Kit Review: Sandbanks Ultimate Malibu 10'6'' iSUP paddleboard
Updated: Sep 19
Read my review of my second paddleboard, the Sandbanks Malibu, the perfect all-rounder board.
If you are looking for one paddleboard that can do it all, then this is the board for you. After my first SUP was the Two Bare Feet Entradia XL Paddleboard, I was looking for a narrower board which would go a bit faster.
The Sandbanks Ultimate Malibu 10'6'' iSUP paddleboard boasts Advanced Board Shaping for excellent performance through the water, giving you longer gliding time. Plus the rocker (upturn at the nose) ensures good wave performance. Here is my review of the SUP.
My First Impressions
I have to be very honest, one of the main things that appealed to me with this SUP is the colour and pattern! I wanted a board which was "pretty" and "girly" and this bord definitely accomplishes that.
I was also looking for a board which was narrower and more streamlined yet still felt stable. My previous Two Bare Feet SUP was 10'10" x 34" x 6". I had gone for an XL one to give me a bit more stability as a beginner. This time I felt more experienced and not in need of such a wide board. The Malibu comes in at 10'6'' x 32'' x 6''. So narrower and shorter, yet it still felt nice and steady. The recommended pressure is 18-20 PSI, with a max pressure of 25 PSI so it is a very stable and buoyant board.
Being less wide I found it easier to manoeuvre than the TBF board. It still feels big enough to do everything I need it to, with plenty of room for standing and good bungee space at the front to hold bags.
As a package it comes with a 5 year warranty as standard, two-stage pump, lightweight 3-piece fibreglass paddle, ankle surf leash with safety breaker, quick release belt, valve repair kit and lightweight, hardwearing wheelie rucksack. A good package with everything you will need. It works with my Hiks electric pump (£69.99).
I always recommend wearing a personal flotation device, allowing you to stay safe even if you come off your board. For more ideas of paddleboarding kit, see this article for Outsideandactive.com.
How Have I Tested
I have scrupulously tested this board on both rivers and seas. It has been on the Rivers Deben, Waveney and Stour, and the sea.
I took it on holiday in Cornwall where the board helped me navigate coves and ensured I didn't fall in amongst jellyfish! It has accompanied me on a paddleboarding camping holiday in Norfolk where it floated beside me as I swam and helped support me in many attempts to swap boards with my friends (which we still haven't managed successfully!)
It's been out in heavy rain and very choppy waters, handling the waves with ease. It's been landed on by ducks, helped me learn to self-rescue and I even used it on a Foundation Safety and Rescue Training (FSRT) with Paddlesports Coaching.
Pros and Cons
The Malibu has hydrodynamic shaping, including a rocker at the nose of the iSUP for wave performance. ensures that it handles smoothly in all conditions. It is streamlined too so gives fantastic glide range, taking you further for each paddle.
It is a lightweight SUP, weighing 9.75kg, and I can easily carry it out of the water. It has a Triple Fin for extra control, including 1 easy fix fin and two attached guide fins for shallow water. I've had no trouble attaching the fin so far.
One feature I like about the board is the Diamond Groove Deckpad which provides a comfortable grippy surface for your feet. I also like the Kick-Step (raised platform) at the rear. Whilst I haven't yet tried step-back pivot turns on this board apparently this feature makes them easy to learn and master. In addition, it is handy for sunbathing!
I can't think of any cons to be honest. I guess it could do with more bungees and carry handles perhaps but given the space available it definitely works with what it has.
The Final Score
I would rate this board as a great all-round adventure SUP - whether you're in flat water or waves, are by yourself or carrying passengers.
Leave a comment and share your experience if you have used this SUP before.