I am lucky enough that Nate form Tahoe SUP called and asked me to test and review a few of their boards. I obviously said yes right away and really looked forward to getting them and trying them out.
The first board I had heard about for some time and that was the Zephyr. I remember reading that it was a good board and I always loved the design of it from the pictures that I saw.
Now I just want to quickly remind everyone before I get into the review that I don’t in any way claim to be a professional paddle boarder of any kind. I am more of an everyday SUPer who just loves paddle boarding and is passionate about learning more and trying as many different boards as possible. This is not to say that I won’t get good in the process, but I just want to look at these reviews from an every day guy standpoint.
Unboxing The Zephyr
I am impressed with the boxing on the Tahoe SUP boards. As you can see it completely wrapped in cardboard and bubble wrap that really protects it quite well for shipping.
On the inside of the box don’t forget to look for their 10″ Tahoe SUP fin that is typically fasted to the side with some tape (I had to look for it for a while at first).
That is all that came with this specific package, but I will be trying the SUPackon it as well
The Board Specs:
Dimensions: 12’6″ long x 30″ wide
Board Weight: 29 pounds
Max Capacity: 280 lbs
Fin setup: 10″ Single
Deck plug setup: Front / Back
About PINEWOODtech Construction:
PINEWOODtech is Tahoe SUP’s process of epoxy lamination that has real pinewood sheets that are fastened together and then vacuumed tight over an EPS foam core. The natural grain look of the PINEWOODtech construction gives it the look they have been known for in their paddle boards. The tech also creates a really lightweight and versatile paddle board while still improving the rigidity, strength, and durability at the same time.
My Very First Thoughts Of The Board
My first thoughts were excited! Like I said before, I had heard and read about this board but never ridden one, so this would be a new experience on a nice touring board. Very sexy, sleek, and I like the colors and hull design. It looks fast, but who knows till I test it. I still like the look of the Paddlecraft the best so far, but looks only go so far.
My Thoughts On The Color And Design
The colors are great and the design of the board is pretty and sleek. It looks like a board that is in the $1,000+ range and that is what it is.
Like the Paddlecraft, I really like the sunken deck and the lines are super pretty. The wood accent gives it a nice touch as well.
The board is basically 5″ thick for the most part, but tapers down to 2″ thick in the tail. This is also not as wide as a lot of boards (only 30″) which I will go more into in a bit. This is a touring board, so to get more speed, it is going to have to be narrower which will require a more advanced rider.
The one fallback I could say has to do with the handle again, much like the Paddlecraft, it is not quite weight centered on the board so it tips forward (nose heavy) a bit when you carry it (especially with the SUPack on it). Small complaint but easily fixed honestly.
How Is The Deck Pad?
The deck pad is very comfortable. Its soft but not too soft and offers really great grip with shoes or just bare feet. It is comfortable with just bare feet which I like and the dirty cleans off pretty easily. It also like the colors of the deck pad and the nice, clean designs on it.
So How Does The Zephyr Paddle And Ride?
Why talk about looks and specs when what really matters is how it rides and performs right?
As you can see in the picture above, I took it out multiple times on some nice days and a local lake and there was only a little chop on the water with very little wind.
My first thought was that this is not as stable as a lot of boards I have ridden, so I would not suggest this for a first time board for someone. This is a touring board that is more narrow than a lot of boards so that it can produce speed and that translates to less stability which is fine what it is designed for.
I tried a few side to side movements and tail turns just to see how tippy it really is and I actually fell in (mind you a wake hit me at the same time). To give it another test I had my girlfriend try it out (who doesn’t paddle board at all) and she actually did fine, so I might be over estimating it.
Once paddling, this thing sweeps along smoothly and more easily than any board I have paddled. Clearly there is a give and take for a narrower board. Paddling this thing is a breeze and I’m sure the fact that it is extra light as well helps. It is a very smooth ride and paddle as well as comfortable. It is fun to watch the nose just pierce through the water as you are going and then watch it shed off to the sides of the board.
Talk About The Speed Matt…
Ok, speed…this is build for performance and touring and it does just that. This is the fastest board I have yet to paddle. This thing moves when you want it to. I can imagine this board in a 14′ or longer would really haul! I can rip across my local lake pretty fast when I am trying to on this. It definitely put a smile on my face.
My Overall Thoughts About The Zephyr SUP
This is a great performance board. If you have been paddle boarding for a little while and want more speed and performance, this is a great board especially for the price. It looks great, it is light, it is fast, and if you are good at tail turns, you can turn this around fast. It has lots of deck plugs to strap in gear and it pretty durable and it banged the nose on the cement pretty good and it really didn’t do much.
My Final Thoughts
Thank you again Tahoe SUP for making me want to buy your boards as always….lol. But honestly, This is a great touring board. I wouldn’t start off with this board, or get it for SUP yogaor paddle board fishing, but I would get it for performance.
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