Are you looking for a new inflatable stand up paddleboard but don’t want to spend a lot? You should check out the COOLWAVE paddle board. We recently got a chance to try out the COOLWAVE inflatable SUP board. Keep reading for our full review.
- Features of the COOLWAVE inflatable paddle board
- Setup and Inflation
- On water performance
- Heavy weight paddlers
- Kayak conversion
- Deflation and packing
- Similar SUP Boards
- COOLWAVE discount code
- Wrap up
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- Recent Paddling Articles
Features of the COOLWAVE inflatable paddle board
☆ Best Value Inflatable Paddleboard
Key Features and Specifications
- Size – 10′ 6″ x 32″ x 6″ thick
- Weight – 22.6 lbs
- Weight Capacity – 400 lbs
- Material – 2 layer PVC top, 1 layer PVC bottom
- Paddle – 3 piece adjustable alloy paddle that floats
- D-Rings – 9
- Fins – 2 fixed fins and easily removable center fin
- Accessories – Double action pump, repair kit, ankle leash, backpack, waterproof phone case
- Action Camera mount – Mount pre-installed at the nose ready for your GoPro
- Fast Easy Setup – You can go from in the bag to on the water in less than 10 minutes
Use the Coupon Code ERO30 for 30% off at HiCOOLWAVE.com
I was contacted by COOLWAVE this winter to try out their paddleboard. We like to try out any new gear here at Endless Rush Outdoors so we said yes of course. A week or 2 later the board arrived on our doorstep. The board was provided by the manufacturer for this review. All views and opinions in here are ours. If we don’t like something about a product we will tell you.
The COOLWAVE paddleboard has is a standard size for an all around use paddle board. It is 10’6″ long, 32″ wide, and 6 inches thick. The board maximum width carries forward and back far enough for good stability. The tail tapers down so that it will be easy to turn and maneuver. It’s a fairly standard looking shape for an all purpose paddleboard.
The COOLWAVE board retails for $399 on their website. You can use our coupon code ERO30 for 30% off bringing the total to about $280. It also sells on Amazon for $339 for those who like to shop on Amazon.
The stand up paddleboard uses drop stitch construction with a single layer PVC bottom and 2 layer PVC top. The side rails are reinforced with an additional 3rd layer. The construction of the board looks clean. The seams look straight. There are some areas with excess adhesive around the seems but not a lot. I don’t see any other signs of sloppy construction. I don’t see any obvious places I expect the board to fail. Everything looks on par for an under $500 stand up paddleboard.
One of the ways to measure how well an inflatable board is made and how well it will perform is how stiff it is. To measure this we set the board up on 2 stands 8 feet apart. We loaded the board up with 120 lbs of weight and measured how much the board deflected under load.
The Coolwave board deflected 3.3 inches. The Coolwave board stiffness is similar to other single layer PVC boards that deflect 3 inches or more. More expensive double layer boards and boards with advanced construction like MSL are stiffer and deflect much less.
|Board Name||Construction||Pressure (psi)||Deflection (inches)|
|Nice C 10’6″ by 32″||1 Ply PVC||15.0 psi||2.6 inches|
|DAMA 11′ x 33″||1 Ply PVC||15.0 psi||3.0 inches|
|Coolwave 10’6″ x 32″||1 Ply PVC||15.0 psi||3.3 inches|
|iRocker Nautical 10’6″ x 32″||2 Ply PVC||15.0 psi||2.8 inches|
|Chasing Blue Infinite 10’6″ x 33″||2 Ply PVC||14.5 psi||1.4 inches|
|Red 10’6″ x 30″ Sport with RSS||MSL||20.0 psi||1.2 inches|
The board has a 2mm thick EVA deck pad that runs across the board. It extends back to the inflation valve at the rear of the board. It ends before the bungees at the front of the board. The pad has a diamond pattern everywhere across the pad. The graphics change at the rear of the pad but the molded pattern is the same everywhere. The pad has a soft enough feel to be comfortable while having enough grip to not be slippery.
Handles, D-Rings and bungee cord
There is 1 carry handle at the middle of the board. The board has 9 D-Rings across it. There is 4 at the front of the board with a bungee. There are 4 across the middle of the board that could be used to mount a kayak seat. There is one at the rear to use for attaching a leash. There is no bungee at the rear of the board leaving a clean deck which some people prefer.
