Reviews You Can Rely On

Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10 Review

If you are searching for a soild SUP on a skinny budget, then this board is a good choice
Sun Dolphin Seaquest 10
Photo: Amazon
Best Buy Award
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $437 List
Pros:  Inexpensive, durable, stable
Cons:  Mediocre glide performance, extremely slow in choppy water
Manufacturer:   Sun Dolphin
By Marissa Fox ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2019
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
52
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 8
  • Glide Performance - 35% 2
  • Stability - 25% 10
  • Maneuverability - 15% 5
  • Ease of Transport - 15% 2
  • Durability - 10% 9

Our Verdict

While the Seaquest 10 is far from the best paddle board in terms of performance, it sets itself apart with its extraordinarily durable construction and reasonable price point. This board doesn't offer great glide performance and can get a bit finicky in rougher waters, but it is exceptionally stable. It's more akin to an actual boat, like a canoe or kayak than a stand-up paddleboard. Its plastic construction doesn't require the same delicate handling that fiberglass boards do in transport — handy, as it is quite difficult to be gentle when hauling around this approximately 50-pound behemoth of a board. Overall, this board retails at a fraction of the cost of the top models and generally won't disappoint, provided you aren't planning on doing long paddling tours. All told the Sun Dolphin easily earned our Best Buy for a Tight Budget award.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $437 List$1,430 List
Check Price at REI
$995 List$1,349 List
Check Price at REI
$949 List
Overall Score Sort Icon
52
70
65
64
60
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Inexpensive, durable, stableFast, stylish, stableRelatively inexpensive, lightweight, paddle includedGood glide performance, very stable, reasonably pricedLooks cool, good for flat water
Cons Mediocre glide performance, extremely slow in choppy waterPricey, felt a little more fragile than other modelsSo-so maneuverability, could glide bettercumbersome to turn, not the most durableStruggles with waves, no bungees included
Bottom Line If you are searching for a soild SUP on a skinny budget, then this board is a good choiceIf you are looking for the best of the best when it comes to stand up paddle boards, it’s hard to go wrong with the CatalystIf you are shopping on a budget for an all-around SUP, we think the Versa is a very good choiceThe smooth-gliding Kraken blends speed and stability and is the best of the best for most peopleIf you want a flatwater board with classic lines and looks, this is a solid SUP
Rating Categories Sun Dolphin Seaques... /prAna Catalyst Tuf... Isle Versa Rigid Boardworks Kraken Pau Hana Malibu Cla...
Glide Performance (35%)
2.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Stability (25%)
10.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
6.0
Maneuverability (15%)
5.0
8.0
6.0
6.0
6.0
Ease Of Transport (15%)
2.0
5.0
6.0
6.0
5.0
Durability (10%)
9.0
5.0
6.0
5.0
7.0
Specs Sun Dolphin Seaques... /prAna Catalyst Tuf... Isle Versa Rigid Boardworks Kraken Pau Hana Malibu Cla...
Measured Weight (pounds) 46 lbs 27 lbs 26 lbs 26.6 lbs 31 lbs
Board Volume (liters) Not listed 203 L 175 L 326 L 234 L
Weight Capacity 250 lbs 215 lbs 215 lbs 290 lbs 249 lbs
Width (inches) 33 in 32.5 in 32 in 32 in 34 in
Length (feet) 10 ft 11 ft, 2 in 10 ft, 5 in 11 ft 10 ft, 6 in
Thickness (inches) 6.0 in 4.8 in 4.5 in 4.8 in 4.0 in
Fin Configuration Single Single Single Single, 11" center fin Single
Bungee Cargo System Yes Yes Yes No Inserts Only

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Seaquest 10 did finish towards the back of the group, but with a price tag of less than half of most of our test boards, it represents a tremendous value for beginner paddlers. Our testers almost never fell off the Sun Dolphin and appreciated its stability and durability.

