Retrospec Weekender Plus 2 Review

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In this Retrospec Weekender Plus 2 Review we will be going through what can be considered one of the best value packages around

I test this board in calm lake conditions in the Caribou and give you my exact thoughts on how this board handled, both in kayak and paddle board formation. Spoiler Alert: it was a very pleasant surprise! 

We also give an overview of who we feel this board is for, what its on-water performance is like as well as rate the onboard features and accessories in detail

Let’s get into it!

What Did We Think of the Retrospec Weekender 2 Plus? 

After testing the board for a good hour or so on a calm lake in both kayak and paddle board formation and then doing another few hours of testing doing a longer cruise of the west leg of the lake here are some of my thoughts:

  • The Weekender Plus 2 has a kayak hybrid package that can rival some of the brands that are higher up in price point
  • The kayak seat was overall fairly comfortable to sit in, although we do wish there was a footrest that came with the package
  • The paddle board was very stable for a 10’6” long 33” Wide board. It felt stable throughout our tests
  • Offered impressive tracking scores thanks to the 3 slide-in fin set-up
  • The board was pretty easy to set up and take down. 

Retrospec Weekender Pro Paddle Board Review Ratings

Below is how we rated the Retrospec Weekender Pro. Click the below links to jump to each section. 

Total Score: 7.83 (Accumulated Scored of Below)

Pros

  • A Fantastic Beginner Package: Overall this is a fantastic introductory package that offers a good price tag for what you get with the construction of the board and accessory package.
  • Offers Great Stability: The board offers stability that will be better than most SUP at its price range. The wide nose and tail give you a solid base to learn how to stand. 
  • Offers a Lot of Accessories: For many accessories like the shoulder strap, and kayak conversion kit you have to pay extra, but they include it here!
  • The Boards Tracking Performance was a pleasant surprise: The board has some very good tracking performance ratings compared to other SUPs in its price range
  • The Weekender Plus Offered Great Maneuvrability Metrics: This was with the side fins in place too!
  • One of the better tracking Kayak Hybrid Boards: A lot of this is thanks to those handy dandy side fins
  • Comes with Paddle Holder: An always appreciated addition to any SUP package

Cons

  • Backpack is Fairly Basic: Although to be fair for the price you can’t be too nit-picky about it
  • A Foot Rest Would Be Ideal: I do prefer kayak hybrid packages that come with a footrest as they help stabilize your legs which allows you to use more of your core.
  • Paddle Adjuster Got in the Way: I felt that it was in the way of my arm’s length, I did have this problem with other SUP Kayak Hybrid packages. 

Who Should Be Using the Retrospec Weekender 2 Plus?

The Retrospec Weekender is best used for the following paddlers:

  • Brand New Paddlers who want a well-priced paddle board kayak hybrid
  • Paddlers who want to learn some basic SUP skills like standing, simple paddle manuevers, etc. 
  • Paddlers who want a casual All Around board to take to the lake

This is a very beginner-oriented package although with its slide-in fin systems, this wouldn’t be a bad board to take on a day paddle as long as you are in the cruising speed range. 

What SUP Activities Can the Retrospec Weekender 2 Plus Be Used For? 

The Weekender has that typical All Around paddle board shape designed mainly for stability. This means it would be good for…

Recreational Paddling/ Cruising

This board is fantastic for having a cruise on, whether you just want to paddle around the lake for an hour or have a board to learn on. You can take this for a few hours on a day paddle as well.

The board also features a go-pro mount to which you can document your adventures while cruising on the lake!

Kayak Hybrid SUP

Obvious statement is obvious but this can be used as a great kayak hybrid, especially for the price tag. Most kayak hybrids that even touch this price point will have the generic foam kayak seat that just had a foam pad as a cushion. These are usually harder on the back and hips so the fact this package comes with an uplifted kayak seat is a big plus. It also comes with a whole kayak high back seat!

As I detail more in the accessories portion of the review, the seat was fairly comfortable and I was able to do my kayak testing on the board for about an hour. 

Casual Fishing

You can use this SUP for casual fishing purposes as well due to its stability. Mind you, it won’t be the easiest as there are no attachments to hold your fishing equipment, but if you just have a rod hanging off the front bungees the set-up could work out for you. A better package for the casual fisherman that wants a cheap all around board.  

Retrospec Weekender Plus On-Water Performance

This board offered up some pleasant surprises when I tested it in a lake outside of 100 Mile House in Central British Columbia. The board offered fantastic readings for both tracking scores and maneuverability scores thanks to its 3 fin set-up.

Stability

The Weekender Plus offers fantastic stability for paddlers of most ages and height/ weight ranges due to the board’s wider nose and tail. Both sitting formation when kayaking and standing when paddle boarding felt like a great board for cruising in calm lake water conditions. 

