Thurso Surf WaterWalker 126 SUP Board Review (2020)

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 10'6 All-Around Inflatable SUP

9.4

Versatility

9.0/10

Construction

9.5/10

Stability

9.5/10

Appearance

9.6/10

Performance

9.5/10

Pros

  • Beginner friendly all-around SUP that provides great stability and glides very well.
  • Rigid and durable construction. Comes with a two-year warranty.
  • High weight capacity - you can paddle comfortably with up to 300lbs on the board
  • Carbon rails for improved rigidity and durability. Very solid feel when paddling.
  • High quality D-rings, storage areas, and a new action mount on the nose. Great SUP for add-ons.
  • The backpack is comfortable and easy to adjust. Wheels have been changed to make the 2020 bag even better.

Cons

  • We’d like to see the board be a little lighter. However, the carbon rails and extra few lbs does help the Waterwalker 126 feel solid in the water for a great paddling experience.

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Review
The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 is a very fun to use all-around SUP that has some great stability in the water. At 10’6”, The Waterwalker 126 has a fast and smooth glide, perfect for still water and able to handle some light chop as well with its heavy weight and carbon rails. With a ton of D-rings, you’ll have plenty of places to hook accessories to, besides the newly added nose action mount. The wheeled backpack makes transporting everything easy, and the included carbon fiber paddle is lightweight while providing a powerful push to propel yourself.

From some light racing and touring to even a little bit of yoga, you’ll have a ton of fun with the Waterwalker 126. Thurso Surf SUPs tend to stick out when it comes to their tracking and glide, and that remains true with the Waterwalker 126. The founder of Thurso Surf and creator of their SUPs has a PHD in mechanical engineering, with a specialized focus in fluid dynamics. The result is a line of SUPs optimized for glide and speed, which you can feel on the Waterwalker 10’6.

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SUP Board Specs

Length10’6’’
Width31’’
Thickness6″
Weight26 lbs
Rider Capacity (lbs)300 lbs
Recommended Inflation12-15 PSI
Fins2 + 1 removable quick lock fins
Paddle TypeCarbon Fiber Shaft, Nylon Blade, 32 oz.
ConstructionTriple PVC layers of reinforcement, drop stitch core + Carbon fiber composite reinforced side rails

Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:

Between the shape, stability, and overall performance of the SUP, almost anyone will benefit by going with the Waterwalker 126. We do think certain types of paddlers will gain more over others though, including:

  • Those who are brand new or have moderate experience paddleboarding.
  • Adult sized paddlers, shorter and taller, looking for a solid all-around SUP.
  • Paddlers who want to load up their board with coolers, dry bags, and other gear.
  • Those who want a great balance between stability, speed, and tracking.
  • Anyone in a market for a very durable SUP.
  • Those looking for a nice classic wood grain look with a little color.

For the most enjoyable experience, consider taking the Waterwalker 126 to the following water settings:

  • Lakes, bays, marinas, and other large and open water settings.
  • Flat/still water, or water areas with minimal activity and disturbances. Light chop won’t be much of an issue.
  • Easy going rivers that don’t require sudden turns.
  • Calm, smooth waves for some beginner surfing.

Performance

Stability

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Stability
We thought the previous year’s Waterwalker 126 was pretty stable, but the added carbon rails have improved stability even more. Beginners can get turned off from the sport as they struggle to learn and maintain balance, but that won’t be a problem with this SUP. We do find the Waterwalker 126 a little on the heavy side for an all-around, but the added weight helps with the stability as well. You’ll have no problem staying upright on flat water, and even beginners will be able to tackle some light chop without too much trouble thanks to its weight, construction, and carbon rails.

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Maneuverability

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Maneuverability
Something else we appreciate about Thurso Surf SUPs are their great maneuverability. Once you’re going, it doesn’t take too much to change your path in order to explore the tight corners and other tricky spots on the water. If you need to turn rapidly, you won’t have a problem performing a back heel turn, letting you alter your SUP to go almost any direction in seconds. You’ll be able to handle almost any water environment, and have the maneuverability to dodge everything from rocks to boaters.

Tracking/Glide

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Tracking
If you don’t need to turn all the time and just want to head in a straight line, the Waterwalker 126 has great tracking too. The 31’’ wide deck provides the stability you need to stay afloat, but is thin enough that you shouldn’t be scrapping the side of the SUP every time you plant your paddle. You’ll be able to master your paddling technique quicker with the Waterwalker 126, which in turn will improve your straight tracking even more.

Something else that helps with the tracking and the smooth, steady glide is the tri-fin setup. The Waterwalker 126 uses snap lock fin boxes, and what they lack in customizability they make up with ease of use. You’ll be able to snap in the three fins in seconds, without having to deal with or worry about losing any small screws or pins. The reinforced nylon fins are also incredibly hard to break, and can be used for years without any performance loss.
The Waterwalker 126 just feels great to paddle on the water with, and it’s due in part to the expertise of the design staff at Thurso Surf. Thurso Surf SUPs are optimized to reduce drag and improve the overall speed and performance, which you’ll quickly notice as you use one in the water. Thurso Surf SUPs have unique SUP designs that continue to be effective, with the Waterwalker 126 just another great result from the company.

Materials

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Materials
Most inflatable SUPs are extremely durable, but Thurso Surf goes the extra mile to create a durable, performance focused SUP. The Waterwalker 126 is no exception, built with a tight drop-stitch core protected by dual-layers of military grade PVC, along with carbon rails for additional rigidity. This sets the Waterwalker 126 apart as a very durable SUP, which you can read more about below for additional details of the SUP’s construction.
The drop-stitch core is made up of sheets of fabric bound together by thousands of short threads. As air is pumped into the core, it expands like a typical inflatable, but thanks to the thread placements maintains SUP shape seen above instead of turning into a balloon.
While the drop-stitch core is resilient on its own, a single PVC layer is applied after to provide additional stability and act as a base for the next protective layer. The second layer is made up of dual PVC sheets and a UV coating, giving three coats of PVC protection protecting the drop stitch core.The rails consist of two layers of dual PVC coatings for quad-layer level of PVC protection. Carbon rails, a new feature for the 2020 Waterwalker 126, further protect the side of the SUP while adding more rigidity for increased performance.

Board Design/Shape

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Board Shape
At 10’6’’ long, the Waterwalker 126 length helps it maintain a healthy balance of good tracking due to how long it is, while staying short enough for easy turning and overall maneuverability. The 31’’ wide deck helps the Waterwalker stay nimble, quickly building and maintaining speed, while providing a weight capacity of 300 lbs. The 6’’ thickness provides plenty of volume to help you stay out of the water, along with the raised nose rocker that will help you go over light waves without feeling too tipsy.

The performance and shape of the Waterwalker 126 make it a true all-around SUP. If there’s something your friends are doing that you want to emulate, the Waterwalker 126 is built to keep up. It might not be faster than a racing SUP or maintain momentum like a touring SUP, but it will be close. The Waterwalker 126 is built for those who want to try a little bit of everything, and to do it well enough to give a great taste of how fun SUP water sports can be.

Board Features

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Board Features
Besides offering good performance, the Waterwalker 126 comes with a number of features that might not seem obvious just by looking at it. The ones we want to highlight include:

  • Carbon Rails: Typically, the more firm and rigid a SUP is, the better performance it will offer overall. Carbon rails provide that additional rigidness, without having to significantly increase the weight of the SUP. These carbon rails are also great in that you don’t have to manually install or remove them, like the rails featured in some other SUPs.
  • Dual-layer military grade composite PVC: With dual-layer protection that is comparable to some triple layer/quad layer SUPs, you’ll find it incredibly hard to damage the Waterwalker 126. Accidental drops while unloading it from your car to collisions with other paddleboarders won’t do much, if anything, to the Waterwalker 126. For extreme damage, you’re also protected by a 2-year warranty.
  • Multiple accessory attachment points: 15 D-rings will let you attach most SUP add-ons, but the cool new addition to the 2020 All-Around SUP is an action mount on the nose. GoPro cameras, cell phones, and electronic speaker mounts are just a few of the options with the action mount. There are also two bungee areas, located on the nose and tail of the SUP, that can be used to load coolers, dry-bags, and other containers.
  • Carbon fiber shaft + nylon paddle blade: The 3-piece, adjustable carbon fiber paddle is easy to use and will make learning how to paddleboard a breeze. Weighing just 33 ounces, you won’t have any problem using it for hours as you enjoy the water.
  • 3 Carry handles: Use the nose and rear handles to carry the SUP in tandem, or the center handle for solo carrying.
  • Textured EVA deck pad: The grooved deck pad will help you maintain a solid grip on the SUP, besides draining water quicker if your deck gets wet. The EVA foam is soft as well, allowing you to stand all-day without hurting your feet!

