ThursoSurf Waterwalker 120 (10′) iSUP Review – 2020

120 ThursoSurf Waterwalker

9.2

Versatility

9.0/10

Construction

9.5/10

Stability

9.0/10

Appearance

9.5/10

Performance

9.0/10

Pros

  • Speedy! The board glides through the water really well and has a great feel
  • Tough dual-layer construction comprised of 3 PVC layers + drop-stitch inner core
  • Carbon side rails!
  • Lots of storage area, bungees, d-rings, and really cool side paddle holder straps (we love these!)
  • Quality wheeled backpack w/ plenty of storage space
  • Great looking wood grain board design

Cons

  • A little heavy, although the weight gives it a solid feel in the water + improves durability
  • Not suited for taller, heavier paddlers - especially if they are beginners. The board is ideal for shorter, lighter paddlers

Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 SUP Board Review
For those in the market for a quick but durable all-around SUP, you’ll be interested in the improved 2020 Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120. The triple-layer construction iSUP now has carbon rails for additional reinforcement. An action mount has been added to the top of the SUP, adding additional accessory compatibility on top of its 15 d-rings. None of these additions have lessened the great speed and glide of this all-around SUP, making it a fast and fun SUP on the water.

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SUP Board Specs

Length10’
Width30’’
Thickness6’’
Weight24 lbs
Rider Capacity (lbs)260 lbs
Recommended Inflation12- 15 psi
Fins2 + 1 removable quick lock fins
Paddle TypeCarbon Fiber Shaft, Nylon Blade, 32 oz.
ConstructionTriple Layer PVC, drop stitch core + Carbon fiber composite reinforced side rails

Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:

As an all-around SUP, the Waterwalker 120 is well suited for many different types of activities and paddlers. For those who want to make the most of it though, we recommend:

  • Beginner to intermediate level paddlers interested in a jack of all trades SUP.
  • Paddlers under 5’8”, or who have excellent balance.
  • SUPers who have a bunch of accessories they want to bring with them.
  • Paddlers interested in a shorter, speedier SUP that is still an all-around SUP.
  • A durable, tough SUP that is extremely hard to damage.
  • A beautiful SUP that sticks out in and out of the water!

As for water settings, you’ll have the most fun in these types of environments:

  • Open water settings, such as large lakes, bays, and the ocean.
  • Calm and smooth waters, or light chop and wind.
  • Slow moving rivers, especially those without too many twists and turns.
  • Light surf, especially small, flatter waves.

Performance

Stability

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Stability
For the most part, the Waterwalker 120 is a stable SUP that will help most brand new paddlers quickly learn how to stand up on the water. It floats well in calm water, and can handle some light chop without feeling like you’ll topple over any second. Weighing 24 lbs, you’ll feel solid in the water and confident as you paddle, especially given how sturdy and durable the SUP is.

With a 30’’ deck, it’s not as beginner friendly as some wider all-around SUPs, so taller, heavier paddlers might want to consider something like the iRocker all-around 10’ if you’re over 230 lbs. However, the more experience you have, the less you’ll be impacted by the SUP’s inherent stability. If you have some experience, or are a larger paddler that would like the challenge,you can still have a great time with the Waterwalker 120.

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Maneuverability

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Maneuverability
If you want an easy to maneuver SUP, the Waterwalker 120 is definitely a good pick. At 10’ long, the Waterwalker is a nimble all-around that will be able to dodge trees, rocks, and other paddlers without an issue. Turn on a time by kicking the nose up, or just angle your shaft more to the side as you paddle to quickly change your direction. The Waterwalker 120 is a highly maneuverable SUP, while still retaining extensive protection with its tough carbon rails and multi-layer PVC build.

Tracking/Glide

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Tracking

One thing that we definitely enjoy with the Waterwalker 120 is how it feels in the water. While it does sacrifice a little stability for it with a thin 30’’ width, the tradeoff is better speed and glide. It won’t beat a true racing SUP, but it is still fast to paddle with while maintaining a smooth, comfortable experience on calm and light water. The Waterwalker 120 offers good, straight tracking as well, especially as you improve your paddling form.

