Out Chasing Star Review on Drift Paddle boards Inflatables

Problems with iKayaks

I’ve enjoyed the freedom of having a kayak, having alone time, and a way to get more exercise. However, there are some things I haven’t liked about my kayak:

1. I can not get into the kayak from the water. The kayak just doesn’t have the stability necessary to enter the kayak from the water. If I were to ever fall out in deep water (4+ feet) I would have a real problem on my hands.

2. It doesn’t store well. I’ve been inflating the kayak every time I want to use it. When I’m done, I usually deflate it that night (allowing it to dry fully) and putting it away. Sometimes I would lash it to the deck for a few days, or even if we were moving for a few hours. It’s got a lot of windage though. In good news, I was getting quite a bum workout from the foot pump.

3. The kayak is really hard to clean. Because the kayak is made of three main tubes, when it is deflated there are a bunch of folds and overlapping of material. While inflated, the drain is not in the best possible position, and the tubes are pressed together, trapping sand and blocking water flow. It’s incredibly hard to get all the water and sand out. And there is always, despite my best efforts, a lot of sand in the kayak.

Why an iSUP?

We’ve made a lot of friends who have inflatable standup paddleboards, and in the last year I’ve borrowed a few and taken them out for a spin. The iSUP solves all these problems:

Getting onto the iSUP from the water is incredibly easy.
The iSUP will fit on top of our dinghy davits when inflated. Several friends keep their inflated all season long and just properly secure on deck while on the move.
Any paddleboard is just one solid piece of material or one tube. This is much easier to clean, as there’s no crevices and folds for sand to get stuck in.
I did my research, talked to friends, and found two companies I was interested in buying paddleboards from. I bought from Drift Paddleboards, and so far am very pleased. Meet, the Gemini Twins:

Unboxing our New Drift Paddleboards

We’d been carrying the new paddleboards around on Starry Horizons for a while. Unfortunately, the water here on the east coast of Australia (south of Moreton Bay) hasn’t been all that pretty, plus we were traveling away from the boat a lot. Finally, when our friend Madeline was visiting we’d just spent a few rainy days cooped inside playing games. The wrecks of Tangalooma ended up being a fun place to get the paddleboards out for the first time.

It had been a while since I’d bought them, so I’d pretty much forgotten what was in the box. Our Drift Paddleboards came with:

an actual backpack (the ikayak we had had a weird bag with a shoulder strap, which was very uncomfortable)
repair kit
iSUP body
cargo net
leash
paddles (we upgraded to the carbon fiber adjustable paddles)
manual pump
There were no instructions that I could find, so I was a bit on my own, but I was able to figure everything out. The backpack is too big for the board, which is a bit akward. We did find that the holes on the paddleboard to make it adjustable were not aligned properly and David pulled out his tools to do some quick drilling for me.

Unboxing our new Drift Paddleboards

The backpack with paddleboard in it is surprisingly light.

Feeling the fabric of the paddleboard. I’m no expert, but it feels good!


Madeline and I paddleboarding at Tangalooma Wrecks.

Paddleboarding in the Tangalooma Wrecks.

Testing out my new Drift Paddleboard at the Tangalooma Wrecks.

I’m very happy.

Lifting Sir Gemini up over my head to store him on the davits.

Sir Gemini on the davits.

My Thoughts on our new Paddleboards

So far, so good. I am very happy with the ease of inflating the paddleboard and assembling it. It is smaller than our old ikayak and lighter as well. The stability is good, which Madeline can attest to. Madeline had never paddleboarded before, but she very quickly caught on and was able to stabilize herself and paddle around. I was impressed with how much speed I could pick up. There is a pretty strong current near the wrecks, but both Madeline and I had no trouble paddling back to the boat up current. The iSUP fits well on the davits, and hoses down easily. I am so glad I got to take a test run at such a unique place, and I look forward to a lot more amazing paddles soon!

Disclaimer: The products mentioned in this post were received at a discounted rate. We were psyched to have their support, but this post reflects our honest opinion on the product. We posted all the good and the bad!

The benefits of a Soft SUP

Beginners will find soft top paddle boards convenient and easy to use. But, what exactly are soft top paddle boards and what is the difference between these boards and regular ones?

SOFT TOP PADDLE BOARDS

These are the cheapest paddle boards, but that does not mean they compromise on quality. The material used in construction and the design are what define soft top paddle boards. These boards are made of soft epoxy fiberglass material and are designed with foam cores. These are meant to reduce the weight of the board; and therefore, make it easier to transport. The softer materials used to make soft top paddle boards are more durable than those used in harder boards. Soft top boards never crack, and this increases longevity. In fact, they normally last for an entire lifetime.

They also feature wide surfaces, and this is part of what makes them popular among beginners. In case you lose balance, your landing will be easier.