Fins

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Fins
While US fin boxes offer greater customization in fins, we still really like the tri-fin set up on the Waterwalker 126. The snap lock fins can be inserted or removed in seconds, and once locked stay secure enough that you won’t have to worry about losing them in the water. By using all three together, you’ll not only find it easier to stay on the SUP, but will improve your tracking as well. While you want to be careful about going into shallow water with them, you’ll enjoy bringing them along for lakes, bays, marinas, and even paddling in the open ocean.

Deck Pad

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Deck Pad
The green and grey color definitely stick out, and while your tastes in the colors might vary we’re sure you’ll love the deck pad just as much as us. The groove textured pattern helps you maintain your grip to the SUP, which can be a huge help for beginners still trying to learn how to SUP. The deck pad drains water easily, making sure that it’s never so slick that you’ll be sliding all over it while you paddle. The EVA foam though is soft and smooth enough that you can stand, sit, or lay on it and still feel comfortable. The long length is cool too, giving you plenty of space to spread out and even do some stretching while you’re on the water!

Handles

There are three handles built into the Waterwalker 126, located on the nose, center, and tail of the Waterwalker 126. The handles are covered in neoprene, which are more cozy and easier to grip than basic, traditional SUP handles. Some SUP handles also can be uncomfortable to grab if your hands are wet or if it’s very cold outside, problems that the neoprene handles don’t have. Two paddlers can carry the SUP together with the nose and tail handles, or one paddler going out solo can just use the center handle. Great handles on a great SUP!

D-Rings/Bungees/Cargo Areas

There are 15 D-rings on the Waterwalker 126, which should be more than enough for the typical paddler. We think it’s great that the 2020 Waterwalker 126 got an action mount though, located on the nose of the SUP. Between these D-rings and the action mount, you’ll have plenty of options to attach cell phone cases, dry-bags, GoPro mounts, and other nifty add-ons for your SUP. Be sure to look around to make your next SUP trip even better!

For larger items though, the two bungee areas will help. The forward bungee area is great for medium sized boxes like a cooler, while the back bungee area is perfect for something small like a lunch box. If you need a place to stick your paddle, you can comfortably slide it underneath the forward bungees if you don’t feel like using the two black straps on the side of the SUP. Overall, you’ll have plenty of options for add-ons and accessories with the Waterwalker 126, without anything getting in your way or impacting your overall SUP experience.

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Accessories

accessories 126

Paddle

Weighing 33 ounces, the 3-piece, carbon fiber paddle is a lightweight inclusion that serves to be a good paddle for beginner to advanced paddlers alike. While there are even lighter paddles, they tend to drive up the price of the kit as well. We are happy with the included paddle, and you can buy a pure carbon paddle blade from Thurso Surf if you want the ultimate lightweight paddle.

The 3-piece nature of the paddle makes it easy to break apart and fit into your kit, or to put together when you’re ready to go out on the water. You can adjust the paddle to fit almost any adult paddler height, and by buying another paddle blade can turn it into a kayak paddle as well. You can even drop the paddle in the water and watch it float, though make sure it doesn’t float too far away so you have to paddle by hand to grab it!

