The Weekender by Retrospec is a ten-foot paddle board that has a reputation for stability in a variety of water conditions. It’s designed for both beginners and skilled boarders and offers a superior performance compared to other models in this price bracket, thanks to the durable design, and the free extras, such as the hand pump and three-piece lightweight aluminum paddle. This board will work well for smaller riders since it has a lower max weight. However, it does offer a solid, reliable performance out on the water, thanks to its durable design and removable fin system.
Our Verdict: This is a ten-foot board that offers excellent tracking in the water. The durable three-layer design improves rigidity and stability, making it a great choice for beginners and experienced boarders alike. The biggest drawback is the board’s low max weight capacity, which comes in at just two hundred and fifty pounds. The board doesn’t offer much in terms of storage space, however, it does come with some nice extras including a carry bag, hand pump, cell phone case, and paddle. Overall, this is a reliable board that’s built tough, but if you like to bring along a lot of gear for your day out on the water, then you may want to keep on looking for a board that can handle a higher than average max weight capacity.
Overview and Features
If you’re looking for a new SUP that’s easy to use and incredibly stable, then your search is over. Retrospec is one of the leading manufacturers of inflatable SUPs. Their latest model, the Weekender isn’t a board that’s designed for racing, considering its shorter, wider design, however, it’s perfect for the beginner in need of a board that’s easy to balance on, stable, and highly maneuverable.
Considering its size, you’ll need to learn how to paddle faster on your SUP if you want to pick up some speed. While this isn’t the fastest SUP around, it’s not exactly the slowest. Its design allows the board to smoothly slice through the water, while the triple-layer PVC design improves the board’s rigidity and stability.
This board features a max weight of two hundred and fifty pounds, which may be a drawback for some potential buyers. This low max weight capacity can be limiting for the boarder who likes to bring along a lot of gear. However, if you exceed the max weight capacity, the board will sit lower in the water and will be difficult to maneuver.
This board weighs in at thirty-six pounds, which is pretty heavy for an inflatable paddle board. Fortunately, the board comes with its own carry bag, so transporting the board to and from the water is easy. However, if you normally hike to your favorite watering hole, then this heavier weight could be an issue.
The board is made out of three layers of military-grade PVC material, which makes it more durable than single or double-layer boards. When inflated, it measures in at 10 x 30 x 6. Once it’s deflated and rolled up, it measures in at 11 x 36 inches, so it’s easy to transport and store. The board’s design features drop-stitch technology, for improved durability. The manufacturer claims that the board is basically indestructible.
This board comes with everything the new paddle boarder needs to get started, including a three-piece lightweight aluminum paddle, a hand pump, a cell phone case, which will keep your phone safe and dry, and removable fins. However, most boarders recommend upgrading the paddle, since the included one tends to take on water and can be difficult to use.
The board should be inflated to fourteen PSI, which offers better than average rigidity. Inflating the board is simple and should only take approximately ten minutes, depending on how fast you’re pumping or if you’re using an air compressor to inflate it. Pay close attention to the pressure gauge on the pump and make sure you don’t go above or below the recommended PSI, in which case, the board’s rigidity and tracking will be negatively impacted. Deflating the board is as simple as releasing the air valve and allowing the air to rush out. The whole process will take under five minutes.
A fin system is designed to allow the board to move smoothly through the water, quickly and easily. Most models in this price range come with a fixed set of fins, which can make it difficult to paddle in shallow water. This board comes with a three fin setup that helps to improve tracking and boosts the board’s maneuverability. Each of the fins is removable, which is a huge plus. The board includes two small side fins and one large center fin.
The board features six D-rings with a bungee system, on the back of the board. This setup can be used to secure any gear you want to bring along in a dry bag, or you can use it to secure a cooler or chair. On the nose of the board is a single D-ring, which you can use to attach a leash. Unfortunately, this board doesn’t come with a leash, so you’ll have to purchase one separately. The storage setup isn’t very impressive, but considering the board’s low max weight capacity, you won’t be able to bring along a lot of extra gear anyway.
The included carry bag makes transporting and storing the board a breeze. Once the board is deflated, you can roll it up and store it in the bag and use the two included straps to easily carry the board back to your car. Not only does the bag make it easier to transport your bag, but it will also keep your car’s interior clean and dry. The bag is a nice extra that you won’t find with most boards in this price range.
The board handles well in both calm waters and choppy water conditions, thanks to the stable, durable design that makes it very beginner-friendly. The three fin system allows you to navigate the waters easily, while the wider deck design makes it much easier for beginners to learn how to balance. The board is made out of three layers of military-grade PVC, which the manufacturer claims make this board almost indestructible.
The extras are a nice touch and includes everything the beginner needs to get started. However, the paddle should be upgraded right away, since its design doesn’t prevent water from entering, which can make the paddle difficult to use.
To learn more about paddling in different water conditions, click here to read my article on The 5 Best Winter Paddle board destinations in the USA.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Very Durable
- Excellent tracking
- Fast inflation time
- Paddle needs to be upgraded
Weekender Versus Serene Life Inflatable Paddle Board
The Weekender is currently one of Retrospec’s top-selling models, but how does it measure up to Serene Life’s ten-foot SUP? The board by Serene Life features a wider design, offering thirty inches of deck width, which improves the board’s stability, making it easier for riders to balance. The board’s triple-fin system boosts the board’s speed, but considering the short, wide design, this board isn’t very fast. There are many similarities between these two models, however, the competing board features a max weight capacity of two hundred and seventy-five pounds, compared to this board’s two hundred and fifty pounds.
While it may not seem like it, these extra twenty-five pounds make a big difference in terms of how much gear you can bring along. Both boards are suitable for beginners, thanks to the wide decks and tri-fin systems. Like the Weekender, this model also comes with some nice extras, including a patch repair kit, storage bag, leash, and paddle. The competing model is also available at a more affordable price. Considering both offer a comparable performance, if you’re looking for a board that offers a higher max weight capacity, at a low price, then you may want to go with the board by Serene Life. To learn more about inflatable SUPs and the important features to look for, stop by and check out my buyer’s guide.
Conclusion and Rating
This ten-foot board by Retrospec is very beginner-friendly thanks to its wide deck, included three fin system, and durable design that allows you to smoothly paddle through a variety of water conditions. Its lower than average max weight capacity is one of its biggest flaws, however, if you’re a smaller rider and you don’t normally bring along a lot of gear, then the low max weight capacity won’t really matter. In terms of tracking, this board offers a top-notch performance and handles well in both calm and choppy water conditions. I gave this board a rating of four and a half out of five stars.