The biggest advantage of soft top paddle boards is their ease of use. Many beginners find soft top paddle boards more stable, comfortable and easier to balance on. That is also part of the reason why these boards have become popular among people who practice sup yoga. Yoga involves a lot of complicated moves, and losing balance is quite easy, especially on water surfaces. Water increases the intensity of the workouts, and this increases the need for balance. Soft top paddle boards provide this balance. Also, the cushioned surface of soft top boards reduces the pressure on knees and feet.

In case you get shaky, these boards will offer you a safer landing, therefore, preventing any serious injuries.

Because of the construction, soft top paddle boards are also a lot more durable. They can take a lifetime of abuse without requiring a lot of trips to the repair shop. That is actually the reason why rentals stock soft top paddle boards. They will last much longer than their harder alternatives. On top of this durability, these paddle boards are very cheaply priced.

WHO SHOULD USE SOFT TOP PADDLE BOARDS?

Soft top paddle boards are mainly meant for people who just want to have fun. They don’t call for a lot of effort and are a lot more stable. Unless you want to make paddle boarding a serious sport, you should stick to soft top paddle boards. If you like to experiment with different riding styles or want to try them all, softer top paddle boards will be the best for you. They are a lot more versatile than regular and hard paddle boards. Also, beginners should opt for these boards as they are easier to use. Harder boards are meant for people with experience in the sport.

DRIFT CRUISER SOFT TOP PADDLE BOARD

We have created a Soft SUP uniquely our own. A full layer of 6oz fibreglass epoxy is applied to the deck with an additional partial layer applied over the ‘standing area’ for support. Two durable polyethylene layers of varying density are applied to the bottom. Lastly the flexible IPXE (a foam like material) is laminated to the deck and over the rails.. You can expect softer landings when you lose balance in the water. If you intend to go on long paddling sessions, this would be a great product as it has a nice grip on the surface.

Our Cruiser Soft Tops are only $699 which includes paddle & leash.

Top health benefits from Stand Up Paddle boarding (SUP)

Yep we truly believe paddle boarding is the best sport in the world by far, and here is why….

  • Improves balance: Getting that balance on your stand up paddle board does require core stability and leg strength to maintain balance. This not only helps you have a good balance while paddle boarding but increases your focus and balance in day-to-day activities too.
  • Full body workout: You are using a lot of muscles when paddle boarding, actually majority of them. Because of the balance required, leg muscles will be hard at work attempting to stabilize your center of gravity. Your abs are constantly getting a work out along with your arms and shoulders.
  • Low impact: Standup paddling is a very low impact exercise. Therefore, it is unlikely that you will do damage to the tendons and ligaments of your joints if your paddling technique is done correctly. For those who love the outdoors, adventure and want a low impact but good workout then paddle boarding is the one of you. Its a great break from high impact sport to give you a break and still get the exercise.
  • Less Stress: Whenever you are on the water you naturally feel distressed, you always feel great after a paddle too as you get some exercise…oh and don’t forget to take some great shots of the scenery along the way.
  • Overall increased strength: If you get addicted to paddle boarding (which is easy) you will find that your strength will increase, its a win/win
  • Cardio / Endurance : Push yourself that bit more by doing higher intensity training on your SUP, there are great gadgets out there which can track your heart rate, distance and even your paddling technique. One you subconsciously have your balance also try some more exposed water paddling which give you a great buzz
  • Nature: We can’t explain enough how many great places you will come across. Grab your SUP buddy and go explore
The warmer weather is also going to creep up on us with spring only a month away. Hope you got some great tips out of this article

Jane - Drift Paddleboards

Buy now and pay later with ZipPay

We are excited to account that you can now buy now, receive your goods and pay later with ZipPay/ZipMoney

The benefits of ZipPay

  • The great thing is that there is no interest,
  • Can use your ZipPay or ZipMoney account
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Steps

  • Select your Drift Paddleboard package or accessories
  • Simply select ZipPay at checkout
  • You will be directed to ZipPay to set up your account
  • You will be redirected to finalise your order with Drift Paddleboards
  • Drift will despatch your package/s

Its that easy!!!!

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Inflatables Vs Fibreglass SUP – what to choose?

Not sure what type of SUP package to choose out of a Hard Board or an inflatable? We hope this article will help you choose…

Inflatables VS Fiberglass

Do you have storage issues?
If you do then an inflatable is an best solution. Most inflatables on the market today come with a bag so they can be easily folded up and stored in a small space in your apartment, or more importantly, in the trunk of your small car so you can transport it and go paddle. Plus you can avoid the oversize charge and headache when flying.The Drift Air inflatables comes as the full kit which includes paddle board, leash, adjustable paddle, bag, pump and fin.

Jane from Drift took her inflatable paddle board to NZ, which she got to adventure some magnificent places. This is the added bonus of the inflatable Sup with the Drift AIR inflatable bag being also a backpack which is great for traveling

Do you have young children that will be on the board also?
Want a safe option then the inflatable paddle boards are safe option compared to fibreglass in regards to if you or your child was to fall.

