We recently received news on the upcoming TAHE Sport inflatable SUP and kayak line for 2021.
Better known in the US under the BIC Sport name, the TAHE brand is a union of BIC Sport and Tahe Outdoors.
Established in 1979, BIC Sport pioneered the windsurf industry, expanding into surfing, kayaking, and stand up paddle boarding, while the European-based Tahe is one of the largest and fastest growing European manufacturers of paddle sport and kite surfing equipment.
Two years ago, the BIC Sport water line was acquired by Tahe resulting in a brand focused on water fun, featuring environmentally-friendly production processes and quality products at an affordable price.
Our first shipment of the new Tahe boards arrived, and we took a break in the bad weather to try one out. The Beach SUP-YAK 10’6″ was appealing as it came as a complete board package at only $529.95 (with paddle, pump, leash and backpack) yet was set up to convert to a sit-on-top kayak with purchase of an optional Kayak Kit.
Getting Started with the Tahe 10-6 Beach SUP-YAK
The box as received weighs 38 lbs, measuring 39 x 22 x 12 inches.
Inside the box is the SUP body, backpack, high-pressure dual action pump with gauge, cinch belt, quick-start instructions, repair kit, deep water fin, ankle leash and breakdown, adjustable SUP paddle. Once rolled up, the SUP board, pump, paddle and leash fit in the bag, with plenty of room for more items. Weight is 20 lbs for the board, 3.7 lbs for the bag, 2.375 lbs for the pump/gauge, 0.6 lbs each for the fin/leash and 2.6 lbs for the paddle. Everything in the bag weighs 30 lbs. and all easily fit in the back of a small car.
While we have inflated many boards, we decided to walk through the instructions to see if they were adequate for new users. The included manuals consist of two Ikea-Style Quick-Start Sheets with images – one on board inflation, and one on setting up the board as a sit-on-top kayak (if you choose to purchase the optional kayak kit). Two QR Codes allow you to download full instructions and video from your cell phone. The Quick-Start Guides are not adequate in outlining the steps, so unless you like reading manuals on your cell phone, here is a link to the actual detailed instructions, which are quite thorough.
First step, unpack and unroll the SUP body, laying it top up so you access the valve. And here we come to AirKayak’s Tip #1: No matter how excited you are, take a good look at how the board is folded so that you can get it back into the carrying case.
The Tahe Beach 10’6 utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. This is very simple to use and features 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 go to all the effort of inflating the board, make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The included dual action pump comes with a pressure gauge, so you can monitor the board’s PSI. This features a double-action mode (air goes into the board on the up and the down stroke so you are filling it out more rapidly) and single-action mode (air goes in on the down stroke only, which helps when the pumping starts to get tough.) To start off, you will be using the double action mode, allowing the board to be filled in less time, and with less strokes. To do this, make sure the red plug near the pump handle is inserted in the hole – not to worry, the instructions are printed on the pump body.
Screw the hose onto the pump carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure. Then take the military valve adaptor (adaptor on the end of the hose), and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position. You’re ready to pump.
At this point, it is quite easy to pump but takes a LOT of strokes – several minutes – for the board to unfurl. Please also note that gauges work on back pressure, so the needle will not register until you have enough air in the board for it to be fairly full.
While everyone should go through the thrill of pumping up an inflatable SUP completely, at this point I will point out a very nifty product, the Kokopelli Feather pump. The Feather pump is a very small (fits in your palm), rechargeable 12-volt battery pump that can inflate and deflate. The Feather pump comes with a number of adaptors, but we found it easiest to use no adaptor.
While it does not have enough torque to open the valve, we put the valve in the open position, held the Feather over the valve and let it rip. After roughly 2 minutes, the entire board had unfurled and filled out, so we quickly popped the plunger to the closed position (air doesn’t come back out).
We then attached the pump in double-action mode. After 10 strokes, the gauge needle started registering and at 40 strokes we were at 6 PSI – and starting to get tough. We removed the red plug on the pump, and started using it in single action mode. A breezy 30 more pumps brought us to 9 PSI, and another (tougher) 40 pumps to 12 PSI. At this point we quit. As a side note, the hose did pop off the board twice while pumping, but luckily the valve plunger remained in the closed position so no air loss.
The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. The Tahe Beach SUP-YAK recommended pressure is 12-15 PSI. If you are a smaller person you can get away with less pressure; for my height of 5’4″ and weight, 10 to 12 PSI is more than adequate. Larger people will find it easier to pump up to the higher pressures, and they may need the extra rigidity. If kayaking, 8 to 10 PSI may be more than adequate.
So keep plugging.
Remove the adaptor and replace the valve cap so that the plunger is not accidentally pressed open.
Next step, flip the board over and install the tracking fin.
