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How much should a tent cost?

It happened that we had discussions about the price of our BAJAO Cabin at the numerous fairs we visited this year. Some guests were of the opinion that our BAJAO Cabin should not cost more than 200 euros. But how much is a tent allowed to cost and when is it too expensive? We have taken up the questions and describe our view of the things.

Let’s start with the basic question: What does the price of a product actually consist of? In our example, of course, we are talking about our first product: BAJAO Cabin. A tent that can be set up on a paddleboard, allowing you to spend the night on the water. Or on land. Or on the roof of a car… BAJAO Cabin is the Swiss Army Knife among tents.

The fabric

First, of course, there is the material. In purchasing, you lay the foundation for the later costs. We didn’t necessarily think economically here, but decided on the best and most suitable material. Instead of polyester, we chose much more expensive and lighter ripstop nylon. Why? Because nylon has much better properties for our product. For example, it is stretchable to a certain extent, it is quieter, more robust and longer lasting. By the way, the thinner and lighter a fabric is, the more expensive it will be, and we chose extremely light but robust fabric.

The coating also plays an important role, not only in price, but also in subsequent handling and longevity. Our BAJAO Cabin, the SUP tent, is double siliconized on the outside and PU coated on the inside. A PU coating on the outside would have done the trick to make it waterproof. But silicone is not just waterproof, the water rolls off. And the effect remains. Also smaller holes, e.g. from blackberries or other thorns, can simply be “rubbed” shut again. A really great thing. We need the PU coating inside to be able to tap the seams. This makes the seams waterproof.

The floor is made of a robust 150D Oxford Polyester. Here, too, we had to rely on the very highest quality, because straps are sewn to our floor, with which the SUP board is integrated into the inflatable frame.

The frame

We based the design of our air frame on the kitesurfing industry. We made our first prototypes from old kites. For the bladers, i.e. the air tubes of the kites and wings, TPU is used. PU is often used in tent production. But where is the difference? To make it simple:
TPU is more elastic, more temperature resistant, more abrasion resistant, more slip resistant and more robust. But also much more expensive. PU, on the other hand, did not provide the desired safety in our tests and was too prone to leaks. In all our two years of testing, we have yet to have a hole in our TPU frame. This is probably due in part to the fact that we chose a stronger TPU than we use in kites. Our SUP tents are meant to do a lot of things, but not fly.

In summary: We were not able to save on the material due to the usage, but rather paid attention to the very highest quality. A not insignificant part of the price is therefore our chosen material.

Production accounts for a considerable proportion of the cost, in addition to the material. We had our product manufactured in China. We asked many producers, looked at the manufacturing processes and compared the quality. Not every manufacturer can sew and weld, and they also have a good development department based in Germany, with which we worked intensively for over two years.

Surely we could have found a cheaper producer, but a SUP tent is new and has special requirements. In addition, our producer had to be able to show all certificates. ISO, fair treatment of employees, no child labor, etc.

We are happy with the choice of our producer, because we could order and test samples at every stage of development. This is the only way we can guarantee the safety of our product.
In addition, it should be noted that you can get “cheap shit” in the Far East, but you can also get excellent quality. The development of our product would not have been possible there due to the complex requirements and real innovation, and for the Corona wedding, travel was not possible either, so we deliberately decided on production with a development department in Germany.

Summary: We could have also saved on production and put an inferior product on the market. But we did not.

Thinking, drawing, sewing, trying, failing, rethinking, remaking… Anything but being discouraged. Until the prototype is finished. When we reached this point after three years, it still took 2 years until we could hold the first finished products in our hands. You can’t plan the development beforehand, and you can’t put a figure on it. But over the years we invested countless hours in our project. Until our harshest critic was satisfied: ourselves.

Summary: How can you realistically quantify the development time for a completely new product? We didn’t, but enjoyed and celebrated every moment of development. Nevertheless, we have the hope that it will still be included in the calculation by one or the other.

