Body Glove was founded in 1953 by two brothers and has grown to become a huge surf/dive/wake/outdoor water sports brand, one which has recently taken on the inflatable stand up paddle board market. Over the past two years, we’ve reviewed both the Body Glove Performer 11 and Raptor 10’8 SUPs which have heavily influenced the design of the Body Glove Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak which we’re going to look at in this review. Since most of the features on the Glide 11 are also found on the Raptor and Performer it’s best that you read those reviews first in order to get up to speed on everything.
Watch the video overview below for all the features of the Body Glove Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak.
Body Glove harnessed the skills of champion kayaker and design guru Luke Hopkins to ensure the Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak would be light, fast and stable to paddle so that kayaking could be more accessible and fun for everyone. By using their successful SUP designs as the platform for the Glide 11, Body Glove was able to create a kayak that weighs just over 30lbs and also converts to a stand-up paddle board when needed. The triple layer construction and double-layered side rails are durable enough to take on rocky rivers and general abuse. At 6” think it has heaps of buoyancy and can accommodate up to 350lbs of weight, so go ahead and toss on a kid or two and maybe even the family dog.
The Glide 11 Kayak has a high-back seat which clips into the board at one of three predetermines locations according to the paddler's height. The seat is made of a canvas material yet is rigid and comfortable enough to support the paddler over longer paddles. The four built-in foot braces offer two positions for your feet, again depending upon your height. While the seat can be unclipped and easily removed the foot braces are rigid plastic and built in. A 4-piece adjustable aluminium kayak paddle is included and converts over to a SUP paddle by easily removing one of the blades and inserting a SUP handle. You also get an ankle leash, a dual-action hand pump, repair kit and even a cell phone dry bag. All of this breaks down and fits into the Body Glove pack which is ready for airline travel as checked baggage or can be worn as a backpack to access more remote paddle destination.
The Glide 11’s feature set is impressive and similar to that of the Raptor and Performer, see below for a full list of features.
The concept of having a SUP that converts to a Kayak or vice-versa is a novel one which provided more options for paddling various types of water on still and windy days. The Body Glove Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak easily converts to a SUP with the removal of the clip on seat and one of the paddle’s blades which is replaced with a handle. In a matter of minutes, you're ready to stand up and paddle and the best part is that the seat and spare paddle blade can be secured to the board under one of two cargo nets. This has to be what I like most about the Glide 11, the fact that you don’t have to go back to shore to convert the board over to a SUP or back to a kayak. All of the necessary pieces can be lashed to the board so if the wind picks up mid paddle (which it always does) you go from SUP to kayak and back again in an instant.
To date, the only other Kayak/SUP we’ve reviewed is the Sea Eagle NeedleNose SUP. While this board converts to a Kayak from a SUP it’s not as user-friendly and the Glide 11 since the seat needs to be inflated and you need an entirely different paddle. Body Glove put a lot of thought into the Glide 11 Kayak to ensure it was easy to use with minimal extra parts and it shows. The built-in foot braces on the Glide 11 are also a nice touch, they help you feel more secure on the board and allow you to really grip into your paddle strokes. The only downside of these braces is that they pose a small hazard when standing on the board and paddling in SUP mode they’re hard plastic protrusions and could easily become rib-breakers if you take a tumble. It would be great if they were removable, made of a softer material or folded down and out of the way when not in use. Over the duration of my testing, I didn’t have any incidents with the braces but it wasn’t far from my mind having already broken a rib on a hardboard.
While the Body Glove Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak won’t paddle as fast or smoothly as a true sea kayak or even a sit-on-top, it does provide a fun experience and the versatility that new SUP paddlers or families will appreciate. Having reviewed the Body Glove Raptor 10’8 and Performer 11 SUPs, I can say that the Glide 11 is pretty similar in its construction and design with the exception of only having two fins compared to the three fins found on both the Raptor and Performer boards. The Glide is also a little heavier given the built-in foot braces and additional tie downs but none of this diminished the big smiles found on the faces of all who paddled it.
If you are looking for a soft sit-on-top kayak that can also do double time as a stand-up paddle board then be sure to give the Glide 11 Inflatable Kayak a look-see. Body Glove does it right and as always keeps the price reasonable.
Price: $999CAN / $599US
Dimensions: 11’ x 32” x 6”
Weight: 14kg / 31lb
Max capacity: 350lb
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