Ultrastable and with a displacement hull for smooth tracking, the Rum Runner is the Unsinkable Molly Brown of SUPs.
Packability and Storage
When broken down into three pieces (a process that takes no more than five minutes), this SUP is very easy to handle. I crammed it into the backseat and trunk of my hatchback Saab and had room left over for a weekend’s worth of food, drink, and clothing. As for storage, you’ll need space under a queen-size bed, a roomy closet, or an outdoor patio. It may break down, but it’s still got a bulky hardshell. The good news: ratcheting it all back into place again takes about ten minutes.
The SUP is equipped with a dry-storage hatch for lunch, cup holders for two water bottles, a retractable drop skeg for easier navigation, and, in case the standing gets too intense, an optional inflatable seat.
The hard plastic shell feels indestructible and can be dragged onto rocks, sand, or a dock with no harm done. For longevity’s sake, handle the board with a little loving care so as not to wear out the plastic ratcheting strap on the connecting buckles.
Size and Fit
The one-piece Imagine Fit ($700), designed by surfing legend Dave Kalama, doesn’t have the breakdown capability or the dry storage, but it does crush the Rum Runner on the water with its beautifully sleek touring design featuring a displacement hull, penetrating nose and two deep channels, and a snap-in fin on the base to keep it tracking straight. If you’re interested in performance, go with the Imagine Fit.
The recently reimagined inflatable Sea Eagle Longboard (11 feet, $949; 12.5 feet, $1,049) has the same do-it-all characteristics of the Rum Runner, minus the dry storage. The six-inch dropstitch material, made from thousands of high-tensile threads that allow it to be inflated to 15 psi, makes for a rigid, nimble ride suitable for small waves and flat water. When inflated, the 11-foot board weighs in at a mere 22 pounds, almost a third the weight of the Rum Runner.
A packable, road-worthy SUP that sets up in under five minutes and excels on flat water. If you fly to your water fix, or use the board on fast-moving water, you'll want to go with an inflatable.
But if you live in a small space within driving distance of flat water, want an alternative to a kayak or canoe to tool around in for hours, and don’t intend to do any racing, this is the board for you.