The best all-around paddle board for beginners
The Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ is an amazing all-around inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board that comes in a very complete package where even a kayak seat and 2-in-1 fiberglass paddle are included. The board is very stiff and will last for ages and the same goes for the high quality accessories.
Next to the paddle and the seat the board includes a coiled leash, double action pump, backpack, waterproof phone case and a repair kit. This is more than what you need to get started with paddle boarding.
For this price (currently $549 for the 2021 version) this is the best package that is available on the market and it can even compete with boards twice the price. This board is a bargain that you should want to get your hands in before they start raising the price!
I have tested this board extensively and you will see a lot of personal pictures of me and my girlfriend carrying or floating around on this board. In my review below I will show you how I experienced this paddle board and why it is so great.
- Great price for a complete package with the best accessories
- Very stable and reliable board
- Great for beginners and advanced boarders
- Amazing online reviews, everyone loves this board!
- Convertible paddle and kayak seat included
- Very big grip deck with kick pad
To be fair these aren’t really cons, more like small suggestions 😉
- Backpack has no wheels
- No length indicator on the paddle
The Bluefin Cruise is most suitable for:
The Bluefin Cruise is a very high quality Stand Up Paddle board for a very competitive price that includes more than everything you need to go out for a great trip on the water. I have also tried the more luxury version, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon before, which is perfect but $350 more expensive and quite a bit heavier. That is why I think the Bluefin Cruise is the better board for beginners in paddle boarding.
This board is all-around so it is suitable for basically every activity you are looking for on a Stand Up Paddle board. The board could be used for a maximum weight of 287 lbs / 130 kg, for the 2021 version this has been updated to 150 kg / 331 lbs. But I honestly think that is underestimated and you could surely get on this board with two people that have my weight (about 80 kg).
Although if you’re looking to go out on a tour or going out for paddling together, you should surely check out the 12′ version and the 15′ version of this board! These offer all the same advantages and the complete package that this board also offers, but with increased stability for longer tours due to the longer board.
There is even a children’s version of this board with the Bluefin Cruise Junior. Are you looking for a Stand Up Paddle Board for children to get started with SUP boarding? Then check out that board instead, as it is smaller and will be easier to control for younger children.
The board is very stable and has a size of 10’8″ long and 32.9″ wide. This is why the board is very suitable for beginners, it is less likely that you will fall off of your board. The thickness of 6.3″ supports this and makes sure the board does not bend in the middle. As for speed it is clearly not a racing board, but the shape of the board allows you to navigate through the waters quicker than with a completely rounded board.
This board offers amazing value for money and I can personally guarantee you that for this money you will not be able to get a better board. Bluefin offers an amazing 5 year warranty on all of their boards! (only matched by Red Paddle). They also offer 1 year manufacturing warranty on the included accessories.
So it is clear that the company itself also has a lot of faith in the product and that they are willing to stand up for it. The quality of the board is so high they can afford to take the gamble, it will be hard to break this board during normal Stand Up Paddle boarding.
If you are looking for an all-around inflatable Stand Up Paddle board of high quality in a very complete package for a good price this is your best choice by far!
|Length||Width||Thickness||Max weight load||Weight board|
|10’8″||32.9″||6.3″||287 LBS / 130 kg||24.9 LBS / 11.3 kg|
All Round / Relaxing / Yoga / Touring / Pets
Speed on the water
The board is designed for every paddler with an all-around purpose, so speed is not the main focus. But because of the pointy nose it is possible to reach some higher speeds than the regular shaped all-around paddle boards.
The board has a weight of 28.8 LBS / 12.6 kg and is not hard to carry in the supplied backpack with comfortable padded straps.
The 32.9″ width makes the board more stable than an average 30″ width board, which is good for beginners to start on. The 6.3″ thickness and the sturdy material offer even more stability and support.
My own experience
I was very happy when I received the board and couldn’t wait to go out on the water. In these times where everyone is inside a lot it is great to get out on the water for a bit. As you can see on the picture below it was really quiet and I had the whole lake to myself. Some peace and quiet away from the city always feels good.
