Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP Review

Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP Review

If you’re looking to build on your paddling fundamentals and get a few more miles under your belt albeit without forking out serious money for a high-end performance touring paddle board, then the Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP may be for you. With a range that covers off various paddling disciplines, Chasing Blue have yet again produced another nicely balanced highly durable middle market iSUP that is ideally suited for paddling enthusiasts who are looking to spend extended periods of time on the water.

Specifications

Length: 12’6” (381 cm)
Width: 32” (81 cm)
Thickness / Depth: 6” (15 cm)
Weight: 25 lbs (11.3 kgs)
Capacity: 300 lbs (136 kgs)
Construction: Drop-stitch / SCW Technology
Inflation PSI: Recommended 13 psi
D-rings: 22 (including bungee system)
Paddle: 3-Piece Carbon Shaft Adjustable SUP Paddle
Fin: Tri-fin (detachable centre)
Pump: Single Chamber Dual-Action Manual Pump
Leash: Dual-Swivel Coiled SUP Leash
Warranty: 24 Month Manufacturers Warranty

Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP Package

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 OutdoorMaster (Chasing Blue)

Established in 2015 and based in Duarte, California, OutdoorMaster is an outdoor sports manufacturer that produces quality and affordable products with a predominant focus on water-sports, skating and skiing as well as related apparel and accessories. They pride themselves on delivering a product that is based on solid quality, technological innovation and nature-oriented designs.

Under the branding Chasing Blue, their inflatable paddle board range focuses on all round board and accessories packages. The Pro Series range which utilises SCW (Superlight Coalitional-Woven) Technology for enhanced quality and durability, includes SUPs that cater specifically for general recreational paddling, longer distance touring, SUP yoga as well as all-round beginner friendly models. They also offer a more standard core range which uses a lower level of construction technology that better caters to the budget conscious buyer.

With a focus on delivering consumers quality products at a reasonable price, OutdoorMaster have opted to stay away from the conventional bricks and mortar stores and use the DTC (Direct-To-Consumer) online sales model only.

<< New to SUPing? Learn more about the Best Paddle Boards for Beginners >>

At a Glance

Pros

☑️ Drop-stitch / SCW Technology construction
☑️ Light-weight at only 25 lbs
☑️ Significant weight carrying capacity
☑️ Greater length for better tracking
☑️ Adjustable carbon shaft paddle
☑️ Sleek design for increased speed
☑️ 7 grab / safety handles
☑️ Quality deck padding for added traction
☑️ Action Mounts for GoPro etc.
☑️ Tri-fin set-up for better manoeuvrability
☑️ Ample D-rings for accessories
☑️ 24 month manufacturers warranty

Cons

▪️A side paddle holder would be handy

Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP Performance Rating

The Board

Principally designed for expeditions and longer distance touring, the 12’6” Orion Voyager is a quality middle market iSUP that is well suited for paddlers of all skill levels. Its generous deck area provides more than enough room for larger paddlers or for carrying additional kit and accessories.

Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP

Construction – all of the Chasing Blue upper range iSUPs are made with a dense drop-stitch core which uses thousands of polyester threads that are woven together to form the boards inner core. Drop-stitch technology has been used for many years in the maritime and aviation industries and it is this method of construction that enables inflatables to maintain their shape once inflated to a high pressure.

Using their SCW (Superlight Coalitional-Woven) Technology, the drop-stitch core is then surrounded in a further layer of woven mesh fabric to help the core maintain its integrity.

Enveloping the core are two layers of pre-laminated PVC material specifically manufactured for maximum air-tightness which creates an even lighter and more durable board with superior strong wear-resistance and anti-deformation.

It is this process that keeps the boards weight down which culminates in a paddle board that will not only perform well on the water, but also offer the rigidity and durability that you would expect to find in a quality Inflatable.


External Board Features

For middle market iSUPs, Chasing Blue are quite generous when it comes to their boards external features.

Chasing Blue Orion Voyager iSUP External Board Features

✔️ Deck Padding – the non-slip crocodile-diamond EVA foam deck traction padding covers two-thirds of the decks surface area. The padding provides greater traction and stability while paddling as well as a durable and comfortable surface for exercising on while stationary.

✔️ D-rings – there are a total of 22 multi-function stainless steel D-rings on the Orion. Integrating the D-rings with the handles is an approach that Chasing Blue take which helps create a cleaner surface area while still providing an ability to accessorise the board as desired.

✔️ Carry / Safety Handles – another nice feature on all Chasing Blue iSUPs is the inclusion of grab handles as part of the forward and rear bungee systems. Great for when the kids are playing in the water or for quick and easy access when you take a spill. The centre, nose and tail carry handles are made from a highly durable padded nylon making the board easy to carry for both a single paddler or with partner if desired.

✔️ Bungee System – very generous in size, the Orion has 2 separate adjustable 6-point bungee areas offering plenty of storage capacity for those longer voyages.

