I'm a newbie to the SUP world, and this board is an upgrade to my previous purchase. It's definitely worth the investment! I chose GILI over various competitors, and am not disappointed. I've gotten several compliments on my board, especially on the built-in paddle holders (I practice SUP Yoga). The backpack is great - plenty of storage to fit the pump and a life jacket inside with the board, and side pockets and straps to hold your paddle, fins, and any extras. The padding is very comfortable. I'm 5'3" under 110lbs, and this board is easy for me to carry to my destination (unless it's super windy, lol). The padded leash is comfortable, and the paddle is a good weight for me. I enjoy the stability and padded comfort of the board, whether standing of kneeling. The tapered nose helps cutting through chop, and I find the fins track well, compared to my other basic board. The bungees provide ample room for toting along all your extras. I didn't think I would be as pleased as I am with my purchase, so I am happy to have no regrets.