Our SUP tent BAJAO Cabin is something that not everyone has to have, nor should have. It is a tent that meets the highest expedition standards. But it is specially designed for use with SUPs. That’s currently still a small target group, but one that has enormous growth. Why not? Multi-day tours by canoe have been common practice for a long time and the SUP even offers some advantages here. But currently we could not have afforded large numbers yet. We are a small, up-and-coming start-up and do everything on our own. Small quantities also mean high indirect costs per unit, higher purchasing costs, higher production costs, and so on. Of course, we can’t keep up with the big players in the industry.

Summary: Larger quantities mean cheaper purchasing. But as a startup, we naturally can’t afford large print runs.

We could probably have offered more economically through pure direct sales, i.e. directly to the end customer. But BAJAO Cabin is a product that needs to be explained. And it doesn’t matter whether it costs 199 or 599 euros: Such an investment needs to be well considered. That’s why we decided to combine our own online store with a specialized dealer. Here, all your questions can be answered competently and correctly. But of course the trade also wants to live from something and therefore we include a profit margin for the specialized trade.

Summary: Direct sales would be cheaper, but we stand on advice. And we like the store around the corner. That’s why we’ve decided that retailers should have a piece of our pie. 

We are unique. And so are our customers. Who wants to have a tent off the shelf – Feel free. Of course you can do a multi-day tour with a 39 Euro disposable tent from a discounter. Or the 149 Euro mass-produced polyester tent. That is completely OK. But don’t compare it with a BAJAO Cabin! Try to set up another tent on a SUP. Or use your tent on the water or car roof. If you have good taste and want something special, go for a BAJAO Cabin and become a SUP Nomad.

However, you have to be aware of one aspect. It has already been called “the BAJAO effect”. No matter where you spend the night, you will be approached every time!

Summary: We could sell it even much more expensive because of its uniqueness. Often enough we were advised to do so. But we are not greedy. Everyone who wants to have a BAJAO Cabin should get it. Even in up to 3 monthly installments.

Shipping, customs and taxes
Regardless of the fact that shipping costs have increased significantly, which of course is reflected in the price, duties and taxes are calculated on all accumulated costs. And customs duties on tents in Germany are comparatively high at 12%.

Our team is very small and we don’t receive a salary at this point. But of course we plan to be able to hang up our side jobs at some point and make a living from our work. Therefore, we have calculated a little profit.

Our goal is to build BAJAO into a significant brand. But this is still a rocky road. Nevertheless, we have to attract your attention, of course. We try to compensate our small budget with a lot of commitment and dedication. But of course this also has to be financed.

Research and development
Last but not least we would like to continue to develop new and very good products and produce them for you. There is no lack of ideas, but these also have to be implemented. And of course we need a budget for that.

The answer:

So how can we answer the initial question of how much a tent should cost? Anyone who has read and understood this article knows the answer. It is not just the addition of manufacturing costs, but you have to think a bit further. Anyone who decides to buy such an exclusive product recognizes the value and is probably just as special as a BAJAO Cabin.

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Die Aldi Heuchelei

Was bin ich doch für ein Heuchler. Ich kann nicht mehr zählen, wie oft ich folgende Frage beantwortet habe: „Was hältst Du von den Aldi- oder Lidl-SUP-Boards?“ Und jedes Mal habe ich gesagt: „Schwimmen können die auch und für den Anfang sind sie OK. Aber wenn Du was vernünftiges haben möchtest, solltest Du lieber mehr ausgeben.“

Vor kurzem flatterte mir ein Prospekt mit zahlreichen Camping-Artikeln von Aldi ins Haus. Ein zweiflammiger Campingkocher fiel mir sofort ins Auge. Premium-Campingkocher, Edelstahl, Starkbrenner, Zündsicherung, für Flasche und Kartusche… Worte die Begehrlichkeiten schaffen.

Aktuell habe ich in meinem Bulli, mit dem ich oft zum SUP-Surfen fahre und in dem ich von Zeit zu Zeit auch übernachte, einen Ein-Flammen-Gaskocher. Von Campingaz, für den Innenraum zugelassen und gar nicht mal so günstig. Aber eben nur eine Flamme. Mein vorheriger Zwei-Flammenkocher von Outwell hat nach einigen Jahren den Dienst quittiert.

Premium-Kocher für gerade mal 69 statt 99 Euro von Aldi? Gekauft!

