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Retrospec Weekender Plus SUP Review: Quality + A Good Price?

Retrospec Weekender Plus


Overall Rating:



  • Surprisingly good quality for the price
  • Stable and user friendly
  • Clean deck pad, but still has 2 bungee areas, paddle holder, and action mount
  • Nice design
  • Comes with a kayak conversion option included
  • Gotta love that $350 price tag! (really, you don’t find many boards at this MSRP these days)


  • The kayaking option really needs a footrest to achieve full potential.
  • The side accessory fixing points are a little tight

Based in California, Retrospec has been in the outdoor leisure products industry since 2009. They’ve been making SUPs for a few years, but this year have really stepped up the quality with some great new additions to the range.

Retrospec Weekender Plus Review

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The Retrospec Weekender Plus is a new addition to the 10’6 all-rounder class; one of the most popular sizes in the iSUP market. 10’6 may seem like a somewhat random length to have achieved such a focus; why not 10’ or 11’?

The reason dates back to the early days of iSUPs when nearly all the main manufacturers were from a surfing/ocean-sports heritage, which very much influenced their design thinking. General purpose SUP boards needed to be long enough to paddle comfortably in a straight line, but short enough to be fun to catch a wave on, and 10’6 turns out to be pretty much the perfect length for that.

The surf requirement has long since dropped off the priority list for most brands since the vast majority of all-round iSUPs aren’t ever going to see any wave action. But the length has retained its popularity, because there are still many advantages to keeping boards as short as possible.

They’re easier to carry, easier to turn, and less length means less material, less weight and less manufacturing cost. So the 10’6 class is going to remain a mainstay of the SUP scene for the foreseeable future.

Retrospec clearly recognise this, since they have several different 10’6s all-rounders in their range. The Weekender is a nice but no-frills example of the species, but it was the Weekender Plus reviewed here that really caught our eye.

For not a lot of dollars more, this board really steps up many levels in terms of construction, fittings and accessories, as we’ll be detailing in this review.

We think the Retrospec Weekender Plus would be a great SUP for paddlers who:

  • Want a board with good all round capabilities and plenty of extra fittings
  • Like the idea of a board that can easily be configured for kayaking mode.
  • Don’t want to have to spend too much to get a great package

Retrospec Weekender Plus: Spec Sheet

Retrospec Weekender Plus Spec Sheet
The Retrospec Weekender Plus is 10’6” long, 33.625” wide, 6” thick, weighs 22 lbs, and has a recommended maximum weight capacity of 300 lbs
  • Board Category:All-round/Touring
  • Listed Board Dimensions: 10’6 x 33” x 6”
  • Measured Board Dimensions: 10’6” x 33.625” x 6”
  • Listed Board Weight: 23lbs
  • Actual Board Weight (board only, not inflated): 22 lbs
  • Full kit weight (measured): 34.6 lbs
  • Listed Max Capacity: 300lbs
  • Recommended PSI: 12-15psi
  • Fins: 1 center & 2 side fins (all removable)
  • Paddle: 3 piece alu/nylon paddle
  • Board Shell Construction Materials: Dual layer fusion
  • Drop-stitch type: knitted
  • Price Range: $379
  • Warranty: 50 day return period, 2 year warranty

Performance Review of the Retrospec Weekender Plus Stand Up Paddle Board

Retrospec Weekender Plus paddling right
The Retrospec Weekender Plus paddles easily and cuts a nice clean line through the water.

Overall Score: [8.5/10]

  • Stability: 9.1/10
  • Speed: 8.6/10
  • Tracking: 8.7/10
  • Maneuverability: 8.5/10
  • Construction Quality: 8.2/10
  • Features/Accessories: 8.9/10

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Stability Rating: [8.9/10]

At nearly 34” wide, the Retrospec Weekender Plus offers plenty of stability. The area of maximum width extends a reasonable distance either side of the central standing area, to create a stable platform and plenty of room for sitting down in kayak mode. So the board really isn’t at all critical about where you stand.

