By: Sean Reavis
Taking out a new board is like taking out a new car. It is always a treat, and no matter what the outcome - is always a fun time! The same can be said about the recent trial run of the Journey Stand Up Paddle Board. The board seemed undersized for me, at 10.6 feet long, and it would seem like a roll of the dice in terms of performance for a 6 foot guy like myself at 185 pounds; however, the speed and stability never faltered. Each paddle stroke responded with increased speed and glide through the water, and the low rounded rails kept me out of any possible wobbling caused by racing type rails which don't dissipate the incoming energy from surface chop.
The typical rounded surf styled front was perfectly rockered for racing speed and also touring speed or cruising. The rocker allowed for the board to glide atop the water's surface without causing any extra surface drag. The finish on the board wasn't a polished car finish, but rather seemed more durable to both weather and use. Nothing is scratch resistant, but it felt almost like a kevlar coating. I'm not sure whether paint finish helps with reducing friction, but I definitely liked the texture of the surface. Science has found that the rough skin of a shark helps it reduce water tension – so maybe the folks at Journey have applied some of that wisdom in their choice of coating.
In terms of comfort – I also liked the feel on my feet of the foot matting that was placed on the top of the board. It felt like the kind of board I could easily throw on top of any vehicle easily and be able to rely on it's durability.
I know I liked not having to pump up anything; just the act of taking it down and grabbing a paddle. I was using a single thruster fin and didn't notice any drastic deviation in my path as I paddled straight lines; which allows for at least 4 strokes per side even at low speeds.
The board is a 9 out of 10 points if I were to score it, and not because I didn't like it... I really liked it a lot and the price point makes it even sweeter at $699 on Amazon! The only thing I realized that I might want is a full-length foot pad that went to the nose, as this would allow me to do other things on this board. I can definitely see it having multiple uses, behind a boat, SUP-Surfing, or just a great recreational board.
Board Width: 32 inches
Nose Width: 19 inches
Tail Width: 15 inches
Board Thickness: 4.75 inches
Volume: 180 liters
Board Weight: 27 lbs.
Float Weight: 225 lbs.
Construction: Hand Shaped 1-lb EPS Foam Core
Glassing: Top: 3x-6oz | Bottom: 2x-6oz.
Deck Traction: EVA memory foam
Fin Length: Single Removable Fin
Other Features: LIFTSUP Handle | CONNEXSUP plug | Vent plug | Leash plug