Rob Casey is the owner of SUP school Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle, co-founder for the PSUPA and is the author of two paddling guides.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Review - Imagine Surf Mission 14' - Inflatable SUP

Review - Imagine Surf Mission 14' - Inflatable SUP

Admittedly this was the first 14' inflatable SUP (iSUP) I've been on and it was a blast!

Board Dimensions: 14' x 6" x 30"

Rider: 6'-5" x 230lbs, Experienced rider.

Test Conditions: 3 different days - 1 - flat calm; 2 - light wind to 15kts; 3 - flat calm with large tug waves.  

Product Link: Imagine Surf - 14' Mission iSUP

Benefits of this board:
- Tracked really well even with a 9" plastic surf fin.  


- Will float small to large paddlers. Large = over 6' and 230lbs.  
- Bright color for on water visibility
- Only a short pump or two was required to keep it fully inflated after a few days.
- 4 tie-down rings on the front deck. 1 ring on tail plus fabric strap for alternative or double leash attachment.

Stability:
- For my 6-5 230lb frame, I felt 100% stable on flat water and in bumps.  The 6" thickness displaced my weight well and the rails provided secondary stability in bumps.
- At full PSI the board was super stiff which helped stay stable in bumps.  

Fins:
Single fin, takes any fin.  I used my standard ProTeck 9" rubber fin for rocky bottom conditions then tried the stock Imagine plastic click-in fin which worked well both for quick release and for stability/tracking.  

Directional Control:
Super straight control with little effort.  I think the straight rails in the deck area allow for easier forward control.  

Surfing:
The nose doesn't have much rocker so you have to pay attention to avoid pearling. Luckily my tug waves last week were steep enough the nose was clear on the drop. The board accelerated easily to catch the wave then it took the drop well and bottom turn down the line.  My first time surfing this board (or any board) I expected to wipe out, but didn't, nailed the wave (tugs waves are tricky) and had several fun rides before wiping out on my own accord.  No worries of being clocked by my soft inflatable board or plastic fin.  

Getting Back On:
Like any inflatable 6" thick, I had no problem getting back on but a smaller person may struggle. I recommend waxing the rails to help get on any 6" inflatable board.  Ready my post on Inflatable safety                     tips for more info: http://stokemagazine.blogspot.com/2014/07/inflatable-sups-all-rage-but-s

Carrying:
Like most inflatables, it was light to carry versus a fiberglass board of the same size (I am getting a 14' Mission epoxy soon to review). The only con is that the carrying handle is too tight against the board thus was difficult to get my neoprene glove (yes it's cold here) underneath. But easy to lift on the car, drop on the ground with no     worries, etc. Would be fun in rivers.


Tug wake surfing the Mission in Seattle 2015 >

2 comments:

C said...

Thanks for posting this! I've been looking to get an inflatable SUP and saw the 12'6" version of this board on clearance at REI. Wasn't familiar with Imagine Surf but decided to order it after seeing your review. I'm only 185 pounds so the 12'6" version should be fine for me.

Rob Casey - SUP Instructor, Photographer & Guidebook Writer said...

Glad you got the 12-6, both great boards! I've been freighter and tug surfing my 14' and find it compable in speed to the Bark 14' boards! RC