We will be going over the Tower Xtreme Paddle Board in this review. We will be detailing what I liked, disliked as well as how the board performs in the water on some of our on-water tests.
The Tower Xtreme is a relatively new player in the ISUP game that differentiates itself by being 8” thick compared to the standard 6”.
The founder of Tower Paddle Boards Stephan Aarstol quoted this to me when talking to him via email.
“It’s an industry game changer on par with when we introduced 6″ thick iSUPs. The reason it’s so stable is that it is rigid (far more rigid than 6″ boards, which are far more rigid than 4″ boards. It’s actually 8x as rigid as a 4″ board), and wide, and has massive volumen (the volume of a ~13′ board due to the extra 2″ thickness).”
So how did the Xtreme paddle board fair when we put it to the test in the waters of Deep Cove British Columbia?
What Did We Think of the Tower Xtreme paddle board?
The Tower Xtreme was a pleasant surprise when it came to the stability of the board. Infact my friend who has a harder time balancing actually really liked this board. He has no problem standing on the board first time, even when waves were coming incoming from boats! So if he can do stand on this board, chances are so can you!
My overall impressions of the Tower Xtreme was that it was considurably more rigid compared to the Yachtsman and the S-Class and it showed in its outright stability. I can confidently say this is one of the most stable SUPs I’ve paddled and I feel like Tower are on to something with the 8″ thickness.
Like many Tower boards the on-board features and accessories are underwhelming. But if you are looking for a bare bones SUP that will keep its stability throughout the learning faze this is a great pick.
Tower Xtreme Paddle Board Review Ratings
Below is how we rated the Tower Xtreme Paddle Board. Click the links below to jump to each section
Total Score: 7.63/10 (The Averages of Below Scores)
- On-Water Performance – 8.1
- Stability 9.5
- Tracking 7
- Speed 7
- Maneuverability 9
- SUP Construction – 8
- Board Features – 7.4
- Deck Pad 8
- D Rings 7
- Deck Bungees 7
- Handles 7.5
- Accessories – 7.2
- Paddle 7.5
- Pump 7
- Fins 7
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 7.5
- Supremly stable for almost all paddlers
- Can be used as a tandem SUP
- The board is very manueverable in the water
- The 8″ Thickness adds rigidity
- Board keeps stable even with waves
- Xtreme is a great big and tall guy/gal board
- Paddle is sturdy when paddling
- Board has a good color scheme
- No Bag that comes with the board
- Tracking is not this boards strongest suit
- Finbox is pretty basic for the boards price point
- At least a dual chamber pump would have been preferable especially for a board of its volume
Who is the Tower Xtreme SUP For?
The Tower Xtreme first and foremost is for folks who want a board that has less of a learning curve. In other words, the board is super duper stable. In fact, if you compare the Xtreme to the S-Class or Yachtsman the difference is like night and day.
The Xtreme is supremely wide clocking in at a width of 35”. This is 3” wider than the normal 32” width which is usually associated with many 10’6” paddle boards. The extra 3” width goes a long way in how the board feels in the water.
When both my friend and I stood on the board compared to the other Tower boards the difference was clear. It felt more like you were standing on an inflatable dock than a paddle board. It had great primary stability.
So back to the original question. The Tower Xtreme is great for bigger/ taller folks who may not be the more coordinated individuals with their balance. Its a great starter board for these people because the platform in which you stand feels a lot more steady in the water which gives you that confidence to stand!
What SUP Activities Can the Tower Xtreme Be Used For?
The Tower Xtreme has two main uses that it is ideal for:
The Tower Xtreme can be used for a few hours out on the lake or in coastal conditions. For those who want something that they can stand on almost instantly and feel stable, the Xtreme is a pretty solid pick. Especially for its price tag.
The board does only have 2 rows of bungee deck webbing though. So you can store some items onto the board but its use may be a bit limited beyond a few hours of paddling.
Tandem/ Passenger Paddle Boarding
The Tower Xtreme is a great board for tandem paddle boarding or having a passenger on there. The boards 550 lbs maximum capacity allows it to carry a good amount of weight. You can do the following combinations:
- Person and a dog (small-large)
- Person and a kid
- Two full-grown adults sitting
- Two full-grown adults standing (one large one smaller ideally)
After testing the Tower Xtreme in the waters of Deep Cove, British Columbia. I gave some of my feedback as well as friends which can be seen in the above video.
