THURSO Waterwalker 132 Review | 2021

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Thurso Waterwalker 132 paddle board review - 2021 all-around sup top pick
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The 2021 THURSO Waterwalker 132 is a popular all-around inflatable paddle board that is lightweight, sports a distinctive woodgrain look, and comes with a great set of accessories. The first SUP board ever released by THURSO, the 11′ member of the Waterwalker family has received several key refinements after major upgrades in 2020 and we’ll cover it all in this THURSO Waterwalker 132 review.

THURSO SURF was founded in 2016 and has quickly gained a reputation within the paddleboarding industry for producing beautiful inflatable SUPs that are affordable and loaded with value. Currently, the company’s lineup consists of a total of 7 inflatable SUP models including a fitness board, youth iSUP, touring board, cruiser SUP, and three all-around models.

In this updated THURSO Waterwalker 132 review, we’ll take a look at the board’s new design and features, construction, pros and cons, included accessories, how it performs, warranty, and more. We’ll also tell you where you can buy the board as well as highlight current sales and discounts.

Specifications

Dimensions
Length11'
Width32“
Thickness6“
Weight
Max Capacity330 pounds
Board Weight26 pounds
Kit Weight
(SUP & accessories)
44.5 pounds
Buying Info
List Price$849
Warranty2 years
Returns period30 days

The Waterwalker 132 on shore by a river.
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In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary —

THURSO Waterwalker 132
  • Durability
  • Features
  • Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Portability
  • Warranty
  • Customer Support
  • Price
4.8

Summary

The THURSO Waterwalker 132 is a 2021 Top Pick for anyone who wants an affordable, value-packed all-around inflatable SUP with high quality accessories.

Pros

  • New lighter woven drop stitch construction
  • New lighter carbon fiber paddle
  • New 3-stage pump with removable handles and folding feet
  • Convenient paddle holder along right rail
  • Beautiful wood grain design
  • Good rigidity
  • Excellent build quality
  • High quality set of included accessories

Cons

  • No exterior paddle pockets on backpack
  • Only one action mount
  • Not available in Australia

THURSO Waterwalker 132 Review: SUP Overview

Measuring 11′ x 32″ x 6″ and weighing 26 pounds, the THURSO Waterwalker 132 is a classic all-around paddle board that can be enjoyed by first-timers and advanced paddlers alike. The company has done a wonderful job of listening to customer feedback over the years and this version of the WW132 includes a variety of features and small details that make it a pleasure to use.

The WW132 has two other smaller siblings: the Waterwalker 126 which measures 10’6″x 31″ x 6″ and the Waterwalker 120 which measures 10′ x 30″ x 6″. Unlike most brands who only shorten the length of their shorter all-around boards while keeping the width the same, THURSO also scales down the width of these two smaller boards. While this makes them more responsive for smaller paddlers and kids, it makes them less stable for taller paddlers who might otherwise consider a 10′ SUP.

Appearance

We’ve always been big fans of THURSO’s inflatable SUP designs and we think the new Waterwalker look introduced in 2020 was a real head-turner. For 2021 it is slightly refined, removing the center stripe from the deck pad and introducing more of the color to the bottom of the board. Importantly, THURSO’s signature natural woodgrain look on the deck continues to be the star of the show and looks sharp on the water. While aesthetics are obviously a very subjective area, THURSO makes some of the best-looking inflatable paddle boards on the market today in our opinion, and it’s certainly a distinctive design.

— Drag slider below to compare the 2020 and 2021 Waterwalker 132 —

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Perhaps more importantly, they’ve updated their color scheme. Up until this year the color denoted the length of the board so you didn’t have any choice of color. After hearing enough requests for more options from their customers, for 2021 THURSO has made all three lengths of the Waterwalkers available in three colors: Tangerine, Crimson, and Turquiose. Our review board is in the Tangerine color.

Features

— Click on hotspots for additional details

2021 Thurso Waterwalker 132 tangerine color overview
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Rear Grab Handle
Rear Cargo Area
Front Cargo Storage
Carrying Handle
Front Grab Handle
Paddle Holders
D-Rings
EVA Foam Traction Pad

The board features are largely unchanged from 2020 to 2021 (if you’re already familiar with them you may want to jump to the construction section where there are big changes).

At the very front of the nose is the board’s sole action mount. This can be used for attaching optional accessories like GoPro cameras and have become increasing popular in recent years. Just behind it is the front grab handle which is helpful for pulling the board in and out of the water.

Behind that is a massive 6-point bungee cord storage area which can be used to secure your dry bag, backpack, Crocs, or fishing gear. The bungee is tied with a simple overhand knot and is not sealed with any shrink tubing, so it could be removed if you’d prefer to have the space open.

