Reviews for Touring by Kitson Boards, LLC
Submitted by: RM on 2014-12-08
Summary: Be cautious when buying one of these boards. The quality is non-existent in the board that I own. I'm lucky that the reseller that I bought it from replaced it at no cost with another brand. He also let me keep the Kitson board to do with what I wanted. He knew it wasn't worth anything. My board has stress cracks in 5 places. It also dimpled all over the board on top and bottom. It is unusable. I got in touch with Mike Kitson. Mike said he wanted the board back to see what happened to it. He said "it shouldn't have done that". He also told me that he would replace it if I paid for shipping. I had very low expectations going into this transaction knowing what I did because of all the negative reviews on the internet. He strung me a long for a couple months saying that he would ship it out "next week". Next week turned into almost 8 weeks. Finally he just stopped returning my emails. I haven't heard anything from him in two months. I have many pictures and I can send you a copy of the email thread I had with Mike Kitson. Maybe the problem with my board is unique but I want to make sure everyone knows what kind of person they are dealing with when talking to Mike Kitson. My email address is rence AT live.com.
Cons: Everything else
Usage: As an awning on my deck.
Submitted by: JMcNamara on 2014-11-10
Summary: I love my new MT30 SUP. I picked it up at the factory a month ago and have been using it about 3 times a week. I paddle on the Willamette River just south of Portland. The board is beautiful; sleek,fast, and light(also very stable). The total body workout is amazing. Experiencing nature from my board is Zen-like. On the same day I saw a sea lion catch a salmon, and a fisherman bring in a 4 foot sturgeon. Every day I see great blue herons, cormorants, ducks, geese and other water fowl. I'm in awe of the power and force of Willamette falls when paddling up close from below. My Kitson board makes it all possible! Love it!
Pros: Stable, easy to paddle
Submitted by: MOrtega on 2014-10-28
Summary: I love my Kitson MT30. Upon hearing about the quality boards online, I contacted the company to inquire if the boards were durable enough for my 70lb terror-dog and I. Mike, the owner, got back to me immediately. I ended up visiting the factory, which is really not the right term for the local, homegrown, high-tech, venue of creation. I showed up at the hub of recreation-meets-nature-creation-factory twenty minutes 'til closing time (yeah - I'm that person - sorry!) only to be welcomed in and catered to in the most genuine way! At my request, they took me out on a demo-paddle on the Sound even though it was 50 degrees, windy and spitting rain. They were so happy and nice and accommodating. The board was so light - the lightest I've handled. It was easy to manage on my own even in the wind. They provided me with the board, paddle, PFD, fun stories, lots of information, excellent knowledge, and loads of enthusiasm. All I brought was myself, some water-clothing and an excitement for the Boards! Down on the docks we could see the water was full of jelly-fish! Beautiful! And harmless. I was shown how to carefully get on and off from the dock. With no time pressure whatsoever, I was able to get a feel for the board, standing up, kneeling down, sitting down, standing up again. We paddled until I was done and we headed for the docks. I cannot emphasize enough how easy these boards are to handle - 12'6" is not small. One of the largest boards I have been on (I've been demo-ing boards all over the NW for a year and a half in search of The Board to Buy) and this is by far the easiest one I have ever handled on land. In the water, the board glides - it takes nothing to get it up and moving fast! The MT30 is balanced without feeling like you are on a dock (inflatables) and smooth and agile in the water without feeling like you are trying to stand on and paddle a surf board. This board is designed for, made for, cut out for, engineered, born to be a smooth-riding lovely piece of paddling art.
Pros: Customer Care: personable. Local: Go Washington! Environmentally Conscious: built to last - not a disposable piece of landfiller. Sleek: sexy is not taking it too far. Balanced: for speed and maneuverability. Hand made: I like to think about those few people who made My board (I hope to meet you someday!).
Cons: It's almost winter time! Now I need a wet-suit so I can paddle all winter!
Usage: Touring, exercise, hope to race next summer! I plan to try over-nighting with it. We shall see if the big hairy mutt, me and all our gear will fit onto the board!
Submitted by: t. edwards on 2014-10-21
Summary: Amazing board. Was out in white cap water in Puget Sound, south of Tacoma WA. The board was stable and handled beautifully. Will look into the M31 planing board next! I found Kitson Boards great to work with, and am very happy with their carbon fiber boards.
