Starboard 12′ iGO Deluxe DC iSUP Review – Stable All Around? Expedition Touring? Why Not Both?!

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC iSUP Review
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The Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC is a high-capacity paddle board that offers great stability and tracking performance.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Overview

The Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe Double Chamber (DDC) is a large inflatable paddle board that is a bit of a mix between an all-around iSUP, a cruiser-style iSUP, and a crossover touring SUP. The extra size and high stability make this a great option for larger paddlers, paddling with a friend, and even some expedition-style touring thanks to its great tracking performance and high capacity.

— Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review Summary and Ratings —

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board
  • Construction & Durability
  • Features and Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Maneuverability
  • Tracking

Overall Score

The 12’ iGO DDC is a great paddle board for larger paddlers or paddling with a passenger.


  • Excellent construction quality is extremely rigid and durable
  • Welded rails allow for higher internal pressure without the worry of glue degradation
  • The elongated shape is extra stable and gives the board great efficiency
  • The wider shape makes it a good choice for occasional tandem paddling
  • Includes shoulder strap and paddle holder for easy carry
  • Starboard’s environmental commitment includes bags, fins, and other accessories made from recycled materials and 10x carbon offset for the production of the paddle board


  • The 12’ iGO DDC does not come with a paddle, however, Starboard has a wide range of paddles available at different budgets and performance levels
  • There are not many built-in features on the board, so mounting accessories or lots of cargo to the board can be difficult.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Construction and Durability

The Starboard 12’ iGO DDC uses the same basic construction as the Deluxe Single Chamber models but builds in a second air chamber in the middle of the board. This air chamber is intended to provide a small safety measure and comply with certain regulations for open-ocean vessels.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC welded rail construction
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The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC uses welded rails and fusion laminate for a durable construction.

The Deluxe Double Chamber (DDC) construction starts with a woven drop stitch core. By weaving the yarns instead of knitting them, like in a standard knitted core, the fabric is lighter weight because it uses less material, and the straighter warp and weft yarns make the fabric more rigid. These top and bottom fabric layers are joined with thousands of drop-stitched yarns to keep the iGo flat and rigid while inflated.

The outer PVC shell of the board is made with a single Fusion lamination process that uses heat and pressure to physically bond the PVC to the fabric layers of the drop stitch core. This eliminates glue between the core and the shell making the board lighter and more rigid by physically bonding the layers together.

The top and bottom of the board are then connected with a heat-welded interior seam. Like the fusion process, heat welding eliminates glue and creates a mechanical bond essentially turning the entire board into one continuous piece of reinforced PVC material.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC double chamber construction diagram
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The Double Chamber construction creates a smaller inner air chamber for a marginal increase in safety in open water.

For the Double Chamber construction, the inner chamber is built the same as the outer chamber. Where the two rail sections meet inside the board (what Starboard calls its Double I-Beam Stringer), the two segments are connected on the top and bottom of the board with a circumferential PVC band on the deck and hull.

The outside of the board then gets an outer rail band and finally a seam reinforcement strip on the top edge of the outer rail.

The woven core and fusion material help keep weight down, however, the additional components needed for the second air chamber and the extra length of the board do bring the weight back up to 26.4 pounds. Considering the size of this board and its second air chamber, this is pretty light, though if you want a lighter-weight kit, the Deluxe Single Chamber construction shaves off about five pounds.

While the main (outer) air chamber has a recommended maximum pressure of 18 PSI, the inner chamber has a maximum pressure rating of just 10 PSI. This is a bit strange to me as the constructions and valves are the same, and other double-chamber iSUPs we’ve reviewed in the past have had equal pressure ratings for each chamber.

With the Deluxe construction and the claim by Starboard that the second air chamber improves rigidity, I was curious to see how it would fare in our bend test.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC rigid while standing
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There is no discernible flex when standing or paddling normally on the 12’ iGO DDC.

