Red Paddle Co – 11’3 Sport Review
As the take up rate of paddle boarding continues to increase year-on-year, so too does the quality of inflatable paddle boards (iSUPs). With boards designed for everything from recreational all-purpose use through to specialised surf, yoga, racing and fishing boards, iSUPs continue to stretch the boundaries of design and quality and are now seen as true competitive options to their more rigid hard board cousins.
Today we will be taking a look at Red Paddles 11’3″ 2020 Inflatable Sports SUP Package.
Length: 11’3″ (343 cm)
Width: 32″ (81 cm)
Height / Depth: 4.7″ (12 cm)
Construction: proprietary MSL Fusion drop stitch
Weight: 22 lbs (10 kgs)
User Weight: 240 lbs (110 kg)
Stiffening System: RSS Battens
Volume: 306 Litres
Inflation PSI: up to 25 psi
Paddle: options available
Fin: detachable FCS US Box Fins
Pump: titan double chambered
Warranty: 5 years
Why Paddle Board – as a recreational activity, paddle boarding offers some tremendous health and fitness benefits ranging from a full body workout engaging many of the core muscles albeit in a low impact way through to improved balance, improvements in endurance and stamina, injury rehabilitation, weight loss and improving our cardiovascular health. Its an exciting way to unwind and decompress whilst at the same time engaging with nature. As one of the fastest growing water sports globally, if you have access to water then its definitely worth giving it a go.
*** New to SUPing, take a look at the Top 10 Benefits of Paddle Boarding for more insights ***
About Red Paddle Co
Founded in 2008 by John Hibbard, Red Paddle are at the forefront of the paddle board industry known for their innovation in design and construction methodology. As a professionally sponsored full-time windsurfing competitor, it was John’s aim to develop high performance inflatable boards given the transportation challenges that he continually faced traveling on the pro tour. Over a number of years of continually testing and retesting the boundaries, Red Paddle have positioned themselves as a high spec manufacturer of boards ranging from all round recreational through to racing, white water, surf, yoga, multi-person and wind surfing. Their range also caters for children and beginners through to seasoned riders.
Red Paddle also have one of the better interactive websites in the market. The site delves into considerable industry information which precedes Red Paddle themselves speaking to the origins and developments within the iSUP market. Each of their boards includes detailed specs and graphics, a full breakdown of the construction methodology, board selection and comparison tools, strong customer support with how to tips and video tutorials and much more. If you are new to paddle boarding or simply looking for a better understanding of the industry and what is on offer, then Red Paddle should be one of if not your first point of call.
Red Paddles Special Edition 2020 11’3″ board comes with a new striking purple deck design with changes to the rail colours and graphics. Catering for intermediate (and up) riders, its streamlined design makes it one of the faster recreational iSUPs on the market albeit without sacrificing stability, tracking and glide.
Construction – known as one of the industry leaders in iSUP innovation and technology, Red Paddle have continued to use their proprietary MSL Fusion technology and construction processes making their boards lighter and stiffer. The MSL or Monocoque Structural Laminate is a high-definition drop stitch which uses a unique pressure application and reinforced laminate making the boards up to 4.4 lbs (2 kg) lighter albeit with greater stiffness. This machine pressed process eliminates human error and the usage of excess glue. Whilst other board manufacturers use drop stitch technology, they are typically made from a mass-produced cheaper linear drop stitch which is not able to withstand high pressure for prolonged periods of time.
Red Paddle also use their designed and patented Rocker Stiffening System (RSS) on their specialist boards which heightens stiffness and ultimate performance. The system uses 2 fibreglass stiffening battens which are inserted into individually laminated exterior side pockets which increases the boards rigidity by up to 40%.
Suitability / Performance – its reduced weight and batten system allow a high level of rigidity under a relatively low level of pressure. At 22lbs, the board is light although not too light so as to compromise its performance particularly in windy or rougher water conditions.
Unlike some iSUPs that have a tri-fin system, the board still tracks nicely with its single touring fin. The narrow nose of the board aids its speed through the water although this is nicely balanced by a wider mid-section which is more heavily situated to the rear of the board enhancing its stability. The squared off tail helps with manoeuvrability when body weight is distributed to the rear of the board for turning. Its shape also aids an ability to play around in light wave conditions where you can dig in for quicker and deeper turns.
The diamond textured rear deck padding is comfortable under foot and provides extra cushioning and positioning awareness given its change in texture as compared to the forward deck padding.
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Included within the package is:
Bag – arguably one of the best bags on the market given its quality and versatility. It is made from a highly durable waterproof material featuring heavy-duty stitching, hide away shoulder straps making for easy transportation, and integrated wheels. It also contains an internal paddle sleeve and carry handles on both sides of the bag as well as the top and bottom. Its internal waterproof foil lining also ensures the board will stay cool under warmer temperatures.
Pump – titan double chambered pump with Hi Flo handle and multi-purpose attachments for other (non-SUP) inflatables. Claimed to be the fastest manual pump on the market (non-electric) with board inflation in approx. 4 minutes.
Fin – a single tool-less fin using the US box system making for versatility and easy attachment. The system also uses a thumb bolt and plate locking mechanism which aids a secure connection.
Paddle – the base package comes standard with a 3 piece adjustable alloy paddle. You can then opt (at an additional cost) to upgrade the paddle to the Carbon Nylon, Carbon 50 or full 100 Carbon Paddle. Each paddle is adjustable and uses Red Paddles proprietary LeverLock technology.
Accessories – front and read colour matched patches, a valve tool, phone dry case, carry strap and instructions.
Pros & Cons
– aesthetically the board is sleek in design and has a no nonsense look and feel to it
– the colour scheme and deck padding design top off a cosmetically attractive product
– great stiffness and rigidity aided by the design and RSS side battens
– fast inflation via the titan pump
– whilst sleek, the board offers good stability and quality tracking and glide
– upgradable paddle options
– well-designed and versatile durable carry bag
– thicker rear deck padding for manoeuvrability
– certain package options do not include either the 10′ standard or 8′ coiled leash – needs to be priced in separately.
– the battens (not being built it) can be a little difficult to insert.
If you’re prepared to up your spend and aim for the higher end of the market, then the 11’3″ 2020 Inflatable Sports SUP is definitely one to put on the list. Made to the exacting high standards that Red Paddle are known for, the board offers great stability and rigidity. It is light and reasonably quick through the water when compared to other comparable boards whilst still offering good tracking and glide. The package includes high quality accessories which will meet all of your needs. Definitely a worthwhile spend and one that I give the thumbs up to.
As always we would love to get your feedback so please feel free to leave your comments below and we will get back to you.
Until then, stay safe and get wet…