Print this page

Announcing 2022's Gear of the Year Winners

SAN DIEGO, California - After more than 6 weeks of deliberation the staff here at Supconnect is excited to announce the 2022 Gear of the Year Awards winners from our 13th Annual Supconnect Awards. As a brief background of the Gear of the Year awards, there were 9 categories for products to be nominated and an additional Overall gear winner. The 2022 Supconnect Gear of the Year Awards launched on July 1st and with support from voters and feedback from retailers and our advisory board, winners have been chosen. So, without further ado, here are the category winners for the 2022 Supconnect Gear of the Year:

Overall - SIC Maui Okeanos

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

When you can’t get a board out of your head because you remember how much fun you had on it you know you’ve come across something special. The Okeanos has been that board time and time again, not just for us but for retailers and consumers as well. The Okeanos is a beautifully done touring-specific paddle board that is versatile in use allowing for a guaranteed good time. It has a great platform for gear; it’s stable; has great glide; comfortable deck; nice handle and stunning graphics. It’s available in both composite and inflatable options as well. The SIC Maui Okeanos has left a lasting impression here at Supconnect and what’s more, when we spoke to many different retailers this board was one that kept being brought up and highlighted which is ultimately why we’re giving it the Supconnect Gear of the Year Awards 2022 for Overall Gear of the Year.


Inflatable - iRocker Ultra Series

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

Finding a quality yet affordable inflatable standup paddle board can be quite a challenge with the market heavily saturated in inflatable paddle board products. There are so many products to choose from and it’s not always easy to find something that’s affordable yet has great quality and is a good all around package. Enter iRocker’s line of Ultra paddleboards. Newly released in late Spring of this year, the Ultra Series from iRocker is an amazing package with quality materials, all at an affordable price. This board is very lightweight AND durable which is a tricky combo to find. The features and details in this inflatable package are incredibly well thought out and it also comes in multiple sizes and shapes with various graphics options so you’re practically guaranteed to find something in the Series that you’ll like. And what’s more, the Ultra Series is a compact inflatable option, meaning the size of the package is about half the size you’ll see for a typical inflatable on the market making it even easier to transport, store and take on-the-go. Oh, and it comes with an electric pump that does all the inflation for you which is the cherry on top. The Ultra inflatables from iRocker are great for all paddlers and are a great option that the entire family can enjoy. For that, iRocker’s Ultra Series wins 2022’s Best Inflatable Standup Paddle Board.



All Around - Fantic Fly

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

Beginner-friendly, stable and versatile are some of the characteristics that come to mind when thinking about what an all around paddle board should be. The Fantic Fly all around SUP is that and more. The Fly was designed for use across a wide range of conditions, by paddlers of various skill sets and sizes. The shorter models are better suited to surf conditions, while the longer wider models are great for larger paddlers or families who will be paddling together on one board. The board can even be transformed with the option to add a sail and windsurf in light winds! The graphics on the board are also bold and eye catching which is always a welcome addition. These factors mixed in with feedback from retailers are why we’ve selected the Fly from Fanatic as our 2022 Supconnect Gear of the Year for our All Around category.



Race - Starboard All Star

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

Buzz and popularity by themselves are not enough to earn one of Supconnect’s awards. But sometimes, all the chatter around a product has real substance behind it. And here is where Starboard’s infamous All Star comes in. The All Star is arguably the winningest paddle board on the market. You’re practically guaranteed to see at the very least one paddler at every race riding this paddle board. With years of research and design and updates to the board annually, the All Star just keeps getting better. 2022's edition features a new narrower and sharper vee nose which helps with a cleaner entry and increases acceleration and glide. Also new is a lower round vee bottom which helps create a flatter overall bottom shape which translates to an increase in overall control, tracking and stability AND a newly refined standing area thickness which limits water entry and helps flush out water quickly. Here, buzz, popularity and performance are the byproducts of a truly extraordinary SUP race board, Starboard’s All Star, Race Board of the Year for the 4th time in the Supconnect Awards.



Surf - Infinity New Deal

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

The balancing act between production and custom surfboards is no easy feat. Learning from the design features that empower the best surfers in the world to shine, but then importing them into a board for your average consumer to rip is one of the toughest challenges for board designers. And there are few products that strike that ever-fleeting balance. Infinity’s New Deal is one of them. Infinity’s roots are in surfing so it’s no surprise that their standup paddle surfboards are of top quality and performance. The New Deal is a performance longboard shape with a thin rail and concave like a shortboard underneath. Essentially, this board is the best of both worlds with both longboard and shortboard features incorporated into its design, and it’s made to rip. Plus, it’s got the stamp of approval from retailers. With that incredible balancing act Infinity's New Deal (for the second year in a row) has earned the 2022 SUP Surfboard of the Year in the Supconnect Awards.