Once fully inflated we put 170 pounds of weight in the standing area of the board and measured just over 1.25” of bend in the 12’ iGO DDC. That’s slightly more bend than we measured in the 10’8 iGO Deluxe Single Chamber board (1.18”).

In my experience, I fully believe this difference is because of the lower pressure rating of the inner chamber. For longevity of the product and safety, we don’t over-pressurize paddle boards past their manufacturer’s recommended level. So I can’t fully test this. However, we do have an analog to compare.

The Nixy Monterey G4 is also a double-chamber iSUP, but the maximum inflation pressure is equal between the two chambers. However, the new Nixy Monterey G5 (review coming soon!) is a single chamber board. Otherwise, their constructions are the same and the sizes are likewise extremely close. In this case, the Nixy G4 Double Chamber bent just 1.0” and the Nixy G5 Single Chamber bent 1.6”. Second air chambers can improve rigidity in a paddle board, but only if inflated equally.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC flex while bouncing
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While bouncing on the board I could feel more bend and flex in the 12’ iGO DDC than the 10’8 iGO DSC.

On the water, the 12’ iGO DDC felt extremely rigid. Even with the second air chamber at just 10 PSI and the slightly lower bend test result, I could not feel a difference in rigidity between the 10’8 iGO DSC and the 12’ iGO DDC. So while we found a small difference on land, on the water they are equally rigid (but not more rigid with the double chamber).

While standing, paddling normally, and even during a sprint, I didn’t notice any bend or flex in the 12’ iGO DDC. Walking and changing position on the board likewise has a solid feeling. I could generate moderate flex when bouncing on the board, but the 12’ iGO DDC settled back calmly with a comfortable rebound sensation.

Overall the 12’ iGO DDC has excellent construction. The welded rails and fusion material are fantastic for board longevity and durability. The second air chamber does introduce manufacturing complexity and the potential for more failure points, but Starboard’s welded rails and great quality control eliminate this concern for me.


Length12’ 0”
Max Capacity265 pounds
Board Weight26.4 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
37 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$1599
Warranty2 years
Returns period30 days

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Features, Accessories and Versatility

The Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe Double Chamber is a mix of different types of boards. It’s a large all-around. It’s a long cruiser. It’s a super-stable adventure touring board. And while it doesn’t have dozens of bells and whistles built onto the board, it does have what most paddlers will need for a day on the water.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC size and shape
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The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC is 12’ 0” long, 33” wide, and 6” thick. It has a recommended rider weight capacity of 265 pounds and weighs just over 26 pounds.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC nose shape
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The nose of the 12’ iGO DDC is fairly wide with a rounded shape and moderate rocker profile (how far the nose lifts off the water). This helps keep the board stable while smoothly gliding, even over small waves and choppy water.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC standing area and second chamber inflation valve
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The widest point of the board (33”) is just in front of the center handle, and the entire midsection of the board has a gently curved outline. While this isn’t as stable of a shape as a more parallel or rectangular board, the soft sweep transitions smoothly as you change position so there is no sudden loss of stability at any given point when stepping back to the tail.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC tail shape
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The tail is quite narrow for an all-around paddle board, especially a wider board like the 12’ iGO DDC. This narrower tail shape reduces its maximum stability, but it also helps increase paddling efficiency.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC double chamber construction
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The inner air chamber is most obviously seen on the underside of the board. It starts just aft of the center handle and extends up through the cargo area on the nose of the board. While the main air chamber has a maximum pressure rating of 18 PSI, the inner chamber is rated for just 10 PSI.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC front cargo area
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There’s a small cargo area on the front of the board which uses a simple bungee cord threaded between four high-density plastic D-rings.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC padded center handle
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There are two handles on the 12’ iGO DDC. The center handle is comfortably padded, while the rear handle is a simple nylon webbing.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC deck pad
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The deck pad has a diamond groove and pebbled texture for excellent traction while still being comfortable on bare skin.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC shoulder carry strap
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The two D-rings on the right side of the board are intended for use with the included padded shoulder carrying strap. These D-rings are only on one side of the board, so they are not compatible with simple kayak seat options.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC raised kick pad
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The deck pad has a slightly more aggressive texture at the tail of the board and ends with a raised kick pad to provide additional support when standing on the tail of the board.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC towing d-ring
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There is a steel D-ring under the nose of the board to use with an anchor or when towing.
Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC fin box
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The 12’ iGO DDC has a single US Fin box under the board tail.

