What makes the Body Glove Performer one of the most popular standup paddleboards on the waves today? We tried it to find out for ourselves.
In about a month of testing, not only have I paddled the Performer myself, I’ve seen it everywhere – it’s undoubtedly one of the paddleboards I recognize most often on lakes around Denver, Boulder and along the Front Range.
Why? Who knows, but Body Glove made a great choice moving from swimwear and wetsuits to manufacturing inflatable paddle boardsto.
His Performer SUP is a solid option for beginners and, from talking to some who have owned the board for a while, pretty durable too.
In summary: Despite some downsides I have with this board’s features (namely the fins), it performs well in the water. Its length and width are ideal for beginners, with enough space on board to stow gear. Besides the Body Glove PerformerThe $999 price gets you an electric pump, paddle, leash, clear dry bag (bonus!), permanent fin system, and even a GoPro mount.
Body Glove Performer 11-Foot SUP Review
Body Glove’s latest Performer SUP features a drop stitch construction with a beautiful wood grain print on both the SUP and paddle blade. You’ll also notice the vibrant chevron stripes – and new for 2022 – laser-etched foot placement guides on the EVA deckpad, all of which add to a really fun design. But that’s just looks.
This 11ft SUP also has front bungee storage (no rear storage unfortunately). It’s slightly less front storage compared to other SUPs we’ve tested. However, Body Glove includes two small D-rings on either side of the back of the board for tying down something larger like a cooler.
Non-removable fins: pros or cons?
Now we get to the heart of this board. The fins.
SUP manufacturers tend to go in one of two directions with their fin setups for their boards: a single center fin plate or a three fin setup. Second, they also go in one of these directions in terms of fin type: Snap/Slide In or Screwplate fins (where a small screw and washer are hand tightened in the track of a plate to lock a fin in place).
Body Glove went in the less common direction of rubber polymer, permanent fins. There’s no installing (or losing!) these fins – they just stay on the board and are built to withstand some bumps and flex when the SUP is rolled up for storage.
The fins worked quite well for me – lots of use for paddling and steering, but they definitely weren’t the best at tracking, probably because they’re a little pliable/pliable.
I rarely see fin setups like this on inflatable SUPs so it was fun to test them out. However, it definitely affects performance. Despite the flexible fins the SUP itself still offers plenty of rigidity like other inflatables and was great when it came to balance on the water.
Paddles & Accessories
Body Glove includes a paddle and not one but two pumps (a manual and an electric option) with its SUP which is awesome. The paddle was durable in testing, easy to adjust, and had a pretty good grip.
The board itself also includes a more unique paddle holder that we haven’t seen before – running down the center of the board, with the ability to strap it directly to the center handle.
The neoprene Velcro grip unfolds and wraps the paddle shaft snugly like a bug in a rug. For those planning to buy a SUP to go back and forth to their local lake this is a cool bonus.
Body Glove Performer specifications
- Dimensions: 11ft x 34in x 5.4in
- Weight: 24 pounds.
- Maximum Weight Capacity: 320 pounds.
- Paddle: 3 parts
- Included: Bag, manual pump, electric pump, leash, stuff sack, repair kit
Setup with this board went smoothly via electric pump (we also tested the manual to make sure). With the fins ready to go, all I had to do was grab the leash and paddle. One note: This SUP isn’t the lightest to carry, but otherwise a great option for weekend paddlers who just want to get out and ride.
Check the price at Body Glove
The latest new component of the Performer? From 2022, Body Glove is doing something extra cool. It is a partnership with A tree planted planting a tree for every performer sold, meaning you are giving back to the planet with your purchase.
Overall this is a good board for beginners and works great on the water, but we wish there were a few more standard features for the price. The fins have great durability but aren’t the best for tracking.
The board lacks grab handles on the front and back of the board (for carrying two people, pulling ashore, loading gear, etc.). This isn’t a deal breaker, but personally I’d much rather have grab handles than the plastic tow point glove that’s included.
That being said, most of our resident paddling expert’s concerns were minor. The Performer offers you a ready-to-go, all-inclusive package at an unbeatable price. For comfort and fun on the water, be sure to add the Body Glove Performer to your SUP shortlist.