With over 1,100 reviews on Amazon, it’s hard to ignore the Goosehill Sailor 10’6, which I can imagine is on many people’s shortlist for a budget beginner paddleboard package.
Buying your first paddleboard can be rather stressful, with hours of research trying to figure out what board you should get. Trying to decide why one board is better than another is difficult, so here is a brief summary of why you should buy the Goosehill Sailor 10’6 over any other board…
Stability – This board is perfect for the nervous beginner or larger rider. With a maximum load capacity of 200kgs, the Goosehill can take about 50kgs more weight than most boards in the same price bracket. So most importantly, you’ll have a lot of fun instantly without struggling to find or learn balance.
Warranty – Goosehill offers a 3-year extended warranty with their paddleboards and from what I’ve heard, they have a very good customer support team. There are not too many boards in this price range that offer this warranty length.
Value – This is what we are really looking for when making any purchase, is it a good value for money? You get a feeling straight away that you get your money’s worth for the Goosehill Sailor, from the decent workmanship to the well-designed bag, an aluminium paddle that’s not the worst we’ve come across and as we’ve alluded to already, the 3-year warranty.
Goosehill Sailor 10’6 specs
Dimensions: 10’6 x 32” x 6”
What’s included in the package:
Board – Pump – Leash – Bag – Fin – Repair patches
Warranty: Extended 3 years for the board and 1 year for accessories
Table of Contents
Who is the board for?
The Goosehill Sailor has the classic dimensions that almost all beginner boards have – 10’6 length, 32” width and 6” thick. This makes the board ideal for the beginner who wants to get standing quickly, learn how to turn and enjoy their paddleboarding experience straight away.
This board is designed to be used on flat water or small wind-blown chop (remember paddleboarding isn’t enjoyable or safe in wind speeds over 12 knots). The Sailor will feel comfortable on lakes or in harbours, where you’re likely to be most protected from the elements.
Along with beginners, this board is also a great all-rounder for the family. Because it is so stable, 2 kids could easily play on the board, and you can have your little one (or dog!) sitting near the front whilst you enjoy paddling at the back. For their updated version of the Sailor, Goosehill has installed D-Rings on the deckpad, in positions that make it possible to attach a kayak seat. So if you get to the beach and it’s too wavy, or someone in the family doesn’t want to SUP, stick a kayak seat on the board and you can still get to play on the water.
We typically review UK-based brands on the blog, but Goosehill are a global brand that started in America. They are a direct-to-consumer brand and cutting out the middleman typically means the cost savings are passed onto the customers, which is why they can provide a great value product.
Direct sellers can get a bad reputation for poor customer service. Their goal is to sell high volume at low cost and tend to forget about the customer. We don’t have first-hand experience with this, but it seems like Goosehill has excellent customer service and appear to resolve any issues quickly.
Goosehill Sailor 10’6 UK Review
We tested the Goosehill Sailor 10’6 on a chilly but relativity calm November day near our base in Emsworth Harbour, on the South Coast of the UK. The wind was around 12 knots, coming from the west, which created slightly choppy conditions.
Similar to other reviews, we also found the Goosehill Sailor one of the most stable for 32’ wide. If you look at the dimensions of boards that are 10’6 x 32” x 6”, you’d assume they are all the same shape and therefore perform the same on the water. However this isn’t the case, and manufacturers can change subtle design characteristics that make quite a big difference to the board.
It’s clear in Goosehill’s design brief they wanted to create a fun and stable board for beginners. They achieved this by having the maximum width run for quite a length down the board. So instead of the board peaking at 32’ just in the centre, then getting narrower again, Goosehill maintains 32’ for around 2 meters, giving the board a larger feeling platform.
This large platform gives you confidence that if you haven’t got your foot positions exactly perfect, all will still be OK.
Along with width, how stable an inflatable SUP feels also depends on how rigid the board can get. The rigidity is pretty much always defined by how much pressure the board can take – the higher the pressure, the more solid the board will be and the more stable it’ll be. The Sailor’s recommend PSI is 12 – 15, which is standard for boards in this price group.
Unless the temperature is forecast to rise drastically (sunrise sessions can be like this), we always pump up boards to the maximum recommended PSI. You get a far greater performance out of the board, the board will feel much more stable and less like a bouncy castle. The Goosehill Sailor felt pretty standard for rigidity, not remarkable in any good or bad way, which is to be expected for a board that cost under £400.
Stability, manoeuvrability and glide are connected, but generally one has an adverse reaction to the other.
Design a board that glides extremely well and either has to be very long and/or very narrow. Build a board that is wide and stable, and you’ll have a board that feels sluggish on the water. Compared to a 26’ raceboard the Sailor feels slow, but that’s not the point of the board, and not really fair to Goosehill because now we aren’t comparing apples with apples.
