Looking for a durable and light inflatable paddle board? Read this Rainbow Goosehill SUP review to find out how this low cost SUP performs on the water.
Introducing Goosehill SUP
Goosehill SUP are a Californian company who have been around since 2010. They are a small team of watersports enthusiasts with a love for paddle boarding.
Their goal is to make a durable and light inflatable paddle board that does not cost a fortune. Goosehill are constantly innovating to create the perfect SUP that also represents very good value for money.
Rather than having a large product range to cover all styles of riding, they are instead focussed on making the best all-round inflatable SUP. With this in mind I was keen to test their durable and light inflatable paddle board.
Rainbow Goosehill SUP review
I was lucky to get my hands on their latest offering, the Rainbow SUP. It’s not just a board but an entire set up. For $399 you get a 320x81x15 centimeter (10’6″x32″x6″), 300 litre board, paddle, pump, leash, repair kit and bag to carry it all in.
Weighing in at just 9.3 kg (20.5 lbs) the board is lightweight. But unlike other light SUPs it can handle a payload of up to 140 kg (308 lbs) – which is more than enough for me and both my kids.
I had ordered two SUP set ups – one for me and the other for my wife. They were shipped directly from China, as with most things the quality is high but the cost low in Chinese manufacturing.
Everything was well packaged, but one of the boards was damaged in transit. I did not realise straight away – in fact the holes did not become apparent until two weeks later when I first pumped it up.
They were big holes so I should have noticed and it made sorting a replacement a little more difficult. However, Goosehill replaced the SUP, almost no questions asked. But the lesson is check your board thoroughly on arrival, preferably pumping it up to find out if there is an issue straight away.
That set back aside I am impressed with the gear. It all fits nicely in the bag with plenty of room to add a towel, wetsuit, buoyancy aid and more.
Inflation of the Goosehill Rainbow SUP
I had inadvertently taken the damaged paddle board away for a weekend of beach camping. It was disappointing as I was looking forward to hitting the water. Unfortunately the damage was too big to fix using the repair kit.
I then cut my foot swimming. It wasn’t terrible but located on the joint of the big toe joint it cracked every time I did anything. This delayed getting out paddle boarding for a couple more weeks!
Eventually, for the first paddle during this Rainbow Goosehill SUP review I went to a local beach in Seaford in Sussex, which has been voted one of the top 10 most peaceful places in the world by Tripadvisor. I headed down to the beach and set about inflating it.
The pump is good, but not as quick as the two way pump I use for my camping mattress. But the SUP pump is more heavy duty to deliver a higher pressure. It also has a pressure gauge to ensure you inflate it sufficiently.
On the paddle board it says to inflate it to 15-22.5 psi. However, in the instructions it states a maximum of 15-17 psi. Both of these were pretty irrelevant as I have not been able to inflate it to more than 10 psi. This felt fully inflated and very rigid anyway.
Pumping it up is quick and fairly easy. It takes less than five minutes before you are ready to go. Make sure the valve is turned off before you connect the hose. Otherwise when you disconnect the pump you’ll lose most of the air.
First paddle on the Goosehill Rainbow SUP
I put my Helly Hansen wetsuit and buoyancy aid on and hit the water. Conditions were fairly choppy, very different to the lakes I have previously paddle boarded in.
However, the Goosehill SUP felt stable and I was easily able to avoid falling in. After the first minute or two I realised I needed to make the paddle longer, this was very easy to do without any tools.
Soon I noticed that I had the paddle back to front. Easy mistake to make…
We experience strong semidiurnal tides in this part of the UK – meaning we get two high and two low waters in just over 24 hours. There is a six metre tidal swing so there are some pretty strong currents.
I planned to paddle with the tide around Seaford Bay and to be picked up by my wife at the other end. The wind and prevailing waves were heading in the opposite direction to the tide, this made for some interesting conditions.
In the end even with the wind and swell against me I reached the pick up point in about 15 minutes. As I had another 45 minutes before collection I paddled back the other way again against the tide. With the wind behind me it was not as hard as I expected.
