Body Glove is a well-respected company in the world of water sports. They produce accessories for scuba diving, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding and so much more. Recently, they released an inflatable, stand-up paddle board called the ‘Body Glove Performer 11.’ This is a standard board and at 11′ long with a 34-inch center width, it is versatile as well. It is 6 inches thick and weighs only 24 pounds. This model has a maximum weight of 320 pounds. This board is bright yellow, which may seem garish, but it is a great way to make sure that boats and watercraft notice you.
In short summation, this is a great starter or family board. Its size makes it ideal for sharing between family members, regardless of their size. For instance, older children can share this model of board with their parents. Users state the board moves well in the water and doesn’t feel slow or bogged down. This board has a nose that is more tapered than most paddle board models, which helps it move through the water easier. This board comes with a full kit so that you can get out on the water nearly immediately. In addition to the board, the kit comes with a three-piece aluminum paddle (adjustable paddle), a backpack bag for carrying the board, an ankle coiled leash, a hand pump, a small dry bag for your belongings and even a basic stand-up paddle board (SUP) repair kit. The only item missing from the starting kit that comes with the board is a lifejacket or similar flotation device. Beyond this, the board comes with nearly everything someone would need when beginning. Thus, for beginners that don’t necessarily have a plethora of SUP gear accumulated yet, this is a great starter board.
Basic Pros and Cons
Pros of the Body Glove 11 Inflatable SUP
- This board is light and easy to carry, especially with the included carry case. This makes it perfect not only for families and beginners, but also for those who want to take their paddle board into the backcountry.
- For an entry-level inflatable stand up paddle board, it has a great glide. This is mainly due to the severe taper on the nose of the board.
- Although not known as a performance SUP, this board also turns quickly, likely due to the large taper in the front. Some inflatable boards turn rather slowly and seem cumbersome in the water.
- It is easy to paddle and maneuver, which is a fantastic feature for kids or beginning paddle boarders.
- Unlike other, more advanced boards, this one has a large cargo area in the front of the board. This is another benefit for those with children or wishing to take their SUP on a much longer adventure.
- There is a large and comfortable pad in the middle of the board, which helps prevent fatigue when standing and paddling for a long period of time.
- It has a neoprene carrying handle in the middle of board, making it easier and more comfortable to bring the board into the water.
- For film enthusiasts, the board has a front mount for GoPro cameras and other action cameras.
- The reinforced bumpers on the SUP helps increase the durability of the board, which is great for those transporting the board or riding through rougher waters.
- The kit that comes with the board is a great bonus for beginners who may not have the accessories needed for paddle boarding.
Cons Of The Board:
- Unfortunately, there is no touring SUP fin on this model. This means that the board may feel unstable or harder to keep moving in a straight line even in flat water.
- It feels unstable and hard to control in windier or rougher water conditions.
- There are no front or back handles on this sup board, making it difficult to move the board around on occasion.
Important Features In-Depth
Front Bungee Cord Storage
The front bungee storage area has six attachment points with a generous amount of stretch. These could easy accommodate a medium sized backpack or dry bag. A smaller cooler could even fit in this area, making it an awesome board for a longer adventure.
Performer Rear Fin Design
The Performer has a three fin setup on the bottom rear of the board. Traditionally, three, smaller fins are used for boards that will face a lot of wear and tear. For instance, these are usually present in boards for families or white-water rafting. While this is a helpful feature for those transporting the board, especially with family, it is not a good configuration of fins for water stability. Conversely, the fins are permanently attached, meaning that it has an incredibly short set-up time. These fins bend easier than is preferred when the board is rolled up and stored.
Large Traction Pad
Standing on an unpadded paddle board for any amount of time can be fatiguing and painful. This has a well-padded section in the middle of the board for increased comfort. Additionally, it is larger than other models, giving you room for SUP yoga or enough space to sit and rest on the water.
