Posted by: airkayaks | May 30, 2015

Product Review: Jobe SUP Aero 11-6 Inflatable Paddle Board System

This past month, we had the opportunity to get details on the Jobe inflatable SUP line. Well known in Europe for windsurf, water boards and attire, Jobe has recently moved into the inflatable paddle board line. Our first sample (2014 model) arrived, allowing us to take a look at the 15 PSI Jobe Aero 11-6  – a 33 inch-wide, 6-inch thick, all-around cruising and touring inflatable paddle board, complete with pump, backpack, paddle and leash.

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(Please note: some of the info will be repeated from prior writeups.)

Jobe Aero 11-6 Inflatable SUP – Getting Started

The board as-arrived is 36 x 17.5 x 12 inches in the box.

What's in the box.

Inside is the Aero 11-6 body, backpack, repair kit, single action pump with pressure gauge, cinch belt, 3 removable fins, adjustable breakdown paddle, ankle leash and instructions. Once rolled up, the SUP board fits into the backpack, as well as breakdown paddle  and pump – each of these attach to the outside of the backpack. The board itself weighs 30 lbs, while the paddle, pump and pack are 2.5 lbs each – a total of 37.5 lbs in the pack. The boxed weight is 47 lbs. The package easily fits in the back of a small car.

Unfolding the Jobe Aero iSUP body.

For your first set up, uncinch the strap and unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.

Opening/closing the military valve.

The Aero 11-6 utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Not to worry, the instructions are printed on the valve. But before you make the effort to inflate the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.

The Aero paddle board system includes a Bravo high-pressure, 2000 cm3 single-action pump with a gauge – what we term the “tall  barrel” as it pushes out less air, though takes a bit less effort to attain the higher pressures.

Attaching the gauge to the pump.

First, screw the gauge onto the pump. Tip #1: Make sure you screw the gauge on carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure.

Attaching the military valve adaptor

Next, attach the hose to the gauge. Take the military valve adaptor, and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position – the first time, you may need to push a bit harder to attach, but it gets easier. You’re ready to pump!

Please note: The included instructions are slightly dated, stating the maximum pressure is 10-12 PSI, while the board is imprinted with 15 PSI. We suggest smaller persons start with the lower end, and see if they need to go any higher. Larger persons should inflate to at least 13 PSI, and adjust from there. The instructions also suggest installing the fins before inflation, but these can be installed at any time – afterwards is easiest.

Pumping up the ISUP body

After 100 strokes with the single action pump, the board had still not filled out, and the gauge was not yet registering. At 175 pumps, the needle started to move. By 250 strokes we reached 5 PSI, an additional 70 to 10PSI, then 30 more to reach 12 PSI; recommended pressure is 12 PSI with a max of 15PSI. All-in-all about 350 pumps and about 6 or 7 minutes.

Remove the hose adaptor and replace the valve cap.

Next, install the three fins. Here is where we came to our first issue. The instructions mentioned squeezing the fins into a locked position, but these fins required a screw. And there were no screws. We searched everywhere, and finally located the “coin screw” fittings in the repair cannister. AirKayaks note: We have uploaded the Updated Fin Installation Instructions to our website.

Screws needed for tracking fin.

Flip the board and lay out the fins, making sure they are pointing towards the rear of the board – the two smaller fins go on the sides, and the longer fin in the center. Take the front portion of the fin, and push it into the track until it “locks” into position, then pull back, catching the front fin arm into the groove.

Attaching the tracking fin with coin screws.

We attempted to thread the screw housing through the fin hole, doggedly lining up the holes. Finally, we gave up and got a mallet to whack them into position. As there is nothing with the board to tighten the screws into position, you either need a screwdriver or a coin. Rummaging through the coin box, we came up with a penny and managed to quickly tighten the bolts into position (who says pennies aren’t worth anything) but also were successful with dimes and quarters. As a side note, the screw housings get easier with time. AirKayaks tip #2 – throw a few coins into the repair canister.

Assemble the breakdown paddle

Assemble the breakdown paddle and hook into the velcro central handle to use as a carrying aid.

Easy to carry

That’s it! Surprisingly simple and in less than 10 minutes you’re ready to go!

Jobe Aero 11-6 iSUP Construction

Jobe inflatable SUP construction

The Aero 11-6 is constructed from a high-pressure drop-stitch material, a process where thousands of fibers (threads) lock the top and bottom layers together, allowing the board to be pumped up to higher pressures. Three layers – dropstitch layer, reinforcement PVC layer top and bottom, provide protection against air leakage.

Taped side rails

Overlapping, taped side rails also provide added protection and rigidity. The thicker material increases the board thickness to nearly 6 inches, but also allows the board to attain more rigidity at lower pressures.

Jobe Aero 11-6 iSUP Features and Specifications

The Aero inflatable SUP is remarkably simple.

Single military valve.

