If you’re looking for an inflatable paddle board that provides a nice blend of SUP racing and touring performance, the Tower Xplorer 14′ is definitely an iSUP to consider. This is a board that will really appeal to heavy paddlers and those who are interested in doing some tandem paddling, and it offers great durability.
For this review of the Tower 14′ Xplorer, we’ll go over the board’s specifications, features, build quality and construction, what’s in the box, Tower’s warranty, and where to buy it.
Tower 14′ Xplorer: Board Overview
Measuring 14’ x 32″ x 8″ and weighing in at 42 pounds, the big Tower Xplorer 14′ has an impressive total carrying capacity of 700 pounds. This is a board that works well for paddling around children or your dog, and it delivers rigidity that is similar to a hard board when fully inflated to 15 PSI.
This board features Tower’s signature black and white color scheme with long gray racing stripes on the top and underside of the board. Most of Tower’s boards feature this very clean, retro-inspired design, and it looks good on the water.
Made from drop stitch and tough military-grade PVC material, the Xplorer 14′ iSUP offers outstanding durability and can handle serious abuse. Tower has tested their boards in some of the most intense conditions imaginable (being run over with cars, thrown from balconies, etc.), and they hold up extremely well.
The top of the Tower Xplorer features a comfortable deck pad with a grooved diamond pattern for excellent traction. The board also has a convenient center carrying handle which makes it easy to carry back and forth to the water.
Like the Tower 9’10” Adventurer and 12’6″ iRace, the nose of the board doesn’t feature an elastic bungee cord storage area as most SUPs do. This is a negative, especially considering the fact that this board is well-suited for SUP touring — the lack of a bungee storage area and D-rings for tying down gear makes it difficult to secure dry bags, backpacks, and other gear. The 10’4″ Tower Adventurer 2 has a bungee storage area, and it’s definitely a feature that we’d like to see added to the company’s other models in the future.
The nose does have a single D-ring which can be used for towing or tethering the board, and there’s also a Halkey Roberts inflation valve.
The tail of the Xplorer 14′ features a single D-ring that can be used for attaching a SUP leash.
Moving on to the underside, this board features a single, removable center fin.
Tower Xplorer 14' Rating
- A 3-piece fiberglass paddle
- Manual high-pressure pump
- Repair kit
As far as inflatable SUP accessories go, Tower’s bundle is bare bones. Missing from the bundle is a leash, backpack, and safety leash — items that we’d love to see included with Tower’s paddle boards in the future.
For a paddle board that’s advertised to be nearly indestructible, you naturally expect to receive a solid warranty. The Tower 14′ Xplorer is covered by the company’s 2-year warranty which covers you in the event of any manufacturing defects. While not as good as Sea Eagle’s 3-year warranty, Tower’s 2-year warranty offers a decent amount of coverage.
Where to Buy it
We love shopping for gear at Amazon as they have an incredible selection of products, really low prices, and the best customer service. Currently, Amazon has the 14′ Xplorer in stock and they’re also offering fast, free shipping.
If you’re looking for a big, fast, and stable inflatable SUP that is great for big paddlers, paddling with small children, and even your dogs, the giant Tower 14′ Xplorer is an option worth considering. The 32″ width gives this board great stability in the water and the 8″ thickness provides outstanding rigidity.
We really like the fact that Tower’s boards are made to withstand serious use, and the Xplorer 14′ is not an inflatable SUP that you’ll have to baby. The tough outer PVC skin is extremely resistant to cuts, scrapes, and punctures, and you’ll never have to worry about your dog’s nails damaging the top deck.
Visually, we like the retro design of Tower’s boards. The clean racing stripes give their boards a classic, sporty look — although we’d love to see some more color options added to their range in the future.
Despite the pros, we’re disappointed that the board lacks a bungee storage area and D-rings for securing gear. For a board of this size that can be used for everything from SUP fishing to touring, this is a major omission and leaves you without a secure way of bringing along needed gear. For that reason, we’d recommend going with the new BLACKFIN Model XL over Tower’s Xplorer 14′. It’s not quite as fast as the 14′ Xplorer, but it offers more stability, better accessories, dual bungee storage areas, grab handles, and extra D-rings for tying down gear.