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The Goosehill Rainbow R is an inflatable SUP that comes with all the accessories, packs down into a backpack, and is light enough to travel with. It’s so sturdy you can do handstands on it, and it doesn’t cost a fortune.

There were definitely those who thought my logic was flawed – to try stand-up paddleboarding for the first time in the middle of Tasmanian winter, when the water was well below 0, and no idea if I could balance.

But what better incentive to stay on the board?!

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is always something I’ve wanted to try, but there are very few opportunities when traveling to find an available board. And I never wanted the hassle of a big, bulky, rigid thing that wouldn’t fit in the car when roadtripping.

But then came Goosehill SUP; a company who make inflatable boards.

An inflatable stand-up paddle board that packs down in to a compact backpack, comes with all the accessories, is light enough to travel with, and doesn’t cost a fortune?! Yes please!

Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board – an iSUP You Can Travel With!

Best SUP for travel

What’s in the Box

If you enjoy the thrill of getting mail, you’ll love ripping open the massive box that the Goosehill Rainbow R iSUP comes in. And beyond the SUP itself, there are a range of presents.

While the price might be reflective of what you would normally pay for the board only, what you’re actually getting is a full SUP package. There’s no need to buy separate attachments. It comes with:

    • 10’6 inflatable SUP
    • Wheeled backpack for storage
    • Aluminium adjustable paddle
    • Pump with pressure gauge
    • Repair / patch kit
    • Slide in fin
    • Coiled leash
    • EVA Non-slip deck pad

Being that the paddleboard itself is so compact when it arrives (it comes rolled in a protective bag, and has a strap that keeps it compact), the sheer size of the board can be quite surprising.

You know that you’re buying a 10 foot board (this is the recommended size for maintaining balance and stability on top of the water), but it’s quite mind blowing that something that compact can just keep unrolling! Especially when the actual material is so stiff and durable.

More on that below … here are the specs:

Specifications

Model: Rainbow

Net Weight: 20.5lbs / 9.3 kg

Board size: 320 x 81 x 15 cm (10’6″ x 32″ x 6″)

Max Payload: 308 lbs / 140 kg

Volume: 300 L

Max. Air Pressure: 15 PSI

Colors: Energy (turquoise), Sense (deep blue), Passion (red)

Cost: $399

SUP When Not Inflated

Best SUP for travel

Using All the Bits and Pieces

Best SUP for travel

At 20.5 lbs (9.3 kg), the iSUP is light enough to walk with with for a reasonable distance (carried on your back or wheeled – the backpack it comes with has both functions), and it’s weight and size is perfect for checked flight luggage.

First things first, the backpack is a good oversized bag to store and transport everything with. It’s a long, thin, black backpack that fits comfortably on your back; it comes with chest straps, padded shoulder straps, and padded handles if you want to carry it by your side.

There are straps inside to hold everything, a deep pocket on the back, and padded mesh for back support and comfort. Wheels make it easy to move through airports, and being rectangular in shape, it easily fits into closets for storage, and in the trunk of your car.

Pro Tip: The Backpack is roughly 90 cm tall by 60 cm wide (these are my measurements, not official specs), so while light, it’s not all that small when you’re wearing it (that said, it’s very small when considering there’s a 10 foot SUP inside!). When wearing it as a backpack it’s likely to go from your bottom to the top of your head, and short people might find this awkward. In which case there are wheels.

The aluminium paddle is adjustable, and breaks down into two pieces, making it very compact. The height adjusts on a simple push button lock system, and can be moved from 175cm (68.9 inches) to 215cm (84.65 inches), which is really practical for varying heights.

The board also comes with thruster fins – two permanently attached, as well as a 9 inch center fin that comes separately and slides into a plastic track to attach. This center fin uses a small lever which locks it into place once you’ve slid it in, and it’s very solid.

There’s also a coiled ankle leash which has a comfy velcro ankle strap, and easily attaches to the D-ring at the back of the board. This is to keep the board from floating away from you if you fall into the water; the leash is long to allow a full range of movement on the board, and very durable.

Inflating the Board

Best SUP for travel

Inflating the SUP takes around 10 minutes with the 3rd generation pump that comes with the board. The pump attaches really easily to the board with a straightforward push and twist, and it’s air tight – zero air escapes while inflating!

The recommended air pressure is 15 PSI, and the pump has a really easy to read gauge on the top which tells you how much pressure you’re at (PSI stands for pounds per square inch) – we found the board was perfectly usable at 12 PSI.

Pumping the paddleboard is easy at first, though as you get closer to the end it’s quite the exercise! It gets a lot harder to pump as you get above 10 PSI, so it’s not a bad idea to switch out and take turns if you’ve got an SUP buddy.

