Runwave Lotus Flower Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board iSUP

$399.00
4.1

Features

4.0/5

Design

4.5/5

Performance

4.0/5

Ease of Use

4.0/5

Value

4.0/5

Pros

  • Female friends LOVE the graphics
  • Lightest, dual layer iSUP yet
  • Bag with wheels
  • Excellent stability
  • Compact and portable

Cons

  • Not as nimble and speedy as hard SUPs
  • No D-Rings to convert into a Kayak
  • Takes time to inflate, deflate
  • Must not be kept in hot storage
Read: 7 mins.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Beginner Paddle Board with Tandem Riding

Standup paddle boarding had been such great fun while socially distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic last year. It helped us bond with our children, and not long after, many friends joined in with boards of their own. Most of them bought the beginner-friendly Runwave Kohala inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP), but I still found the DvSport Sunshine to be my favorite. Recently, though, one of my female friends purchased the Runwave Lotus Flower and many of the women in our circle drooled over it. “Cute” or “pretty” were words that most of them expressed.

In this review, I took a look at the surprisingly light, very stable, beginner-friendly Lotus Flower iSUP that my sister-in-law also adores!

Why Not Rent?

The typical rental fee for a SUP in our area ran for $30/person for two hours. So, doing the math for an inflatable SUP at $400, that would equate to 14 rentals for up to 28 hours of use. It made sense for us to purchase one instead to save in the long run. I, personally, own and prefer the DvSport Sunshine. My recreational friends prefer the Runwave Kohala, Abysup SUP123, and this Runwave Lotus Flower.

What makes the Runwave Lotus Flower a great beginner paddle board? Are epoxy (solid) SUPs more durable than inflatable ones? As it turned out, no.

Read about iSUP vs SUP (and more) in our guide, Stand Up Paddle Boarding Basics & Tips: How to paddle, prepare, maintain, and choose Inflatable Boards (iSUP)

The Runwave Lotus Flower iSUP uses the dual layer construction technique.

What’s Good? What’s Bad?

Pros

  • Very lightweight: 20 lbs, dual-layered
    • Lightest, dual-layer iSUP I have yet reviewed and is suitable for carrying to remote wilderness locations
    • DvSport: 24.5 lbs, dual-layered / Runwave Kohala: 25 lbs, single-layered / Abysup: 21.5 lbs, dual-layered
  • Colorful, Lotus-adorned art design
    • Highly popular with nearly all my female paddle boarding friends
  • Less expensive than hard boards
  • Fast to deploy/inflate
    • First time, an iSUP took me 20 minutes reading instructions and looking for the parts
    • Subsequent times took roughly 9-11 minutes to get paddle-ready
    • Consider using an electric pump for faster deployment. See TIPS section for more
Inflated board, 9" fin

Inflated board, 9″ fin

  • Compact and portable
    • Folds away easily to the size of a sleeping bag
      • Simply deflate, remove specific parts, protect the fins, and roll away
    • Takes up less space than hard boards
    • Can fit in a smaller car, is easier to carry around, and can be checked in on an airplane (and helps save on rental fees)
  • Carry handle at center of board for one-handed transport
  • More durable than hard boards as they won’t scratch or ding when dropped, making them a bit more suitable for rocky, wild adventures
    • This did not initially make sense: why would an INFLATABLE be more durable than a HARD board?
      • Hard boards are more prone to cracking, scratches, and appearance of holes that require immediate fixing. Who knew?
  • Causes less injuries than hard boards
Package: Lotus Flower iSUP /Runwave

Package: Lotus Flower iSUP /Runwave

Inflatable SUPs are more durable than hard boards as they won’t scratch or ding when dropped, making them a bit more suitable for rocky, wild adventures

  • Excellent board for beginners and leisure paddling, though its shorter length and wider width makes it slightly more stable than both the Runwave Kohala and the Abysup SUP123
    • Inflatables cause less fatigue
  • Bungee tie down at front to hold gear (ie. water bottle, lunch, jacket, sunblock)
  • Excellent stability aided by its 6″ inflated thickness, 34″ width, 10.6′ length
    • Volume was not provided. To get an estimate, take about 24% off the dimensions to account for the irregular shape: 323L
      • Calculation: 6″ x 34″ x (10.6′ x 12) = 25,949 cubic inches = 425L x 0.76
    • Larger thickness, width, length makes it more stable than my DvSport (5″ D, 32″ W x 10′ L, 240L volume)
    • Wider width, shorter length makes it more stable than the Runwave Kohala (6″ D, 33″ W x 11′ L, 325L approx. volume) and Abysup (6″ D, 32″ W x 10.6′ L, 304L approx. volume)
    • Extra volume adds more stability and weight support over hard boards
      • Supports up to 300 lbs based on the estimated volume (36 lbs more than DvSport, 52 lbs less than Runwave Kohala)
    • Its dimensions make the board perfect for recreational, beginner paddling
  • Can be used for surfing on small waves, though it will not be very nimble because of its large size
  • Based on my research, inflatables can last 10 years or more, depending on maintenance, storage environment, and other factors
  • Multiple accessories included
    • Carry bag/Backpack with wheels for easier transport
      • Front and side compression straps to reduce volume and carry additional gear
      • One shallow side pocket (presumably for resting the secured paddle and not for holding drinks)
    • Runwave-branded Pump with max pressure of 29 PSI (2 Bars)
      • Can pump air in or out. Connect the hose to the opening marked “OUT” to inflate
      • Single and Double Action pumping. I use Double to quickly inflate to about 8 PSI, after which I switch to the easier Single
    • 3 fins (1 removable 9″)
    • 3-part, floating, length-adjustable aluminum paddle
    • Safety leash with key compartment
    • Repair kit
  • Very well-written manual with step-by-step, visual and text instructions
Carry Bag with Wheels

