Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review | 2024

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review 2024
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The Thurso Adept is designed specifically for younger paddlers between 80-150 lbs.

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP: Overview

The Thurso Adept 108 is a youth iSUP that is designed to bridge the gap between the Thurso Prodigy Jr. and the Thurso Waterwalker. While the Prodigy Jr. is an iSUP designed specifically for smaller children (up to 80lb), the Adept is built for older kids and tweens up to 150 lbs. The longer length provides more stability for taller kids while not increasing the width beyond what is comfortable to paddle. The Adept also uses the same construction methods and materials as the full-size Waterwalker for maximum performance on the water.

Construction and Durability

The Thurso Adept shares the same great construction and materials as the highly-rated Thurso Waterwalker adult paddleboards.

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The Adept even has carbon fiber reinforced rails for increased stiffness and durability.

Thurso Surf’s iSUPs have excellent construction across their entire lineup. All of their inflatable paddleboards use woven drop stitch fabric and double-layer PVC material for the deck and hull of the board.

The sides of the Adept also have a double-layer PVC rail and a carbon fiber rail reinforcement strip around the standing area. The carbon fiber fabric is less flexible than the PVC material and prevents the paddleboard from bulging when in use, which increases the board’s overall stiffness. The rails are also lined on top and bottom with additional PVC reinforcement strips that help prevent the edges of the rails from catching on anything and potentially wearing away from the board.

The dual-layer top and bottom and triple-layer rails make the Adept very abrasion resistant. Smaller paddlers may struggle to carry a paddleboard for longer distances and more frequently drop or drag it. This extra abrasion resistance means fewer punctures to patch and a longer life span for the SUP. This does add a small amount of weight to the Adept, however its overall smaller size and woven fabric layers keep it to just 19 lbs for the board.

The recommended rider weight for the Thurso Adept is 120 lbs for beginner youth paddlers. With the same construction as the full-size Waterwalker series, the total carrying capacity of the Adept is much higher, so even older tweens can still use the Adept and bring along everything they need for a day on the water.


Length 9’ 0”
Max Capacity120 pounds
Board Weight19 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
32 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$548
Warranty2 years
Returns period30 days

Features, Accessories and Versatility

The Thurso Adept is an all-around iSUP for kids with the full-functionality and accessories that we expect to see on full-size all-around iSUPs.

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The Thurso Adept 108 is 9’ long, 28” wide, 4.7” thick, and has a beginner rider weight maximum of 120 lbs.
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The nose of the Adept has a large cargo area, GoPro/threaded action mount, and grab handle.
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The tail has a small cargo area, inflation valve, leash tab and carrying handle.
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The deck pad uses an embossed EVA foam for excellent grip.
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The integrated action mount is ready for GoPro-style feet adapters or bolt-on accessories.
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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There are two velcro paddle holder tabs on the right side and four extra d-rings for kayak seat compatibility..
Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The Adept has three fin boxes with standard surf-style fins included.

The Adept is set up to be a smaller version of the Waterwalker. In fact, it’s so similar that I wouldn’t have been surprised if Thurso simply dubbed this paddleboard the Waterwalker 108 instead of the Adept 108. The Adept is 9’ long (108 refers to the length of the board in inches, rather than feet-and-inches), 28 inches wide and 4.7” thick. It’s labeled as a Youth paddleboard, rather than a Children’s paddleboard, and is really designed for kids around 10-14 years old and up to 120 lbs for a beginner paddler. Kids with some paddling experience can use the Adept at higher rider weights, though much larger and a full-size iSUP may be a better choice overall.

There are far more similarities between the Adept and the Waterwalker than there are differences. Both are compatible with kayak seat kits thanks to the four d-rings around the middle of the board, both have integrated accessory/action camera mounts on the nose of the board, and both have a logo-embossed deck pad with three carrying handles.

