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Isle Versa 2.0 Review

If you are shopping for an all-around SUP that includes a paddle, this is a great choice
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Isle Versa 2.0 Review (The Versa 2.0 is stable enough to accommodate a smaller paddler with a small dog. We can guarantee they will sit as...)
The Versa 2.0 is stable enough to accommodate a smaller paddler with a small dog. We can guarantee they will sit as well as our model Freda.
Credit: Sara James
Price:  $1,545 List
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Manufacturer:   Isle
By Sara James and Marissa Fox  ⋅  Nov 8, 2023
71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 8
  • Glide Performance - 35% 7.0
  • Stability - 25% 6.5
  • Maneuverability - 15% 5.0
  • Ease of Transport - 15% 9.5
  • Construction Quality - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

In general, we are quite fond of the Isle Versa 2.0. It wasn't a top performer but did decently overall, offering adequate results in most of our tests. The list price is high, but this board seems almost always to be sold for well under that price, making it a good value option with a higher carrying capacity and a lighter weight. The glide performance is good enough if you want to take the Versa on longer tours, and overall the board is well-made. We weren't blown away, but if you end up with this board, we don't think you'll be unhappy.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Paddle included
Relatively robust
Higher weight capacity than many
REASONS TO AVOID
So-so maneuverability
Could glide better
Editor's Note: This review was updated on November 8, 2023, after testing the most current version of this board, the 2.0.

Compare to Similar Products

 
isle versa 2.0
This Product
Isle Versa 2.0
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $1,545 List
$1,045 at Amazon
$1,430 List$1,100 List$1,559 List$800 List
$780.22 at Amazon
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Bottom Line If you are searching for a great value SUP, this is a solid option and includes a paddleFor the cream of the crop when it comes to stand up paddle boards, it’s hard to go wrong with the CatalystA stable and robust SUP that is great for those who aren’t going anywhere in a hurryAll-around high-performance board that excels across the surf, race, and tourIf you want a great bang for the buck when it comes to SUPs, this is a fantastic option
Rating Categories Isle Versa 2.0 Surftech Catalyst T... SIC Maui TAO Fit AT Starboard Generatio... Tahe Beach Performer
Glide Performance (35%)
7.0
8.0
6.0
9.0
6.0
Stability (25%)
6.5
6.5
8.5
5.5
8.0
Maneuverability (15%)
5.0
8.5
6.0
5.5
6.0
Ease of Transport (15%)
9.5
9.0
9.0
7.0
8.5
Construction Quality (10%)
8.0
9.0
9.0
8.5
9.0
Specs Isle Versa 2.0 Surftech Catalyst T... SIC Maui TAO Fit AT Starboard Generatio... Tahe Beach Performer
Measured Weight 27.6 lbs 27.0 lbs 29.2 lbs 30.4 lbs 33.4 lbs
Board Volume 227 L 203 L 195 L 249 L 185 L
Weight Capacity 275 lbs 215 lbs 220 lbs 220 lbs 200 lbs
Width 33.1" 32.5" 33.2" 28.1" 31.5"
Length 11' 2" 11' 2" 10' 0" 12' 6" 10' 6"
Thickness 5.2" 5.2" 4.8" 6.2" 5.0"
Fin Configuration Single detachable center fin Single detachable center fin 9" tool-free removable center fin Large detachable center fin with 2 optional side fins Large detachable center fin with 2 optional side fins
Bungee Cargo System? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Versa 2.0 is a great option for beginners just getting into paddling. At 11'2" long, 33.1" wide, and 5.2" thick, this board gets a bit of extra stability from being wider than your average SUP. Your purchase includes a leash, fin, and paddle — almost everything you need to hit the water immediately.

Performance Comparison


isle versa 2.0 - the isle versa 2.0 is a solid all-round performer.
The Isle Versa 2.0 is a solid all-round performer.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Glide Performance


Performance in this metric is largely predicated not only on the shape of each SUP but also on its length. We took each board out in both choppy and calm conditions, comparing the glide-per-paddle stroke and the effort necessary to get each SUP up to speed. Overall, the Versa did well.

isle versa 2.0 - the isle versa 2.0 scored adequately in comparison to the other sups...
The Isle Versa 2.0 scored adequately in comparison to the other SUPs in our side by side testing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

While this board definitely has far from the pointiest profile we have seen, we were pleasantly surprised at how it performed, particularly in choppier water. It gets up to speed fairly well and glides far enough per stroke that we would be all right taking it on longer tours, though you will be getting considerably more of a workout than with a race or touring-specific SUP.

isle versa 2.0 - in very gentle moving currents we found the versa can track a line.
In very gentle moving currents we found the Versa can track a line.
Credit: Sara James

It tracks well enough that you don't need to alternate sides of the board for every paddle stroke, as long as you make sure that you are doing a J-stroke. We even took this board out on an exceptionally windy day and found that you could make decent progress upwind with substantial waves — something the completely round, flatwater boards can't come close to doing.

