This board isn’t loaded with features, but this is to be expected considering it’s budget-friendly. However, the Solstice paddleboard has everything a good inflatable SUP needs to give you an enjoyable time on the water. It’s stable, comfortable, user-friendly, and even has a small storage area. Take a look at everything it offers:
- EVA foam traction pad for improved grip and comfort
- Four D-rings for securing gear (without bungee cords)
- Grab a handle in the middle for carrying the board
- Three fins (central fin removable) for better tracking and maneuverability
- Rear D-ring for an ankle leash or for towing the board
- Triple-layer PVC body with drop-stitch interior makes it rigid and durable
Length: 10 feet 8 inches
Width: 32 inches
Thickness: 4 inches
Weight: 34 pounds
Capacity: 250 pounds
Inflates to: 12-15PSI
Material: PVC, triple-layer, 1000 Denier
Carry handles: 1 in the middle
Fins: Triple fin configuration, 1 large removable, 2 smaller side fins
Warranty: 1-year warranty
Included accessories: Mesh travel backpack, removable center fin, dual-action pump, repair kit
Performance and use: Many people were surprised with how a board this cheap can be so good when you take it out on the water. However, this board is primarily designed for calm water, and, if you’re a beginner, you should stick to that recommendation. It’s easy to control even if you don’t exactly know what you’re doing, which is why it’s a good choice for learning how to SUP.
Besides, it comes with a tri-fin configuration we mentioned earlier. People say that the difference this makes is obvious and that they can easily keep the board going in a straight line (which can be a problem for inflatables).
One of the potential problems for this board is its relatively limited weight capacity. While it should theoretically support most users, the board performance might be significantly changed when you’re near the weight limit. This is why you should be careful and size the board properly before buying.
Finally, one of the downsides of this package is that it comes without a paddle. While it would be nice if you had one straight away, this way you get to choose the SUP paddle you think will suit you best.
Design and construction: Riders are generally happy with how this board is designed. As long as you know what to expect from it, you won’t be disappointed. We already mentioned that it isn’t very feature-rich, but it has all the basic things you need.
The four D-rings on the nose are convenient for tying a dry bag or securing other equipment. Bungees would be useful here, but you can always add them yourself. As for the construction, many user experiences confirm what the manufacturer says – this board can withstand abuse without problems.
Setup: Depending on how intensely you inflate the board, it will take you between 5-10 minutes to set it up. The included pump has a dual-action function, with high air volume and high-pressure modes available. The high-pressure mode should make your job easier for the last few PSI because this needs to be fully inflated to give you the proper feeling on the water. Of course, you can always get an electric pump and solve all your problems.
The Solstice Bali comes with a removable fin, as pointed out. People say that installing it isn’t that difficult, but that you need to use a fastener or a screwdriver to lock it in place. The fastener is included in the repair kit box. Finally, there is a ring in front of the valve for securing an ankle leash. A leash doesn’t come in the package, but we highly recommend you get one since it’s an important piece of your SUP safety.
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Portability: You won’t have any problems taking this board with you anywhere you want. It’s relatively lightweight, but not the lightest iSUP out there. Despite this, anyone should be able to carry it without problems. Users say that the center handle is convenient, but would like to have some additional handles at either end.
The board bag that you get with the purchase isn’t top of the line, but it will do the job. It has straps so you can put it on your back, and it’s made of mesh to allow the air to circulate. However, we want to point out that many users had trouble fitting the board back into the backpack because they didn’t deflate the Solstice paddleboard properly. If you follow the instructions and turn the valve to passively release air, you shouldn’t have any problems.
- Price: 100% – The excellent price is probably the best thing about the Solstice paddleboard. We like that a well-made board is available to anyone who wants to try paddleboarding. The fact that it’s surprisingly tough and durable seems like a cherry on top. We doubt that there are boards better than the Bali in this price range, making it an excellent value especially considering the SUP accessories it comes with.
- Material: 90% – We like that three layers of PVC were used in making this board because it really makes a difference. Also, the drop stitch interior is something every good inflatable board should have. This being said, Bali is a bit thinner than most other inflatables. Also, some people have said that cracks will slowly begin to appear after several foldings over time. All this isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s something we wanted to point out.
- Design: 85% – The design is fairly basic but very functional. We like that the deck is spacious and comfortable to stand on. We also like that the board is very easy to use and control. On the other hand, some bungee cords on the nose would make things much easier, as well as one or two additional carry handles. It would also be nice if we had more colors to choose from when buying.
- Overall: 92% – We can’t really complain much about this board. It’s a good beginner SUP that you buy to enjoy some relaxing time on the water or learn new things, and it doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not. The fact that it’s so tough and even comes with accessories is more than enough for us in this price range.
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If the Solstice Bali fits the description of what you were looking for, you definitely won’t regret buying it. This board is one of the best ‘budget’ boards you’ll be able to find and allows you to have a decent SUP that you can take anywhere. It’s an excellent choice for traveling to other locations, improving your paddling technique, and generally having some fun on the water. In other words, it’s more than enough to experience all the benefits of paddleboarding and fully appreciate the time spent outside.
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