Thurso Surf 10’6 Waterwalker Review

Waterwalker 10'6"

8.9

Versatility

9.0/10

Construction

9.0/10

Stability

8.5/10

Appearance

10.0/10

Performance

8.0/10

Pros

  • Awesome design
  • Outstanding extras you usually pay extra for
  • 2-year warranty
  • Great for beginners or families

Cons

  • The paddle is slightly heavier than advertised. Still super light though.

Thurso Waterwalker Board ReviewThurso Surf has done it again.

They’ve produced yet another outstanding board.

The 10’6″ Waterwalker is the little brother of the super popular 11′ Waterwalker released last year.

This ideal all-rounder is great for anyone – no matter your age, fitness level, skill level or sex. Everyone will be having more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Check it out with full confidence knowing you have 24 months of warranty and if by the rare chance you did act on that warranty, be comforted knowing their customer service goes above and beyond.

Specs

Length10’6
Width31”
Thickness6”
Weight24 lbs (23.5lbs)
Max Capacity 280 lbs

Performance

Judging an all-rounder boards performance is always a finicky thing given there generally isn’t one area they excel, for the most of it they are just one of those jack-of-all-trades types of SUPs.

Thurso Surf’s Waterwalker is unique in the fact that you can remove all of the fins. Some of you may understand that – some may not. For those who don’t, I’ll enlighten you!

What we’ve found is that being able to use an all-rounder as a single fin in flatwater gives the board fantastic tracking abilities. 31” for width also means it’s incredibly stable but still not so bulky you slow down. Note: If you’re looking for a true touring SUP check out their 11’6″ Expedition!

Then if you are in choppier water or surf where you need to have faster and sharper turning abilities the two side fins give it the extra flex. Again 31” is prime width for being a medium of stability and maneuverability.

The board is also super light-weight making it even easier to maneuver and transport. Thurso claims the board weighs just 24lbs. Since the claimed manufacturer weight is sometimes not exact we always weight boards we test to be sure. The result? The new Waterwalker is actually 0.5lbs less than advertised.

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Waterwalker 2018 Model

The 11’ model is still a fantastic option for the larger rider in flatwater conditions too. Thurso Surf is yet to release a board in their series that disappoints us. When comparing the 11′ and the 10’6 Waterwalker, the only difference is the obvious length. The width and thickness, as well as all the materials, are identical. We found the 11′ excels on the flat water. Its optional single fin setup is great for tracking, and the extra length helps pick up and maintain speed. The 10’6, however, is much more flexible as an all-rounder. You can play with the fins, and the slight difference in length makes it a touch easier to maneuver in small waves.

It would be nice to see their deck pad extend back to the tail and possibly even a tail raise, this would compliment the fin setup beautifully!

It’s a super comfortable ride regardless, the deck pad covers ample amount of area to stand or kneel with plenty of cushioning.

You can even give some SUP exercise like yoga a go! The grip and cushioning are all there and the handle in the middle doubles as a secure place to store your paddle.

Features

Fins

Waterwalker removable fins

The 11′ Waterwalker was originally released as a single fin board. However, all Thurso Surf boards now feature the previously mentioned 3-fin setup.

All three fins are removable, and you won’t need any tools to get the job done! They seem extremely secure, so I wouldn’t worry about losing them either.

The downside is that only Thurso Surf is producing these fins so replacements can only be sourced from them.

As far as performance goes with the fin setup, having the three fins, you’ll feel a difference in sharper/quicker turning. Sometimes when a board is opted out from a single fin to tri fin, tracking can feel a little more difficult. On a board like the Thurso Waterwalker, the difference is hardly noticeable, the center fin is much larger than the other two side fins, so it still gives a great deal of direction.

Thruster fin side view

Inflate/Deflate

One of the biggest perks of Thurso Surf SUP’s is the added accessories. Not only are they plentiful – they’re high quality!

