Some companies took inflatable standup paddle boards’ industry all the way to top via making some of the strongest and most professional boards that anyone could have ever imagined.
Driftsun here is a brand that was inspired by nature and adventure to make summer water sports gear and equipments with a long products’ list that includes all kinds of boards, ice chests and many other accessories. However, today we’re concerned with only one specific product and that would be the Driftsun Orka 12′ inflatable stand up paddle board.
So, with further due, this review will help you know everything you need about this big boy and its potentials.
Driftsun Orka Review — Features & Specs
- Wide deck and tail for supreme stability
- Multiple valves for quick inflations
- 12 strategically placed handles
- Ample gear tie down points
- Forward bungee storage
- Comfortable EVA traction pad
- Textured Rear Deck Pad with Side D-Ring Tie Down Points.
- Package includes :
- Two high pressure & high volume pumps
- 9" Removable Center Tracking Fin
- Repair kit (Just in Case)
|Dimensions||12' x 45" x 8"|
|Material||Military-grade PVC using MLS drop-stitch technology|
|Number of D-rings||11 D-rings
|Recommended PSI||15 PSI|
|Carry handles||12 carry handles|
The Orka is definitely not a small sized iSUP; it’s actually one of the biggest boards that I’ve come across. It is 12 feet long, 45 inches wide and 8 inches thick. This is honestly what I’d call a monster iSUP because I’d confidently say that it’s very rare to find a board that’s over 6 inches in thickness.
The Orka is a family board par excellence; it can hold up to 550 lbs which could be 2-4 people plus extra gear or even a dog. Also, it can be great for friends who are up to group trips and water fun together.
Friends who love fishing too can enjoy the space and stability on this board while spending a great quality time together.
There’s a lot to the Driftsun Orka iSUP to deliver, but disappointment is not one. It is a big board that’ll require a lot of maintenance, time and effort, but anyone who have tried cruising and paddling on it would never say that it wasn’t worth it.
Part of making inflatable products is understanding that there are tens of possible scenarios where the product could be punctured or damaged. Thus, many procedures take place in order to make sure that an iSUP is as protected as possible against those scenarios.
The Driftsun Orka is made of military grade PVC which is a universal choice when it comes to making any quality inflatable products. Also, the MLS drop stitch technology is used on this board intensely so that its parts are forever stuck together with minimum possibility of them ripping off.
Feeling the board’s body you can easily sense how stiff and strong the outer shell is, and that’s where the PVC material gets in; once the board is fully inflated we get to witness how a flat thing turns into a hard, large and huge platform that’s capable of carrying a group of people for a great and fun experience.
Not only the outer shell that’s strong; everything else that’s attached to the board (carry handle and D-rings) is durably and minutely glued and stitched for the best feels and looks.
There is a lot to be said on this part because the Driftsun Orka 12′ is definitely a loaded iSUP. For a starter:
- The first thing you may notice is the twelve carry handles everywhere on the board; this a really big board with potential to carry up to four people, thus; these people got to help each other carry the inflated board around. These Neoprene handles are very rigid with a simple design for a comfortable grip.
- Next, there are two valves which is only normal for such a large iSUP. They’re designed for maximum air flow, allowing for fast inflation and deflation.
- Moreover, you’ll find ten hardcore stainless steel D-rings on the Orka iSUP; six of which are on the deck and are connected with a bungee cord, while the remaining four are at the end of the board allowing more storage space and all different usage possibilities.
- A big board definitely requires a strong navigation system. Driftsun put five fins on the Orka to make sure that even when the board is bigger and can carry more it still can cruise nicely and smoothly. Four of these fins fixed while the central one removable and is so easy to attach and handle with screws needed.
- Last but not least, the Orka is featured with a great soft EVA traction pad that covers all of its back except for the deck area where the D-rings are located. This pad is non-abrasive, is extremely durable and it adds greatly to the board’s thickness and stiffness. Furthermore; it makes sure whoever is standing, sitting or lying down is at utmost comfort thanks to its textured and thick nature.
- This is pretty much everything a luxurious iSUP would be; it’s big, comfy, user friendly, great for group trips and it definitely looks great with a sharp and modern design and color choice.
First of all; though the board is as huge as it is, it was surprisingly easy for one person to control it quite completely. The Orka responds to paddling motion very nicely and it tracks in a straight line in flat water smoothly.
Having two people or more all paddling at the time does make it move faster but only the paddling action was well coordinated which might be a little difficult if all the riders are beginners; still, it keeps moving forward no matter how and who paddles.
This is generally an iSUP that’s meant for fun time and chilling where you can take it touring. Also, the fact that it’s very wide makes it super convenient for Yoga and even fishing. The Orka is basically a versatile inflatable board that can multi-task according to the riders’ need and orientation.
Anyone who’s willing to order the Driftsun Orka definitely needs to know what he/she is getting along with the board. I wished this was an all-inclusive package but sadly; it’s not. The Orka comes with:
- Two dual action high pressure / high volume pumps.
- A 9 inches removable center tracking fin.
- A strap to keep the deflated board safely folded and stored.
- A repair kit.
Yep; that’s all you get; no bag, no paddles, and no leash. However, it’s quite comprehensible because a lot of work was put into the Orka and a complete package would mean a higher price.
- The Orka is one of the largest iSUPs on the market with 45 inches in width.
- It’s very stable and can be used for all kinds of different activities.
- It’s easy to handle in the water as it’s very transportable with 12 carry handles.
- It comes with two valves for rapid inflation/deflation.
- It’s featured with a great traction pad.
- It’s extremely durable with high end production.
- It’s a great family board that’d make any group trip a lot more fun.
- The Driftsun Orka 12′ comes in a package that lacks paddles and the storage bag.
- The Driftsun Orka is a bit on the expensive side.
- It’s not designed to be operated by one person. It’s a multi-person iSUP.