When unpacking the board it felt like I was getting gifts over and over with all the included accessories, all of them of great quality. (Small note to Bluefin, your packing is a bit too amazing, tone it down on the plastic wrappings ;-))
After I unpacked everything I went on with inflating the Bluefin Cruise. It took me exactly 3.5 minutes to inflate this board to 18 PSI, which is really quick! I do have the video to prove it but I don’t reckon anyone is interested in a 3.5 minute video of me inflating a paddle board, so I will not bother you with that.
The Bluefin Cruise was easy to carry to the water and it felt super stable and it was easy to paddle. As I tested the Bluefin Cruise on the same day that I tested the Bluefin Cruise Carbon it was good to see the differences between the models. The Bluefin Cruise is easier to carry than the Carbon, but the light paddle of the Carbon felt better than the fiberglass paddle of the “normal” Cruise.
For this price a fiberglass paddle is perfect though and a thousand times better than an aluminium paddle. Maybe I am just getting a bit spoiled after getting used to the fancy Carbon version 😉
Compared to the Carbon the Bluefin Cruise only has one bungee cord in the front, where the Carbon has bungee cords in the front and back. I did not take that many supplies this time and one bungee cord for a big waterproof backpack is more than enough to be honest.
The croco-diamond grip deck feels great and I never felt like losing my grip while paddling. It does not only feel great, but it also looks really cool with the look of crocodile skin (hence the name).
The kick pad on the back allows you to lean back a bit and lift up the front to make those sharper turns. I did not fall in the water (surely I must be a pro) so I don’t know how this would be with a wet board, but I trust the grip would still be wonderful.
It is nice and relaxing to tour around on this board, but I also managed to build up quite a bit of speed by paddling hard. The size is maybe not perfect for speed, but the pointy front of the board helps to cut through the water quicker than with a rounded board. The three fin system made sure I stayed in a straight line when paddling on higher speeds.
Besides the normal paddling I have even tried sitting down and kayaking on this board, which felt very relaxing. The option to sit down and have some back support (with my back I can surely use that) is great and I could paddle like this for hours without any effort. That this is included for free in a package is rare and an incredible addition to an already unbelievable bundle.
This is the best paddle board for beginners that is on the market and it is available at a marvelous price. I would recommend this board for any beginner that wants to get started right away with a complete package. With the 5 year warranty you can be sure you will not need to purchase more things anytime soon!
I am certain the very tough material will not break soon either way. The thick layers of PVC and the side reinforcement prevent any damage when bumping into something. The board even has UV-resistant coating, so it will not get damaged by the sun that quickly. (I still recommend using 303 protective spray to be sure, read more about paddle board maintenance here).
If you have more than enough money and only want the best of the best you can check out the Bluefin Cruise Carbon instead, but if you are looking for the best value for money and a complete package the Bluefin Cruise is the Stand Up Paddle board you are looking for!
- 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch
- Non-slip croco-diamond deck pad is comfortable underfoot, offering extra grip & traction
- 9 D-rings. Bungee cord on the front, one for attaching your leash, 4 for the included kayak-seat
- 3 Comfortable grip handles for carrying, in the middle of the board, the front and back
- Fixed Action Camera Mount on the front of the board
The Bluefin Cruise board has 2 small fins and one big fin, of which the big fin is removable. The fins are high quality and very strong. The big fin is easily attachable and removable without tools due to the US Box Fin System.
The board is made out of 1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch. 11200 stitches of 500 denier space yarn per square metre make for one rigid board. The fact that this material can take up to 28 PSI inflation makes clear that it is incredibly strong!
Inflate / deflate
The Bluefin Cruise Paddle Board is inflated in only 3,5 mins (or at least I can!) with the supplied Double Action Hand Pump. The board can be inflated up to 28 PSI, but the recommended pressure is 15-18 PSI.
Bluefin offers an amazing 5-year warranty on the board and a 1-year warranty on the accessories (manufacturing warranty for accessories). You won’t possibly get this better anywhere.
This board has a nice blue an white design with a big black Croco-Diamond Deck pad + Kick Pad. The 2021 version made this model even better and slicker, a board you will want to show to everyone.
In the package
The paddle that is included with the Bluefin Cruise is a Bluefin 4-Piece adjustable and convertible paddle, which is lightweight and very strong and durable because it is made out of fiberglass. It can not only be used as a SUP paddle, but also as a kayak paddle. Which is perfect together with the supplied kayak seat.
