Isle Switch Compact – The Smallest and Lightest Full-Size Hybrid iSUP Kit Reviewed | 2024

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review
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The Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP is a true do-it-all watercraft in a very small bag.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Overview

One of the biggest benefits of an inflatable paddle board over a hard board is the ability to easily store and transport it pretty much anywhere. Traditionally iSUPs have still been pretty large, though, making it tough to take them on public transit, requiring them to be checked luggage on a plane, or getting into more adventurous multisport pursuits like bike-rafting.

The Isle Switch Compact has taken the portability of iSUPs to a new extreme with an ultralight, ultra-small, and ultra-versatile design.

No longer are you limited to semi-compact options for regular-size iSUPs or settling for small-size paddle boards for truly compact transport.

The Isle Switch Compact is full-size, packs small, and even includes a complete kayak conversion kit that can go with you anywhere

—Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Ratings and Summary —

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP
  • Construction & Durability
  • Features and Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Maneuverability
  • Tracking

Overall Score

The Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP is an incredibly versatile paddle board and kayak in an equally incredibly small package


  • Ultralight construction and folding design allow the Isle Switch Compact to fold into an extremely small size
  • Complete kayak conversion kit with paddle, inflatable seat, and foot brace are included and easily packed into the bag
  • Extremely stable shape suitable for paddlers up to 240 pounds
  • PowerFuse welded rails for durability and longevity
  • The Isle Link accessory system allows for complete customization
  • High-quality accessory kit including half-sized hand pump and carbon fiber paddle
  • Twin US fin boxes allow for easy performance adjustability
  • 5-year warranty


  • The included hand pump is surprisingly effective, though its small size makes it uncomfortable to use. We recommend upgrading to a battery-operated electric pump to keep the kit small and light
  • There is no leash D-ring at the rear of the board. Instead, you’ll need to thread the leash through the rear grab handle

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Construction and Durability

Isle’s AirTech and PoweFuse construction keep the Switch Compact lightweight, yet durable.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP rail construction
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The inner rail band of the Switch Pro is heat-welded for maximum durability.

Inside the Switch Compact, you’ll find a lightweight woven drop-stitch core. The top and bottom of the board begin with a layer of woven polyester fabric which are then joined together with thousands of individual yarns stitched through the two layers. These crossed yarns provide better rigidity than a traditional V-stitch pattern and keep the board flat while inflated.

The drop stitch core is covered with a layer of reinforced PVC material that is laminated directly to the core with heat and pressure. This eliminates glue, keeping the board lightweight, and eliminates manufacturing errors that can arise from hand-glued lamination processes.

The top and bottom of the board are joined together with Isle’s PowerFuse heat-welding process to mechanically bond the PVC into a single, continuous, material all the way around the board. Lastly, a second layer of reinforced PVC is glued around the rail of the board for additional durability and rigidity.

This AirTech PVC material is a prime example of the evolution of inflatable paddle board materials and constructions. Even just a handful of years ago, single-layer PVC construction was considered to be low-quality and have little effective rigidity.

Isle’s construction keeps the Switch Compact incredibly light, while still maintaining good rigidity on the water with a maximum recommended inflation pressure of 17 PSI.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP rigidity while standing
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While standing and paddling normally I did not notice any performance-impacting bend or flex.

While the Switch Pro currently holds the title for the most rigid iSUP we’ve ever tested, the Switch Compact sacrifices some of this rigidity for its compact form factor when stored for travel. With 170 pounds of weight in the standing area, the Switch Compact bent just over 1.92” (4.9cm) in our static bend test. That is more bend than our current running average of 1.62”. While that may seem like a large difference, it is still well within the average range for iSUP rigidity (within 1 standard deviation for the stats enthusiasts out there). We’ve also seen that how well an iSUP does in our bend test is not always how it feels on the water.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP flex while bouncing
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There is some moderate flex with a tight-feeling rebound when bouncing on the Switch Compact.

While standing and paddling normally on the Switch Compact, I didn’t really feel or notice any bending or flexing unless I was really looking for it. I did feel it more while paddling hard for our speed testing, and while bouncing on the board I could generate a moderately high amount of flex. It does have a little bit of a springy rebound as the board settles back down, but it’s not enough to make the board feel less stable or like it’s trying to throw you off.