Submitted by: PE on 2014-09-26
Summary: We bought a couple of these boards a few weeks back. Have been meaning to get here and post a review but keep forgetting. We like the boards very much. We saw some of the negative reviews before our purchase. If there really were problems, they've been resolved. The panels are smooth, finish good etc. We have seen no problems with them Our other boards are planing type and much wider. So we expected these to be more tippy. So no surprise there. We have no frame of reference for other displacement boards of similar size. But after a few paddles, we're settling in nicely and ready to throw the dogs on front for some longer tours. One thing I notice is keeping some speed on the board helps with stability. (Again, no surprise, right?) Only sad we're running out of nice weather. Hmmm, wetsuits anyone?
Pros: Light, easy carry and moves nicely through the water
Usage: Touring, exercise, and "race what you got" class fun races.
Submitted by: Alan on 2014-09-25
Summary: Be very careful dealing with this company. I bought an MT30 and was told by the company's owner the board would ship in two days. Two weeks later, the board still hasn't shipped. I was informed that the company had/has cash flow problems, Kitson took my money and then didn't ship. I had to call my credit card company and dispute the charge. Fortunately I got my money back.
Submitted by: LMHL on 2014-09-24
Summary: All I can say is WOW! My first time paddle boarding and I got to do so on a top notch, carbon fiber board. Stood up right away. I'm hooked; bought a board at an outstanding price.
Pros: Everything. It's made in the USA in my home state of Washington, in Olympia. The board was incredibly stable and easy to use. The craftmanship is outstanding. Really like that it weighs less than 30 lbs so I can easily carry it the water and launch it myself!
Cons: None. Seriously, excellent board, can't wait to get mine next week.
Submitted by: TEL on 2014-09-24
Summary: A couple of weeks ago I decided to try paddle boarding for the first time, and did so on a Kitson Boards MT30. Three words to describe: fun, fun, fun! Coordination is not my forte, yet the Kitson was super easy to stand up on during my first trip! Very stable, excellent board.
Pros: 100% carbon fiber; less than 30 lbs., made in the USA; and excellent design, courtesy of an aerospace engineer.
Usage: Will use for touring.
Submitted by: briana on 2014-09-20
Summary: kitson boarding was very relaxing, I definitaly recommend for the whole family.
Pros: light, easy to steer, floats (lol)
Cons: DON'T BRING YOUR PHONE WITH YOU, UNLESS YOU HAVE A WATERPROOF CASE!!!!!!!!!!
Submitted by: grace on 2014-09-20
Summary: Was a very enjoyable soothing experiance, that i intend to do again. On more sunny days of summer:)
Cons: my friend dropped her phone in the water lol
Submitted by: Troy W. on 2014-09-15
Summary: Great board. I am fortunate to live close to the factory. I was able to demo a board and tour the factory before purchasing my board. Impressive process. I am glad I was able to support a locally owned small company. The board is light, strong, efficient, stable, and paddles easily through the flat water at my favorite lake. I can't wait to try it out on South Puget Sound.
Pros: Light, strength, efficiency, stability
Usage: Exercise and touring
Submitted by: Robert M. on 2014-09-12
Summary: In the spring of 2014, I purchased two Kitson Boards via the company's website. Since receiving my boards, I have logged in many hours of use and have decided to pen a review while giving consideration to other reviews found on this venue. Upon placing my order, it took approximately 9 days to receive my boards. Upon receiving the boards, I gave them a thorough visual inspection and found the craftsmanship to be of the highest quality and free of any manufacturing defects. The boards have a gortex vent to allow for thermal expansion/contraction as the temperature varies throughout the day. This allows the boards to breath, while at the same time, prevents water from leaking into the boards. I have never had any water leakage issues with my boards nor have I experienced any lamination problems as noted on a few other reviews. The boards have proved over time to be very durable to heavy usage. The boards are very stable and easy to control. Several of my friends, of varying size and athletic ability, have used my boards; all of which found the boards to very stable and easy to control. I have been very please with my purchase of two Kitson Boards.
Pros: Quality craftsmanship; highly stable and easy to control; durable to heavy use.
