We first stumbled across the Red Air inflatable SUPs from Red Paddle Company in early 2012.
Founded in 2007, Red Paddle Co. is a UK-based business focused solely on the design and manufacture of inflatable paddle boards and accessories – and rapidly becoming one of the most popular.
Well-known for their ruggedness, each of the Red Air boards utilize high-pressure, dropstitch technology – allowing them to be inflated from 15-25 PSI – and feature quadruple rail construction with double layering.
AirKayaks Note: Please see our new review on the updated 2017 Ride 10-6 Inflatable Paddle Board.
In October, some of the new 2015 models arrived in the States; having previously reviewed the 2012 and 2013 models, we were eager to take a re-look to see how the boards had evolved.
Our first choice was the new 2015 Ride 10-6 – one of the new “blue bellies” from Red Paddle Co – surely one of the top selling inflatable boards, and rapidly becoming an industry classic.
Following is our (re) write-up on the 2015 Red Air Ten Six Ride from Red Paddle Company. (Please note, some of this is repeated from previous writeups.)
Getting Started with the Red Paddle Co Ride 10-6
The box as received weighs 38 lbs, measuring 37 x 15 x 15 inches.
Inside the box is the SUP body, back pack, HP EZee pump, pressure gauge, cinch belt, fin guards, instructions and repair kit – and a very nifty bonus cell phone case! Once rolled up, the SUP board and pump fit into the backpack, as well as a breakdown paddle under 37 inches.
Weight is 34 lbs for backpack, board and pump, which all easily fit in the back of a small car. The board alone is 25 lbs.
Ride 10-6 Set-Up and Inflation
The 10’6 Ride inflatable SUP arrives rolled up around the high pressure EZee pump, inside the backpack. While the box included instructions in French, if you locate the cell phone case (attached to the back pack), the English version is folded inside the case.
Remove the fin guards and unroll the SUP body. There are three integrated tracking fins at the rear of the board. Lay it out face up (fins down) so that you can access the military valve.
The Red Air Ride 10’6 utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Before you go to all the effort of inflating the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The included single-action pump comes with a pressure gauge, so you can monitor the board’s PSI. The gauge screws onto the pump – pull the pump handle up (so the pump body doesn’t get in the way) then start with the gauge face down and it will screw on to end face up. Tip #1: Make sure you screw the gauge on carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure.
Next, attach the hose to the gauge, again making sure there is no cross-threading. Take the military valve adaptor, and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position. You’re ready to pump!
The first couple of minutes will be a breeze. It took us about 2 minutes and 150 strokes before the board unfurled and filled out – at this point the pressure gauge started to move. At 3.5 minutes we had put in another 75 pumps, and the pressure read 8 PSI.
I now found the pumping getting tough, and changed to the “half pump” technique. With 50 easy half pumps (just over a minute), I jumped to 12 PSI, another 50 half pumps and another minute took me to 15 PSI – nearly 6 minutes in total.
The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. The Red Air recommended pressure is between 15 and 25 PSI, preferably 18 PSI; If you are a smaller person, you will find it tough to pump up much higher than 15 PSI, but you can also get away with less pressure; for my height of 5’4″ and weight, 15 PSI is more than adequate. Larger people will find it easier to pump up to the higher pressures.
In all fairness, I wanted to get the board up to 18 PSI. So I pulled out Red Paddle’s newest little gizmo, the optional $29.99 Schrader valve adaptor. This is a nifty little item that allows you to couple a bike/tire pump or compressor to the board. After co-opting my husband’s bike pump, with another couple minutes of very easy pumping, the Ride was at 18 PSI. (Airkayaks note: You may also want to see our detailed writeup on Choosing a Pump for your High Pressure Inflatable SUP.)
So keep plugging. All in all, it takes about 6-8 minutes, once you get the hang of it.
Remove the adaptor, replace the valve cap and that’s it! Less than 10 minutes with an excellent upper arm workout, you’re ready for the water. And it’s surprisingly easy!
Features and Specifications on the Red Air 10-6 iSUP
According to the manufacturer, what makes the Red Air inflatable paddle boards superior to others on the market, has to do with the internal construction.
First, the Red Airs are constructed using “dropstitch” technology. The top of the board is held together with the bottom via thousands of “stitches” – in the Red Airs, 10 stitches per inch. These threads are “double stitched” so if one were to break, another holds. This allows the boards to be pumped up to very high pressures of 15 to 25 PSI – and in some cases higher – and ensures that air doesn’t move around inside the board, creating a stable ride. The Ride 10-6 utilizes 120mm dropstitch technology, making the board 20% more rigid than many boards yet still allowing the rider to keep a low center of gravity.
Second, the boards use a double layering technique which – in the simplest terms – means they construct a board, and put another board around it. It’s a board-within-a-board, which adds strength and durability.
The weakest link in an inflatable paddle board is the rail (side edge) area – where the top and bottom panels join together. Most ISUPS are constructed with one rail layer – Red Airs feature four layers of staggered taping to ensure minimal chance of air leakage due to punctures.
There is one military valve, and one rear d-ring for an ankle leash.
A textured, traction pad is 80 x 27 inches, beginning 37 inches from the nose. In the center is a low profile handle, positioned 57 inches from the back.
Forward of the traction pad are four plastic d-rings with bungee deck lacing for attaching gear. These are located 15.5 to 24 inches apart, by 19 inches deep, with the first set located about 27 inches from the snout.