Als ich den Kocher auspacke, stimmt der erste Eindruck. Edelstahl und gelungene Optik. Premium eben. Bei genauerem Hinschauen offenbarten sich jedoch die ersten Mängel.

Ich SUPe seit 12 oder 13 Jahren. In Sachen SUP macht mir niemand etwas vor. Mein neues Projekt BAJAO, ein Zelt für das SUP, hat mir ein paar Preise eingebracht. Unteranderem die Einladung am Globetrotter Innovation Lab teilzunehmen. Ausgesuchte Startups werden in das Programm aufgenommen, es wird die Werbetrommel für sie gerührt und man kann auf den Globetrotter Freiluft-Events gemeinsam mit den Großen der Branche ausstellen. Fünf Freiluft-Testivals später bin ich vom absoluten Outdoor-Beginner zum Outdoor-Profi aufgestiegen. Ich habe mir viel Equipment angeschaut, erklären lassen und getestet. Alles in Hinblick auf die SUP-Touren-Tauglichkeit. Dadurch habe ich viel gelernt, was geht und was gut ist.

Zurück zum Aldi-Kocher

Zurück zum Aldi-Kocher. Mit meinem in den letzten Wochen neu gewonnenen Wissen, sind mir einige Dinge direkt aufgefallen. So befindet sich keine Bodenplatte unter dem Kocher. Die Brenner sind aus dünnem Blech gepresst und wirken billig. Trotz der Ankündigung auf Homepage und Prospekt lässt sich keine Kartusche anschließen, sondern nur eine Gasflasche.

Egal, erstmal ausprobieren. Trifft sich gut, dass ich drei Tage unterwegs sein werde und im Bulli übernachte.

Losgefahren, angekommen, aufgebaut und angeschlossen. Nun soll er mal zeigen was er kann, der Aldi-Kocher von Hersteller Enders.

Unterschiedliche Auffassungen von Premium

Jetzt erst fällt mir auf, dass der Kocher keinen Piezozünder hat, also eine elektronische Zündung. Muss halt das Feuerzeug herhalten, aber ich schon genervt. Scheinbar haben Aldi und ich einen unterschiedliche Auffassung von „Premium“. Die ganzen Anschlüsse für den Gasschlauch wirken sehr billig, aber sie halten und sind dicht. Der Druckminderer, der zwischen Gasflasche und Schlauch angeschlossen wird, ist ebenfalls billig und darf in Innenräumen nicht betrieben werden. So steht es in der mitgelieferten Gebrauchsanweisung.

Was für einen Sinn macht es einen Gaskocher mit einer Zündsicherung zu bauen, die man für den Innenraum braucht, wenn der Druckminderer nicht dazu passt?

Die Gaszufuhr und damit die Größe der Flamme lässt sich kaum justieren. Es gibt große Flamme und kleine Flamme. Dazwischen fast nichts. Die große Edelstahlklappe lässt sich nicht in Position fixieren und kippt schnell nach vorne runter. Dadurch kann einem der auf dem Kocher befindliche Topf mitsamt Inhalt entgegen kippen. Vor Verbrühungen muss man allerdings keine Angst haben, da der Kocher zu allem Überfluss zum Erhitzen unglaublich lange braucht.

Genug, ich bin genervt. Ich komme mit vielem klar, aber zu lange auf meinen morgendlichen Blaek-Kaffee warten zu müssen? Ne, Herr Aldi, so kommen wir nicht zusammen.

Marketing-Sprech belügt Anfänger

Ich hätte es wissen müssen und ärgere mich über meine Naivität. Klar, der Kocher brennt und erhitzt, er hat zwei Flammen und hat auch Teile aus Edelstahl. Aber er ist einfach, sorry für drastische Worte, scheiße! Ich verstehe mittlerweile die SUP-Anfänger, die sich auf den Marketing-Sprech von Aldi & Co verlassen. Premium, hochwertig, reduziert, pffft… An dem Kocher ist gar nichts Premium, genauso wenig wie an den ganzen Billig-SUPs. Und dennoch kaufen wir den Mist. Ich hatte den Vergleich mit guten Produkten, zum Beispiel von Primus – die wissen was sie tun. Wäre dies mein erster Gaskocher, würde ich wohlmöglich denken: “Naja, unpraktisch und irgendwie auch nicht ganz sicher, aber er brennt – muss wohl so sein…” Ich hätte keinen Vergleich mit gutem Zeugs und würde eventuell den Schrott sogar Anderen empfehlen. „Warum 200 Euro ausgeben? Kauf dir den Kocher von Aldi, der brennt auch…“