Isle lists the maximum capacity of the Switch Compact at just 220 pounds. This is absolutely a rider weight recommendation, not a total capacity recommendation. At 220 pounds myself, I had no idea that I was at the “capacity” for this board while paddling it, and I was shocked it was listed that low when I checked the listed specs for this review. However, I could see that riders much more than 220-240 pounds will begin to put enough flex in the board to start impacting its performance on the water. But with more even distribution of weight across the board, the actual capacity of the Switch Compact is much higher.


Length10’ 6”
Max Capacity220 pounds
Board Weight18.6 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
33.6 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$895
Warranty5 years
Returns period60 days

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Features, Accessories and Versatility

The Switch Compact is a hybrid watercraft that is designed for maximum versatility both in its feature set and in its use as a stand-up paddle board and as an inflatable kayak.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP size and shape
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The Isle Switch Compact is 10’ 6” long, 34” wide and 6” thick. It has a wide torpedo shape with an extra wide tail. The maximum recommended rider weight is 220 pounds, while the overall maximum capacity is much closer to 300 pounds when distributed evenly.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP nose shape
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The nose has a pointed torpedo or arrowhead shape with a low rocker profile for a smooth entry through the water and the ability to pierce through larger waves and wake.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP front cargo area
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The front cargo area is made with a large adjustable bungee cord strung through six of the Isle Link tabs on the front of the board. The deck pad extends all the way through the front of the board.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP handles
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There are three flat webbing handles on the Switch Compact. One on the nose, one on the tail, and one offset in the middle of the board.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP paddle holder
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There are velcro paddle-holder tabs on the right side of the board. These can be used to carry a spare paddle, a spare paddle blade or sup handle to switch between sitting and standing, and can even be used to carry items like fishing rods.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP Isle Link system
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The Switch Compact is adorned with 18 pairs of polyethylene tabs to create the Isle Link system. This allows you to move and attach accessories all over the board to customize cargo storage size/shape, kayak seat placement, and even connect multiple boards with a simple system of straps and hooks.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP deck pad
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The deck pad is made with a comfortable and grippy logo-embossed foam. There is a split down the middle of the deck pad and several of the fittings (like this center handle) are offset to the side to allow the Switch Compact to fold in half lengthwise for compact folding. The deck pad also runs the full length of the board – something that very few compact SUPs do.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP rear cargo area
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The rear cargo area uses a smaller bungee cord strung between four Isle Link tabs.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP adjustable bungee cord
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Both cargo bungees are removable, movable, and adjustable with the simple, but effective, anchor cleat on the ends of the cords.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP tail shape
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The tail of the board is quite wide with a pointed-square shape. This wide tail aids in stability and capacity. Oddly, there is no leash D-ring on the tail of the board. You’ll need to loop the leash through the rear carry handle when using the Switch Compact.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP nose D-ring
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Under the nose is an additional D-ring for anchoring or towing the board.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP fin boxes
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There are two split-style US fin boxes on the tail of the board. These fin boxes allow you to easily change or replace the fins to meet your performance needs, and the split design helps prevent accidental breakage during transportation and storage.
Isle Switch Compact iSUP complete kit
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The Switch Compact comes as a complete kit including a full kayak conversion kit.

The Weekender 10’6 is all about getting people out on the water. It’s classic shape and size offer beginner-friendly stability, and the board has just enough fittings to hold daily necessities like water, sunscreen, and snacks, without cluttering the deck pad with multiple different attachment points for various accessories.

In addition to the cargo areas and Isle Link system on the board itself, the Switch Compact comes with an extremely robust accessory kit for both stand-up paddling and seated kayaking.

When the Switch Compact arrives at your door, you’ll find all of the following in quite a small box:

  • Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP
  • Compact backpack transportation bag
  • Compact 2-stage hand pump
  • 4-piece carbon fiber SUP paddle
  • Additional paddle blade for kayaking
  • Inflatable kayak seat
  • Inflatable foot brace
  • Twin 7” flex fins
  • Semi-stretch ankle leash
  • Dry bag for accessory storage and on-water use
  • Repair and maintenance kit

That’s a huge amount of stuff! But what’s way more impressive is how small, and how easily, it all packs into the included bag. Yes, even the kayak seat and foot brace.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP compact size
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The entire Switch Compact kit fits into an incredibly small backpack.

The board, pump, kayak seat, foot brace, and other small accessories easily fit into the Switch Compact backpack. I’ve never once struggled with getting everything into the bag, nor have I needed to re-fold the board to try and get it all to fit. In fact, there’s a ton of extra room in the bag!