Triple bottom panel fins
This board has the standard 3 fin setup that is found on almost all value inflatable SUP boards. It has 2 small fixed fins permanently attached to the board. It has a single 6 inch removable fin that is held in place with a plastic tab. This setup is found on almost every paddleboard available for under $1000. It works very well for tracking and maneuverability. Once water is flowing over the fins they do a good job of keeping the board going straight.
The COOLWAVE board comes with everything you need to get started with standup paddleboarding. It comes with the board, handpump, paddle, ankle leash, repair kit, and a waterproof phone bag.
The aluminum paddle has a 3 piece shaft. It has a size range from 175 to 215cm or 69 to 85 inches. The length is marked on the paddle so you can easily set it to the correct length each time. The markings are only in cm. I would prefer the measurements in inches to match most of my other paddles.
The paddle uses a standard plastic quick release lever to hold the upper part of the shaft at the desired length. The lever had to be tightened a few turns to keep the shaft from sliding. Most new paddles of this type need this adjustment.
The top part of the paddle has a groove in the shaft to keep it aligned to the paddle blade. I really like this. This takes the guess work out of aligning the handle grip with the paddle blade. I wish more paddles on low cost boards would have this feature.
The paddle blade shape is flat and the same as what you find on most inflatable paddle board packages. It’s not a high performance shape but it works and is flat so it fits in the backpack for storage.
The manual air pump is a standard dual action pump. You can use it to inflate and deflate the board. It is dual action so it inflates on both the up and down stroke. Once you get enough pressure in the board, you open the valve in the pump and it becomes single action.
The pump has a pressure gauge on the top. My only complaint about the pump is the gauge. The pressure gauge shows a green area from 0 psi to 18 psi. The max pressure for this board is 15 psi per the instructions and valve on the back of the board. Most similar inflatable SUP pumps have a green band on the pump that goes from 12 to 14psi. You can easily tell when you have the board inflated enough. The 0 to 18psi green band means you have to look closely at the pump and figure out where the 15psi max pressure is. Overinflating can permanently damage the board.
Backpack Storage bag
The backpack carry bag easily fits the board, pump, fin, and accessories with room to spare. It has a zipper opening to be easy to open and load. The shoulder straps have some padding. There is no waist strap. The bag has no wheels or extra pockets. The materials feel good and the zipper is holding up so far. It isn’t as nice a backpack as you’ll find on a $500 paddle board. It’s far better than the top opening stuff sack style found on many $250-$300 paddleboards.
The coil leash has a neoprene padded cuff on it. It is comfortable to wear. It uses a coiled tether that stays out of the way while standing on the board.
Waterproof phone bag
A waterproof phone bag is included. It can also be used for keys or other small items.
A small repair kit is included that has some patches and a tool for tightening or replacing the air valve.
Setup and Inflation
Setting up the board and inflating it takes about 10 minutes. The hardest part about using any inflatable paddleboard is hand pumping it up. I can inflate this board by hand in 8 to 10 minutes.
If this is your first inflatable SUP, the most important thing is getting the pressure correct. Overinflation can damage the board. Underinflation will leave you with a soft feeling board that twists and flexes over every wave. It won’t paddle well.
The max pressure for this board is 15psi. You will want to inflate it to around 14psi for use. This is where a pump with a better designed pressure gauge would make things easier. 15psi is straight up on the pump gauge. You will want to inflate it to just short of straight up.
Make sure the valve is in the closed position before you start pumping. This is when the button is out. If the button on the Halkey Roberts valve is pushed in, it’s open. You will lose all the air you worked so hard to pump in when you pull the hose off.
When inflating the board, the pressure gage will stay at zero for what seems like forever. The board will fill up and look like its final shape before the gage starts to move. This is common with all inflatable paddle boards. It takes less than 1 PSI of pressure for any board to look inflated. You need to pump it to 14psi to have a good performing rigid board. Keep pumping. The gage will eventually move.
When the pump gets too difficult to move. Unscrew the valve in front which turns it into a single action pump. This will be around 1-2 psi.
After inflating the board, slide the fin into the slot. Push the plastic tab in to lock in in place. Put the paddle together, put the leash on and you are ready to go.
To make life easier on yourself I highly recommend an electric pump instead of the manual pump. I like to go paddle boarding, not pumping. I use the OutdoorMaster Shark 2 Pump. It’s wonderful and can inflate the board in about the same amount of time you can pump it by hand. The Outdoor Master Dolphin is a great reliable low cost pump.
