Boardworks SHUBU Solr iSUP Review
As we continue to review more quality products from the many SUP manufacturers in the market, few have the longevity and experience when compared to the team at Boardworks.
One of their cleaner lined ‘show up & blow up’ inflatable boards as they term it is the SHUBU Solr Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board which is a great beginner friendly all-round iSUP perfect for recreational paddling and cruising.
Let’s take a look:
Length: 10′6″ (320 cm)
Width: 32″ (81 cm)
Thickness/Depth: 6″ (15 cm)
Construction: Dual Fusion Laminate / Drop-stitch
Volume: 314 litres
Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
User Weight: maximum 260 lbs (118 kg)
Paddle: 3-Piece Adjustable Carbon
Fin: Detachable 9″ Centre / FCS Tool-less Fin Box
Pump: High Volume Single Chamber Dual Stage
Leash: Not Included
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.
With in excess on 25 years in the market, Boardworks are the 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.
At a Glance
☑️ DFL / drop-stitch construction
☑️ Quality all-round recreational board
☑️ Forward bungee storage area
☑️ Stable and well-balanced
☑️ 3-piece carbon shaft paddle
☑️ Clean appealing graphics package
☑️ Light-weight and easily transportable
☑️ Dual neoprene grab handles
☑️ Honey foam heat embossed deck pad
☑️ FCS fin box / detachable 9″ tool-less centre fin
☑️ High quality backpack with wheels
☑️ 24 months warranty
– Ankle leash not included within package – strange
– Additional D-rings to better accessorise
– Ramping up to a tri-fin configuration would better maximise all-round paddling performance
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With continued emphasis on quality, the SHUBU Solr is a well priced middle market board best suited for paddlers who are simply looking to get out on the water and enjoy a quality ride. Owing to its dimensions it is a classic all-round board and performs well over shorter distances in calmer flat waters. Perfect for recreational paddling, yoga and general cruising, the SHUBU Solr is light-weight, versatile and easily transportable.
Performance – at 32″ wide, the board is very rigid and quite stable and forms a secure and durable paddling surface well suited for recreational paddling. Riders with even limited experience will quickly find their feet. The board also has sufficient volume and weight carrying capacity to which the average adult will definitely find that it offers plenty of buoyancy and rigidity.
Owing to its 9″centre fin, the board tracks reasonable well. Whilst it has a slight front rocker (upward turned nose) which marginally assists it in gliding through the water, it has still been designed very much as an all-rounder so don’t expect to be powering through the water at a particularly great speed. As a quite rigid board and not particularly long, it is reasonably easy to manoeuvre. The inclusion of the quality paddle also assists so with a little practice the SHUBU is quite agile all things considered.
Construction – near on all iSUPs are manufactured using outer layers of PVC wrapped around a dense synthetic core. Inmanufacturing their inflatables, Boardworks construct the board using a Dual Fusion Laminate (DFL) and drop-stitch core. The highly dense drop-stitch comprises thousands of intertwined polyester threads to create a core which is then fixed to outer layers of fabric. In this instance, the core is coated with a liquid PVC which is then wrapped with a PVC tarpaulin top and bottom layer and a specialised sidewall material to form its outer skin making the board particularly resilient and durable.
Drop-stitch construction methods have been around for many years and are used in a variety of inflatable vessels as well as lifting equipment, floating docks and even aircraft. It is this method that allows inflatable boards to maintain their shape when inflated under very high pressure making them particularly rigid and durable so they can withstand impacts with rocks and other floating debris or if accidentally dropped.
External Board Features
The SHUBU Solr is one of the cleaner and less busy purpose built boards on the market albeit it does what it says on the tin.
Grab Handles: both of the centre and forward grab handles are made from a padded neoprene material making the board easy and comfortable to carry. The forward handle can also double as a towing point or for attaching multiple boards together when stationary on the water. At 22 lbs, the SHUBU Solr is on the lighter end of the iSUP scale making it easy to carry and transport.
D-rings: while minimal, the 4 forward D-rings can be used individually to attach accessories or in tandem with the bungee cord to form the cargo netting for storage of your dry bag, water bottle or other paddling accessories. The single rear D-ring serves primarily as the ankle leash attachment point.
Deck Padding: covering two-thirds of the boards surface, the deck traction pad is made from a honey foam heat embossed material. Providing a cushioned comfortable ride when paddling over longer distances or if doing yoga, the traction padding allows for greater grip and stability whilst also assisting with water draining from the boards surface.
Fin: the durable detachable 9″ centre fin slots easily into the FCS fin box in a matter of seconds using a simple thumb screw.
Inflation Valve: neatly tucked away to the rear is the boards all important inflation valve.
Paddle: the custom 3-piece paddle comprises a full carbon shaft, fibreglass foam core blade with ABS blade edging and a carbon grip. Fully adjustable, the paddle can be adjusted to suit paddlers of all heights.
Pump: a durable light-weight single cylinder dual action manual hand pump with high pressure gauge and inflation hose. For those that are looking to take to the water on a more regular basis, we would always recommend investing in an electric pump unless of course you do not mind a 10 minute pre-paddling pumping workout beforehand. Our Top 5 Electric Pumps review provides a nice summary of what to look for in a quality electric pump as well as some recommendations based on what’s in the market.
Backpack: Boardworks have done a nice job here and not skimped on the SUP carry bag which is a challenge that many other inflatable board manufacturers are yet to fully appreciate. Made from high quality durable nylon material, the backpack features a grab handle at the top plus two well padded fully adjustable shoulder and side adjustment straps. It also contains two durable wheels which come in very handy for rolling along paved surfaces or when traveling.
Repair Kit: similar to most iSUP packages, comes complete with colour coded patches and glue plus a wrench tool to tighten the boards inflation value in the event it becomes loose.
The SHUBU Solr is a great board for those that are new to paddle boarding or for those simply looking for a quality clean lined board for recreational paddling. A well constructed board from a quality manufacturer, it is very rigid and stable and stays true to a classic inflatable all-rounder in terms of feel and performance. While it is aesthetically minimalistic, it is still well-designed and is suitably accessoried for those that are looking to take to the water with little to no fuss. Great fun and good value for money.CHECK AVAILABILITY / BUY NOW
We hope you found this review of benefit and as always would welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.