UNIFIBER ALLROUND EVOLUTION IWINDSUP 10’7’’ 2018 REVIEW
This is the first year Unifiber have entered into the inflatable board arena – a brand now well established within the industry for providing quality items at competitive prices. The 10’7” is the only specified dual-use model within the five board lineup, with three other designs focussing solely on SUP’ing, whilst the remaining largest sibling is called the Experience, has a length of 280cm and is marketed as a dedicated windsurf platform. At 12.5kg, it is one of the heavier boards on review here, largely due to its double layer technology, which reassuringly accounts for added durability and is said to improve the board’s stiffness at lower pressures. Inflating the board to the recommended 15 P.S.I. was not an issue using the double-action pump supplied, and it was certainly stiff enough for the average weight rider (Unifiber recommend the Evolution for use by riders of 110kg or less). All the usual fittings we have come to expect on iSUPs are present, with a diamond-grooved pad extending over much of the deck, carry handles on the nose, centre-line and tail, a deck-net on the front of the board and some of the largest D-rings around for towing and leash connection. It comes rolled up in a roller backpack, with plenty of room to spare should you need to deflate and roll in a hurry.
“Is the wind spoiling your SUP-experience? Turn your iSUP into a windsurfer and you can use the wind to your advantage! The Evolution 10’7” has been designed to easily change between paddling and windsurfing. The centre fin minimizes drifting while windsurfing. Dismount the centre fin when paddling for extra manoeuvrability.”
Using the Evolution for windsurfing, it has all the qualities you’d wish for in an accomplished board to teach newcomers of various weights. With the central fin in place, it tracks forwards very well, its width of 33” providing ample stability for the nervous or unsure. Going into the neutral ‘secure position’ it then pivots really well around the middle fin, helping the novice sailor complete their initial turns. It was a pleasure to use and teach on and feels secure underfoot, its orange broad rail band protecting the vulnerable rails in tight spots. Being one of the heavier on test here and 5” thick, it certainly benefits from ensuring the pressure is at least at the 15 P.S.I. mark, particularly when used by larger adults. We pumped the board up to 18 P.S.I. when tutoring some heavier riders (around 95kg) and it certainly felt stiffer for them under the extra pressure. We also used the Evolution in the centre to teach young children with small rigs, and were impressed with its balance between manoeuvrability and directional ease. It suffers from little sideways drift and really helped the students to progress quickly. Take the sail and central fin away and you’re left with a wide forgiving platform for stand up paddling. It sits lower in the water than some here and doesn’t quite glide as efficiently, yet the deckpad offers plenty of traction, its sturdy nature giving you the confidence that it will withstand whatever is thrown at it on a SUP expedition.
A dependable performer for both sports, the Evolution is reassuringly built to provide years of service for all the family, and at £759 represents excellent value.
Other boards in this test: