Glide 11’ Inflatable Kayak (iKayak) by Body Glove

Editor: Johnny LeMaster

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Just the Facts:

The Body Glove Glide 11 is a groundbreaking inflatable kayak that emphasizes convenience, performance, and fun. Featuring an ultra-rigid seat, a fast-paddling design and permanent indestructible fins, the Glide 11 is perfect to cut through lakes and rivers. The inflatable Glide allows you to reach and paddle some of the most secluded and exclusive bodies of water in the world.

  • Adjustable high-back seat
  • Ergonomic foot braces
  • Superior welded drop-stitch construction
  • Triple-layer stringer rigidity
  • Heavy-duty poly vinyl fabric material
  • 11 feet long, 32 inches wide, 31-lb. weight
  • 325-lb. weight capacity
  • Includes high-pressure dual-action hand pump with gauge, adjustable four-piece kayak paddle, optional stand-up paddle handle attachment, durable double-layer backpack, dry pouch, and coil leash

My Story:

If you are an adventurer who loves summer and the water sports it brings you need to check out the Glide 11’ iKayak by Body Glove.  The Glide 11’ will take you to all the spots on the lake or river you always wanted to get to but never really had the means.  The multiple set up configurations between a stand-up paddle board, or as a sit on kayak adjust to fit each different adventure and adventurer.  You will never get bored on the water when you have the Glide 11’ with you.  Body Glove created a great all in one board that will make your summer fun all the more enjoyable.

My relationship with the Glide 11’ was a little tumultuous to start out with.  My first introduction to it was at an industry event.  I met with the representatives from Body Glove and they proceeded to show me a few of their different designs of paddle boards.  Each one tailored to specific uses and riders.  As we were going through the different boards the Glide 11’ immediately drew my interest.  This board is a hybrid stand up paddle board/ sit on kayak.  This was something I had never seen before.  I asked if I could take it for a ride out on the lake, I wanted to try it out in each of its configurations, and get a feel for how they blended together in one board.  The rep adjusted the seat for me to the right position, took off the T-handle and put the second paddle on, handed me a life jacket and sent me on my way.  I was loving it!  I paddled around all comfortably seated, watching others paddle around on boards and kayaks of all different makes and models.  I was impressed with how stable the 11’ long 32” wide board was in the seated position.  I let my mind wander as I started to back paddle on the board, spinning it back around to head back to shore.  That’s when it happened.  I leaned way to the left, digging deep to spinning the board, I pulled myself right off.  Slightly embarrassed and soaking wet I pulled back up onto the board and quickly paddled back to shore knowing that even if by some miracle no one saw me fall of while seated there was no hiding the fact I was soaked from head to toe.   I knew then that I needed to get ahold of the Glide 11’ and get my “revenge” by riding it all summer.

When the Glide showed up on my porch, I didn’t waste any time getting it out on the nearest lake.  I quickly pumped the board up using the dual-action pump, strapped the seat to the board, adjusting it so it was in the most comfortable position for my body and the correct distance from the built-in ergonomic foot braces.  I set up the paddle in the kayak configuration, having a paddle on both end, secured the T-handle under the front cargo straps and away I went.  I paddled to the far corner of the small lake in no time.  Checked out a few little coves that were hidden from the boat launch, and enjoyed the freedom that the Glide 11’ provided.  After a bit of exploring in the kayak configuration I unbuckled the seat, snapped it to the rings over the foot braces out of the way, swapped out one of the paddle heads for the T-handle, and popped up slowly into the stand-up paddle board position.  I paddled around to a few more spots just enjoying the day on the water relaxing and taking in the moment.  I found the board tracked fairly well as I paddled around.  The two built in solid fins kept the board from wandering too much.  After a while I slowly made my way back to the boat launch not wanting the fun to end for the day, but fast loosing the light.   It was the end of one adventure but the beginning of a summer of fun.  I couldn’t wait to get back out and cruise around exploring another place.

My first trip on the Glide 11’, although brief, was highly enjoyable.  I really love being able to switch between using the board as a kayak, and a stand-up paddle board all while in the middle of a body of water.  This is truly a unique board.  Being able to unclip the seat and stash it under the front or rear cargo tie downs, or even clip it on out of the way over the foot braces as I usually did and pulling out the secured T-handle portion of the paddle is the perfect way to seamlessly transition between adventures no matter what the mood strikes you.  Regularly I switch back and forth between the two setups while paddling around.  If you are running low on energy after a day of play having the flexibility to kayak back to shore can be a huge relief.  I couldn’t get enough of playing on the water this summer.  Each afternoon I had free after work, and every weekend that I could I loaded up the carry bag/backpack that secured the board, dual action pump, paddle, seat, and repair kit into the back of my truck and head to the water.  It didn’t take but a few minutes after arrival to unroll the board, snap together the paddle, and pump up the board.  Ready to start the fun.

There is often a big debate when it comes to paddle boards as to whether to get a solid board or an inflatable board.  Both styles have their pros and cons, but for me, I think the pros of an inflatable board far outweigh the cons, and are greater than the pros of the solid boards.  One of my favorite inflatable boards to ride is the Glide 11’, although Body Glove has many different inflatable boards to choose from.  They have something for everyone.  Body Glove has taken great pride in the craftsmanship, durability, rigidity, lightweight construction that they have put into each one of their inflatable boards.  To start with the board is drop stitched, having thousands of tiny fibers holding the two inner layers together to create a uniform flat surface that when the heavy duty polyvinyl material is heat welded to can be inflated to create a rigid, strong, airtight board.  Most boards whether solid foam, or inflatable require an added stringer that runs the length of the board providing it with more rigidity when loading a point load towards the center of the board.  Body Glove took this to heart.  They wanted to ensure that people didn’t look like floating tacos on their products.  They were able to create a triple layer carbon stringer on the top, bottom and both sides of the board that run the length providing the board with superior strength and rigidity and still allows the flexibility to roll the board up when not in use.  No other company on the market currently are doing anything like this.  Other notable features of the boards construction brings us to the 4 build in foot braces.  They positioned two towards the outside of the board, and two a little father out towards the center of the board.  This provides you with leg support in multiple positions for comfort and power as you paddle around.  The seat is fixed to the board at 4 points where they attached 3 D-rings at each location for ultimate adjustment and comfort of the seat.  Body Glove generously provided cargo straps and hands at both the front and rear of the board allowing you to carry board with an extra hand when you have it loaded down for your next great adventure.  They also included a padded carry handle at the center of the board making this 31 pound board easy to carry by yourself when you need to portage the board.  Body Glove created a high quality versatile product for aquatic adventures.

My adventures never seemed to end this summer.  Living in the Pacific Northwest, I am surrounded by water everywhere.  You never run out of options of where you want to play in the water.  It was way to fun and way to easy to throw the Glide 11’ backpack in the truck and head off to a different spot all the time to enjoy a relaxing time paddling around with friends or alone.  I can tell you after a summer of gliding around, I love versatility this board has provided me.  When I show up on the water it doesn’t really matter what the conditions are this board is ready.  On calm days with slow moving or flat water, or on windy days with rough water or in faster moving water I can decide how I want to set up my ride to most enjoy the conditions.  I can not wait until the weather warms back up and I can get back on the water.

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What Could Be Done Different:

I give this product 5 stars.

Although this board is a little more tipsy then some other boards I have rode, as I found out early on, it is still a stable board with good performance and quality.  Body Glove took two different ways of enjoying riding in the water and were able to combine them in a great way to produce one of the most fun paddle boards I have ever had the pleasure to play with.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Ergonomics
  • Durability