We have recently focused on the new AquaGlide models for 2021 as they’ve arrived over the past few months. A division of Connelly Skis, the Aquaglide brand has grown steadily over the past 15 years, now encompassing inflatable kayaks and standup paddle boards. Priced at $999, the Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP is at the top end of Aquaglide’s range, yet still packs features and value to punch above its weight in the category.
We were so excited to try out the new Blackfoot Angler 11 inflatable SUP that we used it 4+ times before getting around to the review. It remains the only fishing-specific model in the AquaGlide standup paddle board line.
The double-boxed board as-arrived is 43l x 18w x 16h (in) weighing in at 54 lbs.
Inside is the Blackfoot Angler 11 body, backpack, repair kit, high pressure pump with gauge and removable fins. The instructions are included and the board is wrapped nicely!
Airkayaks Pro Tip #1
TAKE A PICTURE of your board as you take it out of the box so that you know how to pack it back up again. Here is a nice one of the Blackfoot Angler 11. Note – this is the way we have found it easiest to repack after 4+ uses. Detailed instructions at the end of the review.
The board itself weighs 29 lbs, or 40 lbs inside the backpack with pump – these all easily fit in the back of a small car. Folded up in the bag, the dimensions are 42 x 15 x 12 inches with a bunch of room at the top. We are storing our sup belt and a few extras in the pack.
For your first set up unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the Halkey-Roberts (HR) valve.
The Blackfoot Angler 11′ iSUP utilizes one spring-loaded HR 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). Use your finger to gently push on the plunger, it moves 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, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The Blackfoot paddle board we received included the standard AquaGlide double-action pump with gauge.
First, attach the gauge to the hose, then the hose to the pump handle.
Then screw it onto the board valve and firmly lock it into position. You’re ready to pump!
AirKayaks Pro Tip #2
The first time may be difficult to attach the adaptor due to the vacuum. If you open the valve and allow air to creep into the board, then close the valve to start pumping, it creates an air pocket, making it easier to attach. But the first time you may need to push and turn, quite hard. Additionally, the o-ring material is quite stiff. Placing it in the sun for a few moments will soften it slightly.
At 150 pumps the board was starting to fill out and the needle started to register; by 180 pumps we were at 3 PSI and the needle was moving up and down. By 225 pumps we were at 6 PSI with another 25 pumps we were at 8 PSI. The needle now starts to stay in position. With another 50 pumps, the board was up to 14 PSI, and we decided to stop.
We removed the adaptor from the valve and SWOOSH – all the air came back out. We were familiar with this as it has happened in the past. There is a bar inside the adaptor which presses open the valve when attached . This feature allows you to get “real time” pressure gauge readings. If you are not very careful when removing the adaptor (make sure you press in slightly as you turn), the valve will not be re-engaged and will remain open. End result, we started back up from 5 PSI.
AirKayaks Pro Tip #3
Make absolutely sure that you grab the adaptor when twisting the hose off the valve, and not the hose. If you aren’t careful the hose will pull off the adaptor while it is still locked onto the valve.
Guess what happens?
You’ve got it, all the air comes out.
Continue pumping until you get to your optimum pressure; AquaGlide says to inflate from 14 to 18 PSI.
Flip the board and lay out the fin, making sure it is pointing towards the rear of the board. The Blackfoot uses a US fin box, allowing one to use after-market fins for varying water conditions. The included fin measures 8-inches deep.
There are 2 additional clip in shallow water fins to improve tracking.
About the Fin
The Blackfoot Angler 11 includes Aquaglide’s flex fin. This is an upgrade from a standard fin and it makes bumping into obstacles or the bottom, less harsh. It also is easier on the fin box. The main thing is safety. If you are jumping on and off in shallow water while fishing or in surf and you get hit by the fin it’s not going to cut you. This is especially the case if the board is loaded down with coolers and other gear.
Airkayaks Pro Tip #4
If you are using this board in shallow water, skip installing the center fin.
