Atoll Paddle Boards 11′ iSUP – a Complete Review
As stand up paddle boarding continues its year-on-year growth as a water sport of choice, there has never been a better time than now to get your feet wet.
With the advances in both rigid and inflatable board technology and accessories continuing to evolve, manufacturers are now placing a far greater focus on design, build and materials quality with a view to gaining an advantage over their competitors. This has resulted in some genuine choices for the consumer with a wide variety of high quality boards and all-inclusive SUP packages now available.
As a manufacturer that fits squarely within this bracket, today we will be taking a look at Atoll Paddle Boards 2020 11′ iSUP Package.
Length: 11′ (335 cm)
Width: 32″ (81 cm)
Thickness / Depth: 6″ (15 cm)
Construction: Korean Dropstitch / Dual Layer PVC
Weight: 21 lbs (9.5 kg)
User Weight: 400 lbs (181 kg)
Inflation PSI: 15 psi
Paddle: Black Carbon Fibreglass / Nylon Blade
Fin: tri-fin 8″ Composite / Universal Fin Box
Pump: Dual Action High Pressure
Leash: 10′ iSUP
Warranty: 24 months
Why Paddle Board
As a recreational activity, paddle boarding offers some tremendous health and fitness benefits ranging from a full body workout engaging many of the core muscles albeit in a low impact way through to improved balance, improvements in endurance and stamina, injury rehabilitation, weight loss and improving our cardiovascular health. Its an exciting way to unwind and decompress whilst at the same time engaging with nature. As one of the fastest growing water sports globally, if you have access to water then its definitely worth giving it a go.
About Atoll Board Co.
As one of the premier U.S. paddle board manufacturers, the Atoll Board Co. is a Huntington Beach, Californian based manufacturer that produces quality inflatable SUPs, accessories and apparel.
With a striking Bison at the heart of its logo, the 2020 range of Atoll iSUPs come in 4 different colour schemes that offer a sense of simplicity whilst at the same time standing out from their peers. The 11′ all-round recreational board has evolved since it was initially introduced in 2014 and is now one of the top rated iSUPs on the market.
At 11′ / 32″ / 6″ the 2020 Atoll board is very well suited for the average sized beginner to intermediate paddler with a predominant focus on recreational paddling – see Paddle Board Size Guide for more detailed information on what board will best suit you. The board offers nice stability, rigidity and buoyancy so will perform well in both flat water or small wave conditions. At these dimensions, you will also be able to comfortably take to light surf and river conditions, have a very stable platform for SUP yoga as well as accessorising to suit paddle board fishing or even kayaking with the inclusion of an optional kayak seat.
Construction – the old adage that you get what you pay for is particularly relevant when it comes to paddle boards. In terms of inflatables, the large majority of SUPs are made from PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) which is a synthetic thermoplastic material that has been used for many years and has a whole host of different applications. When it comes to paddle boards however the quality of the PVC and the number of layers used is quite important.
Atoll like other quality manufacturers use a dual layer military grade machine laminated PVC which is what makes the boards outer skin highly durable and less susceptible to puncture. While the recommended paddler weight sits at 400 lbs, Atoll claim that it can withstand weights up to 700 lbs which will comfortably allow for multiple paddlers and additional accessories without any obvious flex or lack of buoyancy.
At the core of the board Atoll use a Korean Dropstitch Technology. The dense drop stitch construction uses thousands of polyester threads connected to the outer layers of fabric which enables the board to maintain its shape once inflated. This method of construction makes the boards particularly rigid and durable so they can withstand impacts with rocks and other floating debris or if accidentally dropped. At 21 lbs it is one of the lightest boards on the market making it very easy to carry both inflated or stored within the backpack.
External Board Features
Whilst aesthetically clean and simplistic in design, beyond its core the board still offers some high quality external features.Traction Pad: covering approx. two-thirds of the boards surface, the traction pad is made from a thick EVA foam. It’s diamond groove pattern offers substantial grip under foot which provides the rider with very good traction and comfort over longer distances. Its grooved shape also allows the water to drain quickly from the boards surface which further aids grip and stability.
Valve: located at the very rear of the board behind the deck traction padding and just in front of the rear grab handle, all Atoll boards use a high quality Halkey-Roberts inflation valve which is rated to 15 psi. Beneath the valve cover is the push lock inflation mechanism which is used for both inflation and deflation.
Carry Handles: the board has two grab handles at both the centre and tail the central handle being covered in neoprene for additional comfort and padding. The rear handle is sturdy and well positioned if you are looking to link boards or tow along another paddler.
D-Rings: with 15 well spaced D-rings along the majority of the boards perimeter, you will have more than enough ability to option up your board or carry as many accessories or personal items as you desire.
Bungee Cargo System: removable if desired, the large forward bungee system offers ample storage space for your dry bag, accessories or other personal items.
Fins: the board is set-up with a typical SUP tri-fin configuration which is the most common set-up for all round paddling. The 8″ composite centre fin is detachable and comes with a universal fin box which allows for customisation with other after market fin options. The two 2.5″ plastic moulded side-fins (or side bites) are permanently mounted which aid traction, stability and manoeuvrability.CHECK AVAILABILITY / BUY NOW
Performance and Suitability
The Atoll 11′ SUP is an excellent example of a quality board that fits squarely within the all-round category offering a little something for paddlers of all levels. Its volume and buoyancy form a very solid base for heavier paddlers without compromising performance.
