SKYLAKE Boards In Detail
CONSTRUCTION AND FEATURES
The Earth River SUP SKYLAKE Series is designed to blend the characteristics that recreation and performance-minded paddlers value most in an inflatable paddle board. Class-leading portability, low carrying weight, rigidity, and durability, with a feature set that allows progression of skills from learning the basics of balance and paddle strokes, to developing proper technique and form, to mastering higher performance paddling and advanced maneuvers. The emphasis is on user-friendly attributes that increase the enjoyment of stand up paddle boarding: stability, glide, board feel, and long term reliability in Lake, River, and Coast environments.
SKYLAKE boards start with an internal core of advanced fusion drop stitch, in which the outer PVC coating is directly applied to the base fabric layers. The overall layup consists of two layers of fabric which are oriented at an angular offset to minimize elasticity and permanently bonded in a glue-free process before coating with PVC. The edges of the board are joined with two rail bands made of PVC-coated fabric, with a stiffening strip made of a high tensile strength proprietary weave sandwiched between the layers to enhance board stiffness. Edge integrity is further increased by folding over the edges of the drop stitch top and bottom fabric to minimize the space that is bridged by the rail bands.
ENHANCED DYNAMIC RAIL™
The next generation in rail stiffening technology. The Enhanced Dynamic Rail™ is built right into every Earth River SUP SKYLAKE board! There are no unwieldily rail rods to fit and carry each session, no extra weight from ineffective PVC layering or ineffective ‘carbon’ layered rail tape. The EDR is designed to enhance the ERS experience in active or moving water environments such as surf, rapids, or rougher water to give you a better paddling experience. Riders will apply force at a multiplier of their body weight when leveraging turns or making adjustments in rough water and the Enhanced Dynamic Rail provides resistance when you need it - without affecting the glide of the board on flat water or carrying weight when you are off it.
Shape & Thickness
ERS SKYLAKE boards are shaped to cover the full range of paddler needs and preferences, with all-around shapes that perform for paddlers of all sizes and weights. The use of advanced design and materials allows us to make a high performing board in 5” thickness, which lowers your center of gravity for increased stability and “grounded” feel, makes it easier to get back on the board from the water, and is easier to carry and faster to inflate. 6” thickness is utilized in some longer touring boards where it makes sense for board performance characteristics, but we don't default to it for board rigidity in designs where a thinner profile makes a better board.
Deck Pad & Handle
SKYLAKE boards sport a diamond groove ultra grip surface. The main deck area is 40% thicker than the industry average and utilizes the highest density EVA foam on the market. The result is a deck pad that feels great on the feet, provides superior cushioning, and lasts longer than typical deck pads. The tail section has a raised foot bar which provides tactile feedback of foot positions and a raised back to keep the foot from sliding back when doing maneuvers that involve applying pressure to the tail of the board. The handle is designed to conveniently lay flat when not in use and has a removable neoprene grip wrap for carrying comfort. Removing the grip provides a flat surface in the center of the board for lying down for yoga or stretching, and keeps the surface free of obstacles for surfing.
SKYLAKE boards come with a choice of fin systems designed for versatility, performance, and convenience.
SKYLAKE GREEN™ boards have three permanent, unbreakable fins of equal size arranged in a classic “thruster” configuration. This setup distributes the fin surface area equally among the three fins, which keeps the total fin height of the board considerably lower than boards with a large center fin. This comes in handy when paddling in shallow water, where a long center fin would bottom out and be at the risk of breakage. The fins being permanently attached and unbreakable results in the most carefree experience, while delivering proven performance.
SKYLAKE BLUE™ boards have the ERS Lake-River-Coast fin system that consists of three fin boxes which accept a variety of removable fins made to US and FCS surfboard fin connection standards. This setup allows the user to configure the board for different uses and environments. A long center fin may be used for deep ocean or lake paddling when no obstacles are expected or can be swapped out for a shorter fin for shallow water or rocky venues. The board can also be used with or without side fins, depending on the desired performance characteristics for the particular use.
ERS SKYLAKE boards include a host of hardware component upgrades, including stainless steel D-ring for leash and cargo bungee attachment and a genuine Halkey-Roberts inflation valve for reliable inflation and air seal. This is an area where other brands try to shave costs by using lower quality components. Earth River SUP has a simple approach to component selection - We always use the best available component for every purpose, regardless of its impact on manufacturing cost.
ERS Compact Pump
ERS SKYLAKE boards come with an ERS Compact dual-action manual pump, which is designed and tested to provide the most efficient inflation performance in the most compact form factor. The internal valve configuration allows the single cylinder to deliver air on both the downstroke and upstroke, resulting in almost doubling the speed of inflation. The dual action is selectable and can be disabled when the board reaches pressures that make it easier to finish inflation in single-action mode. Other boards solve the same problem with a huge double-barreled pump, but we have found that the extra weight and bulk of a two-barrel solution does not significantly speed inflation when compared with the more elegant and compact single barrel dual action pump provided with ERS boards.
All Earth River SUP boards come with the ERS Rolling Backpack, which is made of ultra-durable 1600 denier canvas and is sized to fit the board, pump, paddle, and accessories while leaving room for personal belongings. The bag is equipped with a convertible backpack strap system, two internal straps, 4 external cinch straps, three inside mesh pockets, generously padded handles, and smooth-rolling wheels.
RIGHT FOR YOU?
ERS SKYLAKE boards combine superior construction, top-shelf materials and components, flexible fin systems, and the best available pump and travel bag to provide the best overall package for recreational and performance-minded paddlers who care about exceptional design and quality. The SKYLAKE boards are available in GREEN, BLUE, and GT series to further customize a board that is right for you.