First remove the screw and plate from the fin, then screw them back together. Use the screw to guide the fin plate to the front of the track. Put the “pin side” of the fin into the center track, and push toward the stern. Next, lower the other end of the fin over the fin plate. Pulling up on the fill will double check to make sure the fin is fully attached.
That’s it! Pretty minimal set-up, with most of it pumping. Roughly ten minutes and you’re ready to go!
Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP Construction
The Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP is constructed from 150 mm thick 1000-denier drop-stitch material. This construction method uses thousands of fibers (threads) to lock the top and bottom layers together, allowing the board to be pumped up to higher pressures.
Three layers – dropstitch layer with aramid fiber stitches and a woven polyester core, reinforcement Duratex PVC layer top and bottom, and an additional Tritex layer on the sides – provide protection against air leakage as well as improving board stiffness.
Overlapping, taped side rails also provide added protection and rigidity. You can see the “carbon-fiber-esque” look of the side tape. Aquaglide refers to this technology as their “AeroRail” feature and will increase board stiffness by 30+% without adding much weight. You will also find similar construction in Pau Hana, and Red Paddle Co Boards.
Overall – the boards construction is comparable to higher end boards in the $1300 to $2000 price point. A nice touch Aquaglide!
Blackfoot Angler 11 iSUP Features and Specifications
The Blackfoot Angler 11′ iSUP is very simple.
There are three neoprene-padded handles. (front, rear and center)
Front bungee deck lacing measures 18 to 25 inches wide by 13 inches deep, with 6 cloth d-rings. The lacing starts 16 inches from the nose.
Rear Deck bunees are 24x14x12 and start 12 inches from the rear.
There are seven integrated mounts to attach Scotty accessories. (five are towards the nose and two towards the tail)
The mounts are 2.25 by 4.25 inches (pad is 5 x 7 inches) and use 4 each 1/4-20 x 7/8th stainless steel screws. The screw locations are approximately 1.25 x 3.25 inches center-to-center.
Molly Stringers in the center allow for attachment of a variety of gear.
A microtexture EVA deck pad measures 75 inches long x 28 inches wide, beginning 43 inches from the nose and 17 inches from the tail.
A printed 30-inch ruler (measuring 20 inches) is located just forward of the deck pad.
Six cloth d-rings (three each side) are located rear of the center handle. These mollies make it easy to attach the optional Aquaglide Frame Seat or an aftermarket cooler.
There is one HR valve. There are two rear D-rings to attach a leash or Anchor.
The included glass-filled tracking fin utilizes a US fin box and measures roughly 8 inches deep.
AquaGlide’s River Crossing backpack is made from a rugged, commercial-grade polyester, the Blackfoot’s oversized backpack measures 40 x 17 x 10 inches. Two padded, adjustable backpack straps can be hidden inside a large, zippering pocket when not in use. Two lower straps form an adjustable waist belt, which also can be stashed into two lower side compartments.
Thick, foam strips with breathable mesh, provide padded comfort across the back. Two side mesh pockets can be used to house gear or a breakdown paddle; two cinching side straps keep paddles in position as well as cinching down the load. The pack features a rubber-molded handle on top and rear carrying handle, two lower drain holes, and a zipper which runs 2/3rds of the pack perimeter. A 17 x 8 inch bungee deck lacing system tops off the list, for attaching gear. The wide-barrel pump can fit inside the pack, or attached to the outside. The bag itself weighs 3.5 lbs.
The AquaGlide high pressure, double action pump measures 25 inches tall by 12 inches wide, and a 4-inch barrel with metal pump shaft. The integrated pressure gauge can read up to 30 PSI .The hose is 48 inches long and comes with an HR Valve Adapter.
We did measurement tests. At 15 PSI, the Blackfoot 11’0″ inflatable SUP ran 131 inches long, 35 to 36 inches wide and 6 inches thick – specifications say 11 by 36″ wide by 6 inches deep. Max payload is 450 lbs.
