Walkers Bay’s Airis Arrow SUP. We love to be on the water don’t we. For some of us it’s to relax and kick back. But for others its a way to be active and to get fit. One way of keeping fit is to paddle around in a kayak or SUP. Stand up paddle boarding is one of the fastest growing sports.
For you to carry a Kayak or SUP onboard the problem is where do you stow them and the answer is get one of the inflatable versions. There are many Inflatable kayaks & SUP boards on the market and far from being poor cousins of the real thing they are in fact quite proven performers.
With an inflatable is quite easy to pack them in a bag and stow them below. Its also quite easy to inflate plus you’ll get some extra exercise pumping them up. Of course you can always get a 12 volt inflator to save you energy for the paddle.
Inflatable Stand up Paddle Board SUP
If a SUP is on your agenda and an inflatable one allows you to store it down below or in a Lazarette locker, the question becomes which brand is for you? Here we review the Airis Arrow from Walker Bay.
So why should you choose the Airis Arrow over other inflatable SUP’s? Walker Bay make some good inflatable kayaks and they have a very good reputation for quality so that is one reason.
But what else makes the Airis SUP stand out? The answer is the air pressure required to inflate and pumping up to 6.5 PSI is a lot easier and faster than the 11 PSI and more required for some of the competitors. See below the pressures other inflatable SUP require.
AIRIS® Arrow™ High-Pressure Stand-Up Paddle Board.
Build & Construction
Walker bay uses what it calls AIRIS AirWeb Construction. The heavy duty, seven layer polymer coated fabric is joined inside by thousands of drop-stitch fibers to give the board its rigidity. This material is similar to that used by other boards. However the 6 inch thick board is thicker than other boards, and it only needs 6.5 PSI of inflation. I am not sure the thicker board compromises the boards performance, in fact Walker Bay claim the board is stiffer than the competition and so performance is improved. See the vide review below
Airis useful features.
- Carry handles
- Storage bungee for stuff
- 2 rigid plates for firm footing
- Light 22lbs for the 11 ft version
- Tracking fin
AIRIS® Arrow™ High-Pressure Stand-Up Paddle Board Models
9 foot Stubby model
11 foot model 250 lbs payload
12.5ft model 275 lbs payload
You don’t have to Sacrifice Performance for Convenience in a SUP.
Introducing the New AIRIS® HardTop™, the World’s first Hybrid High-Pressure Stand-Up Paddle Board.
The Revolutionary HardTop™ Hybrids combine Walker Bay’s patented AirWeb™ construction with two large RigiDeck™ non-skid fiberglass steps. The stiffness of AirWeb™ means the board tracks better than other inflatable SUPs while the EVA covered fiberglass steps make it feels exactly like a rigid board while paddling. While other inflatable SUP designs flex underfoot and make it difficult to balance, the HardTop™ is just as rigid as a fully rigid board but with the convenience of an inflatable SUP. Don’t compromise. Just enjoy!
RigiDeck™ EVA Covered Fiberglass Steps – Two rigid base plates create a solid standing area which feels as stiff to your feet as a rigid SUP but still allows for the HardTop™ to deflate and roll for convenient storage
Air Web™ 6” Construction –The HardTop™ SUP is built using Walker Bay’s proprietary AIRIS® high pressure construction. The HardTop™ inflates to 6.5psi and with the 6” thick construction is incredibly rigid vs. other more standard inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards
Gear attachment points – attachment points in the front of the board are perfect for tying down gear or belongings
Airpack™ carrying bag – comes included with every HardTop™ SUP and makes transporting simple and easy
Large Rear Skeg offers better tracking performance
Premium one-way valves make inflation and deflation easy and straightforward
Proprietary AIRIS® High-Pressure Construction means the HardTop™ SUP is the most Rigid Inflatable SUP in the World.
High Pressure Adjustable Two-Way Hand Pump included. Hand pump inflates the HardTop™ SUP in minutes and includes an adjustable valve for one or two way pumping plus a pressure gage to ensure the proper PSI level.
Performance & Construction
The AIRIS Arrow Inflatable SUP tracks better than any other inflatable SUP in the World because it is stiffer than any other inflatable SUP in the World. Only with the AIRIS Patented AirWeb construction can we make something inflatable that works this well.
How is it Stiffer?
Most other inflatable SUP boards are built using standard 4″ drop-stitch material. To try to create stiffness the construction of these boards attempt to reach higher PSI pressures to help.
AIRIS construction achieves this stiffness through proprietary AirWeb™ 6″ construction. The HarTop SUP’s provide superior stiffness, holding a better waterline and create an inflatable board that feels like a rigid board.
The other issue with Inflatable SUP’s is rigidity under foot. To balance on a board you need to constantly adjust your balance and it the surface under your feet is not still then this is difficult and you can get foot cramping. The EVA covered fiberglass steps on the HardTop boards make them feel exactly like a rigid board while paddling.
Other Inflatable SUP’s
There are many competitors to to the Airis Arrow. Here we look at three competitors. Each of these boards need to be pumped up to a much higher pressure which is time consuming and takes some effort. The Walker Bay Airis HardTop™ inflates to just 6.5 PSI which is a lot less than 17 PSI making inflation a lot quicker.
Each of the models have drop stitching that joins the top and bottom of the board which keeps the top and bottom the right distance apart.
BIC inflatable SUP 15 PSI
Advanced Element Hula 11 PSI
iSUP iTREKKER 12-6 Inflatable Stand-up Board SUP 15-17 PSI, $1,320.
12.5 foot Airis $1,199
11 foot Airis $999