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
|Total On-Water Score
Probably the biggest draw to this board will be its stability. The Tower Xtreme performed very well in mild-semi-mild conditions in Deep Cove and handled the waves created by boats quite well.
My first impressions upon standing up on the board were very positive. There was no kickback (board wobbling) upon standing. This bodes well for beginners looking to find their water legs.
A lot of this is also down to the boards 8” thickness which I felt did add to the rigidity of the paddle board. I have noticed that some people have some concerns about the board feeling more tippy because you stand higher up. But as a 6’1” tall guy I didn’t get that feeling at all.
My friend also stood on this board and felt it was the most stable paddle board he’s ever been on as well. And he’s tested a few that I’ve gotten my hands on.
|Average Paddle Strokes (All Around)
To Keep Straight Course
One of the areas where the Xtreme could have had a bigger improvement is tracking. Where I felt the Xtreme could have improved this is by adding clip-on 5” side fins. Most all-around boards with 5” side fins that I test usually fall into the 6-7 strokes per side category.
In this case, the Xtreme clocked about 4.5/5 strokes a side when paddling straight. Now this was never going to be an area that the Xtreme would have excelled at to begin with due to the boards 35” width coupled with its shorter 10’4” length. It’s all mostly physics at this point, but I believe adding side fins and maybe even a touring fin would improve the tracking for the better.
I did notice upon paddling at a quicker clip that the board’s nose was a bit draggy. This is due to the rocker being a bit less compared to the other Tower boards. As a result, the nose likes to dig into the water creating a bit extra drag than what some of the other all-around boards face.
But having said this I also realize people who buy the Xtreme won’t be all too bothered about speed. As long as you work on your paddling technique and have your paddle strokes as close to the board as possible.
In terms of maneuverability, the Xtreme actually kind of surprised me. In a good way. In the water, Tower Xtreme did the following:
|Average Paddle Strokes (All Around SUP’s)
|Paddle Strokes for Reverse Sweep Stroke
|Paddle Strokes for Reverse Side Paddles
These were both excellent results and were probably one of the best we’ve had since we started recording these tests. Most all-around boards typically do about 12-16 side paddles and about 4.5-5 reverse sweep strokes.
So while the fin setup hampered the Xtreme’s tracking ability. It definitely helped the board’s maneuverability for the better.
Tower Xtreme Stats Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational Use
- Length: 10’4″
- Width: 35″
- Thickness: 8″
- Volume: 450 + L
- Weight: 29 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 550 Lbs
|Average Score (All Around)
One of the things I do appreciate about Tower is its transparency when it comes to the exact stats on its boards. The Xtreme is made of a dual-layer PVC outer shell surrounding a drop-stitch core. To get into the exact stats of this:
The Xtreme uses a PVC base layer of .7 mm on the inside of the board. A glue layer is then applied at .1 mm followed by a 1.4 mm PVC Tarpaulin Sandwich layer on the outside. The board then adds 2 layers of inner and outer rail tape that each measure .7 mm around the rails (sides) of the board for extra strength and rigidity.
The Xtreme has been tested to 20 PSI but its recommended range is 10-12 PSI for optimum range.
Tower Xtreme Board Profile
As described in my comparison video the Tower Xtreme can be called the “Big Boy” SUP. The boards profile will be more stocky compared to any of the other Tower models simply due to its 35” width. Then you add the Thickness to the board and you have a board that allows you to stay high and dry.
I’ve seen some complain that they felt too unstable on the board being higher up but I found this was not true in my testing. Especially when I had my bigger 220 lb friend stand on it while waves were coming in from boats at Deep Cove. He was able to absorb the waves quite well all the while standing, which is something he could never do on a board that is 2”-3” shorter in width.
I also found that the Tower Xtreme was a very maneuverable board thanks to these dimensions but I’ll get more into that in the on-water section.
