Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring iSUP
- Lightweight 21.6 lbs
- Impressive stiff construction
- Excellent tracking capabilities
- Well-designed for speed
- Raised kick-pad
- 2+2 Warranty
- Not the most stable for beginners (this is always a trade off with speed though and intermediate to advanced paddlers will love this board)
- We’d like a better hand pump for a SUP that has a max of 20 PSI.
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 a little bit of 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 myself 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 use-able 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
- Intermediate paddlers that want an exceptionally built, lightweight touring SUP with excellent tracking capabilities
- Ambitious novice paddlers that know they want to develop their skills in SUP’ing and move into touring and fitness paddling
- Solo paddlers that aren’t loading down with excess gear and an extra passenger
- Paddlers who are often in flat water with occasional chop or ocean paddlers
Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring SUP: Spec Sheet
- Main Category: Touring, Inflatable
- Board Dimensions: 12’6 x 30” x 5.9”
- Listed Board Weight: 21.6lbs
- Listed Max Capacity: 308.6
- Recommended PSI: 16-20 PSI
- Fins: Single Fin, FCS
- Paddle: not included
- Materials: Woven-cross drop stitch core; fused PVC; welded carbon rails; 3k Carbon Stringers
- Price Range: High
- Warranty: 2+2;
*Honu has a selection of high quality paddles available for a discounted additional purchase when you bundle with your SUP.
*Honu will replace your board for manufacturing defects and repair damage due to normal use for free for up to 2 years. They will continue free repairs for 2 additional years IF you register your board upon purchase.
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
- Listed weight capacity: 308 lbs
- Tested weight capacity: 180lbs (paddler weight, no gear)
The Honu Sorrento is a true touring SUP and is naturally more geared towards speed than stability. This SUP will come with a moderate learning curve for SUP new-comers, 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, 300lbs 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
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 its way towards 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 Sea Gods 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 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.
Maneuverability is one area where the Sorrento will not excel, at least if you’re comparing it to maneuverability focused all-around SUPs. Personally, I don’t think that’s fair considering the Sorrento is a dedicated touring SUP. It’s meant to go straight and fast and it does that exceptionally well.
With that in mind, I was pretty happy with the maneuverability on 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 stepback-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: 0.9375” 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 150lbs 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 overall rigidity of the SUP.
The fact that the Sorrento bent less than 1 inch is extremely impressive, especially at just 21lbs. This is the stiffest board in the lightweight SUP category that we have tested so far. 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.
11 thoughts on “Honu Sorrento 12’6 Touring iSUP Review, 2023”
I have used a friends Red Paddle board 11’3 sport. I really like Red Paddle 11’3 sport board however not the price tag. I paddle rivers, lakes with quite a bit of chop from boats/wind.
I have read both of your reviews on the Honu Byron and Sorrento boards. I am 5’10 – 180 pounds. I would say an intermediate paddler. I have paddled on other brands 34″ wide boards and they are too slow. Paddling on the 32″ wide red paddle 11’3 sport is a lot faster than 34″ boards however does not give up that much stability. I have never paddled on a 30″ wide board so I am not sure how much less stability they are over a 32″ wide board.
I am looking for something as close to the Red Paddle 11’3 sport board that I can find. I want a board I can grow with as I get better paddling. I realize the Honu Bryon is classified as an all-around board and the Sorrento is a touring board. I believe Red Paddle classifies the Sport 11’3 is an all around/touring board.
How would you compare both the Bryon and the Sorrento to the Red Paddle sport 11’3? Which would be the closest to the Red Sport?
As far as stability goes, it definitely will take a bit of adjusting to get used to 30″ wide boards vs. 32″ wide boards, but nothing that’s insurmountable with a couple of practice sessions. Comparing those three boards really just depends on your own preference as all three are really great options.
The Byron 10’6 is a top-tier all-around SUP, meaning it’s light and super maneuverable, but it will be the slowest of the 3 because it’s 32″ wide and has the shortest waterline out of these options. The 11’3 Sport from Red Paddle Co. will have some of the maneuverability of an all-around SUP, and some of the speed of a true touring SUP without significantly losing out on stability. The Sorrento is the fastest option, though it will take a few minutes of getting used to the 30″ width, and the well-placed kick pad makes it extremely maneuverable for a touring SUP.
I think if you’re looking for a closer comparison to the 11’3 Sport, the Sorrento is your way to go; it’s actually my own personal favorite as well, having paddled both of them.
Thanks for the input. How well would the Sorrento handle choppy water from wind and boats?
Also on your review of the Byron – is there a way to get a full picture of the Byron on the black floor in front of the wood wall where you can see the entire board like you have a picture of the Sorrento in its review? It would be nice to be able to see a real life picture of the entire shape of the Byron in the picture like the Sorrento is pictured. Or maybe could email it to me?
Given how stiff the Sorrento is, it will handle fine in choppy water, but there will be a bit of a balancing adjustment as you transition from 32″ SUPs (nothing that isn’t manageable; I just wouldn’t want it to blindside you). As for a full profile shot of the Byron, that is unfortunately the one photo we did not take, but I think I do have one on my phone from our testing days that I can send to your email, I just need to take some time to find it lol
Hello, enjoying your reviews! I have a solstice bali. Bought it a few years ago to try out paddleboarding and fell in love with the activity. Now I’m ready to upgrade for a new one. I want to be able to go a few miles without killing myself. Usually I dont bring much with me, a few cans, Sunscreen. Something to eat. However, I dont exclude that eventually would bring more stuff with me. I go in lakes and bays and try to avoid choppy water only because my SUP is a joke. I’d like to try touring SUP. With so many choices I’m lost at what I should get. Your advise would be greatly appreciated!!
The Sorrento is a great choice if you’re up for a mild learning curve. It’s a little narrower, and it does take a little bit of adjusting when you’re used to wider boards, but it’s well worth it if you’re looking for a high performance SUP. It will have no problem taking on a few miles, and you’ll definitely be able to build up to more with this board.
As for bringing along gear or food, the front cargo area on the Sorrento is big enough fit a 10L drybag in there no problem (plenty big enough to bring along some cans, sunscreen and food). The rear cargo area is fairly small , but you are able to fit a smaller drybag in there as well (I normally put a spare set of clothes and a towel in a small drybag on the back). If you’d like to bring a lot more gear than that, I’d suggest looking at our list of Best Touring SUPs.
Thank you so my for your feedback!
Appreciate your quick reply too!
During your review process do you verify the board measurements?
The Sorrento is advertised to be 30″ width and 5.9″ thick.
The Sorrento I received was 28 3/4″ in width and almost 7″ thick. Honu customer service was great and took the board back and I got a full refund.
The Byron I purchased is less than the 32″ in width advertised.
I am curious if during the reviews if you do verify the measurements on the boards?
Over the last month or so, we’ve been finding similar patterns across several brands. We haven’t quite gotten to the bottom of how this can occur, but are working to make brands aware of any inconsistencies. I am glad to hear Honu’s customer service was great though; they’re a brand we love working with and Mark is extremely knowledgeable and transparent about their construction.
Hello, thank you for very detailed review. I would like to know one more thing – is it possible to attach kayak seat using D-rings? From the pictures it seems that there is quite a distance from the front and back rows. I want a fast touring sup board and kayak seat possibility is a big bonus during long trips.
We haven’t tried to attach a kayak seat to the Sorrento. There is a pretty big gap between the front and rear bungees though – not sure if a kayak seat would be possible here.