Some areas have regulations for open-ocean inflatable vessels to have multiple air chambers for safety. The idea is that if something happens to compromise the main chamber (like paddling over an unseen oyster bed), the second chamber provides extra floatation for the board, your gear, and – in conjunction with your PFD – you.

Aside from the inner air chamber and the front cargo space, the 12’ iGO Deluxe DC is quite minimalist with its features. Considering how well this board performs in speed and tracking, it would be a good candidate as an expedition-style paddle board. I would like to see Starboard add more cargo capacity with a larger front cargo area and additional D-rings on the rear of the board for longer trips.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC accessory kit
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The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC comes with a basic kit of accessories and a shoulder carrying strap.

Starboard’s focuses almost entirely on making paddle boards that are not only user-friendly but also designed specifically for the joy of paddling itself. As such, they only include a basic accessory kit with their boards. Along with the 12’ iGO Deluxe DC you also get:

  • Starboard Re-Cover roller backpack made with recycled plastic bottles
  • Single-chamber hand pump
  • Stretchable flat leash
  • 9” Net-Positive surf/all-around style fin made from recycled fishing nets
  • Padded shoulder strap
  • Basic repair kit

The biggest missing element in this package is a paddle. However, Starboard makes a huge variety of paddles that allow you to choose the best size, shape, and construction for your paddling style.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board – Paddle

The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC doesn’t include a set paddle with the board, however Starboard has several great paddle options. We tested the 12’ iGO DDC with the Starboard Lima Tufskin paddle.

Starboard Lima Tufskin paddle
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The Lima Tufskin paddle has a durable plastic blade with a high-performance shape.

The Lima Tuffskin paddle is a high-quality, durable, and affordable paddle option to go with your Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC. This paddle uses the same blade shape as Starboard’s venerated Lima racing paddle. Rather than being made from expensive and delicate prepreg carbon fiber, the Lima Tuffskin blade is made with impact-resistant ABS plastic.

This does make the Tuffskin significantly heavier than the prepreg carbon paddle, but also around ¼ of the cost! The blade is rectangular with a moderately deep concave and double-dihedral shape on the power face. This type of shape does several things very well. First, the cupped shape is easy for beginner paddlers to see how the blade should be oriented while paddling. The cupped shape and “pocket” formed by the dihedral ridges also help lock the paddle in the water to reduce fluttering, wandering, and slipping to increase paddling efficiency. Lastly, the blade is medium-sized and fits most paddlers well for casual cruising or a faster fitness pace.

The paddle shaft is made with carbon fiber to help reduce weight and give the Lima a stiffer and more powerful feel in the water. The blade and shaft sections join with a bias-cut ferrule and push-button spring clip for a solid fit. It took me a minute to get the two back apart!

The handle section is also made with carbon fiber and has a printed length scale for easy adjustments. However, it doesn’t have an automatic indexing mechanism, so you’ll need to align the handle with the paddle blade after you change the length. The palm grip is made with heavy-duty plastic and has a slight ‘U’ shape on top. Whenever I start paddling with this grip I feel the corners of the handle pressing into my hand (rather than falling away as in most handle grips), however, after just a few minutes I no longer notice it.

The overall feeling in the water with the Lima Tuffskin is great. It’s well balanced in your hands and it catches in the water wonderfully. The rectangular blade shape with a power scoop provides great efficiency without over-taxing your body, making it a great paddle for long sessions on the water.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Stability

The Starboard 12’ iGO DDC is incredibly stable thanks to its size, shape, and rigidity.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC stability while on edge
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The 12’ iGO DDC is extremely stable, even when holding it on its rail.

