GLIDE 02 Quest 12’6” Touring Paddle Board Review
If you’re looking for a convincing argument that inflatable paddle boards are starting to viral their non-inflatable counterparts, then the GLIDE 02 Quest 12’6” Touring Paddle Board may help quash your doubts.
Built in an eco-friendly way and to a very high specification, the 02 Quest is a long distance machine ideally suited to advanced paddlers who are looking for a little more out of their day on the water.
Length: 12’6” (381 cm)
Width: 30” (76 cm)
Thickness / Depth: 6” (15 cm)
Construction: Fusion Technology PVC / Drop-stitch
Volume: 320 litres
Weight: 23 lbs (10.4 kgs)
Capacity: 400 lbs (181 lbs)
Inflation PSI: Recommended at 12-15 psi
D-rings: 6 (Including Forward Bungee)
Paddle: Adjustable Fibreglass Shaft
Fin: 9” Centre Detachable / USA-Style Fin Box
Pump: Single Cylinder Dual Action High Capacity
Leash: 10’ Dual Swivel Coiled SUP Leash
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 GLIDE Paddle Sports
Established in 2008 and based in Salt Lake City, Utah, GLIDE Paddle Sports are the self-proclaimed Greenest SUP Company on the Planet. A big statement, but the deeper you delve, the more creditable this innovative companies’ argument becomes.
Foundered by Ken Driscoll shortly after he suffered a career ending injury as a professional kayaker, it was Ken’s innovative patent-pending Glide Surface Shield (GSS) coating technology that ultimately helped GLIDE grow into a respected outdoor brand known for producing highly durable and eco-friendly products.
One of a limited number of U.S. manufacturers that do not outsource any elements of the manufacturing and production cycle, each of GLIDE’s best in class performance oriented rigid and inflatable paddle boards are made to the highest of standards using the most environmentally friendly materials available. They even have a specifically designed range that is used by rental companies which is a testament to the quality, durability and ultimately longevity of their products.
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At a Glance
✔️ Ultra durable fusion construction
✔️ Built for speed and straight line tracking
✔️ Significant weight carrying capacity
✔️ Designed to maximise glide and stability
✔️ Ample volume for greater buoyancy
✔️ Best suits advanced paddlers
✔️ Front towing / anchor mount
✔️ Non-slip brushed EVA deck traction pad
✔️ Lightweight at 23 lbs
✔️ 9” centre fin / USA-style fin box
✔️ Quality accessories package
✔️ 2 year manufacturers warranty
▪️A paddle holder would be a nice plus
GLIDE manufacturer both their inflatable and non-inflatable range of stand up paddle boards using their own proprietary technology which was one of the foundational pillars that helped establish the companies brand and reputation.
Construction – the core of the 02 Quest Touring SUP is made from thousands of dense drop-stitch polyester threads that are woven together to form a supremely rigid centre that can withstand significant pressure once fully inflated. Drop-stitch technology has been used for many years within the aviation and marine industries and it is this process that enables inflatables to maintain their shape when inflated to very high pressures.
Woven drop-stitch technology as compared to knitted drop-stitch which is used by the majority of industry manufacturers, creates a more rigid and dense structure which has less air between the links. Less air equates to less spring and bounce meaning that GLIDE inflatables in essence perform near on the same as hard / epoxy paddle boards. This process also shaves roughly 3.5 lbs from the boards weight making it easier to carry as well as enhancing its performance and manoeuvrability while out on the water.
Using a fusion PVC construction process in the manufacture of the 02 Quest’s outer shell, 4 layers of military-grade PVC material are fused together to form the outer skin of the board which is then further enhanced by high-pressure heat-pressed seams to create an airtight seal.
While construction methodology and processes vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, the industry standard that is employed by most board manufactures is two layers of PVC material. More material would typically mean more weight, but at 23 lbs only and for a board of this length, GLIDE’s fusion technology is able to produce a very resilient and durable SUP while still keeping the weight down to help optimise board handling and performance.
External Board Features
▪️Traction Pad – the die cut EVA foam deck padding extends to cover the full surface of the board creating a comfortable slip free surface to help reduce fatigue when paddling over longer distances.
▪️Tow / Anchor Point – a single D-ring on the underside of the nose ideally suited for towing or when using a SUP anchor.
▪️Centre Fin – the single centre fin operates via a USA style fin box allowing you to change it up with other comparable after market products should you wish to vary your ride.
▪️Inflation Valve – while the recommended inflation pressure is 12-15 psi, all GLIDE iSUPs have been pressure tested to 25 psi which if nothing else speaks to their rigidity and build quality.
▪️Handle – a centre grab handle making the board easy to carry by a single paddler.
