O'Shea SUP Boards - Buyer's Guide

Posted by Jake Oszczepalinski at

We get this question asked a lot so having a nice summary will go a long way! O'Shea is one of the best SUP and inflatable SUP boards manufactures on the market. Their boards are made out of premium materials and their HPx range has the best stiffness vs lightness ratio on the market. They're super robust and cater to wide range of riders looking for reliable, well priced and versatile boards.

O'Shea SUP Boards - Buyer's Guide

Let's start with construction and main differences.

O'Shea QSx SUP Boards

Totally new for 2020 season O'Shea has created a new, affordable range without cutting corners. All the QSx boards feature quad stringer technology making the boards extremely stiff at only 15psi. There's simply no match at this price point!

Pro's:

  • Affordable performance
  • Light and durable construction
  • Super stiff board - both in length and width
  • Compact when rolled up
  • No cosmetic wrinkles due to use of premium materials


Con's:

  • A little bit less stiff when compared to HDx and HPx
  • A little bit thicker at 6" than HDx and HPx

O'Shea HDx SUP Boards

Building on their legacy of mainstream SUP's O'Shea has created their Highly Durable (HD) series of inflatable SUPs. The added durability comes from implementation of pressure bonding of the twin skins - that has also eliminated the need for excessive use of adhesives reducing weight but also improved finish of the surface of the board leaving it wrinkle-free.

Pro's:

  • High Durability
  • Stiffer than QSx in all directions
  • Prolonged shape-integrity when rolled up and rolled out often
  • Professional surface finish
  • Enhanced glide on the flat water and when it's breezy thanks to just 4.75" rail thickness


Con's:

  • A little bit heavier than QSx and HPx

O'Shea HPx SUP Boards 

The most advanced iSUP constructions on the market at the time of writing. The innovative materials used in the O'Shea HPx range helped to created the stiffest and the lightest inflatable standup paddle boards on the market not sacrificing the durability. If you're looking for the absolute best at still reasonable price - don't look no further. These boards also come with a premium double-chamber pump and a carbon paddle as standard.

Pro's

  • 20% Lighter than top brands using the Fusion or MSL technology
  • Stiffer than Fusion and MSL standup paddle boards
  • Very durable finish
  • High cosmetic finish and premium deck pads
  • Enhanced glide on the flat water and when it's breezy thanks to just 4.75" rail thickness


Con's

  • Little bit more expensive than HDx range

What all O'Shea SUP boards have in common?

Firstly O'Shea's using the premium "Mirasol" drop stitch that's considered a Rolls Royce in the inflatable SUP market fabrics. Its high quality ensures that all their boards are very durable and will stand the test of time. Use of 1000D PVC outer full double layer helps with that too. Not to mention that these materials also lead to longitudinally and torsionally stiffer construction... now what does all that mean in English? That all O'Shea SUP boards offer insane amount of premium technology keeping the boards stiff, light and durable.

What's also important, all O'Shea boards are a mix of yellow and other bright colours. When SUP'ing you have to expect the unexpected. And if worst comes to worst you're on top of a very visible vessel - so if you'll ever need help, you'll be clearly visible to everyone. Not something we'd want you to test out but it's good to know it's there.

Different to cheap copies, O'Shea boards only need between 13psi and recommended 15psi of pressure when getting pumped. Cheap boards sometimes need up to 25psi to achieve any kind of stiffness. Trouble with that is then those boards bend pretty badly and... well, you're standing on top of 25psi cheaply made board. O'Shea's premium construction ensures that even at 15psi their boards are one of the stiffest on the market with very little give even under heavier riders.

What shape should I go for?

When looking at the SUP's you have to ask yourself a question - what will you be using it for? If it's your first board or you want a large platform for the family to play with or you're looking for a proper all-round shape then, depending on your weight, either of the 9'8", 10'2", 10'6" or 10'8" models in either of the constructions above will work well. The heavier the rider the larger the board should be - we're happy to help - if you have any questions give us a shout, we'll make sure you'll get the right size. All

What a lot of our clients do is they're using their boards for flat water paddling, exploring coastline, lochs and going distances. For these applications a longer shape will work much better and you should be looking at the GT Series. These boards provide an easier glide due to more parallel outline and pointy nose of the board that creates less drag. This means that with each paddle stroke you'll get more speed. All round boards (like the 10'6" for example) with a rounded noses will create more drag and therefore will be slower in a straight line.

We get a lot of questions asked about wobbliness of the GT's. If you want a super stable platform that still performs amazingly in terms of speed and glide then the O'Shea GT 12'0" will be an excellent choice - with a very accommodating 34" width and generous 340 litres of volume it's a superb choice for heavier riders or those who want a zero-hassle exploration SUP. The most popular GT boards for us are either the O'Shea GT 12'6" with 32" width and 320 litres of volume that will work well for an average-sized rider or either O'Shea 11'2" GT HDx the O'Shea 11'2" GT HPx with 31" width for added agility and speed. If going fast is your objective then the O'Shea 12'6" GTR is an excellent choice at still very generous 310 litres providing lots of stability but just 29" width making the board very quick and yet ideal for exploration.

There's a lot to take into consideration, that's why if you have any questions don't hesitate to ask. We've tried hundreds of different SUP's, shapes, constructions, brands and we've tested them in all conditions imaginable. Feel free to give us a call or drop us an email and we'll be stoked to help you choose the right board for you and your needs. It's an investment into your quality time on the water so we'll make sure you'll make the right choice!

Mahalo,
Jake


If you have any further questions on which board would suit your needs best - give us a shout and we'll be happy to help!


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  • I’m 85kg and need something to use with the family… pretty much set on the 10’2" HDx?

    Chris Walston on

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