Retrospec Weekender Tour Review – A Well-Rounded iSUP That’s Budget Friendly | 2024

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review
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The Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP is a great budget paddle board for paddlers who want a balance between stability, speed, and efficiency.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Overview

A common problem with many all-around iSUPs is that they aren’t all-around performers. Sure, many are stable and easy to use, but few achieve the right blend of casual cruising with the ability to do other things like fitness paddling or light touring.

Enter the Retrospec Weekender Tour – an all-around paddle board that is as comfortable and capable for beginners to get their sea legs as it is to paddle a handful of miles at a time for a workout or destination picnic.

But, I think the name of this iSUP isn’t quite right. It doesn’t strike me as a true touring paddle board in size or feel. However, it does perform brilliantly as an all-around iSUP, including the ability to go for those longer day trips without feeling slow or pushy.

To top things off, Retrospec has designed this capable board and bundled it with an accessory kit in a way that keeps it easy on the eyes and on your wallet.

— Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review Summary and Ratings —

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP
  • Construction & Durability
  • Features and Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Maneuverability
  • Tracking

Overall Score

The Retrospec Weekender Tour is a well-rounded iSUP great for beginners on a budget.


  • It is beautifully shaped and has subtle graphics on the deck and hull
  • User-friendly touchpoints make it easy for beginner paddlers to get started
  • Well-rounded performance on the water
  • Plenty of cargo space without crowding the deck
  • The 2+1 fin setup is easily adjustable out of the box
  • 2-year warranty


  • The aluminum paddle is fine for casual paddling but is heavy and tiring for long-distance effort
  • A single fin box and choice of a shallow water fin or a touring fin would be simpler and improve performance

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Construction and Durability

The Weekender Tour is built with Retrospec’s double-layer AerGlide-Fusion construction for improved rigidity and performance on the water.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP rail construction
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The AerGlide-Fusion construction has dual-layer PVC for the shell and dual-layer PVC for the rails.

Inside the Tour is a drop stitch core made with a standard knitted fabric base layer on the board’s top and bottom, connected with thousands of fibers sewn through the layers. This internal structure keeps the board flat and provides rigidity when inflated.

The fabric base layer then has a PVC coating to make the material airtight, and a second layer of reinforced PVC is fused to the first using heat and pressure. Fusion constructions like this eliminate the gluing process between layers reducing weight and the potential for manufacturing errors.

After the board shape is cut from this double-layer material, the outer edges are drawn together and glued with a band of reinforced PVC. While this rail band technically completes the airtight chamber of the board and makes it usable, Retrospec adds an outer PVC rail layer for additional durability and rigidity.

Once the deck pad and other board features are added, the Weekender Tour weighs just over 24 pounds and has a maximum recommended inflation pressure of 15 PSI.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP rigidity while standing
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Standing and light paddling did not produce a significant amount of flex in the board.

Over years of testing nearly 200 paddle boards, I’ve often found a correlation between price and rigidity. However, that correlation is not absolute. There have been inexpensive iSUPs that are quite rigid, and expensive ones that are quite flimsy.

At its maximum inflation pressure of 15 PSI, the Weekender Tour did quite well in our bend test. With 170 pounds on the standing area of the board, the Tour bent just over 1.8”. Our current running average is 1.62”. That’s well within the “average” performance range in this test, and it beats the pants off many of the sub-$400 iSUPs we’ve tested previously.

On the water, the Weekender Tour did well but still showed some flex while paddling.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP flex while bouncing
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I could generate a large amount of flex while bouncing, but the Tour settled down comfortably once I stopped.

I didn’t notice any real flex or bend while I stood on the Tour or while casually paddling. I could feel the board begin to flex more as I began putting more effort into my paddle stroke, though.

The flex continued to increase as I moved more while paddling faster and was very noticeable while sprinting. I could feel it impacting my sprinting speeds, but I didn’t feel that it was bending enough to really change my speed or efficiency at a comfortable cruising pace.

While bouncing on the board I could create a fairly significant amount of flex, and it did take the Tour a while to settle back down when I stopped. But it did settle down relatively smoothly rather than with a springy rebound.

I felt some flex and vibration while walking and changing position on the board, but not so much that it really affected my stability.

Overall, while the Weekender Tour is not the most rigid iSUP I’ve used, I feel like it does have a good rigidity profile and performs better than most iSUPs in its price range. With a double-layer construction and wide overlap between the rail layer and the hull of the board, the Retrospec Weekender Tour is primed to last for several years of regular use.