The Seaquest 10 is an excellent value and is a great choice if you...
The Seaquest 10 is an excellent value and is a great choice if you are shopping for a SUP on a skinnier budget.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Performance Comparison


To determine which SUPs truly reign supreme, we spent the past two summers buying the best boards available and comparing their performance side-by-side. We've divided up our testing procedure into five weighted rating metrics — Glide Performance, Stability, Maneuverability, Durability, and Ease of Transport.

While the Sun Dolphin is very stable, it is also very slow, with...
While the Sun Dolphin is very stable, it is also very slow, with some of the worst glide performance we have seen from a rigid SUP.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Glide Performance


The most important of our testing metrics is Glide Performance, which constitutes 35% of the total score for each stand up paddle board. We conducted two different tests, assessing how efficiently you could paddle each board in both ideal and windy conditions, scoring each SUP on the distance traveled per stroke and the average cruising speed of each board. Unfortunately, the Seaquest 10 got off to a bit of a rocky start with some overall poor glide performance compared to the higher-end boards.


Due to its boat-like nature — calling it a kayak in disguise wouldn't be a stretch — the Seaquest 10 is not fast compared to the sleeker SUPs tested. It has a much broader cross-section than many of the other boards, resulting in significantly more drag when paddling. It feels like you have to displace tons more water to move forward, and it covers much less distance per paddle stroke. There would be no contest in a race between this board and a more touring-centric board. Someone could be leisurely paddling a touring board, and you would have almost zero chance of overtaking them in the Seaquest, no matter how hard you tried.

The Seaquest also struggled a bit more than some of the other boards to hold speed in rougher waters. Its cruising speed and distance per paddle stroke both fell off as the waves increased. Additionally, there is a molded seam around the perimeter of the board that appears to catch a substantial bit of water from each wave, further inhibiting its already lackluster glide performance.

This board is exceptionally stable, making it a great options for...
This board is exceptionally stable, making it a great options for beginners or for families.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Stability


The Seaquest 10 dramatically improved its performance on our second metric, earning an impressive score in our stability metric, which accounts for 25% of the total score. We scored each board on its ability to transport cargo or multiple passengers, its handling in rough water conditions, and how comfortable novice users felt on the board. The Sun Dolphin did very well in all of these tests, putting it right at the top of the entire armada.


This stand up paddle board made it a breeze to paddle in windy or rough conditions. Our testers never fell off this board inadvertently, except for one tester who crashed straight into a willow when she was looking at her phone to send a Snapchat. (Luckily, newer phones are quite water-resistant.) This board also has a convenient dry storage well, though we wouldn't necessarily trust it with sensitive electronics or other items that can't get wet.

The hatch is a convenient place to store small items, but we...
The hatch is a convenient place to store small items, but we wouldn't necessarily count on it keeping your belongings totally dry.
Photo: Chris McNamara

This SUP is also quite stable when paddling with additional loads. Its glide performance is already so poor that it can't get much worse. So you don't notice any extra resistance when paddling with a bag or cooler on the back. Luckily there are plenty of convenient storage points and straps to secure your gear, as well as a built-in cup holder.

We did like the idea of the cupholder and used it frequently, but it...
We did like the idea of the cupholder and used it frequently, but it does tend to fill up with water.
Photo: Chris McNamara

It would also do well at carrying a small child or dog, though it is a bit on the short side for multiple adult paddlers.

The Seaquest 10 is extremely stable, even when transporting cargo.
The Seaquest 10 is extremely stable, even when transporting cargo.
Photo: Chris McNamara

These traits combine to make this board one of our favorites for beginners, even those who have never been paddling before. It's relatively easy to step on and off the Sun Dolphin from the bank or shallows, and its unshakeable stability will soon inspire confidence in even the most hesitant newcomers.

