Zray R1 12’6″ Racing Inflatable SUP Board Review

There are quite a few brands out there that still truly care about their customers and whenever we check, Zray has always been there. In fact, a lot of you might think that reputation grows with age but that’s not always the case.

Indeed, Zray is considerably a fresh face on the inflatable paddle board industry yet it is also one which managed to accumulate so many positive reviews in such a brief period of time. This of course boils down to many factors and a lot of which are going to be mentioned in this review.

So, let’s take a moment to learn more about the Zray R1.

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Features

  • Drop-stitched, crocodile skin EVA
  • Tie down system to carry personal belongings
  • 3 soft fabric handles provide more comfort to your hand.
  • 1 large detachable fin
  • Package includes:
    • Board
    • Z-ray extra high pressure pump
    • A closing belt
    • A central fin (removable)
    • An adjustable paddle that floats
    • A water proof case as a gift

Specifications

Dimensions 12’6″ Long x 30″ Wide x 6″ Thick
Material Military-grade PVC plus drop stitch construction
Weight limit 352lbs
Number of D-rings 14 D-rings

  • 8 D-rings on the nose attached with a bungee cord
  • 6 more D-rings around the pad and on the tail for kayak seat attachment
Recommended PSI 15 PSI
Fins 1 large removable fin
Volume 300 Liters
Carry handles 3 carry handles
Warranty 1 year warranty

Measurements

Zray R1 racing 12'6" inflatable paddle board reviewAs the habit goes, measurements will remain our primary concern here because it simply has so much potential. Truly, the board’s size will often determine the range of users and even the board’s performance to a great extent. So, what does that say about the R1?

First things first, the primary dimension which every other brand likes to brag about is length since it impacts both performance and user compatibility. Accordingly, the Zray R1 comes at 12 feet and 6 inches which is rather substantial. Indeed, at this length, the board is molded to fit grown-up guys only but most importantly, it is made perfect for touring and racing. Therefore, this board requires some SUP”ing skills.

On the other hand, Zray decided to go with 30 inches in width as it is both sufficient and progressive. To elaborate a little more on that idea, at 30 inches, the R1 will perform incredibly well in terms of balance and induce stability for the paddler but it’ll also not hurdle its ability to cut nicely through water at maximum speeds.

As for thickness, it should be noted by now that the R1 doesn’t plan on splitting paths with the rest of the Zrays hence why it commits to the 6 inches bench. At 6 inches in thickness, the board is not only enhanced for durability but also fluid movement. The board is thus capable of accommodating for a total weight capacity of 352 lbs while maintaining the rigidity of its core. Also, this will prove extremely practical on occasions where you’d really appreciate if you could practice paddling while fully clothed.

Quality

Quality has always been a big thing for Zray, so it would be no surprise that this board is just as robust as a traditional hard board. In fact, the R1 is not only as tough but it’s also significantly lighter.

Indeed, the board at hand is made out of reinforced military grade material which is the same stuff that zodiacs, river rafts and some bulletproof-vests are made of.

Furthermore, the board is then reinforced via a double layer industrial drop stitch construction which is evidently more powerful than any other construction method. Actually, the stitches are so powerful that they are guaranteed to seal the board’s hull for an eternity and that covers the collateral damage from white water, racing and similar activities.

Zray R1 racing 12'6" stand up paddle board review

Features

As far as features go, the R1 is definitely here to set a record for the most practical features that a single inflatable board carries along. In fact, for a racing board, this Zray seems to be amongst the few boards out there that still care about what the paddler does in his or her free time. So, let’s see what the R1 has to offer:

  • In the realm of anti slip gripping pads, the R1 is definitely a king as it features a fully expended pad that covers pretty much the entire board in an attempt to guarantee that you have the complete freedom to move around and adjust yourself accordingly as you go. Also, the pad will prove very efficient in terms of navigation and that is especially beneficial for racers.

 

  • Also, and this should have been our first bullet point, the R1 is one beautiful looking racing board. Undeniably, this is a board that was designed to capture your attention and it rightfully does with its slick edges, dynamic shape and pointy lifting nose. The board’s color combination is also quite captivating as they get along quite smoothly, giving the board a nice overall look.

 

  • Moreover, the D-ring factor on this Zray is simply impressive as it features a set of 14 rings distributed evenly all over the hull. Starting at the nose, the board features 8 rings connected via a bungee cord, serving as a solid cargo net. Also, at the center, the board features 2 D rings which can be used to install a kayak seat with a little help from the rear 4 D rings.

 

  • Further, the R1 also hooks you up with 3 carry handles. Cleverly, Zray decided to go with 3 separate handles to make carrying this beast individually or with a friend ever so simple. The handles are located on the nose, rear and center of the board.

 

  • Last but definitely not least has got to be the single fin navigation system which Zray likes to boast about every now and again which is a “right very much earned”. The single fin system has proven to be very responsive and tracks nicely which will come especially handy knowing this is a racing board.

Performance

Zray R1 racing 12'6" iSUP reviewIn order to figure out just what type of a performer the R1 is, Zray has made it significantly easy to deduce by looking at the board. Indeed, a lot can be said from the way a board looks and the R1 just looks like a performer for starters.

Further, the R1 is supported via a slick dynamic hull that grants it the upper hand in most environments and that goes from steady lakes to the great canyon white water.

So, from the expanding gripping pad to the single fin navigation system, the R1 is definitely built to race and that it’s suitable for intermediate to advanced paddlers.

Packaging

Packaging was and still is a big deal for inflatable paddle boards and for all the good reasons. Truly, a healthy package will have a huge impact on our experience with the board and that’s why Zray hooks the R1 with:

  • A high pressure hand pump
  • A folding strap
  • A central fin (removable)
  • An adjustable paddle that floats
  • A water proof case as a gift

Pros

  • Zray R1 is a great racing inflatable paddle board
  • It comes in a complete package
  • it’s very well-made and it has a large EVA pad
  • This board is featured with a large tie-down system on the nose
  • It also has extra D-ring around the pad and on the tail

Cons

Alex Smith
 

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