The NRS Big Baron Inflatable SUP Review
The NRS Big Earl inflatable SUP is truly one of the most stable, forgiving, and intuitive stand up paddleboard’s ever built. In addition to it’s user friendly handling characteristics, it’s also very well constructed (NRS is known for having a high quality of workmanship), and comes with some great accessories, like a K-Pump 100 and Kwik Check gauge instead of the industry standard Wonder Pump or similar model. The K -Pump is a $70+ value, instead of $36.95 for the entry level barrel pump.
When we got wind of a bigger, badder and more stable NRS SUP, we were very excited. At 210 lbs (on a good day) I was especially happy to hear rumors of “the most stable inflatable stand up paddle board ever built“. I can honestly say that after paddling The NRS Big Baron, ALL of the rumors and hype are true. This is THE MOST STABLE traditional inflatable stand up paddle board that I have ever had the chance to test drive. It also happens to be quite responsive; which is especially impressive for a 11+ foot long, 36 inch under foot SUP. Check out the details below:
This NRS promotional video highlights the technical details of The Big Baron
Relax, turn up the volume, and listen to the sweet sounds of Barry While whilst watching the Big Baron slither it’s way down river.
- ULTIMATE STABILITY: The biggest and most noticeable feature of The NRS Big Baron is the insane amount of primary stability that it offers. Paddlers well over 200 lbs will be able to confidently paddle downriver without even thinking of getting wet. What’s also very impressive, is the turn-ability and and overall maneuverability that was preserved in the making of this Clydesdale sized inflatable SUP.
- PERFORMANCE PADDLING:Because of the pin tail design and the rocker on the nose, the Big Baron turns VERY easily, and also surfs well. It in fact, turns even easier than it’s little brother, The Big Earl.
- MULTIPLE ATTACHMENT POINTS:It is always better to have a lot of attachment points, as opposed to not enough. The Big Baron has the right handles, in the right spots. There is a D ring and 2 grab loops up front, which serve multiple functions. It is very easy to rig a deck bag to the board, and is also to very easy to drag the board to shore in case of a swim, or when walking to the water (there is a grab carry handle in the middle of the board too).
- INTELLIGENT FIN CONFIGURATION:The Baron, as well as The Big Earl both come with a removable tri fin setup that allows the paddler to make adjustments relative to the conditions. This is a feature that is not available on the vast majority of inflatable SUP’s. It’s benefits include being able to use a twin fin (2) setup for low profile paddling and ease of turning; tri fin’s (3) for stability when paddling down river; or a single fin (1 in the center) for optimal tracking in deeper water like lakes and large rivers. One other BIG benefit of having removable fins is the ease of rolling the board up and inserting it into it’s bag. At 11’+ long, and 36″ wide, the Big Baron needs all the help that it can get in regards to deflating and rolling it up (and inserting into the included travel pack) for travel.
- SUPERB COMMERCIAL OUTFITTER BOARD: Because of the versatile nature of this SUP, The Big Baron will do extremely well as an outfitter board. The learning curve is about as easy as it gets, it is portable and rolls up easily at the take out, will fit all populations ranging from children to 250 lb plus defensive tackles, and is built with consideration to durability and longevity.
- THE ULTIMATE FAMILY SUP:As previously mentioned, The Big Baron can accommodate a wide variety of sizes ranging from small children, to large adults. It is always a good idea to have a stand up board that is more stable, rather than not enough. Since it tops off at 15PSI the heaviest of paddlers can hop on, and still feel like they are on a stable platform. Family pets, multiple children or even 2 grown adults can fit on this board.
LOTS OF GREAT ACCESSORIES FOR THE VALUE: The Big Baron also comes with a K-Pump 100, Kwik Check gauge (to check PSI) and storage back pack. The value of a high pressure pump (such as the K Pump) is far greater than a wonder pump. A Wonder pump is a great pump, but often has trouble topping off the last few PSI. Using a K Pump takes a little bit longer to get the board to 15psi, but is much easier in the long run to get it inflated to optimal rigidity. 2 pumps are ideal. Use a barrel pump (Wonder Pump) to get the board inflated, and then top it off with the provided K-Pump.
NOTE: Bravo has a SUPER COOL that attaches to you car battery. Set the gauge to the desired PSI, and crack open a cold beverage while it does the work for you! Be sure to check it out. It has the ability to pump to 15 PSI, which is very impressive.
- THIS BOARD IS BIG: The NRS Big Baron is one of the largest inflatable SUP’s on the market. Smaller and mid sized paddlers who do not share their board with larger people, may not need all of the additional volume. Fortunately, NRS also sells The Big Earl, which is essentially a smaller version of the Baron.
- DID WE MENTION THAT THIS BOARD IS PRETTY BIG? Do not purchase a Big Baron with aspirations of winning The Battle of The Paddle or The Badfish Expression Sessions. This SUP is a bad ass recreational, and mid performance level SUP, which in reality is the category that 80% of the stand up paddlers on the planet fall into. It is not a super high performance race or freestyle machine.
The NRS Big Baron is a superb SUP for the majority of stand up paddlers; and more importantly for ones that weigh over 200 lbs, that do not want to worry about bobbling when paddling downriver and through boily eddylines. If you currently are able to paddle class II+ on your standard size SUP, count on being able to style class III- with The Baron.
While it’s size may be a little bit daunting for some, what is sacrificed in portability is certainly made up for in stability and overall confidence when paddling. Personally, I cannot wait to take The Baron up to Montana this summer, for our annual Yellowstone River family float trip; it’s just the board that I have been waiting for. The Yankee Jim Canyon rapids will be a blast!