XQ Max SUP 320 Review

XQ Max SUP 320 Review (2020)

 

XQ Max SUP 320 Package
This is what you get: XQ Max SUP 320 inflatable board, adjustable aluminium paddle, leash, rucksack, handpump, repair kit, manual (+ the detachable bigger fin).

XQ Max SUP 320 is for average sized (or smaller) paddlers. It’s otherwise somewhat cheaper typical all-around vanilla iSUP.

Trying to make sense of this brand (XQ Max), I’ve come across another one of their inflatable stand up paddle boards (iSUPs), this time it’s the XQ Max SUP 320.

Check its price and delivery conditions here: XQ Max inflatable SUP Model 320 package.

I’ve also created a top down list of the Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards as of 2020 if you’re interested.

Quick Overview For The Hasty

The XQ Max SUP 320 measures 10′5″ x 29.9″ x 5.9″ (length x width x thickness)weighs roughly 26 to 32 pounds and carries a paddler weighing up to 330 pounds (260 pounds or less would be more suitable though, even better if less than 180 pounds).

Package comes with everything you need to get on the water, but there seems to be no warranty from XQ Max directly…

Who is this for? The XQ Max SUP 320, by design, is for average sized or smaller paddlers, preferably for paddlers weighing less than 260 pounds, or better yet, 180 pounds or less. It might be a tad too difficult for larger paddlers to balance on it due to the design.

How’s the performance? The XQ Max SUP 320 looks to be trying to be a proper all-around iSUP that’s more suitable for flatwater conditions. For an all-around iSUP, it’s decently maneuverable, relatively fast, and also tracks decently enough, but it may not be super stable nor rigid enough.

 


Who And What Is The XQ Max SUP 320 Designed For?

Overall, the XQ Max SUP 320 is designed for:

  • who: paddlers weighing up to 330 pounds (surfing), preferably 260 lbs or less (flatwater paddling);
  • what: all-around (viable in basically any water condition).

Maximum weight capacity is reported to be 330 pounds. This either means that at around 330 pounds, the XQ Max SUP 320 will be basically under water for the most part with just a slice of the top part being above the water, or that they think the board is suitable for a rider weighing up to 330 pounds (which I kindly disagree with). For flatwater paddling, you want the board to be somewhat half under water and half above the water, that’s why, in case of an actual maximum weight capacity being 330 pounds, I said around 260 pounds or less, even better if 180 lbs or less, is more suited for flatwater paddling. However, anything considerably above 260 pounds and up to 330 pounds would mainly be for surfing, though the quality of the board will likely hamper the peformance in surf greatly.

As for the rider’s skill level, a beginner smaller rider with some initial learning and getting used to, of course, should be able to handle this XQ Max SUP 320 just fine. Simply just that a larger paddler may find it more difficult to balance on.

All in all, it’s an all-around, so viable for almost any water condition to some degree.

Who and what is XQ Max SUP 320 designed for?
Who and what is XQ Max SUP 320 designed for?

How Does The XQ Max SUP 320 Perform?

The XQ Max SUP 320, for an all-around, is well balanced among most aspects, but is mainly:

  • maneuverable
  • tracks relatively decently
  • can be relatively fast

Although it’s well balanced all-around when it comes to its aspects like stability, speed, tracking, maneuverability and rigidity, it’s still mainly maneuverable because it’s just that short (10’5) and narrow (30-inch width).

The stability of this XQ Max SUP 320 is not too wobbly, but it’s not just stable either – it will likely take some effort to keep it steady. It can be more difficult to balance on in choppy conditions due to the overall design of the board (rounded nose – hitting waves with this might steer you off course a little as it doesn’t cut through the waves like pointed nose would).

It’s got 3 fins, two smaller fixed fins on the sides and one bigger detachable fin between them. Such a setup likely tracks and glides well enough for an all-around this short I recon.

When it comes to speed, the only thing holding this iSUP back would be the length of it. As long as it tracks well, building up speed shouldn’t be too big of a problem (narrow, 30 inches wide), but at some point it will stop gliding effortlessly (short, 10’5 board length). Short boards are good for sprint, but for long distance they’re more like cruisers.

Based on the statistics (higher weight capacity and thickness), the XQ Max SUP 320 is probably not very rigid, unless you’re a really small rider or pumped the iSUP up to 18-20 PSI (I wouldn’t recommend that) instead of 15 PSI.

How does XQ Max SUP 320 perform?
How does XQ Max SUP 320 perform?

How Have I Conducted This Review?

Why not review all the inflatable stand up paddle boards I come across? At least that’s what I figured when I stumbled on this sports brand, XQ Max, and their SUPs. It’s really only for me to learn all there is to know about the world of SUP, hopefully you’ll find it useful as well.

