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Gear Review: Level 6 Touring Stand Up Paddleboard - Next Adventure

Gear Review: Level 6 Touring Stand Up Paddleboard

Level 6 Touring Paddleboard

As a whitewater paddler who often drives long distances for different paddling opportunities, I've recently been trying to find a way to enjoy flatwater paddling close to home in Portland, Oregon. (Especially with gas prices on the rise!) With the Willamette River running through the middle of the city, and the Columbia River just outside the city limits, it feels silly not to take advantage of these amazing resources. In the past when I’ve paddled flatwater, I’ve often ended up in wider recreational kayaks and SUP’s that are almost too stable and slow for me to enjoy. In the summertime I love being on the water no matter what. Even if it’s lounging in an inner tube with friends on the river's edge. Though when it comes to my paddling experiences, I want to be challenged, engaged, and get the stimulating feeling of efficiently slicing through the water. This is what drew me to the new Level 6 Touring SUP’s.

Paddling a SUP on the river

I was first attracted by the cool bamboo deck and sleek-looking design. I also noticed that the nose came to a narrow point which made it look fast and efficient. After looking at the specs I also saw that they were about an inch wider on average than the “hardcore” carbon racing SUP’s out there. This seemed ideal to me since I was not trying to win any races, but rather find an enjoyable and efficient SUP for touring around on large bodies of water in the Pacific Northwest. The fact that this board was made out of fiberglass with a foam core was also attractive. This board has two layers of fiberglass on the top, three on the bottom, and they overlap on the edges making the sidewall (the highest impact area) a whopping five layers of fiberglass! That type of durability is was I was looking for in a board I could end up taking on all sorts of future trips and keep for many years to come.

Level 6 Touring SUP on the water

Finally, I was able to get the board out on the water and I was quite happy with the performance! As advertised, it offered a great combination of speed and tracking which made it easy to cover a lot of miles with minimal effort. It was stable enough to keep me upright without difficulty but narrow enough to keep me engaged. The open deck with bungees gave me plenty of room to bring a dry bag with lunch and other extra gear. Overall, the board seemed like the best combination of fun, efficiency, and ease of use. I was able to paddle both the 11.6 and 12.6 in the Level 6 Touring line and after paddling them both I picked the 12.6 due to my weight and paddling needs. (Check out the specs to find out which would be the best for you!)

Paddling a SUP on the Columbia river

SPECS - 11.6

  • Length: 11 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Thickness: 6.5 inches
  • Volume: 222 litres
  • Rider Weight: Up to 195 lbs
  • Board Weight: 31 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime

 

SPECS - 12.6

  • Length: 12 feet 6 inches
  • Width: 31 inches
  • Thickness: 6.5 inches
  • Volume: 241 litres
  • Rider Weight: Up to 230 lbs
  • Board Weight: 33 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime

 

SPECS - 14

  • Length: 14 feet
  • Width: 32 inches
  • Thickness: 6.5 inches
  • Volume: 279 litres
  • Rider Weight: Up to 270 lbs
  • Board Weight: 34 lbs
  • Manufacturer Warranty: Lifetime

Paddling a Level 6 Touring SUP on flatwater

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