iSUP with double-chamber - or how to get flotation redundancy?

I’m exploring the idea to buy a touring type iSUP that I can use for both SUP and kayak. I’m looking at around 12-14’ length and around 30" width. I’ll go over small lakes, some calmer rivers and think it would have more utility than an IK. I have an IK (SE 370) with 3 main chambers.

The one thing that concerns me is that most iSUP have a single chamber and if I have a leak, I lose all flotation. I won’t be eons from shore and it likely isn’t the biggest deal. But 2 chambers would be fine. It turns out, dual-chamber actually exists.

I found:

  • Starboard and they cost around $1,300. i estimate they have a 30/70 volume split between inner and outer chamber
  • Aztron and they cost around $700 and varying models offer a 30/70 or even 50:50 volume split between inner and outer chamber.

They do advertise more rigidity due to the inner chamber. But I’m more interested in the added safety.

More known manufacturers don’t seem to offer double-chambers. I realize there is a price point, but since they are advertised for touring, I’m surprised it isn’t at least an option.

Questions:

  • does anyone have experience with the above iSUP or manufacturers?
  • Are there other iSUP with dual-chambers or some other redundancy for flotation?
  • Is a leak a big concern? I realize it is, but if a small hole appears, I imagine air escapes slowly and the iSUP will be like an air-mattress for quite a while.

Starboard is a respected brand. I’ve never heard of Aztron. There are a lot of fly-by-night companies making subpar iSUPs these days. Aztron may or may not be one of them.

Honestly, unless you are running a river where redundancy is required, I wouldn’t worry about leaks. They are usually either very slow, or catastrophic when inflating (blown seams). Carry emergency repair tape and a pump if it concerns you. Better yet, buy a respected, durable brand that has a good warranty. I have an NRS that is nearly 10 years old. I have used the heck out of it and it’s still just as good as new. The only consistent thing I do to take care of it is inflate it to about 1 psi and hang it on my garage wall rather than storing it folded up.

Thanks for the reply.
I meanwhile found that Aztron is a new company from around 2019 and at least initially had quite some quality issues. I don’t know if they improved, but with just 2 years history, and COVID not being good for supplies, I wouldn’t bet my life on it. which is sad, since the board specs sound good (US fin box, 50:50 chamber etc.). But a single-chamber high quality iSUP likely is safer than a low quality double-chamber type.

You are right, the Starboard seems to be a reputable company. But their inner chamber is only up to 43l, which makes it more like a floating device. The picture with the girl on the iSUP and the deflated outer chamber makes it look like that. One would have to dog-paddle back. It wouldn’t be good enough to paddle maybe 10km back to the starting point, more like a device to go to the nearest shore and then call for help to get a ride. Note the picture also doesn’t show her wearing a PFD.

You are probably correct about the failure scenarios. I would expect at least 5 minutes leaking time before I lose significant buoyancy. I would bring a pump, patch-kit, and wear a PFD. Our largest lake is 6km in diameter and usually has a few boats going around. So if I had a leak in the middle of the lake, I could swim back to shore and/or rely on a boater helping me. It would just be inconvenient to go back to my car.

Since there seem to be no other companies offering DC, I’m probably damned to not have one unless for some reason I was willing to spring for the $1,300 Starboard. They also have a cheaper Zen-construction version for $1,100+ or so. I was also wondering if I just bring a mouth-inflatable sort of mini-board as an added safety to my PFD.

For comparison, my current single-chamber favorite is the Sea Eagle Needlenose 14 for $720. I’m willing to pay for added safety, but I’m not sure if adding $500 for the 43l inner-chamber really is needed unless there are other quality or feature advantages. FWIW and if warranty is an indicator for quality, Sea Eagle has 3-year warranty, Starboard has 2 years. I know, Red has 5 years and a good reputation. But for a beginner iSUP I don’t buy a $1,700 iSUP.

I found another one. the Nixy Monterey has a double-chamber. This must be an all new model since there aren’t any of the typical paid reviews.