This unique looking paddle board from Solstice mimics the appearance of a hard board but has the authentic soul of a rugged inflatable. Many iSUPs nowadays go with a 6″ depth to provide extra sturdiness.
The Bali manages to hold its own, in spite of it’s mere 4″ thickness. It’s a strong board, with a 3-ply reinforced PVC material capable of supporting up to 250 lbs. It’s steady on the water and provides the stability many heavier riders wish they could achieve with other inflatables. It’s also durable enough to take on the dangers of the open water without fear that it’s going to rupture.
At 15PSI (the recommended inflation level) the board will give you just about everything you’d be looking for in a hardboard with the added conveniences of an inflatable one. The board measures 10’8″ x 32″, giving riders plenty of room to gain their footing. The Bali comes with a traction deck surface to help riders maintain a good grip while on the water.
In terms of on-the-water performance, the Bali can handle itself on the ocean, flat lakes, or running rivers. Its main strength is cruising along the placid water (this board is extremely buoyant). It can achieve ample speed, though not as great as touring or race board. You can handle a few waves with it, but its limited ability to cut through the waves might give you pause in areas where they are breaking. Sticking to the rivers and lakes though this is a stand-out performer.
The Bali also gets style points for the cool design. The orange/gray color combo is not one seen often, but it works here. The board’s curvature not only looks sleek, it ensures you’ll stay on top of the water at all times. Even the traction pad adds to the aesthetic, creating a slick pattern on the board’s surface. When you factor in the affordable cost, you’re left with a board that’s providing a good deal of value for an extremely reasonable asking price.
- Multi-layer construction – Increases the board’s durability and weight bearing capacity.
- Traction pad – Helps riders steady themselves on the board and maintain their grip on the water.
- 3 fin setup – One removable center fin and two fixed side fins provide added stability and superior straight tracking on the open water.
- Gear tie-down system – Allows you to add a bungee to strap down a pack and carry along your essentials.
- Carrying bag included – An easy place to store and transport the deflated board. It fits easily into a compact trunk or closet.
- Center carry handle – Allows riders to drag the board around while inflated.
- High-pressure inflatable paddleboard. Sleek, lightweight and fast
- Extremely rigid and strong.
- Includes 4 stainless tie-downs for securing gear
What We Like About The Solstice Bali
- High capacity – Not the highest weight limit around, but more than enough for a large majority of riders. The average rider will be able to get themselves, another person, and maybe even a small pet on this board.
- Tie-down compatible – No need to fiddle with this board to get it ready for gear. It comes out the box prepared for you to pack on a little extra.
- The carry bag – It looks slick, and it’s functional. The deflated board fits inside well, and you can haul it around with ease.
What We Don’t Like About The Solstice Bali
- No paddle included – Not even a cheap one. You will have to shell out some extra cash to get a good SUP paddle before you head out. At least this way you can be sure it’s a paddle you’ll like. Our recommendation? A nice wood or carbon fiber paddle.
- The pump is not great – Not only does the hand pump work slowly, the pressure needle is inaccurate at times. You’ll be better off with a precision electric pump.
- Straight tracking is off at times – You can mitigate this drawback by using the fin system, though, so familiarize yourself with snapping that center fin on.
This iSUP Is Best Suited For
- The flat water crowd – If you’re the type that likes to paddle on lakes or quiet rivers, this board is for you. Buoyant, stable, smooth, and sturdy.
This iSUP Is Not So Great For
- The surf crowd – It’s not going to handle waves like you want it to, and you’ll not get the handling you would expect from a surf-style board.
As far as iSUPS go, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better one at this price range. There are more expensive boards that will give you more bang, but you’ll have to break off some extra buck to get them.
The Bali is an excellent beginner or backup board for riders who have been looking to get an inflatable but wanted to start slow and see how they take to them first.
Last update on 2021-08-05 at 23:21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API