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Funwater 11 Review

An affordable price tag and respectable performance highlight this fun and lightweight board
Funwater 11
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $400 List | $249.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, good all-around performance, excellent value
Cons:  Limited maneuverability, no dual cargo system
Manufacturer:   FunWater
By Nick Bruckbauer & Jenay Aiksnoras  ⋅  Nov 2, 2019
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 14
  • Stability - 30% 7
  • Glide Performance - 25% 7
  • Maneuverability - 25% 6
  • Ease of Transport - 10% 9
  • Ease of inflation - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The FunWater 11 wins our Best Buy Award with its amazingly low price, lightweight construction, and solid all-around performance. It's suitable for any type of recreational paddling, from lazy river floats to lake paddles, to splashing around in the ocean. It comes in a package with everything you need to get out on the water and is one of the most affordable SUPs in our lineup. This is the model we'd recommend for families or beginner paddlers who want a lightweight and affordable board that provides balanced all-around performance that is slightly designed more for glide and straight tracking than quick turns and maneuvers.

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Funwater 11
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Funwater 11
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $249.95 at Amazon$1,000 List$769.99 at Amazon$374.95 at Amazon$309.95 at Amazon
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Pros Lightweight, good all-around performance, excellent valueStable and fast, carbon reinforced construction, kayak conversion kit, high-volume pumpSolid all-around performance, includes a good paddle, appropriate price pointLightweight, affordable, playful design, includes a capable paddleInexpensive, easier to inflate than larger options
Cons Limited maneuverability, no dual cargo systemHeavier, somewhat expensiveLacks rear bungee system, lacks a front handleNot very fast, unstable in rougher waterSlower and less stable, minimal cargo space, no front or back handles
Bottom Line An affordable price tag and respectable performance highlight this fun and lightweight boardThis fast, stable board can be paddled like an SUP or a kayak with a convertible paddle and included seatA simple, good-looking, well-priced board with solid all-around performance ideal for most paddlersA fun, lightweight board that provides an affordable way to get on the waterAn affordable entry level board for families or lighter folks who are unsure of their commitment to the sport
Rating Categories Funwater 11 Bluefin Cruise Carbon Atoll 11' ROC Inflatable SUP SereneLife Inflatable
Stability (30%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Glide Performance (25%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
6.0
5.0
Maneuverability (25%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
7.0
Ease Of Transport (10%)
9.0
5.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Inflation (10%)
6.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
8.0
Specs Funwater 11 Bluefin Cruise Carbon Atoll 11' ROC Inflatable SUP SereneLife Inflatable
Inflated Dimensions 11' x 33" x 6" 12' x 32" x 6" 11' x 32" x 6" 10' x 32" x 6" 10' x 30" x 6"
Weight (lbs) 18.9 lbs 28 lbs 22.5 lbs 17.8 lbs 25 lbs
Fin Configuration 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin
Paddle Included? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Folded Dimensions (inches) 34" x 16" x 7" 34" x 15" x 10" 34" x 14" x 8" 34" x 12" x 14" 33" x 12" x 12"
Weight Capacity (lbs) 330 lbs 309 lbs 400 lbs 300 lbs 275 lbs
Bungee Cargo System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pump included? Yes Yes, high-pressure, dual chamber Yes Yes Yes
Includes Backpack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The FunWater 11 left our testers highly impressed with its incredible bang for the buck. Its dimensions place it somewhere between the shape and size of a touring board and a recreational board, giving it a nice blend of glide performance and stability. Its lightweight construction makes it easy to transport and quickly inflate, and the included fins, leash, dry bag, and paddle provide everything you need to get out on the water. (We recommend wearing a life jacket and becoming aware of the regulations for wearing one wherever you paddle.) If you're looking to try paddle boarding for the first time and want the convenience of an inflatable board with a full package of accessories, the FunWater is a great option for you.

Performance Comparison


The FunWater is a solid all-around board that includes everything...
The FunWater is a solid all-around board that includes everything you need to get started.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Stability


With its 11-foot x 33-inch x 6-inch dimensions, the FunWater 11 provides a comfortable amount of stability for most recreational paddlers. Its 33-inch width is among the wider boards in our lineup, but it does have a more dramatic sidecut that curves to a pointed nose and narrow tail, which makes it a bit less stable than models that are more uniformly wide from front to back. This board should be stable enough for most novice paddlers to feel comfortable while paddling in calmer water conditions, and for intermediate or advanced paddlers in all but the choppiest of water.


This board also comes with a large detachable center fin and two detachable side fins. Using the board with all three fins aids in its stability and helps it track in a straighter line. The only time our experienced testers struggled with this board was when paddling parallel to an ocean breakwater, where the wave energy rebounds back and creates inconsistent choppiness.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

A 26-pound dog was barely noticeable on this board, even when walking from the front to back. The length and width make it great for bringing a furry friend on board.

Bring your pets while paddling on a longer, more stable board like...
Bring your pets while paddling on a longer, more stable board like the Funwater.
Photo: Jenay Aiksnoras

Glide Performance


The geometry of the FunWater with its aggressive sidecut and pointed nose is similar to that of a touring board and helps it glide through the water nicely. The pointed nose does a good job of cutting a path through the water, and the 3-fin design helps keep the board stable and tracking in a straight direction, both of which help glide efficiency and performance. Our testers were pleasantly surprised by the overall glide and speed of this board, especially when considering the awesome price tag.