The stringer in a paddle board or surfboard is the element of design of a board that impacts the way it flexes when under tension. Essentially, these are a core that helps the board stay together and resist damage. The Performer 11 has a heavy duty triple layer lining, meaning that it is more durable than similar inflatable paddle boards. It helps protect the board against wear and tear, as well as adding some extra rigidity when the board is inflated vs other standup paddleboards.
Users agreed that the Body Glove Performer 11 is a versatile board. It is accessible to beginners but great for all skill levels. The kit that comes with the board as well as a streamlined set-up and bumper protection makes this board an easy choice for beginners looking to get into stand-up paddle boarding. For those with families, this board has a high tolerance for wear and tear. For those wishing to transport the board or take in on longer adventures, this board is a good choice.
A tapered nose design on this board helps it cut through the water smoothly and with less overall paddling effort. This makes it easy to use on calmer water. The Body Glove inflatable has three, permanent and small rubber fins in the back of the board, whereas other touring boards will have one larger and removable fin. This makes the board great for smaller maneuvers and quick turns. The three fins also make the set-up faster because they are permanently attached. Conversely, the rubber fins are often subjected to wear and tear while the board is not in use. On a board like this, a single and more rigid touring fin would have been a more sensical choice.
Transport and Set-Up
The Performer comes with an inclusive kit that includes a backpack. The pack has shoulder straps that are padded for extra comfort. Like most backpacking and hiking packs, the backpack has a chest strap and hip straps. This helps keep the SUP on your back securely and comfortably. There are several clips on the outside of the bag for those who may need to store extra gear and accessories on the outside of the carry bag.
This backpack is big enough to hold the paddle board when deflated, as well as all the SUP accessories needed for paddle boarding. It opens from the top, so it is easy and quick to access the board and all the gear inside the bag. Additionally, there are carry handles on the top and side of the bag. For those maybe wishing to carry the back like a suitcase, this can be helpful. Extra carry handles also make storage and transport easier, especially when moving the board to and from the car.
Alone, the paddle board weighs 24 pounds and the backpack weighs 32 pounds with all the needed gear. This is a reasonable weight to carry, at least for a little while. The shape of the board and its inflatable nature make it easy to store the board in a relatively small space compared to a non-inflatable paddle board. This also helps for transporting the board in a car, train, bus or even an airplane.
Once you reach your destination, the Body Glove Performer 11 is quick to set up. The board needs to be removed from the backpack and rolled out on a relatively flat surface. With the pump that comes in the board’s kit, it only takes approximately eight minutes to inflate the board. Once inflated, the leash needs to be clipped onto the rear clip and all extra gear needs to be secured in the bungee section on the front of the board. From backpack to water, this board can be in the water in less than 15 minutes.
What Are Other Reviewers Saying About The Performer?
Many reviewers love the features discussed in the above review. Specifically, the backpack was a huge selling point, as it made it much easier for users to get to farther away and more remote bodies of water. A fully inclusive kit also provides everything needed to get out on the water, which many people loved. The triple-layered and reinforced stringer was reported to work well as many SUP enthusiasts confirmed that the board remained tough and rigid when inflated. Other reviewers praised the stability of the board, even for larger users. The base is bigger than other, similar boards, which makes it easier to balance on than competing models. Triple fin design helped even beginning users maneuver quickly in the water.
In negative notes from reviewers, some users did not find the board suitable for touring. This is largely due to the smaller fin size. A larger, more rigid and removable fin would likely fix this issue for users. Some reviewers thought that the board did not feel strong enough or sturdy enough to support them adequately on the water. The rubber fins are reported to bend when stored, which has caused frustration from some SUP users.
This is an exceptionally affordable board for the quality. It includes everything you would potentially need to get started, except for a life jacket. This is exceptionally appealing, as it does not require beginners to buy every single item needed for paddle boarding separately. A plethora of features and increased transportability makes this board a great choice for beginners and families. For those looking to get out on the water and have fun with little set-up, the Body Glove Performer 11 is a great choice. If you are a more advanced paddle boarder, however, or you have a specific style of riding, this may not be the best choice for you.