There is no doubt that Stand Up Paddleboards are here to stay. This sector of paddle sports continues to grow exponentially and for good reason: it’s a great work out and super fun for a weekend trip or a day at the beach. But with the average board alone costing $1,100 US, this could prove a huge barrier to getting into the sport. And, this price doesn’t include a paddle, which can easily set you back another $200. This is why I’m a huge fan of the Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP. The Performer 11 comes with everything you need to get on the water right away, and all for under $900 US. Like other inflatable stand up paddleboards, this board folds down into a durable backpack. You can just toss it in your car without worrying about the roof racks and locks necessary for a hard board.
The Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable not only looks great but also paddles great.
Inside the pack you’ll find a coil leash designed to help make sure your board stays with you on the water in case of a fall. It also includes a repair kit, a high pressure hand pump w/ gauge for inflating the board, and an adjustable aluminum three-piece paddle. Most inflatable SUP’s come with the pump and repair kit but rarely include a paddle. The paddle is adjustable from 68-88 inches. Because it breaks down you can carry it in the pack with your board so you’ll never forget it. This also makes the board a great air travel companion as it takes up substantially less room than traditional boards and won’t count as another piece of luggage.
At just 24lbs the Body Glove Performer 11 is a fairly lightweight board given its 34” width and 6” thickness. These generous dimensions in conjunction with its triple layer stringer design help the Performer 11 stay rigid on the water. Semi-rigid stringers are located along the centre of the board, on the top deck, the underside, as well as along each side of the board. These help the board feel more rigid (which is always the challenge with an inflatable SUP). With 15psi of air pressure the Performer 11 is surprisingly firm when you stand on it. Flex is normally only felt in choppy waters.
The Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP seems to have it all:
- A GoPro mount to capture your adventures on camera
- Cargo bungees up front to secure your gear
- A diamond-groove traction pad so you stay upright
- Soft carry handle that can also secure a water bottle or paddle
- A built-in nose bumper to limit underside abrasions.
How can such an inexpensive and feature-rich paddleboard possibly paddle well? Keep reading to find out!
- Triple layer stringer rigidity
- Super stable shape, 34” wide
- Ultra-light design under 24lbs
- High pressure hand pump w/ gauge
- GoPro mount
- Durable backpack
- Dry pouch
- Repair kit
- Nose bumper
- Gear tie downs
Stability and fun are two things I look for in a paddleboard and the Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP boasts both of these features in spades. Thanks to its 34” width, this a very stable board for beginners. Its three rear fins help to further increase stability and keep you upright. The problem with wider boards is that they are typically harder to manoeuvre. But the Performer 11 has a very pronounced early rise nose, and similar to rocker skis, this allows for more float and quicker turns.
Walking up and down the Performer 11 is easy, it turns on a dime, and its stability allows more advanced paddlers to really lift the board’s nose out of the water. While being playful is a must for any SUP, it’s also essential that it be able to track straight in the water, or else you’ll be fighting to maneuver the board with every paddle stroke. Some paddle correction is always necessary, but moving through the water in a relatively straight line makes for a more efficient paddling experience when covering distance is your main objective. The Body Glove Performer 11 excels in this area and glides easily in a strait line.
The overall shape of the Performer 11 is ideal for flat and moving water and so was an instant hit with my beginner paddling friends. It also works great for more advanced paddlers. As I mentioned above it tracks relatively well but also turns easily. On windy days when the lake turns to chop the upturned nose of the Performer 11 is able to power through the waves rather than getting submerged under them. Of course, given that this is an inflatable board and not a rigid SUP you will feel the flex in the waves, despite the added rigidity of the triple layer stringer design. While this is not a problem it is something to consider for any inflatable SUP.
On the down side, the Body Glove Performer 11 doesn’t have an integrated kick bar at the back of the board to help more advanced paddlers with quick turn manoeuvres. Then again it is not really meant to be an advanced paddling SUP. While a paddle is included in the $899 price tag, I can’t help but complain about it’s quality. The three-piece paddle is heavy, and due to the nature of it’s telescoping design (being three pieces) it doesn’t feel solid. It’s also not easily adjusted with a single hand. While it is super handy to be able to break the paddle down and fit into the backpack for transportation and paddle trips, it also means that it’s not as solid on the water - it’s a trade off. I use a one-piece carbon paddle for all my paddling, but complaints aside the three-piece paddle will come in handy for road trips or air travel.
On the plus side, the value of the Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP is crazy good considering you’re getting the adjustable aluminium paddle, high pressure hand pump w/ guage, durable backpack, dry pouch, coil leash and repair kit all for $899US. Also, a few of the features on the Performer 11 make this SUP one you must check out. I’ve already talked about the overall shape and paddle-ability, but I have yet to mention the ultra-flexible fins that you don’t have to baby. These things are literally indestructible. You can actually stand on the board on land and bend the fins right over without breaking them! There is also a nose bumper at the front of the Performer 11 that keeps the board off the sand and gravel when you beach it, protecting the underside of your board. Simple but brilliant. And finally, the SUP carry handle is adjustable Velcro length will that can easily accommodate a water bottle while you paddle, and secure your paddle while carrying your board from car to water.
The Body Glove Performer 11 Inflatable SUP provides huge value for beginners and more advanced paddlers alike - be sure to check it out if you are in the market for a new SUP. If you are looking for other stand up paddleboard reviews please click on over to our Paddling Review page here, where you can read about the Bounce Super Cruise SUP, the NSR Earl 6 SUP, the Sevylow Willow SUP, the Boardworks Shubu Raven SUP and many more SUP related gear reviews.
Price: $899 US
Quality / Price 1.5/2
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