The STX 11’6″ Touring SUP is a 3.5m long SUP with 270 litres of volume manufactured with a double layer construction. The board weighs a little more than some other boards of its size, but the double-layer construction makes it a reliable, durable and stiff iSUP for its 799CHF price tag.
All STX SUPs come with a backpack, pump and aluminium paddle (except the Freeride 280 Windsurf Board). While the quality of the backpack and paddle are not amazing they are perfectly functional.
The backpack is made of relatively lightweight material with very simple padded shoulder straps. There is ample room in the backpack to easily pack the SUP back in after usage. While perfectly functional (and has proven reasonably durable) it does look a little cheaper than the backpacks I’ve seen from other brands. Ironically, while looking cheaper than the backpack I received with another brand of SUP (which costs more than twice the price of the STX) the STX backpack has survived a seasons use much better.
The paddle is a very basic aluminium paddle which while functional is possibly the one thing I would personally like to upgrade in this package. It is at least comparable with the paddle which you would receive in any other bundled package.
The pump is where STX starts to prove it’s value for money. It’s a good quality pump which can be set to either inflate or deflate which is great when you want to pack the board up as small as possible. I’ve ended up using the STX pump as a matter of preference when inflating other SUPs of other brands.
Rolling the board out you get a sense of the materials being more sturdy than quite a few of the other boards I have tried. In terms of build quality, the board is comparable with boards from many more expensive brands. The double-layer construction inflates to provide a very solid, stiff board.
On the Water
The quality of the deck pad is good and the board is very comfortable to stand on. Once on the water, the board is stable and paddles efficiently without any noticeable feeling of bending under my 80kg. We have efficiently paddled the board two up with the 270 litres of volume providing enough flotation for two adults on flat water.
The narrow nose of the board rides efficiently through chop if the water state gets rougher. However, like all iSUPs, this board is quite a handful when the wind picks up. It is certainly not any worse than any other board I have tested in this respect though.
Once finished paddling the board rolls very easily and fits without any difficulty in the supplied backpack. If you want to have things fit a little bit better together you can use the deflate function of the pump to reduce the space the board needs when rolled up in the bag. This allows ample room in the backpack for anything else you would like to take with you on your way to the lake.
The bungee cord on the front of the board provides ample storage space for a drybag with a picnic and possibly some warmer clothing in it. The handle is comfortably padded and does not cause any difficulties when carrying the board over a longer distance. The supplied fin uses a slide in clip system rather than a plate and screw. This is much easier to set up and definitely saves a minute or two when setting the board up to get on the water. It does mean that if you were to lose a fin though you would need to find a suitable replacement whereas the standard US box fins would be easier to come by if necessary.
Perhaps the only thing that is missing from this package for me is a leash. Despite having a number of SUPs to test over the summer of 2019 from Oxbow, Bic, Quatro, STX and Fanatic this board became my board of choice. Coming in at close to half the price of the Fanatic, Oxbow and Quatro the board offers performance in comparison with the best of the more expensive boards.
- Ease of use
- Quality of accessories in package (paddle and no leash)
The STX 11’6″ inflatable SUP is a great value for money double layer board which will provide many hours of fun on the water. The performance is comparable with much more expensive boards and in my opinion, STX is probably the most underrated brands of SUPs that I am aware of on the market at the moment.
STX hasn’t rested on their Laurels with their iSUPs. For the 2020 season, they updated the construction to make the boards lighter without losing any of their stiffness. The new fusion technology fuses the two layers of the SUP instead of sticking them together with glue which means a considerable saving in weight without any sacrifice to performance. The STX SUPs are one of the stiffest boards out there and stiffer than almost all of the brands which sometimes cost double their price.