Both the tail and the nose of the Weekender Plus are wider than on the regular Weekender, creating more stability throughout. So if a stable platform is high on your priority list, then this board should definitely tick a lot of boxes for you. The weight carrying capability is very good too. While Retrospec lists the maximum weight capacity as 300lbs, this should not be taken to refer to actual rider weight – we’d suggest a maximum rider weight of around 230-240 lbs for a complete beginner, slightly more for a paddler with some experience.

Retrospec Weekender Plus stability
The width also gives the Retrospec Weekender Plus a good level of secondary stability
Retrospec Weekender Plus kayak
The long wide section through the middle of the Retrospec Weekender Plus gives plenty of stability for using it in kayak mode

Speed Test: 8.6/10

Sprint Speed:4.7 MPH
Average Cruising Speed:3.2 MPH
SUP Board Guide’s Speed Testing:
To obtain our speed test results, we use a Speed Coach Sup 2. This gives us accurate readings on how fast we are paddling and our current stroke rates. For the sprint speed, we paddle as hard as we can for approximately 10-15 seconds and then record our average speed. For the casual test, we paddle at 35-40 strokes per minute for approximately 30-60 seconds and record the average speed.

The Retrospec Weekender Plus isn’t designed to break speed records. . The rounded nose and substantial width make the board relatively hard work to push along at much above cruising pace. We managed to hit 5.0mph in our sprint, but you certainly wouldn’t want to be pushing anything much above 4 mph for any sustained length of time. It’s not what the board is about. If you want something with faster paddling in mind then the Retrospec Weekender Tour would definitely be the better option as it has quite a bit more pace

On flat water, the Weekender Plus has a comfortable cruising pace of around 3-3.2mph in SUP mode, which is perfectly adequate for a board of this style. In rougher conditions the wide nose will of course slow it down a bit.

Tracking: 8.7/10

Retrospec Weekender Plus paddling in
Nearly 34” of width makes it tricky to achieve a perfectly vertical paddling stroke on the Retrospec Weekender Plus, which inevitably takes its toll on the tracking.
Retrospec Weekender Plus paddling right
Nevertheless, the board holds its course reasonably well, especially when all three fins are being used.

If you’re looking for a board like the Weekender Plus then you’re probably not too worried about tracking capabilities, as you’re not going to be using it for longer distance paddling or fitness-oriented work.

However, it’s important to understand that with a board of this style, the rounded nose, substantial width and relatively large amount of curve in the plan shape do mean that you will have to change sides with your paddle a bit more often – but it’s not a problem with your technique, it’s just the nature of the board.

You’ll almost certainly also find that your paddle shaft isn’t quite vertical, simply due to the width of the board. This also affects the tracking.

Notwithstanding these points, the Retrospec Weekender Plus does actually track comfortably well in comparison to other similar boards of this size and style. It’s not the best in its class, but most certainly nowhere near the worst. The three fins play their part, and the widened tail and nose make the plan shape just a bit more directional.

If you’re in kayaking mode then of course you’re not really going to have any issues with the tracking at all.

Maneuverability: 8.5/10

Retrospec Weekender Plus turning
The Retrospec Weekender Plus is nicely responsive to crossbow and rudder turns.
Retrospec Weekender Plus pivot
The tail is comfortably wide making it easy to step back to the tail to have some fun with pivot turns. Just don’t step right off the back of the board!

One of the reasons 10’6 has become such a popular length for all round boards is because it’s still just about short enough to be really responsive to maneuvering using paddle turning techniques (ie sweep turns, rudder turns, draw strokes, crossbow turns etc).

This could definitely be felt with the Retrospec Weekender Plus, which responds readily to pretty much any type of turning stroke. It’s not quite as responsive as the regular Weekender, which has quite a bit more curve in its plan shape, but it still goes round easily. The wide tail is also receptive to pivot-style turns. If you want to explore this aspect of performance further then take off that rear bungee so you can get your foot further back. (Just don’t walk right off the tail!). And if you really want to have some fun with turning the board, take the side fins off. It’ll respond even quicker.

Construction Quality: 8.2/10

Retrospec Weekender Plus side rails
The rails on the Weekender Plus are constructed from inner and outer layers of PVC
Retrospec Weekender Plus nose handle
The fittings are well attached to the deck.