Aquaglide Blackfoot iSUP On the Water
I took the board out on a fairly calm day with some mild chop, along with the optional frame seat. I was immediately surprised at how well it handled. Tracking was good and it paddled smoothly. The wider silhouette makes the board quite stable, but it’s not a speed demon. It was easy to get up and down, without feeling “tippy.” The EVA deck pad was comfortable and provided good grip. On another note, turning was somewhat maneuverable, but as a recreational board, not quite as necessary.
I headed into the wind, over some small chop – even with the slight chop, I didn’t feel flexing underfoot. The board offers a slight rocker design at the front which handles small chop well.
Using the Blackfoot Angler 11 as a Kayak/SUP Combo
Eyeing the rear d-rings, I went back and grabbed an AquaGlide Frame seat. The d-rings are near perfectly positioned for attaching a seat, and I headed back out. As a sit-on-top kayak, the board handles beautifully and actually becomes speedy. Turning is easy, the board is roomy and I could easily see bringing lots of gear, a child, or a canine buddy.
As a bonus, one can sit on the cooler and paddle if it gets too windy, or one is tired. The board handled great in chop, and paddled well downwind.
I took out my son Gavin, and let some neighbors test out the board. The boards are quite rugged – dog claws are not an issue. In addition, the board bounces off protruding branches and submerged rocks without a blip, and it’s stable enough that sudden movements are not catastrophic.
We have tested out the board with larger paddlers (300 lbs+) and it worked like a champ!
Aquaglide Blackfoot iSUP: 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. 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. Slowly tap the valve to “bleed” off the high pressure several times for a few seconds, increasing the release time as you go.
Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the nose of the iSUP. Start folding up the board from the nose, top side down. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and slip it back into the backpack. As a note, the use of some type of cinch belt will make it easier to keep rolled up.
Airkayaks Pro Tip #5
To pack the board, the easiest way is to fold it in thirds length wise, then 2 forward folds to the midpoint of the board, then two backwards folds to the midpoint of the board.
Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 11″ iSUP – Bottom Line
The AquaGlide Blackfoot Angler 11 is a winner. It looks great, tracks and paddles well and is rugged. The wide beam makes it stable enough for beginners – and it’s so versatile!
Billed as a fishing paddle board, in effect, it’s a great all-around “outdoorsman” inflatable SUP. Integrated attachments for Scotty mounts allow one to outfit the board with fishing rod holders as well as mounts for GPS, fish finder, compass, camera and more.
The SUP equivalent of a “gear hauler”
Two sets of bungee deck lacing and the molle strip are perfect for attaching camping gear, dry bags and backpacks while hefty rear d-rings are situated to carry more gear, even a cooler. Couple that with the 450 lb payload, and the Blackfoot turns into a mobile platform capable of carrying an arsenal of supplies for a day or an extended camping trip.
Strip the board down to nothing, and you have a good recreational paddle board for on-the-water enjoyment and exercise. The Blackfoot Angler is roomy enough to bring along a small child and gear, yet rugged enough for a furry friend. It’s a great choice for a family board, perfect for lakes, calm rivers and coastal inlets.
The Frame Seat
By attaching an optional seat, such as the AquaGlide Frame Seat, Proformance or Core kayak seat, to the rear d-rings, the Blackfoot Angler quickly converts into a great sit-on-top kayak, providing an additional dimension to a daily paddling routine.
Best of all, it’s highly portable. The new AquaGlide River Crossing backpack is a huge step up, and roomy enough to easily fit your board with some gear. Multiple attachment points, padded back, hidden pockets for loose-hanging straps and side pockets are just a few of the amenities. It can easily be stored in a closet, or stashed in a car for spur of the moment fun. Traveling? Take your Blackfoot on your next vacation.
The Aquaglide Blackfoot Angler 11′ inflatable paddle board with backpack and pump is a great buy at $999. Airkayaks also offers an upgraded Kayak Package with the Aquaglide Frame Seat and kayak paddle at $1129, allowing you to extend the paddling options.