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If your budget is around $500 give or take, and you’re not sure what board to start with, here comes the iSUP Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit review.
Why this particular model, did you ask?
Well, to make it really easy on you, especially if you’re contemplating the first purchase, the 10’6” long and 30” wide Aqua Spirit is the perfect inflatable paddle board for beginners and advanced paddlers, as it provides steady traction and an easy ride, not to mention you won’t have to break the bank to get one.
|Weight Capacity||280 lbs|
Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit 10'6
The Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit is a great all-around iSUP for beginners and families! Its affordable price and well-equipped package make this paddleboard a great purchase. It’s very stable and very maneuver-friendly as you would expect from an all-around paddleboard. The Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit package includes some great accessories: a lightweight aluminum shaft paddle, dual-action pump, coiled leash, large and comfortable wheeled backpack, a repair kit, and a waterproof smartphone case.
Use our discount code “CHASINGBLUESUP15” for an additional 15% off!
The Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit paddleboard is a brand-new model, and that’s a big advantage if you’re looking for “cutting edge” stuff. Moreover, if you take a look at the specs, it’s pretty obvious even for total noobs that this makes for a very portable, lightweight, and easy to grab paddleboard, which is ready to be taken to water anytime, anywhere, hassle-free: just put it in your trunk and it will be there waiting for you, ready and willing. A quick paddle after school or with your family on the weekend? It’s all possible with this iSUP!
In terms of design, the Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit iSUP features an all-around shape with a slightly rounded nose, which makes it stable enough for anyone, while being responsive and with good glide. In short, this paddleboard is an excellent choice for beginners and has enough, let’s say kick, which will help you improve your skills.
Moreover, despite its low price, the Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit is excellent for recreational paddling, making for a jack of all trades, or an all-purpose board, with lots of extra features that are usually found in higher-end/pricier boards, as well as a ton of accessories.
This board offers some real advantages due to its dimensions, i.e. at 10’6″ long and 30″ wide, which is relatively small; it’s also pretty lightweight, considering it has a high-quality double layer board. Also, a smaller board is easier to turn and maneuver, which confers its versatility and will suit various water conditions.
As the general rule of thumb, if you’re a beginner, the wider a board is, the more sluggish is to paddle, even if it may feel very comfortable at first, and that leads to boringness, which is the exact opposite of having fun. This paddleboard has the ideal dimensions for beginners but also more advanced paddlers.
Who’s it for
The Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit is ideal for both families and recreation paddlers, as it makes for a solid board for both learning to paddle, as well as for improving one’s skills all the way up to the advanced level.
So, this is a great starter board you can easily grow into, and as you become more skilled, you’ll appreciate how fast it turns and how versatile it can be, how nice it glides, and how little effort is required to propel it forward with almost zero drag.
All these features are due to good design, and here’s what we mean by that: this all-around board has almost the ideal size, with an emphasis on the 6″ thickness metric, which makes it more stable as it sits lower in the water compared to thicker boards (which are easier to make and heavier), while the lower walls are less prone be affected by waves and wind.
Bottom line, if you’re a water sports enthusiast who loves to travel, and you’re looking for an inflatable board that will transform into a small and compact package that can be stored anywhere, even in a backpack, this iSUP comes highly recommended.
Even if this SUP is very affordable, it comes with many features that are only seen on higher category boards. For example, the package contains 18 D-rings, 3 carry handles, 2 sets of bungee straps, and a comfortable deck pad, and needless to say, this is kind of rare in this price segment.
The Chasing Blue Aqua Spirit has front and back bungees with grab handles, on both the tail and nose, which provide enough space to keep your essentials safe and secure your cargo while you paddle enthusiastically.
Under the bungees there’s enough room to fit several dry bags, or, why not, a small cooler box for your favorite beverages. Moreover, both the back and front bungees come with safety handles; speaking of which, there are handles on the sides, which are great for helping you lift the board, grab it from water, hold onto it while sitting, or tethering the board to a dock.
Basically, ergonomics are great on this budget board, and you even get nose and tail grab handles, padded mind you, and each of them includes 2 stainless steel D rings, that can be used to secure your leash and what not (securing basically anything you need).
