Gladiator Lite 12’6 Review

GLADIATOR PADDLE BOARD REVIEW | LITE 12’6

VERDICT

The Gladiator Lite 12’6 is a board that we think a lot of people have been waiting for. It carries the optimal touring and all-water dimensions of 12’6 x 31’ x 6’ to offer the best combo of paddler development and versatility across a wide range of conditions, and an irresistible price point of just Β£419 for the package with a three piece nylon paddle. The stringer construction works great in coastal environments and would be well matched with a carbon paddle upgrade as your skills develop.

OVERVIEW

Gladiator are the SUP division of a European RIB manufacturer and are produced in their own factory, which in combination with stringer technology, has enabled them to keep the price down, and the stiffness up in this 12’6 Lite tourer. The stringer is evident as a belt that runs under the length of the board and with the double-thickness walls creates a rigid board. Also underneath are the two fixed side fins and once US centre fin and a forward tow-point. On top, you have a three-quarter EVA deck pad, centre and tail carry handle, generous leash point and cargo bungee. The Lite 12’6 comes packaged in its own backpack with pump, three piece alloy / nylon paddle and leash.

BRAND CLAIM
The 12’6 Gladiator Lite Inflatable paddleboard is a stiff and speedy touring machine with a shape designed to challenge the wind and waves, for easy and fast forward paddling. The length and stability of this board make it ideal for kids or your dog to sit on the front. Solo adventures and family fun await. Easy to transport, simple to setup, stable and versatile, it’s guaranteed SUP fun for all levels!

PERFORMANCE

The Gladiator Lite 12’6 has a well-proven touring planform with its sleek, drawn in nose which pushes into wind and chop with less resistance than a standard round nose board, and squared off tail section for better release and improved stability. The 6” thickness aids structural integrity, gives a nice dry ride and makes it easier to catch small waves and downwind bumps. This board will happily fulfil relaxed, family fun duties with a dog or kid on the front, but we think the Gladiator Lite 12’6 offers excellent appeal to new paddlers – who likely have coastal missions in mind, and just know that they’re going to love the sport – over the standard all-rounder shape. Gladiator have brought a stiff, faster touring shape to the entry level price point which means the Lite 12’6 is an ideal step-up board for those already on the water and looking to go further, as well as a great entry to the sport for those with an eye on fitness, extended sessions and catching small bumps.

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