PEAK Inflatable Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
For the price, this board packs a serious punch. It's got it all, with a well-designed, no-frills backpack, three-piece paddle, and a middle-of-the-road pump. Although this model lacked the three-fin design that boards with higher stability ratings sported, its profile helped it maintain stability. Plus, it was significantly cheaper than many other boards in our review. If you're looking for a craft for your family or just getting into the sport, this model may be an excellent option for you.
At 10' 6" x 31" x 6" this contender is slightly shorter and narrower than other boards, like the Isle Explorer, which scored well in our stability ratings. However, because of a wider nose, this model performed well in this category. Most beginning testers felt plenty comfortable on this board once they got used to the shorter length and slightly narrower width. Plus, this model features a 6-inch thickness, which had all of our testers feeling comfortable and steady when piloting it. This model performed well despite choppy conditions, largely because its wider nose allowed it to absorb the flow.
However, if you're looking for a super-fast board, the wider nose of this model severely cuts down on its speediness. For a board with less stability and a lot more performance, look at the Red Paddle Co Voyager.
Because of its blunt nose and fin design, the PEAK model was out-performed by several other models in the glide metric. With a rounded nose, this model did not slice through the water as well as contenders like the iRocker 11 or the Red Paddle Co Voyager. Its wider silhouette makes it feel a bit bulky when going for distance across the lake, but beginning testers did not feel that it was a deal-breaker and most were happy to cruise around at a more mellow pace. If you aren't going for speed, then this may still be a great board for you.
This model features just one, long removable fin, while other models, like the Isle Explorer, features a removable fin and two hard fins. This configuration means that the PEAK does not perform as well in choppy water, as it is more likely to have a wider tracking range across the water. However, if you're not worried about your speed and you're just out to have a good time, this model will perform well enough.
Ease of Transport
The PEAK scored well in the transport category, mostly because of its lightweight construction and well-designed backpack. While not the burliest of bags in this test, the backpack is comfortable to carry and lacks extra-thick, bulky material, so you don't have to lug extra weight when hauling the bag around. Plus, this pack features a waistbelt that is comfortable and helps spread the board's weight. It also features a full zip, making loading and unloading the bag easier.
A sturdy middle strap on this board makes carrying with one person easy, but a missing rear handle makes sharing the load more difficult. We found that when boards lack a front or rear strap, it is more likely that users will end up dragging them when entering or exiting the water, which can have an impact on the board's longevity. For other options that are equal to or better than this model in transport, look at the Isle Explorer or iRocker 11.
Ease of Inflation
As with many of the crafts in this review, the PEAK model did not stand out for inflation (which is both a good and a bad thing). This board had an average inflation time. This model does feature a universal nozzle port, so if you want to use another board's pump or purchase an after-market pump, you can.
The PEAK featured good construction and thoughtful features. However, the materials seemed just slightly more prone to wear than more expensive boards, like the Hala Carbon Straight Up or Isle Explorer. Also lacking a rear handle, this model is set up for abuse when carrying it to and from the water. Some users resort to dragging it by the front handle. With that said, for the price, this model is sure to last several seasons.
At under $500, this model is an incredible value. If you're new to the sport and looking for a good way to get started, this is a good option for you. However, if you're interested in higher performance and need a board that is a bit more speedy, we recommend the Hala Carbon Straight Up or the Isle Explorer. These boards are more expensive, but they also have a more competitive silhouette.
The PEAK blew away our expectations and turned heads on the beach. Plus, if we would have had a style metric, this model certainly would have won the category. An excellent model for beginners who don't plan on speeding around the water, the PEAK won't break the bank either.
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