The T-bar handle of the normal SUP paddle has a very good ergonomic grip, so you hands will not start hurting when paddling. The shaft has a bit of a grainy texture for extra grip, which makes it very comfortable to paddle with this SUP paddle.
It seems in the 2021 model the paddle has also been upgraded, it is lighter but just as strong. It reminds me of the paddle that was included with the 2019 version of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon.
Check out my guide for the Best SUP paddles for 2021
The Bluefin Cruise includes a very easy and comfortable double action hand pump, so it inflates both on the upstroke and the downstroke. True, this is not as effective as the Triple action pump that is included with the Bluefin Carbon Cruise. But since I inflated this board in only 3.5 minutes with this pump do you really need a better one?
The pump has a clear pressure gauge as you can see on my picture below. It goes up to 21 PSI, which is a bit strange since the board should be able to take up to 28 PSI. But since 15-18 PSI is recommended and stiff enough I don’t think this will be a problem. (If you are actually inflating this to 28 PSI I want to see a video of how long it takes you :-P!)
The handle has a nice ergonomic grip on the handle and on the foot, so even if you went for a quick swim before you will not lose grip with wet hands or wet feet. The pump easily fits into the backpack and is very light, so easily transportable.
The Bluefin Cruise paddle board leash is a coiled leash, which is great because it only extends if you actually fall in the water. So it is never in your way when you are paddling. The leash can easily be connected to the D-ring on the back of the board.
The neoprene padding on the inside of the Velcro ankle attachment makes it feel comfortable around your ankle and will not start irritating.
Besides humans it also attaches perfectly to tree stumps as you can see, in case you want to go paddle boarding with Groot (sorry for the non-geeks who don’t get this one).
The Bluefin paddle board backpack is very comfortable because of the extra back and strap padding on the extra wide straps. It has some handy outside pockets and the zippers are webbing reinforced. This can easily hold your Bluefin Cruise paddle board and all accessories.
You can also use this bag to pack stuff you want to take on your trip with the Bluefin Cruise. The bag fits under the front luggage cord, so you have a nice cargo holder right with you and you do not need to worry about what to do with the bag.
The backpack has a space of 100 x 37 x 30 cm / 39.4″ x 14.6″ x 11.8″, with a total volume of 111 Liters. It has more volume than the board really needs, so you’ll always be able to fit it in there, even when not rolling the board very tight like some bags require.
Also need a small dry bag to take some of your things along? Read more about dry bags here.
The paddle board Kayak seat is very comfortable and feels like it supports your back well. The feeling is nice and soft and sits great. It would have been great if the seat was waterproof, because if you tip over this seat will be soaking wet. Although it will be very hard to tip over when your balance is right on top of the board, so if that happens you should blame yourself instead of the seat 😉
Paddling while sitting in this seat is very relaxing and easy to do when you are using the supplied dual blade paddle. If you are looking for a true canoeing experience you can just use the normal SUP paddle.
Installing the seat on the D-rings was a bit of puzzling for me to be honest, but I managed with my MacGyver skills. I would recommend everyone who gets this paddle board to try this option out at least once to experience it.
Looking for a wetsuit for paddle boarding? Read everything you need to know about wetsuits here.
Optional accessories (not included)
Because extra safety measures never hurt anyone!
Bluefin Electric SUP pump
For those who don’t want the exercise before getting on the board.
Difference between an Inflatable board and a Hard board
Advantages Inflatable board
- Easy to take on holiday (even on the plane)
- Easy to store in the winter days
- Much cheaper
- Technology has improved greatly over the past 10 years. For this reason, these boards are now almost hard to distinguish from hard boards
- More speed, which is important if you are a professional
- Easier to make sharp turns on the water because the board is thinner
- No inflation needed, you can get on the water right away
Other reviews of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board online
The Bluefin Cruise is a great Stand Up Paddle board, which means it has a lot of reviews online.
