Just the name alone, The Kraken, is enough to inspire images of the gargantuan sea monster in the imaginations of paddle boarders everywhere. Like its namesake, this board is a true monster, a large and wide model that provides both a stable ride suitable for even the rawest of beginners, along with a considerable level of surf and chop ability for intermediate and advanced boarders.
While inflatable boards are all the rage, currently, the Boardworks Kraken keeps its construction old-school with EPS foam surrounded by a bamboo/epoxy fiberglass shell. This particular model measures 11 feet in length, 4.75 inches thick, and 32 inches across at its widest point. The size is part of what gives this board such a sturdy ride, along with an impressive 290 pound weight capacity. Thanks to the lightweight materials, though, it comes it at only 26 pounds, making The Kraken easy to carry around by way of the convenient center handle.
The Kraken works well as an all-around board, with a good balance between touring and surf abilities. The narrow nose and tail, along with the thinned-out rails, provide the board with the shape necessary to cut through waves, but its designed in such a way that you can tackle a calm lake or the open ocean with equal ease, and reach some decent speeds to boot. In spite of its size, the turning radius on The Kraken is also above average. On open waters, you’ll be able to execute some fairly tight maneuvers with little to no-hassle.
- Central Carry Handle — A retractable handle in the center of the board allows for easy carrying than trying to hoist this monster up by its sides. Even shorter and lighter riders should find that they’re able to handle The Kraken with confidence thanks to the carrying setup.
- 3-Fin Setup — A 2+1 fin setup that’s easy to install or remove. One large center fin, flanked by two smaller side fins allow for the precise ride you want, when you want it. Just make sure you have your flat-head screwdriver ready when you want to make a change.
- EVA Deck Pad — Integrated into the board, the deck pad provides both comfort and traction to riders while out on the water. It’s not rough on your feet, but simultaneously provides all the grip and padding you need for a stable ride.
- Dual Density Core — Made from a high-quality EPS foam, and surrounded by a combination fiberglass/epoxy outer shell. This gives the board durability, while keeping it lightweight.
- Deck Plugs — Though this board doesn’t come with a leash or tie-down cord, there are plenty of places to attach these and other accessories once you have them.
What We Like
- It’s A Sturdy Board — Strong, lightweight, and superbly stable are The Kraken’s highlights. It stays balanced while riding, and can take its fair share of punishment as well.
- Lightweight Materials — The combination of EPS and fiberglass ensure this board isn’t too heavy for lighter riders to handle. The addition of the carrying handle make this a much easier board to carry than you might expect upon first appearances.
- High Weight Capacity — At 290 pounds, The Kraken can hold some fairly large riders afloat with little issue. Great for tall and heavy frames that require that “little bit extra.”
What We Don’t Like
- No Paddle — Or many other accessories, for that matter. When you buy The Kraken, you’re getting the board and little else. On the plus side, it does allow more advanced riders the ability to get a truly quality paddle (and other gear) as opposed to the lower-tier offerings that come in some board bundles.
- A Bit More Difficult To Transport — Than an inflatable board, at least. Though carrying this board isn’t too difficult, trying to get it into your vehicle is going to be a whole separate matter unless you’re driving a truck or have some mounts on the top of your car.
Best Suited For
- Recreational Cruising — This is a big board that’s perfect for big, slow, lazy outings on the water. Sure, it can handle waves, but where this board shines brightest is cruising around on the open lake or ocean.
Not So Great For
- Specialist Riders — You can hit decent speed with The Kraken, but you won’t be zipping around like you would on a pure touring board. If you’ve a need for speed, look elsewhere.
The Kraken lives up to its audacious name. Its a big board with big aspirations that it by-and-large fulfills. As a beginner board it’s great—not too heavy, not too hard to handle, and plenty stable in the water. Even as an intermediate or backup board for an advanced rider, it works well thanks to all the roles it can play. If you’re looking for a traditional hard board that will cover plenty of water, you’d do well to take a long look at The Kraken.