PADDLE BOARD REVIEW
| RACE 12’6 REVIEW.
AQUA MARINA PADDLE BOARD REVIEW | RACE 12’6
The Race 12’6 is further proof that inflatable boards at entry level prices can bring decent performance to your sessions. This is a slippery, quick board that will provide speed for race paddlers who need the portability of an inflato, and a decent level of challenge on inland waters for paddlers coming down from wider touring or all-round shapes to bring about positive adaptations in fitness and board skills. It’s plenty tough enough for the ocean, and with practise would makes for a really fun surf-race board.
At 26” wide, the Race has a sleek, fast template is one of the skinnier 12’6 inflatable race boards you can find. The 6” width is carried throughout and the boxy, high side walls are reinforced for strength and durability. On top the ¾ diamond cut deck pad has a different texture tail pad with kick to provide a sensory aid during step back turns. Underneath at the tail you get a tool-less plastic centre fin and a moulded tail-strip to promote clean release when paddling fast. Comes with a pump, backpack and lightweight leash.
The new Aqua Marina RACE is in two lengths of 12’6’’ and 14’0’’, in widths of 26’’and 27’’, that gives enough stability to be in control when conditions get choppy, yet fast and slippery to cover distances quickly. With the extra stiffness and rigidity from the lightweight double layer technology, this board will make you question a hard board. The combination of speed, stability and floatation is so impressive for such narrow boards. The tool-free slide-in Race fin makes the new RACE a ready-to-race package.
The clue to how this board behaves is in the name: Race. Paddlers with experience of 30” or so boards can expect a period of readjustment and skill development which is best done over a couple of sessions on nice, flat water. Very soon, the slippery, slick nature of the Race is revealed and it is a wonderful contrast to the draggy feeling of touring / all-round boards that push through the water. The result of the width and thickness of this board means that at 18 psi you get a very rigid product that feels like it sits on the surface rather than bogging into it, reinforcing the slippery, glidey feel. Out on the ocean it’s a real bump catcher and rolls in just great in mellow surf and the streamlined shape pushes into wind well. For paddlers looking to invest in their skill sets and come down in width, or race paddlers who are on the road but unable to transport their hard board but still want to keep up training, the Race is an exciting and affordable consideration for the quiver.