GLIDE O2 Lochsa Inflatable Whitewater Paddle Board Review

GLIDE O2 Lochsa Inflatable Whitewater Paddle Board Review

Directly translating to “rough waters”, the 02 Lochsa (pronounced “lock-saw”), is a purpose built whitewater iSUP that has been specifically crafted to handle the rough stuff.

Designed by GLIDE’s founder Ken Driscoll, a former professional kayaker and whitewater veteran, the GLIDE 02 Lochsa Inflatable Whitewater Paddle Board is as good as it gets when it comes to standing up and mixing it up.

Specifications

Length: 10’ (305 cm)
Width: 36” (91 cm)
Thickness / Depth: 6” (15 cm)
Construction: Fusion Technology / Drop-stitch
Volume: 323 litres
Weight: 26 lbs (11.8 kgs)
Capacity: 400 lbs (181 kgs)
Inflation PSI: Recommended at 12-15 psi
D-rings: 5 (Including Forward Bungee)
Paddle: Adjustable Fibreglass Shaft
Fin: Tri-Fin / 9” Centre / USA-Style Fin Box
Pump: Single Cylinder Dual Action High Capacity
Leash: 10’ Dual Swivel Coiled SUP Leash
Warranty: 24 Months

GLIDE 02 Lochsa 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 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.


At a Glance

Pros

✔️ Ultra durable fusion construction
✔️ Significant weight carrying capacity
✔️ High mid-board stability
✔️ Ample volume for greater buoyancy
✔️ Best suits advanced paddlers
✔️ Multiple carry / grab handles
✔️ Full deck brushed EVA traction pad
✔️ Medium weight at 26 lbs
✔️ Tri-fin set-up / USA-style fin box
✔️ Quality accessories package 
✔️ 2 year manufacturers warranty

Cons

▪️A side paddle holder would be handy (yoga)
▪️Inclusion of an Action Mount would be ideal

GLIDE 02 Lochsa iSUP Performance Score
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The Board

Build quality is at the heart of all GLIDE paddle boards to which their 02 inflatable range are amongst the most resilient and durable in the market. Not only do GLIDE have the longevity and credentials to back this statement up, their customer testimonials alone, tell an equally impressive story.

GLIDE 02 Lochsa iSUP Construction Cross-Section

Construction – the core of the 02 Lochsa iSUP 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 Lochsa’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 26 lbs, 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

GLIDE iSUPs are purpose built highly durable machines so when it comes to external features, they stick to the basics. Given what the Lochsa is all about, they have continued this approach with a simplistic clean top deck albeit still with high quality inclusions.

GLIDE 02 Lochsa iSUP Top Deck View

☑️ Deck Padding – covering the entire deck surface area, the diamond grooved deck padding provides ample space to find your feet to maximise traction and paddling stability. Soft under foot to help reduce paddling fatigue, the padding is also die-cut to ensure that the colours stay true to form and not wear like many other screen printed surfaces. There is also a rear heel / kick pad which serves as an anchor point making the board easier to manoeuvre which is particularly useful in wave conditions.

☑️ Handles – made from a heavy-duty nylon material, the centre logo embossed carry handle makes light work of carrying the board by a solo paddler. The nose and tail grab handles can be used as towing or anchor points or for carrying the board with a paddle partner.

☑️ Bungee System – a 4-point forward bungee cargo netting which is sufficient to carry your dry bag or other smaller accessories.

☑️ D-rings – outside of the rings within the bungee area, the Lochsa has just the one D-ring at the tail of the board which is used for the leash.

☑️ Inflation Valve – the vast majority of iSUPs have the inflation valve at the rear of the board creating a cleaner forward board area. With whitewater rafting in mind, GLIDE have shifted the valve on the Lochsa to the nose of the board which frees up the tail area so you can more easily shift your weight backwards for greater rear board stability and responsiveness.

<< Perhaps the GLIDE 02 Retro 10’6” iSUP is more your style >>

Performance / Suitability

GLIDE 02 Lochsa iSUP Profile View

◽️Tracking / Glide – the Lochsa doesn’t check all of the boxes on the score card when it comes to straight line paddling or glide. This is of course not unexpected its design considered. Longer, more aerodynamic SUPs are far easier to build up straight line speed and glide. At the opposite end of this spectrum, the 02 Lochsa is quite wide through the mid-section and has pronounced nose and tail rockers. While rockers assist with keeping the nose out of the water, they do restrict glide and building up paddling momentum making the board better suited to experienced paddlers who have a sound paddling technique.

◽️Stability – as a specific disciple paddle board, the Lochsa is clearly not for everyone. This said, beginners or novice paddlers will still get some enjoyment out of it in terms of general recreational paddling as well as SUP yoga. This is in the main due to the significant weight carrying capacity and very generous board width.

The comfortable full deck EVA foam padding aids traction while the rear kick pad again helps create a stable paddling platform through transitions. As an extremely rigid board with bulky tail section, paddling with your weight on the back foot isn’t too challenging in light conditions although the proposition changes quickly once you hit rougher waters.

Paddler on 02 Lochsa iSUP in Rapid

◽️Manoeuvrability – while the Lochsa is quite wide which can restrict its overall manoeuvrability, it has been designed for challenging water conditions and as such is still quite responsive. Aided by a tri-fin set-up for greater configurability and water transfer, the boards nose and tail rockers help create more lift as well as reducing drag. The squashed tail supports better back foot weight transfer and rear board stability making the Lochsa more agile and easier to manoeuvre through the water.


Accessories Package

GLIDE include all of the necessary accessories to get you out on the water at no additional expense. Given the nature of whitewater paddling however, we would strongly recommend investing in a Personal Flotation Device (PFD) for obvious reasons.

GLIDE Lochsa iSUP Accessories Package

▪️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.

Outdoor Master Shark Electric SUP Pump

▪️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.

Aerial View of Paddler on the 02 Lochsa iSUP

▪️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.

▪️Leash – beyond your 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.


<< Still a novice? Our Whitewater Paddle Boarding Tips For Beginners might well help >>

Designed specifically for whitewater paddling and river surfing, GLIDE’s 02 Lochsa best suits experienced paddlers who are looking for the exact opposite to a fun flat water recreational ride. The board features a clean deck area with wide belly for enhanced stability; pronounced rockers to reduce pearling; as well as a squashed tail and rear kick pad for better weight transfer to manoeuvre through challenging waters. A great option for those looking to challenge themselves and take their paddling to the next level.

On the flip side, the Lochsa is also very rigid with plenty of stability and weight carrying capacity. If you’re keen to dial it back a notch and take to the deck for a decompressing yoga session, then that’s definitely an option. The GLIDE 02 Lotus Yoga iSUP is a more logical choice here but some added versatility on the Lochsa’s part so a nice little bonus.

Have you given whitewater paddle boarding a go or are you still building up the courage? Start a conversation and share your thoughts below.

Until then, stay safe and get wet.

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