EARTH RIVER SUP: SKYLAKE BLUE 12’6”
- 2-year warranty.
- Reinforced construction.
- Durable and rigid.
- Stable and balanced.
- Touring specific board.
- Can be used as an all-around performer.
- Sleek graphics.
- Hybrid deck pad.
- Soft and secure grip.
- Enhanced features.
- Premium materials.
- Versatile and fun.
- Tracks well.
- Easy to maneuver.
- We would like to see more grab handles.
[ez-toc]Coming from Earth River SUP’s Skylake Blue series is the touring specific 12’6” model with enhanced features and guaranteed to take any rider, any size anywhere they want to take a long ride. The board may have gotten longer but the stability and lightweight remains the same from the nose to the tail. Even though it’s a touring specific board you can still ride it as an all-around performer, you can even try some small surf on the 12’6” if you’re up for a challenge. The touring model is also a great introductory board to racing. From beginners to the pros, flatwater overnight excursions to choppy race days, the touring 12’6” will do just about everything you want it to.
ERS: Leading by Example
Earth River SUP blossomed in 2012 when a group of paddle board enthusiasts grew tired of searching for portable high-performance gear that could take on a variety of conditions, so they decided to create their own. The company’s early days were spent manufacturing boards exclusively for paddle boarding schools. Skip to now and Earth River Sup is a paddle board company that is changing the way the watersports industry conducts business. ERS is known for their innovative boards ‘designed by a paddler’ with enhanced features made from only the best materials, manufactured in partnership with reliable companies who have high ethical standards. Earth River SUP boards are premium, reliable iSUPs that were designed to be used by any rider, anywhere. ERS doesn’t follow a hierarchical structure though, they broke the mold with their community-based business model, striving only to make a better product and constantly improve the existing ones, without compromise. The backbone of Earth River SUP has and always will be; quality, value and integrity.
The Board in General
The Skylake Blue Touring measures at 12’6” and is 32” wide carrying the balance from the nose to the tail of the board. With one of the highest weight capacities at 265-pounds the touring can hold larger riders, passengers or all of the gear for you need for an overnight camping excursion. The board itself weighs 23-pounds and even though it’s the largest of the Skylake Blue series, it qualifies for checked baggage.
|12’6″||32″||6″||23 lbs||265 lbs|
Fin configuration: Single center; removable
The Board: Deeper Details
At the heart of every Earth River SUP is a drop stitch core with fused layers of woven fabric adhered to the outside coated in double-ply military grade PVC for a durable, puncture resistant iSUP. ERS then coats all of their boards with a UV protectant finish to keep your board looking new for years to come. Earth River SUP makes their deck pad %40 thicker than competitors, the hybrid crocodile and diamond cut make for a comfortable and secure platform for hours of fun. The standing zone is soft reptile cut foam giving plenty of grip and the tail pad is deeply grooved diamond cut for control when using advanced techniques. There is a raised kick pad as well as arch support at the back of the board for even more control and comfort. In the center of the board is the neoprene carrying handle that just so happens to be removable. A D-ring is at each the nose and tail of the board for towing, tethering and attaching a safety leash. You also find the premium inflation valve at the tail of the board. A 4-point bungee system up front holds a sup cooler, pair of shoes, or dry bag for long excursions. The 12’6” Touring also features the Enhanced Dynamic Rail from ERS, which gives you the rigidity of reinforced rails without the need for extra rods or battens. On the underside of the board is a single center US fin box for a customizable fin setup.
The Skylake Blue Touring comes with the Skylake BLUE™ fin pack consisting of a two longer fins and a thruster fin so you can customize your ride. You also receive a fin carrying case and all the hardware you need to attach them. Along with the fin pack you will get the ERS Premium heavy-duty backpack to hold your board and all of its components. The backpack is constructed of premium materials with top-end features like padded straps and grooved wheels. Lastly, the package includes a dual action pump with built-in pressure gauge.
The features on the Touring could also qualify it as a leading all-around model. The grip and control you have over the board really widen your options for waterways. In combination with the overall shape and rigidity of the board you can really take on anything from SUP yoga, to rushing rapids, to preparing for a race. The 12’6” steers forward with ambition and is incredibly easy to maneuver covering long distances with ease and in short time. The board is stable enough to take a rest after a cruise or lie down in the sun. When you’re ready to get moving the Touring really increases stroke efficiency and picks up some serious speed for the second leg of your trip. At the end of the day when you’ve had enough simply carry the 23-pound board by the handle or portage it easily.
Let’s Clarify: The Not so Negatives
The Skylake Blue Touring is a highly functional and super portable board. The features and construction are almost impeccable, there’s just one thing, grab handles. We need more grab handles, especially on a touring board that you will likely load up with gear and need to pull out of the water easily at your camping site. But this is nitpicking, really, because how could you not love an ERS iSUP?
Add to Your Collection
Since Earth River SUP likes to keep their support in the community, you will not find ERS products in commercial retail stores. Don’t cry just yet though, you can still get your hands on one. Here’s how…
In person: You can purchase Earth River SUP products through select SUP schools and outfitters who ride and use ERS products in lessons and rental programs or are authorized to sell ERS products.
Online: ERS has had “a long standing relationship with Pumped Up SUP” and you can purchase their products by going to www.pumpedupsup.com or if you still like shopping over the phone, call 1-877-777-1769 to order.
The team at Earth River SUP is all about their community and standing behind their products and have come up with a pretty sweet deal for their customers. As of June 2019, Earth River SUP will give you a 30 day ‘ride at a different level guarantee,’ which means; You can use the first 30 days from purchase to ‘trial’ your board. Take it out, pump it up and ride it around. If you’re not absolutely satisfied with your purchase you have two options.
Exchange it- For just $99 to cover shipping, you can exchange an opened or used ERS board as a credit towards a new ERS board. The board must be from the same range sold by the dealer you bought it from and does not include accessories or excessive damage caused to the board.
Refund it- You can return an unused or opened board for a full refund (don’t forget about the $99 shipping though) or return a used or opened board for a full refund, minus the shipping and a %20 restocking fee.
One Final Note
No matter what gets your waters rushing, Earth River SUP has probably designed a board for you. The 12’6” is an excellent touring board with just enough of everything you need. This board is customizable from top to bottom, from adding more storage to the front or interchanging the fins in the back. It is easy to maneuver for riders of all levels; beginners will love the stability and room on deck while seasoned riders will love the ease of use and portability. And if you’re not after a 12’6” cruiser then ERS is bound to have a board that will suit you. No matter your variables we can bet that Earth River SUP makes a board tailored to meet your needs.