Offene Worte an den Discounter

Lieber Discount, liebe Billig-Hersteller,

der Welt würde es besser gehen, wenn ihr nicht aus purer Profitgier versuchen würdet, jede Welle mitsurfen zu wollen, auf billigste zu produzieren, ohne Qualitätsansprüche! Überlasst statt dessen den Fachleuten die Arbeit. Klar, ich würde evtl. etwas auf den nächsten Gaskocher sparen müssen. Aber ich hätte was vernünftiges. Etwas das hält und gut gearbeitet ist. Nun kriegt ihr den Mist wieder zurück, retourniert es an den Hersteller und verursacht Arbeit, Kosten und CO2. Alles einkalkuliert in euren Premium-Kocher zum Super-Sparpreis.

Ich hole mir jetzt einen Primus-Gaskocher, den ich lange und intensiv nutzen kann und werde. Wenn mich der Nächste zu meiner Meinung über Aldi- oder Lidl-Boards fragt, werde ich sagen: „Schwimmen tun die auch. Aber lass mich Dir die Geschichte von meinem Aldi-Gaskocher erzählen…“

Beitragsbilder © Aldi Onlineshop

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Surf meets outdoor

Me, the outdoor alien

Knives with fire steel, breathable outdoor pants and heavy hiking boots, all things that you rarely got to see as a surfer at events. It was a bit strange when I came to our first of five Globetrotter outdoor test festivals in Frankfurt to introduce our BAJAO Cabin to the general public.
However, it quickly became apparent that I was an alien on the event grounds in a surf poncho and flip-flops. Especially since April was still coming up with sleet and stronger gusts of wind. Rarely have I wished more ardently for trekking pants and sturdy footwear. But you have to fulfill clichés and that includes a rusty van and neoprene instead of softshell.

The stand was set up relatively quickly and our exhibits put in scene. The surrounding exhibitors eyed both me and our products suspiciously. In between the persistent gusts of wind, I kept hearing snatches of words: “He’s not serious”, “They never sleep on the water with that” or “There’s nothing that doesn’t exist”. This promised to be a fun weekend.

Butt-bombing into a grease spot

On the first evening, some exhibitors and Globetrotter employees met around the campfire and one chatted with the person next to him. In my case, there was a pleasant-looking gentleman sitting there who asked me, “Globetrotter or exhibitor?” “Exhibitor,” I replied proudly. “We make inflatable tents that add a cabin to your SUP.” “What do you need that for?” the gentleman asked, puzzled but interested. I thought back to our elevator pitch that we had rehearsed over and over again – Banging out the most important info in a nutshell monologue to your interviewer, I can do that.
So rattle off all the key benefits: Nobody steals your board when you sleep on it, you save on luggage because you don’t need a sleeping pad, and anyway, no sleeping pad insulates as well as 15cm of iSUP blahblahblah… Of course, politeness dictated that I also ask about its field of application. “And you? What do you do?” “I sell sleeping mats” – silence…
Butt-bombing into a grease spot from a high-powered elevator pitch, I can do that too.

Fortunately, Dirk, the name of the nice person sitting next to me, didn’t take offense at my faux pas, but was even interested in BAJAO. Not so bad, these outdoor people, I thought. And it even got better and better. We were suddenly accepted in the ranks of the outdoor brands.

The intersection between outdoor and surf

The first day at the Outdoor Testival was overwhelming. I had not hoped for so much encouragement from visitors and exhibitors, even in my wildest dreams. Among them was also constructive criticism, for example for the color scheme. It should be a more muted green. Our new production pattern was already very eye-catching. But for the most part, the reactions of the visitors were always similar: People strolled past our booth, looking out of the corner of their eye. Stopping and taking a closer look. This was usually followed by astonished laughter, photos taken surreptitiously with the cell phone and numerous questions. Who came up with this? Is this really meant for spending the night on the water? Won’t it tip you over? The reactions are the same at all the venues. The overwhelmingly positive feedback is also the same.