✔️ Inflation Valve – spring controlled for higher safety performance to easily control inflation with a one push automatic deflation system. The high pressure valve has been ungraded with an automatic air release mechanism once the board reaches 15 psi so you can not over inflate the board.

✔️ Fins – the Orion has a tri-fin configuration with the two smaller side fins (side-bites) permanently attached. The large 9” touring SUP fin quickly attaches with the included locking pin.


Performance / Suitability

Specifically designed for covering longer distances, the 12’6” Orion Voyager is a quality iSUP that will comfortably meet the needs of paddlers of all skill levels. With ample top deck surface area and weight carrying capacity, the Orion checks all of the key performance metrics when it comes to a touring inflatable.

Profile view of the Chasing Blue 12’6” Orion Voyager iSUP

▪️Stability – if you are still building on your confidence and overall paddling fundamentals, then stability will be at the very top of your priority list. In absence of a stable paddling platform, you will be up against it from the get go. To this extent, size matters.

As a broad brush statement, the larger the board, the greater the stability. At 12’6” long and 32” wide, the Orion is an optimal sized touring paddle board that offers plenty of stability without being overly cumbersome. With ample volume and rigidity, the Orion rides nicely above the waters surface and has minimal centre board flex. Provided you distribute any included kit and accessories evenly within the bungee cargo areas, this is a very comfortable paddle board that will nicely accommodate the majority of adult paddlers.

▪️Tracking / Glide – with its longer flat bottom deck and mild front rocker (upward turned nose), it isn’t too challenging to build up paddling momentum and speed on the Orion Voyager. Supported by a 9” centre touring fin, the board holds a clean line once you settle into your stroke so presented no challenge in terms of straight line tracking or directional paddling.

▪️Manoeuvrability – one of the draw backs for longer boards is that they are less nimble when it comes to acute turns and overall board agility. A tri-fin configuration does better support board responsiveness, and while competent paddlers can still comfortably turn and manoeuvre the board as desired, by design, the Orion has been built for distance paddling. If agility and nimble manoeuvring is what you are after, perhaps take a look at Chasing Blue’s 10’6” Infinite iSUP which will offer a better all-round paddling experience.


Accessories Package

The entire range of Chasing Blue inflatable stand up paddle boards comes with a complete all-inclusive accessories package to get you out on the water at no additional expense.

Chasing Blue iSUP Accessories Package

◽️Paddle – the 3-piece fully adjustable paddle has a light-weight carbon shaft which can be adjusted from 72” to 86” making it suitable for paddlers of all heights. Weighing only 28 oz, the paddle has a comfortable durable nylon T-grip blade. Carbon shaft paddles are far lighter than their cheaper aluminium counterparts making paddling over longer distances less fatiguing and more energy efficient.

◽️Backpack – this is actually a pretty decent quality backpack which can be a challenge on its own when you see what’s out there. Large enough to fit both the deflated iSUP and all accessory items, the backpack opens through a single front u-shaped zip with quick and easy access to the centre compartment. The inner lining is also heat insulted to help maintain the temperature and not damage the board or accessories.

Features include adjustable shoulder, side and waist straps; durable hard plastic bottom; I.D window; top, side and rear carry handles as well as integrated wheels making it extremely easy to roll over flat surfaces or for when you are traveling on a flight.

◽️Pump – the dual-action single chamber manual hand pump has an integrated high pressure gauge and inflation hose. The board takes approx. 8-10 minutes to fully inflate to the recommended 13-15 psi although does make for a bit of a pre-paddling workout.

For those that are looking to take to the water on a more regular basis and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, we would always recommend investing in a portable electric pump. Our Top 5 Electric Pump Picks article covers off some useful tips on what to look for as well as providing recommendations on the better rated pumps on the market.

Outdoor Master Shark Electric SUP Pump

◽️Leash – a standard SUP leash to ensure that you and your board do not become separated in the event of a fall in the water. The leash has a multi-layered neoprene cuff that securely and comfortably attaches to the ankle (or calf); a coiled cord to help reduce drag in the water as well as dual-swivels to prevent tangling.

◽️Action Mounts – the 3 separate action mounts can be glued to the upper board deck wherever you prefer making it easy to attach your GoPro camera, cell phone, fishing rod holder or other accessories.

◽️Cell Phone Case – includes carry strap with a waterproof clasp for extra piece of mind.

◽️Repair Kit – a standard SUP repair kit which includes a wrench tool in case the valve loosens as well as colour coded patches and glue in the unlikely event you get a tear.


<< Take a look at the NIXY Manhattan G4 – 12’6” iSUP as an alternate option >>

Do you currently own a touring paddle board or are you still in the market? Start a conversation below and share your thoughts.

We hope the above review was of benefit and as always would welcome your feedback. Please feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you.

Until then, stay safe and get wet.

Leave a Comment