From the calm serene lakes of Boulder, Colorado, to the salty seas of Kona, Hawaii, the Advanced Elements Fishbone™ EX: AE1064 is the perfect inflatable stand up paddle board for a wide array of SUPing adventures.
As an avid SUPer, what I love most about the sport is the flexibility. Your level of activity and energy output is up to you, you can crank the speed and get an incredible workout (trust me, every muscle in your body will be sore), or you can simply float, breathe, and take in the view.
Best of all it’s available for all ages, all sizes and abilities, and contrary to popular belief, doesn’t involve falling in the water all the time. That is, unless you have a golden retriever who likes to jump off whenever he likes, leaving you scrambling to find your balance. Ultimately, the possibilities are endless. Same goes for the Fishbone.
In last five years or so, I’ve been ready to take my SUPing to a new level, aggressively chasing faster paddling times, longer distances, and more difficult terrain. As the water gets rougher, a paddle board that has the ability to track well while staying balanced, keep it’s speed in the water, and allow you to paddle efficiently is super important to maximize your energy output. Ever paddle into headwinds? Not super fun. The Fishbone is designed to go the distance.
In my opinion the Fishbone is the perfect board for a variety of SUPing activities, but I mostly enjoyed it for the longer distances and rougher waters. The 11 feet in length is ideal for running easy white waters, trek through smaller waves in the ocean, and still pack relatively light for travel. More importantly, it allows you to pick up speed in a breeze.
The Adaptour Adjustable SUP Paddle is one of the lightest, and durable paddles I’ve used. I love that it’s easily adjustable- which comes in handy when you need a shorter paddle length when paddling on your knees, or a longer length for slow and steady strokes. It’s handle design feels perfect accompanying my hand and allowed for the most efficient paddling I’ve ever experienced. Not all paddles are alike- and trust me, your paddle matters! Invest in one that is durable, and designed with your specific paddling activity in mind.
The displacement hull, which is like a pointy nose, on the front under side of the board, slices and disperses water in a way that reduces friction, making you feel like a badass speed demon. Even just a few paddle strokes can get you moving, and in the right direction, with less effort.
This SUP tracked nicely, even in the windy bays Kekaha State Park in Kona, Hawaii, which in higher winds, can produce some sizable waves. I felt like I could power paddle through and conquer any bump that came my way.
While rougher seas can test even an ex-gymnast’s balancing abilities, I felt secure and calm paddling through the waves. Even with the longer length, the Fishbone has impressive width at its mid point, allowing for better balance and stability, which helps even the novice gain confidence. And when my two water-loving 60+ lb pups are on board, the Fishbone felt more secure beneath my feet than any other SUP I’ve ridden.
Many solid SUPs feature single fins placed in a fin box, which leaves you high and dry in the event of low flowing rivers or rock collision. In fact, I’ve lost my large tracking fin to unexpected shallow waters, never to be seen again.
The Fishbone’s largest middle fin is secured by a metal nut and bolt, completely easing my worries of it disappearing into deep waters. All three fins can be removed quickly, and easily stored in the handy dandy separate pocket within its carrying case, so you don’t forget them even when traveling (and yes, I’ve done that before).
The padded top layer covers more area than most SUPs– incredibly comfortable, and almost therapeutic with it’s texture. Soft enough for a bit of yoga, and even a chance or two to get upside down. Other SUP top layers have peeled off with just a couple times of folding for storage- this top layer is secure and easy to clean. I love the bungees at the front nose, perfect for storing a bit of gear like water, food, and other needed accessories.
The first question I always get from others is, “An inflatable, really? But do they work?”, and by golly the answer is yes. The drop stitch construction creates a tight air core, and are perfect for those of us who can’t store an 11 foot SUP in their apartment. Also, this inflatable is ideal for travel (think remote alpine lakes, beach destinations, and gorgeous mountain rivers!). Plus you can store it inflated, or deflated- your choice, no long term damage associated with either.
Inflatable SUPs are actually better suited to handle bumps and dings against rocks and logs than a solid SUP, and with the Advanced Elements included repair kit, you’ll always be prepared.
Packability & Travel
I have to say, from the moment I unpacked my Fishbone, I was super impressed with the experience of the entire package. A SUP is a big piece of gear to lug around, but Advanced Elements packs an impressive eleven foot board into an efficient pack, that’s relatively easy to lug around, and efficient when packing and unpacking time and time again. Every component has it’s place. The SUP folds well over itself, The durable bag even flew the seven hour plane ride from Colorado to Hawaii.
The pump is really well made, and easier to use then those I’ve tried in the past. It connects well, and with a bit of work, you can get this bad boy inflated pretty quickly. The PSI valve is super helpful, as you definitely want to fill it to it’s desired PSI. It took me about 15 minutes to hand pump, but I will admit, I will always defer to my automatic pump that plugs into my car’s cigarette lighter. Best purchase ever.
Once inflated, the mid-point handle makes it easy to carry, and it’s impressive light weight was easy to hoist and carry over my head. Although with any lifetime sport, I have my hacks, and I prefer to use my home-made bike trailer to tow it to the remote farmland ponds of East Boulder.
The Final Word
I’m absolutely in love with this paddle board. I can’t stop SUPing with it! The only feature I would love to add to this SUP is backpack straps on the carrying bag, but it works perfectly fine with the two large straps.
Jess Shuck is a customer service and social media guru at Outdoor Prolink. She enjoys a plethora of outdoor activities, but you will mostly find her SUPing, mountain biking, hiking, skiing or generally being upside down. Find her on instagram @jessisupsidedown.