As per usual, having looked into this, I’ve written my findings in an orderly manner and now this piece of content here resembles a review as a result. Called it the XQ Max SUP 320 review.

 


Specs Of The XQ Max SUP 320 When Inflated

Specs
TypeAll-around
ConstructionInflatable
Length10’5″
Width29.9″
Thickness5.9″
Tail WidthN/A (rounded tail)
Weight (lbs)N/A (approx 26-32)
Weight Capacity (lbs)330
Volume (liters)N/A (approx 150-300)

1 – type
ALL-AROUND. As long as your weight is in the aformentioned limits, functionality-wise, it’s perfectly normal all-around board, viable in most water conditions. Ideally, smaller padlers can make more use of it as an all-around, larger paddlers are a little more limited to surfing and the likes.

2 – construction
INFLATABLE (max pressure reported to be 15 PSI). It’s not well documentd, but by going off of the statistics, the XQ Max SUP 320 is up to quad-layer PVC construction (might be just 1 or 2 layers though) on top of the stitch core fabric and its outer layer (more info about what a PVC is). 1 layer of PVC is not very rigid, 2 layers makes the board feel more rigid, and so on. Otherwise, an inflatalbe stand up paddle board (iSUP) is basically inflatable and deflatable. While it’s deflated, it can be rolled up for ease of transportation.

3 – lenght
The XQ Max SUP 320 is 10-feet-5-inch long. Usually all-around iSUPs average around 10 to 12 feet in length. So that makes this board shorter than average, hence why it’s for smaller paddlers.

4 – width
It’s 29.9 inches wide at its widest point. I’d say, for a smaller paddler, it’s not too narrow nor too wide either, it will present some challenge to balance on. Usually people find something like 32-inch wide iSUP to be stable enough for total beginners in flatwater conditions to feel nice.

5 – thickness
The XQ Max SUP 320 is 5.9 inches thick. Normally, inflatable boards are 4 to 6 inches thick. Also, 6-inch thick iSUPs are usually for flatwater conditions as a thicker iSUP is generally more stable (also may feel more rigid depending how it’s constructed), whereas 4-inch thick iSUPS are, generally speaking, more for surfing as they’re more maneuverable.

6 – tail width
N/A. However, what I can tell is that the XQ Max SUP 320 has a relatively narrow rounded point tail. There are many shapes of tails. A rounded point tail simply has reduced drag, allowing the water to slide off more efficiently compared to a rounded or a squash tail, which in turn has less resistance and thus allows for more speed. Turns can feel relatively sharp if weight is put on it in the process.

7 – weight
N/A. But that doesn’t stop me from estimating. The XQ Max SUP 320 weighs around 28-32 pounds. This, for an iSUP, starts to become a little to the heavier side, but in my opinion, it’s still relatively lightweight.

8 – weight capacity
It’s pointed out that the max load is 330 pounds.

9 – volume
N/A. It has to be around 150-300 liters. If 150 kg paddler would be the max weight capacity, then this would mean the volume of the board is around 150 liters (more or less).

XQ Max SUP 320 Specifications
Specifications of the XQ Max SUP 320.

When DEFLATED (size)
N/A. This time around, I can’t crunch the numbers very well because there are a few more variables that are totally unknown to me due to poor documentation, but still: the size of the XQ Max SUP 320 when deflated is approximately 34 inches in width and around 12 inches in diameter (although some sources say it’s 30 inches in width and 9 inches in diameter, in which case it’s an overpriced product because then it’s made to look thicker while actually having 1 layer of PVC only; a 6-inch thick iSUP usually has 4 layers of PVC…).

 


What Is This XQ Max SUP 320 Made Of?

It’s not directly stated, but it’s likely that the XQ Max SUP 320 is made of:

  • probably single (1) layer PVC material on top of the drop-stitch core fabric material

Because it’s basically 6 inches thick with increased weight capacity, chances are the XQ Max SUP 320 has more than just 1 layer of PVC (or there might be just 1 layer of low quality mixture of PVC with extra air inside just to make it look thicker…).

It’s important to know this because most low quality cheap inflatable SUPs have just 1 layer of PVC which is, in my opinion, rather bad. You will bend such a board at will or you sit on it long enough and you’ll have a banana for a board, not to mention it not being rigid enough. 2 layers or more of quality mixture of PVC and the board starts to become what’s considered a standard today, resembling the rigidity of a hard board.

Because this iSUP is not well documented and the manufacturer produces all kinds of sports equipment that are not even related to stand up paddle boarding, they might’ve outsorced the production and not given too much attention to what goes into making a quality board but rather made one that just looks decent and just works in harmony with consumers’ tolerance threshold.