The only thing that doesn’t fit into the bag is the paddle. The individual sections are about 2” too long to fit in the bag. Instead, the paddle comes in its own mesh bag that fits easily into the large side pockets of the backpack.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP kayak seat connection
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Even the kayak seat and foot brace fit into the compact package.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Paddle

The Switch Compact includes a 4-piece version of Isle’s carbon fiber Remix paddle as well as an additional paddle blade for kayaking.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP remix paddle
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The carbon fiber Remix paddle has a carbon fiber shaft, nylon blade, and is easily convertible into a kayak paddle.

The Isle carbon fiber Remix paddle is somehow simultaneously a typical midrange SUP paddle and a high-value and even more versatile accessory at the same time.

The paddle itself follows the same form that we see in many other iSUP kits. The carbon fiber shaft is lightweight and has a comfortable flex profile for extended use, but is stiff enough to easily power you across the water.

The handle section is made of the same carbon fiber material and uses a pin-and-clip adjustment system for easy length changes and keeping the handle and blade aligned.

The fiber-reinforced nylon paddle blade is medium-sized with a curved rectangular shape. This is a great size and shape for general paddling, and the blade is light enough to keep the paddle feeling well-balanced.

What sets the Remix apart are the additional features Isle has added to this well-rounded paddle.

The handle section has a length and a height scale printed on it for easily resetting the paddle between uses and users.

It also comes with a second paddle blade in the kit. No need to buy a separate accessory to switch to double-bladed paddling. The paddle blades are also the exact same, so it doesn’t matter which you grab out of the bag when standing up with a single blade.

The main section of the paddle shaft is symmetrical. While there is a printed note indicating which side to use with the SUP handle, it doesn’t actually matter which end you use. Where the two sections of the shaft join in the middle, there are actually two different connection holes. This lets taller paddlers further extend the paddle when kayaking, though it’s not recommended to do this for SUP with the additional stress placed in the middle of the shaft.

Lastly, each paddle blade has a drip ring pre-installed. These small rubber rings help reduce the amount of water that runs down the paddle shaft while kayaking, keeping you dryer while paddling.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Stability

At 34” wide, it’s no surprise that the Switch Compact has great stability on the water.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP stability holding on edge
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Holding the Switch Compact on its edge is quite easy with just a slightly over-responsive feel.

SUP stability is the culmination of several factors, but the primary among them are size and shape. The Switch Compact is a pretty normal length for cruiser and all-around style SUPs (10’6”), but it is wider than average (34”) with a very wide tail and broad nose.

This extra width and wide nose and tail give the Switch Compact a lot of volume and surface area on the water. This helps support the board and rider, and the board resists tilting more than a narrower shape.

The lightweight construction does have one drawback here in that the lower mass of the board makes it respond more quickly to weight changes. This is what I call the “light board feel,” and it can sometimes make the board feel a little twitchy, especially for heavier paddlers.

Even with this little bit of over-responsiveness, I didn’t have any issues holding the Switch Compact on its rail or purposely tipping the board side to side.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP rocking side to side
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Rocking the board side to side had some twitchy feel, but was overall easy to do.

Overall, the Switch Compact is an extremely stable board. It’s a great option for paddlers of any skill level. At a recent family gathering, I put my brother (around 5’10” and 180 pounds) on the Switch Compact for his first SUP experience, and he had no problem standing up and paddling within his first five minutes on the water. It is an incredibly stable paddle board, which is even more impressive when you consider how small it packs down.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Speed

The Isle Switch Compact is a cruiser-style board that focuses on stability and comfort more than top speed.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP speed performance
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At higher speeds, the Switch Compact begins to flex and push through the water more than glide across the water.

The Switch Compact is not a particularly fast iSUP, but it does carry a comfortable amount of speed at a cruising pace.

While testing the top speed of the board in our sprint test, I was only able to hold a high-cadence sprint at an average of 4.9 MPH. My top speed was just 5.1 MPH for only a handful of paddle strokes. During this sprint test, I could feel the Switch Compact flexing and bending with these more powerful paddle strokes, and the board felt like it was pushing through the water more than gliding on top of it.

But the Switch Compact is far more of a cruiser-style board than one intended for speed like the Explorer Pro 12’ or Explorer Pro 14’.

When paddling at a more comfortable pace of around 25 strokes per minute, the Switch Compact feels much better to paddle. I didn’t notice any flexing in the board, and the Switch Compact was gliding more than pushing through the water. My average speed at this pace was about 3.2 MPH – right around average for a wider cruiser iSUP. At these speeds, the Switch Compact travels about 18 feet with a single paddle stroke before it begins to noticeably slow down. That gives it a gliding ratio of 1.7 board lengths per stroke – again right around average for a wider cruiser iSUP.

While the Switch Compact isn’t ideal for sprinting, it is very comfortable to paddle at a casual cruising pace. It glides well at these speeds and gives you a pleasant sense of movement and progress as you paddle.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Maneuverability and Tracking

The twin fin system of the Switch Compact gives it a distinct advantage in tracking straight across the water but does reduce its overall maneuverability.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP maneuverability performance
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Turning the Switch Compact with basic strokes can be slow, but the stable shape of the board makes it easy to step back and quickly spin around with a pivot turn.

In our maneuverability stress test, we use basic turning strokes to help highlight the differences between different board shapes and fin setups.

When using only forward sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from nose to tail), the Switch Compact needs an average of 7.5 strokes to make a complete 360° turn. That is about a full paddle stroke more than average for all-around and cruiser-style iSUPs in general, but it isn’t as difficult as some other twin-fin compact iSUPs like the iRocker Cruiser Ultra.

Paddling with a reverse sweep stroke (from tail to nose) will turn the Switch Compact much faster with an average of just 3.75 strokes for a full 360°. However, using reverse strokes like this does halt any forward momentum you have.

Even though turning in a full circle was a bit slower than average, overall the Switch Compact was easy to steer and turn in smaller quantities. I never felt like the board was fighting me when trying to turn. And more advanced techniques like cross-bow draws and pivot turns make turning the Switch Compact very easy.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP tracking performance
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Tracking straight is a breeze thanks to the twin fins and lower rocker profile.

While it takes some effort to turn the Switch Compact in large quantities, keeping the board moving straight on the water is a breeze.

In our 10-stroke tracking test, the Switch Compact only deviated an average of 11° off course after 10 paddle strokes on a single side. That’s extremely good for such a wide paddle board.

Typically, wider paddle boards will be harder to track straight as the extra width forces your paddle farther away from the midline of the board and generates more turning force with each stroke. But the twin fin setup and the board’s lower rocker profile help keep the board moving forward rather than drifting to the side with each stroke.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP fins
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The Switch Compact comes with two 7” flex fins.

Under the Switch Compact are two split-style US fin boxes. These fin boxes are extremely versatile. The split design helps prevent damage when rolling and folding the board for transportation and storage. By using the Universal Standard (US) style fin box, you can also easily change the fin size and shape (or get replacement fins) to better suit your needs.

If you want more maneuverability and less tracking, you can swap in two smaller fins. If you are planning a longer trip and want to maximize your tracking, you can install longer fins for even better tracking performance.

While the Switch Compact is not quite as maneuverable as many other wide cruiser iSUPs, its performance is well-balanced and easily adjustable.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Kayak Performance

One of the many things that sets the Switch Compact apart from other compact iSUPs is the inclusion of a full kayak conversion kit. This makes it one of the only fully-hybrid iSUP/IK compact paddle boards on the market.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP kayak conversion
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The conversion to kayak mode is quick and easy with a comfortable inflatable seat and foot brace.

The Isle Link system makes converting the Switch Compact from a stand-up paddle board to a sit-on-top kayak incredibly fast and easy. Plus it’s one of the only systems that allows you to fully customize the position of both the included kayak seat and foot brace.

Simply inflate the seat and foot brace, and use the G-hooks on the straps to connect them to the Isle Link tabs on the Switch Compact. Then swap the SUP handle for the included kayak blade. The entire process takes less than 5 minutes.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP kayak maneuverability
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The Switch Compact performs very well as an inflatable kayak.

While seated, the Switch Compact performs similarly as it does when standing.

The maneuverability and tracking performance are still balanced in a way that errs more toward straight-line tracking. Though with two paddle blades, it’s even easier to keep the board moving straight while paddling on both sides of the board.

Turning does become just a little bit more difficult. While seated with the paddle held equally in front of you, you have less reach to the sides with the paddle than when standing. This reduces your leverage and makes it a bit harder to turn in large quantities. Steering and turns up to about 90° are still easy, but expect larger turns to take more paddle strokes.