One potential hindrance to the ultimate glide performance of this board is that the air valve system and included pump didn't allow us to fully pump it up to the higher end of the recommended 12-15 psi air pressure. Once the pressure gauge on the pump reached about 12 psi, the hose and pump couldn't withstand the pressure anymore and started leaking air, so that's where we had to stop inflating. It's possible that the pressure gauge reading was inaccurate, and the board was already at or above the recommended pressure, but we think this is unlikely since the pump performed like this from the very first time we used it.

The FunWater has scores surprisingly well in our glide performance...
The FunWater has scores surprisingly well in our glide performance ratings, thanks to its pointed nose, narrow tail, and 3-fin design.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Since a more highly inflated board will be stiffer and more rigid and therefore glide more efficiently, we feel like we weren't quite paddling the FunWater in its optimum condition. However, this certainly isn't a deal-breaker for us since we had no problem inflating it to the lower end of the recommended pressure range. We were also still pleased with the overall performance of the board and were able to use it as intended with the included pump. Since the pump and board both have universal attachment points, it's easy enough to swap out a different pump or hose apparatus to inflate to the desired pressure.

The included pump started leaking once we hit 12 psi, the bottom of...
The included pump started leaking once we hit 12 psi, the bottom of the recommended inflation pressure range.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Maneuverability


The same features that allow the FunWater to excel in the stability and glide performance ratings become somewhat of an obstacle in the maneuverability ratings. The 33-inch width, pointed nose, and 3-fin design that help keep it stable and cut through the water also make it a little more challenging to turn on a dime. This board requires a larger turning radius to make 180-degree turns, and generally takes a little extra effort to make quick changes in direction.


With most SUP boards and most pieces of outdoor gear in general, there are typically trade-offs where the same features that allow a certain product to excel in one area prevent it from excelling in another area. In many cases, boards that glide well and track straight aren't able to turn as easily, and likewise, boards that are able to maneuver really easily don't necessarily track or glide well. Considering that the FunWater is meant to be an entry-level recreational paddle board, we think it does a nice job of balancing all-around performance that will suit the needs of most recreational paddlers.

The touring-inspired shape with a 33-inch width and a large sidecut...
The touring-inspired shape with a 33-inch width and a large sidecut, as well as the 3-fin design help the stability and glide but hinder the maneuverability.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Ease of Transport


The FunWater scores near the top of the group in the ease of transport category, thanks to its scant weight of just under 19 pounds. The bag is simply designed; it opens from the top so you just dump everything out or in and then use a drawstring to close it up. The board unrolls and folds up easily, is compact enough to easily grab and move in and out of the included carry bag, and is light enough not to be a burden when hauling it on your back. The overall footprint of the packed up carry bag is smaller than other boards, making it fit more easily in the trunk of the car or corner of the closet.


The included carry bag definitely does the job but isn't all that impressive. The backpack straps are comfortable enough, but that's considering that the fully loaded bag is quite a bit lighter overall than those of competitor models. The top drawstring opening of the bag is sufficient to load and unload the folded board and accessory equipment but is not nearly as convenient as a full-zip bag with a much wider opening.

The included backpack carry bag does the job just fine, but lacks...
The included backpack carry bag does the job just fine, but lacks some higher-end features like wheels or a full-zip opening.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

The comfortable and sturdy middle handle makes carrying the fully inflated board easy for one person, but the lack of front or rear handles makes it almost impossible to share the load with another person. When a board lacks a front or rear strap, users are typically more likely to drag it across the ground when entering or exiting the water, which can eventually cause excessive wear or damage to the fins. Unfortunately, we experienced this first hand, breaking the center fin during an over-aggressive beach landing.

The comfortable and sturdy middle handle makes hauling the inflated...
The comfortable and sturdy middle handle makes hauling the inflated board a breeze.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Ease of Inflation


The FunWater inflates pretty quickly compared to many of its competitors but has one key demerit. As mentioned above, something in the interface between the air valve system and the included pump didn't allow us to fully inflate the board up to the higher end of the recommended 12-15 psi pressure range. The hose and pump housing started leaking right as we hit 12 psi, the lower end of the recommended pressure range.


Though it's possible we received a faulty pump, we couldn't tell that anything was obviously wrong or broken on it. While this was only a minor drawback, we were pleased with the ease of inflating the board up to 12 psi, and as previously noted, the board's universal air valve allows the use of any other universal pump attachment.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Value


With one of the lowest list prices in our lineup and on the market, the FunWater 11 provides an almost unheard of value. If you're looking for an affordable way to get on the water, this is a great option. While this certainly isn't the ultimate high-performance board, it certainly provides everything that most recreational paddlers will need. While we haven't owned this board long enough to comment on the long term durability after several years, its construction seems solid for the price, and held up just fine during the testing period.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Conclusion


The FunWater 11 provides all the essentials for recreational paddlers to venture into the world of inflatable SUPs, and does so with an incredibly low price. While it's not the highest performing board out there, it doesn't have any major weaknesses and impressed our testers with its solid all-around performance, easily grabbing our Best Buy Award for its amazing value.

Get ready to have some fun with the FunWater.
Get ready to have some fun with the FunWater.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Nick Bruckbauer & Jenay Aiksnoras