11' Atoll iSUP
- Lots of D-rings
- Universal fin box
- All accessories included to get going
- Standout company logo
- Very stable and easy to paddle
- Paddle could be improved
- Bag not great for long distance carrying
- Side fins aren't removable
What is that? A bird? Nope, it’s a bison on a board.
Probably my most favorite thing about the Atoll board is the logo. One of the very few companies with a creative logo! Love it! I’ve put the stickers everywhere!
Aside from the fact Atoll has a cool logo, they also make a good board. There are a few things I would consider changing up, but there is also a few things I really liked! Read on to find out more.
|Max Capacity||300 lbs|
Not long after I had inflated the Atoll, I picked it up and started to head into the water.
First thoughts were that it was light, easy to carry (good handle) and it felt solid inflated. I pushed out off the bank and jumped straight up to my feet. The shape (length and width) makes for an incredible stable board which makes for a fantastic starters board.
Taking the first few strokes, I found the paddle to be a little loose, which I know can hinder performance and tracking. If you aren’t getting a solid stroke and your blade is fluttering, you’ll lose half your efforts and tire much quicker. Additionally, a loose paddle can make tracking more difficult.
Out of curiosity I went into shore and grabbed their newer carbon paddle to see what difference it would have. I definitely felt the difference in stroke and tracking. Which led me to the conclusion that the boards itself momentum and tracking is pretty good! I have experienced better tracking (sticking to one line) on other boards with similar shape but they are also more expensive. Ones like the BaySports Tour and Red Paddle Co Sport use better fin systems which do make a big difference with tracking.
In comparison to iRockers 11′, I found that the tracking was pretty comparable. The turning and stability on both boards are also pretty similar but that’s no surprise because up next to each other these are pretty similar boards! I would say the iRocker is slightly more stable, it’s a bit wider at the tail and uses quad-layer PVC as opposed to the dual layer on the Atoll. The extra layers of PVC add to rigidness which in turn helps with stability. The Atoll, however, turns a bit freer than the iRocker 11′. It’s looser tail gives you a bit more freedom when executing back foot turns and it’s also slightly faster.
I gained speed reasonably quickly, and a slight rocker in the nose allowed me to maintain some of that speed even in headwinds. Overall, I really enjoyed paddling the Atoll around and would definitely include it in my quiver as a fun, comfortable and easy ride in flatwater conditions.
When reviewing sometimes I go and find the worst customer reviews I can and look for the same issues. Sometimes it’s just a one-off problem, sometimes it’s a lack of consistency. I had read a few reviews regarding seam issues so I took the time to run my fingers along the board. I didn’t notice any obvious issues but these comments were made some years ago and Atoll has since improved their materials.
To me, the materials looked (not bubbles or seam splits) to be of high quality and also felt it. I felt no flex on the board even as a couple of friends clambered aboard to try to tip me off.
The 11′ Atoll is made from a dual layer PVC that is machine fused together resulting in the lightweight but rigid structure. These PVC layers cover a drop stitch core which is what allows the board to be inflated to high pressures. It’s the most efficient system for making a board durable, stiff but also lightweight.
I sort of covered the fins a little in the performance/board design but I will go into a bit more detail.
The board features 2 fixed side fins and one removable center fin. The side fins are a tough rubber that can handle some pretty heavy duty knocks and scrapes. Whereas the center fin is a sturdy plastic but with a universal fin box, you can choose to change that over too!
The center fin secured by screw and plate doesn’t flex too much, creating a solid aid for tracking. I recommend grabbing a few extra plates and screws and keeping them in your repair kit. If you are like me, they just mysteriously disappear. Probably in the same place as the odd socks and bobby pins.
As I mentioned, the fin box is compatible with an array of other fins. Not just the one that comes with the board. But why would I want that? Because different fins can improve your performance but also keep you safe! You can opt for different shaped and sized fins for better tracking or improved turning. While you can also purchase additional lower profile fins for shallow waters to stop you from running aground!
Using the pump included I got the board inflated in about 8 minutes. Atoll supplies you with a dual action pump to get you pumped up to recommended 15 PSI. The valve was tight, and there appeared to be no leaks.
Deflate much like all others, was a push-down and twist of the fin. Next step rolling it up! Which, sometimes things like reinforced rails or extra handles can get in the way, but the deflate and the roll of the Atoll was simple and easy.