The larger fin helps with stability, but it definitely cuts down on...
The larger fin helps with stability, but it definitely cuts down on this board's maneuverability.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Maneuverability


Next, we moved on to assessing how agile and maneuverable each SUP is. This accounts for 15% of the total score. We judged our general impressions of navigating around obstacles as we tested them out in local rivers and lakes. We also tested turning radius. The Seaquest is about average.


Overall, we were pleasantly surprised by this board's maneuverability, expecting it to be much, much worse due to its hulking nature. It's a pretty big leap to call this board nimble, but we could usually avoid hitting obstacles without too much effort, though it might require a bit of frantic back-paddling. Its turning radius is quite large, but not unmanageable, with the Seaquest essentially feeling like it is about 1-2 feet longer than it is.

The Seaquest 10 is one of the heaviest boards we have tested, making...
The Seaquest 10 is one of the heaviest boards we have tested, making it a bit of a hassle to load in a car by yourself.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Ease of Transport


Moving on to evaluate the Sun Dolphin's performance out of the water, we graded the difficulty of moving this board around, which also accounts for 15% of its total score. We considered the weight of each board, the ergonomics of the handle, and the difficulty in loading it on a car when determining the scores. The Seaquest 10 did quite poorly. Its rating was mostly weighed down by its, well, weight.


In our tests, this board weighed in at 46-pounds and making it one of the heaviest boards in the group by far. It has 20+ pounds over the lightest models.


Luckily, the molded handle in the middle of the board is pretty comfortable and works well. Moving the board short distances isn't too bad if you can get past the bulk. It also has a soft handle at the back of the board so you can carry it with two people. This is our preferred method.

The additional handle at the back of the board makes it much easier...
The additional handle at the back of the board makes it much easier to carry with two people.
Photo: Chris McNamara

The board's bulk also makes it harder to load up on roof racks, especially if the car is tall. Hefting it overhead for anything taller than a mid-size SUV usually requires two people. However, this board's construction means that you can be a bit more relaxed about padding your crossbars, which brings us to our final metric.

The increased durability of plastic boards meant we could be a bit...
The increased durability of plastic boards meant we could be a bit more haphazard in the way we transported them.
Photo: Chris McNamara

Durability


For the final 10% of the score, we judged how well each stand up paddle board held up to the rigors of our testing process. We looked at any damage sustained in the course of our testing or for common issues mentioned in user reviews when deciding on scores, as well as the included warranty. While the Sun Dolphin did sustain some damage in our tests, it was all cosmetic. This board is borderline indestructible.


We took this board on trips that we wouldn't dream of taking a fiberglass board, such as down a somewhat rocky and obstacle-filled river. We also weren't exactly gentle when moving this board, tossing it in and out of trucks and strapping it down stacked on top of other boards or kayaks. The most noticeable injury the board sustained is a dent close to the bow of the boat, caused by hitting a rock straight on at a moderate speed.

The Sun Dolphin only sustained cosmetic damage throughout our...
The Sun Dolphin only sustained cosmetic damage throughout our testing process.
Photo: Chris McNamara

This is cosmetic, aside from slightly weakening that area, which would only prove problematic if we hit that same spot again. However, some users have complained in reviews that the board would quickly fill up with water. The two-piece construction method for this board does leave this as a possibility, and there is a drain plug located at the back of the board to drain it, but we never had to.

Value


The Seaquest 10 is a great value, offering decent performance at an unbeatable price. It's not particularly amazing compared to the best boards we have seen, but you could buy an entire fleet of Sun Dolphins for about the same price.

Conclusion


If you are looking for a solid family board that won't break the bank and isn't going to get easily broken, then the Sun Dolphin is a clear choice. This beast of a board excels in rivers and we routinely use it for that purpose. Its almost bulletproof construction can handle impacts with most submerged objects and it is plenty stable for moving water. It's great for taking out on the lake or river without worrying about damaging it, provided you have a friend to help you move it. You should look elsewhere if you want a touring board, but otherwise, the Seaquest 10 is a stellar choice if you are shopping on a tight budget.

Marissa Fox