We recently had the opportunity to check out Maxxon’s new inflatable stand-up paddleboard (ISUP), the Cruiser.
This is a remarkably versatile piece of equipment, with the ability to paddle standing up, kneeling or seated. At 11 feet in length, weighing in at 35lbs, a weight load of 265 lbs and with a smorgasbord of included accessories, the Cruiser offers the best of many worlds.
The Cruiser comes in a nifty backpack – at 18 inches in diameter and 30 inches deep, the pack is large enough to easily get the ISUP and seat back inside. With a side mesh pocket, front zippering pocket, two padded and adjustable shoulder straps, drawstring top and side/top cinch straps, you have a rugged carrying case that is quite versatile.
Other goodies in the box include:
- Double action hand pump with gauge;
- Ankle leash;
- Telescoping 2pc adjustable SUP paddle 56-84 inches, curved 16 x 9 inch blade, longest shaft length 52 inches
- Repair kit with valve wrench
- Padded seat with mesh pouch and water bottle storage
- Foot brace
- Deep water 10 inch tracking fin
- A 210cm 2pc breakdown kayak paddle. (Editor’s note: we have spoken with the manufacturer about including 3pc and 4pc breakdown paddles, making the box sizes much smaller and the finished product more portable.)
Inflation and Setup
Setup couldn’t be easier. Simply open up the backpack, remove the paddle board, unroll and pump up. The single military-style plunger valve is simple to use – twist one way to inflate and the other to deflate.
I used a 12v car pump to get started, topping it off to 10 PSI with the double action hand pump (the original manual says 7PSI, but Maxxon has updated that figure to 10 PSI). If you plan on using the removable deep water tracking fin, it is easiest to install before pumping up the ISUP, but can still be done after.
Features on the ISUP
The Cruiser features two rubberized handles in the bow, and one in the stern. A fourth is located in the center of the board, making it easy to haul around. A channelized, rubberized surface across the center provides grip when standing.
The board features two small, integrated tracking fins. A nice touch includes two inflatable “rings” that wrap around the fins, protecting them during storage or transport.
A removable 10″ deep water fin is included for those times one wants to paddle lakes or coastal waters. Unlike many of the removable fins, this one slides down a track, and is secured with a locking pin. This allows one to install the fin before or after the Cruiser is inflated.
The ISUP comes with a removable foot brace with two position options. While it is a little tough to install after inflation, push the pin slightly out from the foam, insert one end, and then slide into the webbing loop – with a little tugging it’s do-able.
The Maxxon inflatables come with a 2-inch thick padded seat base that zippers, giving it a firmer and higher silhouette than many we’ve seen (12.5 inches), yet still offering the ability to flatten it out for packing. Nice touches include the small pocket on the seat back with two side mesh bottle holders. Quick connect clips and cinch/pull straps make attaching and adjusting the seat a snap.
Positioning the seat as far back as possible gives roughly 46-50 inches to the foot rest; moving the seat up reduces it to about 33 inches from the seat back. In “normal” position, there is still about 43 inches behind the seating area – certainly enough for my cattledog Eddie to hitch a ride. And speaking of dogs, the high-pressure hull is rugged enough to resist punctures.
Front and rear d-rings complete the picture.
Performance on the Water
The first time out was with the deep water fin using the seated-kayaking mode. By simply clipping on the seat and sliding in the foot brace, you can take a leisurely kayak paddle along the shoreline. It paddled smoothly and tracked well.
I unclipped the seat and then switched to kneeling, which is surprisingly comfortable for short paddles. I am contemplating adding two to four d-rings in the bow – this would allow me to add some bungee deck lacing for more storage capacity. It would also allow me to attach/stow a pop-up kayak sail, which would be a great addition.
Finally I switched to stand-up mode. I have to preface this by saying I am by no means an expert. But, it felt great – paddling was smooth, it was very stable and – at 10PSI – felt fully pressurized for my weight. With the deep fin, the Cruiser tracked well and still turned fairly easily.
The all-in-one Cruiser is a blast. If you’re looking for a workout, switch to stand-up mode. Slide off the deep fin and do some wave running. Clip on the seat and cruise along the shoreline. And after all that fun in the sun, on hot summer days, just paddle it out and use as a diving board or for floating around.
The low profile makes it easy to jump off and climb back on. The small profile and included backpack make it great for travel – whether airplane, RV, bicycling or mass transit.
This is a great little system and may rapidly become my inflatable of choice. While not the best for long tours or colder weather, the versatility of the system ensures it will stay pumped up in my boathouse for a lot of spur-of-the-minute jaunts. The deep water fin makes it track well, it feels comfortable, it looks sleek – but best of all, it’s simple. Just pump up and go.
Throw in all the accessories and a manufacturer’s warranty of 5-years, and what’s not to like about it!
For more information, see http://www.airkayaks.com/maxxon_cruiser.html