The overall shape of the board is a mix between a touring board and cruiser in my eyes. I don’t normally think of a cruising board to be more than 10 or 10’6. However, the Atoll is 11′ long. Though a touring board normally has more of a slender nose and narrower body. Here I see a mix of both. What it provides is a large platform for stability but also versatility. The real versatility showing in the multiple D-rings.
Across the board of the body, you will find 14 D-rings, a huge amount of attachment points for all kinds of uses. You can attach a kayak seat, an esky, take a few bags with you…the options are limitless. Which gets me thinking this is why the board is shaped the way it is. If you were to be taking a lot of weight, you’d want stability through the whole board and the tapered nose of a touring board could be tricky.
The platform upon which you stand is cushy and comfortable EVA deck pad which is diamond grooved to provide you with the ultimate grip. I also like that most of the deck pad is black (no dirty feet marks), it can get hot in the sun, but a splash of water fixes that. Another part of the board’s design I like is the handle at the end, it makes launching and retrieving your board easy.
Aesthetics! I got the army green board, which I love! But you also can choose from a few different colors. It’s a great option for people buying a couple of boards or as presents ( choose their fav color! ).
The aluminum paddle included can be improved. For instance, the clasp is a little loose and the grip a little uncomfortable. Comparing it to other boards in this price range, it’s about the same quality. It’s there to get you going and having a good time. If you are going to be paddling a lot, I would strongly suggest investing in either their part carbon fiber or full carbon fiber paddle as I felt a little flex in the supplied paddle which does affect your performance.
Though it’s great to be able to measure your paddle to the exact height by using the clasping lock, this same mechanism also does leave you open to inserting the handle just slightly off center. If you leave measuring your paddle until you are on the water (like I unintentionally do all the time), getting a straight center can be tricky. I prefer the pin lock system.
Again, another accessory there for convenience and necessity. There are plenty of boards in this price range offering up double chamber, triple action pumps these days. They are more efficient and featuring an extra action, easier to use. The pump included is a great dual action pump, it’s strong, the hose is secure, and I got the board inflated in about 8 mins no problem.
For what it is, it’s a great product, but I would love to see the inclusion of a better pump. For the quality of the board itself, it’s a shame to not match the accessories as well!
Stamped with my favorite SUP logo is your coiled leash. If you have read any of my other reviews you know, I prefer coiled leashes to straight legged ones as there is less chance of them trailing in the water and getting caught on something.
Its ankle piece is comfortable, and it seems to be made fairly well! Leashes are a must on longer trips/precarious waters and not every company includes them. It’s great to see Atoll is thinking of the safety of their customers!
Here is where I would like to see the other improvement. There are some parts of the bag I really like and others that aren’t ideal. As a bag to store and move the SUP, it’s awesome. It’s got mesh sides, so it breathes really well (no mold) and easily fits everything in it. However, to carry distances on your back, it’s not very supportive.
I also like how you call pull the cord at the front, and the bag cinches up to secure the load, but again, the use of that is lost if you can’t carry it too far comfortably. To secure the bag there’s a velcro strip which rolls on itself much like a dry bag, I do like this because one of my problems is many bags zippers rust/calcify from being near the ocean.
Repair Kit + Extras
Your little orange tube has all your goodies, a few patches, and a valve wrench. As you can see it’s also a great toy for toddlers. Not only do you get the repair kit but included as extras are some stickers and a user manual. It’s surprising how many people don’t offer the manuals and how many people ask for them!
Hats! All of the hats! They have quite a few different styles and colors, and I love mine.
I obviously wore it for photos, well, just cause then I was matching, but I’m wearing it out and about all over the place now.
All in all, I love the board, but the accessories could do with an upgrade. The board has had several upgrades over the years so I won’t be surprised if the next upgrade is the accessories. There is a reason they have such high ratings on selling platforms, and that reason is that the board is an awesome piece of equipment. It offers versatility for different skill levels and paddling uses. Whether it’s a long trip out fishing or a cruisy trip down the river, you’ll love it. Beginners especially will be all smiles, you’ll find it stable and a great entry level board to get the hang on SUP on.
On top of the board being prime, their customer service definitely matches it. I get to experience a fair amount of customer service through doing these reviews, and it is something that for me, plays heavily into a review.
The team is friendly, available and helpful but they are also super enthusiastic about their brand and it definitely shows in their approach. With also a 2-year warranty and 60-day money back guarantee they provide their product quality assurance in a viable form too!
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