On the plus side, you have a bit of an advantage going from sitting straight to standing position in one motion (doing your regular squat exercises helps with your stability on this). Upon standing I didn’t feel like the board was on a ragged edge at all. 

I will say this is probably one of the most stable 33” wide boards I have tested which is a compliment to the Weekender Plus 2. 

Is it the most stable paddle board I’ve ever tested? No, but Retrospec did a fine job making sure that this board is beginner-friendly without taking away from its cruising performance. 

Tracking

If I’m honest, I was not expecting very much in the way of tracking ability with this board but the Retrospec folks definitely surprised me! Despite being a rounder board than what you normally see these days with more and more “pointed” all around boards. 

This SUP did 7 strokes a side tracking which is actually a pretty darn good reading as it punches above the average score! The board also felt very pleasant to paddle as you could get into a nice rhythm on each side before switching sides versus having to switch every 3-4 strokes like many all-around SUPs

A lot of this is due to the 5” side fins, which if you have been reading this blog for a while I am a big believer in.  While I’m usually not a big fan of slide-in fins, I’ll take these over the little useless 2” plastic fins any day of the week. 

Speed

Out of the 4 on-water metrics, speed/ glide was probably the board’s weak spot. But then again it’s not built for it nor is it meant for it so we take that with a grain of salt. 

This is where rounded noses take a bit of speed out of the board as water collects near the front and creates drag when you start to put in some harder strokes. 

I’d say this is a much better “casual cruising board” as opposed to a board to travel longer distances at a faster pace like thinner all around SUPs. 

Maneuverability

Maneuverability was another surprising score here as typically if you have good tracking scores you are taking away from the maneuverability of the SUP. 

The Weekender Plus managed to do 3.2 reverse sweep strokes when doing a 360 which was an excellent score. What’s even more is that the side fins were attached for this so I’d reckon if we took them off we would have been able to shave another .5 off of the score! The 3.2 Sweep stroke score is well below the average and is one of the better scores we have encountered. 

The Weekender Plus also did 9 reverse side paddles which is also one of the better scores from our All Around SUPs. 

Throughout all of our maneuverability tests the board stayed stable throughout which is great news for those starting and wanting to practice some of these maneuvers.

Retrospec Weekender Plus 2 Stats Deconstructed 

  • Type of Board: Recreational
  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 6″
  • Weight: 23 pounds /10.4 kgs 
  • Maximum Capacity: 300 pounds /136 kgs

The Weekender Plus won’t be the SUP that uses the most advanced materials in the market. And for the price that you can get the board, it shouldn’t be. What it should be is rigid enough to give folks value over the board’s lifetime without springing any surprises. 

Having dug a bit into what the Weekender 2 Plus is made of its made of an Aerglide fusion material. 

This means they have ditched the single layer PVC and used 2 layers of PVC and fused them together along with polyester fabric that acts as the sandwich for the many strands of drop stitching. 

The fabric is then coated with a first layer of PVC and then a second to ensure that it is airtight. This is fast becoming a standard practice in today’s ISUP construction. 

Retrospec Weekender Board Profile

The Weekender Plus has a wider board profile that focuses on stability more than anything else. The board’s wide nose and tail help brand new paddlers get their footing fast and make it a comfortable SUP to paddle in kayak formation. 

If you are a kayaker and you start paddling this board for the first time you will notice just how planted the board is onto the water, there is no side-to-side motion unless you really try to rock the board back and forth. 

As a result, this wider nose and tail shape does take away some glide of the board when you are doing some harder strokes due partially to the drag of the nose. 

Retrospec Weekender Plus Onboard Features (What’s On Deck) 

While you do get a lot of accessories with this package (we will go into this more in the Accessories part) the Weekender 2 Plus does have a relatively minimalist set-up. Is this a good or bad thing? Well, it depends on who you are asking! 

Often I find beginners prefer minimalist set-ups as they just want to focus on the paddling and don’t necessarily need all the doohickeys that some other All Around SUPs present. In this case, there are a few noteworthy features that the Weekender has up its sleeve. 

Weekender 2 Plus Deckpad

The deckpad on the Retrospec Weekender 2 is fairly basic and covers roughly a ⅓ of the board. We feel that the coverage is a bit small, especially when you consider more and more SUP brands are making their deck pads cover more area on the board. 

More deck pad coverage gives you a few advantages

  1. It gives you more grip throughout the board, this is especially handy for if you have a passenger like a pet or small kid perching at the front of the board. 
  2. Large deck pads are great for advancing your skill set and giving your grip when doing more advanced maneuvers such as pivot turns etc. 

But if those don’t apply to you, what you get with the Retrospec Weekender Plus 2 is more than good enough for kayaking and normal paddle-boarding purposes. 

Weekender Plus D-Rings

This board has 10 D rings which are used for the deck bungees and the one dedicated to attaching your leash. 