What’s On Deck
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
|Board Features Score
|Deck Pad Score
|Deck Webbing Score
The Tower Xtreme has taken a more simplistic approach to the Xtreme much like it has with its other models. If you are looking for a board that is able to house a lot of different accessories you may want to look at a different board. This is more of a grab-it-and-go style of SUP.
Tower Xtreme Deck Pad
The Tower Xtreme has a striped deck pad which I found to be pretty comfortable on the feet and grippy. The deck pad takes up about 5/8ths of the paddle board. I do have one suggestion though.
If it were up to me, I would have expanded it more towards the tail and the edges of the board to give you and anyone else using the board more room to move. This would open the board up to more activities such as SUP Yoga or extra passengers such as dogs who don’t have to worry about their paws slipping on the PVC where the deck bungees are.
Tower D Rings
Tower has 5 D rings which all have uses. There 4 in the front for the deck bungees and one in the back for the SUP leash. This is an area we do wish the Xtreme had more of. Even having 2 or 4 on the sides would open the board up to having coolers, kayak seats etc onto it.
Not all is lost though, as Tower does sell D rings that you can install yourself onto the board.
Tower Deck Bungees
The Tower Xtreme has 2 rows of deck bungees. Now don’t get me wrong, 2 rows of deck bungees are better than none but I do have a few comments on them.
- Because of the board’s extra width, the bungee area is bigger, meaning it’s best to stow and store bigger items such as small- medium hard or soft coolers, drybags, or backpacks.
- The bungees are not as ideal for storing water bottles on their own. Especially if you have something bigger strapped to the bungees already. I found I has to constantly monitor the water bottle to ensure it didn’t roll off into the ocean.
In this case, it may be best to get an all-in-one SUP carrier such as the SUP-Now Deck Bag. Which would be able to house most of what you would need while keeping everything dry.
The Tower Xtreme offers 3 handles that you can easily grab the SUP.
- The front handle
- Middle handle
- Rear handle
The handle which will get the most use will be the center handle. The handles are attached via D-Rings which reduced the wear and tear on fraction points compared to ones that are attached directly to the board. They are padded with neoprene making them comfortable on the hands.
Tower Xtreme Accessories
Admittedly Tower is not the most “Accessory Rich” SUP company around in terms of add-ons and capabilities. But they do come with everything you need to get started.
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
“The biggest exclusion is a bag to carry the board. I can understand not including a bag for the lighter-weight boards like the S-Class but the Xtreme is 9 lbs heavier and comes with a more premium price tag. If you look at all other boards that have higher capacities the majority of them come with heavy-duty backpacks which makes it easier to carry the board.”– Editors Notes
On the flip side though, no bag = more space for storage in the trunk or garage.
Tower Adjustable Fiberglass Paddle
Tower includes a 3 piece adjustable fiberglass paddle with their package which in my testing had a good feel to it. It’s not the lightest paddle you can get but at 2.125 lbs it’s about in line with what fiberglass paddles weigh.
The blade is made of ABS plastic which, while heavier will provide a good amount of durability. Meaning you don’t have to worry about thunking it against something and having a giant dent.
I did also like the fact that the blade did have a 9-degree angle that allows you to have a more efficient SUP Stroke.
The paddle also has a good height range from 65” to 85” which will accommodate about 90% of paddlers.
Tower Xtreme Hand Pump
The pump that comes with the Xtreme is a pretty basic single-chambered dual-action pump. The pump itself weighs 2.2 lbs and is 18” high and 6” wide.
“A single chamber pump iis fine to include in a starter series like the S-Class. But for a more premium board I felt that Tower could have at least included a dual chamber triple action pump. Pumping a board that is 450 L + with a single-chambered pump can be quite the task.”– Editors Notes
So for this board, I’d recommend just getting an eclectic pump and making life easier for yourself. Especially if you have a long day of paddling ahead. I personally use the Outdoor Master Shark II electric pumps but there are a lot of good ones out there.
As I mentioned with the Tower S-Class, the fin system is something you would expect from a cheaper board. The Tower Xtreme features a “Clip in” slide-in fin system with a plastic 9” hybrid-style dolphin fin.