The Versa 2.0 has a smooth glide.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Stability


In this set of tests, we not only looked at how stable each board is in inclement or wavy conditions but also how they handle when loaded with additional weight, like kids or cargo. We tried to particularly consider the novice paddler.

isle versa 2.0 - the versa 2.0 is stable enough to accommodate a smaller paddler with...
The Versa 2.0 is stable enough to accommodate a smaller paddler with a small dog. We can guarantee they will sit as well as our model Freda.
Credit: Sara James

This board is available in two sizes, both of which we have tested over the years. The smaller board is 10'5" with a moderate displacement of 175 liters, a width of 32 inches, and a recommended capacity of 215 pounds. This is a bit smaller than many of the other boards, so it can get a bit squirrely if you get close to that weight, either from kids, cargo, or just the weight of the paddler. However, the longer board that we tested more recently has a length of 11'2", which adds about an inch to the width and boosts the capacity to 275 pounds. This adds considerable stability and is something to consider if you worry that you will be getting close — or exceeding — the capacity of a shorter SUP.

isle versa 2.0 - unsurprisingly, testers found the larger version of the versa 2.0...
Unsurprisingly, testers found the larger version of the Versa 2.0 performs better in terms of stability. This is particularly noticeable in moving water.
Credit: Sara James

While the Versa isn't the widest board in our review, it does handle wakes and waves surprisingly well. It also has enough of a surf profile to catch waves. True, you are probably going to be taking a swim if you let a significant wave hit you broadside, but it does cruise over most waves easily enough if you angle into them.

isle versa 2.0 - we found that that isle versa 2.0 could handle some yoga moves, even...
We found that that Isle Versa 2.0 could handle some yoga moves, even though its not designed to be used quite like that.
Credit: Sara James

Maneuverability


Next, we moved on to scoring and evaluating how nimble and agile each board is. We scored each SUP on how confident we were that we could avoid an unexpected obstacle at speed, the ease of the paddle strokes, the number of strokes required to execute a U-turn, and how each board felt while surfing a small wave. The Versa 2.0 takes a bit of work to get up to speed and isn't the easiest to turn of the options in our lineup.

The Versa 2.0 take a bit more to get up to speed and to turn.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Because the Versa has a slower maximum speed, it's a bit easier to swerve to avoid an obstacle like a sunken log and is stable enough that you usually won't fall off in the process. However, it isn't the surfiest board around, so leaning heavily into turns can definitely dump you into the water, particularly when combined with transverse waves.

isle versa 2.0 - pivot turning on the versa 2.0 is fun and easier in comparison to...
Pivot turning on the Versa 2.0 is fun and easier in comparison to the thicker boards we tested.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease of Transport


For this metric, we found the Versa to be a bit better than average. We based this on the weight, length, and ergonomics of the handle. The Versa is actually one of the lightest boards we tested, tipping the scales at just 27.6 pounds.

isle versa 2.0 - the carrying handle is well positioned on the versa 2.0, helping to...
The carrying handle is well positioned on the Versa 2.0, helping to keep the large board well-balanced under your arm.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

The Versa has a pop-up handle in the middle that is fairly comfortable to hold. This, combined with the lighter weight of the board, makes it decently easy to carry for short-to-medium distances — perfect for when the parking situation isn't that close to the water. We also weren't as worried about scuffing this board, so the stress of transport became easier as we didn't have to worry about putting dings into our board when loading or strapping it down.

isle versa 2.0 - the handle on the non-inflatable versa 2.0 makes carrying this board...
The handle on the non-inflatable Versa 2.0 makes carrying this board around much easier.
Credit: Sara James

Some users find the pop-up part of the handle to be a bit annoying, especially if you store your board on overhead racks, as it sometimes won't pop out immediately, and you can be left in an awkward position, shaking the SUP to knock it loose. It does, however, provide a secure way to carry the board, as well as an additional point you can use to lock down your board when leaving it on your car top or in your truck trunk.

isle versa 2.0 - the extra length of 11'  2" versa does make it slightly more awkward...
The extra length of 11' 2" Versa does make it slightly more awkward to carry than other shorter and lighter boards.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Construction Quality


For our final testing metric, we looked at the construction quality of each stand-up paddleboard. We considered the materials of the SUPs and the way the board was constructed, as well as analyzing any damage sustained throughout our comprehensive testing process.

isle versa 2.0 - the single center fin takes a bit of fiddling to secure. however...
The single center fin takes a bit of fiddling to secure. However, once in, it's easy to tighten and forget about.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Thanks to its composition, this epoxy board is less fragile than we anticipated. It took as many knocks and scrapes as our other epoxy boards, but the damage did not seem to be as prevalent or visible. It has a foam pad to stand on, which also gives it some nice cushioning for transporting your board on roof racks. It did sustain some minor scrapes and scuffs, but nothing you would notice from more than 5 feet away.

The bungee stow-away area on the front is large enough to...
The bungee stow-away area on the front is large enough to accommodate ample bags or other equipment.
The Versa 2.0 is one of the more robust SUPs we tested thanks to its...
The Versa 2.0 is one of the more robust SUPs we tested thanks to its durable construction.

Should You Buy the Isle Versa 2.0 ?


All in all, we think the Versa is a good board. It offers decent enough glide performance for longer tours but is still stable enough for windy or wavy conditions. It's maneuverable and easy to carry. This is a good option for most beginner or intermediate paddlers — or anyone who isn't at the point where they want a quiver of specialized SUPs for different conditions.

isle versa 2.0 - this is a great option for an entry-level sup since the paddle is...
This is a great option for an entry-level SUP since the paddle is included. This minimizes the cost and maximizes the fun.
Credit: Sara James

What Other Stand Up Paddle Boards Should You Consider?


If you would like a board with better overall performance, consider our all-around favorite board, the Surftech Catalyst Tuflite V-Tech. Not only is this board easier to maneuver, but it handles surf waves better and doesn't compromise on glide. If you are looking for something cheaper, take a look at the more-stable Tahe Beach Performer or SIC Maui TAO Fit AT.

Sara James and Marissa Fox