Bay Sports 11’6’’ Tour
- Comfortable touring board with excellent tracking and glide.
- 19.6 lb board weight, 375 lbs recommended weight capacity. Very stable, great for beginners.
- Elongated diamond grooved deck pad. Very grippy, but nice to stand on as well.
- US fin box with fantastic FCS II fin. Permanent side fins retain their shape well.
- Fusion-Tec construction + reinforced taped rails makes for a very durable board.
- Dual-chamber pump, full fiberglass paddle, and premium backpack are all superb parts of the overall Tour kit.
- 9 D-rings and no action mount. Limited overall accessory compatibility.
- Center handle placement is forward allowing for an awkward rear heavy carrying position.
- Side fins are pre-molded and not removable.
The Bay Sports 11’6’’ Tour is a fun touring board for solo paddlers or those who want to go out with friends and family. Built to be stable, the 11’6’’ Tour has a recommended weight capacity of 375 lbs, more than enough for an adult to bring their kids, pet, or another adult out with them. As a touring board, the stellar performance factor is its tracking, and the 11’6’’ Tour offers a sublime glide that cuts through the water and maintains a straight course with little effort on the paddler’s part. This board feels great to stand on because the diamond grooved deck pad is both very comfortable to stand on while offering great traction support, as well as, the inclusion of the solidly reinforced taped rails. Included with the 11’6’’ Tour is also a rapid dual-chamber pump, a full lightweight fiberglass paddle, the very easy to install FCS II fin, and a roomy, well organized backpack. From board to bag to accessories, there’s a lot to love about the 11’6’’ Tour, so be sure to read on for our expanded thoughts below!
SUP Board Specs
|Rider Capacity (lbs)
|9’’ FCS Connect II center click in fin,
2.75’’ molded plastic side fins
|Full Fiberglass shaft and blade, 26.7 Ounces
|Fusion-Tec Drop-Stitch Construction
3-Layer Side Rail
Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:
Touring boards are built for the adventurous, paddlers who want to explore the water from dusk to dawn. The 11’6’’ Tour has some great features that make it suitable for other types of paddlers, including:
- Those brand new to the world of SUP that need something very stable to learn with.
- Families or friends who are interested in a board with good performance that can support multiple people.
- Long-distance travelers or hikers who want a touring board that is light to carry.
- Paddlers with experience who need an inflatable SUP with a fantastic, grippy deck pad.
- Paddlers who prefer a thinner, 5’’ thickness over the common 6’’ inflatable design.
You can take the 11’6’’ Tour to most water environments and have a very fun time with the touring board. In terms of how it will perform, use this touring board in:
- Calm, flatwater for the optimal touring experience.
- Marinas, bays, and the coastline for long distance touring trips. The 11’6’’ Tour can handle some chop and wind with little performance loss.
- River trips! The 11’6’’ Tour can handle slow, friendly rivers that don’t have too many sudden twists or turns.
- Ocean waves for a little surfing, if they’re longboard style waves and you don’t mind getting wet from time to time.
Touring boards typically offer great stability due to their large volume designs, and the 11’6’’ Tour is no exception. With a recommended weight capacity of 375 lbs, solo paddlers of any height or size will find the 11’6’’ Tour very easy to stand on in the water. Furthermore, the large weight capacity makes this a great board for taking kids, a pet, or a second adult paddler out on as well. Beginners looking for a stable board to learn with and advanced paddlers looking for something to tackle rougher waters will both appreciate the stability of the 11’6’’ Tour.
The 11’6’’ Tour is definitely long, but once you get used to how it handles you’ll find it maneuvers around the water well enough to dodge rocks, trees, and other obstacles you encounter. With just a few powerful side strokes, you’ll be able to change the direction you want to go in just a few seconds. You can also move a foot back to perform a step-back turn like you see in the picture above, pushing the tail down to raise the nose out of the water. Once your nose is raised, you’ll be able to pivot on the spot and turn any direction you want to go. Once you’ve mastered the step-back turn, and get used to how the 11’6’’ Tour typically turns, you’ll be navigating the water and getting where you want to go with ease.
While there’s a lot to love when it comes to the 11’6’’ Tour, the tracking and glide is what we love about it the most. Paddling technique does play an impact in how straight you go, but even those brand new and still learning how to properly paddle will find it easy to keep a line in the water. The 11’6’’ Tour has a very smooth glide as well, with a pointed nose and raised rocker that allows it to tackle the chop and waves that come your way. It does take a few big strokes to get yourself going, but once you’ve built up speed you’ll find the 11’6’’ Tour maintains its momentum well. Between the tracking, glide, and speed, we’ve had a grand time paddling with the 11’6’’ Tour.
