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FRESHWATER BAY COMPACT TOURING 11’5 TEST REVIEW

October 6, 2021
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FRESHWATER BAY COMPACT TOURING 11’5 TEST REVIEW

Verdict

This board is a River God. The ride is dry, comfortable and secure and storage options are generous and well laid out. All fittings are here for multi-day expeditions (towing, portage, tying off) down broad, meandering rivers or across huge lakes. Though it will out-pace a regular all-rounder, the Compact Touring is built for comfort, not speed, it’s an adventurer’s tool.

Overview

The Compact Touring is as the name suggests and is a bit more blunted in the nose than a classic tourer shape. The 318 litre volume is redistributed thanks to the 32” beam which creates much deck space for forward and aft cargo bungees, three longitudinal carry handles, leash point, and tow point D-ring handily placed on top rather than underneath of the nose.
Three-piece fibre glass paddle, rigid US centre fin, coil leash and pump complete the package shrouded in the wheeled back pack.

Brand Claim

The Compact Touring 11’5 is a high-end compact tourer, the perfect combination of glide, stability and manoeuvrability

Our premium, high quality iSUPs perfectly balance performance and practicality. Everything you need to get paddling in one stylish, wheeled bag; quality that lasts – for years and years of hassle free fun on the water.

At every stage of the build process, the boards are tested to ensure the highest quality standards. Each board is inflation tested for a minimum of 9 days to ensure that they are completely air-tight.

Performance

Although the Compact Touring has a bit more length than an entry level 10’6 it works just fine across a broad spectrum of experience. The rocker line is quite flat so every last square inch of the planform is in contact with the water, it is remarkably stable and would help first season paddlers to develop technical paddle skills, and then of course it is very comfortable in its natural environment silently gliding on expedition through remote back waters.

The platform is plenty stable enough for fishing off of or handling expensive cameras and navigation aids and the entire package is built to withstand days and days on the water. Freshwater in fact test the air-tightness on all their boards for nine days before they are released to market

Although this is the first Freshwater Bay board we’ve had on test, the brand from the Isle of Wight have been operational since 2015. Co-owner Charlie Cripwell is obviously a man of many years rough water experience who set about designing boards the way he wanted. The result are boards that are built to handle UK coastal conditions which can be as demanding as you’d find anywhere. Freshwater Bay’s Compact Touring is a solid, dependable load carrier that will take you off grid and keep you there in comfort for many days.

Vital Stats

Price: £745

Length: 11’5″

Width: 32″

Thickness: 6″

Volume: 318L

Weight: 10.5KG

Fins: US Centre Fin + 2 flexi fins

Freshwaterbaypaddleboards.co.uk

 

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