Pump

The dual-chamber, triple-action pump will inflate your Waterwalker 126 in 10 to 15 minutes, or in even less time if you’re familiar with inflatable SUP pumps. Those unfamiliar with them will appreciate the easy to follow instructions printed on the pump, and will become masters in no time. While slightly bigger, we do appreciate that Thurso Surf opted to go with a dual-chamber pump for the 2020 Waterwalker 126 model. for quicker inflation than a single-chamber pump. This dual-chamber pump also has a deflation option, for getting out the last bits of air from your SUP so you can roll it up nice and tight for your kit.
Those who don’t want to deal with pumping at all though should consider an electric pump. Electric pumps are our number one recommended SUP accessory, as they will inflate your SUP for you in almost the same amount of time as a manual pump, without the effort on your part. Electric pumps will help you deflate your SUP as well, a feature not included in some SUP manual pumps. They weigh the same as manual pumps but are more compact in size, ensuring that they don’t take up as much space in your kit. Electric pumps generally provide universal compatibility with SUPs, so keep your eye out for one to make the Waterwalker 126 even better!

Backpack

The 2020 Waterwalker 126 SUP kit bag has seen some improvements as well, though it was definitely a great bag to start with. The nylon backpack is built to be spacious, making it easy to fit the Waterwalker 126 and the other components in without it feeling cramped like a tent bag. Pads that line the back of the bag make it comfortable to wear, and the adjustable straps will help the bag fit tall and short adults alike. The wheels, on the back in the previous model, are now forward facing with the 2020 bag. With the wheel adjustment, you’ll be able to drag your kit bag along the ground without your straps getting dirty or tangled up in the wheels.

Leash

The included 10’ leash will fit over your calf or ankle, and can be attached to any of the D-rings on the Waterwalker 126, with the D-ring just behind the inflation valve the closest point. The leash shouldn’t impact your SUP experience, and will keep the board from floating away too far should you ever fall off. If you’re going in windy conditions or fast moving waters, the leash can be a huge help. Just be aware that the leash won’t help you stay afloat if you fall in, so make sure you go out with a PFD!

Repair Kit

There are two components to the repair kit. The included patches will help you seal up holes that aren’t located on the seams, besides any ugly marks or scrapes. The inflation wrench can be used to tighten up the Halkey-Roberts inflation valve, which can become loose with time.
For any other problems or significant SUP damage, make sure you contact Thurso Surf! They’ll be happy to help, though you can read more about their coverage in the company review section below.

Optional Accessories

Most third party SUP accessories will work with the Waterwalker 126 SUP, thanks to the large D-rings and the forward action mount. Thurso Surf also produces a few add-ons that will also work with the Waterwalker 126. These accessories include:

  • Thurso Surf electric pump
  • Kayak seat
  • Deck cooler bag
  • SUP strap carrier

Company Review – Thurso Surf

Thurso Surf is a major manufacturer in the SUP world, and has come a long way since their first 11’ model. Their 2020 lineup features 7 different SUP sizes, but they all have great stability, performance, durability, and the stellar wood grain style that sets Thurso Surf SUPs apart.
The Waterwalker 126 comes with a 30-day guarantee, a 2-year warranty, free shipping to the US and many countries in Europe, along with finance plans up to 18-months. Thurso Surf SUPs have improved year over year, and their customer service has been pleasant to deal with. They’ve been quick to respond to our emails and questions, besides taking feedback to improve their SUPs. We love the Waterwalker 126, and can’t wait to see how they improve the board.

Conclusion/Bottom line

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 126 Review Summary

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The Thuro Surf Waterwalker 126 is a SUP that has balanced performance optimized for all sorts of activities on the water. Its tracking and speed make it fun for light touring and racing, while its stability and long deckpad make it a possibility for stretching and some yoga. The SUP is easy to handle, making it great for beginners, while the dual-layer construction provides a performance level to please more advanced paddlers. The new action mount, improved bag, and especially the carbon rails are all welcome additions to the 2020 Waterwalker 126. It is a bit on the heavy side considering its size, but the added weight further helps with the stability, especially in less than pristine waters. For those looking for a new all-around, the Waterwalker 126 isa great choice.

Want to know more about the 10’ 6” Thurso Surf Waterwalker, or have a question that’s about paddle boarding in general? Do you want to leave your own review of the SUP, or are still on the fence about what board to go with? Feel free to leave any comments below, or send us an email with anything you want to know. We also update our reviews with feedback we receive and additional experience that we gain, so be sure to check back in the future as well.
Thank you for reading, and we hope you enjoy the water with your SUP!

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SupBoardGuide

Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com 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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