14 Apr Starboard Vision Inflatable
Starboard Vision Inflatable
For all intents and purposes, this is a wider version of an iGO with a neat modification of a viewing window to see what’s below water. Some might think that this is just a silly gimmick since you can just look over the sides of the board, but the chop of the water plus other factors make this window invaluable if you actually want to get a good look as to what’s underneath you.
With the extra weight capacity and width of the board, it’s obvious that this was designed to take someone out with you — perhaps a child — and have a great day out on the water while opening eyes to the natural beauty that might be just under your feet.
- Viewing window is a unique and interesting feature
- Extra wide for greater stability and passengers
- Full EVA deck pad
- Comfortable ride
- Doesn’t come with paddle
- No option for size or color
- Slow moving
Table of Contents
|11'2"||38"||6''||24 lbs||286 lbs|
We’re happy to report that the Vision Inflatable isn’t much worse for the wear despite having a it’s unique feature. In fact, it performs just as well as any other board you would see with the same specs. At 38” wide, it’s about as stable of as you can get without getting into the novelty-type boards, making this ideal of newer paddlers.
The tradeoff is that you have more board to move on the water and the increased drag means that you won’t be moving out on the water as fast as you might like. Also, partly because of the size of the board and the fact that it uses a single tracking fin, it will take you a bit more effort to maneuver it around.
Since this is a relatively long board and the front is so flat to keep the board as stable as possible, your surfing option are limited. But if you catch a wave here and there, you should be fine.
Let’s get the most obvious one out of the way right away. After all, that viewing winding is probably the reason you’re reading this review in the first place. And for good reason, as it’s the first of its kind on the market. Essentially, it’s a clear plastic sheet that sits just below the surface, making it able to give you a clear view of what lies below. It comes with a protective rollaway cover since that would be the weakest point in the deck.
Speaking of the deck, the entire things is an EVA foam pad. This makes perfect since there’s a good chance that you or a passenger will be spending a good deal of time sitting or lying down to look through the window. Overall, this makes for comfortable all-around SUPing experience regardless of what you find yourself doing.
Unlike some other Starboard iSUPs, the Vision Inflatable doesn’t offer much in the way of design choice, but what you find here is the standard Starboard blue and white design that is fine for most people. If you’re that concerned about color schemes, other Starboard models have more options than you can imagine.
Since they figured that you’ll probably out on the water for a while with this board, there’s plenty of storage space to go around. The back of the board has a 4-point bungee area with each point including a D-ring. The front of the board, right on top of the viewing window, also has a the same 4-point storage system.
Speaking of D-rings, there is an additional one up front — for towing or docking — and one on the back specifically designed for use with the included ankle leash.
On the bottom, there is a single fin setup. This was put in place to keep the board as stable as possible and provide maximum tracking. Considering that this is geared to beginners and families, that makes total sense.
While Starboard generally gives a choice of 1 of 4 construction options, the Vision Inflatable only has one available — the Deluxe Single Chamber. Essentially, it’s a single chamber inflation area on the inside but reinforced rails that use a heat process on their seams versus the traditional glue in addition to drop stitching.
Inflation of this board will take you bit longer than others you may have used in the past since the board is so large. With the included pump, you should be up and running in about 15 minutes or less unless you decided to go with an electric pump.
Out of the box, you get a backpack for carrying the board and accessories, removable center fin, ankle leash and tiki air pump. As a side note, both the air pump and the leash are made from recycled fishing nets and the newest version is 10% more efficient than the previous model.
Note that this board does not include a paddle.
The idea of a viewing window for the water takes us back to elementary school when we used to make plastic boxes to see what was the under water. Especially when you consider all the places you can go with a paddleboard, this idea gets better and better. Just imagine the look on a child’s face when they see all the fish and plants right under their feet!
Just as a general rant, we don’t understand why Starboard never includes a paddle with their iSUPs, especially considering the price. We typically like to see a board that’s ready to go right out of the box. That being said, if you don’t currently have a paddle, consider that into the cost of this purchase.
As an iSUP itself, it isn’t the best performing on the market yet it would work out great for someone new to the field who has problems balancing or if you just want to take someone else out on the water without worrying about tipping over.