attach a seat. The option to attach a seat will appeal to anyone interested in long distance paddling and simply adds to the board’s versatility.
There’s no D-ring on the nose of the board to use for towing. There also isn’t one on the back that you can use to secure a leash. However, you can always purchase a package of D-rings and use waterproof glue to attach them to the board.
The foot pad isn’t very long because the bungee system on the front of the board takes up quite a bit of space. However, the foot pad is long enough to be comfortable and functional.
If you don’t normally bring gear with you when you’re paddle boarding, then this extensive D-ring setup won’t be that impressive. Some boarders will also be disappointed that the manufacturer didn’t include a couple of more rings for towing purposes.
Overall, the board offers more storage options than any other SUP in this price range.
The center carry handle is heavily padded so pulling the board out of the water and carrying it fully inflated to your car is simple and easy. There are also handles located on the back and front of the board, however, these handles aren’t padded.
Weighing in at just nineteen pounds, this board is incredibly easy to handle. The lightweight design makes the board easy to roll up, transport, and store.
Board thickness is what can help improve buoyancy and it’s what prevents the board from dipping in the middle. Often, a sagging or dipping board is the number one complaint users have with inflatable paddle boards. This model offers six-inches of thickness, which really adds to the board’s rigidity and stability. Even with a heavier user, this board will stand strong.
The manufacturer states that the board consists of PVC material that’s military-grade, which is why the board is so strong and durable. You won’t have to worry about punctures with this type of durable tear-resistant material. The tough material makes this board a good choice for practicing in shallow waters or even taking the board out in fast moving water when sharp rocks would normally be a concern for a standard inflatable SUP.
Ease of Use
Like most inflatable paddle boards, this model is easy to set up. To do, take it out of the included carry bag, unroll and inflate. The board comes with its own pump, which offers a decent performance, but it’s nothing to write home about.
The pump comes with a pressure gauge, so you can closely monitor the PSI level. The one-way valve secure with no reports of air leakage.
Once you have the board fully inflated you can attach the fin and you’re ready to hit the water.
Click here to read our best stand up paddle boarding tips to learn how to get the most out of your new SUP.
This model is well suited for a large range of people. The shape and length of the board make it ideal for exploring bays, the ocean, rivers, lakes, and ponds. It can be used to catch some waves or flatwater cruising. It’s also stable enough for yoga, which is a huge bonus for buyers in search of a board that offers top of the line stability.
The tri-fin system provides plenty of versatility and makes this model equally at home with touring in open water or cruising along a shallow river.
When used to paddle around in open water, the large secure fin is designed to improve the board’s performance and tracking.
This model is described as very easy to paddle. While it’s not exactly the fastest board around, especially compared to the Atoll 11′ foot stand up paddle board, it’s definitely fun to ride and it’s perfect for exploring different types of waterways.
It can also be inflated up to fifteen PSI and has a higher max user weight compared to other models in this price range.
For this price, the board does a great job of covering all the bases. The shape of the board is designed for easier paddling and it turns easily and tracks well, so beginners will have no trouble handling this large SUP.
Since the board’s stability tends to compromise its speed, this model isn’t recommended for surfing or racing. While it can feel sluggish at times, especially when it’s loaded up close to the max weight, it’s still a pretty versatile board.
If you’re looking for a paddle board built for speed, click here to check out other leading models of SUPs in our paddle board buying guide.
Advantages & Disadvantages[joomdev-wpc-pros-cons disable_title=”no” title=”” button_text=”Shop On Amazon” disable_button=”no” button_link=”https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079K8BD53/?tag=paddlego0c-20″ button_link_target=”_BLANK” button_rel_attr=”nofollow”][joomdev-wpc-pros]
- Impressively stable
- Can handle calm and rough waters
- Excellent tracking
- Lightweight design
- Built-in carry handles
- Comes with everything you need to get started
- Not very fast
Conclusion and Rating
Paddle Go.com Product Rating:
The Airtech is a large, wide, durable SUP that’s perfect for boarders of all skill levels. Its versatility is one of the reasons it’s such a popular model. The board is designed with security and stability in mind, so it’s a good pick for newbies. ISLE really hit the mark with this board, so we’re looking forward to more models produced by this manufacturer in the future. While the board tends to feel a little sluggish, it’s a fair tradeoff for a board that’s incredibly durable and stable. We gave this model a rating of five out of five stars.