“I personally believe in this case the board should at the very least have a US fin box to give the board more fin options to help improve the tracking of the board. Also in my tested the 2.5” glued on side fins really doesn’t add anything to the performance of the board. But rather get in the way of folding the board creating extra space where there doesn’t need to be.”– Editors Notes
Tower Xtreme Set-up/ Take-Down
Compared to boards like the S-Class the Xtreme does take a bit more effort to fold simply due to the fact that the board’s PVC is thicker.
|Average Score (All Around)
|Set-Up/ Take-Down Score
The set-up for the Extreme is fairly straightforward. Release the strap holding the board, unroll, and inflate! As mentioned above, for this particular board I do recommend spending the extra $100 or so dollars and getting an electric pump. Especially if you plan on paddle boarding all Spring, summer, and fall.
Tower recommends 10-12 PSI for inflation but the board can be taken up to a total of 20 PSI. Most all-around boards I pump to about 14 or 15 PSI but in this case it’s probably best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on this one.
The Takedown process is also fairly straightforward. Rinse the board off, dry it, deflate it, and roll it up! I find that it’s best to roll Tower boards rather than fold them. Rolling a board will take less wear out of the board as opposed to folding which after a long period of time creates some weak spots in the board.
Once rolled you can place the paddle inside the middle of the rolled board along with the fin. You could try to fit the pump in there too although that may be a bit too much of an ask.
About Tower Paddle Boards
Tower Paddle Boards is an originator of the 6” thick paddle board which has quickly become the standard today. They took that a step further in recent years by developing the 8” thick paddle boards with the Xtreme and the Xplorer Elite series boards. Few manufacturers today produce 8” thick paddle boards. Whether that becomes a trend remains to be seen.
As I’m sure many of you know by now, Tower was popularized on the popular ABC show Shark Tank where Mark Cuban struck a deal with Stephan Aarstol the founder. Mark Cuban has gone on the record as saying that Tower was one of his most successful acquisitions.
Warranty and Returns Information
The Elite series offers a 3-year warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Best of all Tower will not charge a restocking fee should you return your board within the 30-day period.
Tower Paddle Boards has a tiered warranty policy for its boards
- 1 Year warranty for Starter Series (S-Class)
- 2 Year Warranty for Premium Series (Mermaid, Yachtsman, Adventure 2, iRace)
- 3 Year Warranty for Elite series (Xplorer and Xtreme)
What Customers Think
The Tower Xtreme is still a relatively new line so there are not a ton of customer testimonials and reviews out there just yet. But there are a few we found on the Tower website. Probably the comment that best sums it up goes as follows:
“The X-Class iSUPs are definitely a performance upgrade from other inflatable paddle boards I’ve tried. The added thickness makes a big difference in rigidity and speed. My only complaint is that it’s a bit heavy to carry around, but that’s to be expected with a board this sturdy I suppose. I’ve had a cheap board off Amazon and it was so flimsy that it was almost useless.”– Max Chenowith (Tower Customer)
“My partner and I love our Tower iSUP! We wanted a board that could handle our combined weight, and this one definitely does the trick. It’s super rigid and stable, and we love the faux teak boat decking look. Highly recommend for any tandem paddlers out there!”– Lila S. (Tower Customer)
As of now on the Tower website the Xtreme has a 4.67 customer rating out of 5.
Where to Buy the Tower Xtreme Paddle Board
The best place will be directly through Tower’s Website. Tower is one of the first direct-to-consumer websites that cut out the middle man.
Below are some boards that come to mind when comparing the Tower Xtreme SUP.
Gili Meno Series
The Gili Meno 11’6” is a 6” thick board that is 35” wide much like the Xplorer. The main difference is the Meno series offers more add-ons such as action mounts, extra deck bungees, Scotty Mounts, and a paddle holder. So if adding accessories is essential to you, the Meno is a decent pick. The Meno offers you the choice of 11’6” or 10’6” paddle boards.
iRocker Blackfin Model X
Like the Gili Meno 10’6”, the Model X has similar dimensions but is a bit heavier at 27 lbs. The board has a lot of accessory capabilities. The board is made of a triple-layer PVC and carbon side rails with reinforced seams. It’s an ideal board for anglers who crave accessory capabilities and stability on the water.
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