On water performance
This stand up paddle board has a fairly standard all around shape. It is 10’6″ long so it will have decent glide. It will glide and track better than shorter 10′ boards. It won’t glide like a touring board but it will turn a lot easier. Once you give it a couple of paddle strokes and get water flowing over the fins it will track well. The key there is water needs to be flowing over the fins for them to be effective so you have to get it moving.
The 32 inch width makes it wide enough to be stable and easy to stand up on. It will punch through waves a little easier than a 33-34 inch width board. It will be much more stable feeling than a 30 inch wide board.
This board has some flex in the water. It’s not as stiff as a true 2 layer or 3 Layer paddleboard. This will be more noticeable in choppy water. In calm water you may not feel it. Given the price point of the board I’m not expecting it to feel as stiff as a rigid paddle board or a $1000 plus inflatable boards. It works fine in smooth water or light chop.
The board has enough taper at the rear end to be easy to turn. You could do some surfing in small waves with it as well. The board is stiff enough to handle small waves okay.
This board would be very good for a beginner or first time paddle boarder. It is stable enough to be easy to stand on. It turns and tracks good enough to be easy to learn with. You could use it for other things such as SUP yoga or fishing as well.
Heavy weight paddlers
I let a few heavier paddlers try this board out. It’s not the biggest and easiest to use board for 300 lb paddlers. It gets the job done. There is noticeable flex in the middle of the board with a heavier paddler in the middle of it. I’m not sure a 400 lb paddler would be able to use it. It will probably float 400 lbs if a 250 lb person was standing at the middle of the board and you spread out the rest of the weight.
I put a kayak seat on the board and gave it a try. The 4 D-Rings around the middle of the board are in the right positons for mounting a seat. You don’t need to add any more D-Rings. It paddles okay as a sit down kayak. It glides and goes through chop better than some of the wider paddleboards. You will feel some flex and twist in the board which is always more noticeable when you are sitting right on top of it. I enjoy kayak paddling on inflatable paddle boards a lot and this board is no exception.
Deflation and packing
To put the board away, the first thing you do is let it dry off. Use a towel if you need to. You should avoid storing the board wet to make it last longer. If you can’t dry it off right after using it. You should unfold it at home and let it dry completely.
Take the fin off by removing the plastic tab and sliding it off.
Release the air pressure by pushing in the valve. Let the air out. I find it easiest to use the pump to suck as much air out as you can. Do this by screwing the hose onto the other side of the pump. Pump air out until it feels like it’s empty.
It’s easier to put the board back into the square backpack by folding the board. Start with about a 1 foot fold the front of the board and roll it back from there. Use the included strap to hold the board in a tightly folded/rolled shape and put it into the bag.
Put the pump, paddle, and accessories back into the bag and zip it up. Your good to go.
Similar SUP Boards
The 3 most popular alternatives to this board in this price range are the ROC inflatable SUP, SereneLife paddleboard, and DAMA paddleboard. The COOLWAVE board with a discount runs $280. The SereneLife board costs $309 on sale. The DAMA 10’6″ board runs $309 and the ROC is $324.
All the boards have similar construction and include similar accessories. All are being sold on Amazon.
COOLWAVE has their own web presence outside of Amazon and does direct sales. DAMA only sells through Amazon without their own website or web presence. SereneLife sells a huge variety of items from Amazon and their own website. Paddleboards are only a small subset of the things they make. ROC has its own web presence as well.
|Size||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″||10′ x 32″ x 6″||10’6″ x 32″ x 6″||10′ x 32″ x 6″|
|Weight Capacity||400 lbs||275 lbs||330 lbs||350 lbs|
|Construction||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom||2 Layer top, 1 Layer bottom|
|Use with kayak seat||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
Use the Coupon Code ERO30 for 30% off at HiCOOLWAVE.com
What we liked
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Complete package for very affordable price
- Good board shape for general use. Easy for beginners to paddle with decent glide and turning
- Has enough D-Rings to attach a seat
- Paddle with easy to read measurements and shaft groove for easy handle alignment
What we didn’t like
- Pump pressure gage shows green up to 18psi when max safe pressure is 15psi
- The realistic weight limit for the board is closer to 300 lbs
COOLWAVE discount code
Use the Coupon Code ERO30 for 30% off at HiCOOLWAVE.com
The COOLWAVE inflatable stand up paddleboard is a great choice for someone looking for a cheap paddleboard. It has decent accessories and performance especially given the price. It’s a good way to get on the water and try out paddle boarding without spending a ton. I recommend the COOLWAVE paddleboard to anyone looking for an inexpensive, affordable paddleboard.
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About the author
My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.