A brand new model for 2018, the Jimmy Styks Strider is a fast, good-looking inflatable touring SUP that is both durable and lightweight. This board has some really great features, and it includes an impressive bundle of SUP accessories…
Jimmy Styks came onto the SUP scene in 2009 with a goal of making affordable and well-built paddle boards that are accessible to all. For 2018, the Jimmy Styks paddle board lineup has gotten a complete makeover with new touring, all-around, SUP fitness, and multi-paddler models. There are a total of seven inflatable Jimmy Styks models this season, including two inflatable surfboards.
In addition to their iSUP line, Jimmy Styks also has a line of soft boards, epoxy SUPs, Ironhide models, and two inflatable watersports platforms.
In this review of the new Jimmy Styks Strider, we’ll take a look at the specs of this touring model, construction, features, paddling performance, pros and cons, included accessories, warranty, and more.
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Table of Contents
Jimmy Styks Strider Review: SUP Overview
Measuring 12’6″ x 30″ x 5.9″ and weighing in at only 22 pounds, the 2018 Jimmy Styks Strider is a lightweight board that was designed for speed and paddling longer distances. Despite the fact that it’s built to go fast, the board still offers decent stability and is incredibly fun to paddle.
For those who are looking to paddle quite a bit faster than the average all-around SUP will allow, this inflatable touring model is a great choice. You obviously sacrifice some versatility with a board like the Strider, but if you want a longer iSUP that is extremely capable of paddling long distances, you’ll be very pleased with the performance that this model delivers. For those in search of something a bit smaller, we’d recommend checking out the 11’6″ Jimmy Styks Puffer.
Also, with a max weight capacity of 260 pounds, the Strider is more than capable of hauling the additional gear necessary for overnight and multi-day paddling excursions as well as small children or a dog.
The top deck of Jimmy Styks’ Strider features a high-quality Dynasoft deck pad. The EVA foam traction pad has a grooved block pattern and is very comfortable on the feet. There’s also a raised foot bar at the rear for improved control and foot placement when standing in a surf stance — something which comes in handy when performing quick pivot turns and other advanced maneuvers.
Located at the middle of the board is a comfortable neoprene covered carrying handle. The neoprene cover is not removable and the handle is quite bulky, but that’s hardly a concern with this board as it’s not a model that would really be used for activities like SUP fitness where a lay flat handle is preferred.
The board’s nose features a bungee cord storage area which is perfect for stashing dry bags, a soft-sided cooler, Crocs, and other gear. The bungee cord is attached to the board with a webbed nylon fabric instead of metal D-rings, and the bungee cord is connected with a locking plastic hook that allows it to be quickly removed — a nice feature if you prefer to remove the bungee cord from time to time.
The nose of the Strider also features a GoPro camera mount which we absolutely love. There’s a small screw-on attachment included in the iSUP repair kit canister that can be used to securely attach your GoPro to the board’s mount. The integrated GoPro mount is such a nice feature as it makes it so easy to capture great photos and video footage while you’re out paddling, and the mount also has an opening that can be used to attach a camera leash for additional security.
At the tail of the board is a neoprene covered grab handle which is super convenient for pulling the board in and out of the water. When it comes to grab handles, we prefer placement at the tail as it allows you to get the board’s fins off the ground which prevents them from being dragged and damaged. There are also two stainless steel D-rings integrated into the grab handle for attaching the included SUP leash, as well as a high-quality Halkey Roberts-style inflation valve.
On the underside of the board is a single “Click ‘N Go” touring fin that is removable. The “Click ‘N Go” fin system is proprietary to Jimmy Styks and brand new for 2018 — it’s a brilliant design that doesn’t require tools, and there are no screws or nuts to lose. To install the fin, simply open the locking lever, slide the fin into place, and close the lever. It’s extremely fast, easy, and totally secure.
New to the Jimmy Styks inflatable paddle board lineup for 2018 is their all-new dual layer fusion construction. Fusion technology is the latest breakthrough in iSUP construction and is being used on many of today’s best inflatable paddle boards, resulting in a lighter weight board that is still incredibly rigid and very durable.
We were also impressed with the fit and finish of our board, and all of the hardware is top notch.
In the water, the 2018 Jimmy Styks Strider is an absolute blast. This is a really fast inflatable touring model that glides well and allows you to paddle long distances much more quickly when compared to the typical all-around board. Also, despite the fact that this board is slightly narrower than the average all-around model, the Strider still offers decent stability.
As far as tracking goes, the Strider’s sleek, tapered profile and large touring fin contribute to the board’s excellent tracking capabilities.
Last but not least, overall versatility suffers somewhat when it comes to longer touring and racing boards, but if you’re looking for a fast and extremely fun touring board that is built for speed, the Strider won’t disappoint.
Likes and Dislikes
There is a lot to like about the new Jimmy Styks Strider. We really like the lightweight fusion construction and the fact that this long touring board weighs in at only 22 pounds and is so easy to handle.
We also love the raised foot bar at the board’s tail, the convenient grab handle, and the integrated GoPro camera mount at the board’s nose.
Another highlight for us was the new Click ‘N Go fin system, and the included SUP accessories bundle is top notch (more on that below).
As far as dislikes go, we’d really like to see some more attachment points at the board’s rails and tail for securing additional gear. This is a touring board and some will certainly use it for overnight and multi-day paddling trips — additional tie-down points would be really useful for securing more dry bags and other gear.
Also, while the webbed nylon loops at the board’s nose work perfectly fine when it comes to securing the included bungee cord, we’d really prefer to see metal D-rings used. D-rings are just easier to deal with when you’re using these attachment points to tie down larger loads, and they definitely provide more longterm durability.
Jimmy Styks Strider Rating
- Customer Support
|Max Capacity||260 pounds|
We were really impressed with the accessory bundle that’s included with the Jimmy Styks Strider. The board comes with a travel backpack, dual-action SUP pump, carbon fiber shaft paddle, coiled leash, iSUP repair kit, helpful user manual, and Jimmy Styks sticker pack.
While the included SUP backpack is pretty basic, it does exactly what it needs to do. The exterior of the bag has a very modern, minimalist design without zippered storage pockets or grab handles (except for one on the rear of the bag — we’d love to see a few more added in the future). There are a few exterior compression straps for cinching things up when the bag is fully packed, and the sides of the bag feature dual mesh storage pouches which can be used for stashing small accessories or the included paddle.
The bottom of the bag has a single metal grommet for draining, and there are four spiked rubber feet which help to cut down on wear and tear. There’s also a clear luggage ID tag window at the top of the bag — perfect if you’re planning to fly with your board.
On the back of the bag are dual backpack straps and a neoprene covered grab handle. The fully adjustable straps are well-padded, and there’s a sternum strap for additional stabilization as well as nylon webbed loops for attaching small accessories with a carabiner. Also helpful for stabilizing the bag is a padded, fully adjustable waist belt, and the back of the bag features a thick cushion that is covered by a breathable mesh material for improved comfort.
The backpack has a dual zipper design with a nice wide opening that gives you easy access to the bag’s interior. Inside of the bag are two more compression straps which help to keep your board and accessories in place, as well as a large open storage pocket along the back of the interior.
Included with all of Jimmy Styks’ 2018 paddle boards is a nice dual-action SUP pump. The pump features a flexible inflation hose as well as a built-in pressure gauge to let you know exactly how much air is in your board during the inflation process.
This pump does a great job of inflating the board. When you initially begin to pump the board up, you’ll flip the yellow mode indicator to setting “2” which rapidly adds air to your board on both the up and down strokes. Once the pumping begins to get difficult, simply flip the yellow switch to mode “1” which will only add air on the downstrokes, giving you the additional power needed to pump the board up to the desired pressure (we found 15 PSI to be sufficient for this board, but it can be inflated all the way to 18 PSI for even more rigidity).
Carbon Fiber Shaft Paddle
The included carbon fiber shaft paddle was something else that really impressed us about this board. Easily one of the nicest travel paddles (if not the nicest) that we’ve seen included in an iSUP accessory bundle, the design and build quality of this paddle is outstanding.
This paddle is constructed with a high-quality, lightweight carbon fiber shaft that features a very nice matte finish. The paddle’s blade is made from a durable and rigid glass reinforced nylon material, and it is neatly branded with the Jimmy Styks logo on one side.
While this paddle is technically three pieces, the uppermost portion of the carbon shaft cannot be removed from the middle portion — so it really just breaks down into two separate pieces. To assemble the paddle, simply line up the locking pin and hole, depress the pin, and slide the two bottom pieces of the shaft together until the pin locks securely into place.
The top of the paddle is wonderfully designed with a quick release system and uniquely shaped design that prevents twist. The outside of the upper shaft portion is marked to help you quickly adjust it to the proper length (it extends to 82″), and the quick release lever is incredibly fast and convenient to use — just flip it open, slide the paddle to the desired length, and close it. Also, two sides of the top portion of the shaft have a flat profile which perfectly fits the shape of the innermost portion of the middle shaft section. The flat sides prevent twisting, which is a problem that is common with many 3-piece travel paddles.
Jimmy Styks also throws in a coiled SUP leash. This is a standard leash that is similar to what you see offered with many iSUP packages these days — it has a padded neoprene ankle cuff with a secure velcro closure. The ankle cuff also has a hidden key storage pocket that allows you to safely stash your keys while you’re on the water, and there are swivels at both ends to prevent the leash from getting tangled up.
Lastly, the Strider comes with a really nice iSUP repair kit. Housed in a high-visibility orange plastic canister, the included repair kit comes with a valve wrench, tube of heavy duty vinyl repair adhesive, instructions, and four PVC patches.
All Jimmy Styks inflatable paddle boards are backed by a 1 year warranty which covers all manufacturing defects. While 1 year warranties are commonly offered by inflatable SUP companies, the best iSUP warranties offer extended coverage periods such as 2 to 3 years — we’d love to see Jimmy Styks add another year or two to their warranty in the future.
Where to Buy it
The brand new Jimmy Styks Strider 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 shopping around for the best inflatable touring SUP, the 2018 Jimmy Styks Strider may not be on your radar yet but it’s a board that’s certainly worth checking out. This brand new model is affordable, lightweight, well-built, and comes with a fantastic bundle of SUP accessories. While there are a few minor things that we would improve upon in the future, the Strider is a really nice iSUP touring model and one of our top picks in this category for 2018.