ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board
Making sure to have someone for everyone, ISLE has 6 inflatable SUPs in their current lineup, with the Pioneer being the smaller of their 2 all-around models. Even though it’s a shorter than the other all-around, the Explorer, it still a tough board that will take you where you want to go and back while making the trip a blast!
- Ample storage space on both the front and back
- Incredibly durable
- 2 attractive design options
- Nice paddle
- Single chamber pump instead of a double
- At 31”, a little thin
- Only center fin is removable
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One of the best parts about getting an ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board is there 2-year warranty plus 60-day return policy! Not only do they stand by their work, they don’t want you to have a SUP you’re not happy with.The Pioneer is meant for someone who’s going to be on the board for a while and wants to make sure they’re prepared doing it.
Everything about this board says, “Get on me and spend the whole day outside!” Now let’s get into what you can expect with the ISLE Pioneer and if it’s the right pick for you.
|10'6"||31"||6"||21 LBS||240 LBS|
ISLE Pioneer Inflatable Paddle Board
One of the best ways to tell a board’s stability is by its width — the wider the SUP, the more stable. That being said, the Pioneer is on the thin side. If you’re a lighter paddler who has a little experience under their belt, this should be fine. Otherwise, newer or heavier paddlers (or even those bringing on additional passengers) may find that they need to spend a bit more energy stabilizing the board than with other SUPS.
Since this board has a 3-fin setup and it’s on the shorter side, it maneuvers quite well. Even if you decide to take off the large center fin for shallow waters, you’ll find that you can make quick turns without too much effort. Of course, the total weight on the board can play a part in this, too.
Considering how light of board this SUP is and that it uses a 3-fin setup instead of 1-fin, it tracks surprisingly well. Part of this might be from how long this board is. Even though 10’6” isn’t particular long for most boards, the board is a little thin which makes the overall profile relatively long — perfect for gliding.
Like most other ISLE iSUPs, the Pioneer has a removable center fin with a universal, US fin-box. This means that you can swap it out for either another ISLE fin or even a third-party fin. Some paddlers like this because it allows them to have the perfect fin for what they’re doing or just because they want a prettier fin! Another benefit of this is that it’s easier to rollup and transport without the center fin plus if you’re in extremely shallow waters, you can ride with just the two small side fins for tracking.
This ISLE iSUP has two neoprene handles, one on the center of the board and one in the front. The center handle is for easy transport out of the water and the front is for moving the SUP in the water. While sufficient, we really would’ve been nice to see a handle toward the tail since that makes dragging the board out of the water easier due to the fins.
On the deck of the ISLE Pioneer we have a standard tracking pad made of a brushed EVA foam that does it’s job of not letting you get too slippery on the water. While it blends in well to the overall look of the board, it’s a little thin for our liking and may not be as comfortable longer periods of sitting or lying down, such as with SUP yoga or fishing. But if you’re just standing or kneeling, it should be more than enough.
The ISLE 10’6 Pioneer takes its name seriously. There aren’t a lot of boards of this length that have this much storage space and as a rule, the more storage space, the longer you can stay out on the water. For instance, the front of the board has a 6-point bungee area and the back a 4-point bungee area. Plus, you have a total of 10 D-rings to hold even more cargo, such as dry bags or SUP coolers. Well, actually there’s 11, but that last one on the back is for the ankle leash or for attaching it to a dock.
As far as the color scheme, it’s a throwback to an old-fashioned surfboard with a space of cammo on the front. When ordering, you have the option of 2 color accents — blue or olive green.
This board is rated at 17 PSI which is a little higher than other boards in its classing, making for a solid ride. The rounded nose up front makes adds to the stability in calm and reasonably choppy waters, though at the sacrifice of a little speed.
As with other ISLE iSUPs, the Pioneer is made of a military-grade dual-layer PVC material. That would normally strike us as being too thin for a board at this level, but ISLE has their own proprietary process that coats the drop stitch with a special seal and bonding layer, essentially both stitching and gluing the seams at the same time. A benefit of this process is a seam that will last a while, which is important since that’s the most vulnerable part of the SUP.
This combination of minimal but strong material means that the Pioneer is tough yet light. That’s one of main benefits of a good inflatable vs a hardboard. Unless you find a really sharp rock or something else that punctures that board, there’s very little you can do to damage it. That being said, even if you do have a minor tear in the fabric, you can still repair the the damage with a patch and specialized glue so that doesn’t have to be the end of your iSUP.
The paddle that comes with this SUP is gorgeous and above what would be expected at this price level. It’s a 3-piece carbon fiber handle with a nylon blade, providing strength while not tiring you out from its weight. It comes with an anti-rattle and anti-twist locks to make sure that you don’t waste energy monkeying around with the paddle while you’re on the water. It’s incredible how ISLE offers such a high quality paddle standard with their products when we see othe companies who charge almost double include paddles that can’t even compare.
ISLE’s included backpack works out great because it has more than enough space for the board and included accessories plus extra space if you want to bring a snack or other equipment. The only real complaint is that it be nice to have wheels on the bottom, though this isn’t a deal-breaker.
To make sure your board doesn’t run away from you, there is an included 8’ coiled leash. This means that you don’t have a giant cord dangling off the board while you’re paddling but can still go on the water confident that you’ll come back with your SUP no matter what. It also has a Velcro holder for your keys if you want to go out without other bags.
The repair kit is fairly standard stuff — a few patches for a leak and a wrench to tighten the inflation valve if need be. Our only issue is that it doesn’t include the glue for the patches, so that’s something you’ll need to be mindful of.
Of all the included items, we have the single chamber pump. It’s…ok. We mean, it’s good quality for what it is, but what it is isn’t all that powerful and you may find yourself getting a decent arm and shoulder workout inflating the board. Thankfully ISLE includes a double-chamber pump as the boards get bigger.
If you’re so inclined, ISLE also has a few add-ons that we would recommend you look into. To make your life a lot easier, they have two options for electric air pump — one that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and one that runs on a chargeable battery. Also, you have a respectable 15L dry bag that you can put either in the bungee areas or attach to a D-ring. Lastly, they offer an inflatable belt pack life jacket. While not requires all the time, we do recommend using one in most water and the US Coat Guard requires a life vest of some sort when paddling outside of swimming areas.
Of the secrets of ISLE’s success over the years has been that ever since they opened their (virtual) doors, they’ve made it a point to be direct to customer in everything they do. On a purchasing level, the only issue is that you can’t find these SUPs in your local outdoor or sporting goods store.
If you’re looking to add the ISLE Pioneer to your arsenal, there are two ways to do that online. You can either go through their own page[i] or through their Amazon[ii] store. As of now, is no difference in price between the two options, but ISLE gives you the option to pay in installments through Affirm.
The ISLE Pioneer is definitely a decent iSUP for someone looking to get into a mid-range SUP without breaking the bank. Across the board, ISLE offers excellent accessories that make your paddling a lot easier with the exception of the air pump. But in their defense, the optional electric air pumps that they offer are one of the best on the market — good news if you don’t mind paying a little extra.
Generally speaking, the more economical boards are good for beginners since they tend to favor stability over other features, but we wouldn’t say that for the Pioneer. Due to how thin this board is, it is probably best for paddlers with at least a little experience. That being said, if this is your first time dipping your toes in the waters of mid-range iSUPs, the ISLE 10’6 Pioneer is an excellent option.
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