Length11’ 6”
Max Capacity300 pounds
Board Weight24.4 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
31.6 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$349.99
Warranty2 years
Returns period50 days

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Features, Accessories, and Versatility

I would classify the Weekdender Tour as more of an all-around board than a dedicated touring board. By that I mean it is pleasantly stable and designed for a variety of different uses with many great features built directly onto the board.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP size and shape
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The Retrospec Weekender Tour is 11’6” long, 32” wide, and 6” thick. It has a maximum recommended weight capacity of 300 pounds and weighs just over 24 pounds.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP nose shape
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Rather than a traditional round nose found on many all-around SUPs, the Weekender Tour has a pointed or “bullet” shaped nose for a narrower profile and cleaner entry when first contacting the water.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP cargo handle and accessory mount
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There is a carry handle and accessory mount on the front of the board. The accessory mount has both a threaded insert and a GoPro-style mount to easily attach action cameras, phones, and more.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP front cargo area
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The front cargo area is quite large with the bungee cord threaded between 6 D-rings. There is enough room for medium-to-large dry bags, and it can easily hold smaller items like water bottles and shoes.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP deck pad
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The EVA foam deck pad has a soft, brushed, texture and is grooved for improved side-to-side traction. There are three carrying handles in total making it easy to transport by yourself or with a friend.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP paddle holder
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There are two velcro loops on the right side of the board to act as a paddle holder, or to hold a spare paddle blade if you want to switch between SUP and seated kayaking.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP EasyLink loop
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The EasyLink tabs on each side of the board are reinforced PVC loops designed to work with the Retrospec kayak seat and shoulder carrying strap. The loops are clearly marked for use with either the seat or strap, but unfortunately are not large enough to use both devices at the same time.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP rear cargo area
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The rear of the board has four more D-rings and another cargo bungee cord. This smaller cargo area is great for small-to-medium dry bags and is removable.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP removable bungee cord
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To remove the rear cargo bungee, simply unlatch the clips at the end of the bungee cord and slide it out of the D-rings.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP kick pad
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The end of the deck pad has a raised kick pad. This is a nice feature not commonly found on budget all-around iSUPs. Kick pads provide increased stability and traction when using the tail of the board for pivot turns. They also help prevent you from accidentally walking past the deck pad (and potentially slipping) when moving to the back of the board.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP tail shape
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The Weekender Tour has a moderately wide square tail. This provides more volume and stability at the tail of the board compared to rounded or pointed tails.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP fin boxes
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Under the board there are three slide-in fin boxes at the tail. You can use all three fins for maximum tracking, just the center fin for a balanced performance profile, or just the side fins when paddling in shallow water or to maximize maneuverability.
Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP complete kit
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The Weekender Tour comes with a complete kit of accessories. All you need to get on the water is a PFD.

The Retrospec Weekender Tour is outfitted to maximize its versatility, and designed to be a little faster and more efficient on the water compared to a typical all-around board.

In addition to its on-board features, the Weekender Tour comes with a complete kit of accessories, so the only other thing you’ll need before getting on the water is a life jacket.

When the Retrospec Weekender Tour arrives at your door, you’ll find all of the following packaged neatly in the box:

  • Retrospec Weekender Tour 11’6 iSUP
  • Custom-sized backpack
  • 3-piece aluminum paddle
  • Color-matched coiled ankle leash
  • 9” center fin and two 4.5” side fins
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Single chamber hand pump
  • Repair/maintenance kit

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Paddle

Retrospec includes a basic three-piece paddle in the Weekender Tour kit, but with a few extra elements not normally found at this price.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP three-piece paddle
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The Retrospec aluminum paddle has a mid-size ABS-plastic blade with clear “front” and “back” markings.

The three piece paddle that comes with the Weekender Tour doesn’t seem like anything special on paper. Aluminum shaft, ABS plastic blade with a fairly common shape, but Retrospec has managed to elevate their paddle beyond what’s normally found in budget iSUP kits.

First, the weight. While 29.9 ounces isn’t “light” for a SUP paddle, it is light for an aluminum paddle. And even more important, it is comfortably balanced. The blade isn’t overly large, which can make the paddle feel heavier than it is.

The medium size blade provides enough power for heavier paddlers like myself, but isn’t too large for smaller paddlers, either. ABS plastic is a durable material that can withstand a good amount of abuse – so no concerns using it in shallow water – and Retrospec has differentiated the front and back of the paddle both with a colored graphic and the words “front” and “back.” This is a really nice touch for new paddlers who often aren’t sure which way the paddle should be used in the water.

The powder-coated aluminum shaft is comfortable to hold, and the light gray color helps keep it from becoming too hot in the sun. Aluminum paddles do have a pretty important drawback, though, and that is they can be irreparably bent. They don’t flex and return to shape like a fiberglass or carbon fiber shaft, so if the paddle is stepped on, sat on, or otherwise forced out of position it can be close to impossible to bend back (and weaker after each bend).