It does sound like I’m roasting it, but I’m really not – I’m just speculating and trying to understand things that are important to understand but which are not mentioned. And when I see something that smells a little, I don’t reach for an air freshener (metaphor)… I’d rather buy a board I know has fragile elements to it in order to be more gentle with those elements rather than stay oblivious and break it or have that doubt/fear in the back of my mind. It is a cheap inflatable SUP and I want to know what makes it cheap.

And yes, I think this wall of text was important enough to be here.

For further reading: what is this “PVC” used in iSUPs? PVC material (link opens in a new tab).

XQ Max SUP 320 Construction Illustration
General illustration in relation to XQ Max SUP 320 construction.

And yes, I do believe this wall of text in this section is important to note because I found some contradicting information about this board all over the web, making the board either very low quality or something you’d expect…

 


What Are The Features Of The XQ Max SUP 320 Inflatable Board?

The XQ Max SUP 320 has 2 color variations (grey and orange, along with black accessories).

Simply put, the features of the XQ Max SUP 320:

  1. Inflation valve
  2. Nose point mounted (4) cargo storage bungee net
  3. Carry handle
  4. Deck pad
  5. D-ring (1) for ankle leash
  6. Fins (2)

1– inflation valve
At the nose of the board, you’ll find an inflation valve. This is where you pump up the board with your pump that comes with purchasing the XQ Max SUp 320 package. The maximum air pressure is said to be. Since there’s no mention of the optimal air pressure, simple pump closer and closer to 15 PSI until you feel it’s rigid enough. Otherwise check the manual if they haven’t misunderstood something, I personally don’t believe the 15 PSI being the maximum but rather the optimal one (or maybe I’m being overly optimistic…).

2 – point mounted (4) bungee net
4 mounted bungee net holders closer to the nose of the board that acts as a cargo storage area. This is where you can store your stuff by slipping them under the bungee cord.

3 – carry handle
Fairly simple looking carry handle either glued onto or tucked into the deck pad somewhat in the middle area of the iSUP. It’s used to carry the XQ Max SUP 320 around when it’s inflated.

4 – deck pad
Relatively simple deck pad on this XQ Max SUP 320 with grooved patterns on it. It is proclaimed to be non-slip and comfortable, so it’s there for a reason.

5 – rear D-ring for ankle leash
Final D-ring situated at the rear of the board – this is where you attach the ankle leash so it’s connected to the board with the other end of the leash (or ankle strap) attached to your ankle.

6 – fins (2)
XQ Max SUP 320 has 2 fins, 1 smaller fin that’s fixed in its place and 2nd fin right after it being detachable and bigger. They both seem to be aligned in the center line of the board, situated more at the back of the bottom of the board, of course.

 


What Else Is Included With The XQ Max SUP 320 Package?

The SUP packages from XQ Max come with everything you need to get on the water, it’s no different with the XQ Max SUP 320:

  • paddle
  • leash
  • rucksack
  • pump
  • repair kit
  • instructions manual

PaddleXQ Max SUP 320 Paddle
When purchasing the XQ Max SUP 320 package, you’ll get an adjustable (70-86 inches) aluminium paddle. It’s decent enough for beginners because aluminium is a sort of budget material in paddles (plastic would be worse) – although it’s rigid, it’s got a little more weight to it (a little heavier than a wooden/fiberglass/carbon/kevlar paddle, for example).

Although the paddle looks like it can be shortened further to some extent, I’m not sure how much exactly (it may or may not fit in the backpack). The paddle will likely not float, it will probably sink in the water.

XQ Max SUP 320 LeashLeash
Simple and practical 90-inch (or 2.3 meters) long ankle strap (or leash). Its one end straps around your ankle while the other end is attached to the D-ring located at the rear of the board. There are times when a leash is a must, but there are some other scenarios where a leash might become a problem instead – have a quick read: SUP safety (links to a section in SUP safety post and opens in a new tab).

Rucksack
Or backpack, works too. And again, fairly simple accessory item that comes with the purchase of the XQ Max SUP 320 package. It’s got a carry handle on top and smaller outer storage pockets on both sides. The bag also has outer tightening straps for securing the contents inside more firmly.

The backpack should be big enough to store the entire package (except for, maybe, probably, the paddle, as it might not fit inside it). So, then, how big is the backpack? What’s the size? It’s not very well documented, so I had to make some estimations: 30-34″ x 15″ x 8.7-12″ (heigth x width x depth). Once the Deflated iSUP is rolled up and tucked inside, there’s some room (extra room of 5-6 inches in width) for the rest of the accessory items.