The Tahe 10’6″ Beach SUP-YAK uses a US Fin Box – this is a common, slotted box that allows one to use various fin styles. The Beach comes with a removable 9-inch deep water fin that attaches with a thumb screw. (AirKayaks note: The Beach 10’6″ SUP-Yak with Kayak Kit comes with three fixed fins, not a removable fin.)
Note that one side of the fin has a pin, the other a hole with screw and fin plate. Remove the screw and fin plate from the fin. Point the fin towards the tail, and insert the side with stainless steel pin into the center slot – pushing back.
Drop the fin plate into the center slot and move forward. This is easy to do if you minimally attach the screw into the fin plate, and use this to guide the plate into the “forward” slot. Push down on the fin, then screw through the fin hole, into the fin plate, tightening with your fingers – this gives a pretty snug fit. As a precaution, pull up on the fin to make sure it is truly attached. As a note, this particular screw and plate were a bit finicky – it took me several tries to get them to couple. You can view through the hole to see if the plate is lined up.
Last step, assemble your paddle. The 10-6″ Beach SUP-YAK comes with an aluminum, adjustable, 3-piece breakdown paddle – detailed instructions can be found on the downloadable manual. Take the center shaft with pushpin, and insert into the blade section. AirKayaks note: You may need to push the interior foam further down into the blade shaft. Do NOT remove the foam – this creates an air barrier that will allow it to float for a short time when assembled.
Open the clamp on the center shaft by pushing hard with your thumbs on both sides, then insert the handle end. Make sure the holes on the handle shaft are lined up with the prong on the clamp. The numbers on the paddle shaft detail the length of the paddle, which can be adjusted from 68 to 88 inches (5’8″ to 7’2). Set up the paddle roughly 8 inches longer than your height – this may need to be adjusted later, but it’s a good start. Push the prong back into place – you may need to adjust slightly to get the hole and prong lined up.
Lastly, attach the coiled leash to the rear d-ring by opening up the velcro, slipping it through the d-ring, and then closing it. When out on the water, the ankle cuff can be attached around your ankle or your calf, whatever you’re most comfortable with.
That’s it! About 10 minutes with an excellent upper arm workout, you’re ready for the water.
Tahe Sports 10’6″ Beach SUP-YAK Construction
The Tahe Sport Beach is constructed using a single layer of 150mm PVC “dropstitch” material, in which the top of the board is held together with the bottom via thousands of “stitches.”
This allows the board to be pumped up to high pressures of 12-15 PSI. While the single layer keeps the board on the lighter side, it ordinarily would not provide the necessary stiffness.
The Tahe Beach series use a Twin Stringer Stiffening Technology (TSST) comprised of two strips running the length of the board, on the top edges. This works double-duty as the base layer for the Daisy Chain Attachment System, mentioned below, and provides increased rigidity.
The weakest link in an inflatable paddle board is the rail (side edge) area – where the top and bottom panels join together. Tahe features two layers of taping to ensure minimal chance of air leakage.
Features and Specifications on the Tahe Sport SUP-YAK Beach 10-6
Three neoprene carrying handles are located at the bow, stern and center of the board.
A honeycomb-grip traction pad runs the length of the board (26.5 by 102 to 117 inches) beginning 9.5 inches from the nose and extending to 12″ from the tail.
Two sets of bungee deck lacing systems are found at the nose and the tail. The bow deck lacing starts 18 inches from the nose, is 13 inches deep and 17 to 23 inches wide.
The rear deck lacing starts 19 inches from the tail, is 13 inches deep and 22 to 26 inches wide. A tensioner allows one to loosen or tighten up the grip.
A Daisy Chain Attachment system runs 105 inches down each side of the board deck pad. This consists of 53 loops 1.5 inches wide, and is used for attaching gear, as well as an optional kayak seat and foot brace.
There is one military valve to inflate the board – this is imprinted with inflation instructions. A neoprene, rear carrying handle makes it easier to pull the board into the water, and also has an integrated ankle leash d-ring.
There is one nose (tether) d-ring located on the underside of the board.
The Tahe Sport Beach 10-6 utilizes a standard US Fin box and comes with one 9-inch deep water fin which provides control and tracking. This can easily be replaced with a standard shallower fin if desired.
Additional accessories include a backpack-style carrying case, dual action pump, breakdown paddle and coiled leash.
The backpack is a generous 39 x 20 x 11.5 inches with clamshell zipper. Carrying handles are located on the top and one side as well as two adjustable backpack straps and back grab handle. There are two cinch straps on each side. All components can easily fit inside the bag, with room for extra gear.
The slim-barrel, dual action pump with gauge measures 26 x 10 x 4 inches with a 4 ft long hose and both inflate and deflate modes and one military valve adaptor.
