C4 Waterman XXL Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard Review
Do you travel? Don't want, or have the room to transport and store a traditional SUP? Check out the C4 Waterman XXL. It's rated to carry riders up to 240 pounds, and packs into a large duffle bag. I tested this board on the ocean, rivers and lakes and it's a solid all around performer.
C4 Waterman XXL at the Lake
I weigh just over 200 pounds, and notice my feet are out of the water. There are a lot of inflatable SUP's that will "sag" underfoot. I usually run the board around 15 psi. It's quite the workout to pump to that pressure level with the pump that comes with the board. Keep in mind that the feel on an inflatable SUP is much different that on a traditional SUP. The inflatable boards are not as rigid as a standard board, but do offer plenty of rigidity, and this board is one of most rigid I've found.
Video Review and Surfing
The XXL is 10'9" long and 4 inches thick. Here it's pictured on top of the C4 Pohaku rigid board. As you can see, the overall geometry is similar.
I have a 7 year old and a 4 year old, so it's fun to have the window for the kids. Here's a view of the window with the flap closed.
Here's a view of the flap opened. The window doesn't hurt the ride or the rigidity of the board. I actually like the window, because I can store water and beer in it while I'm paddling. When you're in the waves the window will fill with water, but it doesn't effect the performance of the board.
Here you can see the traction pad, inflation valve and the eyelet for a tethering. The deck has plenty of traction, and holds well in bare feet.
Kids Having Fun on the C4 Waterman XXL
My kids had a great time playing with board and riding on it. It's a great board for them to learn on because it's so stable. They also like looking through the window, although they said they saw a shark in the lake???
At the Beach
I'm six feet tall and the board is almost 11 feet. It weights about 25 pounds, but it's very easy to manage (unless it's windy).
I got a leash for riding the board in the ocean and on the river. When the water is cold, you don't want your board getting too far away. The eyelet held up after some pretty big wipe-outs.
Paddling in the Surf
This was the real test of this board. I rolled up the board very tight and packed it in a large duffle bag with my wet suit, a paddle and the pump. No problems getting it on the plane, and no issues when I inflated it. Once I was in the ocean, it was nice to have big board like this. The board flexed slightly as I rode up and down the waves, after a few minutes I had forgotten about it. As you can see from the video I had to cheat and use a kayak paddle to get enough speed to catch a wave. This is by no means a performance surf board, but you can have a little fun on the waves.
On the River
Can't beat a beautiful spring day on the river. I rolled up the board and packed it in our camper for an outing to southern Utah. On the river, this board just bounces off rocks like an inflatable raft. Sometimes I'd catch a fin on a rock in shallow water and "eat it". You have to be very careful, especially if there's a stiff currently. That's my only recommendation, that the board have removable fins. The three fins on the bottom are very durable, and very usefully for control in deep water, but it would be nice to remove them if you're running shallow whitewater.
Video on the River
BOTTOMLINE: XXL Performance in a Small Package