Only best products in a given category receive “A” grade.
Paddle Board Highlights
Who is it for?
If you’re looking for a durable all-around/touring inflatable stand up paddle board that is fully equipped with everything you need, check out the SIC Maui Tao Air Tour. The Tao Air Tour is great for everyone— from taking the family out on the water to surfing small to mid-sized waves, doing sup yoga, or even just touring the ocean shore. This board is made with SIC’s Drop Stitch Construction (DSC) and Support Stringer Technology (SST) making the board strong and stable. We weighed this board at 25lbs, which is an average weight for a board this size and very manageable when carrying. This board is designed for mid-range paddling of distances in the range of 3 to 5 miles, but not much beyond that. Priced at $769.95 (USD), this board sits at the affordable mid-price point tier.
At first glance, and what we expect to see from SIC, the quality was top notch. Additionally, it was quite obvious that they were incredibly thoughtful when it came to every detail of the board, from the exceptionally beautiful play on color and graphics with wood finish on a pop of white, to the detailed construction deck pad, to the D-rings placed underneath the nose and at the top of the nose and tail with bungees attached. The board was fairly easy to carry down to the water, though a little heavier than other inflatable boards we have reviewed in the past. When getting onto the board it felt very stable and glided through the water really well. In fact, it was so stable that at one point we forgot we were on an inflatable. Another thing worth mentioning about the tech that SIC uses here, their stringer support technology, really does help add to the rigidity and stability of the board, and it’s also likely why the board does feel slightly heavier than other boards we’ve tested. That being said, we’ll take the durability and rigidity any day over something more lightweight and flimsy. Everyone who can walk should be able to easily stand on this board and paddle away without issue. Everything including the box was branded head to toe with the SIC Maui logo and signature black and white coloring, including a 8.0” mahi fin, repair kit with spare fin screw + plate, dual-action pump, leash (which includes a cool key storage feature), 3 piece aluminum paddle w/ anti twist grip, and the backpack carry case (no wheels). Overall, everything from the package to the details of the board itself and how it paddled/felt on the water earns this board an A.
Paddle Boards fall into two broad categories, All-Around and Specialty boards, with all-around designed primarily for recreation while speciality boards for top performance in specific disciplines
Durability is largely a result of the board construction and shape, with more durable boards typically carrying more materials (added layers, PVC, etc) and as such adding to the weight.
Stability is a product of construction and shape, where boards w/ 30”+ wide and 200+ liters in volume offer plenty of stability for your AVG adult while a board under 26” wide is a challenge.
Glide is a result of board shape and construction, w/ boards weighing under 30lbs and designed for racing offering best glide while recreational boards normally being on the slow side
Dimensions11' x 32"
Industry standard in board dimensions reads: L (length, from nose to tail) x W (width, from rail to rail at midpoint length), and H (height, from top to bottom of board at midpoint length).
Standup paddle boards tend to fall into 4 different weight classes: extremely lightweight (under 20 lbs), lightweight (20-28 lbs), average weight (28-35 lbs), heavy (above 35 lbs).
Volume is a key metric to determine how much weight a board can carry. Boards w/ 200+ liters offer most floatation with boards under 150 liters typically for high-performance surf
Capacity255 lbs / 115 kg
Capacity is the max cargo weight a stand up paddle board can carry, considering not only the paddler’s weight but whatever else the paddler may choose to carry alongside him/her.
Add On'sBungee Nose, Bungee Tail, D Ring, Paddle Included, Leash Included, Camera Holder, Soft grip pad on shaft of paddle
Add-on’s include bungee cords, a minimalist way to haul things; Connexsup, which allows for all sorts of attachments, even fishing rods; and FCS II/Connect, for easy fin instal.
Handles directly affect carrying ease, with external grip handles (Liftsup & EZgrab) offering most comfort, Internal Ergo Grip the mid-tier comfort, and box handles as least comfortable.
Fishing rod holders and/or paddle holders can make paddling that much more pleasant, esp. when needing holders for the rod or having a safe place for the paddle during yoga.
|11 Feet 0 Inches||32 Inches||- Inches||320 L|
|12 Feet 6 Inches||30 Inches||- Inches||330 L|
For more detailed reviews and to look at similar models, visit Supconnect.com. If you like this review, give us the thumbs up. Don’t forget to leave your thoughts in the comments. And make sure to subscribe to our newsletter so you never miss the latest news and reviews from Supconnect.