A short overview of some of these reviews below:
Supboardguide.com: Rating 9.3/10. “This board is great for beginners who find themselves below the max weight capacity and for intermediate users who want a more sporty all arounder. You will not be disappointed in its quality. It is an extremely well made and durable board with a good price point. It also comes with some great accessories, including a kayak kit right out of the box.”
Welovewatersports.com: “The Bluefin Cruise is one of the best SUP boards on the market. For beginners the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is the right choice. We also consider the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 to be one of the best SUP boards for beginners because it strikes a good balance between a stable SUP board for beginners and a board that is also suitable for touring. You can grow with the Bluefin Cruise.”
Inflatableboarder.com: “We’re very impressed by the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″. A trimmed-down version of the higher-priced Cruise Carbon 10’8″, the Cruise 10’8″ offers excellent value for money and is a very enjoyable board on the water. It’s a versatile SUP that performs well and the 5-year warranty and impressive accessory package make this inflatable a top contender in this price range for the upcoming season.”
Paddlelove.com: “The BlueFin Cruise inflatable paddle board comes with an angled nose which we also say that’s sharp to cut through either flat water of waves. It should be almost effortless that you push your way through different water conditions where you’ll both; enjoy your time and workout your whole body. That being said, the Cruise is a great board for recreational paddling, kayaking, touring or even yoga if you ever wanted to give it a shot since this board is beautifully stable and versatile.”
Trailandkale.com: “We have so much fun with our inflatable paddle board, it was definitely a great addition to our adventure gear collection for playing on our local lakes and rivers, as well as being so easy to transport when we travel around either in our car or in the garage area of our converted Sprinter camper van. I’ve been really impressed with the ease of use and quality that this SUP has to offer.”
Coolofthewild.com: “Whether you’re new to paddle boarding or are looking to upgrade to something more high performing than your first board, the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 SUP is a superb option to consider. With a kayak conversion kit to alter your paddling position, excellent tracking, responsive turning and good stability, the Cruise is one versatile package. From a quick blast on the river for fitness to overnight camping trips, it will have almost all of your paddling needs and wants catered for.”
Standup-paddle-board.com: “The Bluefin Cruise 10.8 paddle board is quite rigid, impresses with easy maneuvering, and is ultimately a top price-performance choice. You have everything you need to get started right away. You get a good all-around paddle board that exceeding similarly priced boards. With its extensive equipment, the iSUP all-around board offers beginners and advanced paddlers as well as families great fun and variety.”
Amazon.com: Rating 4.5/5. “Being fairly new to paddleboarding I was dubious about which board to buy but after a lot of research I went for this model from Bluefin and I’m so glad I did! The board and all the accessories fit into the bag which makes it so easy to transport. I found the board to be easy to inflate and very rigid once inflated. The price is far lower than other models available but that doesn’t affect the quality! Quick delivery too!” – Based on 448 customer reviews as on 5th of May 2020.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board
What is the size of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
Length: 10′,8″ Width: 32.9″, Thickness: 6.3″
What is the maximum carrying capacity of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
287 lbs / 130 kg
What is included when purchasing the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
Bluefin backpack, Convertible and height adjustable fiberglass paddle, Bluefin coiled leash, Double Action Hand Pump, Kayak seat, Waterproof Phone Cover, repair kit
What is the weight of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
24.9 lbs / 11.3 kg
How many fins does the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board have?
3 fins, 2 small fins and one big removable fin
How many D-rings does the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board have?
9 D-rings. Bungee cords on front, one for attaching your leash, 4 for optional kayak-seat.
How long is the warranty on the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
The warranty on this board is 5 years
Does the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board have an action-camera mount?
How many handles does the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board have?
It has 3 handles, on the front, middle and back of the board
What pressure can the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board be inflated to?
It can be inflated up to 28 PSI, but the recommended pressure is 15-18 PSI
How long does it take to inflate the Bluefin Cruise 10’8″ Paddle Board?
About 3.5 minutes with the supplied double action pump
Update: What is the difference between the Bluefin Cruise 2021 and the Bluefin Cruise 2019?
Bluefin has released the 2021 version of the Bluefin Cruise, with an updated design and some more upgrades compared to the 2019 version. Just when I thought it could not get any better they still manage to surprise me!