One thing that can further help its tracking and stability is the tri-fin setup. The Waterwalker 120 quicklock fins install in seconds, and make it easier to maintain a straight track, especially for beginners. Usable in lakes, rivers, and the ocean alike, we recommend using all three fins for the optimal SUPing experience. Even if you don’t though, you’ll still find the Waterwalker to be a quick, nimble, and pleasant to ride paddleboard.

Materials

Thurso Surf Waterwalker Material
Thurso Surf SUPs are durable, well put together SUPs that are extremely difficult to damage. They start with two sheets of polyester joined together by thousands of nylon threads that form a drop stitch core. As air is pumped into the SUP, the sheets expand and form a board shape thanks to the drop stitch core, instead of a balloon type shape typical of most inflatables.

The drop stitch core is resilient in itself, Thurso Surf goes the extra mile in how it applies its additional PVC protection. First, a single PVC layer is applied to protect the drop stitch core, acting as a base for the SUP. Then, additional layers comprised of dual PVC sheets and a UV coating is applied, giving triple layer performance despite being called a dual-layer SUP. As for the seams, the hardest part of the SUP to repair, another two layers of PVC coating are applied for quad-level PVC SUP protection. The 2020 Waterwalker 120 goes even further with newly added carbon rails, offering even more protection than the previous model.

In total, the Waterwalker 120 is a strong, reliable SUP that will withstand most common SUP injuries, from accidentally dropping it on the ground to crashing into another SUP on the water. While it is unlikely that you’ll need to rely on it, Thurso Surf also backs their SUPs with a full 30 day guarantee and a two-year warranty for additional protection.

Board Design/Shape

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Board Shape
As 10’ long and 30’’ wide, the Thurso Surf sacrifices some stability for superior speed, giving it an edge for those who want to do some races between friends. The 6’’ thickness provides the volume and stability to support up to 260 lbs, with bungee areas on the front and back well suited for holding coolers, lunch boxes, and other containers. The carbon rails improve the rigidity and stiffness of the SUP for added stability and protection, the biggest improvement over the past model of the Waterwalker 120. The slight rocker on the nose of the SUP provides added support for going over small waves, and while SUP is slightly heavier than expected it provides added stability and support against the wind for it.

Overall, the Waterwalker 120 is a superb SUP with a great all-around that will perform most activities well, keeping up with other SUPs as you play and explore on the water.

Board Features

Thurso Surf Waterwalker Board Features

There are a ton of features that come with the Waterwalker 120, making it a versatile SUP in more ways than just performance. Those we think are the most noticeable include:

  • Carbon Rails: Most inflatable SUPs are firm, but those with carbon rails tend to stick out with their impressive rigidity and firmness. They make the 2020 Waterwalker even more stable and durable than last year’s SUP, making this feature the number one improvement over past models.
  • Dual-layer military grade composite PVC: The dual-layer protection is more than enough to resist most common SUP accidents and injuries. By adding additional PVC protection to the deck and sides though, you get triple to quad level protection and support without significantly increasing the weight of the SUP itself.
  • Large accessory compatibility:With 15 D-rings, you’ll have more options to clip on bags, coolers, and other containers than you’ll know what to do with. New to the 2020 Waterwalker 120 is a nose action mount, which makes screwing in GoPro cameras, cell phone mounts, and other mounts a breeze as well. Lastly, the two black side straps on the deckpad act as a paddle holder, giving you a place to put your paddle aside that’s secure and out of the way.
  • Carbon fiber paddle: Weighing just 33 ounces, the lightweight carbon fiber shaft and nylon paddles makes paddling a breeze.
  • 3 Carry handles: All covered in neoprene, they are comfortable and easy to hold, even when your hands are cold or soaking wet.
  • Textured EVA deck pad: The textured deck pad improves your grip to the deck pad, while the EVA foam is smooth and comfortable to stand on no matter how wet it is.

