Last month we received the first of Jobe’s 2016 inflatable paddle board line. Well known in Europe for windsurf, water boards and attire, Jobe expanded into the inflatable paddle board line a few years ago. Since then, the line has evolved to encompass a cohesive look, epitomized by complete “paddle board packages” including paddle, pump, backpack, leash and board – pretty much everything needed to get on the water.
The 2016 inflatable Aero SUP line includes 6 models ranging in size from 9’4″ to 12’6″ covering the gamut from surf to yoga. The current boards also feature Jobe’s new technology – a heavy-duty, double-laminate material which is stronger and lighter, providing up to 35% weight savings over previous models; the 2016 models now hover around the 20 lb. mark.
Our first Jobe review features the Aero SUP 11-6 all-round, recreational touring model.
(Please note: some of the info will be repeated from prior writeups.)
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 Inflatable SUP – Getting Started
The board as-arrived is 35 x 17 x 12 inches in the box.
Inside is the Aero SUP 11-6 body, backpack, repair kit, single action pump with pressure gauge, cinch belt, removable fin, adjustable fiberglass breakdown paddle, ankle leash and instructions. Once rolled up, the SUP board fits into the backpack, as well as breakdown paddle and pump – each of these attach to the outside of the backpack, but could also be stowed inside. The board itself weighs 22.5 lbs, while the paddle and pump are 2 lbs each – a total of 31.75 lbs in the pack. The boxed weight is 36 lbs. The package easily fits in the back of a small car.
For your first set up, remove the cinch strap and unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.
The Aero SUP 11-6 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). As a cautionary note, before you make the effort to inflate the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The Aero SUP paddle board system includes a high-pressure, 2000 cm3 single-action pump with a gauge – what we term the “tall barrel” as it pushes out less air, though takes a bit less effort to attain the higher pressures.
First, attach the gauge to the pump – the gauge attaches via a pin/slot system.
Next, attach the hose to the gauge. Take the military valve adaptor, and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position – the first time, you may need to push a bit harder to attach, but it gets easier. You’re ready to pump!
Please note: The included instructions have been updated for this year and recommend a maximum pressure of 18 to 20 PSI. We suggest smaller persons start with a lower PSI – say 12 PSI – and see if they need to go any higher. Larger persons should inflate to at least 13 PSI, and adjust from there.
We began pumping. At nearly 100 strokes with the single action pump, the gauge began to register though the board had still not filled out. At 175 pumps, the body filled out and at 200 we were at 3 PSI. Another 50 took us to 7 PSI, then 50 more to 10 PSI and 40 more to 13 PSI. At this point, it was too tough to push the handle, so we switched to the “half stroke.”
Another 40 half-pumps got us to 15 PSI – all-in-all about 375 pumps and about 10 minutes.
Remove the hose adaptor and replace the valve cap.
Next, install the deep water fin. The fin box on the 2016 models has been updated to use a single, removable fin with a thumb screw; these are very easy to use.
Flip the board and lay out the fin, making sure it is pointing towards the rear of the board. Take the notched portion of the fin in the wider opening, laying the fin down almost parallel with the fin box. This allows the fin to easily slide forward on the track.
When fully in place, push down on the back end, and tighten the screw; make sure to pull up on the fin, to ensure that it is truly in place. Couldn’t be simpler.
Now install the ankle leash. Open up the velcro and remove the circular cord. Push the cord through the ankle leash d-ring, looping back through itself – this secures it to the d-ring. Then velcro the leash to the cord loop and stash the leash under the deck lacing for carrying purposes.
Assemble the breakdown paddle by snapping the two pieces together. To adjust the height, unscrew the circular grip slightly, and pull on the handle grip – the shaft will move up and down. Once you’ve gotten it to the length you want, retighten the circular grip taking care to make sure the handle grip is aligned (pointing in the right direction) with the paddle blade. AirKayaks note, you may want to make a mark on the shaft showing where everything should be aligned.
Use the velcro on the carrying handle to attach to the paddle shaft, sliding the blade under the front bungee.
That’s it! Surprisingly simple and in less than 10 minutes you’re ready to go!
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 Construction
The Aero SUP 11-6 is constructed from a high-pressure, drop-stitch material, a process where thousands of fibers (threads) lock the top and bottom layers together, allowing the board to be pumped up to higher pressures. Three layers – dropstitch layer, reinforcement PVC layer top and bottom, provide protection against air leakage.
The 2016 models use a new, heavy duty, double laminate material which is stronger and lighter, with up to 35% weight savings over previous models; the 2014 version weighed 30 lbs while the current model is 22.5 lbs.
Overlapping, taped side rails also provide added protection and rigidity. The 150 mm material increases the board thickness to nearly 6 inches, but also allows the board to attain more rigidity at lower pressures.
