Boardworks Kraken Paddle Board Review
As paddle boarding continues to increase as a global water sport of choice, so to do the number of manufacturers looking to gain their piece of the pie. The increase in inflatable paddle board manufacturers (iSUPs) has in particular taken off in recent years so we are now really spoilt for choice.
While iSUPs are definitely gaining in popularity, paddle boarding roots still stern back to surfing so for the purists, rigid / epoxy boards will likely always remain the board of choice. Unless you are looking for the storage, transportation or general versatility that an iSUP offers, then you will likely be better served by a rigid board given its superior performance and general paddling characteristics.
Today we are going to take a look at one of Boardworks best sellers, the Kraken.
Specifications (comes in three different sizes):
Length: 11’0″ 10’3″ 9’9″
Width: 32″ 34″ 34″
Height: 4.75″ 4.75″ 4.50″
Volume: 199 L 200 L 180 L
Capacity: 290 lbs 260 lbs 230 lbs
Fins: 2+1 5 Fin 5 Fin
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.
With in excess on 25 years in the market, Boardworks are a Carlsbad, California based company that are a leading manufacturer within the surf and stand up paddle boarding industries. Their range of rigid SUPs and accessories caters for performance based paddling through to general recreational, touring and surfing as well as a range of inflatable and soft-tops SUPs. Their range of robust products and innovative award-winning approach has positioned them well as a watersports manufacturer of choice.
Boardworks are part of Confluence Outdoor who are a family owned Greenville South Carolina based group that have been in the watersports industry for over 40 years. With group companies including – Adventure Technology – Dagger Kayaks – Harmony Gear – Mad River Canoe – Perception Kayaks and Wildness Systems, their products cater for the full range of water sport and outdoor recreational activities.
Coming in 3 different sizes, the Boardworks Kraken is an all round board that best caters for general recreational paddling through to light and moderate wave surfing. Whilst the board suits paddlers of all skill levels, it is relatively heavy and by and large generic in shape making it stable through the water and well suited for mid-distance paddling.
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Construction – aesthetically, the Kraken has an exciting graphics package with automotive grade paint and polish. Using Boardworks EPX-V construction methodology, the board features a stringer-less designed hand cut EPS core that is laminated with layers of fibreglass cloth and quality epoxy resins and then finished with a high density kiln dried bamboo veneer sandwich layer. All of the board components including the fin boxes, finger-wells, leash and deck plugs are set in high density foam blocks. Common amongst other Boardworks SUPs and surf boards, the EPX-V built boards are amongst the most popular in their range given the attractive finish and all round performance.
Features / Characteristics – a rectangular centre Liftsup carry handle enables comfortable carrying for paddlers of all sizes. Dependent on the board size, the Kraken features either a tri-fin or 5 Fin configuration using an FCS II tool-less fin box system providing versatility and allowing for optimal paddling in either light to moderate surf or flat water paddling conditions.
The board features 2 forward anchor points to attach the optional bungee system or deck tie-downs for storage of dry bags or other personal effects. The honey foam heat embossed EVA Deck Pad provides a nice cushioned ride and ample traction for paddling whilst reducing water retention and helping with stability.
Performance – as the board(s) is fairly standard in dimensions, it is sufficiently manoeuvrable whilst not being overly dynamic or sharp through the water remembering of course that it is primarily an all round recreational SUP. Its dimensions along with its supportive deck pad do however make for a very stable and well-balanced ride particularly in calm waters making it ideal for paddlers with limited experience. The boards large centre fin enables it to track well through the water and whilst speed and glide were not exceptional, the Kraken still performs well for an all round SUP.
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While the Boardworks Kraken is a well constructed SUP that offers a nice all round paddling experience, it is on the higher side price wise for a board within this category. Boardworks offer some high quality accessories including their Carbon Pro paddle (100% carbon shaft / carbon core blade) and easy release coiled ankle strap although these are optional add-ons that will of course further inflate the price. A packaged offering that included the board, leash and quality paddle would certainly make the Kraken a more attractive offering.
All in all the Kraken is certainly a board worth considering if you’re looking for a nice looking quality SUP that caters well for recreational paddlers of all levels.
As always we would love to hear from you so please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.