Pump
With the XQ Max SUP 320 package comes a handpump that has a pressure gauge on top for checking the air pressure while pumping. The maximum air pressure is claimed  to be 15 PSI, so simply pump closer and closer to 15 till you feel it’s rigid enough.

Also, do check the manual if maybe the internet has parroted the same old false information and accidentally mistook optimal air pressure for the maximum air pressure. Otherwise let’s just assume that the maximum air pressure really is 15 PSI (which doesn’t sound good when I’m looking at it with my quality control goggles – the more air pressure a board can handle, the better its construction, the better the overall quality of the board; 15 PSI is pretty low).

Repair kit
The XQ Max SUP 320 package comes with the industry standard repair kit (orange cyliner container) that consists of a few PVC patches (adhesive/glue may or may not be included) and a valve wrench (valve wrench is for removing the inflation valve on the board in case there’s need for it).

Manual
Pretty sure there’s some sort of a manual that comes with the package. Could be useful to check for something specific if you needed.

 


So Is XQ Max SUP 320 For You?

If you weighed 330 pounds or less, for surfing, (ideally up to 260 pounds or less, for flatwater paddling – not because it can’t carry more but because it may become too wobbly if too heavy rider goes about this relatively small all-around board), not expecting a perfect inflatable ALL-AROUND stand up paddle board but rather a generic and cheap (affordable) one with somewhat of a low quality to it, then the XQ Max SUP 320 might be for you.

Functionality-wise, it doesn’t look too bad for a cheaper all-around, but quality-wise it’s not perfect.

For a beginner, but especially for a larger (or just taller) paddler, balancing on the board won’t be effortless. 30-inch wide and 10’6 long ALL-AROUND iSUP is better suited for smaller paddlers,  especially so in non-surf conditions (flatwater, choppy conditions, whitewater, etc), larger paddlers can still use it for riding some waves though, but also for flatwater, of course, it will simply be more difficult.

Also, since the quality related specifications for the XQ Max SUP 320 are contradictory over the web, I can’t vouch for quality nor rigidity. The thickness might just be achieved by having more empty room inside the board rather than by having added layers of PVC. There’s seemingly no direct customer support, no warranties mentioned either, but above all, it’s poorly documented.

 


Where To Buy XQ Max SUP 320 Package?

Best way to buy stand up paddle boards would be from physical shops. That way you could gain much needed info, advice and tips from the enthusiastic sellers there (assuming they were enthusiastic…).

If purchasing from a physical store was not an option, there are still online stores to check out.

Check the price or buy here: XQ Max SUP 320 package.

 

CONCLUSION

XQ Max SUP 320 package comes with everything you need to get one the water. The inflatable SUP itself is for smaller paddlers, a cheap low quality vanilla ALL-AROUND inflatable stand up paddle board.

It’s an okay all-around iSUP for a beginner weighing less than 330 pounds (for surfing), preferably 260 lbs or less for flatwater paddling to be viable as well and the stability to be overcomeable.

Rigidity, at least for smaller paddlers, is decent enough in flatwater conditions.

XQ Max Brand
I couldn’t really find much of any information about the brand itself. They seem to produce all kinds of sports equipment and the SUPs they’ve produced look relatively generic. They sell their SUPs through atheleteshop.com and other e-commerce shops.

XQ Max SUP 320 Board
The XQ Max SUP 320 is better suited for smaller riders, is otherwise a proper all-around, viable in most water conditions. Stability might feel a little challenging and something you need to put effort into to keep steady even after you’ve overcome the initial learning phase.

Included Accessories
The XQ Max SUP 320 package includes an adjustable aluminium paddle, a rucksack/backpack, a handpump, a repair kit and possibly a manual.

Where To Buy
It’s simple, buy here: XQ Max SUP 320 package.

 

FURTHER READING

(Links open in a new tab)

The TOP 13 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2020 | post | sunsetpaddler
Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2020
 | post | sunsetpaddler
List of Pink Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2020 | post | sunsetpaddler
Freaking Awesome stand up paddle board Stickers | post | sunsetpaddler
How much do inflatable SUP boards cost? | post | sunsetpaddler
Is a cheap inflatable SUP worth it? | post | sunsetpaddler
How to choose a SUP paddle? | post | sunsetpaddler
iSUP care & maintenance | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP buying guide | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP boards list | post | sunsetpaddler
What is PVC? | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP safety | post | sunsetpaddler

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One Comment

  1. Kia Reed

    I bought one and I can say it’s worth the price. Mine didn’t come with any defects so I’m happy with it. Though, yes, the ankle leash wasn’t anything to write home about, but it’s not like I’m using one anyway.

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