Serene Life iSUP: First Impressions Overview
The Free Flow inflatable paddle board by Serene Life is the company’s most popular option in the field. Though paddle sports is not the focus of Serene Life as they sell products for everything from paddle sports to kitchen supplies, baby toys, pet products and more. While this doesn’t preclude them from selling a decent product, it points to Serene Life not actually developing their own SUPs, but rather picking low-cost, off-the-shelf, options from the factory floor to resell under their name. With few features, low quality accessories and minimal price difference between the Serene Life Free Flow iSUP and paddle boards from SUP-specific brands it’s hard to recommend this board for anyone wanting a paddle board that can grow with them over time. Rather, we recommend taking a look at our list of Best Budget iSUPs for paddleboard kits that offer higher quality and value.
— ROC Scout 10’ Spec Ratings and Review —
ROC Scout 10’
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The Serene Life Free Flow is a low cost iSUP made by a company that is not focused on paddle sports.
- Lightweight construction is easy to carry
- Low cost for a complete kit
- Simple setup and teardown
- Kayak seat compatible
- Medium size cargo area on front of board
- Diamond groove deck pad for extra traction
- Lower cost materials and constructions
- Low quality accessory kit
- Sold by a generic reselling company rather than a SUP-specific brand
Construction and Durability
There aren’t many construction details available for the Serene Life iSUP, but what we do know is it uses a basic lightweight construction common with paddleboards at this price point.
The Free Flow is specified at 19.5 pounds. With a standard knitted drop stitch core this aligns with a lot of single-layer fusion PVC paddle boards available today. Single layer constructions have come a long way, but how rigid and durable they are still requires the use of higher quality materials and builds.
The rails are made with a simple double layer system. The first layer is glued to the top and bottom of the board and a second layer is glued over the top to help support it and provide some more abrasion and puncture resistance.
When you look along the sides of the board it has a very square shape on the rail. This indicates the rail layers span a large gap between the deck and hull of the board and have minimal overlap for the gluing surface. This type of construction is inexpensive, but doesn’t typically last long. The lightweight and simple construction has lower rigidity and won’t be effective for heavier paddlers. Even with a maximum capacity of 285 pounds, paddlers over 200 lbs will have issues with flex that reduce the stability and performance of the board.
|Max Capacity||285 pounds|
|Board Weight||19.5 pounds|
|Returns period||30 days|
Features, Accessories and Versatility
The Serene Life Free Flow iSUP has a very simple set of features for short paddle sessions.
There is a six-point bungee cargo area at the front of the board that’s large enough for medium size dry bags, shoes, water bottle, or other essential items.
The deck pad has a diamond groove texture for grip and extends most of the way to the tail. There are four more D-rings on the midsection of the board that are compatible with a kayak seat, and a leash D-ring at the very tail of the board.
The Free Flow has a single fin box and comes with a standard 9” surf-style fin and has two small fixed side bites. These side fins are purely aesthetic and do not offer any tracking or stability performance improvement. In addition to the board and fin, the Free Flow also comes with a three piece aluminum paddle, coiled leash, single chamber pump, repair kit, and basic backpack-style carrying bag.
Serene Life also has a few other models of iSUP available. Confusingly, they are all listed as the same product on Amazon, but with different color options. So you do need to be careful when selecting your options.
The Free Flow is available in six colors: Aqua, Black & Gray, Black & light Gray, Blue, Orange, and Pink.
The other models available from Serene Life are:
- Rising Flow – Also 10’6” x 32”, but with the fins farther to the back of the board improving tracking (Ocean Blue and “Black” colors only)
- Thunder Wave – 10’0” x 32” The same as the Free Flow, but 6” shorter making it slightly more maneuverable (Marine Blue, Olive Green colors only)
- Free Flow (alternate) – 10’6” x 32” This version of the Free Flow has the same features, but has a very torpedo-like shape which will be less stable and more maneuverable (Ocean Blue, Wood colors only)
Though the shapes and sizes are slightly different, the construction and accessory kits are the same for each model.
The Free Flow comes with a three piece aluminum and nylon paddle.
Aluminum paddles are a budget friendly way for companies to offer low-cost paddle board kits. They are heavier than most fiberglass paddles and are noticeably stiff as well. The biggest downside to an aluminum paddle is its durability. While composite paddles will flex and then straighten back out, if you do bend an aluminum paddle shaft it’s more or less permanent. This can happen on or off the water. Setting something heavy on your paddle or getting it caught on something hard can cause it to bend. It is very difficult to bend the paddle back straight, and each time the aluminum shaft is bent it does become weaker and easier for it to happen again.
For casual paddling aluminum paddles can work well, but their weight makes them less than ideal for longer sessions. The nylon blade is impact resistant and more durable than purely composite paddle blades.
Shape and Performance
The Free Flow takes on a classic all-around paddle board shape at 10’6” long, 32” wide with mostly parallel sides. The round nose and relatively wide square tail will aid in the board’s stability, however its less-rigid construction will make it feel less stable than most similarly shaped iSUPs.
The rockered nose profile and forward position of the fins make the Serene Life more maneuverable, but harder to paddle in a straight line. With more flex in the board and difficulty tracking straight it is very difficult to paddle quickly and efficiently, limiting its use to short, casual paddles in smaller or protected bodies of water.
Warranty and Customer Support
Serene Life only offers a 1 year warranty for their iSUPs and has a 30-day return policy when purchased through Amazon.com. Serene Life does have a contact form on their website, or you can reach out to them through their social media channels. Issues with your order or board will best be served through Amazon’s customer service channels.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The Serene Life Free flow is a simple, low cost paddle board with limited use. For a budget alternative with a more durable construction, more features, and better performance we highly recommend the Nautical 10’6” iSUP instead. Serene Life’s lack of expertise in the industry, short warranty period, and conflicting information between their website, Amazon store, descriptions, and graphics are all reasons we do not recommend this product over other budget options.
Serene Life Free Flow iSUP FAQ
Is the Serene Life iSUP good for beginners?
The Serene Life Free Flow’s 32” width and and shape are fairly standard for beginner paddle boards. However, its construction and limited features and performance are not as good as other entry-level iSUPs like the Nautical 10’6”.
Is the Serene Life Free Flow iSUP good for fishing?
The Serene Life Free Flow iSUP has limited storage and accessory mounting capacity. While you can fish from it, a more fully-featured and stable paddle board is a better option for SUP anglers. See our list of Top Fishing SUPs for more information.
Can I paddle with a child or pet on the Serene Life iSUP?
You can paddle with a small child or pet, however the low weight capacity and less rigid construction will be difficult to use with larger passengers.
Can I use the Serene Life Free Flow iSUP with a kayak seat?
Yes, there are four D-rings near the middle of the board to use with a kayak seat.