In my quest to find the ideal SUP, I’ve recently taken the Aqua Plus Inflatable Paddle Board out for a spin. Advertised as a suitable option for all skill levels, I was intrigued by its promise of a rigid feel akin to a hard board due to its Military Ultra Light PVC drop stitch construction.
The SUP seemed sturdy enough and performed reasonably well on calm waters, but it wasn’t without its flaws. Although it claims stability with its 11’x33″x6″ dimensions, I experienced some flex in the middle of the board when fully inflated, especially when trying to pick up a bit of speed. For a leisurely paddle around the lake, it did the job; however, I’d hesitate to recommend it for more adventurous or heavier users.
To explore a variety of quality yet affordable options, take a peek at our comprehensive review of the best cheap inflatable paddle boards.
Transportation and storage, on the other hand, were a breeze due to its impressively compact and lightweight design once deflated. The provided backpack made it simple to carry around, enhancing its portability. Also, the bungee cords on the front deck offered ample storage space which was a nice touch for those longer paddles requiring extra gear.
For a casual paddler, the Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP might suffice. With its ease of portability and adequate performance on water, it represents an entry-level option.
However, serious enthusiasts may find the quality lacking compared to more premium models.
Aqua Plus 6 Inches Thick Inflatable SUP Overview
After spending some time with the Aqua Plus inflatable SUP, I’ve found it to be a solid choice that stands out with its military-grade Ultra Light PVC Drop Stitch Fabric construction, giving it a sturdy feel reminiscent of a hard board. At 20.3 pounds, it’s not the lightest on the market, but its heft contributes to stability, supporting up to 350 pounds with ease, which is impressive for its class.
One feature I particularly appreciate is its portability. When deflated, it fits into a compact form just about a foot in diameter and 38 inches long. The 11-foot length and 33-inch width, combined with 6 inches of thickness, provide a nice, wide platform that’s forgiving for beginners but still enjoyable for paddle board enthusiasts at any skill level.
The deck’s diamond groove traction is a thoughtful addition; my feet stayed planted without slipping, even in wet conditions. Storage isn’t an issue with the stainless steel D-rings and the bungee area on the front deck, which were handy for securing my gear during longer excursions.
The complete package is a boon, especially the dual-action pump and the ISUP backpack that made transporting and setting up the SUP a breeze. However, I did find the shoulder strap to be a bit on the flimsy side, an area where there’s room for improvement. It’s also worth noting that while it’s quite stable and versatile, it doesn’t excel in any specific area of performance, making it a jack-of-all-trades but master of none.
I recently had the chance to take the Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP out on the water and here’s what stood out about its key features.
The board boasts a construction of high-grade Military Ultra Light PVC Drop Stitch Fabric which makes it feel nearly as solid as a hard board when inflated. My impression after several uses is that the durability lends a sense of reliability, especially for those prone to rough handling or paddling in challenging conditions.
Compact and Portable Design
When deflated, the board is incredibly compact, rolling down to just 1 foot in diameter and 38″ in length. Weighing only 20.3lbs, it’s light enough for most adults to carry. Despite its portable nature, it inflates to a sizeable 11’x33″x6″, which I found to be stable and accommodating even for paddlers on the heavier side up to its maximum capacity of 350lbs.
Enhanced Traction and Grip
The deck is lined with a 5mm comfort diamond groove traction that really helps with grip. This is particularly useful for maintaining balance during maneuvers or in rough water. The traction pad runs along the top and provided me with ample cushioning and stability.
Complete Accessory Set
The Aqua Plus SUP comes with an array of accessories which includes an adjustable aluminum paddle that felt both sturdy and light. The Voyager ISUP travel backpack sufficiently accommodated the board and accessories for easy transportation. The included shoulder strap, however, seemed to strain under the weight. The waterproof bag, detachable fin, and double action pump are practical but the pump did require considerable effort when switching from double to single action as the pressure increased.
Pros and Cons
After spending some time with the Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP, I’ve come to appreciate its robust design, resembling that of a hard board. Made with Military Ultra Light PVC Drop Stitch Fabric, it felt secure underfoot, supporting up to 350 lbs without a hitch. Its portability is a standout feature—once deflated, it’s compact and easy to carry, which makes it ideal for those with limited storage space.
