Airhead Rapidz 1138 Inflatable SUP Board Review

There is no doubt that this isn’t the first time you hear of Airhead and that’s because this right here is a brand that has taken over the industry of inflatable paddle boards.

Airhead is indeed a leading manufacturer in the inflatable domain and specifically inflatable paddle boards. One board at a time, Airhead has managed to establish a firm reputation and win the approval of leading review sites on iSUPs which is why it is now considered to be amongst the top inflatable paddle boards manufacturers in the US.

Recently, this brand has introduced their latest and greatest addition to a dignified line of paddle boards and this one goes by the name of Airhead Rapidz 1138. Let’s check it out…

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  • Large EVA deck pad
  • Independent double-side chambers for safety and maximum stability
  • 11 stainless Steel D-Rings
  • 3 Removable/Replaceable Fins (2 x 6", 1 x 9")
  • EZ Push Hi Pressure Valve
  • Durable 4" double-wall drop stitch core material
  • Stainless steel D-ring for safety leash attachment
  • 2 tie down systems
  • 3 carry handles
  • Packages includes:
    • Mesh backpack
    • Stainless steel tow ring
    • Hi pressure hand pump
    • Pressure gauge
    • Valve wrench
    • Board strap & repair kit
Dimensions 11'6" x 38"x 4"
Material PVC & Drop-stitch
Weight limit 330 lbs
Number of D-rings 11 Stainless D-Rings

  • 6 D-rings on the nose (attached with a bungee cord)
  • 4 more D-rings on the tail (attached with a bungee cord)
  • 1 extra D-ring on the tail to attach a safety leash or to tie up the board to docks
Recommended PSI 15 PSI
Fins 3 removable fins (2 x 6", 1 x 9")
Volume NA
Carry handles 3
Warranty 1 year

Measurements

The Airhead Rapidz 1138 is considered to be one of the largest recreational inflatable paddle boards out there, kicking at the 11.6 feet barrier. 11’6″ in length might not sound like much on paper but trust, you’ll learn a lot about humility once you stand by this board.

Airhead Rapidz 1138 inflatable paddle board reviewThe length of the board however isn’t just for show because it is meant to define performance and user compatibility as well. Concerning the latter, 11’6″ is usually considered to be a good match for young adult and adult paddlers whereas younger paddlers match better with smaller boards.

Concerning performance, you should know that the longer the board the better because length can positively impact building speed and stability.

Beside length, width is also quite the influence on the board’s performance. The Rapidz 1138 measures about 38 inches in width which is enhanced due to the extra air chambers; one on each side of the board. This right here is your prime indicator that this is a board that is designed for relaxation and mainly for beginners. So, keep that in mind before you make the purchase. Width however is pretty useful as it significantly improves the stability of the board even in wild current. Also, feel free to lie down and take a nap on the back of the Rapidz 1138 as it will not capsize except in wavy water.

The thickness of the board is harder to measure in this case due to the air chambers but the manufacturer claims that this board stands at 4 inches in thickness which could’ve been better especially for a board this large. Nevertheless, the worry that this board might bend at the center under excess weight is reduced by the extra air chambers which fortify the core structure of the board and make it far less vulnerable than regular inflatable paddle boards. Extra air chambers are not a bad idea after all especially if you’re a beginner.

Quality

Arguably, Airhead is amongst the few manufacturers in this industry carrying a clean record when it comes to the quality of their products and the Rapidz 1138 is no different. This right here is a board that is completely made of military grade PVC material which is as tough as crocodile skin and as flexible as your alibi when lying to your significant other.

Quality of build material isn’t everything however which is why Airhead thought it would be a good idea to fortify the quality of the board via an industrial drop stitch construction instead of cheaper and less reliable glue.

Simply put, the Airhead Rapidz 1138 is made to defy all of the elements and scenarios it will be faced with in the real world and that is especially important for inflatable paddle boards because the last thing you want is a board that gets punctured every time you take it out for a ride.

Airhead Rapidz 1138 inflatable SUP board review

Features

The best aspect about the Rapidz 1138 has got to be the robust build and material quality. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it also features some of the most useful and practical features you can find on a paddle board. Without further a due, let’s take a look at the Rapidz’s most prominent features:

  • First and foremost, the prime element which hooks your attention when looking at this board must be the extra air chambers. Some of you might think that they defy the concept of a paddle board but that’s exactly the point. These air chambers are meant to optimize the paddle board to fit the needs and requirements for a large scope of users who need a more stable, more reliable and more practical board.
  • The second most prominent feature on the Rapidz 1138 goes to the extra large gripping pad, almost covering the board’s entire platform. This comfortable pad isn’t just for show however as it is designed to induce the paddler’s stability and control over the board. Also, this pad will enable you to adjust yourself comfortably and continuously on the platform to achieve an even better experience on the Rapidz. Last but definitely not least, the gripping pad will prove just how efficient it is once you’ll need to get back on top of the board from the water.
  • Then comes the stainless steel D-rings + bungee cord placements situated on the nose and the tail of the board. In this case, the board features two tie down systems which can be used as a very practical cargo net to transport anything from your fishing gear to your sandals. This feature will not only enable you to enjoy a hands free experience but also assure you that your items are secured and safe from getting lost into the oblivion.
  • The last feature goes to the wicked tri-fin navigation system on the Rapidz 1138 which is faced both with enthusiasm and skepticism. A lot of paddlers argue that the tri-fin system is much more efficient and dynamic whereas others argue that it offers no significant improvement when compared to the single fin system. I say to hell with that argument, it seems like both systems do a great job at making navigation a breeze. So, enjoy it.

Packaging

Packaging is often seen as a big deal and especially for inflatable paddle boards because a package can make a huge difference, depending on what it contains. Fortunately for you, the Airhead Rapidz 1138 is not going to let you down because it comes in a complete package.

  • Airhead Rapidz 1138 inflatable stand up paddle board reviewThe package of the Rapidz 1138 includes a mesh back pack carry bag which is both light and extremely practical. This bag will make transporting and storing the board a piece of cake. Also, the mesh part will help the board dry faster.
  • The board also comes with a high pressure hand pump which is also equipped with a pressure gauge in order to help you make sure that you pump the board to the exact degree. (15 PSI)
  • Last but not least, the package also includes a board strap to keep your board secure once deflated and a repair kit which I doubt you’ll ever use since this is a robust board.

Performance

As far as performance is concerned, it must be noted that this is a recreational board which is strictly enhanced to assume the needs of beginning paddlers. With that said, the board might not be able to reach up to competitive boards but it can definitely give you one hell of a ride.

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Pros

  • The Airhead Rapidz 1138 is a very well made inflatable paddle board that’s best suited for beginners.
  • It’s features with independent double-side chambers for safety and maximum stability.
  • The board is quite large and can take up to 330lbs
  • It’s also very stable and glides smoothly
  • It performs quite well on various water conditions be it in whitewater, on lakes, or rivers
  • This board is also great for fishing, hauling gear or just taking the dog for a sunset paddle
  • It has two cargo nets

Cons

  • The Rapidz 1138 is a pretty expensive inflatable paddle board. You’ll have to shell out some serious dough to get this board.
  • It would have been great to include a paddle in the package especially considering the price tag of this board.
  • Despite this paddle board being huge, it doesn’t pick up speed as some of the best race SUP boards we’ve seen. Granted, it’s not designed for that.

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