At 12 feet long and 33” wide, it was no surprise that the 12’ iGO DDC felt incredibly stable on the water – this is a big board! Shape is also a crucial element of stability for a paddle board and the wide nose and gently curved outline of the board increase the volume and keep the 12’ iGO DDC predictably stable no matter where you are standing or how you are tilting the board.

While standing and paddling on the board I didn’t feel any twitching or rolling, and the rigid construction prevented any bouncing or flexing from throwing me off balance. The extra weight from the double chamber construction also helps create a more solid feel as it takes more effort to tilt the board from side to side compared to a lighter SUP or construction.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC stability side to side
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Tilting the board side-to-side is easy and smooth.

Walking and moving on the board was likewise easy, though the overall stability is reduced as you move toward the tail, the large radius curve of the 12’ iGO DDC’s outline makes this happen very smoothly rather than with abrupt changes at each step.

The tail is narrower than most all-around paddle boards, but there is still plenty of volume to support paddlers as they lift the nose for a pivot turn or to ride a wave. The deck pad has a high-traction diamond groove pattern and a raised kick pad on the tail for more support and to keep you from accidentally stepping off the tail.

The size and shape of the 12’ iGO DDC give it the stability that makes it a great choice for beginner paddlers, especially those over 200 pounds. It’s also a great option for paddling with a passenger or pet or loading up with equipment for an overnight paddling excursion even on rough waters.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Speed

At 33” wide and with a little extra weight in the board itself I was not expecting the 12’ iGO Deluxe DC to be as quick and efficient on the water as it is.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC speed performance
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The 12’ iGO DDC is surprisingly quick, but it takes a large effort to move at sprinting speeds.

In our sprinting speed test, the 12’ iGO did quite well for its size. I maintained a sprinting speed of around 5.2 MPH which is near what I initially expected, but I did not foresee myself hitting a maximum speed of 5.8 MPH. That is fantastic for such a wide board.

I didn’t notice any flexing or bouncing in the board while sprinting, either, and it maintained great tracking performance while paddling at a high speed.

When paddling at a more comfortable pace of about 25 strokes per minute, the 12’ iGO DDC also performed well with an average speed of around 3.6 MPH, with a very easy-feeling glide. At this cruising speed, a single paddle stroke moves the 12’ iGO DDC around 21 feet before slowing down, giving it a gliding ratio of 1.8 board lengths per stroke.

It’s hard to compare this board directly to many others as very few 12’ longboards are 33” wide. Compared to a typical all-around paddle board, I’d say the 12’ iGO DDC has typical speed performance, but excellent glide. Compared to most cruiser-style SUPs, it has both excellent speed and glide. But, compared with adventure touring boards I’d say it has average to just a hair less than average speed and typical gliding performance.

Overall I enjoyed the easy paddling feel of the 12’ iGO DDC at pretty much any speed.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Maneuverability and Tracking

The Starboard 12’ iGO DDC favors straight-line tracking performance over maneuverability, making it a good option for paddling longer distances and on larger bodies of water.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC maneuverability performance
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Turning the 12’ iGO can be difficult with basic strokes, but advanced strokes like this cross-bow draw make it easier.

To compare maneuverability, we put each board through a stress test where we turned in a full circle using only forward sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from nose to tail). This is not only a large turn to make, but it’s not the most efficient turning stroke around. It took an average of 12.75 forward sweep strokes to make a complete circle with the Starboard 12’ iGO DDC from a standstill. That’s a significantly large turning radius, and it is much slower turning than pretty much any all-around or cruiser-style iSUP we’ve tested.

By using more efficient strokes, though, the 12’ iGO DDC does turn much more quickly. Using reverse sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from tail to nose), you work against the fin and can turn a full circle in just 4.25 strokes on average. Stepping to the tail of the board for a pivot turn, which is made easy thanks to its rigidity and stability, lets you spin the 12’ iGO DDC in a full circle in just about two paddle strokes.

