Review: C4 Waterman iSUP XXL

c4watermanWhen considering purchasing a standup paddleboard one must consider the type of water where it will mostly be used. Whether on ocean waves, flat lakes, river whitewater, in between or all of the above, certain paddleboards will perform better than others.

As far as inflatable paddleboards are concerned, C4 Waterman is one of the best in the business. The iSUP series of boards from C4 Waterman covers the gamut of uses, a benefit to their boards being that they cross over well from one type of water to the next. The stability of the XXL makes itself at home in whitewater, yet also glides with ease over serene flat lakes. The greatest benefits of an iSUP, in general, are its ease of use and portability.

A C4 Waterman iSUP arrives at your doorstep enclosed in a box with everything you need. It comes rolled up in its own travel backpack, including the pump, a repair kit, fins, and if ordered together, a three-piece travel paddle in its own padded case. So you can take your entire setup with you on a plane, train or automobile wherever the water calls you.

Setting up your inflatable for the first time and every time thereafter is an absolute breeze. Unroll the paddleboard onto a flat surface, break out the pump, remove the valve cover on the board and make sure the valve is in the “up” position so that air will only travel into the board, not out. Next, attach the other end of the hose to the valve on the board, lock the hose to the valve by turning the hose fixture a quarter turn and start pumping away. The best way to pump up the board is by pushing the handle with long pumps, extending the handle up as far as it will reach to fill the board most of the way up. Once you’ve pumped for only about 5 minutes most of the board will be inflated. At this point I switch to shorter, quick pumps for another minute or so in order to firm up the board. In less than ten minutes your board will be inflated and ready to ride.

The final step is to install the fins. I always remove the fins after use in order to roll up the board for storage. To install the fins, flip the board over to reveal the fin boxes, remove the two screws per fin box with the Allen key that’s included, place your fins in the desired configuration, place screws back into the fin boxes and screw into place. There are three fin boxes on your board, which are designed for two smaller fins on the outside and a larger fin for the middle. This will be the standard configuration for most outings on flat water. You can play with variations when getting into wavier situations. I install only the two smaller outside fins for whitewater, while using only the larger middle fin for glassy ocean wave days.

No matter where you use your iSUP its performance won’t let you down. Although traditional rigid boards may out perform in the events they’re specifically designed for, like a long, narrow board for traveling long distances, or a short, snappy board for surfing, the XXL iSUP contains a bit of all those characteristics, lending itself to incredible versatility.

See this video for an “out of the box” C4 Waterman iSUP tutorial.

Check out C4Waterman.com for details, tech specs, and more boards.

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