Cons: Kind of pricy, but worth it.
Usage: Touring and exercise
Submitted by: Chris H on 2014-09-11
Summary: I Got It! It is kind of like Christmas morning here, 50 years ago. I opened it up the moment I got home. This board is absolutely beautiful, a work of art! I love the surfaces on the board; topside and sides. I can't wait to get out on the water and show off your handiwork. Thanks!
Submitted by: EJ on 2014-08-02
Summary: My boyfriend had me try his board for the first time and I was immediately hooked! I have never paddled before but I was able to go for a long ride without feeling uncomfortable or unstable. The board is really light and easy to get on and off my jeep. I love it!
Pros: Looks awesome and easy to ride!
Cons: Wish it came with bungee straps
Submitted by: Shelby D on 2014-08-02
Summary: I love the look and performance of this board it performs exceptionally in virtually any reasonable water condition. It is quick and tracks very well, I'm more then satisfied with the Mt 30 and can't wait for the surf model!
Pros: Price performance minimalist look.
Cons: Would prefer a solid stomp pad rather then segmented
Usage: Touring and excercise.
Submitted by: John M on 2014-07-26
Summary: Very fun, fast and stable. I paddle 2-3 times a week on Puget Sound, Wa. So far this year, I haven't put my kayak in the water. The only thing I miss is rolling the kayak, haven't figured out this trick on a SUP yet. So much more to see when standing above the water than when sitting on the water particularly at low tide. I've even used it to pull crab pots. At approximately 30 lbs and the pop up handle it's easy to carry.
Pros: Fast, stable and lightweight
Cons: No big deal but shouldn't sit out in the direct Sun for extended periods without loosening the vent plug
Usage: Excercise, touring, crabbing
Submitted by: Sam Caruso on 2014-07-16
Summary: The best thing about Kitson boards is the people. I highly recommend calling in and asking any question regarding SUPs. If possible stop by. I was impressed with a factory tour and a 25 minute demo with Logan. Logan is super informed on the sport of SUP and Kitson boards. Pretty fun. I purchased two touring boards and am looking forward to a surf model in a couple weeks.
Pros: I enjoy the endurance aspect of the sport. The MT30 is perfect for longer flat water tours. It rides low in the water and is super fast. I now own 5 SUPs, one nice fiberglass, one really nice poly board and a couple foam boards for the kids to thrash. To own a Carbon Fiber SUP at such an affordable price is truly a gift. Watching the water displace off the front of the board is awesome. The MT30 has a Vshape comparable to my boat, it shreds through the water.
Cons: The MT30 is slightly more narrow than what i was used to. At first it felt a little tippy. After two or three tours i became comfortable on the board and realized with a little forward motion the board becomes much more stable..(as any board)
Usage: 3 to 6 mile tours on the river, I like going for at least an hour when possible. I am working toward longer tours. I would feel comfortable on this board for several hours.
Submitted by: bm on 2014-06-25
Summary: wow this guy is in the wrong business. having been introduced to this company by a fellow professional boarder who mentioned this guy gleaned the SUP idea from his brother, I became curious when having the opportunity to use one. first thing is this board appears to be manufactured in two different facilities. stock must be coming from elsewhere and these guys appear to be slowly learning about plastics and lamination. when I first looked at it I thought very crude and poorly built. it was coming apart and was apparently overpriced. this thing after four uses of maybe an hour total, literally began to peel apart. in addition to this it steered like a tank. cant even explain how much water it took on as well, like seriously dangerous! glad my kid didn't use it. we then thought that we would try to get a repair or replacement we were totally ignored by both the owner and the office staff. thinking oh damn we have a shyster in our mist! not surprised after hearing a bit of the story further from my buddy. this guy apparently has an office in a makeshift garage of his home and primarily imports Chinese materials and presents an "all American" persona when in fact he likes to import and make minor modifications to "customize". the funny thing is that this guy is a Canadian who can't get citizenship! it looks like he operates online business with limited staff and experience and has some kid from local college and board enthusiast do his "design". if you are looking for a good board stick to the real pros and do not be fooled by nonsense.