Fins

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Fins
Thurso Surf’s Waterwalker 120 features 3 easy to install, snap lock fins that can be installed or removed in seconds. While the fin boxes aren’t as versatile as the options offered by SUPs with a traditional US fin box, the snap lock fins don’t have any screws or extra parts to worry about. Further, they offer great performance that will improve your stability and tracking, especially those just getting into the world of SUPs. We definitely recommend using these fins whenever you go out, except in shallow water settings.

Deckpad

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Deckpad
Thurso Surf SUPs tend to stick out with their designs, and the 2020 Waterwalker 120 does so more than ever. We love the change from the white deck pad to the new, multicolored version that you can see above. The warmer colors set the 2020 Waterwalker 120 apart, besides hiding dirt and stains a bit better than last year’s white deck pad.

It isn’t just the aesthetic design that we care about though. The EVA foam deck pad is built for comfort, ensuring that you can stand for hours on end without your feet hurting or developing blisters. The textured deck pad will help you maintain your grip though, especially when the deck pad is soaking wet with water.

Handles

There are three carry handles, providing multiple carry options for the Waterwalker 120. Two people working in tandem can carry the SUP by using the nose and rear handles, or a single paddler can do it themselves with the center one. Built with neoprene, they are comfortable in your palm and won’t irritate your hands like some basic SUP handles when it’s freezing or your hands are soaking wet. While we caution against dragging your SUP on the ground or beach shore, the front and rear handles are great for dragging your SUP once you’re floating in the water.

D-Rings/Bungees/Cargo Areas

There are 15 D-rings in total, which you can use to clip in an assortment of SUP accessories, from carry bags and coolers to cell phone holders and other items. What’s really nice about the 2020 version of the Waterwalker 120 is the added action mount on the nose. GoPro camera mounts, cell phone mounts, fishing rod holders, even more accessories than before are now compatible with the Waterwalker 120 right out of the box.

Two bungee cargo areas are included, lining the nose and rear of the SUP. If you have boxes or containers that don’t clip into the D-rings, you can securely fasten them with the included bungees. As for the center of the SUP, there are two black straps that you can use to secure your paddle to. If you need to set your paddle down, or need both your hands to carry your SUP, the paddle holder straps free you up while keeping your paddle close.

Lastly, the center four D-rings are compatible with SUP kayak conversion kits. While we wouldn’t recommend taking the Waterwalker 120 to whitewater environments, those who want a seat for their SUP will be able to do so with the Waterwalker 120.

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Accessories

Thurso Surf Waterwalker Accessories

Paddle

The three piece, adjustable carbon fiber shaft paddle is lightweight and comfortable to hold, weighing just 33 ounces. We also really like how Thurso uses both a pin and clamp locking system, as this keeps the paddle nice and tight while paddling – so much so that it almost feels like a single piece paddle.
Carbon fiber paddles weigh less than aluminum and fiberglass, allowing you to paddle longer without tiring out as quickly. Though it isn’t a pure carbon fiber paddle because of the nylon blade, this is a great paddle inclusion to be packed in with a SUP right out of the box.
The three piece paddle makes it easy to break down and store your paddle once you’re done for the day, and can be assembled in less than a minute. The adjustable nature allows you to alter the height of the paddle according to the size of the paddler, allowing you to quickly swap paddles with your friends. If you drop it in the water as you’re adjusting though, no worries as the paddle pieces all float too!
The Thurso Surf paddle is also designed with a dual lock shaft mechanism that sets it up for a second paddle blade. While it is a separate purchase, if you are interested in kayaking, buy the second paddle blade head to turn your SUP paddle into a dual-bladed kayak paddle.

Pump

Another improvement over the previous Waterwalker kit is the included pump. Thurso Surf has upgraded their pump from a single-chamber, dual-action pump to a dual-chamber, triple action pump. The additional chamber and stage makes inflating the Waterwalker 120 quicker and easier than before, cutting off several minutes in total inflation time. By following the proper instructions on your pump, the dual-chamber pump can easily pump up your Waterwalker 120 in 10 to 15 minutes. When you’re done for the day, you can also use the pump to deflate your SUP as well, ensuring you get the last bits of air out before you roll up the Waterwalker 120.