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC tracking performance
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Keeping the 12’ iGO DDC moving straight is extremely easy thanks to its extra length and 9” fin placement.

The flip side of maneuverability is tracking performance. The 12’ iGO DDC does wonderfully when you want to paddle in a straight line. Our tracking stress test involves measuring the difference in the course after taking 10 paddle strokes on a single side of the board – or about double the number of strokes the average paddler will take before switching sides. After 10 paddle strokes, the 12’ iGO DDC was just 8° off course. That is full-blown touring SUP territory!

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC fin
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The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC includes a 9” surf/all-around style fin that sits very far to the rear of the board.

The 12’ iGO DDC has a single Universal Standard (US) fin box on the underside of the board. This allows you to easily swap the fin for another compatible option if you want to change the tracking and maneuverability performance, find alternate fin styles, or replace fins in a pinch. Starboard includes their M9 9” all-around/surf-style fin with the 12’ iGO DDC. By changing to a shorter fin (like Starboard’s M8 fin) you can increase maneuverability while slightly lowering its tracking performance.

While the 12’ iGO DDC does have excellent tracking, I still found it easy to steer while paddling. It responded well to both gentle steering input and larger turning strokes up to about 90° before you feel the turning radius begin to increase.

While not as well balanced between maneuverability and tracking as the 10’8 iGO, the 12’ iGO is a great choice for those wanting to paddle longer distances without changing to a dedicated touring SUP.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Warranty and Customer Support

Starboard offers a two-year manufacturer’s warranty on their inflatable SUPs. Because Starboard does not sell directly to the consumer, paddlers must work with retailers (locally or online) to purchase their Starboard products and work with those retailers for warranty issues. Any return policies are at the individual retailer’s discretion (or pertinent regulations for your area). Starboard is available for customer support via email, however most customer support questions should be directed to your chosen retailer.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – Overall Impressions/Review Summary

Starboard 12' iGO Deluxe DC pivot turn
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The 12’ iGO is a great option for larger paddlers and even some expedition-style touring with heavy payloads.

The Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe Double Chamber iSUP can’t be pigeonholed into a single board category, and I think that’s rad. Is it a stable and capable all-around board for beginners, larger paddlers, or enjoying the water with a friend? You betcha. Can you throw on a dry bag and take off into the sunset for an overnight trip? Heck yeah! While there aren’t many extra bells and whistles built onto the board, the classic simplicity of it is there to help you focus on enjoying the paddling experience first. And with a high-performance board like the 12’ iGO DDC, it is a great experience.

Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC Paddle Board Review – FAQ

Can I bring a passenger or pet with me on the Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC?

Absolutely! The 12’ iGO DDC is large and stable enough to paddle with a passenger or pet.

Is the Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC good for fishing?

The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC has great stability, which is very helpful for SUP fishing, however, the small cargo area and lack of accessory attachment points make it less ideal for anglers who like to bring along a lot of equipment.

Is the Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe DC a good value?

The 12’ iGO Deluxe DC is a great option for many paddlers, however, its double chamber construction does greatly increase the price of the board. If you don’t specifically need the second chamber for regulatory reasons, I recommend saving some money while still getting the ultra-high quality of the Starboard 12’ iGO Deluxe Single Chamber.

Should I get the Deluxe Single Chamber, Deluxe Double Chamber, or Zen Construction?

Most paddlers will get the greatest benefit from Starboard’s Deluxe single-chamber construction. It’s very rigid without being too heavy, and it is a great value. The Deluxe Double Chamber is more expensive, and the extra air chamber is only needed if required by local regulation, it does not provide a noticeable performance improvement. The Zen construction is lighter-weight and less expensive but does not offer the same performance level as the DSC construction. We only recommend the Zen construction for paddlers under 150 pounds, but we still prefer the rigidity of the Deluxe Single Chamber.

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