Riviera 12’6" Voyager – New for 2012
  • Riviera Voyager

    I am really excited about this class of boards, and this board in particular.  I take people out for lessons on most weekends, especially during the spring and summer months.  In many cases, the people I take out really take to the sport and love it, but what board to buy is often a problem.  We are landlocked here in Austin Texas, so most of the people that paddle here, are not looking for a board they can surf on.  They just want a good board to hit the lake on. 

    I have a huge preference towards racing style boards for this purpose.  They glide better, go faster, and are more silent through the water.  The problem arises when these people, who are not yet completely sold on how much use they will get out of a paddle board, actually see the price tag.  Most race boards are $2000-$3000.  It is very difficult for a newbie to justify that kind of money on their first board.  Unfortunately, many of the same people that buy a cheaper Surf/All Around style SUP, end up eventually getting a race board anyway, as they become more experienced paddlers.  Not a huge problem, but it does mean you ended up spending more money in the long run.

    Boards like this one from Riviera may end up solving this problem.  Its kind of like having your cake, and eating it too.  You can get a race shape inspired board, that is ideal for most flat-water circumstances, without breaking the bank.  In addition, they have opted to go a little wider than most race boards, which make this ideal for beginners, as it will be a very stable board.  One other thing to note, is this may end up being a good solution for people to fish from.  With its width and overall volume, it should make for a steady platform to fish from.  In addition it has lots of tie-downs.  Plus having a semi-displacement shaped nose will allow it to travel more quietly through the water, which is a requirement for fisherman, who are looking to sneak up on their prey.

    I have yet to ride this particular board, but I know a few people that have, and were very impressed.  The feedback I received was, it wasn’t quite as fast as a traditional 12’6 Race Board, but had great glide, and great stability.  For the price they are asking, I think it really addresses the needs mentioned above.  According to a company representative, these boards are available now.

    Make sure to watch the video for pricing and specs from Brandon!


    January 24th, 2012 | Casey Gotcher | 4 Comments | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Casey Gotcher

4 Responses and Counting...

  • Matt Ivey 01.24.2012

    I totally agree with you on this. 90% of our SUPing is done on lakes and rivers. It is very nice to see that many of the manufactures are starting to design boards specific for inland/flatwater use. As we started looking for companies to work with we often found the reps trying to sell us boards that were designed for the surf. No matter how many times we told them we don’t have any close surf, they still would try to get us to buy boards that were not suited for our location. The growth of the sport is going to depend on flatwater boards if it wants to become a major player in the recreational sports industry. The other great thing that you mentioned is the pricing. For a touring board to be in the $1,100 range will allow many people to get into the sport for half the price of a race style board. Plus they still can get out on that board in a recreational race and compete on it.

  • We have a few of these in our fleet and they are amazing for first timers or people that require a little more stability on the lakes. It’s one of my personal favorite models and you really can’t beat the value that this gives you. I’ll agree that it should be used only in inland/flatwater conditions as its tall, flat rails will cause some problems in rougher conditions. Great review!

  • Hello from Charlotte, NC (LKN)! I just purchased the 2012 Riviera Voyager after demoing a few times and I’m totally sold and you nailed it in your review above. I looked at Boardworks (Raven 12’6), Naish 12’6, BIC, and others. I kept coming back to the Riviera (helped that I had a pro paddlers assistance). And note- I’m 6’6, 235 lbs… This board is very stable and tracks well. Love all the tie downs and the green color is very cool looking. I’m a beginner so once I conquer getting the skills down this board will end up being handed down to my wife… Then we’ll see what the 2013-14 models are looking like. Can’t wait to get my Gladiator Fin. Just ordered. Thanks!

  • Great fins I’ve been using them for a couple of years. I have the elite and the pro can’t go wrong with these fins. Check them out on our line of SIC Maui Race boards at http://www.standuppaddleboardorlando.com

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