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 Features and Specifications
The Jobe Aero SUPS are very simple.
There is one front d-ring on the upper hull (tether ring) and one rear d-ring for an ankle leash.
Front bungee deck lacing with four cloth d-rings, begins 38 inches from the snout and measures 9 x 19-20 inches.
A grooved, EVA anti-slip, foam traction pad – measuring 53.5 inches long by 24 inches at the widest point – begins 60 inches from the nose.
A padded, carrying handle is located 9 inches from the beginning of the deck pad. It includes a velcro closure attachment, allowing one to fasten the paddle to the board and use as a carrying handle.
The ankle leash d-ring is located right behind the deck pad.
Rear bungee deck lacing measures 8.5 by 13-14 inches, beginning 10 inches from the tail. There is one military valve.
The included nylon, deep water tracking fin is 8 inches deep.
The waterproof-tarpaulin, roll top backpack is 44 inches tall before rolling, and 24 inches wide, flattened – it features velcro at the top for better sealing. There are two adjustable, padded shoulder straps, adjustable waist strap, and a carry handle just above the shoulder strap. Side velcro, bungee lacing and a small pocket are designed to house the pump and paddle when traveling. There is a slot for one’s business card or ID info. Bag is approximately 37 inches rolled.
The “thin barrel” high-pressure, single-action pump measures 23 inches tall with a 3-inch diameter body and 7-inch base, a metal pump shaft, 48-inch hose with adaptor, and a pressure gauge. The gauge can measure from 0 to 20 PSI
The adjustable, fiberglass paddle arrives in two pieces but can break-down into three pieces. The paddle can be adjusted from 65 to 84 inches, while the blade size is 8.25 x 16 inches. The longest shaft length is 34 inches, and it weighs 33.5 oz.
Included with the package is a nice orange, 10-ft coiled leash with swivel attachments and neoprene padded ankle cuff.
We did measurement tests. The Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 inflatable SUP ran 136 inches long (slightly under the published length of 11’6″), 30.5 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Weight capacity is 265 lbs per the tech sheets, though the instructions say 220 lbs.
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 inflatable SUP on the water.
I took the Aero SUP 11-6 out on a calm day and again in slight swells/wind. Despite the decreased board weight and narrower width of 30 inches, the Aero SUP 11-6 felt very rugged as well as stable, and seemed to seat itself well in the water.
Paddling/tracking was straight and smooth, speed was good, and turning was pretty maneuverable for a board this length. The board is pretty roomy, and I could easily see an adult with a smaller companion – a parent with child or dog. The dropstitch material is durable enough that claws would not be an issue.
Even in some chop headed into the wind, the Aero SUP 11-6 handled well, with the squared-off tail providing some added stability.
While I was slightly leery of the pump with push-pin connection, it was unfounded. The pump worked great with no air leakage – though I did not take it over 15 PSI.
Best of all, it’s really lightweight – easy to carry!
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6: 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 nose of the iSUP. Start folding up the board from the nose – as you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle to keep the board tightly rolled – the board will slip back into the backpack.
Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 iSUP – Bottom Line
The Jobe inflatable Aero SUP 11-6 is a really nice, recreational paddle board! It works well as an all-around flatwater “cruiser” – but is also good in some chop and downwind. It feels good, tracks well and is zippy.
The longer waterline and narrower 30-inch beam make the Aero SUP 11-6 a great choice for cruising lakes, calm rivers, coastal inlets, while the squared-off tail provides stability. For those headed out for a few hours of paddling, the bungee deck lacing and d-rings provide ample space to attach extra gear. In fact, the backpack can swap duties, carrying around a day of belongings under the deck lacing.
The ankle leash is comfortable, sturdy and seems to be well-made, while the coiled aspect keeps the leash on the board rather than dragging in the water.
The entry-level fiberglass paddle is actually pretty rugged, works well, yet still weighs only 2 lbs. The wide range in adjustability accommodates paddlers of many heights and varying water conditions.
At up to 18 PSI with a 6-inch thickness, the Aero SUP has the volume and buoyancy for the larger person up to roughly 265 lbs, but its also a great choice for a family board – versatile enough for adult, kids, or adult and small friend.
It’s highly portable. At 22.5 lbs, it’s light enough to carry around, while the included backpack is perfect to store in a closet, or stash in a car for spur of the moment fun. Traveling? Take your Aero SUP on your next vacation or for a jaunt to a secluded beach.
This is a great contender in the sub-$1000 inflatable SUP market. At $999, the Aero SUP 11-6 package is well thought out, has a unified look and includes just about everything needed to get you on the water – backpack, board, paddle, pump and ankle leash.
For more information or to purchase, see the 2016 Jobe Aero SUP 11-6 Product Page at AirKayaks.com. Stay tuned, we have an upcoming YouTube video on the Jobe Aero SUP 11-6.