Test of the Mistral Adventure stand up paddle: a robust all-rounder
The Mistral Adventure paddle board is a mid-priced board that sits in the middle of Mistral’s inflatable range. This beginner-friendly board is a great all-rounder and is perfect for river exploration and coastal boating. We took a look at it to see if it is appropriate to sit among the best beginner paddle boards or the best inflatable paddle boards today.
Stand-up paddleboards have become an increasingly popular way to navigate our waterways, explore our coastline, or catch waves, but often measuring over 10 feet, hard-bodied versions can be difficult to pack away. and to transport. Practically, inflatable boards get around this problem by shrinking down to the size of a large backpack, making them much more user-friendly.
You can pick up a basic inflatable SUP from your local supermarket for a few hundred pounds, or a high end model will cost you almost a big one. We tested one board on the budget side of the ladder (the MY PointBreak paddle board) as well as one of the upper rungs (the Red Paddle Co Ride MSL). The Mistral Adventure paddle board sits in the middle of the market – but does it offer performance compared to these super budget options? Read on for our full review of the Mistral Adventure paddle board.
Mistral 11’5 Adventure Paddle Board review: construction and board accessories
Mistral Adventure: specifications
Size (LxWxD): 350 cm (11’5 “) x 78 cm x 15 cm
Board weight: 9.2 kg
Total weight: 14.12kg
Bag size: 90x50x30cm
Paddle: Two-piece, aluminum
The Mistral 11’5 “Adventure gives you everything you need to get in and out on the water. In addition to the board itself, you get a two-piece aluminum paddle, a crawler-type pump, a removable fin, a puncture repair kit and a rolled up leash. The board itself has a cargo section with bungee cords near its nose and rings on the underside, nose and tail, for attaching board if necessary A carrying handle is located in the middle of the deck which makes it easier to transport the board when inflated.
The Adventure body uses a single skin made from Mistral’s Fusion Layer technology, which helps make it lighter than double skin paddleboards. A PVC fabric surface layer is combined with reinforced polyester and a fabric inner core. Interconnected polyester strands run between the top and bottom faces of the board to maintain the correct shape of the board and add extra stiffness.
Mistral 11’5 Adventure Paddle Board review: portability and configuration
Everything you need to set up the paddle board and take in the water can be carried in the Adventure’s large bag. At 90L x 50W x 30D (cm) it is a fairly bulky item and at 14.12 kg it is also quite heavy. Fortunately, you can pull the bag along its built-in wheels if you take it on vacation. For waterfront transport, removable shoulder straps allow you to wear it as a backpack – though not the most comfortable as the plastic base digs into your butt / lower back . Overall the bag is well made and has plenty of room for the board and accessories, however, a handle tore our test sample when lifting the loaded bag to carry it on our back and the diagonal zipper can be difficult to close.
Installing the plank takes about five minutes, which is mostly spent pumping. The Mistral single-chamber plastic body pump has nothing to do with the quality of that found on the Red Paddle Co MSL which is disappointing for a board of this price. A little bit of effort is needed to bring the board up to the required pressure of 20psi and we had to guess the pressure by hand when our pump’s gauge broke on its first try.
Once the board is at the required pressure, you will need to flip it over to fit the single 8 inch fin. It attaches to the Adventure via a longboard surfboard style system where the fin fits into the bottom of the board and then is bolted into place. It’s pretty straightforward, although it can be a bit of a tedious process, especially if sand or debris gets into the slot.
The two parts of the aluminum pallet slide into each other and snap into place. The paddle length can be adjusted to best suit your height – which is conveniently marked on the inner section, although unfortunately the height marks quickly faded after a few sessions on the board.
Mistral 11’5 Adventure Paddle Board review: performance
When fully inflated, the Adventure is impressively stiff and there is very little play when standing on the deck. About the rear two-thirds of the deck has a layer of compressed EVA foam that provides extra grip and comfort whether you’re standing or paddling on your knees. After several hours of inflation and a lot of time on the water, we didn’t notice any loss of air pressure in the board.
We tested the Adventure in the calm waters of the estuary and on the beach in the crashing waves. On flat water the board glides extremely well on the surface and despite a slightly pulled heel for more maneuverability, its super stiff body helps keep things stable. Paddling through crashing waves is much more difficult, but with its long, stiff body, the Adventure is doing better than expected. Once away from the shorebreak, the board paddled well over uninterrupted waves and remained well balanced despite the rise and fall of passing swell lines. Inflatable SUPs are not the ideal craft to surf with, but with practice it is possible to catch small unbroken waves and ride them towards shore. Anything much bigger than the high waist is likely to throw you to the front of the board, but it’s a lot of fun trying it out. The board is large enough to support the transport of two people when one is seated in front of the paddler.
Video of Donald NG
Mistral 11’5 Adventure Paddle Board test: verdict
The Mistral Adventure is built from quality materials and the board itself performs very well in a wide range of conditions. When properly inflated, it’s super stiff and stable, making the board easy to paddle and maneuver.
With a suggested retail price of € 679 (£ 580) we would expect better quality accessories – the pump is very similar to those found on much cheaper paddleboards. We still highly recommend the Mistral Adventure, as the board is an excellent kit capable of taking you on all kinds of aquatic adventures.