Inflatable paddleboard Comparison Atoll 11' vs. Retrospec 10'  Ottawa Valley Air Paddle

Atoll 11' vs. Retrospec 10' Inflatable Paddleboard Comparison

So, you’re thinking of taking the plunge into paddleboarding and perhaps aren’t sure which board to purchase. If you have found yourself on this page, you are most likely in the market for an inflatable paddleboard, and boy, do we know inflatable paddleboards! Not only do these boards save on space, but they are also more affordable and easier to carry from place to place. They can be inflated in a matter of minutes (especially when you have an electric pump!). But we don’t need to sell you on inflatable boards. If you’ve landed on this page, you are already aware of just how great they really are.

We sell both Atoll and Retrospec boards and have extensively tried these brands out ourselves. We are happy to guide you through the main differences between these two boards and help you choose the best fit. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert paddler, these two inflatable boards are great options! Without further ado, let’s get into the main differences between the Retrospec Weekender 10' and the Atoll 11' inflatable paddleboard.

 

RETROSPEC Weekender 10’ Inflatable Paddleboard:

Length: 10’

Width: 30’

Weight: 17lbs

Materials: ArmorStrength PVC, drop stitch technology, virtually indestructible EVA textured foam

Valve: Standardized H3

Max PSI: 12

Recommended Weight Limit:
275lbs

D-Rings:
6 stainless steel rings near the nose and 1 stainless steel ring near the tail

Containment Area:
Bungee cord connected through 4 stainless steel D-rings

Fins:
3 removable tracking fins (clip-in fins)

Paddle:
3 PC adjustable and lightweight aluminum with easy quick-release, extends to a little less than 9’ and collapses to about 3’ for easy transport

Pump:
High-intensity manual air pump with gauge

Repair Kit:
Includes valve wrench, and PVC patching for your board

 

The Retrospec Weekender 10' inflatable paddleboards are a great, durable beginner board. They are lightweight and easy to use, they track fairly straight and are really fun for getting out on the water at an affordable price. The non-slip deck padding is great for standing up for your first time (and isn’t slippery, even when wet!). These boards come with a carrying bag that is just a little larger than a hiking backpack and everything fits nicely inside. If you are looking for the perfect entry-level paddleboard, the Retrospec Weekender board is perfect for you! 

 

ATOLL 11’ Inflatable Paddleboard:

Length: 11’

Width: 32’

Weight: 21lbs

Materials: Machine laminated dual-layer PVC, the strongest and lightest iSUP material available

Valve: Standardized H3

Max PSI: 15

Recommended Weight Limit:
400lbs, but has been water tested at over 700lbs with multiple riders.

D-Rings:
15 stainless steel rings so you can easily attach your kayak conversion seat, cooler, or even a tent!

Containment Area:
Bungee cord connected through 6 stainless steel D-rings

Fins:
8 inch composite removable fin (US finbox)

Paddle:
Black Carbon Fiberglass Paddle with Nylon Blade with easy quick-release

Pump: High-intensity manual air pump with gauge

Repair Kit:
Includes valve wrench, extra fin screw, and PVC patching for your board

 

The Atoll inflatable paddleboard is a little bit longer and more pointed in the nose, which allows for a more graceful and sleek ride. It is great option for someone who is just starting out with paddleboarding and wants a bit more of a “luxury” experience. Or, if you are a seasoned paddleboarder, and are looking to upgrade your current board for exceptional performance and a very comfortable ride.

Due to the extra D-rings, the Atoll paddleboard also has the capability to add on extra features such as the
kayak conversion kit or you can even secure a cooler or a tent to your board for longer, overnight trips. Atoll boards are perfect for rivers, lakes and even the ocean! These boards take waves like champions and you are less likely to fall off of one of these boards than their competitors. It’s amazing what kind of stability an extra 2 inches in width can give you when balancing on your feet for hours on end. 

 

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After our experience riding both boards, we can easily say that riding an Atoll board is not only more comfortable, but also all-around more enjoyable. Yes, the Atoll boards are more expensive. But one day on an Atoll vs a Retrospec board and you will most likely be ready to pay up a little bit more. That being said, we love the Retrospec Weekender boards as well and always recommend these boards to beginners and people who are just looking to get into this sport at an entry-level price. With Atoll boards, you get the “Cadillac” experience vs the “Civic”. There isn’t anything wrong with a Civic, but the extra quality just isn’t quite the same. You really notice this not only with the board itself but with the carrying bag and paddle, too. The Atoll carrying bag is about the same size as Retrospec, but it is immensely padded on the shoulders and back, making the bag so much more comfortable to carry. The carbon fibre paddle is a lighter weight than the Retrospec paddle and is also more durable. You will see the difference within the first seconds of holding onto the paddle, just give it a little shake. 

Scott and I went on a very long 13km paddle down the Madawaska River last summer on Atoll boards and we were comfortable and content the entire time. This was a full day paddle and our feet weren’t sore from standing due to the comfortable padded deck pad, plus the board took waves from oncoming boat traffic very well and we were able to easily store all of our belongings under the bungee cords at the front. If we wanted to, we also could have strapped on our kayak seats to relax and make the paddle even more enjoyable. This just isn’t possible with the limited D rings on the Retrospec boards.

If you are hesitant about which board to choose after reading through this article, why not come by our storefront (which is really our house) and check out the difference between the two boards. If you are still confused about which board to choose, we can also get you out on both boards to try for a small fee. Let us know if you have any questions or would like to set up a time to try out the boards. We are always happy to chat about all things paddleboards! Happy paddling!

- Lana

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