Retrospec has a couple of different construction methods in their board range. Inside the Weekender Plus, Retrospec uses a knitted drop-stitch core. The outer skin features dual-layer, puncture-resistant AerGlide-Fusion technology, which appears to be a fusion-based construction, with two layers of PVC laminated together during manufacture to create a stiff and light outer skin.

Fusion first hit the SUP scene in around 2016 and is now well established as a great compromise between durability and light weight. It’s significantly stronger and stiffer than the single skin construction generally found on lower priced boards.

The sides (rails) of the board have an inner layer and outer layer, to add extra durability where it’s needed most. These rail panels join at the nose and tail, which is a cost-effective way of doing it but generally considered slightly less strong than having all the joins on the side.

All in all, the construction is relatively standard for this style of board – but not for a board in this price range. Usually boards under $400 come with lower-quality, single-layer PVC construction.

Board Stiffness:

Retrospec Weekender Plus bendtest
Before we placed 150 lbs worth of sandbags on the top middle of the board
Retrospec Weekender Plus bendtest
After we placed 150 lbs worth of sandbags on the top middle of the board

Stiffness Test: 0.938” Bend
Having been measuring board deflection for a number of years now using our standardized technique, we have a whole lot of data to look back on. The Weekender Plus fares slightly above average for a board of this size and construction, which is impressive seeing as many of the boards it is up against have a much bigger price tag and/or extra stiffening devices such as stringers. Generally, we consider any deflection of less than 1” as pretty good. And certainly, on the water, the board feels comfortably rigid. It’s only when trying to paddle fast or through significantly choppy water that you notice the flex a bit more.

Retrospec Weekender Plus side rails
There is very little noticeable flex with a 175lb rider standing on the Retrospec Weekender Plus
Retrospec Weekender Plus stability
The flex generated by bouncing up and down on the board is not really appreciable until you’re paddling hard.
SUP Board Guide’s Bend Testing:
To ascertain the rigidity of each board we review, we use our own specific laboratory bend test process. The board is inflated to its maximum recommended PSI and then placed across two sawhorses positioned exactly 7 feet apart. We then measure the distance from the middle of the board to the floor. Then, we place a 150 lb weight on the middle top of the SUP, and measure the distance to the floor again. The difference between the two measurements shows the deflection, or ‘sag’, that the board has experienced due to the added weight. We have been reviewing the stiffness of boards using this technique since 2021 and while it isn’t an exact replication of the weight distortion that occurs when a rider stands on a SUP board in the water, it still gives a very useful comparative tool in determining the stiffness of the board’s construction process.

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Features/Accessory Review: [8.9/10]


Retrospec Weekender Plus Review
Having the side d-rings positioned well out on the rail means that with the rear bungee removed, the Retrospec Weekender Plus gives you a nice large area of uncluttered deck to move around on and/or carry others.
Retrospec Weekender Plus Review
The underside of the board shows the three fin configuration.

The Weekender Plus has generously sized bungee fixings on the nose and tail; the rearward bungees being over the deckpad. So you can remove that bungee in order to give yourself more deckpad space if you like to move around on the deck of your board a bit more.

The board doesn’t have any sort of kick pad at the end of the deckpad, so just be aware that if you’re walking back to practice your tail-sink turns, you’ll need to glance down to ensure you’re not stepping straight off the back!

The deckpad is comfortable underfoot, with decent drainage grooves to remove any build up of water on the deck.

We’re not sure why Retrospec chose to put the carrying handle on the rearward tail section rather than on top of the deck, which is not a comfortable position to carry from. Nor is it accessible on the water, when it’s nice to be able to raft up with other paddlers, by holding on to their nose/tail handle.

Fittings-wise, the Weekender Plus offers a lot of quality at this price point. There’s a dual-system action camera mount on the nose, which can take a 1⁄4” thread screw-on attachment or a Gopro style clip-in. There are fixings on the left rail for a shoulder strap, and velcro paddle holder straps on the right rail. Plus of course, there are the fixings for the kayak seat, which comes as standard with this board. The fixings are all labeled as to their purpose, which is a really classy touch. We did find the fixings to be just a bit too small for comfort though, making it fiddly to hook the kayak seat or shoulder strap on, and even harder to get off again.