The fin setup is a little bit different on the Adept than on the Waterwalker, though, and this greatly surprised me. Rather than three fliplock fins (like on the Waterwalker), the Adept gets a US fin box center fin and two click-fin fin boxes – this is a huge upgrade! The US fin box and click fin boxes are far more standard in the surf and SUP world and provide more options for matching your fins to your conditions. They are also more readily available from local surf and SUP shops should you lose or forget a fin on your way to the beach. The included center fin is a classic “dolphin” shape that blends tracking and maneuverability, and it comes with tool-less plugs rather than needing to install a nut and bolt each time you put the fin on the board.

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The Adept comes as a complete kit including a full-size paddle.

The Adept comes as a complete kit with everything you need to get on the water except for a PFD. Thurso has included their accessory organizer as well to help keep those fins, repair kit, and leash organized and easy to find.

The Adept includes a single-chamber hand pump rather than the double-chamber pump that comes with the Waterwalker. With the smaller volume of the Adept this makes sense, however smaller kids may still need help getting the Adept up to its final pressure with the hand pump.


Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The paddle included with the Adept is the same model that comes with their full-size iSUPs.

The Thurso carbon/hybrid paddle is a great kit paddle for adults and older kids, but it may be a bit too large for smaller kids. If you are buying the Adept for a shorter (under 5’ 0”) paddler, this paddle may be too long and have too large of a blade to use comfortably for long periods of time. Thurso does make a smaller paddle that is included with their Prodigy Jr. kid’s iSUP, but it is unfortunately not available separately.

Warranty and Customer Support

The Adept is covered by Thurso’s 2 year manufacturer’s warranty. The bag and pump are covered by a 1 year warranty, and the paddle and Leash are covered by a 60 day warranty. Thurso also has a 30-day return period if for some reason the Adept is not a good fit for your kids. You can reach Thurso Surf with any questions or concerns via their website, email, or social media.


The Thurso Adept offers excellent construction and performance quality in a package and price that is just right for the budding paddlers in your family. The same materials, features, and designs of the highly-regarded Waterwalker series have all found their way into this youth iSUP.

Overall Impressions/Review Summary

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP Review
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The Thurso Adept 108 is a high-quality youth-oriented paddleboard that’s ideal for older kids and tweens.

The Thurso Adept 108 is essentially a smaller Waterwalker iSUP. As an adult, I love the Waterwalker 132 for its performance, build quality, and aesthetics. I see those same features and qualities in the Adept. Older kids that enjoy paddling and want to take on their own iSUP adventures, the Thurso Adept 108 is the perfect choice. And we won’t tell if you parents want to grab it for some easy-going longboard surf sessions, either!

Thurso Adept 108 Youth iSUP FAQ

Does the Thurso Adept come with a youth paddle?

The Thurso Adept includes a full-size paddle. Most older kids can use the full size paddle for shorter periods of time, however paddlers under 5’0” will need a smaller option to paddle comfortably for longer periods of time.

How durable is the Thurso Adept 108?

With dual-layer PVC deck and hull and triple-layer rails (including a carbon fiber reinforcement), the Thurso Adept is built for the long haul. While excessive dragging or impacts can damage any iSUP, the Adept’s extra layers and carbon fiber rail give it more protection than the average kid’s iSUP.

Can I paddle on the Thurso Adept with my kids?

Yes and no. The recommended rider weight is 120 lbs for beginners. While the Adept is capable of working with significantly more weight than that, the stability, maneuverability, and general performance will all decrease. Smaller adults and smaller kids kneeling together on the board is possible, but it’s better to do this with a full-size iSUP like the Waterwalker 132.

Is the Thurso Adept a good value?

Yes! The Thurso Adept provides all of the quality materials, construction, and performance of the Waterwalker series iSUPs into a smaller, and more wallet-friendly package for kids. Because of its slightly longer size compared to many other kid’s iSUPs, the Adept can work for a wide range of kids, or the same kids as they grow!

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