Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP: Overview
The Hobie Cruiser is built for those who want to soak up that beach lifestyle, but still want an approachable and versatile iSUP. With a super wide shape for stability and impressive performance on the water, the Hobie Cruiser iSUP is just as ready for an adventure as it is for a lazy day float on the bay.
— Hobie Cruiser 10’6” Summary Ratings and Review —
Hobie Cruiser 10’6”
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The Hobie Cruiser is a very stable iSUP great for new and larger paddlers.
- Durable dual-layer PVC construction
- Extra stable shape
- Great efficiency on the water
- Lots of capacity for cargo or passengers
- Easily maneuverable but can still easily paddle straight
- 2 year warranty
- Not compatible with kayak seats out of the box (though users can add their own D-rings)
- The extra width makes the Hobie Cruiser noticeably slower in the water than the Hobie All Around 11′
Construction and Durability
The Hobie Cruiser is built with a double-layer PVC shell and reinforced rails for increased durability.
Inside the Hobie Cruiser is a traditional knitted double-wall polyester fabric core with thousands of fibers running from top to bottom. This drop stitch core sets the 6” thickness, keeps the board flat (rather than round) when inflated, and provides the board’s rigidity.
The fabric layer is coated in a PVC material and a layer of reinforced PVC tarpaulin is adhered to the first layer. This makes the material air tight, stiff, and abrasion and puncture resistant.
Once the board shape is cut from the material the top and bottom layers are joined together by gluing a strip of PVC material around the edge of the board. This inner rail layer completes the air chamber of the board. Another, wider layer of PVC is then glued over top of the first to provide additional protection and rigidity. Lastly two narrow strips of PVC are glued over the top and bottom of the outer rail layer to further reinforce these critical junctions.
After all of the deck features, fin boxes, and valves are installed, the Hobie Cruiser weighs in at just under 24 lbs.
With a maximum recommended inflation pressure of 16 PSI I was interested to see how this wide, parallel board did in our dry land bend test. With 170 lbs of weight on the board, the Cruiser bent just 1.5” (3.8 cm) – or just slightly stiffer than our running average of 1.56”.
On the water, the Hobie Cruiser feels very good underfoot. I didn’t notice any flexing while standing or paddling, but did notice some while paddling hard in our speed testing. Walking on the board didn’t introduce much flex, however bouncing on it did produce a moderate amount of bend with a comfortable rebound.
Overall the Hobie Cruiser is built well and is pleasantly rigid on the water.
|Max Capacity||400 pounds|
|Board Weight||24 pounds|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
Cruiser paddle boards are all about comfort. With a wider base for increased stability and a soft, lightly textured deck pad, the Hobie Cruiser is comfort on the water.
The Hobie Cruiser is built with all of the features you need for a fun day on the water. The cargo areas can easily hold a days worth of water and snacks, dry bag, or even a small cooler. The Threaded accessory mounts allow you to attach cameras, fishing rod holders, or other accessories to it, and the deck pad is quite comfortable. One thing that is missing from the Hobie Cruiser are midsection D-rings for kayak seat compatibility.
The Cruiser also comes with a wheeled carrying bag, triple-action hand pump, coiled leash, fins, repair kit and a carbon fiber/nylon hybrid paddle.
The Hobie SUP paddle is lightweight and comfortable to use while paddling around on the Cruiser.
With a medium size blade and medium-flex paddle shaft, the Hobie SUP paddle is a great compliment to casual paddling on the Cruiser iSUP. The rectangular blade makes it easy to take lighter strokes when you want or quicker strokes when you want to go faster. The blade itself has some flex in the water which further helps increase the all-day comfort of this paddle.
The carbon fiber shaft keeps the paddle lightweight at just under 29 ounces, and is well balanced between stiffness and power. The handle section is also made of carbon fiber and uses a pin-and-clip system for length adjustment. This system is easy to use, durable, and automatically indexes the paddle handle to align with the paddle blade.
The handle is made of plastic and has a molded texture on the palm-side of the grip. I personally don’t care for the textured grips as I don’t think they add much traction, but can become a little uncomfortable on longer paddling sessions.
The Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP has excellent stability thanks to its extra wide size and square tail.
At 34” wide, the Hobie Cruiser is already starting out to be a stable iSUP on paper, but what really shines through to make this board extremely stable is its shape. Rather than giving the Cruiser a more torpedo-like shape with strong tapers from the middle to the nose and tail, Hobie has kept both ends of the board quite wide. The nose is nearly 20” wide and the tail is a full 24” wide one foot from their ends. This helps add volume to the board for more capacity, puts more surface area on the water, and helps keep the sides of the board straight for consistent stability along the length of the board.
Once on the Cruiser, I didn’t feel any rolling or twitching. It is solidly stable on the water and took a little bit of effort to get it onto its edge. Once I did have the board balanced on the rail it was easy to maintain that position.