There are, however, 6 PVC loops that you can use to sit the kayak hybrid seat in the middle to best adjust it to your height. The kayak seat takes up 4 loops with the chair back going to the front loops and the seat going toward the middle. This helps set the kayak seat up so that there is pressure for you to lean against the seat back. 

You can also use these loops to strap your shoulder strap or other gear in if you are a do-it-yourselfer. Just make sure the clip is not too thick as the loops don’t give a ton of room inside. 

Weekender Plus 2 Deck Bungees

The good thing with this package is that there are 5 rows of deck bungees to store things in the font and back. Typically I like to store items that I use the most in the front while items I don’t reach for as much go towards the back of the board. 

I won’t nitpick too much on this as you get more bungee room than many boards at this price point. But if it were me I would make the front bungees a little closer together. I feel that they are a bit too spaced out which does not give you as much room to store your smaller items such as water bottles etc. 

But having said the following everything did fit and nothing fell overboard which is always a plus when paddling for a while.  

Weekender Plus Action Mounts

The Weekender does have an action camera mount on the nose which is in my opinion the best spot to get some of that handy GoPro footage you are after! The mount has a ¼ thread which fits GoPro’s or in my wording (faux pros) of most makes. 

In an ideal world, it would be great if there were more action mounts on the board to hold a wide array of accessories like cup holders, phones, cameras, etc. But you really can’t complain about getting a GoPro holder for the price this SUP is offered. 

Handles

Curiously the Weekender Pro only has 2 handles in the middle and the front. We do wish that this board had a rear handle. This would better allow 2 people to hold the boards, especially when you have all the kayak gear on the board, it’s just easier to carry with the 2nd person. 

The handles do have a neoprene bottom which I appreciate as that is the softest material on your hands. 

Paddle Holder

Probably the on-board feature that impressed me the most was the paddle holder. Paddle holders in my mind, are a crazy underrated accessory to have. Especially when you just want to lay down on the board and chill. 

In Fact, after my day of filming, I did exactly that! I strapped my paddle to the holder lay down and enjoyed the last of the sun of the day. I can’t tell you how much better it is to have the paddle to the side of you instead of being tables in the bungees with your leg clumsily over it. 

Weekender Plus 2 Accessories

This is where this package really stands out on its own, especially within the under $400 price point. You get a ton of accessories and value with this package! Things that often come separately such as shoulder straps, kayak seats, and heck even the waterproof phone holder come with this package. 

Its things like this that often swing the pendulum for new paddlers as people like when you get extra stuff with your package. 

Kayak Conversion Package

I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the package came with an inflatable seat. Something that kayak hybrid packages come with that has a higher price point. 

While it does take a little extra time to set up due to the extra couple of pumps, I have grown to like inflatable seats as they allow you to adjust how much pressure you put into it to adjust how hard or soft the seat will be. 

The seat itself was easy enough to install with the seat back straps going to the front loops and the inflatable cushion clipping to the rear loops. I was able to sit on the seat for a while in kayak formation while feeling comfortable. 

I do wish that this package came with an inflatable foot rest though. The footrest would give you a place to adjust how you want your legs while allowing you to use more of your core muscles. 

In my experience, the most comfortable way to sit on this kayak’s seat was by crisscrossing my legs while paddling. 

Backpack

We found the bag that comes with the package to be okay although it is a bit small considering all the contents that are supposed to fit inside. 

To best get everything into this bag I recommend that you use the deflate valve on the pump to get all of the air out of the board.  We’ll go into this more in the Set-up/ Takedown option.

Editors Notes 

The bag offers 2 handles and 2 supporting straps that can further make the package that little extra bit compact. 

The backpack does have some padding on the straps although I wouldn’t recommend it for hikes or walking long distances. 

Retrospec Paddle

The paddle you get with the package is aluminum and feels nice and balanced in paddle board formation. I liked the feel of this paddle over other aluminum paddles thanks in part to the coating. The coating gives the paddle a bit more grip which prevents it from slipping in your hands when the paddle is wet.

One con is I did feel that the adjusting feature was in the way of my preferred grip when I put the paddle in kayak formation. I have a bit of a longer arm width so I tend to grip kayak paddles wider than many folks. 

Something I do appreciate is the fact that this paddle has a front and back label on the paddle so that new paddlers know which is the correct side to use when paddling. As often times they do tend to hold the paddle the wrong way when starting out (Yes I was guilty too when I started!).

Pump

While I’m normally not the biggest fan of single-chamber pumps I found this one did everything you needed it to do including having 2 stages and a deflate valve. 

For once I did use the manual pump that came with the board as I forgot my electric one! Pumping up the board for the first time can be a bit eye opening, especially for beginners. 

You see that PSI rise and you almost don’t trust that the board can hold that air. But trust it, it can thanks to the thousands of strands of drop stitch inside that hold the board together. 

