Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring iSUP
- Speedy as can be! The shape and construction pair nicely to allow this board to efficiently get up to speed and then maintain it.
- Excellently built for a lightweight (21.6 lb) touring SUP that tracks so well you will barely have to switch sides as you paddle.
- Stiff and rigid due to 2 PVC layers on the hull and deck and 3 on the rails! The extra layer on the rails allows for the board to be thin yet high-performing.
- Well-designed for speed
- Raised kick-pad for easier maneuvering and step-back turns. We love the placement of this kick-pad as it’s easy to feel without having to look back.
- Upgraded backpack and fin box: the backpack is now thicker and more durable and the fin box is split for an easier time rolling up your SUP.
- 4-year warranty from a reputable brand, they will replace your board for the first 4 years if you experience a manufacturer problem.
- Not the most stable for beginners (this is always a trade-off with speed though and intermediate to advanced paddlers will love this board)
A high-performance touring board that cuts through the waves much like it cut through our expectations: this SUP is surprisingly speedy!
I’ll let you know before we even get deep into this review that the Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP is currently my personal favorite board, and I assure you that I am extremely picky, especially when it comes to touring boards.
Before you roll your eyes at that, let me give you some backstory. Back when I was in college (a whopping 1 year ago) I spent every Summer working as a SUP guide/instructor for a rental shop in Cape May, NJ. We offered 4 tours per day, each lasting about 2 hours, and I paddled with our guests for every single one. I was spending those 8 hours paddling the same wide, stable all-arounds as the guests, until one day my boss dropped off a hand-me-down touring board that she found collecting dust in her garage. ‘Thought you might like it’, she said as she set it down on the dock.
I fell in love with that board. It was a 12’6 x 28” epoxy hard SUP with a bamboo finish and a sleek black and white deck pad that was absolutely blinding in the sun. It made those 8 hours of paddling feel like seconds and I was easily paddling circles around our guests (to keep them safe, of course).
That hand-me-down board was one of my hardest goodbyes when I moved out to Utah for this position, and since then I’ve been searching for that same feeling in all of the touring boards we test. It was a feeling that was proving very hard to find until I stepped onto the Honu Sorrento for the first time.
To say that The Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP just impressed us would be a gross understatement. We think this SUP would make a phenomenal choice for intermediate or advanced paddlers that want to invest in a carefully constructed, rigid, high-performance touring iSUP capable of crushing mile after mile and hitting some noteworthy speeds.
I also want to make clear that I’m not saying the Sorrento won’t be useable for beginners, but it will definitely come with a learning curve if you’re used to wider, less tapered, all around SUPs. However, as you adjust to the Sorrento’s stability and feel more comfortable with it on the water, you’ll love it more and more as your skills develop.
We think the Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP would be great for paddlers who
- Are intermediate paddlers that want an exceptionally built, lightweight touring SUP with excellent tracking capabilities
- Are Ambitious novice paddlers that know they want to develop their skills in SUP’ing and move into touring and fitness paddling
- Are solo paddlers that aren’t loading down with excess gear and an extra passenger
Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP: Spec Sheet
- Main Category: Touring
- Board Dimensions: 12’6 x 30” x 5.9”
- Listed Board Weight: 21.6 lbs
- Listed Max Capacity: 308 lbs
- Recommended PSI: 16-20 PSI
- Fins: Single Fin US split fin box
- Paddle: *not included
- Materials: Woven-cross drop stitch core; fused PVC; welded carbon rails; 3k Carbon Stringers
- Warranty: 4 years
*Honu has a selection of high-quality paddles available for a discounted additional purchase when you bundle them with your SUP.
Performance Review of the Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring Stand Up Paddle Board
Overall Score: [9.8/10]
- Stability: 8.7/10
- Speed: 9.6/10
- Tracking: 9.7/10
- Maneuverability: 8.7/10
- Construction Quality: 9.8/10
- Features/Accessories: 8.6/10
Stability Rating: [8.7/10]
The Honu Sorrento is a true touring SUP and is naturally more geared toward speed than stability. This SUP will come with a moderate learning curve for SUP newcomers, or even some more seasoned paddlers that are transitioning from 33” or 32” wide SUPs.