The double-action pump is no exception and takes about 6-8 mins of pumping to reach the optimal 15 PSI pressure. You’ll notice the labeling as how to switch back to single action, this is for when the going gets tough, it reduces the resistance when pushing air in.

The pump now also has a deflate option, meaning you can use it to suck the last bit of air out of your board. That’s awesome since it’s tricky to get all of the air out of the board otherwise. If you’ve ever deflated and inflatable mattress you know what I’m talking about.

Pump and Paddle for 10'6

Board Design

The Thurso Surf trademark wooden design is still some of the best design we’ve ever seen, so we’re happy little paddlers to see they’ve carried it onto into the new models. The wooden looking deck is done so professionally people constantly think it’s a real wooden board from afar.

It makes the board a HUGE standout from most other SUPs, you can’t help feeling a bit cool when owning one!

Below is a picture of the 10’6″ Waterwalker next to the 11’6″ Expedition.

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Thurso SUP Board Range
Expedition 11’6″ and Waterwalker 10’6″

Portability

We already know how great these boards, well the bags really are to transport. The backpack is sensational – still the same as previous years, which I will go into more detail further below.

The added feature this year is on the board itself, a new handle appeared on the nose, super handy (pun) for pulling your SUP in out of the water and carrying it with your SUP buddy.

Accessories

Paddle

Light-weight Carbon Paddle

Only the best! We love the carbon shaft paddle, it’s really light and propels fantastically. While you can still go one better and get a full carbon fiber paddle, this is one of the very few SUP packages that includes a decent paddle.

Many other inclusive packages you’ll get aluminum paddles, they are durable and miles ahead of plastic paddles but still quite heavy – especially on long distances. The carbon shaft dramatically drops this weight.

Not only did we find our performance increases with it, but the paddle also has some unique and wonderful features. Most of these features have been a standard since the beginnings of Thurso. Such as;

  • Floats
  • Marked height levels
  • Simple snap lock system

What’s new?

You can insert the handle directly into the blade for a short paddle, which is ideal for beginners who prefer kneeling and need the shorter abilities it provides.

Note: According to Thurso Surf the paddle weighs just 800g. We weighed it and it came out slightly heavier at 900g.

Leash

Straight out and curly is in. A lot of SUPs include a straight leash if any. The Waterwalker includes a coiled leash.

Why?

Coiled leashes are safer (not so much spring back) and easy to store!

Backpack

We’ve had a few iSUP bags come through our reviews and for the most of it, the bag is there for necessity and not exactly convenient. Again, Thurso Surf hasn’t dropped the ball with theirs. The bag you receive with the 10’6 is the same as previous models.

In case you haven’t seen the older review or don’t know much about the bag, I’ll explain a little further.

The bag has full support – waist, back and shoulders. The journey from car to launch area suddenly isn’t so arduous and you can get adventurous trekking remotely.

Another issue we’ve faced with other bags is the lack of room, but not with this bag, plenty of extra room and zips that go the full length – ever so convenient for getting your SUP in and out.

Extras

BOOYEAH! We loooove extras.

And what would be the perfect companion for an already fully loaded SUP package?

Well, somewhere to store my lunch would be nice! Voila, just because the guys at Thurso Surf love their customers all board packages include an insulated lunch bag.

Disclosure: You can store other things than your lunch in there too 😉

Wood stripe paddle board

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Conclusion

Any level of skill that’s looking for an all-rounder that can be fine-tuned to get the most out of in any given conditions – look no further!

Beginners are all over the Waterwalker given its ease of use and being supplied with all necessary gear to get going. Intermediates and experts are getting all chuffy too though! Playing with the fins so they can play in their favorite playgrounds makes us more advanced riders satisfied. Not to mention being supplied with a bag and paddle that are worth using for more than the convenience of just having them supplied.

Though if you are looking for something faster we still recommend checking out their Expedition. It’s a lightning bolt on the flat water and incredibly fun to paddle.