Upon reading this review I asked Paddling.net to ask the author to contact me. I was deeply concerned that we may have produced a substandard board and not handled the customer properly. According to Paddling.net the author refused to talk to me about their complaint. Briefly, lets go through this post. It is true that we contacted many engineers and material scientists about making the boards. None of which were my brother. Kitson Boards factory is located on Marine Drive, which is on the waterfront of Olympia, WA. The research and development was completed elsewhere in Olympia, WA. There are lots of pictures which validate and show the complete manufacturing process of our carbon fiber paddleboards on www.kitsonboards.com and if you need more we can easily provide them. There will be a video of the factory, soon on the site as well. If a person wanted to come to the factory we offer tours to educate and show the process. Pure and simple 98% of the board is made from American components and 100% of the labor. Our paddleboards are designed by engineers of various ages. We guarantee our paddle boards against manufacturing defect for one year. I don't recall ever having a report of someone being put into danger, as I take this business very seriously, as well as the safety of our customers. We have had all ages of individuals very happy with our product. Virtually everyone that demos our paddleboards buys them. It is true I am a Canadian, I have a Green Card and will be a US Citizen in one year and have lived in the United States for over 20 years. If you have any comments or suggestions please contact me. Mike Kitson 360-878-9526
Cons: poor quality and takes on water!
Submitted by: DW on 2014-05-23
Summary: Good stable board that seems to handle conditions well. I have taken this board out in some pretty strong winds with decent chop and it has tracked well. Light weight and durable, easy to paddle, and fun to ride.
Pros: Light weight, hollow body, good stability
Usage: Exercise, touring
Submitted by: Kurtis on 2014-05-22
Summary: rented paddle boards a few times and ended up buying one of these bad boys and have been very satisfied!
Pros: stability and relatively fast. Holds enough gear for my touring needs. Light weight and durability!
Cons: Would like more color but carbon fiber looks flashy by itself!
Submitted by: Susan K on 2014-05-19
Summary: I decided to purchase a paddleboard for my daughter who has balance problems to help her with this issue. We were able to order one in with her favorite color pink for the logo. She was thrilled to get it and thinks it is awesome. We both love that it is complete made here in US. My experience getting the board was so amazing that I bought one for myself. Since my purchase I was offered a job at Kitson Boards. Not only are the paddleboards top of the line and light weight, but they are made in Olympia WA. I am so happy to recommend them as they are Employing Americans!
Pros: Customization colors are available. They are super stable and so light that my daughter can lift it up easily.
Usage: Recreational. Great exercise!
Submitted by: Cousin Vinny on 2014-05-17
Summary: This was a lovely experience like walking on the water. Surprisingly easy to get started. Very stable platform. Easy to see how mastering the maneuvering of the board comes with very little experience. Look forward to long enjoyable experience of ownership.
Pros: Stability. Can carry two 12'6" boards at once with little effort. Easy to turn and glides great.
Cons: Would love to have water tight compartment.
Usage: Exercise and touring
Submitted by: Ginny on 2014-05-16
Summary: I went paddling at the Kitson Boards factory. It was amazing! Extremely easy to paddle as it was very stable. Much easier and faster than any other board I have tried.
Pros: The carbon fiber looked neat.
Usage: Paddling on the weekends with family and friends.
Submitted by: AT on 2014-05-07
Summary: I had the pleasure of trying out the MT30 at Kitson's factory in Olympia. The board was really stable and I was able to quickly get paddling around the marina. There was a light chop, but the displacement hull sliced right through it. The board's weight is also pretty wonderful as I didn't have any difficulty walking down to the dock with it. Construction also appeared pretty solid and the white finish on seam looks really cool.
Pros: Size and weight, carbon fiber looks cool but is way better about not dinging than fiberglass. Cost.
Cons: Would love to see painted models in the future. Apparently they aren't painted to save weight, but I wouldn't mind some color.
Usage: exercise, adventure!
Submitted by: jk on 2014-01-12
Summary: Not quite what I expected. As with the other reviews I ordered in May and got board at the end of August after initially being told 3-4 weeks! I too was told "another week" several times. The surface of the board had some scratches and lots of dimples and imperfections on the surface. It looks like a factory second. My thinking is that they only use a minimum of resin which saves weight. Although the board looks crude it is fast and very stable.