The handle section of the paddle is also made with powder-coated aluminum and has not just a printed length scale, but also an indexing groove.

I’ve never seen an indexing groove on an aluminum kit paddle until now. This is such an awesome feature for new paddlers. Between the markings on the blade and the indexing groove, it is incredibly easy for new paddlers to make sure they are using the paddle properly.

The adjustment collar uses a rather small compression clamp to hold the handle section in place, and every copy of the paddle I was sent (one with each board) needed to be tightened to hold the handle in place. However, the clamp can be tightened without tools by simply opening the lever and turning it (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey).

The palm grip is a comfortable size and has some texturing on the back and front, but not on the top of the handle. This is great, as too much texturing can be uncomfortable, but I found it was just enough to feel very secure in my hand without rubbing my palms.

While it is still a bit on the heavy side, the Retrospec aluminum paddle is quite nice for a low-cost kit paddle. It fits together well, and the inclusion of the indexing groove for the handle is a step above the competition for sure.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Stability

The Weekender Tour has pleasant stability that makes it a great choice for beginner paddlers who want a little extra speed without getting tippy.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP rocking side to side
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The Weekender Tour rocks smoothly from side to side without catching or “popping.”

At 11’6” long and 32” wide, the Weekender Tour has a pretty significant amount of volume. The medium-wide tail and nose allow the board to carry its width through the midsection of the board and gently taper at each end. Add in a good amount of rigidity on the water and together this size and shape make for a very stable ride.

While standing and paddling normally on the Weekender Tour I didn’t feel any twitching or rolling, even in light chop and wind conditions. Rather, the board smoothly and predictably moves with the surface of the water. Even when rocking the board side to side it stayed smooth and controllable without any catching or “popping” rapidly back to the surface.

When I picked up the pace and began paddling faster I did notice the board flexing a bit more with higher energy paddling, but it didn’t kick back and become less stable.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP stability on edge
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The near-parallel sides make the board stable, even when held on its edge.

The parallel sides of the board give it a very consistent stability as you adjust your position forward and back – even all the way to the tail for a pivot turn. It also keeps the board feeling comfortable when held on its edge.

Overall I was impressed with the stability of this paddle board. I think it’s a great option for beginners who want something that they’ll be able to learn on easily, but still carry some speed and efficiency for longer trips. I do think it’s best for paddlers under 220 pounds as heavier paddlers will experience more flex in the board, which can reduce stability.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Speed

The Weekender Tour has the ability to reach some fairly fast speeds, but overall has average speed performance.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP speed
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The Weekender Tour is quick for an all-around board, but not as fast as a dedicated touring iSUP.

Designing a true all-around paddle board is all about compromise. It needs to be able to do everything well, and if you focus too much on one aspect, you usually start detracting from others.

While touring paddle boards are typically known for their speed and efficiency, and this is the Weekender Tour, I think Retrospec did the right thing by keeping the speed performance of this board respectable, but not making it the focus of the design.

In our sprint test, I was able to paddle the Weekender Tour at a respectable pace of 5.1 MPH for a sustained sprint, and hit a surprisingly high 5.7 MPH maximum speed for a few strokes. I really didn’t expect this kind of performance from a “budget” paddle board with an aluminum paddle. But it does fall short of the type of speeds we’d expect to see in a typical dedicated Touring iSUP.

At a casual paddling pace of 25 strokes per minute, the Weekender Tour moves along at a pleasant 3.2 MPH. It’s also relatively efficient on the water. I noticed it has a smooth paddling sensation, and it can glide about 20 feet before slowing down (1.7 board lengths). That’s on the high side of our efficiency testing for all-around paddle boards, but not quite as efficient as a dedicated touring SUP.

If you look at the Weekender Tour’s speed performance from the perspective of touring iSUPs, it is a little underwhelming, but as an all-around or mixed-use paddle board, it does quite well.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Maneuverability and Tracking

The Weekender Tour behaves most like a touring SUP when looking at its maneuverability and tracking performance. It does turn when you want it to, but takes noticeably more effort than all-around boards like the Weekender Plus, but it is also easier to paddle straight.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP maneuverability performance
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Turning the Weekender Tour in large amounts at once takes a moderate effort.

With its extra waterline length and 2+1 fin setup, the Weekender Tour can be a bit tricky to turn in large amounts.

In our maneuverability stress test, the Weekender Tour needed an average of 8.75 forward sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from nose to tail) to make a complete circle from a standstill. Our average for all-around boards is just north of 6 strokes for the same test.

