Touring has become one of the most popular aspects of paddleboarding - once you have got to grips with standing on a board and paddling around, it makes sense that you would want to go somewhere. Many boards are billed as touring models, based on their outline. Generally longer and thinner than all round models to improve glide. In terms of paddling, this works great. In this instance, we are focusing on inflatable boards, because in the UK we generally think that they are more practical for adventure than their composite counterparts. The composite boards will definitely paddle nicer, but offer significant downsides in terms of handling them out of the water, whether that it transport to or from the paddle location or portaging.
The SIC Okeanos has been a popular touring model for some time. Premium construction and a great shape. The fusion skin creates a stiff and durable board. The wide tail adds huge amounts of stability. There are loads of tie downs to store all the kit you need. On top of this it has nice features like the dual FCS fin boxes, which are great in shallow waters. These extra fins come with the board too.
The Expedition model uses the same board, but adds some bells and whistles. Extra handles are added to help manoeuvre the board, especially when loaded. These are on the nose and tail of the board, as well as the sides. There is also a carry strap to aid with portaging.
Another big difference is the bag. Instead of the standard roller bag which is great on solid surfaces, there is a waterproof bag. This means you can put your all your gear inside it whilst touring for extra protection and strap it to the board. It also means at the end of the trip, your wet board can be put in the bag for easy transportation. What to do with the roller bags has always been an issue whilst touring from one place to another.
Size wise this is available in a 14x30 or a 12'6x31. We have been using the 12'6 model as we feel it is the most practical most of the time.
The great thing about the Okeanos Expedition Air is that it is really versatile. We found it great for all kinds of recreational paddling as well as being the perfect SUP for spearfishing.