Like its tracking performance, having two paddle blades also increases the overall speed performance of the Switch Compact. Casually paddling is easy to maintain at around 3.5 MPH and you can sprint a little bit faster into the low 5 MPH range.

Isle Switch Compact iSUP kayak stability
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Sitting on the Switch Compact increases primary stability, but does reduce secondary stability on its edge.

The biggest difference between sitting on the Switch Compact versus standing is its stability. While seated, your center of gravity is much lower and the board feels more stable when flat on the water (primary stability). The tradeoff is it becomes harder to purposely control the side-to-side tilt of the board. It’s much harder to make small changes in weight from side to side, and you do lose some of the Switch Compact’s secondary stability – how stable it feels when it’s not flat on the water.

The Remix paddle does a great job as a low-angle kayak paddle for cruising around. The rectangular shape works much better in this horizontal position than a more teardrop shape. I didn’t feel a large amount of flutter in the blades while kayaking (which is common in teardrop-shaped blades). However, if you do plan to use the Switch Compact (or any iSUP) primarily as a kayak, I do recommend getting a dedicated kayak paddle for even better performance.

Overall, the change from SUP to kayak is quick and comfortable. The Isle kayak seat has an inflatable bottom to elevate your hips over your feet for long-term comfort. The foot brace allows you to rest your feet at a comfortable angle and press into the board during your paddle stroke for more efficient paddling.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Warranty and Customer Support

With the AirTech construction and PowerFuse rail system Isle warranties the Switch Compact for 5 years. That is significantly longer than most iSUP warranties (typically 2-3 years). Accessories are also warrantied for 1 year. Isle also offers a 60-day return period. If you don’t like your board for any reason you can send it back for a refund or replacement, however, customers are responsible for shipping costs and a 20% restocking fee. If you have any questions for Isle, you can reach them via a form on their website, on the phone, or through social media.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – Final Thoughts

Isle Switch Compact iSUP paddling
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The Switch Compact is an amazing cruiser-style iSUP that can go with you anywhere.

Real talk time – it can be incredibly hard to write these Final Thoughts segments. There’s so much to say about the Switch Compact that it feels like a disservice to try and sum it up in just a few sentences without feeling like I’m short-changing it. But I’ll try anyway.

Every time I get the Switch Compact out and pack it up I am amazed at how small the entire package is. On the water, it’s incredibly stable and I often forget that it’s a lightweight compact paddle board. The tracking performance and glide make it great for paddling from point to point, and the kayak conversion system is – and I’ve said this multiple times about Isle’s kayak systems for a reason – one of the best available. It’s easy to use and lets you get a perfect, custom, fit. It’s also great for bringing smaller kids on your board. The accessories are as fantastic as the board itself.

In short – This is an awesome paddle board and then some. It has become my go-to compact iSUP and one that I have no problem recommending to paddlers of any skill level, including total beginners.

Isle Switch Compact Hybrid iSUP Review – FAQ

Is the Isle Switch Compact a good iSUP for beginners?

Absolutely! In fact, it’s a great iSUP for beginners whether you are looking for a compact paddle board kit or not. In addition to its beginner-friendly stability, the included kayak kit also makes it a great choice for the paddler who wants (or can’t decide between) an iSUP and a kayak.

Can I paddle with a passenger or pet on the Switch Compact?

Yes. The Switch Compact is a large, stable cruiser-style iSUP with a full-length deck pad. This makes it a great option for paddling with a passenger or pet up to a total of around 300 pounds. The included kayak seat is also great for bringing younger kids.

Is the Isle Switch Compact iSUP good for fishing or yoga?

Yes. The Switch Compact is incredibly versatile thanks to its stable shape, full-length deck pad, and Isle Link system. You can comfortably spread out for SUP yoga or connect Isle’s Harbor Fishing Crate to hold all of your favorite fishing gear.

How long does it take to inflate the Isle Switch Compact?

It takes about 10 minutes to inflate the Switch Compact with the included hand pump. However, the shorter size of the pump can be uncomfortable to use, so we do recommend an electric SUP pump for hands-free inflation.

Is the Isle Switch Compact Durable?

The Isle Switch Compact uses a lightweight, but durable material for the outer shell of the board. The welded rails are more heat-resistant and the double-reinforced side walls help protect the board. It is a lighter-weight construction than Isle’s other iSUPs, though, so you should keep the board from dragging on the ground or running into sharp objects. With proper, normal, care and maintenance, the Isle Switch Compact will keep you on the water well beyond its 5 year warranty period.

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