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A cry for help: choosing between 4 high-end inflatable paddle boards.

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Created by lookbrightside 1 month ago, 19 Jan 2021
lookbrightside
3 posts
19 Jan 2021 11:47PM
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Hi - I am USA based (Florida), and looking for a really high end inflatable SUP. I am well aware of the disadvantages of inflatable SUP, but the objective is to take two SUPs on my boat, cruising primarily the Caribbean and the Bahamas. So we would use the SUPs to discover shallow ocean areas we can't reach with the boat, use it to paddle towards snorkeling / diving spots, etc. My boat is definitely not big enough for a hard shell SUP :-). Thus the inflatable. We do want the best of the best, knowing the limitations of inflatables. Literally we want the best money can buy in the inflatable market. We narrowed down the search to four options of ALL AROUND inflatable SUPS for us, they are all around 1,400 USD, so I am assuming that is about 2,000 Australian. Note that I am 5 ft 9 and 160 lbs, so that translates roughly to 174cm and 72 kg. Here are the ones we are considering. Thoughts? Preferences? Other really high end ones we should think about?

- HALA Carbon Straight Up, 10.6
- Red PaddleCo 10.6 Ride MSL
- Earth River ERS v3 10.7
- Starboard IGO Deluxe 10.8

All of these are about 10.6 to 10.8ft long and 32 to 33 inches wide. We would REALLY appreciate your valuable input and expertise
Thanks!
JW

tarquin1
606 posts
20 Jan 2021 1:31AM
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I don't think you will get much help here. The market for inflatable sups in OZ is pretty small. Maybe its picking up but i doubt it.
I heard a story that one of the big companies flew a guy out to OZ years ago to see why inflatable sups were not selling in OZ. Apparently he had a great time. Everyone has a big car and a house. He went back and said nope no market there.
Supboardermag.com has some reviews of inflatbles.
The one thing I will say is be careful with them in the sun. I know people that have had them deform in the sun. Even the expensive ones. Dont leave them lying ondeck in direct sunlight. Maybe another reason they are not popular in OZ!

RPG
41 posts
20 Jan 2021 3:37AM
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c4waterman.com/

lookbrightside
3 posts
20 Jan 2021 3:59AM
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Thanks, that is helpful. Can't blame the ozzies for loving the outdoors and big cars! I live in Florida, so the sun and heat (and humidity!) are very familiar to me! I will continue my naive quest for the illusive high quality inflatable!

808-Obsession
QLD, 411 posts
20 Jan 2021 6:03AM
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Can't speak from personal experience, but Red Paddle iSUPs always get great reviews. Don't recall seeing a bad one

Gboots
NSW, 1055 posts
20 Jan 2021 2:15PM
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Red Paddle or Starboard in my opinion.
Both have been in the isup business for years and both use considerable R&D for improvements

tarquin1
606 posts
20 Jan 2021 2:21PM
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Red paddle are definately considered one of the best when it comes to i sups.
This company has been getting good reviews too. Have a good look around on the supboardermag website. Their reviews are fantastic. They visit the Red Paddle factory in one.
At least by watching a few reviews you will know what to look for and questions too ask.
www.supboardermag.com/equipment_guide/blackfin-model-x-triple-layer-composite-10-6-35-2020-review/

airsail
QLD, 551 posts
20 Jan 2021 5:20PM
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And definitely look at replacing any isup every 5 years. Heat and age degrades the adhesive used to assemble the boards, eventually the seams fail. Not good if away from the boat. My starboard lasted 7 years, then just gave up.

tarquin1
606 posts
20 Jan 2021 4:02PM
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You have to have a double chamber in France now to go 300m offshore. Maybe worth looking at.

