CKS Customer Review: Michael Leach Reviews the C4 Waterman 10'6" iSUP CMACMy new vision for whitewater adventure was born on a red-eye flight back to Montana after a week-long journey to the Garden Island of Kauai, where the stand up paddle surfing bug ravaged my water-loving soul. After doing a little homework, I quickly discovered that river-rats throughout the Rockies were already pioneering this new and exciting way to explore our wild rivers. In the rapidly growing world of river SUP, versatility is critical. After many months of extensive research, trying to determine the best all-around board for my Upper Yellowstone River SUP adventures here in Southwestern Montana, the C-4 Waterman iSUP 10’6 emerged above all others as the bombproof go-to board that would keep my river stoke flowing.
- The ISUP is ideal for Rocky Mountain residents looking to have a board that can tear up your favorite river run, tour across a glassy mountain lake, and then get packed away for a flight to the coast for a few sessions on the ocean waves. The pack-ability of the ISUP also allows for back country adventures to more remote waters.
- The best thing about this board is its durability. In my first two months paddling the pre-runoff and shallow whitewater stretches of the Yellowstone, I would have already worked over a fiberglass board and damaged several fins. The body of the ISUP simply bounces of any rocks and the flexible, plastic fins look no worse for the wear after taking a real beating.
- The amazingly high thread-count makes this board surprisingly rigid when properly inflated. But the stiff board remains forgiving on the joints when falling and board holding through the whitewater.
- At a mere 22 pounds, with a strong and comfortably placed carrying handle, this ISUP is easy to haul from point to point.
- When not inflated to 15 psi or above the board has somewhat of a mushy feel. Included with the iSUP, is a pump that will get the board inflated to max. psi. Make sure that your board is fully inflated every single time you paddle it.
- Actually getting this board folded into its travel bag can be a monumental task. (CKS hint: Deflate the board all of the way (with the included hand pump which can also act like a vacuum pump), and then use a cam strap and cinch it down on the board. This is not a perfect solution, but should help a little bit). This is the price you pay for ultimate versatility.
- While ideal for whitewater, the board doesn't track as well as long boards, thus would not be the best choice for distance paddling with lots of flat waters.
The Verdict:While perhaps not as performance-orientated as the C-Mac ATB hard board for downriver racing or surfing standing waves, the 10’6 ISUP is clearly one of the most versatile boards on the market. C-4 Waterman has given this ISUP a very traditional look with sharp graphics and a sporty design which is rarely accomplished with inflatable boards. I am completely hooked on river sup and will be expanding my array of boards in the years to come, but the C-4 ISUP will always be a standout in my quiver. Whether looking for one board that can do everything well, a soft and forgiving surface for the rest of the family, or simply a bomber board that will always ensure that you can get out on the river no matter what the flow, the buoyant and dependable C-4 ISUP 10’6 will keep your heart singing as you experience the rush and unmatched joy of walking across your favorite stretch of river water.