There is one military valve, one front d-ring on the underside (tether ring) and one rear d-ring for an ankle leash.

Jobe Aero 11-6 inflatable SUP on the water.

A textured traction pad is 83 x 26.5 inches wide, beginning 12 inches from the tail.

Integrated paddle holder

In the center is a cloth handle with velcro closure attachment, allowing one to fasten the paddle to the board and use as a carrying handle.

Bungee deck lacing to attach gear

Front bungee deck lacing – featuring 4 d-rings measuring 11 inches deep by  19-20 inches wide –  is located about 28 inches from the snout, allowing the paddler to attach gear.

Three removable tracking fins

The included tracking fins measure 7 inches deep by 4 inches wide (side runners) and 7 inches deep by 11 inches tall (deep water center fin).

The waterproof, roll top backpack is 45 inches tall before rolling, and 17 x 10 inches in diameter – it features velcro at the top for better sealing. There are two adjustable, padded shoulder straps, adjustable waist strap, and a carry handle just above the shoulder strap. Side velcro, bungee lacing and a small pocket are designed to house the pump and paddle when traveling.

The Bravo 2000 cm3 “thin barrel” high-pressure, single-action pump measures 23.5 inches tall with a 3-inch diameter body and 9-inch base, a metal pump shaft, 67-inch hose with adaptor, and a pressure gauge. The gauge can measure from 0 to 30 PSI, though you won’t possibly be able to pump it that high.

The adjustable aluminum paddle breaks down into three pieces. The paddle can be adjusted from 65 to 84 inches, while the blade size is 9 x 16.5 inches.

Included ankle leash

The included ankle leash is a 9-ft soft cord with velcro cuff.

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We did measurement tests. The Jobe Aero 11-6 inflatable SUP ran just a hair under 11 ft 6 inches, 33 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Weight capacity is 265 lbs.

Jobe Aero 11-6 iSUP On the Water

Jobe Aero 11-6 inflatable SUP on the water.

I took the Aero 11-6 out on a calm day and again in slight swells. Despite numerous waverunners, the Aero 11-6 felt very stable and rugged, and seemed to seat itself well in the water. Paddling/tracking was straight and smooth, speed was good, and turning was not bad for a board this size. The board is quite roomy, and I could easily see an adult with a smaller companion – a parent with child or dog. The dropstitch material is durable enough that claws would not be an issue.

Jobe Aero 11-6 iSUP: Packing It Up

To deflate the board is pretty simple – push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. But, when drawing off the high pressure, you should do this slowly, so as not to “pop” or unseat the o-ring that completes the valve seal. So, slowly tap the valve to “bleed” off the high pressure several times for a few seconds, increasing the release time as you go.

Remove the tracking fins and store them in the backpack. AirKayaks tip #3: The screws get easier to install and remove with use. As a tip, when unscrewing the pin, push on it, to move the pin holder out enough to grab – this makes it much easier to pull out. Then either put the coin screws into the repair canister, or rethread them onto the board fin holes – this was our choice.

Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the stern of the iSUP. Start folding up the board from the tail, top side down and fin-side up, with the top on the outside. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.

When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle to keep the board tightly rolled – the board will slip back into the backpack.

Jobe Aero 11-6 iSUP – Bottom Line

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The Jobe Aero 11-6 inflatable SUP is a nice, recreational paddle board at an entry-level price! It works well as an all-around flatwater “cruiser” – but is also good in some chop and downwind. It’s roomy, tracks decently and is rugged.  It’s stable enough for beginners but can still be enjoyed by more seasoned recreational paddlers.

Family fun on the water

At 15 PSI, the Aero is buoyant enough for the larger person up to roughly 250 lbs, but its also a great choice for a family board – versatile enough for adult, kids, or adult and small friend.

Integrated paddle holder to carry Jobe SUP

The longer waterline and stable platform make the Aero 11-6 great for lakes, calm rivers, coastal inlets. For those headed out for a few hours of paddling, the bungee deck lacing and d-rings provide ample space to attach extra gear.

Easily fits in the trunk of a car

It’s highly portable. At 32 lbs, it’s light enough to carry around, while the included backpack is perfect to store in a closet, or stash in a car for spur of the moment fun. Traveling? Take your Aero on your next vacation or for a jaunt to a secluded beach.

Jobe Aero 11-6 on the water

Best of all is the entry-level sale price of $749, which includes just about everything needed to get you on the water – backpack, board, paddle, pump and ankle leash – yet is versatile enough to carry paddlers of varying builds by quickly changing the paddle length!

What's in the box.

For more information or to purchase, see the Jobe 2014 Aero 11-6 Product Page at AirKayaks.com. We also now have the 2014 Jobe Aero 12-6 special purchase package at $859, as well as the Jobe 2015 models in stock. Stay tuned, we have an upcoming YouTube video on the Jobe Aero 11-6.

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