Honu Byron 10’6” All-rounder Paddle Board Review
Named after the iconic coastal beach town of Byron Bay on the northern coastline of NSW in Australia, the Honu Byron 10’6” All-rounder iSUP, is Honu’s take on the classic all round stand up paddle board.
Designed with a predominant focus on flat water recreational and light swell paddling, the Byron is your go to everyday iSUP that will comfortably accommodate paddlers of all skill levels.
Length: 10’6” (320 cm)
Width: 32” (81 cm)
Thickness: 4.72” (12 cm)
Construction: X-Woven Drop-stitch / Triple Bonded Rails
Volume: 245 litres
Weight: 17 lbs (7.7 kgs)
Capacity: 250 lbs (113 kgs)
Inflation PSI: 16 – 20 psi
D-rings: 9 (includes bungee)
Paddle: Not included within package
Fin: Tool-less 9” Single Centre
Pump: GRI Single Chamber Dual-Action
Leash: 10’ Dual-Swivel Coiled SUP Leash
Warranty: 2 + 2 Total Care Warranty
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 as well as 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.
Headquartered near Australia’s iconic Bondi Beach, Mark and Megan Travers foundered Honu in 2001. Over the following two decades, they have managed to firmly cement themselves within the industry producing a high-quality range of paddle boards and accessories with a focus on minimalist designs in colours that are inspired by the marine environment. Their fused drop-stitch technology combined with X-woven material, sets the bar in iSUP manufacturing, positioning them as one of the more advanced players in the market.
With a desire to take the business to the next level, Honu expanded and established a U.S. presence in mid-2021. This includes warehousing facilities in Salt Lake City UT, as well as a repair centre in Florida. U.S customers also benefit from the unique Honu 2+2 total care warranty and repair support package.
Honu are also one of the very few manufacturers that make a genuine commitment to the environment. Not only is their packaging biodegradable which includes compostable bags, 1% of every sale is donated to preserving the environment which again speaks volumes to their connection to the ocean.
At a Glance
✔️ Durable X-Woven drop-stitch construction
✔️ High degree of rigidity and stability
✔️ Good all-round paddling performance
✔️ Extremely light-weight
✔️ Plenty of rider weight capacity
✔️ Tail bungee paddle holder
✔️ Diamond grip EVA deck traction padding
✔️ Rear kick pad for added agility
✔️ Tool-less detachable centre fin
✔️ Available in two colour schemes
✔️ Environmentally friendly construction
✔️ Quality accessories package
✔️ Unique 2+2 year total care warranty
▪️Limited external features / accessories points
▪️Forward bungee a little on the smaller side
|<< Check out these Stunning Locations in Europe and make the most of your iSUP >>|
Honu manufacturer 4 different iSUPs, each of which is designed to cater for different paddling disciplines. Available to two different colour schemes (Perfect Day and Bright Coral), the Honu Byron 10’6” inflatable paddle board is Honu’s take on the classic all-rounder. Designed primarily for recreational paddling, the board is suitable to paddlers of all skill levels but also serves as an ideal iSUP for beginners who are still developing their technique.
Construction – akin to what other quality inflatables are made from, Honu also utilise drop-stitch construction within the manufacture of their paddle boards. Drop-stitch has been used for many years within the aviation and maritime industries and it is this method of construction that enables products to maintain their shape once inflated to high pressures.
Honu adopts an industry-leading X-Woven & fused drop-stitch material throughout the manufacturer of their full inflatable range. Woven drop stitch technology is a process where the polyester threads run through the vinyl in a criss-cross pattern, similar to carbon fibre. This reinforced process produces a more rigid structure with a higher resistance to stretching or flex. It also shaves approximately 20% off the boards weight which is in part due to the use of less plastic material.
Enveloping the boards inner drop-stitch core, an outer layer of military-grade PVC material is fused to the inner space cloth layer to create an inseparable bond. A combination of heat and pressure is used with a bonding agent to create a double thickness vinyl material that is stronger, lighter, and stiffer than standard double-layer construction. Surrounding the boards perimeter, are triple-bonded rails for additional strength and rigidity which enables the board to be inflated up to 20 psi if desired.
Honu offer a 30-day risk-free returns policy which provides a full refund for equipment in a new or unused condition.
In addition, Honu are one of the very few SUP manufacturers that offer both a defective product warranty as well as a repairs feature. Their 2+2 years total care package, provides an initial 2-years of cover for the replacement of your board due to manufacturing issues (e.g. loose seam, faulty valve, traction pad delamination). They will also repair your board for damage within this period that is consistent with normal board use. Upon registering your SUP at the time of purchase, they will extend the repair feature for an addition 2 years (4 years in total).
The repairs feature in particular is highly unusual and a testament to Honu’s after sales customer service which is something that many customers overlook. They have repair centres in Sydney for the Australian customers as well as Florida for U.S. customers.
External Board Features
Honu boards are amongst the cleanest paddle boards on the market as they do not focus on the bells and whistles that you will see on other iSUPs. What they do include though is however top tier.