Covering the top deck of the Waterwalker 132 is a comfortable EVA foam traction pad textured with tiny THURSO logos. This deck pad provides excellent grip while also being easy on the hands and feet. The pad is unobstructed by hardware anywhere you’d be likely to stand — something that can become a problem on SUPs that go overboard with the accessory mounts.

Located at the center of the Waterwalker 132 is a tough webbing carrying handle with a neoprene bottom that makes it easy to carry the board around when fully inflated.

There are also 4 stainless steel D-rings located along the board’s rails surrounding the center handle which make it easy to attach optional accessories like the company’s kayak seat kit. These can also be used as attachment points for tying down a SUP cooler, camping gear, etc.

One of our favorite features: THURSO has paddle holders to the right rail of the board. These nylon webbed loops feature secure velcro closures and are super convenient for those times when you want to set your paddle down and take a swim, shoot some photos, or just lay out and relax. We’ve yet to find a paddle holder solution on another brand of SUP that works as well as these.

At the tail of the board is a second much smaller 4-point bungee cargo storage area. There’s also a grab handle which is great for pulling the board along the beach as it elevates the fins up off the ground, preventing damage caused by rocky beaches and other hard objects. The tail also features a D-ring for securing the included leash as well as an inflation valve.

Located on the underside of the board are the three removable fins in a 2+1 arrangement that use a convenient tool-less lever lock system to attach. Being able to remove all three fins not only gives you the ability to play around with different fin configurations — it also allows you to roll the board up into a smaller footprint for easier packing, storage, and transport. Additionally, stacking SUPs on the roof of your vehicle is also a lot easier when all of the fins are removable.

Construction

The 2021 THURSO Waterwalker 132 continues to feature dual-layer PVC construction for its outer layers. However, it introduces a significant new technology to its design, woven drop-stitching.

The side of the board is enhanced with carbon fiber for stiffness.
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Drop stitch is the internal material construction that enables an inflatable paddle board to keep its distinct shape even under high pressure. Woven drop stitch is an advanced version of this process with several distinct benefits: it’s lighter than standard drop stitch, it makes the SUP easier to roll up when deflated, yet the board is stronger and more rigid when inflated. You can see why this is a benefit on all fronts.

In addition, the Waterwalker 132 also features carbon fiber reinforced side rails introduced in 2020. These provide the SUP additional lateral rigidity as well as abrasion resistance where you need it the most.

Paddling Performance

The Waterwalker 132 has excellent rigidity thanks to its woven drop stitch construction and carbon fiber reinforced side rails. At 32 inches wide, this model offers greater stability than the 31 inch wide Waterwalker 126 or 30 inch wide Waterwalker 120 and its versatile design is suitable for beginner to advanced paddlers. For those in need of even more stability, we recommend checking out the 34 inch wide THURSO SURF Max for a cruiser SUP or the THURSO Tranquility for a fitness/yoga SUP.

Capable of doing a lot well, this board is fun on flatwater, small surf, and it can even be used for fishing. The Waterwalker 132 glides well although in our testing we found the tracking to not be quite as straight as the the NIXY and BLACKFIN boards.

Our Impressions: Likes and Dislikes

The Waterwalker 132 has been a regular on our all-around Top Picks list for a number of years now, so we’re pleased to see that they continue to find ways to improve an already great board.

The highlights for 2021 for the SUP itself are undoubtedly the upgrade to woven drop stitch construction and the introduction of color choices. That might not sound like much, but the change trimmed four pounds off the board’s weight and comes on the back of more substantial changes in 2020 that included the introduction of an action mount, and carbon fiber reinforced side rails.

Paddling the 132 on the ocean from above.
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Some of our favorite details continue to be:

  • the excellent paddle holders on the right side rail
  • the massive front storage area
  • the iconic woodgrain look and stylish design
  • the high quality included accessories

Important updates were made to the included accessories too, which we’ll cover below.

The Waterwalker 132 is lightweight enough to be comfortably carried over shoulder.
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As far as cons go, we do have a few quibbles. As mentioned, the tracking, while not bad, was not as straight as we expected. Also, the single action mount is lagging behind the competition as the action mount wars heat up — whether this is an issue for the buyer will depend on the individual paddler’s needs.

Finally, we wish THURSO would consider making the cargo bungee cords adjustable and removable like NIXY SPORT’s. These are all minor details, though, and overall the 2021 Waterwalker 132 is a strong update.

Acessories: What’s Included

2021 Thurso Waterwalker 132 SUP accessories
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The SUP accessory bundle is another area where THURSO SURF has always shined. THURSO has a reputation for packing a lot of added value into the included accessories and they’ve continued to do that in 2021.