The 30” width on the Sorrento combined with its tapered shape and single fin do contribute to a bit more responsiveness (aka ‘tippiness’) under your feet as you shift your weight between strokes. Still, the 12’6 Sorrento is much more stable than some 28” touring SUPs we’ve tested out; it just takes some getting used to if you’re coming from a wider or more rounded board. This is a touring SUP that you’ll enjoy more as your skills develop alongside it.
Regarding the Sorrento’s weight capacity, 308 lbs does seem reasonable for this SUP considering it is one of the most rigid 12’6 SUPs we’ve tested. We still need to do additional testing to find out if the weight capacity is 308lbs of dispersed weight or if a solo paddler close to that size range would feel comfortable on the Sorrento, but considering the Sorrento’s construction, the welded carbon rails, and carbon stringers, I have high hopes and will update when some of our taller/heavier reviewers give the Sorrento a try.
Speed Test: 9.6/10
|Top Sprint Speed:||5.7 MPH|
|Average Cruising Speed:||4.8 MPH|
The Sorrento is undeniably built for speed, and its exceptional performance in our speed tests came as no surprise. Even in the touring SUP category, the 12’6 Sorrento inches it’s way toward the front of the pack.
Part of the Honu Sorrento’s capacity for speed comes from its streamlined shape and careful construction. Its tapered nose and squared-off tail minimize drag by narrowing and elongating your waterline on your SUP. Combine that with its lightweight, rigid construction and single touring fin, and you’re left with a smooth ‘gliding’ like feeling over the water, even if you’re not paddling the Sorrento in a full-out sprint. This SUP just seems to effortlessly eat up miles on the water without the paddler having to put in much effort.
One thing that I think may make the Sorrento even faster is if they incorporated a v-hull like shape on the nose, similar to the one we’ve seen (and loved) on the SeaGods Ketos. It might just give the Sorrento even more of an edge to enter into the touring/race hybrid category. Though for now, the current Sorrento is still one of the quickest true dedicated touring SUPs we’ve tested.
This section is simply going to be a love letter to the Sorrento, and rightfully so.
This SUP has some of the best tracking capabilities we’ve seen to date (and we’ve tested a TON of boards). Neither myself nor Justin had to switch sides at all during the .06 mile sprint test on the Sorrento, even during tests when we weren’t fully honed in on our stroke technique. I can only imagine what the Sorrento would be capable of in the hands of a paddler with 100% stellar technique and form. I could see this SUP being able to carry on for miles without having to switch sides or readjust your course all that frequently.
When it comes to ‘why’ the Sorrento tracks so well in the water, my estimate would be that it’s a combination of multiple things, not just the single touring fin alone. The reason I say this is because we’ve tested out our fair share of ‘single touring fin’ SUPs and none tracked as well as the Sorrento. I think its rigid construction also contributes here in that you won’t create any uneven drag from the Sorrento flexing under your feet. I’d also estimate that Honu’s intensive quality control efforts avoid any small asymmetries on the Sorrento that would otherwise slightly decrease its tracking capability.
The Honu Sorrento maneuvers fairly well for a SUP that is built to go straight and fast. Maneuverability is not a category where the Sorrento excels, at least if you’re comparing it to the maneuverability-focused all-around boards. However, we don’t think that’s a fair comparison considering the Sorrento is a dedicated touring SUP.
With that in mind, I was pretty happy with the maneuverability of the Sorrento. It’s lightweight, so casual turns don’t take much effort to change the SUPs direction, though it is a bit slower to turn due to it’s 12’6 length and hatchet fin, but that’s to be expected. Walking yourself back towards the tail for a stepback turn will take some practice on the Sorrento since it’s focused on speed more than stability. However, once you do get your foot back to the tail, the raised kick pad makes it easy to be able to make a pretty tight, well-executed pivot or step-back turn with the assurance of correct foot placement.
Construction Quality: 9.8/10
As with most things about the Sorrento, ‘impressive’ is the best word to use when describing its construction.
Focusing on its interior, the tapered shape of the Sorrento is held in place by thousands of drop stitch threads, organized in an ‘X’ pattern to increase rigidity while using less material (i.e staying lightweight). These threads are attached to a woven fabric layer that encompasses the inner core of the SUP.
