The Vapor inflatable paddle board by Aqua Marina is one of the company’s best products. If you are a beginner and want to practice stand up paddling for the first time, an Inflatable paddle board is where you want to begin.
It’s appearance is very similar to that of a natural hard board as the Aqua Marina only 4″ thick, slimmer than most inflatable boards out there that are typically 6″ thick. Being thinner you get better performance and maneuverability from the board, but the trade off is a lower weight limit and that it will tend to flex going over larger waves and in choppy conditions.
The Vapor is long, at 3.3 meters (10 foot 10 inches) and is 30″ wide. The VAPOR is nicely designed with a slim body and sharp looking edges which adds to its authentic look. Its wide EVA deck design guarantees a stable yet fast performance.
The board is featured with 4 stainless steel D-rings on the head intended to quickly secure your cargo and 2 D-rings on the back to install a kayak seat; which is never a bad thing when it comes to SUPs. With a double-wall drop stitch PVC construction, this board is very durable, and can be used in almost any kind of environment.
Just like any inflatable SUP, this one can perform best when it comes to small wave surfing or slow currents. However, that does not mean that the Vapor is not suitable for heavy duty action. When it comes to strong currents (beach, river. etc), you might want to remove the central fin in order to maintain solid control and avoid damaging your board.
Taking into consideration the price tag of the Aqua Marina – Vapor, you might notice that there are boards which would cost you a lot more but not necessarily provide more. Simply because The Aqua Marina – Vapor comes with a complete gear which consists of a:
- 3-part paddle that you can easily put together
- extra high pressure 23.5″ hand pump that will inflate the board in under 10 minutes
- repair kit if ever needed
- 3 removable fins (2 small side fins, and 1 large slide-in central fin)
- back pack bag where you can store your board when deflated and easily transport it with you everywhere you like.
The day I received the Aqua Marina – Vapor, I inflated it in no time using my old electric pump; hand pumping would have been a great warm up before getting to the local lake though, but manual pumping can get a little bit challenging once you’re over 10 PSI.
The Aqua Marina – Vapor also has a carry handle installed conveniently at the center of the board to help carry it but also get back on top after you dive into the water. The traction pad is basic but considering the price, it seems to be a fair deal.
The Vapor performed decently, it was stable and swift in flat water and it felt very solid when fully inflated.
I was satisfied with the overall performance of the board. However, it may flex in the middle a little when faced with waves, so you might want to think about that if you’re a larger sized person or want to do a lot of surfing.
- The Aqua Marina – Vapor looks and feels almost like a hard board thanks to its all-round design.
- It is stable and delivers a great performance on flat water because of its wide and flat deck design.
- It comes in a complete package which is always a good thing.
- The only minor problem I have with The Aqua Marina is the lack of build quality in the making of this board. I mean, it is not a deal breaker but a cleaner manufacturing would have added a lot to the aesthetic aspect of the board.
The Vapor is a good choice for beginners and is easy to paddle about. After all, this board is pretty strong and can take a beating and that allows you to clear your mind and actually enjoy this thing.
If you are a beginner; you might want to also get a removable kayak seat to relax and enjoy the flat waters or the small waves. Also, you can exploit this feature and try out some fishing.