Do you need rigidity?
When surfing or paddling distance, a fibreglass/hard board is key. Inflatables tend to flex in turbulent water and slow progress if you’re trying to put in distance,paddle fast, forcing you to push water when you want to be gliding through it with little resistance. In the surf, a traditional, solid material is key

Have storage and roof racks?
While inflatables make for convenient storage, they do take time to set up. Fibreglass boards you just tie it to the racks, drive to your paddling destination and paddle (unless you leave an inflatable inflated all the time). Inflatables generally take about 10 minutes (or more) to pump up.

Want a good all round board?
If you are wanting a board which does it all (flat water, ocean paddling and surf) then a hard board would be your best option to take advantage of all types of paddling.

Some other points to take in
– iSUPs are more durable, especially in whitewater (fibreglass hitting rocks would ding and damage your board)
– Fibreglass boards are faster
– Our Inflatables are very durable and are not like an inflatable toy. The Drift AIR has drop stitch construction meaning you wont get any bend and are extra buoyant

How to paddle board in choppy water

So paddle boarding can be easy in flat water after a few goes but how do you get confident in a bit of swell, wind, current and boat wakes.

Here are a few tips for paddleboarding in rough water with confidence.

Its all about the paddling technique. Did you know that paddle boarding is all about your core not your arms?

Your paddle blade needs to be all the way down into the water on the catch phase. The release from the blade from the water just in front of your feet. You might feel like you are falling forward but you will get used to it

Make sure you put effort into your paddle stroke as it will make you feel more stable As soon as you stop paddling and straighten up you will feel less stable.

Standing with your feet at least shoulder width apart gives you the stability. If its really choppy move one foot back several inches. This will give you more stability.

This is the really fun part of paddleboarding- learning new skills and feeling confident. Choppy conditions are so much fun and you will find that you will be looking out for it once you get the confidence

Tips on how to Paddle board

How to Stand Up on your Paddle Board

Always start out in calm, flat water and keep in mind you could be falling! So unless you’re in the tropics, a wetsuit may be a good idea.

  • Get the board out into in water so the fin is free from hitting the bottom.
  • Start out on your knees and take a few strokes on each side of the board.
  • Slowly, stand up with one foot at a time and stay in the middle of the board with your feet parallel to the stringer – about shoulder width apart.
  • Always look ahead at the horizon and not down on the board when standing as this helps with stability.
  • Keep a slight bend in the knees and your core centered over the board.

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Basic Strokes: Forward Stoke

There are a few basic philosophies on paddle technique, but all revolve around using your paddle as a lever. Your top hand will be driving the lever and the bottom hand will act as the fulcrum point. So with that in mind, we provide the following strokes and tips.

  • Keep your bottom arm straight and relatively still.
  • Pull your top arm toward your body to extend the paddle forward.
  • Rotate your top shoulder forward and extend your reach.
  • Insert the paddle into the water as far forward as possible and bury the paddle into the water.
  • Rather than pulling you paddle through the water, think about pulling past your paddle.
  • To stay in a straight line, take a few stokes on one side then switch to a few strokes on the other. Always remember to switch the position of your hands when your paddle changes sides.

jane sup ettalong

Basic Strokes: Turning with the Forward Sweep Stroke

  • To turn left, place the paddle in the water on the right side. At the same time, turn your torso to the left side.
  • Keep a low stance and pull to the right, towards the tail with the paddle, while twisting and leaning to the left with your torso. You’ll feel the board shift to the left quickly.
  • Basic Stokes: Turning with the Reverse Sweep Stoke.
  • To turn right, place the paddle near the tail and pull toward the nose while shifting your torso to the right. This will spin your board’s nose to the right hand side. The more you bend your knees, the easier it will be to turn the board.

Beginners Beware: Don’t make these common mistakes

  • Always hold the paddle from the top of the handle. Lots of people always want to hold the paddle like a broomstick, with both hands on the shaft. Don’t do it! Always grab it from the top handle with one hand and the other on the shaft.
  • Keep your feet parallel and spread shoulder width apart. Everyone wants to get in a surf stance, but that makes paddling on the flat water ten times harder. Plus, you will fall. Save your surf stance for the surf, and keep your feet parallel with toes pointed toward the nose.
  • Make sure your grip on the paddle is shoulder width apart. Short grips will give you a powerless stroke.
  • Dip the blade fully into the water and take a long stroke, letting your large back muscles do the work. Many people put the full brunt of the stroke on the arms. Let the big back muscles do the brunt of the work.

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SUP – The World’s Fastest Growing Watersport

The fastest growing watersport in the world, stand up paddle boarding came from humble beginnings back in 2004 when it first touched down on U.S. shores. It’s now overtaking nearly every body of water in the world. You can do it in oceans, lakes, rivers, and bays – even a swimming pool if you so desire. It’s a great full body core workout, and it’s a whole new way to experience the water in the outdoors. People of all ages, skill levels, and experience can be up and riding in no time. There is even room to throw a small child or man’s best friend on board!