This board has a flashy deck and the sharpest nose in our review. Although testers expected it to glide well, it did not perform as expected, and many felt that it was squirrelly and did not handle well in choppy water. Also, this model's plastic components earned it a low score in durability and ease of transport. With the highest price tag in our review, we recommend looking at lower priced boards like the Isle Explorer or PEAK Inflatable before deciding to purchase this model.
Xterra Touring Review
Cons: Not durable, feels unstable for beginners
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Xterra Touring is a thin model that was the heaviest model in our test by far, making it difficult for some testers to maneuver.
Because of its heavy design, less-than-durable plastic components, and an unstable waist width, this model was outscored by other boards.
With a narrow waist of just 30 inches, the Xterra board had most beginning SUPers feeling like they were about to go into the drink. This is the only board that a tester fell off of, and she blamed it on the weight of the board. Once this heavy model starts to move underneath you, it can be difficult to get it to stop. Heavier riders might be more able to control this board, but if you're smaller and looking for a stable boat, consider looking at the PEAK Inflatable or the iRocker All-Around 11.
With a nose that is designed for performance, our testers expected this board to perform well in glide and maneuverability. However, while the board did glide relatively well, it was difficult to maneuver, as the heavier weight required extra muscle to turn the boat. Also, the board's fin design lacked the two smaller fins that models like the Isle Explorer boasted, and this contributed to its lower score in this metric.
Ease of Transport
The Xterra received a lower score in this metric for two reasons. First of all, it was the heaviest boat in our test, and it was noticeably more difficult to schlep around than the lighter models, which were sometimes a full 8 pounds lighter. In addition to this, the Xterra features plastic carrying handles. One of these broke on the first carry, which made it difficult to carry the boat from that point forward. However, this model does come with a nice bag that many of our testers liked for its minimalistic design. Check out the PEAK Inflatable or Isle Explorer for models that are easier to transport.
Ease of Inflation
This model did not stick out in terms of inflation in either a good or bad way. Its pump was more substantial than lower-scoring models, and it was not as quick to inflate like the Red Paddle Co Voyager. This model does have a universal nozzle.
Because of the plastic components of this board, it did not score well in durability. Especially for such a heavy board, we would have expected to see handles that were able to handle a heavier load. More durable boards include the iRocker and the Red Paddle Co Voyager.
This board is best for long days on the water and those who live closer to the shoe. Minimizing the time spent carrying this heavier boat to and from the shore is ideal.
As the most expensive board in our test at $1400, this model had a lot of expectations to meet. Unfortunately, because of its plastic components and high weight, we feel that models like the high-performance Red Paddle Co Voyager are a better buy than this model.
This board is heavy with a flashy deck design. If you're a heavier paddler, you might be psyched to cruise around the lake on this model, but beware if you weight less than 160 pounds.
— Shey Kiester