In the end it took about twenty minutes the opposite direction, so I then turned around to head back to the pick up point. In an hour I had covered about three miles without falling in. Considering the current, wind, chop and that it was my first time paddle boarding on the sea, I was very pleased.
To complete this Rainbow Goosehill SUP review I have hit the water two more times from Newhaven beach. Confident I would not fall I didn’t wear a wetsuit, also the weather was much warmer.
Every time on the water I have found this durable and light inflatable paddleboard to be stable and easy to maneuver. I even took it out when the tidal current, wind and swell were all pushing in the same direction.
Obviously I flew down wind/tide and although paddle boarding against it was tough it was still very doable. At one point I got one of my kids to sit on the board and I paddled out a short way. He loved it until we fell in due to a rogue wave.
As the beach gets deep very quickly I had kitted him out with a life jacket, but it was still a bit of a shock to him. It was easy to get myself back on the board, I could then pull my eight year old on. He could not do it himself because of the life jacket.
I am looking forward to playing with the kids on it in shallower water. But also testing the Rainbow SUP in waves. I am heading the Devon later in the summer and camping near some good surf beaches which should be fun.
Transporting and packing the Goosehill Rainbow SUP
During this Rainbow Goosehill SUP review I have had to transport the paddle board to and from the beach. It comes with a bag in which you can easily fit the board, paddle and pump, plus my wetsuit, lifejacket and towel.
The bag has wheels on the bottom so is easy to transport on flat ground. It also doubles as a backpack with padded straps, this is very useful when on the beach or uneven ground.
As you have seen above getting this durable and light inflatable paddle board ready to hit the water is a very easy. Getting it back into the bag is a little more difficult but still pretty easy.
Deflation is quick. Open the valve and the air rushes out, just remember to shut it before you next inflate. You then just need to know how to fold it to get the air out and fit it back in the bag. The first couple of times I got it wrong, then a look at the instructions set me straight.
The key is folding one end most of the way before folding the other end a little. It is very easy to transport and when packed away it doesn’t take up lots of room.
How is the Rainbow Goosehill SUP made?
Goosehill use SCE (Super Construction Enhancement) technology to create this durable and light inflatable paddle board. This system laminates the traditional single layer material, blending it with an enhanced layer on each side.
This creates a new material which is as stiff and durable as a double layer board, but thinner and lighter. I compared the material to a single layer and it is far stronger and more robust, but not that much heavier.
Ultimately a stand-up paddleboard constructed with the SCE Technology is almost as light and easy-to-transport as a single-layer board. But it is as strong and durable as a double-layer board.
Goosehill use strong drop-stitch construction where required. But most joints are use heat-fusion technology. They melt necessary parts into the surface to create a strong bond that will last its lifespan. This method handles the high pressure, and eliminates gluing. So costs are reduced and it is better for the environment.
Conclusion: Durable and light inflatable paddle board
Want a low(ish) cost but high quality paddle board? You could do a lot worse than the Goosehill Rainbow. Its SCE Tech means its strong and lightweight which are great features for an SUP.
In my opinion it felt the same as other inflatable boards I have used. It is just as stable and rigid even though I only inflated it to 10 psi.
It is not quite as rigid as a solid SUP – but then I wouldn’t expect it to be. However, I certainly wouldn’t be able to fit a non-inflatable SUP in my car. Where as the Rainbow stores away easily and I could even take on holiday.
The only negative was one of the boards arrived damaged. However, Goosehill replaced it almost no questions asked. So make sure you check the board as soon as it a in case there is any damage.
To conclude this Rainbow Goosehill SUP review I’d say it is an excellent bit of kit. If you are looking for a durable and light inflatable paddle board that does not cost a fortune, then I recommend the Goosehill Rainbow SUP.
The rainbow comes in white with either blue, turquoise or red trimming. The package costs $399: www.goosehillsport.com