Sportsstuff Fiesta Floating Island Review
- DIMENSIONS: 26.5 X 22 X 16.5 INCHES (DEFLATED)
- WEIGHT: 35 POUNDS (DEFLATED)
- WEIGHT (SHIPPING): 75 POUNDS
- MANUFACTURER: SPORTSSTUFF
- MATERIAL: PVC
- NO OF PEOPLE: 8 PEOPLE
- COOLER: YES
- DRINKS HOLDERS: YES, EIGHT
- IDEAL FOR: LAKES
- EXTRAS: MOLDED BACK RESTS/ANCHOR BAG
- OUR RATING: 4.75 OUT OF FIVE STARS
- GUIDE PRICE: $300-$400
So summer is here and you feel like celebrating it with something large, inflatable and made of PVC.
Well, who is to judge, definitely not Beach Baby, that’s for sure…who doesn’t like the feel of something firm and latex between their buttocks?
And this gigantic blow up island definitely has all this, and so much more besides.
One of the first things Beach Baby notices about this fine vessel is the nice sturdy nature of the backrests on the seats, being molded and so comfy looking.
After all, the primary reason for owning one of these floating fun stations is comfort. Think of it as a giant floating couch for you and all your mates.
Unlike, perhaps more conventional vessels such as actual boats, where you have a whole raft (pardon the pun) of concerns, with stuff like the upholstery finishing somewhere near the bottom, things like the backrests, and how comfy the seats are, really count on a lounge station.
Not only is this a nice easy knees up from the users experience, but there are eight complete drinks holders, so your suitably refreshed revellers don’t knock their beverages overboard, and a nice 16 quart inflatable drinks cooler. Perfect.
Well, it might be nice and cozy when you hop on board, but what about actually boarding your vessel, how easy is that?
Beach Baby has heard one or two reports that actually getting back onto this deluxe island after getting off for a swim, or walking on water, or whatever it is you’re doing, is actually not the easiest of enterprises.
It probably is fair to say you might need a bit of upper body strength in order to achieve this, frustratingly, this does not have a rope ladder included, although you may be able to tie one of your own onto it.
The mesh floor means you can’t swim up in the middle of it, either… although this is not a criticism as the mesh floor is there for a good reason, to keep the whole thing floating merrily along when full of people!
Although this does not actually come with an anchor, it has an anchor bag you can fill in order to secure this (which is recommended when it is in use).
Just be careful whatever you use as an anchor, make sure there are no sharp corners or edges in it.
Obviously, you are going to want an electric pump to get this monumental island pumped up and all afloat.
You will probably also need assistance to carry it once inflated as well, as it is pretty big and heavy – just a word of warning to anyone attempting to do this by themself, you will need to be pretty strong.
Like all rafts with mesh flooring, you will have to take some care to ensure that the meshing does not become ripped.
Beach Baby does not think that this is any more a problem with the Floating Island Fiesta, than any of the other models, and some folk have reported that they have been able to mend the tears that have happened in their own island – although it is best if they never happen in the first place.
We have to say, we are fairly impressed with this island, and it has received lots of good feedback from customers over on Amazon.
There are not copious numbers of people complaining about ripping or tearing, and even if you are unlucky in this respect, you might find a common repair kit helps you out.
In terms of it deflating when you don’t want it to, you would be advised to keep this well pumped up at all times, to prevent any loss of pressure, or any sort of aquatic disasters.
But there are refreshingly few reports of this raft being problematic in that regard, beyond the odd defective one.
So what, if any, are the issues with the Sportsstuff Fiesta Island?
The only real gripes that have been listed are the vessels lack of anchor points (there are some, obviously, only some people feel there should be one or two more).
We feel this is not a big issue, and there is an anchor bag provided with the float, which is more than adequate.
The only other main concern is the lack of a rope ladder, or any other easy way of getting back up on board the vessel once someone has disembarked.
It’s not so much the climbing aboard that’s the issue, there are some handles there, but scrambling back on after a swim.
It’s a bit awkward, but also, for their shipmates, potentially a bit of a giggle watching someone trying to climb aboard, like a seal pup or landed fish.
There’s nothing to stop you bringing your own ladder or rope to tie to this, to help people up though.
WHERE CAN I USE THIS?
The all important question of where to actually have your waterborne party is quite a thorny one.
By all accounts, this is really in its element on a nice, quiet lake.
But some people have been asking if they could use it in the sea, or on a river.
Generally speaking, we think that this isn’t really suitable for anything other than the calmest of waters, so you would probably be alright on a lake, or on a really, really calm sea, particularly anchored safely to something.
We are really not sure that this would be a good idea on a river, in all honesty, or anything that was likely to cause too much movement.
SINKER OR FLOATER?
All in all, this is as good a party raft as you are ever likely to find, in this price range.
It is not overly expensive for something that can keep eight people afloat safely, and is reliable and sturdy.
With care and proper use, there’s no reason why this couldn’t last you a few lively seasons of partying on the open waters. Party wisely….alcohol and water don’t mix!!!