Tower Paddle Boards is the undisputed king of paddle board sales. With their wide selection of paddle boards to their massive online and media presence, there is no doubt that that they are the first company you find when you are introduced to the sport. One of their inflatable paddle boards has over 450 reviews on Amazon, far surpassing the next closest competitor.
So, how did Tower Paddle Boards come to rule the space? Where are Tower Paddle Boards made? And are Tower paddle boards any good? There is no shortage of questions to ask when you are planning to plop down many hundreds of dollars on a paddle board. Have no fear, in this article I hope to answer any and all questions about Tower inflatable paddle boards so that you will know exactly what to expect.
About Tower Paddle Boards
Tower Paddle Boards was an idea dreamt up in the summer of 2010 by a marketer named Stephan Aarstol who saw the growing popularity of paddle boards, as well as their high prices. Stephan figured that he could cut down on the sale price of paddle boards, without sacrificing quality, by streamlining the distribution process. They don’t sell in big box stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods or REI. They were able to achieve quick success by pricing their product to almost half the price of other boards of the same quality.
Tower got a big boost of publicity (and cash) when it appeared on the popular show Shark Tank in 2012. Billionaire Mark Cuban ended up investing $150,000 dollars into Tower Paddle Boards and continues to help run the company today. That infusion of cold hard cash, as well as massive public exposure on ABC’s hit show, helped rocket Tower Paddle Boards to massive success and massive market share. Tower is now one of the most successful companies that has ever appeared on Shark Tank.
Where are Tower Paddle Boards Made?
China, basically. A lot of the drop stitch fabric for the Tower inflatable paddle boards are manufactured in South Korea or Taiwan, but all of Towers’ paddle boards are assembled in china as well as nearly all inflatable SUPs on the market.
If you are dead set on getting a handcrafted American paddle board then you will want to look somewhere else, and inflatable SUPs are definitely not for you.
But let’s keep an open mind here. Tower is a good company that stands behind their boards and their prices are right where we want them.
About Tower Inflatable Paddle Boards
Solid paddle boards are very fun and versatile but they don’t come without downsides. The hardness of a fiberglass paddle board can hurt under your feet after a few hours of supping. Fiberglass boards are also really big and can be a pain to store and to transport from place to place, especially if you are just a casual weekender or only paddle board a few times every summer. Fiberglass can also be fragile, nicks and dings can cause serious damage to a board, causing it to get waterlogged and rot. Not to mention that hard boards are…well…hard. Falling off your board and hitting your elbow on the way down can seriously hurt, and ruin an otherwise peaceful and relaxing sport.
Fortunately there is a solution to all of these problems and it’s called the inflatable paddle board or iSUP.
Tower inflatable paddle boards are lightweight, durable, portable and when compared to hardboards, a relatively cheap paddle board option.
The skin of the Tower inflatable paddle boards are multiple layers thick and are made of an extremely durable military grade PVC fabric called Hypalon. They’re basically made of the same material that white water rafts are made from. This durability means that you can deal these boards some serious abuse, including running over them with a truck or throwing them off a building. Tower inflatable paddle boards are up to nearly any abuse that a couple of 14 year old boys can throw at them. The sun can wash out the colors over time and you should store your inflatable sup in a dry area out of direct sunlight. It’s not something you need to obsess over though. Leaving the board on the beach for the day is fine.
After you have fully inflated your board it shouldn’t lose much air. The most common cause of air loss is not tightening the valve enough. If your board is losing air, try and tighten your valve a bit more and that should take care of it. If that doesn’t fix the problem, Tower Paddle Boards has excellent customer service that you should reach out to and a very generous 2 year warranty.
Another advantage is that Tower inflatable SUPs are soft. Your feet and knees will thank you for for choosing an iSUP over a hard board. Inflatable paddle boards are also great for yoga because their soft surface is easier on your elbows, head, knees, and just about any body part that contacts the board.
Don’t think that this softness means that your board is going to fold in half when you try and stand on it though. Tower inflatable SUPs are extremely rigid because of their drop stitch construction and their minimum 6 inch thickness. Having drop stitch fabric means that strong nylon thread runs from the bottom of the board to the top so that the board holds it’s shape. These boards are so stiff that they can be rated to carry up to 800 pounds!
Finally, you can take your horse paddle boarding!
The best reason to buy a Tower inflatable sup is convenience. Where a hard board is big and awkward to carry, an iSUP can be tucked under your arm or thrown in a bag. Where hard boards need to be strapped to the roof or your car, an inflatable board can be hidden away in the trunk. And where an 11 foot long hard board takes up so much room in your living space that it should be paying rent, a Tower inflatable paddle board can be tucked under a bed or put in a closet.
The inflatable paddle board has really left no excuse for the casual user not to get into the sport.
Now that we have some context, it’s time to look at the different models of Tower inflatable paddle boards and which board is best for whom.
The Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable 9’10” SUP Package
The Tower Adventurer SUP is Tower’s entry level inflatable paddle board. At 9 feet 10 inches long it’s a bit shorter than the 10+ foot standard paddle board length. Being shorter means that, because of some very boring hydrodynamic reasons, it will be slower in the water than the longer inflatable sups. Even though it might be slower, this board still tracks pretty well in the water. The shorter length also means that it can’t carry as much weight as the other Tower inflatable sups.
But don’t think that this thing can’t carry heavy loads. The Tower Adventurer inflatable paddle board is rated to be able to carry 350 pounds. That is the same as the 10 foot 6 inch Wavestorm paddleboard.
Just because the weight limit on the Tower Adventurer SUP says 350, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will work well for heavier riders. The board seems to work great for people up to about 230 or 240 pounds. So if you are lower than that than you are golden. But people weighing more may want to upgrade, especially if you want to carry equipment or other passengers.
The Adventurer 9’ 10” is 32 inches wide and 6 inches thick. The standard thickness for inflatable paddle boards used to be 4 inches thick but Tower changed the game and now most quality inflatable sups are 6 inches thick or greater. Under no circumstances should you consider buying a 4 inch thick inflatable paddle board! Companies may try to lure you in with cheap prices for a 4 inch board but mark my words, 4 inch boards are unstable, bendy, and even a person of average weight will have their feet constantly under water. The 6 inch thickness is a non negotiable feature in my opinion.
When deflated and rolled up, the board is 32 inches long by about 1 foot tall and weighs about 25 pounds. This could easily fit in the trunk of most any car or on the top shelf of your closet. The board has a convenient strap so that you can cinch it in a nice tight roll. The strap is also easy to grab onto for carrying, but if you really want to make transport easy you should get a carrying bag that fits the board, pump and paddle.
All three together should weigh in at about 31 pounds and be able to be included with checked baggage on a flight easily.
When you are finally at the water with the Tower Adventurer, using the hand pump will take about 5-10 minutes to pump up to 12 psi. If you want to add a bit of rigidity to board pump up an extra 2-3 psi on top of that.
The board has a 3 fins underneath. Two smaller fins on each side that are built in to the board and a center fin that is detachable. The center fin comes with the board and is made of abs plastic and is 9 inches long. It used to be that you had to attach the center fin with a screw, which meant you always need to keep a screwdriver with your board. No longer is this the case. Tower changed their design recently and now the fin easily attaches with a pin that doesn’t need any tools.
Some people wonder if you can surf with this board. The answer is…kinda. The Tower Adventurer Inflatable SUP is stiff enough to surf with on maybe a 4 foot wave, but inflatables just don’t have a hard edge where you can dig in and ride the wall.