Body Glove Performer iSUP Review
If “Body Glove” makes you think of wetsuits, you aren’t wrong. This is what the twin brothers, Bill and Bob Meistrall began the company on in 1953. Eventually, they would expand their operation to include all things water.
Whether you are an avid paddleboarder or you are just starting out, the Body Glove Performer 11 iSUP might be right for you. Designed to cater to beginners, families, and seasoned paddlers alike, the BG Performer 11 ticks off most of the “must haves” in a solid iSUP.
We put the Performer 11 to the test to find out if it actually lives up to its hype. We will cover all the top features this board offers, along with how well it performs in a variety of conditions to help you determine if this iSUP is right for you.
Who Should Ride the Body Glove Performer 11 iSUP?
Our simple answer is: everyone, including the dog! Seriously though, this board is designed to be family-friendly. From its reinforced center stringer and nose bumper to its extra-wide deck pad, the BG Performer practically invites the whole family to ride along.
The BG Performer 11 is geared for older children, adults, newbies and semi-professional paddlers. Lightweight and stable for kids and newer paddlers, it also features a pointed nose allowing advanced paddlers options in performance. Fitness enthusiasts and adventurers will also like this board. Ultimately, we would agree that this board is an ideal all-around iSUP for nearly anyone.
Specifications of the Body Glove Performer 11 iSUP
Size: 11’L x 34″W x 6″TWeight: 24 lbs.Capacity: 320 lbs.Max Inflate: 15 psi
The BG Performer iSUP kit includes a three-piece adjustable paddle that ranges in length from 70 inches to 85 inches. There is also a translucent ankle leash, dual-action high-pressure hand pump, repair kit, carrying backpack and dry bag. All is mostly standard equipment for an iSUP kit, but the dry bag is a nice perk that isn’t always included with other boards.
Body Glove Performer Features:
Touring paddlers and those who paddle with pets or children will most appreciate the features of the BG performer. However, it isn’t a bad board for some light-technical paddling and slightly-advanced speed. We will break down the features of this iSUP, so you can decide for yourself.
Shape and Materials
The BG Performer has a unique shape for an all-around board with its pointy nose and wide center base. Usually, you will find this pointed style on racing boards with much thinner bodies. Having this pointed nose makes it easier for the paddler to cut through the water. This means that even newer, weaker paddlers can truly get out and enjoy themselves with little extra effort.
The board itself is made of heavy-duty, puncture-resistant PVC and has a three-layer center stringer with two-layer side rails. This adds to the durability of the board, which is a plus if children and pets will be joining in the fun.
Additionally, the center stringer provides for utmost rigidity. When inflated to its fully-recommended psi, the BG Performer feels like a solid board.
You will also find that the BG Performer has a reinforced nose. This is a huge benefit for newbies still figuring out how to steer. It will protect the board from damage caused by running into rocky shorelines or other obstacles in the water.
Large EVA Deck Pad
The soft EVA deck pad covers most of the middle and back of the board. This large coverage area means there is plenty of room to adjust or to bring along travelers. Though you potentially could engage in some iSUP yoga if you were skilled, this probably would not be your first choice of boards if that was solely your goal.
The diamond groove pattern atop the foam gives you plenty of traction even when the board is wet.
Three Built-In Fins
We love the convenience of the three built-in fins because there are no extra pieces to attach (or lose) before hitting the water. They are durable and definitely not apt to breaking off.
On the other hand, the smaller fins are not very useful for enhancing tracking or stability when water is choppy or the air is windy. A single, long, and therefore probably removable fin might be a better option for controlling tracking and feeling less-wobbly at times. A longer fin would be ideal for those looking for a touring board.
Additionally, these fins tend to bend and lose their shape after being stored for an extended period of time.
Bungee Storage Area
The bungee storage area is near the nose and has six lash points making it easy to secure and store gear including flotation devices, dry bags, shoes, and coolers. This is handy when you plan on spending long days on the water.
Action Mount and Carry Handle
There is a special rubber mount on the nose that allows you to secure a camera like a GoPro. This means you can capture all your family adventures! Not a standard feature on most boards, we really like this option.
Often overlooked is the center carrying handle on iSUPs and it is literally one of the most important. How many times have you wished your SUP was easier to carry? The BG Performer has a neoprene handle cover to make it gentler on your carrying hand.
Additionally, the cover expands, with the help of velcro, to become a water bottle or paddle holster. We simply love the two-in-one set up of this.
Two d-rings are available off of the center handle for tie-down points. You will also find one d-ring at the back of the board to attach your ankle leash to.
We found the high-pressure handpump to be of average makeup, and it was sufficient in filling the board to 15 psi in just under 10 minutes. Some electric pumps cannot achieve this feat, so we were happy with it. However, if manual pumping and deflating isn’t high on your list of enjoyable activities, we would recommend an electric pump.
It is important to fill the board to at least 10-15 psi for the best performance whether you handpump or use an electric one.
The nylon backpack is of good quality and appears durable. There are adjustable shoulder straps so you can carry it comfortably on your back. There are also connecting waist and chest straps to keep it secured to your body while transporting.
Additionally, there are d-rings on the shoulder straps in case you need to attach more gear. You will also find a carrying handle on the side. This is helpful when pulling the bag out of your vehicle or for carrying it with one arm. You will also find a clear storage pouch on the front of the bag for small items.
We found the BG Performer to be quite fun on lakes and slower rivers. In fact, we found it very easy to use on most calm waters. We feel that beginners could take to it easily, because it is a fairly wide and stable board. We would only recommend using it on flat waters of lakes, calm rivers, or bays.
Advanced paddlers may enjoy testing their skills with the three-fin design and pointed nose in flat water. The nose cuts easily and quickly through the water for such a wide board. The Performer glides very well and is fast-ish for a stable board. It is easy for newbies to turn and maneuver.
We would not recommend newbies using this board in rougher water or windy conditions, as it is not as easy to control. The nose can easily get pushed off course and the board may feel wobbly. This is where a longer center fin would be beneficial in keeping the board straight.
We had no problems getting our Doberman on board, but we would recommend paddling only with smaller dogs if they are apt to moving around. We also didn’t feel crowded when paddling with a child, and the kids really enjoyed it.
PROS and CONS of the Body Glove Performer iSUP
- Lightweight and portable
- Plenty of storage space
- Durable construction
- Very rigid iSUP Lots of extras
- No Tracking Fin
- Unstable in rougher water
- Difficult to paddle straight lines
Final Thoughts: Body Glove 11' Performer iSUP
All in all, we love the BG Performer for a number of reasons. Obviously, we love the little extras: extra d-rings, included dry bag, and integrated paddle/bottle holder within the handle, to name a few.
We also love that this board gives you a little bit of everything in an all-around board. Maneuvering is fun and fairly simple, and so is paddling straight and somewhat fast on calmer waters. Families will enjoy paddling and riding together, and your pets will love tagging along.
If you are looking for a stable all-around iSUP, the Body Glove Performer is a solid choice. It is supremely durable and will provide even the roughest of families years of fun on the water.