When you open the box, you’ll find the board, a premium wheeled roller backpack, improved 3-piece carbon fiber shaft paddle, high-quality triple-action pump, SUP leash, iSUP repair kit, and user manual. This is an incredibly nice package of accessories that really sets the Waterwalker 132 apart from most other options in this price range.

Roller Backpack

Unlike many other iSUP backpacks that you see included in accessory bundles, THURSO used a thicker material to construct the bag with which should definitely result in impressive long-term durability. It’s also fully lined on the inside to further reduce wear and snags. Overall the bag has the look and feel of a nice piece of soft sided luggage, rather than the typical SUP bag.

On the front of the pack is a large zippered storage pocket for organizing accessories and there’s even a clear storage pouch on the front of it with a velcro closure.

On both sides of the bag are compression straps for cinching up your gear when the bag is fully packed. There are handy and well padded grab handles — the handles are really useful for those times when you’re loading and unloading the bag.

On the bottom of the backpack are two roller wheels. These wheels are smooth rather than treaded, so tend to do well on hard surfaces like sidewalks and might struggle in sand or thick grass. Also located on the bottom of the bag are two plastic feet and the entire bottom of the backpack is heavily reinforced which helps it to stand up on its own nicely. If you’re looking for a tough iSUP backpack that will hold up well to travel and serious use, THURSO’s newest version won’t disappoint.

On the top of the bag is another grab handle and there is also a transparent luggage ID window on the top of the back of the bag.

The rear of the backpack features two lightly padded straps. The straps are fully adjustable. Another nice feature is the adjustable padded waist belt which also helps to keep the weight well-balanced when it’s on your shoulders. There’s also a back cushion covering the rear of the pack which is covered in breathable mesh material for added comfort.

This bag has two zippers which zip all the way open on both sides for a nice wide opening which gives you great access to the interior compartment. On the inside, there are two more compression straps as well as a large mesh organization pocket.

Carrying the Waterwalker backpack towards the water.
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All in all, THURSO’s bag is a sharp looking and highly functional bag. We only wish that the wheels were bigger with more tread to better handle rough terrain and that there was more padding on the shoulder and waist straps. Also it would be nice to have some external paddle pockets on the sides of the bag.

Paddle

The included paddle is a 3-piece floating carbon fiber paddle in a matte finish. THURSO’s previous carbon fiber paddle was quite nice – in fact our favorite of the 2020 season. However the new paddle is shockingly lighter, introducing a new carbon nylon blend blade to replace the old nylon blade.

This lighter weight is critical since the paddle is the piece of equipment you’re lifting hundreds or thousands of times a day. In practice, it made as big or a bigger difference in the experience of the SUP as the actual weight reduction in the board itself from the construction changes.

Although the blade’s area is slightly less than the previous one, we didn’t notice any loss of power when paddling and the blade was just as stiff. The carbon fiber shaft remained the same.

Most importantly, THURSO’s t-grip with the grippy rubber finish remained unchanged. They appear to be the only brand using this grip and nearly every paddler we have try it finds it far superior to grips on the included paddles from the other major brands.

Dual Chamber Pump

Also included is THURSO’s dual-chamber, three-stage hand pump. New for this year, the pump’s feet now fold up and the handles can be unscrewed and stowed on the back of the pump’s housing. This creates a streamlined shape that’s easier to fit in the backpack or other small spaces.

If you’re not familiar with how a three stage pump works, it’s quite easy. You start with the control paddles (previously a control dial) in the first position and start pumping. This allows you to add air to the board on the upstrokes and on the downstrokes for quick inflation.

Once pumping begins to get more difficult, just switch the paddles to stage #2. In this mode, air will only be added to the board on the downstrokes for easier pumping. Once this becomes too difficult, you’ll set the paddles to stage #3 to finish inflating the board.

The pump also has a built-in pressure gauge which is super convenient. You’ll never have to guess what the inflation pressure is or disconnect the hose to check — it’s displayed right there on the pump’s body.

You can also use the deflation port to help remove air from your SUP as well. 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. Pump just as if you were going to inflate the board. Instead, it will suck 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 than you thought possible!

Leash

We also love the fact that THURSO promotes paddling safety by including a SUP leash with all of their inflatable paddle boards. SUP leashes are an important SUP safety accessory that saves lives and more companies should be including them in their package of SUP accessories.

The included leash features a durable coiled cord that stays out of the water when you’re paddling. There are dual metal swivels at both ends to prevent tangles.

Repair Kit

Lastly, the board comes with a user guide and an iSUP repair kit. The repair kit is housed in a high-visibility orange plastic container and includes a brush for applying adhesive, PVC patches, valve wrench, and replacement lever lock for the fins.