The included breakdown paddle – which can be adjusted from 68 to 88 inches – is 3 pc aluminum and fits in the bag. This covers a wide range of paddler heights from roughly 4’10” to 6’6″, The blade is constructed from fiberglass/nylon and measures roughly 7.5 x 16 inches. In conjunction with foam inserts inside the shaft, once the paddle is assembled it will float for a while if dropped.
An 8-foot coiled ankle leash attaches to the board d-ring via a velcro strip. A neoprene-padded, velcro cuff allows you to attach the leash to your ankle or just below the knee.
We did measurement tests. The Tahe Sport Beach SUP-YAK 10’6″ inflated is approximately 125 inches long, 34 inches wide, and roughly 6 inches deep – pretty much on target with the published specs. Payload is up to 300 lbs.
Tahe Sports Beach SUP-YAK 10’6 On the Water
First of all, this is a nice-looking package – pump, paddle, leash, board and carrying bag. I took it out as a stand-up, on a slightly choppy day. With the 34 inch beam and 6 inch thickness, the board felt stable and was pretty easy to balance. As the SUP is lighterweight, a bit of weight on the front (like a backpack, dog or child) would even out the paddling. But in general, the board tracks well, has a nice glide, and is stable.
While I did not have access to the optional Kayak Kit, I was eager to try it out as a sit-on-top. I grabbed an Aquaglide Pro-Formance seat with inflatable base, and a kayak paddle. While the Aquaglide seat clips do not easily slip over the Daisy Chain loops, I turned up four carabiners which made attachment a cinch. The Aquaglide seat fully inflated was a little too high for my center of gravity (it felt slightly tippy) so I released some of the air.
As a sit-on-top kayak, the SUP-YAK is wonderful to paddle – smooth, rides over swells, and it’s fairly zippy. It’s also a great method of extending one’s paddling range when the water is choppy or it’s windy.
I might opt for a shallower fin, as I did get hooked on a circle of rocks hidden just below the surface, and ended up chipping the fin trying to get out. Either that, or purchase the SUP-YAK with Kayak Kit, which has three integrated shallow fins rather than one deep fin.
While I did not take members of our pack out for a paddle, I have taken them on previous versions. As shown above, the boards are so rugged, I would not hesitate bringing along a canine companion.
Tahe Sports Beach SUP-YAK 10-6: Packing It Up
Packing up is pretty simple. First, remove the fin taking care to rescrew the pin and plate onto the fin so it doesn’t get lost. Then push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. As there is so much pressure in the board, it is best to “burp” it (press down a couple times) to get some of the air out, before opening the plunger.
Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the snout of the ISUP. Start rolling up the board from the snout, top side up. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve. One can also place the pump on the snout so the pump is rolled up inside – remove the hose first, so it doesn’t get crushed.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle. Additionally, one can put the pump into deflate mode, and pump out any remaining air.
Bottom Line on the Tahe Sport 10’6″ Beach SUP-YAK
The Tahe Sport Beach 10-6 is a prime choice for an entry level paddle board package – it looks good, comes with nearly everything you need to get on the water (short of a PFD) and is a great price. The adjustable paddle can be used by a wide range of paddlers, from 4’10” to 6’6″ as well as varying water scenarios.
At 20 lbs (30lbs with everything in the bag), the Tahe Beach is lightweight, very simple to set up, paddles well and tracks/glides nicely.
The lower-profile, honey-comb deck pad offers standing comfort, providing just enough grip.
The 34 inch beam and 6 inch thickness provide stability and buoyancy. The thicker 150mm material provides more rigidity for paddlers on the higher end of the limits without sacrificing too much paddling versatility.
The Daisy Chain Attachment System – in concert with the bungee deck lacing systems – provides a multitude of places to attach gear. And the ability to add an optional kayak seat, paddle and brace to turn this into a sit-on-top kayak really enhances the board’s functionality.
The 10’6 Tahe Beach SUP-YAK is a good all-around board – good for standup, kneeling, diving and “lolling” around on shorelines, mild surf, slow-moving rivers, bays and inlets.
The Beach easily rolls up into the included backpack – which can house the pump, breakdown paddle and leash, making it a great inflatable for traveling or for heading into the back country.
Best of all, it’s economical. At $529.95, the Tahe Beach 10-6 is an excellent choice for a family or adult wanting versatility as the Beach 10-6 can be enjoyed by all ages, children to adults.
Larger paddlers – or those wanting to bring more gear or another paddler – should take a gander at the Beach 11-6 with a 450 lb payload and $549.95 price tag.
For more info, or to purchase a Beach SUP-YAK, visit the Tahe Sport Beach SUP-YAK 10’6″ product page on AirKayaks.com. You can also read our blog on the 2021 Tahe Inflatable SUP and Kayak Product Line Up.
Check out the YouTube video (below), which features an overview of the Beach SUP-YAKs and the SUP-YAKS in action: