Review: Body Glove Performer 11’ iSUP
As its moniker suggests, Body Glove began when twin brothers Bill and Bob Meistrall constructed the first-ever wetsuit (or “body glove.”) With a strong passion for all things water, the brothers went on to create a line of coveted swimwear, flotation devices, shoes and water sports equipment.
iSUPs have been gaining popularity, along with the sport of paddleboarding, due to their ease in transporting and storing. Body Glove has jumped on board with their own line of iSUPs. We took the Body Glove Performer 11’ board out for a trial, and here is what we found out.
Quick Specifications of Body Glove Performer iSUP
- Size: 11’L x 34″W x 6″T
- Weight Capacity: 320 pounds
- Packed Weight: 32 pounds
- Board Weight: 24 pounds
- Maximum Inflation: 15 psi
The BG Performer board comes in blue and woodgrain colors or blue and charcoal colors that really stand out on the water. It is comparable in size to other brands of all-around iSUPs.
One of the biggest things you will notice right off with the BG Performer is its shape. The board is wide for optimum stability, but it also has a pointed nose that makes slicing through the water easy. This board is classified as a stable, all-around board, but it has the makings for advanced performance, too.
Here is a quick table of the PROS and CONS, which we will cover in further detail later in this article.
|Three-layer center stringer||No long center tracking fin|
|Plenty of tie-downs and storage||Tracking can be difficult|
|Handle strap doubles as bottle holster||Unstable in wind or choppy water|
|Stable and versatile on flats|
|Drybag included in kit|
What you get with the Body Glove Performer 11’ iSUP Kit
The contents of the BG Performer kit are fairly standard for the market. However, Body Glove throws in a cell phone (or other goods) dry bag with your kit. We found this to be a huge perk, as you often have to purchase this kind of accessory separately. In addition, the Body Glove Performer iSUP comes with:
- Adjustable, three-part paddle
- Dual-action hand pump
- Nylon backpack for transporting
- Repair kit
- Translucent ankle leash
Who is the Body Glove Performer Best Suited For?
After our time using the Performer, we can confidently say that most paddlers will enjoy using this board whether new or seasoned. It offers a good amount of stability for newbies, yet also offers quicker turns and extra speed for more avid paddlers.
The Performer is ideal for families who enjoy paddling together or carrying younger children along on the board. It is stable enough for older children who are still getting their feet wet with paddling. We even had our large dog riding along with us. However, energetic dogs who might not sit still could prove problematic for the paddler. This is common on most boards, however.
Additionally, those who enjoy touring will like this board. It cuts through the water very well. Higher speeds, although not as much as you may get with a thinner board, can be achieved, but overall, this board leans on the side of stability most of the time. We will discuss this more later on.
Features of the Body Glove Performer
The features of the BG Performer will appeal to those paddling recreationally with family and/or pets and to those who may want a bit more technical water play. We will cover each of these features now.
Backpack for Transporting
The backpack is durable and about average for the market. You can adjust the shoulder straps to make long walks a bit more comfortable. Additionally, there is a chest and waist strap for more support.
There are D-rings attached to the shoulder straps that allow you to easily attach and carry more gear. You will also find a clear pouch in front of the bad that can hold smaller items like your repair kit or keys.
There is a side handle that gives you another way to carry the backpack, if you prefer. We found this handle to be helpful to help pull the bag out of our car trunk, as well.
Dual-Action Hand Pump
Dual action simply means you can both inflate and deflate the board with this pump. It is a sufficient way, if not the easiest way, to inflate the Performer. For the best performance, we agree that the board should be fully inflated to 15 psi. You can do this with the hand pump in about 10 minutes.
Carrying handles don’t often get the attention they deserve in iSUP reviews, but this one truly deserves it. The handle is located in the center of the board and is covered with a Velcro and neoprene pad. This keeps your palm from blistering when you have a long walk to the water.
We also like that this handle/pad can be adjusted to act as a holster for a bottle of water or for your paddle if you aren’t using it. We pretty much dig any two-in-one built-in conveniences.
D-Ring Placement and Additional Mounts
The nose of the board features a rubber mount specifically designed to support a live-action type camera like a GoPro. This is ideal for those who want to capture their adventures on the water.
Additionally, you will find three d-rings along the board. Two are located near the center handle and another is near the back of the board. These can be used for attaching your leash or other essentials.
You’ll find bungee-cord storage near the nose of the board. It is held on by six lash points. The area is large enough to accommodate a life vest, few bottles of water, dry bag and towel. You may even be able to tuck a small cooler under it for longer days on the water.
EVA Foam Deck Pad
The EVA pad will help your days on the water feel like you’re standing on a cloud. The diamond-groove pattern adds traction and grip. The pad covers more than half of the board, which is great if you are bringing riders along or if you need to sit down and take a break during longer tours.
We have a love/hate relationship with the three attached fins underneath the board. On one hand, we love the no-assembly-required vibe of this. On the other hand, the three fins do very little to improve tracking or stability in choppy water or windy conditions. Because of this, we would only recommend using the BG Performer on still, calm waters like lakes, bays or slow rivers.
Most boards are made of PVC, but the Performer offers layers of puncture-resistant PVC. We can definitely get behind this when choosing a board for rocky shores or lakes and rivers. The center stringer offers three layers, and the outer rails offer two layers, making this board quite durable.
The nose is also reinforced, which is ideal for new paddlers who may still be perfecting their steering skills on the board.
The shape of the BG Performer is unique with its pointed nose and wide base. Stability boards are generally wide throughout the body with a more rounded nose. The pointed nose allows the paddler to steer quicker and more efficiently than their rounded-nose counterparts.
The pointed-nose boards are usually kept for slimmer, racing boards. Having it on this stability board allows new paddlers to venture into technical paddling without having the extra skill or putting in the extra effort.
Overall, we love this board on calm water. It wobbles in the wind and chop. A longer center fin may correct this, but it isn’t an option at this time. We think that both beginners and advanced paddlers can enjoy this board on lakes and rivers. We would avoid taking it on the ocean.
The Performer does not get up to speed the same way a thinner, racing board will, but for a wide board, it does fairly well cutting through the water. Turns require minimal effort thanks to the nose point.
We did try a bit of iSUP yoga, and despite the width of the board, the Performer would not be our first choice for this sport. Still, it was a fun, easy-to-maneuver, stable board with room for passengers. We couldn’t be happier with that.
Body Glove Performer 11’ iSUP: Final Thoughts
To sum it all up: we really like this board. There is a good combination of maneuverability and stability that makes the Performer an ideal first-time board but also good for advanced paddlers.
Families and touring paddlers will enjoy the all-around capabilities of this Body Glove Performer iSUP. All in all, this is a solid choice for most paddling on calm water. It is simply a fun, easy-to-use, and very durable iSUP.