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Pau Hana Endurance XL Standup Paddleboard Review: This Ultimate Expedition SUP Is a Tank

pau hana endurance xl board loaded with author(Photo/Sean Jansen)
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If you are a paddleboarder who doesn’t shy away from overnight SUPs or month-long expeditions, listen up. The Pau Hana Endurance XL may be the perfect SUP for long-haul adventures.

I searched high and low for a board that could handle a maiden voyage down the Baja Peninsula. I went through the usual suspects: Isle, Bote, Infiniti, Tahoe SUP, Red, BIC, and SIC Maui. All showed potential, with board lengths ranging from 11 feet to nearly 16 feet, but all had flaws. The volume seemed to be there, but the extracurriculars weren’t: the leash plug, the grab handles, the tie downs, the spare paddle clip. A few brands offered some of the design aspects I was looking for, while others didn’t.

In short: For the length and intensity of my recent expedition, I needed tie-downs on the front of the board, and grab handles on the nose of the board as well as aft. I was going to be in waves, wind, and weather where my gear needed to be tied down without any worry. And most importantly, I needed the volume to carry nearly 150 pounds of gear and drinking water, not including my 200-pound self. That’s a big ask of any inflatable SUP.

I struggled, searching high and low to find a board that had it all, then came across Pau Hana’s Endurance XL and was stopped in my tracks.

Pau Hana Endurance XL SUP Review

First Impressions

pau hana endurance xl on water loaded
(Photo/Sean Jansen)

The 12-foot-long, 6-inch thick platform is strikingly similar to a tank but with the stealthiness of a fighter jet. The teal and ebony color pattern with wood inlay and low rocker displacement hull design paints the picture of a heat-seeking missile intent on a target for your expedition desires.

With an insane volume of 260L and a maximum capacity of 415 pounds, I intended to find out if this board truly is up to the task of a major, near 1,000-mile expedition. It also has Ricochet Technology built into the core of the board, designed to withstand even the most brutal of rocky shores and coastlines.

Lastly, Pau Hana’s SeaMount system, integrated all along the board as well as the rails, is a threaded attachment system that allows users to rig up everything from fishing rod holders and paddle racks to a touring kit with anchors to strap gear. With 30 threaded attachment points, this board far exceeds any other on the market for versatility and expedition necessity. (While not the same design, the attachment points on the ISLE Switch come close in second.)

On the Water

endurance xl stand up paddleboard on beach
(Photo/Sean Jansen)

The ultimate test for the trip was to simply get started. I was nervous at the beginning because it was the first day of the trip and because, given my time from purchasing to starting, I hadn’t even had the time to test the board with all my gear before the trip.

So with my ethos of “the best training for any expedition is just to start,” I loaded up my board with two dry bags, five gallons of water, fishing rods, a tripod, and cameras, and hit the water. Total weight, including myself, was estimated at around 375 pounds or so. Yet, the Pau Hana Endurance XL glided into smoothness like a small sailboat cutting water but with the capacity of a tanker vessel.

With the sea being silky smooth for the first days of my trip, I was excited when I saw the forecast to pick up in swell and wind, to truly see what this board could do in rough conditions while being strapped down with hundreds of pounds of gear. And once again, to my surprise, the board not only delivered with its volume and displacement hull but gave stability and comfort in rough seas.

Beach landing the board was also a breeze. The Ricochet technology made it stress-free, meaning I could drag my board up and along the shore without a worry in the world.

Pau Hana Endurance XL Downfalls

Endurance XL Paddle Board bottom with gear on it, drying out
Drying out my gear on the Pau Hana XL after a paddle; (photo/Sean Jansen)

Simply put, there is nothing wrong with this board. You could maybe argue the price is high at $1,749, but given what this board has put up with, what it offers, and what it can carry, it makes every penny worth it. Plus, many of the other companies I researched seemed to be hundreds or thousands more than this Pau Hana SUP — and offer less.

If I am being nit-picky, I would have loved this board to be two feet longer, but that is just personal interest for my recent expedition. Honestly, there is nothing I can say negatively about this stealth SUP tanker.

Final Thoughts

pau hana endurance xl stand up paddleboard
(Photo/Sean Jansen)

For under $2,000, this board will outlast the expeditions that you partake in. Pass it down to the next generation to beat the crap out of and push the boundaries of what can be done on a SUP.

This board flirts dangerously close to a live-a-board sailing vessel for its volume and storage, with, of course, the added bonus of the lower learning curve a SUP offers. And, of course, at a feather-light weight in comparison.

For an expedition of a thousand miles down a swell-ridden coastline or a simple overnighter at the local lake, the Endurance XL can haul a great amount of gear and will shine.

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