Hawaiiheke
315 posts
20 Jan 2021 5:27PM
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I have a 34 foot cruising yacht over here in NZ and I lug around a 14' x 26" Red Air for exploring on when I'm cruising. It fits fine on the side deck. The sharp-ended inflatable race boards are much nicer for going places on than the rockered round-nosed surf wave slappers. A full 14' skinny race width board might be a bit too much of a challenge but I'd suggest going the single-finned Red 11'3" Sport which is a bit better suited for touring /exploring on than the 10'6" Ride. I think you'd find the larger single fin on the Sport would give you better tracking / paddling than the two smaller ones on the Ride too and, because it's removable, better for stacking/storing two boards on the deck.

Wet Willy
QLD, 2264 posts
5 Feb 2021 9:51PM
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All else being equal, I'd choose one with double chambers, for safety.

baldy123
WA, 126 posts
5 Feb 2021 9:10PM
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Red Paddle Co.
Great product and awesome people behind the brand.
John Hibbard once taught me to windsurf many many years ago! Top bloke.

FRP
404 posts
6 Feb 2021 12:42AM
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Hi,

My brother has two Red Rides (10'6") and one more performance based Red board. Good quality, held up well over more than 5 years and a good pump is supplied. I have paddled one of his Rides a few years ago with my dog onboard. Definitely a nice board to paddle. "Invest" in a good quality paddle also as it will make a difference in your paddling experience!

Cheers

Bob

diceman
16 posts
14 Feb 2021 5:32AM
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Hi LB,
a big thumbs up for Red boards. I've had a 12-6 explorer that I've thrashed in all sorts of paddling conditions for some years and it's going strong. My only concession to maintenance has been regular fresh water wash downs. My only thought is for serious exploring, go longer for better paddling speed. The 10-6 won't give that, especially if you're a fit and experienced paddler. Of course boat stowage space comes into it too. Bottom line, go longer if you possibly can.

PS...the paddling advice is on the mark. Crucial to good paddling and the impact on shoulders,etc

anniebee
NSW, 9 posts
20 Feb 2021 12:32PM
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We have had 2 red paddle 10.6 that we take with us when camping on rivers/lakes and have been very happy with them. They get banged around on rocks etc without issues .

KP.
NSW, 103 posts
22 Feb 2021 2:23PM
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Select to expand quote
tarquin1 said..
I don't think you will get much help here. The market for inflatable sups in OZ is pretty small. Maybe its picking up but i doubt it.
I heard a story that one of the big companies flew a guy out to OZ years ago to see why inflatable sups were not selling in OZ. Apparently he had a great time. Everyone has a big car and a house. He went back and said nope no market there.
Supboardermag.com has some reviews of inflatbles.
The one thing I will say is be careful with them in the sun. I know people that have had them deform in the sun. Even the expensive ones. Dont leave them lying ondeck in direct sunlight. Maybe another reason they are not popular in OZ!


That is a big no. The growth on inflatables is through the roof. I do know of a said person from one of the big brands that came down under with his whole family for 3 years and turned around shops selling isups by close to 300%. I do know of one shop not on the east coast that was dead against them say 5 years ago.. But now would be one of the biggest sellers of isups in Australia.

I will say the bottom price $500 bcf aldi and ebays are terrible. You would be better in single inflatable mattress.
You are right about the sun. But this applies to hard boards as well. HAVE you seen some of the dark colours the big brands paint their hard boards..

Best thing is to go to your local sup shop and by shop i mean not surf shop... And if ya cant do that pull out your phone.... You know the thing everyone has in there hand all day every day these days and call a sup Shop or google one.. Every state in australia has about 3 to 4 great sup shops that will give you the advice you need.

jkidd
VIC, 18 posts
27 Feb 2021 8:07AM
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Select to expand quote
lookbrightside said..

- HALA Carbon Straight Up, 10.6
- Red PaddleCo 10.6 Ride MSL
- Earth River ERS v3 10.7
- Starboard IGO Deluxe 10.8



All great choices but my pick would be the Red. Fusion construction, 5 yr warranty. Boards are starting to arrive in the US, you'll find some in stock here soon: greenwatersports.com/shop/product-tag/all-round



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"A cry for help: choosing between 4 high-end inflatable paddle boards." started by lookbrightside