This year, we had our first hands-on experience with Mistral’s inflatable SUP line. Well-known for decades as a leader in windsurfing, the Mistral line originated in northwest US, but is now based out of Europe. Most recently, Mistral has forayed back into the US market, bringing their expanding inflatable SUP lines built in both Europe and Asia.
Our first two Mistral reviews focus on the Asian-produced boards, beginning with the Mistral Kailua inflatable paddle board – an 11 foot SUP touted as a fitness board, but also a great standup paddle board and sit-on-top.
Now we check out the Mistral Adventure inflatable SUP, an all-round cruiser designed for a wide range of conditions from flatwater lakes to oceans and rivers. The Adventure comes in two sizes – the Adventure 10-5 and Adventure 11-6. For this review, we chose the Adventure 11-6 inflatable SUP.
(Please note: some of the info will be repeated from prior writeups.)
Mistral Adventure 11’5 Inflatable Standup Paddle Board – Getting Started
The board as-arrived is 34 x 19.5 x 11 inches in the box, weighing in at 38 lbs.
Inside is the Adventure body, backpack, repair kit, single action pump with pressure gauge, removable fin and instructions (inside front zippered pocket). Once rolled up, the SUP board fits into the backpack, as well as a breakdown paddle under 35 inches (longest shaft length) – if an excellent packer, the pump will fit inside too, or it can be attached to the outside of the bag. The board itself weighs 27 lbs, or 33 lbs inside the backpack with pump – these all easily fit in the back of a small car.
For your first set up, remove the SUP body from the backpack, and unroll. Lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.
The Adventure 11-5 utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out) – before you make the effort to inflate the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The Adventure paddle board system includes a high-pressure, single-action pump with a gauge – what we term the “slim barrel” as it pushes out a bit less air, making it easier to attain very high pressures. Recommended board pressure is 15 PSI.
First, hook the gauge onto the pump then attach the hose to the gauge. Push and twist the military valve adaptor onto the valve, and lock into position – you’re ready to pump!
Initial pumping is a breeze. I pumped for about 165 strokes (2.5 minutes) until the board filled out and the gauge started to move. By 200 pumps the gauge registered 3 PSI, at 250 it had reached 6.5 PSI, and at 300 strokes it was 10 PSI.
At this point, it was starting to get tough, so I switched to the half-pump method. Another 50 half pumps took the board to 13 PSI, at which point I quit – larger people may need to get to the maximum pressure of 15 PSI. All-in-all, about 7 minutes.
Twist off the adaptor and replace the valve cap.
Next, install the fin. The Adventure 11-5 uses a 7 inch US Fin Box. Remove the attached nut and plate. With the fin pointing towards the stern, slide the back (with brass pins) into the slot towards the rear, catching in the interior slot. Then reattach the nut to the plate, using the nut to “guide” the plate into the interior slot. Remove the nut from the plate, and then use the nut to “nudge” the plate into position. Swing the front of the fin down, and screw the nut into the plate – pull up to make sure it is securely fastened.
You’re done! Under 10 minutes and you’re ready for the water.
Mistral Adventure 11-5 iSUP Construction
The Mistral Adventure 11-5 is constructed with a double laminate layer on the top and bottom of the board, featuring a heavy-duty 1000 denier PVC, hardened rubber materials and multiple layers of urethane, polymer and uv protection to create a protective barrier around a 660D drop stitch core. This core features thousands of fine polyester threads connecting both the top and bottom layers – 2600 g/sq. meter – creating a strong link that can be inflated to higher pressures.
Higher pressures provide a more rigid surface which enhances paddling performance. The side rails also feature a double wall construction.
Mistral Adventure 11-5 iSUP Features and Specifications
The Adventure inflatable SUP is very simple.
There is one military valve at the bow, one front d-ring on the underside (tether ring) and one rear d-ring for an ankle leash (located 19 inches from the stern).
Front bungee deck lacing – featuring 4 d-rings measuring 11 inches deep by 15 inches wide – is located about 33 inches from the snout, allowing the paddler to attach gear.
A textured, diamond traction pad starts at the tail and runs the width of the board from 80 to 93 inches.
In the center is a low-profile cloth handle, beginning 62 inches from the tail, with an integrated bungee handle which can be used as a paddle holder, making it easier to carry both board and paddle.
The included removable, deep-water tracking fin is housed in an AIR7 fin box, and measures 7.8 inches deep.
The drawstring backpack is made from a rugged, commercial-grade material with mesh sides, front zippering pocket, adjustable side straps and adjustable padded shoulder straps. Bag measurements are 31 inches tall (36 with mesh top) with a 16 inch diameter.
The Bravo “slim-barrel” high-pressure, single-action pump measures 23.5 inches tall with a 3-inch diameter body and 9-inch base, a metal pump shaft, 48-inch hose with adaptor, and a pressure gauge. The gauge can measure from 0 to 20 PSI.
We did measurement tests. The Mistral Adventure 11-5 inflatable SUP ran 11′ 5 inches long, 31.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick – right on target. Air volume is 285 liters while the weight capacity is 285 lbs. person and gear.
Mistral Adventure iSUP On the Water
I took the board out on a somewhat choppy day with sporadic boat wake for a first short jaunt. Despite the turmoil, it was stable, tracked decently and had a nice glide. Turning was good though not nimble, and it felt firm – I didn’t feel flexing underfoot despite being inflated to just 13 PSI. Headed into the wind, the board rode over the waves, and cross wind it was quite zippy.
I then took the board out on a calm day. Despite numerous waverunners in the area, the Adventure 11-5 once again felt very stable, tracking was good with a long smooth glide. The board is roomy enough that I could easily see an adult with small companion, either child or dog. And the Adventure dropstitch material is rugged enough that doggie claws would not be an issue.
Mistral Adventure Inflatable Paddle Board: Packing It Up
To deflate the board is pretty simple – push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. But, when drawing off the high pressure, you should do this slowly, so as not to “pop” or unseat the o-ring that completes the valve seal. So, slowly tap the valve to “bleed” off the high pressure several times for a few seconds, increasing the release time as you go.
Remove the tracking fin and store it in the backpack.
Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the stern of the iSUP. Start rolling up the board from the tail. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and drop it into the backpack.
Mistral Adventure 11-5 iSUP – Bottom Line
The Mistral Adventure 11-5 is a really nice board! It feels rugged, tracks well and has a good glide. It’s stable enough for beginners, easy to set up and – at 15 PSI – is a good board for small paddlers, yet still rigid enough for larger paddlers up to 285 lbs with gear. It’s also a good choice for a family board – versatile enough for adult, kids, or adult and small friend.
Whether floating down a river, exploring coastlines or cruising along for a morning workout, the long waterline and 31.5 inch width provide a stable platform designed for a wide range of conditions. This is a great choice for lakes, rivers and coastal inlets/bays.
The bungee deck lacing provide ample space to attach extra gear, making it a great candidate for a day of paddling.
Best of all, at 27 lbs and included backpack, the Mistral Adventure is highly portable, a great choice for travel, stashing in an RV or car for “spur of the moment” fun. And when you’re finished, it easily stores in a closet or garage shelf.
MSRP of $1199 for the 11-6, and $1159 for the 10-6. For more information or to purchase, see the Mistral Adventure 11-5 Inflatable SUP Product Page at AirKayaks.com.
We also have a limited supply of the 2014 Mistral Allround Adventure 11-6 at $999 – with free fiberglass breakdown paddle! Stay tuned, we have an upcoming YouTube video on the Adventure.