ISLE Surf & SUP has a history of producing quality boards for nearly all skill levels, and their Classic Soft Top board epitomizes the impressive builds that customers have come to expect from their wide range of offerings. This old-school design measures 10′ 8″ x 31″ x 5″ and can support riders up to and over 275 pounds. As a soft top board, the surface is more forgiving than similar entries in this SUP category and much more suitable as an introductory level board for those first trying out stand-up paddle boarding.
The fact that it’s a soft top, though, doesn’t detract from its durability. This board is plenty sturdy, even more so than fiberglass boards. Unlike its fiberglass counterparts, the Classic Soft Top has enough give to keep it from snapping, chipping, or cracking, allowing it to stand up to the rigors of the water. The soft top surface also makes this a near-perfect choice for those wishing to practice paddle board yoga, as they’ll be placing less pressure on their joints when performing those difficult poses.
The board comes with two primary color options, both with the ISLE logo imprinted. The first is the blue/white combo, complete with lengthwise stripes. The second is a “classic wood” look that mimics the appearance of a wooden board while maintaining the advantages of this solid foam construction. In the water, the Classic Soft Top can generate impressive straightaway speed and is capable of tackling smaller waves as well. Add to that the light weight, superb balance, and numerous accessories that come with this board, and you’ve got a capable all-arounder that will appeal to most any rider.
- Soft Top Construction — The primary selling point of the Classic Soft Top is the soft deck itself. Surrounding the EPS core of this board is a comfortable Polyethylene deck that provides a fair amount of cushioning. It makes spills from the board much less hazardous and exercising on the board a breeze.
- Large Board — Long and wide, this board gives riders plenty of room to stretch out. The width doesn’t just make it easy to balance, the ample surface also makes for a more-than-suitable exercise deck.
- High Weight Capacity — This board is suitable for beginner riders up to 275 pounds. More experienced riders over 275 pounds can also get plenty of use out of this board.
- Center Grip — Located right in the middle of the board, the grip handle makes it easy to pick the Classic Soft Top up and transport it around.
- Includes Accessories — This board comes with an adjustable aluminum handle and mountable fin.
What We Like
- Easy To Use — The all-around design, soft top, and generous width of this board make it easy for beginners to get used to. It’s also great for more advanced riders who want a general purpose board to have on standby.
- Easy To Transport — Thanks the the board’s light weight, it can easily be moved from your home, to the car, to the beach, and back again.
What We Don’t Like
- Accessory Kit Is Basic — The board only has one fin, which might be a disappointment for those used to riding with the control that three fins offers. The paddle, which is aluminum, isn’t what you’d consider the best around. It’s also lacking a leash or carrying accessories that would make this board more functional.
Best Suited For
- Beginners — As long as you’re not looking to take on any challenging waves, a first-timer should have plenty of success staying up and learning the ropes on this board.
- Larger Riders — That high weight capacity makes it easy for larger riders to hop on and stay afloat without worrying about balance issues.
- All-Around Fun — This is a general purpose board, so flat water conditions and light waves are where it will have the most success.
Not So Great For
- Heavy Waves — Unfortunately, the all-around design doesn’t equip this board for tackling more challenging surf. Best to avoid the larger waves with this one.
The Classic Soft Top from ISLE is both a great entry level board for first time paddle boarders and a great backup option for more experienced riders. In addition to being an affordable offering, its big, which helps accommodate a larger swath of riders for general purpose conditions. Beyond that, it’s durable, stylish, and well suited for some of the most popular stand up paddle board activities. You might not be interested in this particular model from ISLE if you’re looking for the fastest board, but if you want one that has few weaknesses and will last for a long time coming, you’ve turned your attention to the right spot.