Pros: It is fast and stable and reasonably light for a 14' board
Cons: Crude finish, cost
Usage: excercise and touring
Submitted by: Calvin on 2013-10-07
Summary: I ordered the Touring after 6 weeks still have not seen any shipping as the company posted up to 4 weeks, talked to Mike the owner a couple of times on his cell, he seems to be a nice guy, don't know why this company start falling apart by their bad reputation. I already file a dispute with my credit card company. My business ends here forever with this company.
Pros: Great communication with the owner when taking order, but no reputation on time for the order, not sure about the quality.
Cons: very bad reputation. Does not keep up with their promises.
Submitted by: R c on 2013-09-16
Summary: I ordered an MT 30 . On my receipt it state' s. " ships in under 3 weeks ". I have waited 9 weeks ,! When you call to get a status on your board they add a week , I can understand but don't give me an attitude like your doing me a favor . When I ordered, I talk to Mr Kitson . he didn't know what kind of hull he was selling ask him if it was a displacement hull didn't have the slightest idea what I asked . I should have listen to my little voice hang up hang up ! Know I'am tring to get a refund on a board I never got . No answer !
Usage: Can't ,never got the board
Submitted by: JD on 2013-06-22
Summary: i'm not surprised by the review with problems. i know all about this company. this is a local Washington company that sells wine racks. there have been a bunch of articles about how they decided to get into building boards. their whole staff is from the wine business. the local word is that they're a big time marketing company that don't have a clue about how to design boards. the designer is the guy who designs their custom wine racks. he doesn't have any board experience. after testing one there was no way i'd ever buy it. i know a lot of people who've tested these boards and they all agree that theyre not worth buying. most of what i've heard is that they are poor quality and the design is old. the one i tried was junk. i don't know anyone who has tested one of these and actually bought it. they're considered a joke around here and we've all been wondering how long it will take before they go out of business. until they hire a real designer and builder i woundnt touch one.
Usage: tested one and it was bad
Submitted by: Jeffrey Larson on 2013-06-21
Summary: I purchased a 12' 6" Kitson Touring Paddle board last fall. The item was poorly packaged and arrived covered in scratches. I was disappointed when I took a good look at the board and saw how wavy the planes were, and how crudely the deck pad had been cut. It looked like someone built this in their garage. The first time I took it out the deck pad started bubbling and peeling off and water was leaking in around the center hole of the board. It took several emails to receive a response from the company, which was, basically, to remove the deck pad. Their representative stated that a lot of people were removing the pad. The performance of the board was poor as well. It's extremely unstable for a Touring board. I also own a 12' 6" Bark race board and it's much more stable than the Kitson board. I have half a dozen experienced paddleboarding friends and they all commented on how unstable the board was. The carbon fiber began delaminating after about the second or third time out. It wasn't distorting, but I could feel the skin move when I pushed against it. I'm not sure if this was caused by poor layup or the water that was leaking in around the center hole. On my last ride I could visually see water bubbling out from around the center hole, so instead of immediately putting it back in the bag, I left the board leaning against a tree, in partial sun, in an attempt to drain as much water as possible. An hour later I noticed the entire skin was deforming. Granted it was a 90 degree day, but there were several other boards laying out (Brockfish, Endless SUP & a couple entry level boards), some in more sun, but none of those had any issues. I've emailed the company multiple times & called. Their customer service is virtually non-existent. In my experience, they generally just don't respond. Calling didn't work either. I called to order an additional fin and provided my credit card information and everything, but never received the fin or any other correspondence from the company. In conclusion, I would not recommend a Kitson Board to anybody. The design & quality of construction are dated and poor. Their claims of the carbon fiber being more durable than fiberglass is ridiculous and the black color is a magnet for delamination problems. Scientifically, carbon is stronger than fiberglass, but the poor construction of their boards lends it to be much less so. I got 6-8 rides on this board and now it's complete junk. This is the worst board I've ever been on.
Cons: Poor design Poor construction Extremely fragile-This is not more durable than a fiberglass model Dark color is extremely prone to sun delamination
Usage: I'm not sure what this is designed for. While Kitson markets this as a touring board, is significantly less stable then my Bark race board. The carbon fiber might look cool hanging on a wall, if you're lucky enough to get a well-made board.