This is installment #2 of the IRS Best Gear for 2022 series.
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Idaho River Sports pioneered stand up paddling in Idaho back in 2008 and has become one of the largest SUP product, service and rental shops in the Northwest. Our first SUPs were Doyle foamy boards and a handful of rotomolded products l8ike the ones pictured below.
As the years and SUP industry progressed, we started carrying more and more products that met the specific needs of river and lake paddlers. With our great location on Quinn's Pond, Esther Simplot Ponds and Boise Whitewater Parks (click here), we provide a very accessible location for people who want to enjoy paddling.
Founded in 2009 by friends who shared a passion for paddling, Salida, CO-based Badfish SUP is a well-known name in the world of stand up paddleboarding for their high-quality inflatable paddle boards and innovative whitewater designs. Badfish SUP is famous for their fresh designs. There are a dozen Badfish models including inflatable SUPs and rigid board designs.
Originally introduced in 2018, our pick is the Badfish Monarch inflatable SUP. It's a extremely well-built, all-around inflatable SUP that measures 11′ x 34″ x 5″. The nicely tapered shape of the Monarch’s nose makes it a great choice for flatwater paddling, while the board’s 34″ width gives it outstanding overall stability even when conditions get rough. Definitely the most versatile board in Badfish SUP’s line, the Monarch is essentially a go anywhere, do anything inflatable paddle board that excels in a wide variety of paddling conditions like we enjoy here in Idaho. Suitable for beginners through advanced paddlers, this model should definitely be on your radar.
To read the Gear Junkie review click here.
If you’re looking for a tough inflatable SUP board that you can pretty much take anywhere, our go-to board is the NRS Thrive. The Thrive is NRS's most versatile, all-around inflatable SUP. The Thrive models can handle everything from recreational paddling to SUP fitness workouts and light river running. All of NRS’s Thrive paddle boards inflate to 20 PSI and are constructed from heavy duty PVC drop-stitch material. There are currently 4 models in the Thrive lineup, ranging in size from 9’10” to 11′ in length and 30″ to 36″ in width.
All of the boards feature top-shelf hardware including Learfield D7 valves and secondary pressure relief valves for added safety. The lineup includes the Thrive, Escape, Whip and Quiver. All NRS SUPs are designed with the most demanding of conditions in mind and are built to last.
Read the NRS Thrive review from Paddle Love by clicking here.
Glide produces several inflatable and resin stand up paddle boards. Their history dates back to 2008 here in Boise, Idaho when a company founder suffered an accident while whitewater kayaking. From the ashes his recovery time let him dream up how to continue to charge rapids with a stand up paddle board. From there "it was off to the races as they say" and Idaho River Sports became one of their first dealers. The Glide Retro inflatable SUP really does live up to its “Retro” namesake with the very bright colors and graphics. If you want a paddle board with a high (400lb) weight capacity, that works for everything from SUP Yoga and all-around paddling, this is a great board.
The entire Glide O2 (inflatables) line is made out of a high density, reinforced drop stitch core covered by a dual layer fusion PVC shell. Glide inflatable SUPs come in a package that includes a bag, pump, paddle and a seat. You'll like the full length deck pad, the solid build quality and Glide's focus on making a durable inflatable paddle board. The colors and design really make the board stand out in a crowd, and the ‘retro’ cruiser look and feel is pretty cool.
Read the complete SUP Board Guide review by clicking here.
NRS Star’s budget-priced all-around lineup includes the STAR Phase inflatable SUP. Star boards are an affordable choice for paddlers who need one board that’ll do it all.
There are three models in the STAR Phase lineup ranging in size from 10’2″ to 10’8″ in length and 32″ to 35″ in width. This gives paddlers of varying sizes and skill levels several options to choose from, and all three of the boards are constructed from an ultra-durable PVC-coated drop-stitch material.
Our other Star models are the Photon, a budget-friendly touring SUP option, which measures 11’6″ x 32″ x 6″ and weighs in at a lightweight 18 pounds.
You can't beat the price and performance! Check out the SUPconnect review by clicking here.