Something you can do to improve the tracking, speed, and overall performance even more is by using the FCS II center fin. The center fin is very easy to install, and works in conjunction with the two permanent side fins for greater SUP performance. The center fin is 9’’ long though, so we would advise against using it in shallow waters, as it can break if it drags along the ground. However, for the smoothest paddling experience and optimal tracking, make sure you install the FCs II fin before heading out in non-shallow water!
The Bay Sports 11’6’’ Tour uses the same high-quality Fusion-Tec design featured in their other inflatable paddleboards. At the center of the Fusion-Tec board is a tight drop-stitch core which is made up of sheets of polyester fabric held together with thousands of precisely placed strings. As air is pumped into this drop-stitch core, the core expands like a traditional inflatable, but maintains a board shape due to the internally placed strings.
A military grade PVC coating is fused to a drop-stitch core which provides a stable, well constructed board that is able to support a high weight capacity and take on any beating a board may face.. Thanks to this PVC composite shell, you can crash, drop, and suffer all types of common SUP accidents and do little to no damage to the structure or performance of the board. For additional protection and longevity, a UV coating is also applied to the PVC shell, and the rails are reinforced with triple-layered tape to further protect the board and increase board rigidity. Taken together, the Fusion-Tec built 11’6’’ Tour is tough, sturdy, and firm while also being light and easy to carry, making it well suited for teenagers and adult paddlers alike!
The 11’6’’ length of the touring board helps the board keep a straight course in the water, especially when the 9’’ FCS II center fin is installed before going out. The Bay Sports Tour has a 32’’ wide deck, which is a healthy balance of being wide enough to support up to two adult paddlers while thin enough to stay nimble in the water. The 5’’ thickness lowers the paddler’s center of gravity, improving the overall performance for solo paddlers on the 11’6’’ Tour. Overall, this is a well-designed board for long touring expeditions that is also suited for a number of other activities. You can engage in some casual racing, get in a yoga session, or even surf some longboard style waves with the 11’6’’ Tour. Whatever you do, we’re sure you’ll have just as much fun as we’ve had with the BAy Sports 11’6’’ Tour!
The 11’6’’ Tour is an easy board for us to recommend not just for its performance, but its other features as well. These great features include:
- Fusion-Tec drop stitch PVC layer construction: Don’t go out of your way to test your luck, but you can accidentally drop your board or crash it on the water and emerge damage free almost every time. Fusion-Tec incorporates inflatable technology with military grade PVC coatings for a healthy balance of lightweight performance and rock-solid durability. With a little proper care, you’ll be able to use the 11’6’’ Tour for years without any sort of performance loss.
- 9 D-rings + Removable Cargo Area: The bungee cord system is great for storing coolers and other small containers, and is very easy to remove for additional deck space. Alternatively, there are also 9 D-rings that will work well with dry-bags, cases, and other common SUP clip on accessories. Great to attach your leash too as well!
- Fiberglass shaft + Fiberglass paddle blade:Weighing 26 ounces, the full fiberglass paddle will ensure you can paddle for hours without tiring your arms out. The paddle is easy to adjust, fitting most adult paddler heights and letting you exchange it with your friends. Fits snugly into the backpack too!
- Dual carry handles: Both handles have neoprene covers, make them comfy to grip and protect your hands against chafing when held. Solo paddlers can easily lift the board with the center handle, while tandem paddlers can work together by lifting with the rear handle. The back handle also doubles as a paddle holder too!
- Grooved EVA deck pad: The deck pad covers most of the length of the board, built with the same EVA foam used in many popular yoga mats. The diamond grooved pattern improves overall traction, making it easier to grip the board. EVA foam will not only withstand the water, but dry out quickly too so the board doesn’t get slick.
- Four unique color combinations: The 11’6’’ Tour is available in blue/yellow, blue/pink, orange/grey, and navy/orange.
