Ease Of Use = 4.5
Padding & Protection = 5
Zips, Clips and Straps = 4.5
Practicality & Extras = 4
Caveman Rating: 4.5 out of 5
This months review is of the Flying Objects Travel Cover SUP Race. We have the 14' x 30" available.
* 12’6 x 30” L = 12’6 x W = 30” x H = 6.5” Weight 5.500kg
* 14’0 x 30” L = 14’0 x W = 30” x H = 6.5” Weight 6.090kg
* 600D Polyester
* 10mm Padding
* Internal PE Fabric
* Side Release Cinch Straps
* Adjustable Fin Slot Position
* Shoulder Strap
* Tapered outline
* Re-enforced Nose & Tail Patches
* Air Vent
* Address Label
* Drag Patches
* 4 Carry Handles
* FO Pull Tabs
Ease of Use - Rating = 4.5
The feature on this bag that impressed me no end is it completely opens up. It is hinged on one side which makes the bag a one person operation. What do I mean by that? Well you don't need to take a mate or find a new one at your paddling location to hold the bag while you slide your board out or that awkward movement of pushing your bag around your destination trying to slide your board back in. I have lost count of the times I have seen people trying to gently slide their boards out of their bag only for the board to rocket out of the bag over the final foot or so. With this bag you open the zips right up, take the board out or place it in and then zip it back up again. To me this is a major selling point and I could wrap the review up on just that point but I won't as there are some other really great features.
Padding and protection - Rating = 5
This is a really well padded and constructed bag. As it states in the features list there is re-enforced patches in the nose and tail and patches in the areas that are most likely to have general wear and tear from normal use but also from dragging it about. When you open up the bag you see the extra patches and stitching in the areas where cinch straps are attached, handles are attached and around the adjustable fin slot is (more on that later).
Zips, Clips and Straps - Rating = 4.5
The zips used on these bags are the robust and top notch YKK Zippers. Yep, that is why all the zips on your hoodies and jeans have YKK stamped on them. Your welcome. Anyway, I am yet to have any issues with these zips no matter if I am at the beach closing up the bag or on a grassed area.
As the dimensions suggest, this bag can be used for a board up to 30" wide there is a lot of space both in width and depth. For my Touring 14' x 30" board this is awesome. It fits into the bag with no issues and because the bag is quite deep I just give the cinch straps a little pull and she is very snug. However for a thinner board like my Ace 14' x 25" there is a lot of space around a board. The cinch straps on both sides secure it well but there is still some movement. The nose of the Ace really fills the front section of the bag however at the other end there is a bit of room left over due to the pintail. This is not a problem for boards with flat tails such as a 2013 and 2014 Fanatic Falcon 14 x 27.5 Falcon, 2014 DC/NSP Ocean Race Elite or a 2013 Starboard All Star 14 x 25, 26 and 27.5.
Please note that the 2014 Starboard All-Star will not fit in this bag. ** UPDATE ** To clarify the last sentence, the All Star in question is the 2014 All Star 14 x 28 model. As we get more boards in hand we will update this post. **
Also anything less that 25” wide is going to move around a lot in this bag. As previously noted the Ace 14’ x 25” does roll around a bit and it is a thick board.
Where the bag zips up they have incorporated side release clips so that you can still get your board in and out. Another nice touch is the extra straps on the nose and tail that allow easy movement by two people without having to try and get a handful of the bag.
Practicality and extras - Rating = 4
The adjustable fin slot is a great feature and as the pictures show there are four separate flaps that have velcro closures. This allows for only the required space to be open and gives flexibility for most fin positions on most boards. Again the 14' x 30" however the Ace is a slightly different board to most. On the Ace, due to the position of the fin box, the bag will ride up on the fin. This is with the fin placed in the centre of the box and definitely if it is further forward. This isn't much of a problem if the board is just sitting in the bag but it could be an issue if you are tying the board onto a car. It could put some pressure onto the fin and also the bag which over time could cause some issues.
Finally the handles. They are as well padded as the rest of the bag. There is one located on the centre top of the bag and there is a double handle on the non zipper side. The bag is also fitted with attachment points for a shoulder harness if you have to carry the bag some distance.
The only thing missing is some sort of zippered/Velcro pouch in this bag. Somewhere that you could stuff the shoulder sling for example. There have been a number of times where I have had to carry the bag some distance back to the car and after a lengthy session of the water the arms are cactus. Having the strap in the bag tucked away would mean I am not regretting leaving it at home if such occasions strike.
Due to my storage situation at home, numerous door frame and lots of sharp angles, once I get either of my boards in this bag (the Ace lives in it due to the CF construction) I don't have to worry about said frames and angles. The padding and construction of the bag is that good. It is easy to maneuver with the handles and additional strap positions also. As I stated at the opening, the fact that this bag opens up completely is a massive bonus and means you avoid the need to make new friends and dancing with your board and bag like some mating ritual.
My only gripe with it is the lack of stash bag and the fin slot not fitting very well on my Ace. The stash bag issue is probably a bit nit picky but I have seen this in many other bag for SUP and surf boards. I get around the fin slot problem by taking my fin off whenever it goes in and putting it back on prior to paddling (good move and highly advised).
The construction mentioned and the features carry over for both the 12'6" and 14', if there was any confusion. If I was going to buy another bag this would be it and I would, and have, recommend it to others. It is fantastic, is easy to use, the zips are bullet proof, has a tonne of padding in all the right places and is a tough as old boots. I have had my bag for 8 months now and it has zero wear and tear on it. I have also had a few fellow paddlers go and get one after seeing mine in action.
If you are in the market for a new bag then look no further than this bag (unless you have a 2014 All Star). Get onto your local SUP provider and get one on your board.
Big thanks to Scott Hunter, Aidan Lewis and the crew at Wetspot Water Sports for allowing me a section in the shop to take photos and use the shops boards for demonstration purposes