Honu Sorrento 12’6” Touring Paddle Board Review
The longest iSUP within their fleet, the Honu Sorrento 12’6” Touring Paddle Board, is a high performance paddling machine ideally suited for spending extended periods of time on the water. Designed to meet the toughest of conditions, Honu pride themselves on producing best in class inflatable paddle boards that have proven to outperform their peers.
Let’s delve a little deeper.
Length: 12’6” (381 cm)
Width: 30” (76 cm)
Thickness: 5.9” (15 cm)
Construction: X-Woven Drop-stitch / Triple Bonded Rails
Volume: 330 litres
Weight: 22.9 lbs (10.4 kgs)
Capacity: 300 lbs (136 kgs)
Inflation PSI: 16 – 20 psi
D-rings: 12 (includes bungee)
Paddle: Not included within package
Fin: Tool-less 9” Single Centre FCS II Touring Fin
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.
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.
At a Glance
✔️ Durable X-Woven drop-stitch construction
✔️ High degree of rigidity and stability
✔️ Extremely light-weight
✔️ High performance straight line paddling
✔️ Plenty of rider weight capacity
✔️ Tool-less 9” FCS II Touring Fin
✔️ Diamond grip EVA deck traction padding
✔️ Multiple grab handles
✔️ Dual Bungee cargo areas
✔️ Environmentally friendly construction
✔️ Quality accessories package
✔️ Unique 2+2 year total care warranty
▪️A paddle sleeve (holder) would be handy
▪️The board does not include any Action Mounts
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Incredibly rigid and built to the highest of standards, the Sorrento is a long distance machine that has been designed for intermediate to advanced paddlers. Well suited for adventure paddling and touring, the board has ample weight carrying capacity with a sleek design for optimal performance. Better suited to paddlers who are looking to maximise their time on the water, the Sorrento stacks up particularly well relative to its peers and is one of our favourite touring inflatables.
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.
As the longest paddle board within Honu’s range, the Sorrento construction also includes triple-bonded rails along with 150mm carbon fibre stringers. This combination of 3 x rail layers and carbon fibre combine to produce one of the stiffest boards (independently tested) available today.
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.
External Board Features
By design, Honu primarily focus on quality and durability over features. While the Sorrento is not overtly covered in accessories, it still has all of the core essentials that you would expect to find in a quality inflatable.
▪️Deck Traction Pad – covering near on half of the decks surface, the diamond grooved deck traction padding is particularly thick which nicely aids cushioning when paddling. It’s comfortable under foot when standing or when kneeling which also helps alleviate overall fatigue when paddling over longer distances.
▪️D-rings – the board has a total of 12 stainless steel D-rings. 2 are integrated into the rear carry handle (one to serve as the leash point) with the remaining 10 forming part of the forward and rear bungee areas.
▪️Bungee System – the board includes a 6-point forward and 4-point rear adjustable bungee cargo area offering more than enough capacity for your dry bag, water bottle, towel and other accessories or personal items.
▪️Handles – there are 3 grab / carry handles in total making the board easy to carry by a single paddler or two people. Each handle is made from a durable cushioned heavy-duty nylon material, with the rear handle including 2 integrated D-rings for the leash or as towing, mooring or anchor points.
▪️Fin – the Sorrento uses a single 9” FCS II Touring Fin which operates via a tool-less screw.
▪️Inflation Valve – the high quality standard inflation valve can be locked in both the open and closed positions. Located at the nose of the board, this also makes for a cleaner rear board surface area for easier manoeuvrability.
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Performance & Suitability
Simply put, the Sorrento has been designed for touring and adventure paddling over longer distances. While offering plenty of capacity and deck space for stationary board activities, it is ideally suited to intermediate or advanced paddlers who are looking to spend periods of time on the water.
◽️Stability – one of the more obvious considerations and particularly for those who are less experienced paddlers or for when the board is carrying additional weight. As a rule of thumb, the larger the board the more stable it is. To this extent, touring paddle boards by virtue of their length are generally quite stable although the width also comes into play.
At 12’6” long and 30” wide, the Sorrento has more than enough surface area to find your feet and with ample capacity for larger riders and/or cargo. For less experienced paddlers who are still building on confidence and technique, 30” wide SUPs can feel a little tippy or narrow so are not as stable as an all round paddle board which is normally 32” wide or up.
◽️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. At its best in calmer conditions, the boards flat bottom deck and slight front rocker (upward turned nose) allows it to effortlessly glide across the waters surface. Even in choppier conditions, once you settle into your stroke, the Sorrento builds speed nicely. Supported by the 9” FCS II centre fin, holding a straight line or desired course 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 iSUP, nor was it designed to be.
While the Sorrento 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 tight turns or general changes in direction.
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.
We hope you found the above mentioned review beneficial and as always would love to hear from you. Feel free to start a conversation below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet.