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New for 2021, the NIXY Venice G4 is a lightweight, super stable SUP inflatable paddle board that is a double threat as both a cruiser board and a fitness/yoga SUP. It ticks all of the boxes when it comes to performance, build quality, and features. There’s a lot to like about the next generation of this Top Pick SUP as we’ll cover in our NIXY Venice review…
The Venice G4 is a part of NIXY Sport’s next-generation G4 lineup, which is their first significant update since 2019 and includes the introduction of advanced drop stitch construction, new features like action mounts, updated accessories, and new designs.
Based in Irvine, CA, NIXY founders Nicolas and Ale Szczedrin specialize in designing high-quality, feature-rich iSUPs for the North American market. By selling direct to the consumer, they are able to keep their prices lower than other boards of comparable specs sold through traditional distribution channels.
In this review of the NIXY Venice we’ll cover its features, construction, overall build quality, performance in the water, pros and cons, included accessories, warranty, and more. We’ll also cover where you can buy it and current discounts that can save you money.
|Max Capacity||350 pounds|
|Board Weight||23 pounds|
(SUP & accessories)
|Returns period||30 days|
— In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary —
NIXY Venice G4 Rating
The NIXY Venice G4 is a 2021 Top Pick that should be a consideration for anyone in the North American market looking for an impressively light, feature-packed cruiser SUP or fitness/yoga paddle board.
- New action mounts
- New adjustable/removable bungee storage
- New carbon fiber hybrid paddle
- New slimmer rolling bag
- New 3-stage pump with removable handles and folding feet
- Extremely light weight
- Excellent build quality
- High rigidity and stiffness
- Excellent stability
- Extensive deck pad for fitness/yoga
- Front cargo area could be bigger
- Bungee paddle holder is a bit awkward
- Not currently available in UK & Europe
NIXY Venice G4 Review: SUP Overview
A well-thought-out inflatable paddle board that’s designed to provide a comfortable and extremely stable platform for casual cruising, the new NIXY Venice G4 is loads of fun. This makes it a great choice for beginners or any recreational paddlers who prefer a little extra confidence in their balance. Yet the 10’6 x 34″ x6″ board still weighs in at an incredibly light 23 pounds so it remains faster and nimbler than most of its cruiser peers.
At 34 inches wide, the NIXY Venice is also the ultimate board for on-the-water fitness and yoga workouts, thanks to its large deck pad and removable cargo bungees.
The Venice gets a new design this season, available in three colors: Purple, Aqua, and Blue. Our review board sported the Aqua color and we thought the new design looked sharp and polished.
— Drag slider to compare the Venice G3 and Venice G4 —
Quite a lot has been updated for this version of the Venice. We’ll start with a walk-through of all the features, current and new, and then give some additional thoughts on the overall board.
— Click on hotspots for additional details —
Starting at the nose of the board is a convenient grab handle and a high-quality Halkey Roberts-style inflation valve. We really love the fact that NIXY positions the air valve at the nose of their boards as it makes it super easy to roll the board up from the tail while pushing any remaining air out the valve. We’re always surprised more board makers don’t adopt this approach.
New for 2021, NIXY has updated the valve to a simple push-button operation. Previously you would have to push the valve in and turn it a 1/4 turn to lock it open when you wanted to deflate the board (this is true for most brands). Now you simply press once to lock it open and press again to lock it closed. Very nice!
Just behind the inflation valve is the front 4-point cargo storage area for stashing your dry bag, flip flops, or water bottle. New this season, the bungee cord now has a plastic toggle that allows its tension to be adjusted or removed entirely.
A bit back of the cargo area toward the outer edges are another new addition for the Venice — two action mounts. These M8 threaded inserts allow you to attach optional accessories like GoPro cameras and fishing rod holders to your SUP and have grown incredibly popular in recent years. NIXY has acknowledged the popular request by outfitting the board with five mounts in total.
In the midsection of the board are four stainless steel D-rings on the outer edges of the board — 2 in front of the center carrying handle, and two behind. These use for attaching NIXY’s optional kayak seat – highly recommended. The carrying handle itself is mid-board and is covered by a soft neoprene cover. The cover is removable — a great feature that you don’t find on a lot of SUPs, because it allows the handle to lay flat and stay out of the way for fitness or yoga.
Covering the top deck of the Venice is an extremely comfortable traction pad that’s made from soft EVA foam. The deck pad has the NIXY logo stamped in for texture and we found it to be sufficiently grippy both wet and dry. For the updated Venice G4, NIXY has extended the traction pad so that extends all the way from the inflation valve to the tail and nearly side-to-side. When combined with the removable cargo bungees this gives you a massive amount of open space for SUP fitness.
Just in front of the rear cargo area are two more action mounts. The rear cargo area has been expanded — it’s now a much roomier six points rather than the four points of the earlier generation Venice. Its bungee is also now adjustable and removable. In addition to providing more onboard storage capacity overall, you can use the rear for storage if there’s a pup or passenger riding along up front.
There’s also a D-ring for attaching your leash. In the same mount is the fifth new action mount added this season. Finally at the tail is the rear grab handle which is perfect for pulling the board along the beach as it elevates the fins, preventing damage caused by rocks and other hard objects.
Positioned along the left rail is another bungee cord for securing your SUP paddle while you’re on the water doing a workout, swimming, or taking photos. Another interesting use of this bungee cord is that it can be used to attach two NIXY boards together, perfect if you’re working out with a friend or just stopping for some lunch on the water.
On the underside of the board is a final D-ring at the nose for towing or tethering the board to a dock and there are three removable fins at the tail. The fact that all three fins are removable is another feature that we love as it allows you to roll the board up into a more compact footprint for easier transport, storage, and packing. Boards with removable fins are also easier to stack on a car roof rack. All three fins attach securely to the board with a convenient thumbscrew that we find be more secure than the more common lever locks.
Also new for 2021, the center fin box is now US/FCS compatible, allowing you to use a wide variety of after market center fins to further fine tune your Venice’s performance.
As far as construction and overall build quality goes, we’re once again extremely impressed with all of NIXY’s paddle boards this season. They’re a company that tends to like to stay on top of construction advancements.
To recap, in 2018 they moved their entire lineup to ultra-lightweight FusionTech. Essentially, by fusing — rather than gluing — together their dual layers of PVC that form the top and bottom layers of their boards, they were able to save weight while making their boards stronger and more durable. It also resulted in a nicer looking board since there were no wrinkles that you sometimes get from the more common gluing process.
In 2019 they added carbon fiber reinforcements to the side rails of all their boards which provided increased stiffness and durability. When fully inflated, the Venice feels very similar to a hard board yet it retains the light weight and packability that iSUPs are known for.
For 2021, with the launch of their fourth generation (G4) boards, NIXY introduced woven drop stitch technology to its construction. Drop stitch is the internal material that allows an inflatable SUP to maintain its distinct shape even under high pressure. Woven drop stitch is an advanced version of this assembly with several benefits: it is lighter than standard drop stitch, it makes the board easier to fold when deflated, yet the board is stronger and stiffer when fully inflated.
NIXY has been testing woven drop stitch in combination with their FusionTech and carbon fiber side rails for over two years. The end result is a board that is even lighter, stronger, and stiffer than before. The weight difference is noticeable — every time we went to pick up a NIXY board during our testing we were surprised how much lighter it seemed compared to other SUPs.
Right out of the box, the fit and finish of our board was flawless and all of the hardware used by NIXY is top notch.
On the water, the Venice is extremely stable and very comfortable to paddle. Tracking is very straight — just as good as the Newport. While speed is obviously not what a cruiser/fitness board is designed for, we were pleasantly surprised that it sacrificed much less in the speed and mobility department other SUPs in that category. We credit a combination of its light weight, rigidity, excellent tracking, and quality paddle.
In fact, we would put its performance as close to sneaking up on some of the more average 32 inch all-around SUPs. So for paddlers that really want the rock-solid stability of a cruiser but hate the idea of giving up any performance, the Venice G4 may be the closest option you have yet.
As far as exercising on the board goes, it’s a wonderful experience overall. At 34 inches wide, the Venice is incredibly stable on the water and the comfortable logo stamped traction pad doesn’t irritate the hands and feet during workouts as you see with many other boards. Also, the lay-flat handle really stays out of your way and isn’t uncomfortable to lay or sit on.
Likes and Dislikes
NIXY had something of a challenge for their G4 boards. Their G3 boards were already top picks and they already had some of the best accessories out there. So how do you build on that? For the Venice G4, much like the Newport G4, the answer likes in sweating the details. A lot of what makes this board great are the small touches that really refine the experience:
- making the cargo bungees adjustable and removable
- adding the five new action mounts
- extending the traction pad to cover nearly the entire top of the board
- incorporating woven drop stitch for an even lighter, stiffer board
- making the rear cargo area larger
- making the inflation valve stem push-to-lock open/closed
- placing the inflation valve at the front of the board (not new, but still great)
This sort of attention to detail takes a good board and makes it great.
As for dislikes, we still have a few. We wish the front cargo area were a bit larger. And we’d love if they added removeable side grab handles for small children passengers like iROCKER has. We also find their side-mounted paddle holder fussy to use, much preferring THURSO’s version on their Waterwalker boards.
Admittedly these are very nit-picky and none of these should dissuade you from considering the Venice. Overall the G4 is a very worthy upgrade over the previous version, very polished, and surprisingly light.
There are also some nice improvements in the accessories, which we’ll get into below.
While having no impact on the board’s performance, the removable fins and inflation valve at the nose are so nice when it comes time to deflate and roll up the board. This configuration helps you roll the board into the most compact form possible and you don’t have to worry about fixed fins getting bent out of shape or the extra time it takes to roll the board up twice (first from the nose to push air out, then again from the tail to roll around the fins and fin boxes). The bottom line is, if you need a compact board that rolls up neatly for super easy storage on a boat, in a camper or RV, etc. — the Venice is ideal. The versatile NIXY Newport or ultra-compact NIXY Huntington are two more excellent options.
Accessories: What’s Included
NIXY’s included accessories are some of our top-rated accessory kits and provide everything you need to get on the water (aside from your PFD, of course). That hasn’t stopped them from refreshing nearly every part of their bundle for 2021. Included this season are:
- Updated wheeled roller backpack
- New 3-piece carbon fiber hybrid paddle
- New Typhoon double chamber / triple action pump
- 3 tool-less fins (covered in the board review above)
- 10 foot coiled ankle leash
- User manual
- Repair kit
Note: This year they have not included the shoulder carry strap that was previously included for the 2019/2020 seasons.
(By the way, if you’re comparing the NIXY family of SUPs, these accessories are common across all of their boards, except for the ultra compact Huntington)
Already one of our top pick backpacks, NIXY’s roller SUP backpack has been updated for 2021 based on customer feedback. The rugged, well-built bag has been slimmed down by a few inches to make it easier to wrangle in and out of vehicles. This addressed our main complaint about the previously oversized bag being a bit unwieldy at times.
On the front exterior of the bag is a now larger zippered pocket that can be used to store and organize your accessories. There’s also a clear luggage ID window on the front of the pocket which will come in handy if you’re planning to fly with your board.
There’s also an open storage pocket on both sides of the bag which can be used to hold your towel, water bottle, change of clothes, or the included paddle. When using it to hold your paddle, just slip the blade and handle down into the pocket and secure the paddle by tightening the bag’s external compression straps around the shaft pieces.
New for 2021 — and sorely missed before – are are large grommets in the bottom of these pockets to allow water and sand to drain out more easily.
The bag also features a number of webbed attachment loops and plastic D-rings. These are extremely handy to have if you want to clip on any accessories.
On the bottom of the bag are not two, but three large roller wheels — something that definitely sets NIXY’s roller backpack apart from others on the market. Having a wheel positioned between the two main wheels helps to prevent damage to the bag when pulling it over rocks, curbs, and other uneven objects. The oversized wheels roll smoothly and feature a nicely grooved traction pattern which helps whenever you’re pulling the bag off-road.
It’s also nice that the wheels are positioned on the front side of the bag as this keeps them from digging into your backside when it’s on your shoulders…
Also located on the bottom of the bag is a heavy duty plastic grab handle which helps a lot when you’re pulling the bag in and out of the car. There are also grab handles on the top, side, and back of the pack.
On the rear of the bag are two padded shoulder straps that are fully adjustable. The straps also feature nylon webbed loops and plastic D-rings for attaching small accessories with a carabiner.
Also located on the rear of the bag is an adjustable sternum strap and a padded waist belt for stabilizing the bag when it’s on your shoulders. Lastly, NIXY has incorporated a new Velcro storage area which you can use to tuck the straps out of sight when they’re not in use. This is a great feature for those times when you’re traveling with the bag as it prevents the straps from getting snagged and damaged.
The bag has dual zippers and opens up nice and wide — giving you easy access to the bag’s interior. Inside, you’ll find 3 tiered Velcro storage pockets for the included fins as well as two additional compression straps.
For 2021 NIXY introduced an entirely new paddle for their G4 boards, including the Newport. This new floating, 3-piece travel paddle’s shaft and blade is made of carbon fiber hybrid material. It weighs only 25 ounces, shaving roughly 15% off the weight of last year’s paddle while increasing rigidity.
While that may not sound like much, it’s surprising how much of a difference a better, lighter paddle can make in the experience of a SUP — after all that, that’s your interface with the water and the part that you’re lifting and moving hundreds or thousands of times a day!
The clear satin finish carbon fiber pattern and minimalist NIXY branding are a sharp look as well. Unfortunately, the t-grip is still a very common plastic one used on many paddles out there. It isn’t bad, but is just very average in feel in comparison to the rest of the otherwise excellent paddle.
While larger, the new blade design is very light thanks to the thin design. Despite being so thin, it still offers excellent rigidity thanks to the ridged supports.
This paddle does float and it assembles quickly and easily by sliding the shaft pieces together. Everything then locks securely into place by depressing the lower pin and closing the upper closure.
Double Chamber Pump
The Typhoon pump received an overhaul for the 2021 season as well. It is still a double-chamber, triple-action pump to keep the inflation process fast and easy but they’ve added some nice refinements.
Conveniently the feet now fold up and the handles can be screwed off and stowed on the back of the pump. Without these protruding points, it makes it much easier to fit the pump in the backpack or other tight spaces.
The new pump design uses two paddles to switch between the stages rather than the former pump’s control dial. When you begin to inflate the Venice, set the paddles to stage #1 — this will quickly add air to your deflated board at low pressure. Once pumping becomes more difficult, you switch to stage #2 and finally to stage #3 to finish inflating the board. The pump is capable of inflating pressures up to 29 PSI, although the Venice only requires 15 PSI.
Both the built-in pressure gauge for telling you exactly how much air is in the board and the inflation port are now found on the main body of the pump, any improvement over their previous location in the handle.
At long last they added a port for deflating boards! If you’ve not used this feature before this is certainly a trick to start using if your pump has one. At the end of the day once you’ve rolled most of the air out of your board, attach the hose to the deflation port on your pump and to the valve on your board. Now pump just as if you were going to inflate the board. Instead, though it’s going to suck all the last remaining air out of the board to give you a factory-like vacuumed-flat board. Once all the air is removed, detach the hose and close the valve. You can now easily roll up the board smaller and tighter than you thought possible!
Finally, the pump also includes two different width (red or black) washers to go on the end of the hose attachment to ensure a good seal with the valve. We think this is a good idea since we’ve seen variability in fit between different brands and years of boards, valves, and pumps (and it’s not unusual for people to own a mix of gear). Sometimes an extra millimeter makes all the difference!
By the way, NIXY also sells a high-quality electric pump that comes with a very nice carrying case. If you can afford it, this automatic electric pump is super convenient and plugs right into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter for fast, hands-free inflation.
Also included with the board is a hybrid coiled SUP leash. We’re happy to see more companies including a leash with their iSUPs these days as it’s such an important piece of safety gear.
NIXY’s leash has a comfortable neoprene ankle cuff as well as a built-in hidden storage pocket for stashing a key or two. There are also metal swivels at both ends of the leash which do a good job of preventing tangles.