Touring - SIC Maui Okeanos

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

We hate to be a broken record here but the people just can’t seem to get enough of the SIC Maui Okeanos. Retailers, consumers, and we’ll admit even our editorial team love this board, and for good reason. The Okeanos checks all the boxes of an excellent touring board. It has a great platform for gear; it’s stable; has great glide; comfortable deck; nice handle; etc. but more than that, it’s got the fun factor. When we originally tried this board as a prototype model we could not get it off our minds. Since that first glide way back in 2019 we’ve seen and tested almost every iteration and update to this board and it’s one of the best out there. The Okeanos is one of those boards where you’re guaranteed to have a good time. The way the volume is distributed throughout the board makes for a very stable platform so you can have fun all throughout the board whether you are doing fancy footwork or loading it up with gear and going on an adventure. The graphics branch out from what SIC has done in the past and add a bit more flare to the look of the board and is a welcome addition to SIC Maui’s classic solid colors that they’re known for. It also comes in an inflatable version (yay!) for those who want something more compact. The board works best primarily in flat water in a very competent way and retailers give this board two thumbs up. For all the reasons above the Okeanos is once again awarded as Supconnect’s Best Touring SUP award for 2022.



Graphics - BOTE Abalone

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

There must be a beautiful quote somewhere saying something like, "Life to be fully experienced must be wrapped up in visual and emotional depth" – some grand statement along those lines. However the words turnout, products sometimes do that to people. Their graphics and construction jump out of the shelf, immediately connecting at some deeper level. This year, that's the Abalone from BOTE. BOTE is well-known for their unique and eye-catching graphics but the Abalone might just be our favorite yet. The graphics and color coordination here are jaw-dropping and incredibly photogenic, especially when on the water. Given the thought, uniqueness and stunning execution, it's with a full round of applause that BOTE’s Abalone design receives the 2022 Supconnect Award for Best Graphics in our Gear of the Year category.



Rental - NSP Cruiser

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

To be honest, it's quite strange to have an awards category for the paddle board rental market. And yet, when you think that half, if not most, of the people stand up paddling are on rental fleets, then it settles the score. It needs its own award. And what's more, the Rental Gear Award must recognize brands raising the bar of excellence in this tough category, where low price point meets product durability. The problem is that this combination in the past has almost always delivered ugly, ungodly heavy boards. Now with new innovations in building boards these unattractive, heavy boards are transforming into beautiful boards that are manageable for the average person to handle. Enter the NSP Cruiser with HIT construction. While this board is not new to the market, it’s been a constant and one that we’ve seen stand the test of time. Its very durable construction is not – we repeat, "is not! – ungodly heavy and has a really nice graphic design to it. In addition, Retailers and rental outfitters have given it the nod. With that, the NSP Cruiser takes Rental Gear of the Year for 2022 in the Supconnect Awards.



Technology - Starboard iCON

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

The team at Starboard are constantly researching, developing and testing new technologies in their standup paddle boards and their innovation is something we’ve come to expect from them. This year was no different and Starboard introduced a brand new technology called iCON. What is the iCON tech you might ask? Let us shed some light for you. To sum it up, the iCON is the first inflatable standup paddle board with concaves on the market. So what does this mean? The concave shape on the deck allows you to stand closer to the water for more control, and the catamaran style hull creates further stability. Concaves are a very common design feature on composite boards but up until now, have not been seen in inflatables. Talk about innovation. The iCON tech and innovation that it brings deserves recognition and that’s exactly why we’re awarding it with the best Technology Gear Award in the 2022 Supconnect Awards.


Hybrid - Starboard Wingboard 4-in-1

supconnect 2020 gear of the year overall

A new trend in recent years has seen more and more paddle boards being designed as a dual-purpose or multi-use craft. This trend has held over the last few years and we’ve seen the category really come to life in the market. And it makes a ton of sense, right? Who wouldn’t want 1 piece of equipment that can do multiple watersports activities? We’re here for it. For this category, we look at boards that best fit a dual or multi-purpose use between either two (or more) SUP disciplines or hybrids between two (or more) entirely different sports. For the first couple of years this award was given, a SUP/Kayak hybrid took top honors but this year we’re seeing a new dimension of hybrid take the win. To be more accurate, it’s actually a quadbrid, aka a board that has 4 built into 1! Who would be so bold as to take up this daunting task? You know the product design team at Starboard was up for the challenge and this year they released their 4-in-1 Inflatable. Yes, you read that right. The Starboard 4-in-1 Wingboard Inflatable can service standup paddle boarding, windsurf, wing surf AND wing paddling all with the same board. Now if that’s not impressive I don’t know what is. And true to what you’d expect from the Starboard crew, the board is built with quality materials and plays part in Starboard’s eco initiatives. Put all that together and that’s why we’re naming Starboard’s Wingboard 4-in-1 Inflatable as the winner of best Hybrid Gear of the Year in the 2022 Supconnect Awards.


Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees of the 2022 Supconnect Gear of the Year Awards! The winners of the remaining 7 cateogories in the Supconnect Awards will be announced soon! 

Last modified onThursday, 04 August 2022 15:01

Submit your news, events, and all SUP info, so we can keep promoting and driving the great lifestyle of stand up paddling, building its community, and introducing people to healthier living.

Website: supconnect.com Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website Developed and Managed by © i9media Supconnect. All rights reserved.