You’ll see many similarities to the 11’. The 11′ better suits those doing long hauls on flatwater and the bigger riders or anyone taking extra weight with them.

Really – between this board, the Expedition and previous 11’, there is a choice for everyone. They produce the top boards for the value we’ve had the pleasure to review.

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13 thoughts on “Thurso Surf 10’6 Waterwalker Review”

  1. Hello,

    I purchased a Thurso Surf 11′ inflatable board and love it for all purpose paddle boarding here in South Florida. I especially like the wood look and get a lot of great comments on it. As some of my friends also have larger touring boards (Bote Traveller), I’m also interested in getting a SUP touring board for times when I want to go faster and farther with them. However, I’m kind of limited to getting an inflatable SUP at this point in time. I’ve seen a couple of pics and comments referring to a Thurso Surf 11’6″ Expedition board, however, I can’t find out much about the product. Is this a product that will be released, and is there a time frame on when this will get released? Also, as for isup touring boards, do you know if Thurso Surf is working on any 12’6″ to 14″ designed boards? I’m very happy with my 11′ from Thurso Surf both from performance and aesthetics, and would like to stay with that brand. I’m also looking at the Red 13’2″ Voyager+ MSL touring isup, but it comes at a hefty price. Any review of this board would be much appreciated as well.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Doug,

      glad to hear you like your Thurso 11′.
      The 11’6″ Expedition is a product Thurso later this year. We don’t know a release date yet but it will be later this year for sure. Hopefully, early summer.

      Thurso sent us a test board to review before everyone else. I wanted to publish the review as soon as Thurso announced an official launch date but since you were asking I just published the Expedition review here.

      They made some changes to the fin setup but the design is the same awesome design you know from your 11′ board. It’s 11’6″ long and 30″ wide. Even though it’s the same width as your 11′ it’s a lot faster. The shape is a lot sportier and streamlined than the Waterwalker. If you scroll to the end of the Expedition review, you will see a picture of the 10’6″ Waterwalker next to the new Expedition. It’s definitely one of the fastest iSUP Touring boards and would be a great addition to your 11′ Waterwalker. It will be interesting to see how it compares to your friends hardboards. Given that hardboards are always a little faster and that the Bote is more than twice the price of the Thurso it will be interesting. I wouldn’t worry too much though. You will still be able to keep up.

      I don’t know if Thurso is currently working on a 12’6″ or 14″ board. I doubt they will release a 14′ board anytime soon though. The market for those kind of boards is fairly small and there is a bunch of other types of boards targeting a larger market they probably want to release first.

      I will test the Red 13’2″ as well as a bunch of other Red boards this summer. MSL is awesome. Red’s are also really stiff and you get some nice extras like a US fin box but I don’t know if it’s worth the extra money for most people. That is unless you use your board a ton.

  2. Hello,
    I would be using a SUP for general paddling around shoreline of pacific ocean (small waves) and just general time on the board on the water.
    I am torn between the inflatable Thurso Surf 10’6 and the NIXY Newport 10’6 inflatable. I am woman, 5’4″ and 140 lbs.
    Thoughts please?

    • Hi,

      the Nixy is probably the better option for you. It’s super lightweight, easy to maneuver and it’s shape is a little better for ocean paddling.

  3. Versatility

    10.00

    Construction

    9.00

    Stability

    8.50

    Appearance

    7.00

    Performance

    9.00

    Hi,
    Thank you so much for the time you put into these reviews. So so helpful! I am interested in an inflatable and I am stuck between the brands Thurso, iRocker or Nixy, and beyond that, which board within those brands.

    I’m a 5’9″ female, 140lbs. Athletic/active. Stability is not a huge concern as I have some experience.
    The board will be used for (in order of priority)
    1. Exploring and lounging in ocean and lakes in New England- sometimes with day pack attached. Can paddle boards keep up with kayaks?
    2. I’d love to be able to surf small waves. 3. Very occasional passenger for fun/short distances. Biggest concern here is I dont want it to break under extra weight.
    4. And I like the idea of trying yoga, but I dont practice regularly so I could sacrifice this if needed.

