If you’re browsing the internet for a reliable sup, you may have read good reviews about XQ Max. But, considering these stand up paddle boards are so inexpensive, you’re wondering whether they’re quality.
Here’s the truth:
XQ Max stand-up paddle boards are not grade-A quality, and they’re best for petite people. We also don’t recommend them to complete beginners because they’re slightly narrow. As a result, newbies will find them challenging to control.
However, XQ Max sups aren’t ghastly either. They’re of good-enough quality and reasonably functional. We’ll discuss more below.
XQ Max Inflatable Paddle Board Review At A Glance
We’ll start with the bad news first.
XQ Max isn’t very transparent about its products’ specifications and features. That’s a bad omen because usually, companies want to highlight their products’ best features and get more sales.
For us, that meant we had to work around those incomplete details. Luckily, we know a thing or two about industry standards in the paddle boarding market.
With a little guesswork and by considering several, sometimes contrasting, sources, we’ve pulled together these stats:
- Thickness: 10-15 cm
- Width: 71-75 cm
- Length: 305-320 cm
- Supported weight: 100-150 kg
We couldn’t find the official information regarding the boards’ weights or the optimal paddler weight. However, we gathered the XQ Max paddle boards weigh 7.25-14.5 kg from reading tons of user reviews. They’re also best for people in the 81-117 kg weight range.
Before making your choice, remember that:
- Thinner boards are more flexible, therefore, better for speed. Thicker boards are better for beginners because they’re more stable.
- Wider paddle boards are more stable against high waves. They’re also better for tall people. Narrower sups catch more speed and are easier to steer.
- Longer sups are faster. Shorter ones are easier to handle.
XQ Max Inflatable Sup Review
Read the reviews below to get a better idea of what the two main XQ paddle boards offer. That way, you’ll make an informed purchase decision. Or, you’ll at least know what to avoid.
XQ Max SUP Professional Stand Up Paddle Board 305 cm: all-around surf sup
The XQ Max Sup 305 cm is the right choice if you’re a small paddler below 70 kg, though the official specs claim it supports people up to 100 kg.
Also, this board has a narrow design that might not be best for beginners. But if you’re at least an intermediate paddler, you’ll find the XQ Max Sup easy to track.
It’s also a versatile sup that you can use for various activities. However, we recommend it for surfing, although flatwater supping works too. That’s because XQ Max Sup 305 is narrow, thin, and slightly short. As such, it’s easy to track, though it’s not best for choppy waters.
Keep in mind that XQ Max Sup isn’t the most stable of the bunch. For example, even small waves can make you lose your stance because the board has such a round end. That said, the tri-fin system allows easier tracking if you’re at least an intermediate.
Plus, it’s not a rigid sup. Therefore, you can use the XQ Max Sup 305 for speed if you can keep your balance.
There’s another thing to consider before choosing an affordable sup: materials.
This paddle board is made from single-layer PVC and drop-stitch core fabric. That’s not too bad, but it’s not excellent either. For examples, you don’t see any heat-welded seams, and XQ Max doesn’t say what they used for their drop stitches.
However, the board is comfortable and features everything you need. As such, you’ll get a cargo bungee net, carry handle, ankle leash, and three fins. Those three fins are fantastic for tracking, considering other paddle boards in this price range only feature one skeg.
Another advantage is the complete package, paddle, leash, backpack, pump, and repair kit.
These items are, in fact, pretty good and practical. The aluminium paddle is adjustable and resistant, while the 2.3-meter leash holds well. The backpack is accommodating, too, though it can’t fit the paddles. Besides, the pump works well, and the repair kit contains all the basics.
So what’s the problem?
Well, we already told you that the XQ Max Sup 305 isn’t great for beginners or people over 70-75 kg. And, although it’s a practical board, the real issue is its quality.
You can see that in its cheap materials, lack of customer support, and no warranty. Therefore, the XQ Max Sup 305 might not be that durable.
XQ Max Professional Stand Up Paddle Board SUP 320 cm: all-around sup for flatwater
We recommend Max Sup 320 for average-sized people. Although it holds people up to 150 kg, 100 kg is a much better weight if you’re doing flatwater supping.
That doesn’t mean that XQ Max lied about its weight limit or that the board will break beneath you if you’re heavier.
However, this design is balance-challenging for heavyweight people.
And there’s another thing: the XQ Max 320 is, well, 320 cm long.
All-around inflatable sups are usually 305 cm to 366 cm. Therefore, XQ Max 320 falls in the shorter range of all-around sups. That’s why we think it’s better for smaller people.
Performance-wise, we think this sup is better for flat water. You can handle it comfortably, it catches generous speeds, and it’s easy to track. Conversely, this board isn’t very firm or very steady.
Here’s what that means:
If you’re over 100 kg, this board’s lack of rigidity messes with your performance.
We also recommend this inflatable paddle board to beginners, provided you know the basics of supping. That’s because the Max Sup 320 is short and narrow-ish, therefore mostly easy to handle.
We said earlier that the XQ Max 320 isn’t very steady.
But that means you need some extra effort to keep your balance, especially in hitting waves. As you can see, the XQ Max 320 has a rounded tip, just like its sibling above. Otherwise, the 75 cm width is decent enough for beginners.
You can also notice some of the same characteristics, such as the functional design, complete package, and the one-layer PVC construction.
At least, we assume it’s one-layer PVC considering the price range and the board’s overall rigidity. XQ Max isn’t clear about the construction, so this sup could very well have two layers of PVC if you consider its thickness.
Here’s something we do know:
XQ Max 320 sports a three-fin system, with two small fixed skegs and a larger, removable one. Therefore, the XQ Max 320 tracks well.
Do you know what reliable tracking plus slim build entail?
You guessed it; good speeds.
Plus, XQ Max 320 performs well in most waters, provided you respect our weight recommendations. As such, we think paddlers below 100 kg will have more fun with this board for surfing. Heavier people would use it better for all-around flat water.
We also recommend this board for flatwater because it’s almost 6-inch thick, aka in the high thickness range.
Remember, though, that beginners and tall & heavy people need more effort to keep their balance.
Before you make your purchase decision, remember that XQ Max 320 and 305 are of mediocre quality and lack transparency regarding materials. However, they’re both functional and do their jobs if you follow our advice.
They’re also better for different purposes:
- XQ Max 305: better for intermediate and advanced; better for surfing
- XQ Max 320: better for beginners; better for flatwater (people below 100 kg) and surfing in most waters (people weighing 100-150 kg)
Choose the right XQ Max board for your needs. Alternatively, check out other budget paddle boards here.