PADDLE BOARD REVIEW
| RAPID 9’6 REVIEW.
AQUA MARINA PADDLE BOARD REVIEW | RAPID 9’6
The Rapid is designed for whitewater SUP and surfing standing waves, but it also works great as a rugged, durable board for exploring rocky, rough coastlines and will also catch breaking waves too. As a touring / recreational board where speed is not a priority it’s loads of fun: buoyant and with lots of deck space for carrying kit, preparing snorkel equipment etc…Bright colours and rugged construction, the Rapid is the ATV of the iSUP world.
A lot of thought seems to have gone into the Rapid, there are fittings for all situations on the water: on deck are five heavy duty grab handles, diamond-groove dcek pad with massive kick pad, cargo bungee and leash ring. Underneath, you have oversized nose and tail D ring and a 4 +1 rubber flexi fin set up. All handles and D rings are easy to grab and use in flowing water and with cold, numb fingers. The Rapid is constructed with double layer technology and 1000 Denier rail reinforcements to create a tough, durable board.
Short and nimble, the Rapid 9’6” is an advanced river SUP delivers easy surfing action with surprisingly radical performance attributes. Featuring stability, ease of use with desired speed and control, the Rapid guarantees unbeatable fun in all types of waves.
We were already slightly won over by the Rapid’s bright graphics and purposeful construction and fittings (five rubberised grab handles and three oversized D rings give so many leashing and tethering options – great for schools and instructors). The wide tail-kick on the deck grip and 4+1 moulded rubber fins are also standout features not often seen. On the water the Rapid is responsive, quick to turn and easy to ‘feel out’ for balance. At 289 litres and 6” thick it does ride high so don’t expect race-pace in wind, really the Rapid is about going with the flow of waves and whitewater. It picks up waves and behaves like most iSUPs of similar length in ocean surf but when you run between rocks and draining sluices there’s a high level of control and response from the stout, compact shape. Turns are light and quick and if you do rub against anything it’s unlikely to harm the tough rails. Perhaps the only thing that could be developed would be a double-chamber for unbeatable security in hazardous environments but as it is the Rapid must be one of, if not the most durable iSUP we’ve seen this year. The Rapid comfortably fulfils the brief of a swift-water / rock-running board which is one of the only ways in which an inflato can out-perform a hard board. If your paddling takes you into shallow rivers and craggy coastlines, particularly if you are an instructor, you will find much to love about the Rapid.