There is obviously a huge gap between established brands and those trying to make their way through in any market but when it comes to inflatable paddle boards, the playground is still heating up as the industry grows to bring about new brands by the minute.
Everyone is interested in the iSUP pie but who deserves it and who doesn’t are questions that we will answer in this article using the example of Chris Craft Tower paddle board.
Not to diminish aspiring brands but Tower has been literally crushing it for some time now and that boils down to two main axis: quality and quantity. Speaking of quality, it is high time to mention that this iSUP is actually the collaborative work of two great companies. Indeed, the board at hand was developed by Tower and Chris Craft, which is one of the oldest and most renowned high-end boat builders in America, and the world.
Indeed, this is a brand that has managed to put out a board for each individual preference while still maintaining quality as their primary virtue. So, does that make the Christ Craft a no brainer purchase? Let’s find out.
Tower Chris Craft Review — Features & Specs
- Branded deck pad with the look of Chris Craft's signature teak wood strips
- Tie down system to carry personal belongings
- Multiple carry handles
- 1 large detachable fin
- Package includes:
- Fiberglass 3-pc paddle
- Detachable center fin
- High-pressure hand pump
|Dimensions||10'4" Long x 32" Wide x 6" Thick|
|Material||Military-grade PVC plus drop stitch construction|
|Weight limit||350 - 400 lbs|
|Number of D-rings||6 D-rings
|Recommended PSI||10-15 PSI|
|Fins||2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin|
|Volume||Unknown exactly, but probably 300 Liters plus|
|Carry handles||3 carry handles|
|Warranty||2 year warranty|
Compatibility is a big deal for paddle boarders and if the board doesn’t fit you nicely then you’re off on the wrong foot from the get go.
Hence, the Christ Craft measures a generic 10 feet 4 inches in length which has been established as the universal length for inflatable paddle
boards. At this exact size, the board is certainly going to be compatible with the majority of paddlers out there and that ranges anywhere from a teenager to a full grown adult.
Moreover, width is also quiet high on the chart of dimensions for inflatable paddle boards for multiple reasons. Hence, the board at hand measures an impressive 32 inches which is a perfect ratio in correlation with its length but most importantly, it is the best thing for beginning paddlers. It goes without saying that more width equals more stability and at 32 inches, it would be safe to say that the Chris Craft is wider than most iSUPs on the market. Accordingly, you’ll get to experience an induced sense of stability and balance which will then enable you to move around comfortable and adjust yourself without risk of falling off your board.
Last but definitely not least, thickness has been the list critical dimension for inflatable paddle boards and for a very good reason. Most inflatable boards stand at around 4 inches in thickness which leaves a lot to be desired to say the least. In fact, thin iSUPs tend to bend at the center and flex under continuous excessive weight which is why the Chris Craft went with a comfortable 6 inches thereby eliminating all possibilities to bend at any point. Hence, this board is capable of manning up to 350 lbs. as a maximum weight limit but we do not advise you to cross it.
Quality is definitely a big deal for anything that is inflatable but especially for something that claims to be capable of clashing with waves, dragging along rivers and surfing down white waters.
So, what is it that can make an inflatable board rigid enough to endure the worst? The answer is rather simple and it goes by PVC. Indeed, there are limitless types of PVC out there but the board at hand is precisely built using military grade PVC which is the same material that zodiacs, river rafts, and some bulletproof vests are made of.
Further, the build material of the board isn’t all you need to admire here because it is further enhanced via an industrial drop stitch construction that perfectly seals all seems on the hull with excellent precision, leaving no room for mishaps.
On paper, all that sounds great but it also does in real life as the board has been put through a series of torture tests, including getting run over by an SUV and a multiple stories building free fall, proving that it’s practically indestructible.
Oh boy, here comes the part that a lot of paddlers have been waiting for. Features are indeed an exciting part about inflatable paddle boards in general and reasonably so. Simply put, the set of features that each board presents can make the difference between a fun experience and a real pain in the back.
The Chris Craft might not be the most aesthetically pleasing iSUP out there but it still exhibits some quality features:
- The large EVA pad extends to cover over 50% of the board’s surface which is a solid addition for beginning paddlers as it’ll grant you more room to move around and adjust yourself on the go. Impressively enough, the pad won’t only improve your ability to balance yourself and keep the board stable but it’ll also grant you a better command over the board.
- Moreover, the board also features a set of D-rings located on the nose of the board. The 4 rings are connected via a bungee cord, making a very dependable cargo net which can carry anything from your sandals to your paddle. The board also features an extra ring by the tail which is meant for the ankle leash and another by the nose which will make it a lot easier to tow the board when needed.
- The Chris Craft also features a couple carry handles located on the nose, center and tail of the board which will make it impressively easier to carry this big guy on dry land. Hence, you can easily get help carrying the board but you can also carry it yourself using the central handle.
- The navigation system on this Tower is a solid representative of the brand as it comes with 3 individual fins. The board hence features 2 smaller direction fins and a central larger tracking one. The triple fin system is one of the board’s most compelling features as it will make commanding the board a breeze.
As far as performance goes, it wouldn’t come as a surprise that the Chris Craft can’t perform on a competitive level. However, it is quite an excellent entry level board for people who are looking into giving this sport a shot.
The smooth and agile hull of the board and the complete set of features will make your paddling experience as steady and fun as you would imagine whereas the triple fin system will grant you a more powerful and more exciting board that is capable of manoeuvers and solid tracking.
There is a lot more to say about this board but we have to make time to check out the package, as it includes:
- Fiber glass 3 pieces paddle
- Detachable central fin
- High pressure hand pump
- Repair kit
- Valve and wrench
- Tower Chris Craft is a very well-made all-round inflatable paddle board
- It comes in a complete package
- it’s quite stable & it can handle up to 350 lbs
- It has 2-year warranty
- Inflating this big board can be a tedious task. I recommend getting an electric pump to help inflate this guy.