◽️Handles – the board has 3 grab / carry handles in total so can be carried by a single paddler or two people. The centre handle has a nice comfortable neoprene padding while the forward and rear handles are made from a heavy-duty durable material and also include integrated D-rings for the leash or as towing, mooring or anchor points.
◽️Tail Bungee – a subtle feature, the small 2-point bungee at the tail of the board just behind the kick pad is a nice little bonus to quickly and easily stow your paddle when not in use.
◽️Forward Bungee – the 4-point forward bungee (can be removed if desired) is not particularly generous but can still accommodate a small dry bag, water bottle or other accessories.
◽️Deck Padding – covering over half of the decks surface, the diamond grooved deck traction padding is particularly thick which nicely aids cushioning when paddling over longer distances. It’s comfortable under foot when standing or when kneeling or seated and also includes a tail kick / heel pad which comes in handy in the surf or for traversing weight onto the back foot for more agile turns.
◽️D-rings – the board has 9 stainless steel D-rings in total. 3 integrated into the forward and rear handles with the remaining 6 forming part of the bungee areas. Not as many as we would see on other iSUPs but still more than enough to accessorise your board.
◽️Fin – the Byron comes with a single 9” centre fin which operates via a tool-less screw.
◽️Inflation Valve – the high quality standard inflation valve is located at the tail of the board and can be locked in both the open and closed positions.
Performance / Suitability
Suitable for paddlers of all skill levels, the Honu Byron is a genuine all-rounder that best performs in flat waters or light to mild swell. This will be the go to paddle board for the majority of recreational paddlers who are looking for a high quality iSUP without taking it to the extremes.
▪️Stability – typically the first thing that newer paddlers will want to focus on. At 32” wide, the Byron offers ample board width to find your feet without making the board overly cumbersome. It is by far one of the better constructed boards as well, meaning that there is minimal centre board flex which creates a very rigid surface somewhat akin to a traditional epoxy SUP. Less flex, sufficient width, plenty of weight carrying capacity all rolled up with a high quality deck traction pad, make the Byron a very stable all-rounder.
▪️Tracking / Glide – all-rounders are typically not too fast through the water although the Byron is surprisingly quite responsive. It is fairly simplistic in design meaning that it has a reasonably long flat bottom deck which enhances glide, as well as a mild front rocker (upward turned nose) which helps the board catch less water as you drive through each stroke.
The single 9” centre fin holds a nice straight line so there were no challenges at all when it comes to tracking. The Byron is also one of the thinnest all-round iSUPs on the market at only 4.7”. It therefore rides a little lower creating better connection with the water to aid overall paddling performance and output.
▪️Manoeuvrability – the Byron isn’t outrageous when it comes to manoeuvrability although it does have a couple of features which better support board agility. At its extremities, the front rocker helps keep the nose up while the rear kick / heel pad is ideal for traversing weight on to your back foot for more acute or sharper turns. Again, the Byron is a very rigid board so you can comfortably dig into your stroke through transitions without hampering performance.
Unlike the vast majority of other iSUP manufacturers in the market, Honu do not include a paddle within their iSUP packages. This is a deliberate move as it allows you to select a paddle that best suits your needs.
Assuming you make a selection from the Honu Range of Paddles, this can then be bundled up with your SUP at a discounted price. It’s a unique spin on an iSUP package as it allows you to go with an entry-level option should you wish, or dial it up to a better quality paddle straight from the outset.
Paddle aside, Honu include all of the other key accessories necessary to get you out on the water at no additional expense.
☑️ Backpack – Honu have produced a fairly durable good quality backpack which is on par with many of the other known brands on the market. Features include: adjustable side straps; rear, side and top grab handles, plastic (non-corrosive) zips; mesh side pocket for wet items; adjustable chest straps as well as dual-wheels which are great for transporting along flat surfaces or when traveling on a flight.
☑️ Pump – the included single chamber dual action pump is made by GRI who are a well-known manufacturer. The pump itself has a capability of pumping up to 27 psi; has comfortable moulded hand grips; a sturdy foot stand and a quality high pressure inflation gauge.
If you’re one for a nice 8-10 minute pre-paddling pumping workout before you take to the water then definitely stick with the included GRI manual pump. For those who are looking to paddle on a more frequent basis, 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.
☑️ 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 – includes colour coded patches as well as a wrench tool in the event that the boards inflation valve needs tightening.
Comparatively speaking, the Honu Byron iSUP is priced at the higher end when it comes to all round inflatable paddle boards. The pricing is however heavily influenced by the materials and build quality so there is definitely an element of you get what you pay for.
For paddlers on a budget, or those looking for an entry-level all round iSUP, perhaps the iROCKER Nautical or Goosehill Sailor are more your speed. If quality, longevity and all-round paddling performance are of greater importance, then you will struggle to go past the Honu Byron 10’6” iSUP.
We hope the above review was of benefit and as always would love to get your thoughts. Please feel free to leave a comment below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.