The thing about inflatable paddle boards is that there has to be at least one thing which sets them apart from the standard hard board and that one thing is usually the practicality aspect. That of course is a plus for all inflatable paddle boards out there which doesn’t really help narrow your range of options but that’s what we’re here for.
Today, we are talking Bright Blue, an aspiring brand which dedicates its entire efforts to making quality inflatable paddle boards. It might not be amongst the elite of the industry, but Bright Blue is definitely a brand with promising product. So, let’s take a moment to inspect the 2017 Bright Blue Explorer 11’6″ inflatable paddle board and help you determine whether it’s a match or not.
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- Comfy non-slip EVA diamond groove deck traction pad
- 11 stainless steel D-rings
- 2 tie down systems
- 1 extra D-ring at the tail for safety leash attachment
- 1 central detachable fin
- 1 easy-carry handle at the center
- Package includes :
- Adjustable Aluminum Paddle
- Bravo Hand Pump with Single/Dual Action & pressure gauge
- Detachable Center Fin
- Carry Bag with shoulder straps
- Repair Kit with valve wrench
|11’6″ x 33″ x 6″
|Air-Tech triple-layer construction with V-Drop Stitch technology
|Number of D-rings
|1 center fin
|1 center carry handle
When it comes to basic dimensions, there are 3 which you should be very concerned with on any paddle board in general. Starting at length, the Bright Blue Explorer measures a stunning 11 feet 6 inches which is solid for a paddle board. 11’6″might not sound like much on paper but the moment you’ll stand by this giant you’ll definitely learn a little more about humility and that’s what makes it a perfect match for young adult and adult paddlers.
The board is obviously too long for teenagers and children but that makes it more effective at straight tracking and cutting through water. So, if you happen to fall within a different category then chances are you’re looking for another board.
Length comes the second most important dimension on a board and that is width. Width is significantly more influential than you’d think it is because it has quite the impact on both the performance of the board and yours.
At 33 inches in width, the board is guaranteed to maintain a firm platform on top of water which will consequently impact your ability to stand tall and balance yourself on the board. Indeed, with 33 inches of space, you will be able to continuously and comfortably adjust yourself to better your balance without risking capsizing the board or falling in.
After length and width comes thickness which is not necessarily a less important dimension because it actually plays a critical role in the life of the paddler and the board. The Bright Blue Explorer measures 6 solid inches in thickness which makes it practically unbreakable. This of course wouldn’t be the case if the board measured anything under 4 inches in thickness because that kind of boards would usually bend over at the center. Evidently, this product is a lot thicker and consequentially a lot more robust. Also, note that this board can handle up to 325 lbs which is simply phenomenal.
We understand that quality should come first but we are always willing to make sacrifices as long as the measurements fit. However, worry not because that won’t be the case here. If you are compatible with the size of the board then you’ll be delighted to know that it is just as reliable quality wise.
The Bright Blue Explorer is a robust board and that can be confirmed via the ultra light military grade PVC construction which is fairly common amongst zodiac boats. That’s not all, the board at hand is further fortified via an industrial drop stitch construction which helps seal the body together in an irreversible manner which has been proven to be a lot more effective than the traditional glue method. In fact, the board is so robust that the creators have gone as far as labelling it “virtually unbreakable”.
Features are often disregarded for most boards out there. However, when it comes to inflatable paddle boards, it’s a completely different story. The thing about inflatables is that it’s not only the inflatable aspect which sets them apart but also the amount of useful features every board comes with. Hence, Bright Blue was not about to stand there and leave you hanging and decided to incorporate some of the most practical additions you can find on a SUP and they go as follows:
- First thing first, obviously every iSUP needs a gripping pad which is exactly why the makers of this board went with a gigantic design, covering over 60% of the board’s surface. You can’t really argue with the efficiency of gripping pads and that’s because they will not only make it a lot easier for you to maintain balance on top of the board but they will also grant you a firmer grip over navigation.
- If 4 D-rings wasn’t enough for you then Bright Blue thought it would take it up a notch and hook the board up with a 6 D-rings attached with a bungee cord on the nose and another 4 D-rings attached with a bungee cord on the tail of the board. Notice that both nets can be used as effective cargo holders which can come in pretty handy for when you wish to go on a fishing adventure or when you simply need to safely put your paddle and gear aside.
- Unlike the common trend that’s going on right now, the Bright Blue decided to stick with the single fin navigation system which might seem like a bad idea until you figure out that it doesn’t make much of a difference. In fact, the degree of efficiency of fins in general depends on the status of water. If you’re planning to take this board for a surf then fins won’t be of any use to you and if it’s a steady lake touring then a single fin will do as much for a good job as a triple fin navigation system. The only difference there is that the triple fin system is bound to improve straight tracking.
You can’t really speak of an inflatable paddle board without having to mention the packaging deal. So, let’s find out what the Bright Blue Explorer has in store for you:
- 1 adjustable light weight aluminium paddle
- 1 bravo high pressure hand pump + pressure gauge
- 1 detachable central fin
- 1 carry bag with shoulder straps for easier transportation and storage
- 1 repair kit
In terms of performance, it must be noted that this board is designed with a beginner in mind so for entry level paddlers, it will make one hell of an experience. However, if you’re looking for a competitive board then this might not make the cut because it is developed to be more accessible for beginners than professional paddlers. Hence, if you’re new to this sport then you have found yourself a perfect match.
- Bright Blue Explorer is a very well-engineered inflatable paddle board.
- It comes in an all-inclusive package.
- It performs surprisingly well on various water conditions.
- It has a large, comfy EVA deck pad.
- Its pointy nose allows it to pick up speed with only a few strokes.
- Perhaps the colour might not appeal to everyone’s taste which is a little risky as this board doesn’t offer many options when it comes to that. On the other hand, perhaps you do love the colour and we’re just wrong which is what we hope for. In that case, just enjoy this master piece.