Carry Bag with Wheels

Cons

  • D-Rings not already affixed to help turn it into a kayak with an optional seat
  • Flexes a bit more than my DvSport iSUP
  • Carry bag’s side pocket is very shallow. It’s likely just a spot for the secured paddle to rest in and not for a bottle
  • Takes time to inflate or deflate
    • Hard boards are ready to go and require little to no preparation
    • Took 12-16 minutes to deflate, clean up, roll up, and pack away
  • Slower to turn and paddle than my DvSport due to its larger thickness, width, and length
  • Requires a pump
    • Inflating a paddleboard to 12-15 PSI (about 1 Bar) takes quite a workout
  • Does not perform as well or as fast as hard boards, making them not as good for racing competitions, though the performance gap between SUPs and iSUPs is narrowing
  • iSUP is puncture resistant, but not puncture-proof

Tips

Paddle Boarding Basics & Tips

Tandem Kayak Seats /Tahe

Tandem Kayak Seats /Tahe

We urge you to learn the basics to minimize injury, get more enjoyment out of your iSUP, and be familiar with how to choose and maintain your board so it will last longer.

Life Vests

Life Jackets are essential for your safety and can even be required by law. See our guide on Personal Flotation Devices (PFD): How To Choose A Life Vest For Kayaking, Paddle Boarding.

Conversion to Kayak

Kayak Seat Conversion Kit /South Bay Board

Kayak Seat Conversion Kit /South Bay Board

Adding a seat is a VERY nice way of converting a stand up paddle board (whether inflatable or not) into a relaxing, single or tandem-seated kayak. All you need are four (4) D-Rings affixed to the iSUP that you attach the seat onto.

A Kayak Conversion Kit can be purchased (like the South Bay Kayak Kit that includes 4 D-Rings and PVC glue). Molded, foam seats provide better comfort.

Kayak Accessories

Some kayak seats come with a storage zipper pocket attached to the back to store snacks, drinking water, windbreaker jacket, and other accessories. They usually can be removed and secured to the front bungee cords, too. The bag generally is water resistant but NOT waterproof — so, keep that in mind if you plan on bringing things that cannot get wet.

You may want to consider these accessories for your iSUP/Kayak adventures:

Son paddle boarding at Newport Beach, California

Final Thoughts

Paddling with my son /Dam Vu Nguyen

Paddling with my son /Dam Vu Nguyen

The Runwave Lotus Flower with its wide and medium length makes for a very stable, beginner-friendly inflatable that can easily accommodate tandem riders. Its approximate volume of 323L, 6″ thickness, and 300 lb maximum weight-capacity could accommodate two adults, but be sure the board is fully inflated so a flex or sink would not hinder paddling efficiency. Its performance is more stable, but quite similar to Runwave’s highly-popular Kohala board. Like all the other iSUPs and hard SUPs I had used last year, paddling around in the water had provided a great amount of joy, memories, and much-needed exercise in a socially-distanced World amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. My son went from someone being fearful of water to wanting to go out with me every time, even agreeing to learn how to jump into the ocean and flipping himself to safely float with a life vest.

Although my favorite still is the DvSport Sunshine iSUP for its slightly better, more streamlined performance, this Runwave Lotus Flower makes for an excellent pick with with its flower-inspired board art that had proven very popular with my female friends (including the sister-in-law). The VERY light weight of 20 lbs for a dual-layered board was quite a shocker, actually, and am happy to see inflatable technology continuing to improve!

Purchasing an inflatable stand up paddle board was an eye opener and money saver over rental fees. It very much was more stable, VERY lightweight, and easier to stand on for longer periods of time than hard boards, but I also felt more pride taking care of something that was mine. Inflatables not only take up less garage space, but they are also more compact to transport in a car’s trunk.

My best friend and I said to each other that we should have bought one long ago instead of wasting so much money on rentals, but in a way I am glad we waited: technology has improved and prices had gone down quite a bit. Happy paddle days ahead!

Where To Buy

Related Posts