However, the Weekender Tour does respond well to reverse sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from tail to nose) and needs just over 4 strokes to make a full circle. The trade off, though, is a loss of forward momentum. That’s where more advanced turning and steering strokes come in for maintaining speed and turning at the same time.

But all of this is in our stress test. Under normal paddling use, I found it fairly easy to turn the Weekender Tour in whichever direction I wanted, up to about 90° at a time.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP tracking performance
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Tracking performance is great for this all-around / touring hybrid iSUP.

While it might be a little tricky to turn the Weekender Tour at times, it’s also very easy to keep it moving in a straight line.

In our tracking stress test, the Weekender Tour only deviated off course by an average of 12° after 10 paddle strokes on a single side. That is excellent for an all-around iSUP, though not quite as good as a fully-dedicated touring iSUP.

Most paddlers, especially new paddlers, will take far fewer strokes before switching sides, which will improve tracking performance even more.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP fins
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The Weekender Tour has a 2+1 fin setup with a large center fin and two smaller side fins.

Under the board there are three slide-in fin boxes, and the Weekender Tour comes with a 9” center fin and two 4.5” side fins.

If you’ve read through some of our other reviews, this is where you’d normally see a small rant about slide-in fin boxes. However, Retrospec has essentially fixed the biggest issue with these fins – the fit. On just about every other iSUP I’ve tested with slide-in fin boxes I have to use a mallet to install or remove the fins.

But that’s not the case with the Weekender Tour, nor with all of the Retrospec iSUPs we’ve been testing for the last month. Rather, the fins easily and smoothly slide in and out of the fin box without needing any force.

WIth the 2+1 fin setup you do have the option of changing which fins you use when heading out for the day. Using all three fins will give you the best tracking performance while making it a little harder to turn the board. Using just the center fin balances the tracking and maneuverability performance and slightly increases speed. If you are paddling in shallow water or want more maneuverability, then using just the two side fins will make it much easier to turn the board, but harder to paddle straight.

We do all of our testing with all included accessories, including the fins. We’ve found that this is how most readers will use their boards, and it typically works quite well. For a more touring-oriented board like the Weekender Tour, I would prefer a single fin box with a slightly larger touring-style fin, however for all around use I find the current setup to be very versatile.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Warranty and Customer Support

Retrospec warranties all of their inflatable SUPs for 2 years from the date of purchase. This is a fairly typical warranty length and is actually more than most iSUPs in this price range. Additionally, they offer a 50-day return period, however, all returns are subject to shipping fees. There is no explicit warranty period for the included accessories. If you have any questions or concerns, you can reach the Retrospec customer service team via telephone, website form, website chat, and social media.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – Final Thoughts

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP pivot turn
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The Retrospec Weekender Tour 11’6 is a great all-around board for people who want to paddle longer distances on a budget.

The Retrospec Weekender Tour 11’6 is about to be my most-recommended budget paddle board. I really enjoyed paddling this board and I think it fills a really good niche in the industry. Its dual-layer construction is durable and rigid, and the shape is well-thought out for beginner-level comfort with the ability to paddle farther and faster than your typical all-around iSUP.

While I don’t personally consider this to be a true “touring” board, there’s no reason you can’t load it up with everything you need for a day or two exploring your local lakes, rivers, and bays. And, with the excellent price point for this board, you’ll have plenty left over to explore new waters.

Retrospec Weekender Tour iSUP Review – FAQ

Is the Retrospec Weekender Tour a good value?

Absolutely. The Weekender Tour is a fantastic value. The construction and performance of the board along with its accessory kit and available options make the Weekender Tour a great option for paddlers on a budget.

Does the Retrospec Weekender Tour make a good kayak?

The Weekender Tour does have the option of adding the Retrospec kayak seat. However, if you are interested in having both an iSUP and a kayak in the same package I would recommend the Retrospec Weekender Plus instead. It comes with the full kayak conversion kit included, and has slightly better stability and maneuverability while seated.

Can I take my child or pet on the Retrospec Weekender Tour?

Yes. The Weekender Tour has enough space and stability for a small pet or child. However the 32” width may not be enough for paddling larger pets or older kids. For larger pets, kids, or paddling with a second adult I would recommend the Retrospec Weekender Plus or the Weekender Crew 12’ depending on user size.

How long does it take to inflate the Retrospec Weekender Tour?

It takes about 10 minutes to inflate the Retrospec Weekender Tour by hand using the included single-chamber hand pump. We recommend electric SUP pumps for pretty much everyone as they allow you to fully inflate your board hands-free.

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