After having exhibited at three outdoor events by now, we can claim: There is an intersection between outdoor and SUP or surf. And it is bigger than expected. The desire for adventure on your own doorstep is huge. We have the right solution for it.

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German Event-Dates – Meet us on Tour

BAJAO Cabin Rooftop tent with coffee

We are happy to inform you that our first event dates are finally set.

BAJAO Cabin is going on a journey.

Maybe you’ve always wanted to see our first products in the flesh, touch it, ask us questions about the product and just try it out. Now you have the opportunity to do so. Our event trip started on April 2nd in Handewitt, near Flensburg at the fair of Camping & Freizeitheld.
Directly afterwards you will find us at most of Globetrotter’s open air festivals, starting with the open air festival in Frankfurt.
Besides us, you can expect another variety of interesting exhibitors.
Come by, meet us live and in color and spend a good time in the fresh air.

Oh, we forgot the best thing!

Want to save money? We are giving you a huge discount if you order directly on one of the events.

But that’s not all

We printed some packing lists for SUP-Overnighters. What you should know, what to take with you, how to pack your stuff etc. It’s for free, of course.

Our Upcoming Dates

[facebook_events col=”2″ posts_per_page=”24″ category=”testival” order=”desc” orderby=”start_date” start_date=”2022-01-31″ end_date=”2024-12-31″ ]

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Raffle – win a BAJAO Cabin

BAJAO Cabin fishing camping on water

Here you get the chance to wean a BAJAO Cabin!

You want to increase your chances? With pleasure! You can increase the number of tickets we assign to you as a participant. We offer you simple ways to do this, such as visiting our Facebook page, leaving us a Like there, visiting our YouTube channel, signing up for the newsletter, etc.
Each of the interactions listed below will bring you a certain number of additional tickets.

[rafflepress id=”3″]

We will inform our winners by E-Mail. The BAJAO Cabin will be shipped immediately after our first production is completed (summer 2022).

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The vision behind BAJAO

What is the vision behind Bajao

What is actually the vision behind BAJAO? What drives us, what inspires us? And what does it actually mean, a vision? For this we have once taken a short definition.

“A corporate vision is a positively formulated idea of what the future should look like with your company. With the corporate vision you indicate the direction in which your company should develop. Visions are always inspiring and motivating.”

So it’s by no means the case that visions are only something for wacky esoterics or monk-skin-wearing cult founders with dreams of financial freedom. We as a young startup are also allowed to have visions and even better – we are even allowed to share them safely.
So let’s get started and give you an insight into our thoughts, wishes and positively formulated future!
We see Stand Up Paddling not only as a short term emerging trend, but rather as the fusion of surfing and outdoor. We see a lot of SUP nomads coming out of the office building on a Friday at noon, parking their car at a beautiful lake, pumping up their board, strapping the already packed luggage onto the board and setting off for an overnight trip. 
Leaving the parking lot behind as quickly as possible, away from the country and the job, off into nature. Alone or with others, enjoy the micro-adventure. Land somewhere and prepare a delicious meal on the camping stove you brought along. Maybe drink a beer in the evening sun while you prepare the camp and then off to the feathers. The next morning, paddle back to the car, be at one with yourself and nature, and start the weekend relaxed. Or you just keep paddling and stay out for two days.
Actually, this is exactly what has already become a trend with bicycles as bike packing. Or has been practiced for a long time with the canoe and now also snapped to the SUP practice – only paired with a good portion of surf attitude.
So that it comes so far, it needs suitable equipment. Smart products that support you on your tours, adapted to the SUP sport. SUP is still young and therefore there is a lack of such products.
We would like to close this gap! We want to develop specific products for your SUP adventure, with a lot of added value. So that more people can experience a relaxed adventure in nature. We close the gap by combining surf and outdoor in our products.

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What makes the perfect touring SUP?

