You have probably seen or dreamed of Red Paddle boards. Amazingly high quality but they also have price tags which are frightening and unfortunately not affordable for most of us. And these boards do not even include a paddle or a leash, so you’ll be spending a lot of money to have one of these babies.
So are there any good alternatives for a Red Paddle board? In my opinion there surely are some great options on the markets. Other brands are improving more and more and are creating boards that can compete with the quality of Red Paddle.
These boards are (a lot) cheaper and come including a paddle and leash (and sometimes even more), so you can make sure you will not incur extra costs before you go out on the water.
To give everyone the chance to paddle on a high quality Stand Up Paddle Board I have written this article, to show that it is possible to get very high quality for sometimes even less than half the price that Red Paddle charges.
One almost unique aspect of Red Paddle is that they offer a 5 year warranty, because they clearly believe in the high quality of their products. However, Bluefin now also offers the same 5 year warranty on their boards, so this service has finally been matched!
Ready to find a high quality paddle board without spending a fortune? Find out which boards are the best alternatives for Red Paddle below.
The Bluefin Cruise is a very high quality board and can in this way compete with the Red Paddle Boards. The Bluefin Cruise is so strong it can be inflated up to 28 PSI (Red Paddle has a max of 25 PSI), but for a normal trip 15-18 PSI will do.
This board is a great alternative for the Red Paddle Ride 10’6″ or 10’8″ and where the Red Paddle will costs you roughly $1.300 / $1.400 without paddle or leash, the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ will cost you $549!
So for less than half the cost you get an inflatable Stand Up Paddle board that is super strong and includes everything you need. The Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ includes a fiberglass paddle and a leash next to the basics like a SUP pump and backpack.
As an extra the Bluefin Cruise also contains a kayak seat so you can sit down and paddle, so you can switch up your routine a bit! The included fiberglass paddle is a 2-in-1 paddle, so it can be turned into a kayak paddle whenever you wish.
So to be honest I do not even see the need to purchase a Red Paddle these days anymore, as strong boards with complete packages like this are available on the market. Save yourself quite some money and go for this amazing board available for a much lower price and in a complete package.
Since above I have already shown the Bluefin Cruise, I thought I might as well add the Bluefin Carbon Cruise as an extra option. The Bluefin Carbon Cruise is the more luxury version of the Bluefin Cruise. This board is made out of even thicker material and includes a carbon paddle instead of a fiberglass paddle.
The Bluefin Carbon Cruise offers the same package as the Bluefin Cruise, including the kayak seat. So only the paddle is exchanged for a carbon paddle. This board is so insanely strong and stiff it would be hard to break it even if you try. (Alright hold back on your army knives to test this out please)
So why would you purchase the Bluefin Carbon Cruise instead of the Bluefin Cruise named above? As said it is way stronger and it has a better paddle, but the price goes up quite a bit. The Bluefin Carbon Cruise 10’8″ will costs you about $900, which is quite a bit higher. But this board is one of the strongest available on the market and surely worth this price.
This quality also makes the board heavier. For example the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ weighs 15.6 kg (34.3 lbs), where the “normal” Bluefin Cruise weighs 12.6 kg (27.8 lbs). Even though the Carbon is slightly thinner (15 cm / 5.9″ vs 16 cm / 6.2″)
Not the same company as Bluefin (Blackfin is made by iRocker), it appears these brands are not as creative with their names as they are with their boards ;-). Blackfin also offers a very high quality Stand Up Paddle Board with their Model X. This board currently goes for about $800, not exactly a budget option but also still about half what you would pay for a Red Paddle board with a paddle.
This is also a very luxurious board that offers a lot of extras, like a carbon paddle and a high quality leash, high pressure pump and backpack. The board is very complete in terms of the package, it just doesn’t supply the kayak seat for free like the Bluefin board does.
Difference with the Bluefin and Red Paddle board is the shape. The width of 35″ makes this board more suitable to beginners as it offers some extra stability, but is less suitable for higher speeds and advanced paddle boarders.
So this also is a great alternative for Red Paddle board that offers a complete package and with a high quality board. One thing I must mention is that Blackfin offers a 2 year warranty, where Bluefin and Red Paddle offer a 5 year warranty on their boards.
The iRocker All-Around is my last but not least tip in this list for alternatives for a Red Paddle board. This is the same company that makes Blackfin, so there are a lot of similarities with the above Blackfin Model X in terms of the package that comes with the board. In fact all accessories that the above Blackfin has also come with the iRocker All-Around board.
The iRocker All-Around is $80 cheaper than the Blackfin Model X because it is missing a few options, which are not entirely necessary in my opinion. These are:
– No wheels on the backpack
– Less carrying handles
– Heavier because of different technology
If you think these options are worth the extra $80, go for the Blackfin Model X instead. Do you want to save more money? Go for the Bluefin Cruise listed on top of the page to have a high quality complete SUP package.
Conclusion 4 Alternatives for a Red Paddle Board
In this day and age I truly believe it is not necessary to spend over a $1000 to get an inflatable Stand Up Paddle board of the very highest quality. Even if the brand Red Paddle is not on it, it does not mean the quality is not just as good or even better.
Don’t just stare at a big brand name but focus on the actual quality of the products, as you should do with most products in life. Personally I have found that smaller companies seem to put more care into their products and development than big corporations that are just mass producing to gain quick profits.
A brand like Bluefin which is not afraid to offer the same 5 year warranty on their products as Red Paddle does shows me that high quality is not only a privilege owned by big established brands that ask high prices.
So all in all you do not have to spend so much money to start paddle boarding as high quality can be purchased with quite a lower budget (in this case $549). Compare boards and always think how they can serve your needs in the first place.
Above I have listed alternatives for the most popular Red Paddle board, the Red Paddle Ride. If you are looking for a touring/fishing/yoga/racing board the above boards are not the ones you need. Read my other guides to find out which boards are suitable more for these purposes, for instance my Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board for 2020 Guide.
Don’t rush and make a well-informed decision about the Stand Up Paddle board that you will want to spend at least the next 5 years on.
Before you head off onto the water, mind telling me what board you like most? What do you think about Red Paddle boards or about the boards I have listed below? I am looking forward to hear from you and to find out of you have any other options for me. You can also connect with me and share your experience on my Instagram or FB profile.
To paddling to infinity and beyond,