Great board... the rest needs some work
Full disclosure: This is the first board I have owned. I am an experienced paddler, but only recently started SUPing.
I found the 2017 model on sale for a price that was hard to pass up. I use the board almost exclusively for day trips on lakes and rivers, with the occasional overnighter, but no real expeditions.
The general quality of the board is great and deserves another star. Ride quality, tracking, stability, maneuverability, stiffness, etc also deserve four stars. Also, having two bungees is great for attaching enough gear for longer tours. There is, however, room for improvement... the bungee system, for example, should be changed so that 1) the load points are oriented 45 degrees off-axis and 2) metal D-rings should be used instead of webbing. Changing the orientation of the load points will distribute the load across the entire seam (increasing tear-out strength and general durability) instead of putting the entire load on one corner of the individual seam. Everyone knows that when two textiles (nylon, polyester, etc.) rub against eachother it is only a matter of time until one of the materials is rubbed through and fails. Why, then, was webbing used to attach the bungees? Industry standard is a metal D-ring. It would also be great to have a longer EVA matt towards the back of the board... at least till the rear bungee. During step-back turns my rear foot is just behind the leash anchor point.
The backpack included in the set is unfortunately just as useless as the pump. It is unnecessarily HUGE! Sorry to point fingers, but the person who though it would be a good idea to strap the two most cumbersome items in a deflated SUP kit (pump & paddle) to the outside of a backpack has obviously never worn a backpack before. You put items INSIDE a back pack. That way they won't get broken, scratched, caught on tree branches, hit other people in the face, etc. Almost every other company making iSUPs includes a rolling trolley bag with shoulder straps (that fits board, paddle & pump inside) in their sets. With a board as good as this, it would be well worth the effort.
BOTTOM LINE: I love the board. For the price I paid I was able to buy a better pump and paddle and still come in under the MSRP, so no worries in that dept. With a double-action pump and a fiberglass paddle, the 2018 model seems to be a much better bang for your buck than the 2017 model I bought. Replace the backpack with a trolley bag that fits everything inside it, and you've got a real winner.