SUP Touring Rules

What makes the perfect touring SUP?

The market of SUP boards is gradually becoming really unmanageable. Every year, a multitude of new brands and supposed innovations come onto the market. But what actually makes a touring SUP a good touring board? Which criteria should it fulfill and which points are really important? To find a generally valid answer to this is impossible!

Our approach is of course to present you boards that we have really tested. We have paddled the boards over long distances and have also done multi-day tours with some of them. Touring for us doesn’t just mean getting from point A to point B as fast as possible, but SUP touring always means “adventure” in our eyes.

The way is the goal

We would like to use the somewhat hackneyed saying “The way is the goal”. So it is not primarily about speed and thus we have defined our evaluation criteria differently. But we start with the basic question: What makes a touring SUP different from other SUP shapes?

Typical features of a touring SUP

Touring SUPs are designed to travel long distances on the board. They are built longer and narrower to allow for higher speed, for better straight-line stability and a longer glide between paddle strokes. To provide additional support for these features, touring SUPs, especially hardboards, usually have a displacement hull. The sharply cut nose allows touring boards to cut through choppy water and small waves while maintaining speed and course. On the other hand, it makes them more vulnerable to heavy weather conditions and strong side waves.

In this article, we’ll mainly cover inflatable touring boards, as they are superior to hardboards in some ways, especially on multi-day trips.

Hardboard or iSUP for long tours?

No question: we are SUP nerds and prefer hardboards for our daily SUP trips. BUT especially for long, multi-day SUP tours and SUP adventures, iSUPs, inflatable touring boards have the edge. Anyone who has ever had to carry his SUP around a lock or had to heave the board over a high edge out of the harbor basin knows exactly what we are talking about. Landing on rocky shore sections to set up camp will bring you to the brink of a nervous breakdown with a hardboard. It’s easy to bang the nose against a rock or the tail against the edge of the bank. Chipped paint or even holes are the result. An iSUP is usually not only lighter, it is also much less sensitive than a hardboard. In addition, it can be packed up quickly, for example to cover a short distance by public transport.

A not insignificant advantage, which is especially interesting for BAJAO: You can use the board as a sleeping mat and build your BAJAO Cabin on it, and thus spend the night on your SUP.

A disadvantage is of course that with an iSUP you are very limited as far as the shapes of the SUP are concerned. A real displacement hull is impossible to implement with Dropstitch. You always have round rails and a round nose. However, since we’re not going for total performance touring, this disadvantage takes a back seat to the advantages. In addition, iSUPs are less expensive to purchase than hardboards. 

Length runs - The right length of a touring SUP

Length runs, or so the sailor says. A longer board runs faster and better straight. So simple, so accurate. The disadvantage: It’s harder to get it around the bend. Half so wild, just made a step backwards, lifted the nose out of the water, turned tight and off goes the wild ride. If it weren’t for the luggage in front of us, which pushes the nose down vehemently, and the luggage behind us, which simply doesn’t allow us to step back far enough. Therefore, length is not always the deciding factor for a touring SUP. A length of 12.6 has become the classic measurement. But shorter touring SUPs can also make sense, especially for lighter or smaller paddlers. You should find the right length of SUP for you. If you want to go faster and accept the lower turning ability, go for a 14-foot board. If you prefer to be more agile and the speed is secondary, then you can also enjoy an 11.6 or 12. The golden mean is still a 12.6.

Big is beautiful - how thick should a touring SUP be?

How thick ani sup should beGone are the days when there were two board thicknesses: 6 inches or 4 inches. The latter was reserved per se for the cheap boards in the hardware store. Nowadays you can find many different thicknesses from 4 inch as the flattest variant to 4.75 or 5.25 up to the ubiquitous 6 inch boards. Unless you’re traveling as an absolute lightweight, you should stick with 6 inches for touring SUPs. Finally, you have to consider luggage. A flatter board offers advantages in terms of wind susceptibility and also a bit in terms of tipping stability, but primarily without luggage. Therefore, we make it easy for ourselves here, as do most manufacturers, and recommend the 6-inch variant for the touring ISUP.
With the hardboard, of course, it looks quite different again, because here you can choose between flat deck, dugout, with hump or without, etc.. But as mentioned in advance, we will focus on iSUPs in this article.