Soon I will update this review with new pictures of the new version of the Bluefin Cruise, it is currently on its way to me 😉
As you can see up here the design is more modern and very sleek. For me, this is surely an improvement. It might seem like the accessories have not changed at all, but this is actually not correct. Let me tell you about the differences between the Bluefin Cruise 2021 and the Bluefin Cruise 2019.
Improved carrying capacity: The carrying capacity on the Bluefin Cruise 2021 Stand Up Paddle Board is now 150 kg / 331 lbs, where this used to be 130 kg / 287 lbs on the 2019 version. So the board is even more stable and chances are higher you can take a buddy with you.
Smaller board: Previously the size showed 325 x 83,5 x 16 cm, on the 2021 version it shows 324 x 82 x 16 cm. So the board has gotten slightly smaller.
Better paddle: Not clear in the picture, but the 2021 version of the Bluefin paddle has a new design and is less heavy than the 2019 version. It feels a lot like the version that was included with the 2019 Bluefin Carbon Cruise, but I will verify this when I receive the board.
Cargo net: As you can see the cargo net on the front of the board has neoprene cords on the side, so your luggage is more stable and you can take a bit more stuff if needed.
Fins removable: On the 2021 Bluefin Cruise all 3 fins will be removable, where it used to be only the big fin that was removable. This makes it even easier to roll up the paddle board and put it in the backpack. Also if you want to try out the board with only the big fin this is now possible.
Action camera mount: The 2021 version of the Bluefin Cruise has an improved action camera mount, onto which the action camera has to be screwed for more stability.
Spare parts: More spare parts are now included, there are extra replacement pens for the Smart Lock System included. So if one breaks off you can easily repair it yourself.
D-rings: The kayak seat D-rings have been improved. They have an extra protective layer and are protected by a rubber coating.
As you can see the 2021 version of the Bluefin Cruise offers quite some small improvements. For me especially the design is a lot more attractive. I appreciate how they are still working on making small improvements on, in my opinion, the best Stand Up Paddle Board on the market.
Conclusion – Should I buy the Bluefin Cruise?
For this money this is the best all-around inflatable Stand Up Paddle board for beginners that you can buy. The Bluefin Cruise is of insanely high quality and made out of super tough material. That you get an excellent package with everything you need included is what makes this in total the best board available for beginners at this price.
With the 5 year warranty you know you are secure and in the unlikely event that something ever happens to the board you can contact the superb customer service of Bluefin who will solve your problem easily. A repair kit is also supplied with the package in case an immediate repair would be necessary.
As you have seen above there are many advantages to the Bluefin Cruise. The incredibly strong and stiff board, the convertible fiberglass paddle, kayak seat, double action hand pump, backpack and coiled leash, 9 D-rings, the big grip deck with kick pad, action camera mount, 3 grip handles, 3 fins (all of which are removable), incredible customer service and 5 year warranty…. It has everything you could possibly ever need!
When you want to start paddling and you are looking for a beginner’s board that is high quality and complete this Bluefin Cruise is your top pick. Are you more advanced in paddle boarding and looking for an upgrade? Probably you should look at the Bluefin Cruise Carbon instead if you have the budget available or the Bluefin Sprint for higher speeds and longer tours.
Along with the Bluefin Cruise Carbon this is one of the very few high quality Stand Up Paddle board that has a kayak seat and 2-in-1 paddle in the package for free and this makes the choice for this board even more obvious. Even if you cannot stand up for a bit (I’m feeling my back again) or just want to sit down and relax, you can do this while having your back supported.
The price of $549 is impeccable for this quality of a package and unrivaled by any other brand in Stand Up Paddling. Anyone purchasing a new Stand Up Paddle board should consider one of the Bluefin boards because of the unmatched value for money.
Nothing is missing in the package and the 5 year warranty is the best you can possibly get. Check out the online reviews and you will see how much praise this board gets and that it is a guarantee for years of fun. Or better yet, order it and find it out for yourself!
What are your thoughts about the Bluefin Cruise Paddle Board? Have you heard of this brand or tried it out yet? Would you go for the Bluefin Cruise or right away for the Bluefin Cruise Carbon?
Which boards do you think could compete with this board at this price range? I’m wondering if you guys are as positive about this board as I am and if not, what could be improved?