Walking across the board was likewise easy as the stable feeling didn’t change until I was near the tail of the board, and then it was a gradual change in stability rather than a sudden shift. The deck pad is very comfortable and has decent traction, but it would be nice to have a higher-traction deck pad or a raised kick pad at the tail of the board to let you know where you are and provide more grip when using the tail.
As you might have guessed from its name, the Hobie Cruiser is more of a comfort craft rather than a high-speed SUP. While its top speed is on the low side, it still paddles efficiently through the water.
In our top speed sprinting tests, the Hobie Cruiser did about as well as I expected such a wide, stable board to do. Its average sprinting speed was only 5.1 MPH and its peak speed was 5.5 MPH. These aren’t record-breaking by any means, but not every SUP is meant to, or needs to, paddle at high speed. Where the Cruiser does struggle to go fast, it does much better at more casual speeds.
While paddling at a comfortable 25 strokes per minute (continuous paddling with a slight pause between strokes) the Hobie Cruiser trucks along at a very respectable 3.5 MPH on average. At these speeds each paddle stroke carries the board about 19’ feet before slowing down giving it a glide ratio of 1.8 board-lengths per stroke. This was the most surprising result of our speed testing for me. Normally wider, ultra-stable boards like this are less efficient on the water, but not the Hobie Cruiser! This sort of glide ratio is normally seen in much longer, narrower boards.
Maneuverability and Tracking
The Hobie Cruiser has a great balance of maneuverability and tracking. You can easily turn the board when you want, and keep it going straight when you don’t.
In our maneuverability test, we use a less-efficient forward sweep stroke to turn the board in a full circle as a stress test. This allows us to see larger differentiation in the agility between boards. The Cruiser did a great job with this test needing an average of just over 6 sweep strokes to turn in a full circle.
When using more efficient strokes, the Cruiser cuts its turning radius nearly in half needing just 3.75 strokes to turn a full circle with a reverse sweep stroke (though using this stroke this will stop any forward momentum you may have at the time). Because of its high stability and wide tail, it is very easy to walk to the tail of the board for a quick pivot turn. The tail slides through the water quickly and easily allowing you to spin around in just a couple of strokes.
I was actually quite surprised with the Cruiser’s tracking performance doing far better than I anticipated it to do. I believe the more parallel sides and triple fin setup are to “blame” for this performance.
Like our maneuverability test, our tracking test is set up as a stress test. We paddle toward a distant target, and once moving straight take 10 paddle strokes on a single side. Then we measure the difference in course with a compass. After 10 forward strokes with no corrective steering input, the Hobie Cruiser only drifted 16° off course. That’s on par with much narrower all-around iSUPs rather than wider cruisers.
The Hobie Cruiser has three fin boxes under the tail of the board. All three use a flip-lock style mechanism for quick and tool-free installation and removal. While there aren’t as many different types of fins available for this system as there are for the US fin box, the 2+1 setup allows for a good amount of performance customization out of the box. With all three fins installed (the “default” setup that we use for testing) you’ll maximize your tracking performance and stability. By using just the 9” center fin you’ll still maintain good tracking, but with more maneuverability and less drag. Lastly, running just the two 5” side fins gives you maximum maneuverability and a lower draft for shallow water paddling.
Warranty and Customer Support
The Hobie Cruiser is covered by Hobie’s 2 year warranty, however it does not appear that Hobie covers the other included accessories under an explicit warranty program. Because the Hobie Cruiser is only available through Hobie’s retail dealership network any return policies and all warranty claims will go through your local Hobie dealer. You can contact Hobie via their website, email, telephone, or you can reach out to your local Hobie dealer.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Hobie Cruiser 10’6” is a great board for beginner paddle boarders and those who want a comfortable, stable board for lazy days on the water. The wide open deck gives you plenty of room for moving, sitting, bringing a passenger (or pet), or practicing some SUP yoga. With a high weight capacity, rigid and durable construction, and impressive performance on the water, there isn’t much the Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP can’t do.
Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP FAQ
Can I bring a passenger or pet with me on the Hobie Cruiser 10’6”’ iSUP?
Yes. The Hobie Cruiser’s excellent stability and high weight capacity make it a great choice for paddling with a passenger or pet.
Is the Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP good for camping or fishing?
You can certainly use the Hobie Cruiser for fishing or camping. There is a lot of cargo space and two threaded accessory mounts for fishing rods and other items. If you do plan to paddle long distances on your fishing or camping trips, or want more accessory mounting options, then I would recommend looking at the Hobie Recon 11’6”.
Is the Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP good for beginners?
Yes. The Hobie 10’6” has great stability and balances maneuverability and tracking performance very well making it a great choice for beginners.
How long does it take to inflate the Hobie Cruiser 10’6” iSUP?
It takes about 8-10 minutes to inflate the Hobie Cruiser 10’6” using the included triple-action hand pump. We do recommend electric SUP pumps for those who regularly use and inflate their iSUPs.