    Thank you again!

    • Hey Kayla!

      ThankYOU for reading them and expressing your gratitude, that’s what keeps us doing it 🙂
      So you sound like you’re a very similar size to me (It’s Sarah here). I would suggest looking at the ERS Skylake I recently reviewed.
      There are boards that surf better as well as boards that are faster, buuuuut, this is one of the best all-arounds in my opinion.

      1. It glides well and is speedy. It doesn’t have the greatest amount of storage but why I suggest it over something else that does is its removable fins. I would take a fraction less storage for the change up of fins. So if you are shallower areas, you can switch out to a low profile centre fin but still keep the tracking on point. Kayaks will generally always be quicker purely because standing up creates more resistance. You could always sneak a rope from their kayak to your SUP 😉
      2. Again, because of the change-up of fins, you can create thruster setup (3 small fins) so you have better control for the surf. Also, as it’s 5″ not the generic 6″ thickness, you’ll find getting through the waves easier.
      3. Weight capacity is 240 lbs and I’ve paddled it with a child and a dog on board, we were fine 🙂
      4. It’s going to be a little wobbly for yoga but still more stable than touring or sports boards. I’d say with a bit of practice and sticking to moves that you can spread your weight evenly over..downward dog, pigeon pose etc you’d be fine.

      Good luck! 🙂

  4. Hi, thank you so much for the awesome detailed reviews! I’m purchasing my first SUP and am torn between the irocker all around 10 ,11 and blackfin. I’m 5’6″, 140lbs and planning on paddling in lakes (possibly windy/choppy), slow flowing rivers and if I get brave enough, possibly doing an overnight camping trip. Any recommendations?
    Thank you

    • Hey Nadya
      Out of the 10′ and 11′ All-Around, I would suggest the 10′. You won’t need the extra length/capacity with your size so you’ll probably find it just hinders your performance if you’re just starting out! The exception with the extra length would be if the board was more pointed through the nose, therefore a more touring style of board. Which the 11′ All-Around isn’t! You can see the WaterWalker here has that shape a bit more.
      I personally like the Blackfins more because you get way better accessories and materials for not much more. It’s a little slower than the all-around but that’s because it’s way more stable. It also can turn pretty well considering it’s width. The other reason why I would lean more towards the Blackfin (Model X will be fine for you) is that it has lots more storage area compared to the All-arounds. If you do plan on an overnight trip, you’ll want to be able to bring along some gear!
      Either the All-Around 10′ or Blackfin Model X depending on if you value the versatility or stability more!
      Hope that helps 🙂

  5. Hi there! I’m trying to narrow down my choice for paddleboards and need a little help deciding. I’m female, 5ft 0in 108lbs with low center gravity. I plan to have 1, maybe 2 dogs on my board. They are border collies between 32-40lbs and we will be chasing geese from lakes, ponds, and rivers as part of wildlife management. The dogs will jump on and off the board so I’m trying to decide if an inflatable will be able to handle this or should I stick with a standard board? I’d also like to know which board can get me moving quickly but still sharp on turns as I need to make adjustments to my position in correlation to the birds. I will be visiting several site a day so I will be lugging my board in and out to each location. Thank you so much for your input!

    • Hey Jenn 🙂
      I would suggest looking at the Blackfin boards. Similar in size to the Thurso but would be much more stable with the dogs. The Blackfins are made sturdier than the Thurso’s and their deck pad stretches out a fair distance. As far as the tight turns go, you’ll have to sacrifice a little of your manoeuvring for the fact of needing the stability to have dogs jumping on and off your board. I found the Blackfins to turn quite well, especially if you’re proficient at being able to do step back turns.
      Hope this helps!

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