So the Sailor does glide, well enough for what you’ll be using it for, but it’s no touring or raceboard. If you’re wanting to paddleboard for more than 3 hours and explore the waters whilst covering some distance, you might be better off looking for an inflatable touring paddleboard.
Conversely, the Sailor feels manoeuvrable enough for you to learn the basics of turning, without it feeling like a barge.
The Goosehill Sailor is a single-layer paddleboard, which is quite normal at this price range. It won’t be the most durable or hard-wearing, but generally, this is what you get for a paddleboard under £400. The advantage of a single-layer construction is that it’s cheap, lightweight (the board only weighs 9.2kgs) and easy to roll up and store.
Some brands make up some terrible names for their so-called ‘unique dropstitch construction’, but nobody really knows what it means and I think it’s more of a marketing gimmick than something truly unique. So it’s nice to see Goosehill keep this simple for the consumer. Their dropstitch construction allows the board to reach 15PSI, making it rigid enough for beginners to have fun on the water without it feeling like a bouncy castle.
It’s great to see the rail is sealed with a triple-layer construction. The rail (sides of the board) is where the top and bottom of the board is bonded together, so if anything was to go wrong, it’s likely to be in this area. A high strength and durable construction on the rail helps with the longevity of inflatable paddleboards.
It’s not so much the construction itself that gives me confidence in the Sailor, it’s the fact the board comes with a 3-year warranty. So Goosehill believes their single-layer construction can last a long time, which is much more than most other single-layer boards we’ve come across.
One of Goosehill’s goal for their latest version of the Sailor was to create a board with ‘a cleaner and simpler design with fewer numbers and letters on the deck pad and the rail’. This is music to my ears! I really dislike some paddleboard designs that look more like a billboard, or just have random letters like ESP, FRS, FWS, everywhere that make no sense to anyone.
I think Goosehill have achieved their goal, and the board design looks simple but decent.
Another upgrade from the previous version is the increased number of D-Rings for a 6-point bungee system at the front of the board. This makes the whole cargo area much more useable and easier to store bags, shoes and anything else you might want to bring on your SUP.
The board also now comes in 9 different colour schemes, so there is bound to be one that catches your eye!
For those who want something unique, Goosehill are now offering you the opportunity to customise the graphics on the board to anything you want. You can view more information on that service here.
The more inflatable paddleboards I’ve reviewed, the more I appreciate how much the accessories can make a difference to your overall experience.
The driving force that powers you through the water, the paddle is a core accessory of any SUP package. Generally, for inflatable paddleboards, you’ll get a 3-piece paddle which easily fits into the bag.
Goosehill is no different and like most other budget paddleboard brands, they have included a 3-piece aluminium paddle in their package.
This paddle is fine to get you started, but it’s not comfortable and is heavy. But it’s not the worst one we’ve come across, and the Goosehill paddle connects together well enough without too much wobbling.
However, if you really get into paddleboarding, I hope one of the first things you do is upgrade the paddle.
The Goosehill pump is simple to use, comfortable and comes with clear instructions on the packaging. Some brands have opted to have a pump that you need to assemble with detachable handles and base, but this one is completely moulded in one piece.
This duel action pump inflates the board as you push down the handle and as you bring it up again, making it much more efficient in the early stages of inflation.
Once the board hits a certain PSI, for me it’s around 10PSI, it gets very difficult to inflate, so you open a valve to make it easier to pump at higher pressure. Opening the valve turns off the duel action setting, so you now only inflate when pressing down.
The pump also has a deflate mode, which is a great way to help remove all the air in the board as you’re packing away. I think doing it via the pump, instead of lying on the board or rolling it up on gravel, helps preserve the boards’ aesthetics.
The Goosehill Sailor has one detachable centre fin, and 2 smaller side fins that are glued onto the board. The centre fin slides into the box, and is fixed by inserting a small bit of plastic that kind of wedges everything together.
I’ve never been a big fan of these fin box systems, and much prefer to see a single back fin with a screw bolt to fix it into place.
I really like the bag for the Sailor. It is easily big enough and holds its shape better than similarly priced packages, so stuffing all the gear away is not too much of a problem.
The ankle leash is comfortable and does the job.
What we always look for in a paddleboard is the overall value. The price could be £200 or £1200, but is it actually worth the money? After using the Goosehill Sailor, we can safely say for its cost, the board is definitely worth buying.
This board is a great choice if you are wanting to get into paddleboarding and need a little bit more stability to gain confidence. The package is perfect for having fun on the water, but you might want to upgrade the paddle if you commit to longer distances.
Where to buy
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.