The 2018 Jimmy Styks Puffer is a lightweight, fast inflatable touring SUP that is incredibly fun on the water. The smaller of the company’s new touring iSUPs, the Puffer measures 11’6″ x 31″ x 4.7″ and it weighs it at only 20 pounds…
While Jimmy Styks has been around since 2009, the company has made major strides in 2018 when it comes to their inflatable paddle boards. This season, Jimmy Styks completely relaunched their iSUP line with brand new touring, all-around, fitness, and multi-paddler models.
Currently, the company offers five inflatable SUP boards, two inflatable surfboard models, and two inflatable watersports platforms. Jimmy Styks also has a range of rigid epoxy SUPs, Ironhide boards, and soft models.
In this review of the new 2018 Jimmy Styks Puffer, we’ll cover all of the board’s features, overall build quality and construction, how it paddles and tracks in the water, what we like about it, what we don’t like about it, the board’s specs, bundled accessories, warranty, and more.
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Table of Contents
Jimmy Styks Puffer Review: SUP Overview
These days, we find ourselves enjoying touring SUPs more and more. While all-around boards certainly have their place, it’s a lot of fun to kick things up a notch in the performance department — inflatable touring SUPs seem to hit the sweet spot in terms of speed and stability.
We’ve really enjoyed reviewing the new Jimmy Styks Strider and Puffer touring boards, and we’re impressed with the direction the company is headed with their newly relaunched iSUP line. The Puffer is not quite as quick or rigid as the thicker, longer Strider, but it’s still a great board that is fast, fairly stable, and fun to paddle.
Design-wise, the Puffer is an attention-getting board that really stands out in the water. The aqua/orange color scheme and graphics used on the board are extremely nice looking, and it definitely has a “premium” look and feel.
While touring boards are most often geared towards intermediate and more advanced paddlers, the Puffer offers enough stability to be enjoyed by paddlers of all skill levels. While obviously not as stable and confidence-inspiring as a wider all-around iSUP, this board can still be a lot of fun for kids and newcomers to the sport.
Covering the top deck of the Jimmy Styks Puffer is a high-quality Dynasoft traction pad that is made from soft EVA foam. The traction pattern on this pad features a grooved square design that is really comfortable to stand on and provides excellent grip. There’s also a carrying handle mid-board that is covered by a sewn-on neoprene cover.
Moving to the nose of the board, the Puffer features a large bungee cord storage area which is perfect for securing your gear while you’re out on the water. With six different tie-down points, this bungee storage area offers plenty of space for dry bags, footwear, a SUP deck cooler, etc.
Also located at the nose of the Jimmy Styks Puffer is a nice GoPro camera mount. This mount makes it incredibly easy to capture great photos and video footage of yourself while you’re out on your paddling adventures. The mount itself is made out of a flexible rubber material, and in addition to the screw on attachment point, there’s also a hole for attaching a GoPro leash.
The tail of the board features a convenient grab handle which makes it much easier to pull the Puffer in and out of the water. The handle’s placement at the tail of the board is ideal as it allows you to elevate the fin off of the ground and avoid damage. Also, there are dual stainless steel D-rings attached to the sides of the handle which can be used to secure the included coiled SUP leash.
Jimmy Styks used high-quality Halkey Roberts-style air valves on all of their 2018 inflatable paddle boards. This is currently the most commonly used iSUP valve type and means that in addition to the included manual dual-action pump, you’ll also be able to use a wide variety of electric paddle board pumps to inflate the Puffer.
Also located at the board’s tail is a raised foot bar which is helpful whenever you’re performing quick pivot turns or standing in a surfing stance. The raised area provides additional traction and assists with foot placement without forcing you to look down at the board…
On the bottom of the board is a single fin configuration. This large removable fin is Jimmy Styks’ new Click ‘N Go fin, and it is proprietary to the company’s iSUP boards. The Click ‘N Go fin securely attaches to the Puffer through the use of a brilliant toolless system which uses nothing more than a locking tab. Attaching and removing the fin literally takes one second to do, and there are no tools, bolts, or nuts to lose.
New to Jimmy Styks inflatable paddle boards for 2018 is their dual layer fusion technology. Fusion construction is the latest breakthrough in iSUP manufacturing and it results in lighter inflatable SUPs that are still very durable and stiff. Weighing in at only 20 pounds, the Puffer is extremely easy to get on and off a roof rack, carry around, etc.
Overall, build quality is very good on this board and Jimmy Styks used high-quality hardware.
As mentioned, the Puffer is a fast board that glides well on the water. While not the most stable board, it still offers enough stability to be enjoyed by beginner paddlers.
The Puffer really excels when it comes to flatwater paddling, allowing you to comfortably cruise around your favorite lake with good speed. Also, tracking is excellent thanks to the large Click ‘N Go fin and the board’s sleek, tapered shape.
Likes and Dislikes
We love the design of the Jimmy Styks’ new Puffer touring board — as mentioned, this is a board that looks impressive on the water and really stands out from the pack. It has the look and feel of a premium, high-end board, yet it’s very affordably priced.
The features on this board is another area that we were really pleased with. The GoPro camera mount is very easy to use and great for capturing footage of your time on the water, and Jimmy Styks’ new Click ‘N Go fin system is outstanding.
Build quality is also a strong point — the Puffer feels like a solid board that will last a long time, and we love the lightweight fusion construction used by the company on this new 2018 model.
Last but not least, the included SUP accessory bundle is very nice and one detail in particular really blew us away (more on that below).
As far as dislikes go, we’re not fans of the webbed nylon loops that Jimmy Styks used to secure the bungee cord storage area at the board’s nose. While they do have a sleek, modern appearance, we definitely prefer metal D-rings as they work much better when it comes to securing a SUP cooler or tying down additional bags. Also, stainless steel D-rings will certainly offer greater durability in the long run.
In addition to D-rings at the nose, we’d also like to see D-rings added to the rails and tail of the board. Touring SUP boards are often used for overnight and multi-day paddling excursions, and having the ability to secure additional gear to the deck of the Puffer would be a great feature to add in the future.
Last but not least, we prefer the more rigid 5.9″ thickness of the 12’6″ Jimmy Styks Strider to the Puffer’s 4.7″.
Jimmy Styks Puffer Rating
- Customer Support
|Max Capacity||260 pounds|
The Puffer comes with a great SUP accessory bundle. Included in the box is essentially everything you need to start paddling — except for a PFD. The Puffer comes with a travel backpack, incredibly nice carbon fiber shaft travel paddle, dual-action pump, coiled leash, inflatable SUP repair kit, and sticker pack/user manual.
Perfect for transporting and storing your board, the Jimmy Styks SUP travel bag features a modern, minimalist-inspired backpack design with clean lines and a good looking design. There are no external storage pockets on the bag — only open mesh pouches on both sides for stashing small accessories and the included paddle.
On the outside of the bag are compression straps for cinching things up after all of your gear is packed, and there’s a metal draining grommet and four spiked rubber feet on the bottom of the pack.
Other than a nylon webbed grab handle on the rear of the bag, there are no grab handles on this backpack — definitely an area that we feel can be improved upon in the future.
Located on the top of the bag is a clear luggage ID window which will come in handy if you’re planning to fly with your board…
On the back of the pack are two heavily padded shoulder straps that are fully adjustable. There’s also an adjustable sternum strap and padded waist belt for stabilizing the backpack, and the rear of the bag features a thick cushion for additional comfort.
This bag comes with two external zippers and features a nice wide opening that gives you easy access to the pack’s interior. One side of the bag opens slightly wider than the other, and inside you’ll find two additional compression straps and a large open storage pocket along the rear of the bag.
The included SUP paddle is probably the nicest we’ve seen to date in an iSUP accessory bundle. Featuring a brand new design for 2018, this paddle has a beautiful matte finish carbon fiber shaft and a durable nylon blade.
While it is technically a 3-piece paddle, the top two sections of the paddle shaft do not separate so the paddle only breaks down into two pieces. To assemble the paddle, simply slide the two portions of the shaft together, line up the locking pin with the hole, depress the pin, and slide everything into place until it locks.
The design of the upper part of this paddle is brilliant — there’s a simple locking lever that can be opened and closed to adjust the length of the shaft. The top third of the shaft is conveniently marked for easy length adjustment and features flat sides which match the flat interior shape of the middle shaft portion. This means that unlike perfectly round paddle shafts that are prone to twisting, the flattened sides “lock” everything into place and prevent paddle twist. A fantastic design overall and this paddle is unique to this year’s Jimmy Styks SUP line.
Jimmy Styks includes a nice dual-action SUP pump with the Puffer. This pump works well when it comes to inflating the board, and the two modes give you the power needed to efficiently inflate the board to the recommended PSI (15-18 PSI).
When you initially begin to inflate the board, simply flip the yellow mode selector to the “2” position. This will rapidly add air to the Puffer on both the up and downstrokes. Once the pumping begins to get more difficult, just flip the switch to setting “1” which will only add air to the board on downstrokes.
We love the fact that more and more companies are promoting SUP safety these days by including a leash with their boards. Included with the Puffer is a durable coiled leash that will keep you from getting separated from your board if you happen to fall off.
The leash has a padded ankle cuff that is covered with soft neoprene and quite comfortable. There’s also a small hidden key storage pocket with a secure velcro flap, and both ends of the leash feature metal swivels to prevent tangling.
Finally, Jimmy Styks includes a really nice iSUP repair kit with the Puffer. Inside of the convenient plastic storage canister is a valve wrench, adhesive, repair instructions, and PVC patches. This is where you’ll also find the screw for the board’s GoPro camera mount.
Jimmy Styks includes a 1-year warranty with all of their 2018 inflatable SUPs and it covers any and all manufacturing defects.
Where to Buy it
The brand new 2018 Jimmy Styks Puffer is in stock and ready to ship at Amazon. In addition to their low prices, Amazon also offers fast, free shipping and amazing customer service.
If you’re looking for a fun and affordable inflatable touring SUP board that looks amazing and includes a great bundle of accessories, the new Jimmy Styks Puffer is definitely one to consider. This is a fast board that offers decent stability and it’s a good choice for smaller paddlers who might not need a board as large as the company’s flagship Strider model.