We like the dual-chamber manual pump, and think most paddleboarders will find it easy to use and dependable. However, what we love even more are electric pumps. Electrics pumps do the hard work of inflating or deflating for you in about the same amount of time, but without the effort on your part. Weighing the same as manual pumps but more compact in size, they clear up room in your kit as well. As such, electric pumps are our number one recommended accessory purchase for all inflatable SUPs. If you are interested in the Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120, we definitely recommend checking out the Thurso Surf electric pump as well.

Backpack

The final, major improvement made with the 2020 version of the Waterwalker kit is the backpack itself. The thick nylon backpack offers plenty of room to pack your SUP kit in, protecting your equipment from sun, sand, and water alike. The adjustable waist and shoulder straps, besides the inner pads, provide plenty of options to have the most comfortable wearing experience. The major change though comes to the wheels, which have been moved from the back to the face of the bag. The straps are less likely to get tangled up in the wheels of the 2020 bag compared to the old one. Your straps won’t be brushing against the ground either, helping your bag stay clean and sand free compared to the previous bag.

Leash

The included 10’ coiled leash will ensure your SUP doesn’t drift too far if you take a tumble without significantly impacting your paddling experience. If you’re paddling in faster moving water or on a windy day, it’s especially important to wear your leash. Just be aware that while your leash will keep your SUP close, it won’t keep you afloat if you fall. No matter how calm or friendly the water is, you’ll want to bring a PFD with you to keep your head above the water.

Repair Kit

The repair kit includes patches that you can apply to minor tears and holes on your SUP that aren’t located on the seams of your SUP. The other item included is an inflation wrench that will help you tighten up your Halkey-Roberts valve should it come loose. Both of these items will address minor problems with your SUP, but are not meant to resolve major or critical issues. If your SUP suffers significant damage or performance loss, make sure to contact Thurso Surf. Their 2-year warranty covers many problems, though given the tough build of the Waterwalker it is unlikely you’ll ever have a problem in the first place.

Optional Accessories

There are alot of great, third party accessories out there that you can use with your Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 SUP, though you should always check compatibility before purchase. Thurso Surf itself also produces some great accessories that are guaranteed to work with your Waterwalker. The ones we recommend thinking about include:

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

Company Review – Thurso Surf

Starting off with just a single 11’ SUP, Thurso Surf has grown to become one of the more popular SUP manufacturers in the industry, with 7 different SUP models. Their SUPs are known for their fantastic and quick glide, tough durability, and beautiful wood grain designs that set them apart from other inflatables.

All of their SUPs come with free shipping to the continental US and many parts of Europe, a 30-day guarantee, 2-year warranty, and up to 18-month finance options. We’ve found them pleasant to work with, and quick to respond to our questions about their products. Their SUPs have constantly improved year over year, and with the great additions to the Waterwalker 120 we look forward to seeing what they’ll do next.

Conclusion/Bottom line

Thurso Waterwalker 120 Review
The Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a great SUP for those looking for a quick, nimble, all-around SUP. Because of it’s 10’ length and 30’’ width, it can prove challenging to learn if you are a brand new to SUP sports and weigh above 225 lbs. However, for smaller beginners or larger paddlers with some experience, it is a highly responsive, sporty SUP with plenty of accessory options. We love the speed, the glide, and the overall feel it has in the water. With a 2-year warranty, a wheeled backpack and a lightweight carbon fiber paddle, the Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120 is a fantastic SUP option for beginners to experienced paddlers alike.

Have any questions about the Thurso Surf Waterwalker 120? Want to know more about how it performs, or want to know more about paddle boarding in general? Then feel free to leave a comment below, or send us an email. We would love to answer any questions you may have, be it about this SUP or paddle boards in general. We also periodically update our reviews with new feedback we receive, so be sure to check it out again in the future if you’re still on the fence.

Otherwise, thank you so much for reading, and we hope you enjoy your next SUP adventure!

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Justin - 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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