It’s no secret that stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the entire outdoor industry. Over the past decade it has gone from being extremely niche to extrmely popular, with dozens of manufacturers now offering SUP boards, paddles, and accessories. Amongst them is Pelican, a company known for creating high quality and affordable products for watersports enthusiasts. This spring, Pelican has brought that same sensibility to the SUP industry, delivering a stand-up paddleboard that provides solid all around performance at a price that is incredibly tough to beat.
At first glance, the new Baja 100 looks like most other SUP boards you’ve seen in the past. It measures 10′ in length and is 31″ across, with a shape that reveals the sport’s surfing roots. It comes equipped with a 5″ flexible rubber fin for added stability and tracking, a water bottle holder, and integrated bungee cords for securing cargo to the deck. It also features a non-slip surface to help paddlers maintain a secure footing while out on the water, and it has four carrying handles that help to make it a lot easier to lug from one place to the next. But it isn’t until you check the price tag on the Baja 100 that you begin to see just how special it actually is, as making SUP affordable for the masses is part of the plan here.
Pelican has priced the Baja 100 at just $399, which is an aggressive price point for a product that certainly feels like it could sell for more. In terms of construction, the board is very well made, with high level of durability. This doesn’t necessarily pay off while on the water so much as when you’re loading it onto your vehicle to head to the river or lake, or when storing it in the garage. If you happen to find yourself bumping into things, dropping the board, or otherwise jostling it about, you’ll be happy to know that it can withstand the abuse and come away looking just like new.
Out on the water, the Baja 100 performs surprisingly well. It is very stable and easy to manuever, although I didn’t find it to be quite as nimble as other boards I’ve tried in the past. To be fair however, all of those other models were at least twice the price ot this one. The board tracks nicelyl across open water, and is especially well suited for use on lakes and calm rivers. Under those conditions I was able to paddle quite quickly and smoothly. Due to the fact that it is a bit on the heavier side in terms of SUP boards, it takes awhile to get the Baja up to speed, but once it is moving it is easy to maintain a solid pace. In fact, that weight is probably the Baja’s only real downfall, as it tops out around 47 pounds, making it heavier than most of its competitors. For many people however that might be a reasonable trade off for a board that is this inexpensive.
Thanks to its high level of stability the Baja 100 makes a good board for beginners and practioners of stand-up paddleboard yoga as well. The large deck space will be particularly handy for that crowd too, offering plent of space for them to find their zen. More experienced SUPpers may want a board that is more agile and lighter than what they’ll find here, but considering the performance-to-price ratio that you get out of the Baja, I’m sure that there will be plenty of people who will take a second look despite its few shortcomings.
The Pelican Baja 100 is arriving in paddle shops just in time for the warmer spring and summer weather. It brings with it plenty of features and solid performance at price that makes it easy to get into stand-up paddleboarding for the very first time. This is a product that makes SUP approachable for the masses, and I’m sure it’ll end up being a very popular board as a result.
Find out more in the video below and at PelicanSport.com.