While it is a light-weight board, its stability is in no way compromised owing to the boards dimensions, volume and rigidity. Boards that are 30″ or below in width or thinner than 6″ typically fall outside of the all-round category and therefore offer less stability. At 32″ wide and 6″ thick and coupled with its diamond grooved traction pad, the Atoll 11′ SUP is particularly stable for recreational paddling as well as being very well suited for yoga boarding. Its recommended weight carrying capacity of 400 lbs allows for multiple riders while stilling maintaining a stiff and buoyant ride.
As an all-rounder, the board manoeuvres comfortably through the water and is comparable to other quality boards within this category. Its tri-fin configuration assists the paddlers ability to bite into the water as they shift weight towards the tail of the board enabling sharper and crisper turns.
If you’re a paddler that has a need for speed, then this will probably not be your board of choice. This being said, Atoll have managed to strike a nice balance here aided in part by the boards design and shape. Not too narrow and not too wide the board tappers nicely at the tail as well as having a moderately pointed nose and front rocker which stops it from dipping into the water in choppy or wavy conditions. With proper technique and a little practice you’ll be motoring along in no time.
The other key performance indicator is how the board glides and tracks through the water. The boards ability to track (go in a straight line) is heavily governed by the paddlers stroke as well as the centre fin. While the two side fins aid stability and manoeuvrability, Atoll’s 8″ composite centre fin helps the board hold a nice line through the water whether you’re a seasoned paddler or a relative newcomer.
As is the case with the majority of inflatables these days, Atoll also offer a quality all-inclusive accessories package.
Paddle: in terms of an inflatable packaged product and particularly within this price point, Atoll are at the top of the leader board here. The paddle comes in 3-pieces and is easy to assemble and adjust to suit paddlers of all heights. The shaft is now carbon fibre which makes it lighter and more responsive than an aluminium paddle making for easier work over longer distances. The nylon blade is durable and responses well in the water enabling nice clean paddling.
Backpack: Atoll have made some nice upgrades to their backpack which is always a bonus. iSUP packages regularly fall short on their backpacks and carry bags so we always welcome any improvements. The backpack is made from a heavier duty nylon fabric and has ample storage room. The zipper is on the front and opens on all 3 sides for easy access. The shoulder and waist straps have thickened padding for extra comfort and support and include a chest and waist strap so the pack won’t move around over longer trekking distances.
Dual Action Pump: simplistic in design and function but it gets the job done. The pump is light-weight, high pressure and has just the one chamber but is dual action. Like most manual pumps it does take a little effort as you reach the recommended psi with an inflation time of between 8 min – 10 min. To get to full inflation the pump does have the option to switch to a single action mode once the board is partially inflated allowing you to pull the pump up with a little less effort.
If you plan on taking to the water on a regular basis then its well worth investing in an electric pump. Atoll lists the OutDoor Master Shark as an accessory option on their website. For some further options however, our Top 5 Electric Pumps will give you a nice summary of other quality products that are on the market. A worthwhile investment for regular SUPers.
Leash: rounding out the SUP package is a 10′ coiled leash which can be fixed via the Velcro strap to either your calf or ankle and is easily attached to the board via one of the rear D-rings. Outside of a PDF or life jacket, your leash is the most important safety item as it will ensure that you and your board do not become separated in the event you end up in the water. Safety first as always.
** high quality versatile all-round recreational SUP
** constructed to a high standard using military grade dual laminated PVC and Korean drop-stitch technology
** one of the lightest boards on the market at 21 lbs making it very user-friendly both in and out of the water
** 15 well spaced D-rings for carrying accessories
** significant weight carrying capacity catering for heavier riders
** 3-piece adjustable carbon fibre paddle
** large forward bungee system of storage
** dual-action high pressure pump for quick optimal inflation
** high quality diamond grooved EVA deck traction padding for added grip and comfort
** 4 fresh colour / design options including the signature Bison logo central to the underside of the board
** tri-fin configuration with universal centre fin box
** comes as an all-inclusive SUP package with key accessories
** 2 year manufacturers warranty (somewhat standard for higher end boards)
** a grab handle at the front of the board would be useful for towing
** whilst not unusual for boards within this price range, detachable side fins would be a plus which would enable alternate customisation for different paddling disciplines
** the pump is effective although a more robust two cylinder pump would be a nice option
Overall we really like the Atoll 11′ SUP. It’s a quality all round board that performs well in all conditions. Its lightweight and durable design makes it a perfect board for new to intermediate SUPers or for those that are simply looking for another quality alternative. It performs well on the water and strikes a nice balance in terms of stability, manoeuvrability and tracking. The boards external inclusions are of high quality and allow for accessorising for those looking to include add-ons or tackle different paddling disciplines.
Definitely one of the better inflatables on the market so well worth putting on your short-list.
We hope you found this review to be of benefit and as always we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.