When you think of kiteboarding and wakeboarding, Slingshot Sports jumps in your mind as one of the leading manufacturers. Based in Hood River, Oregon a mecca for watersports enthusiast, Slingshot Sports is engulfed in the waterman culture. With a new inflatable SUP boards out, I was very interested in testing it out.
I received the 2015 AIR-TECH Crossbreed 11’ inflatable with the Switchblade adjustable paddle. The deflated board came in a black backpack that is about 3’ tall x 2ft wide and 1ft thick with comfortable backpack straps. Also included in the backpack was a pump, pressure gauge, repair kit, & high pressure air valve.
The day I received the board we happened to be taking a trip to Fayetteville, AR (about 5 hours away), driving a Toyota Prius. A new white water park with a river wave had just opened 30 minutes from Fayetteville and I was eager to check out. We threw the Crossbreed SUP backpack in the Prius, a couple wetsuits and took off. One of the convenience things about an inflatable is how easy they are to transport no matter what car you are driving.
We stopped at a gas station a few miles down the road from the whitewater park to grab water and inflated the board with the High-Pressure attachment valve. This valve attaches to the inflation valve on the board allowing you to inflate the board quickly with an air compressor. After a few minutes, the board was rock solid full of air (Check out video below). Couple that with the advanced Air-Tech drop stitch technology used in every Slingshot Crossbreed and you have a board that is stronger and more stable than older technologies. The board is manufactured with computer precision cuts unlike a lot of other inflatable boards (hand cut) which helps to keep the rocker and rails in place once inflated and every board exactly the same.
Once inflated, I put the board on top of the car with straps and headed a few miles down to the river. The river levels were high due to the rain that had been falling. The gate was close to the whitewater park so we hiked in to the river. The board was easy to carry with the center strap on the board.
First thing I noticed when I jumped on board was that it didn’t sag in the
The wave was washed out at the white water
With the board being a “Crossbreed”, I wanted to test it out in multiple places. This time I used the pump that was provided with the board. It took about 10 minutes to pump the board up to 10psi but I forgot to shut the valve to not release air once I took the pump off and had to start over because most of the air was released (doh!). After getting the board properly inflated, I paddled the Crossbreed on part of the Trinity River in Dallas, TX that is flat water for about 5 miles with a group. The board glided through the water well for an inflatable and was very stable.
There was one last test I wanted to do with the board so I took it to was a residential water way with flat calm water. I used the manual pump again this time but remembered to close the valve before inflating. It took about 8 minutes this time to get to 10psi. This time though I had two people on the board in early January (when you don’t want to get wet). I set the board down in the water and had my girlfriend sit on the board in front of me. Together we are about 265-270lbs and the board floated us perfectly. The rails sat high out of the water not letting any water onto the deck while I paddled. The board worked surprisingly well even at the top of it’s recommended weight range. The 4 D-Ring anchors with bungees worked well to secure our bluetooth speaker and water bottles to the board.
To conclude after testing the Crossbreed out in multiple waterways, I feel this board is a good investment at $1199 and is a very quality inflatable SUP board. The ease of storage + the rigidness of the fully inflated Crossbreed is hard to beat. Slingshot has made a great product that is Boarders Mag Approved!
Check out the videos here: Crossbreed 11' Inflatable
To learn more about Slingshot Sports or to purchase the board click here
Words: Danny Braught