I found the deck’s diamond groove traction particularly effective for maintaining grip, even in wet conditions. The convenience of the setup cannot be understated; the included waterproof bag and other accessories made my experience hassle-free.
However, not everything impressed me. For example, the board has a single fin setup contrary to the typically more maneuverable three-fin design found in competitive models. While it’s stable, I did notice some bending, even when inflated to the recommended PSI. This factor may affect performance, especially for more advanced users looking for optimal tracking and speed.
Moreover, there’s a concern about the durability of the color and material; white surfaces tend to show dirt and scratches more easily. From my observations, and echoed by other users’ feedback, there is some inconsistency in quality between units—some with slightly misshapen heads, pointing towards potential quality control issues.
While I can vouch for the board’s sturdiness and overall value, keep in mind that it may not stand up to the standards set by high-end boards, which could be a compromise if you’re pursuing a more serious paddle boarding experience.
Performance on Water
Having just taken the Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP out for a spin, I have a few thoughts about its performance on the water. The board’s stability is commendable; it held up well under my weight and remained balanced throughout my paddling session. However, I did notice that while it’s quite rigid, it doesn’t quite match the sturdiness of a hard board. It’s a bit disappointing, considering the high-quality PVC material it boasts.
I appreciated the board’s portability, as it was easy to carry to the water’s edge when deflated. Inflation was swift with the double-action pump, though the single-action phase toward the end felt laborious. On the water, the single fin configuration seemed to slightly impact its tracking abilities. Maneuvering required some extra effort, especially in choppier conditions.
The deck’s grip is secure, and storage options are plentiful thanks to the bungee cords and D-rings. But it’s not all sunshine; I couldn’t help but notice the SUP tends to flex more than I’d like, even when inflated to the recommended PSI. While this SUP offers a comfortable and generally solid ride, it’s not without its compromises. Hence, if you’re seeking a performance-oriented paddleboard, you may find yourself eyeing more expensive alternatives.
After spending considerable time with the Aqua Plus inflatable SUP, I’ve noticed a pattern in user impressions that largely echo my own experience. The board’s construction quality is frequently praised. I found that the SUP feels robust underfoot, much like many customers who highlight its durability. However, I did notice the minor tilt in the head on one of them, a flaw a few others have mentioned but doesn’t seem to significantly affect performance on water.
In terms of usability, I took the SUP out for several sessions and can confirm that the inflation process is efficient, aligning with other users’ observations. The sturdiness post-inflation is notable as well, and similar to others, I’ve seen no signs of wear after multiple uses. Some users have compared it favorably to higher-priced models, citing the value for money, which was consistent with my assessment.
On the other hand, there’s some criticism over the single fin design which differs from the triple fin setup seen on comparable SUPs. I experienced this firsthand as well—maneuverability requires some extra effort, and the board does bend slightly even at higher pressures.
Collectively, shoppers seem to agree that while the Aqua Plus SUP isn’t rivaling the most elite boards on the market, it stands as a solid, budget-friendly option for both novice and seasoned paddlers.
After putting the Aqua Plus Inflatable SUP to the test, I’ve gathered some insights on its performance. It’s true that the sturdy construction of this board gives the impression of durability and resilience, a necessary trait for any water sports enthusiast. However, one should manage expectations, especially when comparing it to high-end models. Although the board is complete with all necessary accessories and boasts an efficient inflation time, there is a noticeable bend even when fully inflated to 15psi, which hints that this board might not meet the demands of more experienced paddlers looking for exceptional rigidity and performance.
The single fin setup is a deviation from other models that usually offer a trio, and while this isn’t a dealbreaker, it does affect the board’s tracking in water, requiring extra effort to maintain a straight course. On the plus side, the board’s stability is commendable for leisurely activities and the package is quite a bargain considering all the gear that comes with it.
Nevertheless, I’ve observed the quality checks could be more rigorous—differences even in the same product batch can be a minor annoyance. Despite these drawbacks, for casual or beginner use, it’s a solid choice. My advice? Weigh the pros and cons carefully considering the type of use you envisage, but keep in mind this isn’t a premium product.