The pump will only give a reading after you have 3-4 PSI in the board already, so if it seems like it’s not working immediately, keep pumping until the dial starts moving.

The air valve is really sturdy and high quality, and there’s a silicone cover seal that prevents water from getting in. It operates on a spring-lock mechanism, and when you press the valve down to deflate, it essentially lets the air out itself!

Pro Tip: When you go to deflate the board, the air rushes out quite quickly, and it’s really loud. Don’t bend with your face too close to the air valve, and be aware that the rushing air will be quite cold on your skin as it comes out.

Photos: The Board Once Inflated

Time to Play!

Once the board is inflated, it’s time to play! Somehow, even though it’s full of air, once it’s fully pumped up it seems to be even easier to move, and more lightweight. Even though it’s 10 foot tall and towers over you!

This is because of its SCE layer reinforcement technology.

The Rainbow R iSUP is one of the latest iSUP boards in 2019, and this means that it has some pretty advanced technology that sets it above other inflatable SUPs. 

The Super Construction Enhancement Technology (SCE) they use laminates and blends the traditional single layer board with an enhanced layer on each side to create a new layer which, compared with a double layer board, is just as stiff and durable but thinner and lighter.

So, it’s as durable as a rigid board, but far more lightweight, and incredibly easy to transport. There’s a dense drop-stitch construction at the core of the board which holds the two layers firmly together, meaning it can withstand high pressure; up to 308 lbs / 140 kg.

When you stand on it in the water, it stays completely flat, and the integrity of the board doesn’t bend – despite being inflatable. Which is mind blowing!

The Most Solid Inflatable SUP

Best SUP for travel

When you think inflatable, you don’t always expect the most durable material, but when you run your hands over the Rainbow R iSUP you’ll probably be shocked by how tough it is.

It’s far thicker and more durable than expected – their SCE Technology means the material is really hardcore. So much so that I took it paddleboarding at the beach over sharp, rocky outcrops, bashed it up quite considerably, and it didn’t even scratch it.

You won’t find a single bubble or defect in the board once it’s fully pumped – the material is solid, everything is tight, and it’s very well constructed. Once inflated the board is just as solid as a rigid board, and zero air escapes.

D-Strings are attached to the board (straps to fasten your belongings), and there’s a soft non slip footpad that acts as a really nice protection against slipping. This EVA deckpad has been specifically constructed not to wear from exposure to seawater and direct sunlight.

Being so solid, and so large (it has a really wide 32 inch deck) it feels perfectly safe to move around; to adjust your footing, walk up and down the board, move from standing to sitting, and even do headstands!

I’ve often thought that people who do SUP Yoga are nuts, because I would never have the balance – especially on an inflatable. But despite being my first time even standing, I didn’t fall off, and didn’t get wet! This board has so much stability.

Movement in the Water

Best SUP for travel

Rigid, hard boards are usually thought to be more stable in the water, and are often used for surfing or racing as they make it easier to travel fast and glide more smoothly.

But I had no problems with the iSUP in the water. I found the movements to be smooth, and the board itself very easy to maneuver. Being a beginner, I actually really appreciated the excellent maneuverability, and it didn’t take any time at all to master the skill of paddling.

It glides really nicely through the water thanks to the front nose shape and thinner outline. There’s also a rocker at the front which allows you to smoothly go over choppy water with minimal resistance.

The disadvantages of inflatable SUP boards over rigid SUP boards are typically that they’re less durable, the glide performance is not as good, and they’re not as stable as hard boards. But the Rainbow R iSUP is the most durable, stable, and smoothest board I’ve ever seen.

But unlike rigid hard board, it’s lightweight, compact, and easy to transport. It’s also cheaper.

Photos of the Rainbow R iSUP

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

Best SUP for Travel Rainbow R Review

The Cost

The Rainbow R iSUP costs $399, which is great value for an inflatable SUP, especially one of this quality.

The cheapest SUPs start at around $200, and the most expensive can cost you anywhere up to $2,000. Quality of the board is a really important consideration when you’re buying an SUP; it’s not worth spending $200 on something cheap and flimsy.

The $399 price point makes this a really good mid range board, and the integrity of the board means you’re getting great value for money; you’re not spending a fortune, but neither are you compromising on the quality, durability, and performance.

How to Buy

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to play in the world’s oceans, rivers and seas!

For more information about the iSUP, visit Goosehillsport.com. Love the red color of my board? Click the red button below to go directly to the product page.

Goosehill has free shipping on orders over $99, and it should take between 7 – 10 days to arrive. They have a 100% money back guarentee, and a 24/7 online support team.

Goosehill Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board Review

TO BUY FOR YOUR PADDLE BOARDING TRIP. CLICK PHOTO ↓

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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 50+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.

    

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