▪️Bungee Area – the 4-point forward bungee netting area offers ample storage for your dry bag, water bottle, towel and other personal items.
Performance & Suitability
If you are not an experienced paddler, then this is not the best board to get yourself on in the first instance as it is primarily designed for responsive paddling over longer distances.
◽️Stability – assuming a board is built well, greater size typically equates to greater stability. At 12’6” long and 30” wide, the GLIDE 02 Quest has a lot of floating real estate and a high weight carrying capacity. For experienced paddlers, this is an ideal mix and is great for covering longer distances. For less experienced paddlers who are still building on confidence and technique, 30” wide SUPs can feel a little tippy or narrow so aren’t as stable as an all round paddle board which is normally 32” wide or up. The Quest still has a ton of volume and capacity so this really comes down to experience and ability on the water.
◽️Speed & Tracking – one of the key features of this board as is evidenced by the sleeker more aggressive design, is its ability to cut through the water and build up speed. While the 02 Quest can manage reasonably well on choppier waters, it is at its best on calm waters where the sharper nose and flat bottom deck help maximise glide once you settle into your stroke. With greater length and a 9” centre fin, the Quest tracks very well so maintaining a straight line course or desired direction is not challenging at all.
◽️Manoeuvrability – if you have enough paddling experience under your belt, then you won’t be too challenged although on the whole, this is not a particularly agile SUP, nor was it designed to be of course.
While the Quest is sufficiently wide enough to find your feet and gain a level of comfort, the tapered tail means that it can be a little challenging when stepping back to perform more acute manoeuvres. At 12’6” in length, its a fairly long board as well, so as would be expected, more effort is required when moving through turns or general changes in direction.
As is the case with all GLIDE iSUP’s, the 02 Quest comes complete with all of the core accessories getting you out on the water at no additional expense.
▪️Pump – the single cylinder dual-action manual iSUP pump which includes a high-pressure gauge and inflation hose is fairly standard and somewhat on par with what other manufacturers produce.
If you’re one for a nice pre-paddling workout and don’t mind spending up to 10 minutes inflating your board then read no more. If however you’d like a little assistance, then we always recommend spending a few extra dollars and investing in a quality electric pump. Our Top 5 Electric Pump Picks has some handy tips on what to look out for as well as recommendations on some of the better brands on the market. GLIDE also have their own electric pump which you will get at a discounted rate if you go direct via this reviews links.
▪️Carry Strap – attaches to the two side D-rings making the board easier to carry.
▪️Paddle – weighing only 29 oz and extending out to as much as 86” in length, the included SUP paddle operates using a leaver lock grip system enabling the paddle to be adjusted to suit riders of all heights. The ultra-tough composite paddle has a fibreglass shaft for extra rigidity with a reinforced nylon blade for more robust strokes. To enhance overall paddling performance further, consider upgrading to a carbon fibre paddle which is lighter in weight yet again providing greater paddling output and performance.
▪️Kayak Seat – quickly and easily attaches to the centre D-rings, kayak seats are great for when the legs need a rest or you want to reduce your centre of gravity during less favourable water and wind conditions. Now a standard inclusion with all GLIDE iSUPs so a nice little bonus.
▪️Backpack – this is a fairly standard iSUP carry bag that can comfortably fit the deflated board as well as accessory items. The bag isn’t outrageous but it does include all of the core features as well as durable wheels making it easier to carry across flat surfaces or when traveling. A handy feature that other inflatable paddle board manufacturers have also started to adopt.
▪️Leash – beyond your Personal Flotation Device (PFD), the included leash which comfortably attaches to your ankle (or calf) is your most important safety item and should be worn at all times. Ensuring that you and your board do not become separated in the event you take a spill, the included 10’ leash contains a multi-layered neoprene cuff for more secure comfort once attached as well as dual-swivels and a coiled cord to reduce tangling and drag in the water.
▪️Repair Kit – a standard SUP repair kit which includes colour coded patches and glue as well as a wrench tool to tighten the inflation valve if necessary.
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Not necessarily suited for the novice, the GLIDE 02 Quest is an uncompromising iSUP with a predominant focus on performance paddling over longer distances. Sufficiently sized to comfortably stretch out for yoga or stationary board exercising if desired, the Quest is very rigid and has little to no flex when being used by the typical sized adult paddler. With plenty of length and a sleek aggressive design, this is a paddle board that is primary designed for more experienced paddlers to get out on the water, and rack up some distance.
Complete with a quality accessories package and the support of a highly reputable manufacturer, the GLIDE 02 Quest iSUP is the real deal and should very much be on your short list if a performance oriented touring paddle board is what you’re after.
We hope this review was beneficial and as always would welcome your feedback. Please feel free to start a conversation and leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.