I also used the pump to deflate the board after initially letting the first burst of air out. I highly recommend doing this so that the board folds more easily and can fit back into the bag. 

Slide in Fins

I usually prefer US fin boxes but for the price of this board, I found the slide in fins to be more than sufficient. 

“Perhaps one of the biggest game changers of this board was the two 5” slide in fins. We found that this gave the board the extra 1-2 strokes a side which made the board very pleasurable to paddle. Best of all they didn’t take too much away from the maneuverability of the board either!

Having the extra pair of side fins also gives you the option to really tweak how the board handles in the water. If you want the board to be more manueverable just put in the center fin. If you want it to track better attach the side fins and voila!”

Editors Notes 

Retrospec Weekender 2 Plus Set-up/ Take Down

Having had the chance to actually use almost every accessory in the package this will be as good of a set-up/take-down explanation as I can give. 

Taking the board out of the bag and unrolling it out on the garage floor was easy enough, you just have to take the packing out from in between the board. After everything was laid out we started pumping the board up with the pump that came with the package. 

For those who are starting out it will take quite a bit of pumping to see this baby take shape but keep going! Maybe take a few breaks along the way. I pumped the board to about 14 PSI but the board can go to 15. I go 14 because the sun can increase the PSI by a degree so I always want to make sure I’m below the maximum PSI zone. 

After the board was all pumped up I took it out to the dock and set up the seat and paddle for kayak formation. This was straightforward sliding the clip into the PVC loops. Remember the seat back straps go to the forward loops and the chair straps attached to the inflatable cushion go towards the seat. 

After my all the video shooting and fun on the water at my friend’s cabin it was time to pack it down. After removing the kayak seat and putting the paddle back in its bag I took the fins out.

I found the fins may get stuck especially if they are in the sun for a bit so I just used a mallet to gently tap the main one out of its slot. 

After this I deflated the board and used the pump to get all the air out. The pump had a deflate hose that you can use to suck the air out which makes folding the board into a more compact bundle that much easier

The backpack isn’t all that large and surprisingly it didn’t take too many tried to get the board back into the bag. A little hack to fitting everything into the bag is putting the big stuff in first , like the paddle board and then the paddles, pump and deflated seat and then fit all the smaller bits like the shoulder strap, repair kit, etc. 

About Retrospec

Retrospec sells a variety of different outdoor equipment such as E-Bikes, bikes, and longboards as well as helmets, snow goggles, snow shoes etc. Now before you roll your eyes I will say that The Weekender did pleasantly surprise me in a lot of different ways. 

They have been making paddle boards since 2019 so they have learned a few tricks of the trade and I remember seeing the Ten Toes Weekender brand as early as 2017 on Amazon. 

Warranty and Returns

The Warranty period for Retrospec Inflatable paddle boards is 2 years. Of course like all other paddle board warranties it covers manufacturing defects. It does not cover wear and tear or damage from external elements like overinflation cuts by rocks, dragging etc. As is with most other paddle board makes. 

The return policy is a 50 day period which is actually pretty good. Whats more interesting is that there is a standard tier 5 return policy that means the shipping charge back for the return would be $55. 

Where to Buy the Weekender 2 Plus

You can purchase the Weekender 2 Plus on the Retrospec website or on Amazon

Comparable Boards

The following are comparable boards to the Retrospec Weekender. 

Gili Komodo 11

This board offers a loop system that surrounds the length of the board and has a deck pad that spans the length of the board. This is a great pick for bigger SUP yogis who want a package that they can use as a kayak and take their dogs/ small kids as well!

Read the Gili Komodo 11 Review here.

BOTE Easy Rider 10’4”

The Easy Rider is one of the most comfortable kayak SUP hybrids I have paddled! It comes with what feels like a king’s chair followed by a stable platform for standing or sitting. This SUP is great for smaller paddlers who want more maneuverability.

Read the BOTE Easy Rider 10’4″ Review Here.

Should You Get the Retrospec Weekender Plus? 

The Retrospec Weekender Plus is a fantastic value board to get, especially for its budget. It’s good for a wide range of paddlers and I actually had a lot of fun cruising the lake with this SUP! The Weekender will be a great pick for you if:

  • You want a kayak hybrid that won’t break the bank
  • You are a beginner who wants a lot of value out of their SUPs
  • This is your first SUP and you want something to learn the ropes on
  • You want a board that blends good maneuverability and tracking
  • You want as many things as possible to come from this SUP package

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Author:
Hey, My name is Derek Lenze and I'm the owner of Inflatable SUP Authority. I've had over 20 years experience with watersports and over 10 years of various paddle boarding experience. My new-found passion is bringing my stand up paddle boaring knowledge in an explainable and actionable way all the while giving you my unbiased takes.