The center fin box is a standard US fin box, giving you the option to use a wide variety of fins with the 11’6’’ Tour. However, the vast majority of paddlers will love the included FCS II Connect in, one of our favorite fins on the market. The FCS II Connect fin offers the same great performance as previous FCS fins, but without having to deal with the screw and plate installation. Simply insert the front of the fin into the center of the fin box, slide the fin to where you want it, and push the back down until you feel the barrel lock has engaged. You can install the center fin in less than five seconds, and as it’s built with fiberglass you can occasionally run aground and be just fine with it. The center fin will improve the board’s tracking, but you can position it forward for a tighter turn or move it back if you want even more board stability.
Bay Sports has also built 2.75’’ pre-molded plastic side fins into the 11’6’’ Tour, and while they don’t offer the same level of customization they are built to last, and require little effort on your part to manage. The side fins are included to improve the board’s overall stability, and due to their length will work well in deep lakes and shallow rivers alike. Occasionally, from shipping or packing, these side fins can get bent out of shape, but they are very easy to fix if they ever do look off. Drench the side fins in hot water, leave the board out to dry in the sun, and wait about 15 minutes. Once the fins have dried out, they should be restored back to their normal shape, allowing you to get back to your touring adventures with the 11’6’’ Tour!
Grooved Eva Deck Pad
Touring board deck pads need to be soft enough that you can stand on them for the whole length of the day, while providing the traction support you need to avoid slipping off of them. Fortunately, the 11’6’’ Tour deck pad provides both, thanks to its diamond grooved pattern and EVA foam build. EVA foam, a material popular in many yoga mats, will withstand the water while also staying comfy, ensuring your feet don’t develop blisters. The diamond grooved pattern helps the deck pad drain when wet, while also improving overall traction to ensure you maintain a solid grip to the board. It’s a well-built deck pad, and stretches from the tail to the front cargo area of the board. Solo paddlers and those going out with extra passengers alike will both appreciate the 11’6’’ Tour’s deck pad.
You will find two carry handles on the 11’6’’ Tour, both of which have very comfortable neoprene covers. The neoprene is soft to hold, and also safeguards your hands against chafing when held with freezing or soaking wet fingers. The center handle allows you to carry the board to and fro, however, due to the placement, the board tends to be rear heavy when carrying it this way. There is also a rear handle that allows for you to adjust the board while it is in the water to position it. The lack of a nose handle may put off some, but we personally don’t mind its absence given how easy it is to lift the 19.6 lb board.
On the 11’6’’ Tour, you’ll find 9 D-rings that you can use with many common SUP accessories. Four rings are built around the center of the deck pad, another is located on the rear handle, and the remaining four are built into the forward bungee cargo area. These D-rings are great for attaching dry-bags, cell phone cases, and other common accessories that have a clip or tether. Overall, the included D-rings are built well, though it would have been nice to include an action mount or a few extra D-rings for additional accessory compatibility.
If you have a cooler or lunch box, it fits very nicely into the large nose cargo area. This bungee cargo area is completely removable as well, ensuring that you can clear up your deck space if you so desire. The bungees are spaced far enough away that you won’t ever have to worry about tripping over them while paddling, so you can leave them in as well even if you don’t intend to use them.
Fiberglass Shaft + Fiberglass Paddle Blade
Included with the 11’6’’ Tour is a full fiberglass paddle, which comes in three pieces and weighs 26.7 ounces when fully put together. The paddle is light to hold and has an ergonomic handle, the shaft polished as well so you can comfortably use the paddle for hours without irritating your hands or suffering from splinters. This is a great inclusion and a very solid paddle for beginner to intermediate paddlers, though more advanced paddlers will prefer the carbon fiber paddle available from Bay Sports.
The three piece set is easy to put together, and once assembled can be adjusted to fit almost any adult paddler height. If you’re taking turns on the 11’6’’ Tour, you can easily and accurately adjust the height of the paddle by following the markings printed on the shaft of the paddle. Finally, once you disassemble the paddle, you’ll find that it fits well into the roomy backpack.
The Helios triple-action, dual-chamber pump to inflate the 11’6’’ Tour. By following the instructions printed on the outside of the pump, first time paddlers will have no trouble inflating the board in less than 15 minutes, and those who pump quickly less in less than 10. With a solid but flexible hose, a sturdy base, and compact size that won’t have any trouble fitting in the Bay Sports backpack, we really like the Helios manual pump.
Something that we like even more than the Helios dual-chamber pump is an electric pump. Electric pumps will do the hard work of inflatable your paddleboard for you, and do it in about the same amount of time as a manual pump. Furthermore, electric pumps will help you deflate your inflatable SUP faster with their deflation nozzle, ensuring you only have to roll up your board once to pack it. Electric pumps weigh about the same as manual pumps, but they are more compact in size, making it easier to store and freeing up more space in your backpack. If you want the best and most convenient paddle boarding experience, we recommend getting an electric pump such as the Bay Sports Hercules Electric Pump.
The 11’6’’ Tour fits snugly in the high-quality Bay Sports backpack. Built with extra room in mind, you’ll find it easy to store not just your SUP, but your paddle and pump in the backpack as well. An additional front facing storage compartment will keep things tidy, as you can stick your fins, leash, repair kit, keys, wallet, and other important items in it and away from your larger gear. There are three carry handles on the backpack for short trips, and adjustable straps on the padded back for long distance hiking. Made with ballistic-weave nylon, the Bay Sports backpack won’t have any problem withstanding the elements and protecting your 11’6’’ kit.
Another neat accessory Bay Sports has opted to include with the 11’6’’ Tour is a 11’ coiled leash. If you are paddling in faster moving waters, the leash will help you keep the board close if you fall or take a swim. Attach one end to a D-rings, the other to your ankle or calf, and you are good to go. Just be sure you use a PFD when you go out, because while a leash will keep the 11’6’’ Tour close it won’t help you float like a PFD can.
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever need to use any of the items found in the orange repair kit, but we’ll explain what they do just so you’re aware. There are PVC patches that you can use to cover small holes and tears on the paddleboard, as long as these tears don’t occur on the seams. There is also a Halkey-Roberts inflation valve wrench, which you can use to tighten up the valve if it ever comes loose. The board is very well built and is unlikely to break, but if you ever do have significant board problems be sure to contact Bay Sports for help.
The 9 D-rings and bungee cargo system are both compatible with a wide variety of SUP accessories and add-ons. Most third party accessories work great with the 11’6’’ Tour, though make sure to check compatibility before purchasing. Bay Sports has a number of accessories that are guaranteed to work with the 11’6’’ Tour, and compliment the board better than many third party add-ons. Some of our favorite accessories for this board include:
- Bay Sports Hercules electric pump
- Stand Up Paddle Board Trolley
- Dry Bags/Waterproof Deck Bag
- Waterproof deck phone case
- Compact key vault
Company Review – Bay Sports
Bay Sports, previously known as Bay Kayaks before expanding into other water sports equipment, is a 100% family-owned and operated business out of Sydney, Australia. With more than 1,000 five star reviews on their products, Bay Sports creates some of our favorite paddleboards in the world. You’ll find that all of their paddleboards are lightweight, affordable, durable, and a blast to paddle with in the water. If you like the 11’6’’ Tour, be sure to check out their other Original Series, Signature Series, Basix Series, Mandala Series, and Elite Series boards.
Bay Sports offers free shipping of the 11’6’’ Tour to the US and many parts of Europe. Though incredibly difficult to damage the board, the 11’6’’ Tour is also covered with a 3-year warranty and 30-day guarantee for common SUP accidents, Outside of the manufacturing coverage, Bay Sports also offers multiple exchange options for defective or damaged boards. Bay Sports is a well-known and established company that you can trust, with pleasant support staff that will do their best to resolve your needs. We wholeheartedly recommend the 11’6’’ Tour and Bay Sports due to their helpfulness and level of care.
The 11’6’’ Tour is an excellent touring board that offers high performance while staying light. This board is more than capable of supporting up to two adult paddlers with it’s high weight capacity. The long deck pad will let you paddle for hours without losing your grip or irritating your feet, which we can also say about the ergonomic full fiberglass paddle. The reinforced taped rails work well with the Fusion-Tec construction for a sturdy, rigid, and firm feeling while still featuring great inflatable qualities. Lastly, we also love both the dual-chamber pump and the ballistic-weave nylon backpack, along with the long and extensive coverage provided by Bay Sports. The 11’6’’ Tour is a fantastic option for those looking for a touring board, especially those who are still new or only have intermediate experience with the sport.
Have a question about our review, or want to know more about Bay Sports paddle boards? Have you wondered about the next type of fin you should buy, or are in the market for a new electric pump? Then feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email with your inquiry. We are more than happy to talk paddleboards, and also love to hear about your paddleboarding experiences as well. We update our reviews based upon the feedback we receive and the personal experience we gain from paddleboarding, so be sure to check us out again in the future for our up to date thoughts.
Thank you so much for reading and we hope you have a fantastic time paddle boarding!