There’s also a comfortable nylon padded center carry handle, which is used to carry the board, and that’s a nice touch for such an affordable board, and proof that small things can make for a huge difference in terms of comfort and user experience when it comes to how far you can comfortably carry the board.
The Aqua Spirit has more than enough D rings, which include 6 of them at the front and back bungees, 3 extra ones along each side of the deck pad, and 2 on either side of the grab handles, which are great if you’re looking to paddle kayak style, as it makes it really easy to secure a seat using the plethora of D rings.
The board also features two attached side fins and a larger removable touring fin that clips easily into the fin box. When attached, the latter helps the board track really well, and if you remove it, you can easily paddle in shallow water. For best handling, we would advise you to keep all three fins attached at all times.
Speaking of creature comforts, the Aqua Spirit comes with a soft and very comfy deck pad, which features soft-lined grooves where you stand on the board, plus a diamond groove down the center and at the tail of the board. The type of material used and the padding on the top is important for stability, and it must be noted that the grooves on the pad are well designed, deep and effective, so you will not slip on them, i.e. you will be able to keep your balance and paddle straight at all times.
In terms of safety features, you’ll get a double secured Halkey-Roberts valve that will automatically release air if you inflate it over 15 PSI, i.e. it’s not possible to overinflate the board, and you will also avoid damaging the seams by applying extra pressure.
To tell you the truth, a SUP suffering from catastrophic damage from overinflating is almost unheard of, but it’s a nice feature to have, and that’s why we mentioned it.
The accessory package is generous for a $500 board and includes a dual-action hand pump, a wheeled backpack, a repair kit with glue, extra material, and valve tool, a waterproof phone case, 6 action mounts for mounting GoPros or other popular mounting systems, a 3 piece aluminum shaft paddle, and a coiled SUP leash.
The wheeled backpack is a pretty cool accessory, and we must mention the insulating materials used in the interior, in order to keep the temperature steady and the contents inside the bag “happy” (read beer). The backpack also has a supportive waist clip and padded adjustable shoulder straps for easy carry, plus zips on three sides, which makes it really easy to get the board and accessories in and out of the bag, while the integrated wheels are great for effortless traveling.
The height-adjustable 3-piece aluminum shaft paddle is lightweight and well-designed, with a nylon-made blade and handle, and it’s fully adjustable from 72″-86″ while weighing a mere 28 oz.
Needless to say, considering the choice of materials used, the paddle floats on water, yet it is strong, light, and durable, easy to put together/take apart, and, most importantly, it doesn’t twist when pushed hard.
Since it weighs 28 oz, you will never feel fatigued and pain in your arms and shoulders, and you’ll be able to paddle further with less effort.
The double-action (as in it inflates on both the up and down pumps initially) hand pump included in the package has a built-in pressure gauge and allows you to inflate your SUP pretty fast.
By fast we mean about 7-8 minutes at the recommended pressure (12 PSI); also included in the retail package is a solid coiled SUP leash, which is an important safety item, as it allows you to attach your ankle to the back D ring on your board, so you don’t get separated if you fall in the water.
Instead of using this manual labor pump, you can opt for the electric Outdoor Master pumps! You can choose the electric Shark II or the battery-powered Whale pumps! Read our review of the Outdoor Master Whale pump here.
Waterproof phone case
The waterproof phone case is a nice touch, as most budget inflatable boards do not offer such a gadget. The waterproof case can also be used as a little bag to keep your valuables safe from water damage or to protect your expensive smartphone from splashes.
We must also mention several action mounts included as accessories; you can glue them anywhere on your paddleboard and they’re excellent to use with a phone holder, action camera, and anything in between.
All Chasing Blue boards come with a repair kit, including the Aqua Spirit, which includes PVC patches, a valve wrench to tighten the valve, and glue.
Use our discount code “CHASINGBLUESUP15” for an additional 15% off!
If you’ve made it this far, here it comes: for $500, it’s hard to get a better deal, and if you put into the mix the 2-year warranty offered by Chasing Blue and the fact that this board is built using high-quality double-layer PVC, it will last you a long time if taken care of properly.