The right width of a touring SUP

Over the past few years, we’ve noticed more and more that touring SUPs are getting narrower and narrower. iSUPs with widths under 28 inches are now not uncommon. Even 26-inch boards are now dubbed touring SUPs. What was called a race board a few years ago now ranks as a touring board. This trend completely misses the actual purpose of touring SUPs and shows that many manufacturers misinterpret the touring sector, completely neglect it or have no idea. A touring board is allowed to have a width of 30 – 34 inches. We can already hear the outcry from the SUP scene: 34 inches? I might as well paddle on a door. Bullshit! We’re not talking about sport tourers built to paddle against the clock. We’re talking about thoroughbred touring SUPs that need to offer enough volume to carry weight, room for luggage, and enough stability to not send you swimming at the slightest chop. Once again, SUP touring is not for speed junkies, it’s for adventurers. And hand on heart, if you’re afraid of going too slow on a 33-inch board, you need a technique course rather than a narrower board. Besides, have you ever tried paddling a touring SUP with luggage in a bit of a sidewinder? Then you know exactly what we’re talking about. This brings us to the next point: carrying luggage.

Luggage transport on a Touring SUP

Bungeestraps on a touring SUPIf you’re planning a longer SUP tour, there’s obviously room for luggage on your board. On almost every SUP you have luggage nets on the front third to stow your belongings. The classic here is the bungee strap, which is stretched between four to six D-rings. On a well-designed touring SUP, you’ll have another luggage net at the rear to stow even more luggage.
Some brands offer luggage nets that prevent luggage from rolling out the side. Handy if you have a lot of items underneath your luggage, like water bottles etc. However, on a tour you will usually carry your gear in a waterproof bag, so this feature is nice to have at best. More importantly, you need to be able to securely and tightly brace all of your gear. So tight that they stay firmly on the board even if you capsize. After all, you don’t want to have to go diving for the bag with the fresh slippers and the toothbrush after you’ve hoisted yourself back onto the board.
Optimally, you reach for a luggage system that can be firmly anchored to the existing mounts. Unfortunately, there is little really good on the market so far, but we are working on it.
The position of the luggage net is also not unimportant. For example, on some boards the luggage nets are unnecessarily far forward, which pushes the nose down too much with heavier luggage and makes the board unstable. It is also not a good idea to position the luggage net too close to the center of the board, i.e. close to the carrying handle. This unnecessarily restricts your range of motion.

Fin setup for touring SUPs

A good touring fin

Hotly discussed and yet it is so simple: For a touring SUP you only need a center fin. Here, too, we see trends from various manufacturers that add side fins to the touring SUP. We’re talking about these little fins, right and left in front of the big fin in the middle. Let’s cut to the chase: this is unnecessary nonsense! The center fin is enough to give your board the stability and to keep the direction. The side fins increase the pack size unnecessarily (when rolling up the board) and are more of a nuisance than a benefit.
More important is a touring fin, which offers a bit more surface than a sickle fin. However, even this fin has only a moderate influence if the paddling technique is not right.
We favor the classic and well-tried US box fin system. You can get a replacement fin in every surf store for little money, should something break. The slide-in fins or even more unorthodox systems usually offer less stability and often have sharp edges. Even more, such fins are often made of soft material and therefore break more easily than even cheap composite fins.
By the way, side fins are hardly ever used on touring hardboards.RedPaddle Sport fin setup
We don’t really want to go into individual brands, but in this case we’ll make an exception:
Brand new and known to us only from RedPaddle: Instead of a center fin, two side-by-side fins are installed. Both are only minimally smaller than a center fin. The advantage that the manufacturer expects from this: better directional stability and less draft. We can confirm both after tests, but it also makes maneuvering more difficult. The remedy is a pivot turn, which, however, is almost impossible with a lot of luggage on the board. The special feature of RedPaddle’s touring boards is the V-shape in the hull. This was not invented by RedPaddle (we already knew the process two years earlier from other companies), but in the new Voyager series consistently implemented.