Moving onto the exterior of the Sorrento, The PVC layers are fused to the fabric layer with heat instead of glue for a lighter, more uniform bond. The carbon stringer is then applied, bonded with TPU (a material that bridges the gap between carbon fiber and PVC), and layered with vinyl with the goal of increasing rigidity even more.
Honu takes the stiff construction of the Sorrento even further by incorporating a carbon layer into their rails and pressure/heat sealing it at the seams for a durable fit before covering it with a final rail layer of PVC. Throughout every step of this process, Honu is constantly performing quality control checks to ensure that each board is built to their standard.
The Sorrento is one of the best demonstrations of Honu and Mark Travers’ commitment to innovative SUP construction. They have dismantled the trade-off that usually occurs between an inflatable SUP’s rigidity and its overall weight in creating the 21.6 lb ultra-stiff Sorrento. I am stoked to see how the Sorrento develops even further, and how this type of construction and performance influences the industry as a whole.
Stiffness Test: 0.8125” Bend
Our bend test is carried out by placing the SUP (the Sorrento in this case) on top of two sawhorses that are set 7 feet apart. We then load 150 lbs onto the SUP’s midpoint and measure how much it bends under that weight. As we always say, we know this is not how the SUP performs in the water, but this test helps in differentiating different construction processes and materials and how they contribute to the overall rigidity of the SUP.
The fact that the Sorrento bent less than 1 inch is extremely impressive, especially at just 21 lbs. More than that though, this stiffness is something that you can feel on the water.
As you shift your weight to paddle, you don’t feel any flexing, or bouncing that would create drag. When you get the board up to speed, you can feel the glide that comes from its flat, consistent waterline.
In short, Honu’s detailed construction process results in a rigid, high-performing SUP that is well worth the investment for a serious paddler.
Features/Accessory Review: [8.6/10]
As is typically the case with Honu, The Sorrento shows off an uncluttered, but functional list of features.
Even the underneath of the Sorrento has a clean and cutting look
There are 3 carry handles: at the nose, tail, and center of the SUP to make getting in and out of the water easier with this 12’6 board. The Sorrento also has a 6-point front cargo area and a 4-point rear cargo area to store drybags or your shoes during a long tour.
As we previously mentioned, the Sorrento also has a raised kick pad that helps tremendously with stepback turns, as well as a grippy diamond grooved deck pad. Lastly, the Sorrento also utilizes a split US fin box for tons of customization ability on your center fin and an easier time rolling it up!
Listed below are all of the accessories that come included in the kit of the Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP. You’ll notice that the Sorrento does not come with an included paddle; instead, Honu has several options of high-quality paddles available for a discounted price if you bundle it with your SUP.
- Honu SUP roller bag w/ large front pocket
- Full swivel coiled leash
- 9’’ Touring fin
Overall, I really like the Sorrento kit. I found each of the included accessories to be on par with the high quality of the Sorrento itself. The leash is soft and comfortable, the roller bag is roomy and easy to organize with the front pocket, and the included 9’’ touring fin is awesome for tracking capabilities.
Summary Review of the Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP
As I stated initially, I fell in love with the Sorrento the first time I paddled it for this review. Of course, I am partial to touring boards as a whole, but the Sorrento has effectively set the bar for performance-oriented, rigid, lightweight touring iSUPs.
The Sorrento impressed us in every aspect of our testing, from speed and tracking to overall construction, and even surprised us in the maneuverability category. To be honest, it was pretty difficult to write the ‘cons’ list on the chart at the top of this page.
I’d feel confident recommending the Sorrento to any intermediate paddler that wants the most in performance and stiffness but also values lightweight construction. I’d even feel comfortable recommending the Sorrento to confident novice paddlers that know they want to invest in a SUP with enough of a learning curve to help them hone their skills and enter into the touring and fitness paddling scene.
In short, the Sorrento does not disappoint within the category of speed-oriented, high-performance touring iSUPs.
As always, we appreciate you reading through our review of the Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP. If you have any additional questions on the Sorrento or any other SUP we’ve reviewed, don’t hesitate to reach out. Happy paddling!
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