Zray is one of the brands that take stand up paddle boarding too seriously to be fooling around with their products. This company is 110% dedicated to what they are doing, and after 25 years of being on the front lines of inflatable stand up paddle boards’ industry, the company released a whole new range of inflatable paddle boards in 2016 to suit the market’s need and interest. However, it’s 2017 and Zray promises that there will still be more innovations to come.
Honestly speaking, all of their iSUP seem as they have come from the future; they are sleek, revolutionary and highly functional.
This review is going take you on a quick tour to discover the most prominent aspects about one of Zray’s most popular iSUPs; the A1 Premium which is a touring board par excellence.
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- Ultra-stable and maneuverable
- Premium double layer, super strong 15 cm thickness drop stitch material
- Crocodile Skin EVA provide more stability and protection
- Elastic bungee to carry personal belongings
- Soft fabric handle provide more comfort to your hand
- Package includes :
- Z-ray extra high pressure pump
- An aluminium floating paddle (adjustable 165-215cm)
- Foot rest included
- Backpack bag included
- A waterproof case as a gift
|9’10” long x 30″ wide x 6″ thick
|Heavy-duty PVC drop-stitch fabric
|Number of D-rings
|12 – 15 PSI
|3 Fins system: 2 fixed + 1 removable
|2 carry handles
The Zray A1 Premium is 9.10 feet long, 30 inches wide and 6 inches thick; it’s by far one of the most popular and wanted dimensions for touring or recreational iSUPs. It’s simple; a board this size is never too hard to handle, whether it’s inflated or deflated, you’ll get a complete hold of it and how to navigate it. I’m not saying that it’s small; not at all, the A1 Premium is quite a large iSUP especially for small to medium riders as it can perfectly support large riders.
To study those dimensions a bit closer, you should know by now that you won’t find anything thicker than 6 inches unless it’s one of those few monster iSUPs that are meant to hold up to 3 people and they are usually made for recreation and family holidays. Thus, getting the A1 Premium, you’ll be getting the best out there.
Concerning width, 30 inches is almost the norm; it’s enough for you to be comfortable and secure on top of the board. It’s also very convenient for stability issues because if the board was less wide than this you might find it difficult to balance your body on it. But that’s not the case because all in all, the A1 Premium is an attempt to create the most practical and functional inflatable paddle board when it comes to performance, packing, and storing.
According to iSUPs’ industry, quality is the line between the brand and the costumer. It’s always been the challenge for inflatable products to find their way and make their own place amongst rigid ones. The Zray, as previously mentioned, is strict when it comes to this aspect; it proved that their inflatable paddle boards can be ran over by cars without leaving a scratch on them. It might sound a bit exaggerated but the experiment did take place and it was successful.
The A1 Premium is made of Premium triple layers and super rigid 6 inches thickness drop-stitch material which once combined together, your iSUP board shall be the hardest yet most flexible. It’ll almost be an impossible mission to bend this board once it hits maximum air pressure capacity; yet, you’ll be enjoying a comfortable ride thanks to the thick EVA deck pad that represents both a reinforcement to the board’s stiffness and an anti-slip pad that’ll keep you balanced and in control.
The outside Tarpaulin meshed PVC Cloth makes sure that the board is as hard as it should be; sometimes you’ve got to admire technology for where it got us today. Not only that, the A1 Premium is featured with a 500D 18 x 20 PVC fall seam tape for the best finishing and gluing. You could get as close as you want to the board and it would still seem like a one well-built piece.
Now, the features are what make inflatables a thing; most of these features that we’re going to talk about are not to be found on authentic boards no matter how hard you’d search; that’s actually what is so special about iSUPs. The A1 Premium is featured with:
- A great EVA traction pad even though it only covers half the board’s back; it’s stiff, soft and does the job preventing unwanted slippage.
- Then we have 11 D-rings that are located all over the board for different uses. The first 6 D-rings are on the front and are connected with a bungee cord so you get to secure any needed cargo including the paddle. Another 2 D-rings on each side and those are made especially for those of you who would like to use a kayak seat. The last D-ring is at the end of the board to attach a safety leash to it.
- Additionally, for a better use of the kayak seat, you’ll find two bungee straps that’ll allow you to secure a footrest to the board; this feature will enable you to have more control over your body movement once seated and paddling.
- Moreover, the A1 Premium is featured with a navigation system that consists of 3 fins, 2 of which are fixed and small while one is removable and larger. It’s always something to praise when a paddle board comes with 3 fins rather than just one. This feature is the only one that enhances the board’s performance in the water because just like a fish, without fins your inflatable paddle board would have a hard time steering.
- Finally, the very same board is featured with 2 rigid and durable carry handles which come really handy for when you need to carry the board around or get back on top of it once in the water.
The Zray A1 Premium is a touring iSUP as stated earlier; it’s perfect for long periods of paddling given its comfortable design, convenient dimensions, and strong built. I found that it’s easy to manoeuver and gear while the trio-fins make it slide smoothly without putting so much effort into keeping the board on a straight line.
This board delivers best performance in flat water, but I have to tell you this; it can take choppy water and some waves swiftly thanks to it’s slender and sleek body.
A good package makes a whole lot difference when it comes to ordering an iSUP, and luckily, the A1 Premium comes in one of the best packages anyone could ever get. Let’s not make it last any longer, on this package you’ll find:
- The deflated board, obviously
- 3 Fins system: 2 fixed + 1 removable
- A footrest
- A Backpack bag
- An adjustable aluminum paddle (65-85 inches)
- A high pressure hand pump & gauge
- A closing belt to keep the board rolled up in the backpack
- A waterproof case as a gift
- The greatest thing about the Zray A1 Premium is the revolutionized design given to it which makes it a perfect choice for various users.
- It’s constructed of a triple layer PVC material and drop-stitch with 500D fall seam tape rails.
- It could serve entry-level paddlers as well as the intermediate and advanced levels.
- The price tag on this board is about perfect for an iSUP that’s loaded with features and options.
- It’s durable, stable, flexible, strongly built with minute details, and the list goes on and on…
- The Zray A1 Premium met my expectations, thus, there is nothing negative to comment.