Tower Xplorer 14′ Inflatable SUP Review

Tower Xplorer iSUPThe Tower Xplorer iSUP is designed to push the limits when it comes to the technical specifications and performance. In terms of speed, durability, and weight capacity there are a few other inflatable stand-up paddle boards that can come close to what the Xplorer delivers.

The Tower Xplorer measures 14′ x 32”, providing plenty of surface area for even larger riders. The Xplorer is also the first iSUP created that measured 8” thick. Though there are others on the market now, they’d be hard pressed to match the durability of Tower’s Xplorer.

Thanks to the high-quality PVC and the unique construction process, this board has unparalleled rigidity for an inflatable, comparable to a dense piece of plywood, and more than enough to compete with an EPS or epoxy board. This durability and rigidity also lends to the board’s weight capacity, an astounding 750-800 lbs when inflated to about 10psi.

The board comes packaged with a telescoping paddle, high-pressure pump, detachable center fin, deck pad, and repair kit. The board also has a number of onboard accessories, such as a carrying handle, and front/rear D-rings for towing or surf leashes.

When deflated and rolled up, the board condenses to a very manageable 12” x 37”. It can be easily stored in a vehicle for transport, or in a closet or home storage space when not in use.

Factors to Consider When Buying an Inflatable Paddle Board

Before we go into great detail with this Tower Xplore 14’ Inflatable SUP review, there are some important factors to consider when purchasing an inflatable paddleboard. Fortunately, we’ve created an easy-to-dissect criteria to help refine your search. 

Size and Shape

First, you’ll need to consider the size and shape of your paddle board. A longer board offers exceptional glide, much greater than a shorter version, meaning you can travel faster through the water. However, this size also requires more experience. But, if speed is essential to you, opt for a long and wide board.

For beginners, we recommend choosing a board with a wide tail for more stability. You’ll feel more control in the water, and this is also a beneficial design if you’re traveling with others or extra baggage. On the other hand, paddleboards that have a narrow turn are ideal for waters with more turns, and you can even perform surfing maneuvers.

Bear in mind the total weight on the paddleboard, as thicker boards are created to hold more weight than a lighter version. One factor to consider with a thicker board is that you won’t be able to travel as quick through the water.

Material

You want a high-quality paddleboard that you can trust with your safety. Therefore, the material you choose is essential. We recommend a second layer of PVC fabric on the board for additional protection and durability. This extra weight can actually make paddling more manageable, too.

Tower Xplorer 14′ Inflatable SUP Review

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Top Features

  • Competes with hard boards – In terms of rigidity and durability, this board is similar in both aspects when compared to an epoxy board, with the added benefit of being soft at the same time. If you were to get hit in the water with your Xplorer, you wouldn’t sustain nearly the same level of injury as with a hard board.
  • Large and high-capacity – The Xplorer is a roomy 14′ x 32”, and can support up to 800 lbs of weight. Though a bit heavier than some other boards, at 33 lbs, it’s understandable give the Xplorer’s high-level specifications.
  • Includes starter kit – With all of the necessary gear to get out into the water. The Xplorer bundle has a good (though not great) adjustable paddle, and a decent hand pump, among other accessories.
  • Folds up easy – Deflating the board is an easy process, and the compact size when rolled up makes it very simple to store and transport.
  • 2 year warranty – Like many of Tower’s other products, the Xplorer has a 2 year warranty that covers defects in production.

Tower Xplorer fin

What We Like About The Tower Xplorer 14′ Inflatable SUP

  • The board is fast – It was made with racers in mind, so this board has the chops to handle choppy waves and placid water with superb results. Even in rougher conditions, the board moves quickly and quietly, and can take on the role of a swift touring board with ease.
  • Easy to control – It’s astounding that at this large size, the board handles great and maneuvers well. The fin attachment keeps it gliding straight through the water but it can also zig and zag when you need it to.
  • Supports larger individuals – Even paddle boards rated to support up to 250 or 300 lbs can sometimes feel a bit iffy if you’re a big person. This board supports a much higher weight capacity, and doesn’t dip, even if you’re on the heavier side.
  • Feels good to ride on – The PVC material is tough, but the board still feels like a cushion beneath your feet when it’s inflated. The best of both worlds.

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What We Don’t Like About The Tower Xplorer 14′ Inflatable SUP

  • Would have preferred a bag to just the carrying strap – The strap is functional, but a bag would have been better for including the board along with the extra items. As is, you’ll need to invest into an additional carry solution for your accessories.
  • The paddle – Let’s face it, bundled paddles are never the greatest. It’s nice that Tower tried to include an adjustable paddle with this model, but if you’re taller it’s just not going to work for you.
  • Pumping is a bear – If you don’t have an electric pump, you might strain yourself trying to get this board inflated with the hand pump. This isn’t an issue specific to the Xplorer though, most inflatable boards require a more powerful pump in order to get the job done more efficiently.

Tower Xplorer iSUP review

This iSUP Is Best Suited For

  • Larger riders – If you’re big and need an iSUP that you can feel comfortable will support you, the Xplorer is the way to go.
  • Newcomers – This board is easy to learn, and comes with at least basic level gear to get you started. If you’ve thought about getting into paddle boarding but didn’t know where to start, this an excellent option. You’re going to take some spills, and are less likely to injure yourself on an inflatable board.

This iSUP Is Not So Great For

  • People looking for a smaller board – This board is big, so if you like them a bit tinier, this isn’t going to do so well as your first option.

The Verdict

Tower Xplorer review

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The Tower Xplorer has opened up new ground in terms of what inflatable boards are capable of. It’s fast, has excellent durability and carrying capacity, and is still friendly enough to beginners that newbie can get on and start learning without great difficulty. This is an excellent board, that can be recommended to riders of all skill levels without a second thought.

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