The Greco Surf team dub themselves the “Home of the Soft Performance Surfboard”, and their “ARK” model is a strong entry into that soft board market. The all-white board measures 11′ x 31” x 5.1”, and weighs about 26 pounds. Unlike traditional hard boards, the Ark is composed of an IXPE foam deck over an EPS foam core and HDPE plastic underside. The soft design affords a number of advantages to beginner riders, not least of which is a reduced risk of injury during the inevitable falls that will take place when learning the ropes.
This is a double concave board, meaning that the underside is composed of two concave (curved inwards) surfaces designed with the intention splitting water in two as it passes underneath the board. The end result? A loose ride and higher than average handling ability. The 2+1 fin system, which hook into the board via the discreet PVC fin holes on the bottom of the board, further enhance these handling capabilities. A single fin can be used for situations that require quicker turning, and the 2 additional fins can be put into place for situations that require greater stability.
The board is rated to support riders up to 300 pounds, and is equipped with a number of additional features that provide convenience for paddlers of all stripes, including built-in tie down straps, a center carrying handle, an 11′ board leash, built-in key compartment, and a built in rail saver (which prevents your leash from pulling through the tail of your board and causing damage). It can also be equipped with a deck pad, but this is an optional step, as the board is made from a very similar material as most deck pads, rendering the addition of one highly redundant.
- Rounded shape – On both the board and the attachable fins. This increases the overall safety of both and helps to prevent injuries.
- Soft construction – Manages to create a durable board that is also soft to the touch. No more worry about dings in the board, or banging into other boarders and causing damage.
- Removable 2+1 fins – Allows riders to customize their ride. 1 fin for looser turns, 3 fins for increased stability.
- Easy to carry – The center handle gives you a nice grip, and the board is light enough to lug around with just one arm.
- Built-in straps – For tying down gear or whatever else you might need to bring with you.
- Leash included – The high-end 11′ leash ensures that you and board won’t get separated, even in the event of a spill.
- 3 month warranty – For manufacturing defects. Parts carry a 6 month warranty from the date of purchase.
What We Like About The Greco Surf THE ARK 11′ SUP
- The board is speedy and handles well – If you’re looking to zip about open ocean or lakes, this board has the capability to do so.
- Built with the traveler in mind – It can’t fold down like an inflatable, but it won’t cause any great impediment if you have to attach it to your car to transport. The soft material means no dings on the rail or deck.
- The plain white is great for personalization – You can easily add your own graphics without damaging the board or ruining the aesthetic appeal. Great for artists or those with a creative streak.
What We Don’t Like About The Greco Surf THE ARK 11′ SUP
- No paddle included – You’ll have to go get your own paddle, but at least that way you’ll be assured you have one that suits you well. (you can buy a package deal that includes a paddle and day board bag)
- No other tie-up options aside from the cargo straps – So you might want exercise caution in trying to secure it to the dock or a boat, as there is no dedicated option to do so.
This SUP Is Best Suited For
- Flat water paddling – If you’re heading to a calm, open lake, river, or stretch of ocean, this is the board to take along. It moves quickly, and turns on a dime in such conditions.
- Learning the basics – For those just starting out that want to practice their techniques in placid water, this board will suit you well.
- Larger riders – This board is a bit on the longer side at 11 feet, and has a weight capacity rated up to 300 pounds. A 6′ + individual of average weight should be able to stabilize with ease.
This SUP Is Not So Great For
- Touring or choppy water – The Ark can handle small waves, but its true strength lies in it’s calm water abilities. Take precautions before trying to handle any other conditions.
- That foam can warp if left in the sun too long – Overly warm conditions cause the foam to expand, which could lead to the delamination of your board. Best to cover it up when not in use.
This is a great flat water board for riders of all skill levels, and is especially well geared towards newcomers who want to hone their skills as it offers an increased level of safety in comparison to harder boards. Being a bit larger, it might take some getting used to for riders that aren’t accustomed to 11′ boards, but that learning curve isn’t so steep that it is insurmountable. Bottom line, a great board that has something to offer to just about everyone.