Once it’s on, the kayak seat tensions easily and works well. The base of the seat is inflatable, to lift you up off the deck. Unfortunately though the board doesn’t have any fixings for a footrest, so it’s not the most comfortable kayaking experience. Hopefully Retrospec can adjust this for future editions of the board; being able to mount a footrest makes a major difference in terms of kayak functionality and comfort.

Retrospec Weekender Plus tail
The deck bungee at the tail is easy to unclip and remove.
Retrospec Weekender Plus nose
The action camera mount on the nose allows a go pro style mount to slide in, or a ¼” threaded screw-in mount to be used.
Retrospec Weekender Plus kayak mount
The ‘Easy Link’ fixings along each rail of the Retrospec Weekender Plus have graphic labels so you know exactly what they’re for. However, we did find that they would benefit from being just a bit larger.
Retrospec Weekender Plus paddle strap
The paddle holder velcro straps on the right hand side.

On the underside of the board we find a three fin configuration, with a medium sized center fin and two smaller side fins. The fins are of the slide-in style, then held in place with a locking pin.

One note on the fins: we usually hate slide-in style fins. They usually don’t work well and are a pain in the a#$$% to get in and out. We loved the slid-in fins on the Restrospec boards. They slid in and out easily and performed very well.

Retrospec Weekender Plus fin
The three fin configuration on the Retrospec Weekender Plus. You could use it with just the side fins for shallow water paddling, or just with the center fin for quicker maneuvering.
Retrospec Weekender Plus fin
The fins slide into the fin box from the front, and are then secured by the small wedge on a string.

Included Accessories:

Retrospec Weekender Plus Accessories
The Retrospec Weekender Plus comes with a 3 piece alu/nylon SUP/Kayak paddle, coiled leash, double chamber pump, 3 fins, phone case and a repair kit (valve spanner and patches), and the Retrospec backpack.

The 3 piece adjustable Retrospec paddle has a nylon blade and an aluminum shaft. Normally we don’t have a whole lot of good things to say about aluminum paddles, as generally they’re pretty awful. However, Retrospec have done quite a nice job with their paddle; the brushed aluminum effect actually looks quite classy, and it’s definitely one of the nicer alu paddles that we’ve tried. The adjustment section is calibrated so you can easily set it to your desired height, and it’s grooved so that it maintains the correct alignment. The handle is nicely embossed too, giving good grip and comfort in the hand.

A second blade is also supplied to replace the handle when you’re in kayak mode. The end result is considerably shorter than a normal kayaking paddle though, which the more experienced kayakers in our team found somewhat uncomfortable, especially as the clips for joining the paddle sections together end up exactly where you want to put your hands. Retrospec do offer a longer paddle with some of their other boards, so it would be great if this option was available for the Weekender Plus too.

The rest of the kit includes a carry strap, coiled leash, repair kit, waterproof phone case and a dual-action hand pump. You can also upgrade to an electric pump at checkout for a further $99. The backpack kit bag has padded shoulder straps, a hip belt strap and a separate front pocket for the fins.

Summary Review of the Retrospec Weekender Plus

Retrospec Weekender Plus kayak
The Retrospec Weekender Plus is a decent all-rounder paddleboard/kayak hybrid with a good set of extras and fittings considering the excellent price.

If you’re looking for a board to learn on, and/or to use for general summer fun paddling, maybe a bit of fishing, some light kayaking, and just generally enjoying being on the water, then the Retrospec Weekender Plus offers a whole lot of value.

In SUP mode, it delivers good all round general purpose performance with plenty of stability for its size. The kayak mode is slightly limited by the lack of a foot-rest and the uncomfortably short paddle, but it will certainly work Ok for occasional use.

The board construction, fittings and accessory package are certainly a step above what you’ll usually find at this price point, and the package definitely stands out as an excellent recommendation in the sub-$400 all round board category.

Happy paddling! We hope you enjoyed this review of the Retrospec Weekender Plus. If you have any questions or comments please leave us a comment below!

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Heyo! At we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

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