Another d-ring – allowing one to tether the ISUP – is located on the underside of the nose.
Three integrated 6-inch wide by 4.25-inch deep fins – two are slightly v-angled and one is straight – provide control and tracking.
The newly-redesigned roller back pack features a quilted front and padded back with adjustable padded shoulder straps, a molded rubber top handle, two padded side carrying handles, and a molded rigid handle on the underside – basically, you can carry it just about any way you can think of. Two-way zippers allow the pack to be open on three sides, making it much simpler to get the board in and out. A clear pocket on the back is provided for identification labels. Inside, one integrated cinch belt keeps the board in position, while three inflatable fin guards make sure the fins don’t get bent.
Integrated roller wheels allows it to be easily hauled through airports or on sidewalks, if one doesn’t feel like carrying it on their back.
A “hidden pocket” – called the Sherpa Carry System – allows the shoulder straps to be uncinched and stashed inside; this is particularly good for travel/planes as the straps won’t catch on items. Inside this are the adjustable waist straps.
Outer measurements on the backpack are 40 x 16 x 11 inches, allowing the pump and an optional breakdown paddle to fit inside.
We did measurement tests. The Red Air Ten Six Ride inflated is approximately 10 feet 5.5 inches long, 32.5 inches wide, and just over 4.5 inches deep – pretty much on target with the published specs. Payload is up to 225 lbs/100 kgs.
New 2015 Red Air Ten Six Ride ISUP Features
So what’s new on the 2015 model versus the 2014 models?
- New color scheme with aqua belly and side rails.
- Redesigned backpack, per details above.
- Bungee deck lacing
The 2015 Red Air Ride 10-6 On the Water
First of all, this is a beautiful board. While some inflatables use standard graphics and colors, the 2015 Red Paddle Co line pops out – when you’re on a Red Air, people know it.
The last Ride 10-6 I’d been on was over two years before; I was immediately reminded what a wonderful board it is. This is an incredibly easy board for beginners to use – it is surprisingly simple to stand up and gain one’s balance. The 32 inch width feels very stable, I rarely felt like I was going to fall over – and I never did.
Turning is pretty easy and the Ride has a nice glide. And either standing or kneeling, paddling and tracking was straight. In fact, the board feels substantial and rugged – yet nimble.
The new back pack is certainly more rugged and comfortable than the previous iterations.
Packing It Up
To deflate the board is pretty simple – push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. As there is so much pressure in the board, it is best to “burp” it (press down a couple times) to get some of the air out, before opening the plunger.
Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the snout of the ISUP. Start tightly rolling up the board from the snout, top side up and fins down, with the bottom on the outside. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve. One can also place the EZee pump on the snout so the pump is rolled up inside – remove the hose and gauge first, so they don’t get crushed.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle, between the fins – this keeps the package tightly rolled and the fins keep the strap from slipping off. If you’ve rolled up tight enough, the board will easily slip back into the backpack. Put the fin guards onto the fins and use the interior cinch straps to position the load. As a tip, though (thank you Andrew!), make sure the fins are pointing away from your back, or the trip will be uncomfortable.
Bottom Line on the 2015 Red Paddle Co Ride 10-6
The 2015 Red Air 10’6 Ride inflatable SUP is a classic and an all-time winner! It’s not too wide to make it boring and not too narrow to make it tippy. The slightly thicker hull (4.7 inches) provides buoyancy and rigidity, yet still offers a good degree of manueverability. It’s a great choice for users up to 220 lbs (100kgs) for both novice through advanced.
They are lightweight, simple to set up, paddle well and track/glide nicely. With a 32-inch beam, they are stable enough for beginners, incredibly rugged and are easy to inflate.
At 15-25 PSI, they are also extremely rigid, yet they’ve been pumped up higher without skipping a beat.
The thicker 120mm material provides more rigidity for paddlers on the higher end of the limits, while the low-profile cargo ring additions greatly enhances the board versatility without sacrificing performance.
According to the manufacturer, Red Air inflatable SUPs are virtually indestructible. In one video, a Red Air is dragged through every knothole in the world – hurled repeatedly from the roof of a warehouse; repeatedly run over with tractors and trucks; dashed against high surf and rocks; and the ultimate decimation – used as a snowboard.
The 10’6 Red Air Ride is a great all-around board – good for standup, kneeling, diving and “lolling” around on shorelines, mild surf, slow-moving rivers, bays and inlets. It’s perfect for a workout session, and offers a great vantage point into shallow coastline water, allowing a paddler to quietly approach and observe sea life. And if the sun becomes too much – just slide off the board into the water to cool down.
It’s a great choice for families as the Red Air Ride 10-6 can be enjoyed by all ages, children to adults. With it’s near-indestructible construction, parents can relax when the kids start tossing it around.
The board is just long enough for a parent to bring along a child – in fact, one of our customers mentioned she had gone out for a paddle with her 8-year old, and picked up another two along the way!
It’s rugged enough to bring along a furry friend without fear from claws – this is Eddie on a Race 12-6, but the entire pack has been on many of the boards.
The integrated fins are pretty indestructible and if bent, easy to straighten. The low-profile allows the board to ride over shallow areas without hanging up on rocks.
Best of all, it rolls up into the included backpack – which can house the pump and a breakdown paddle, making it a great inflatable for traveling or for heading into the back country.
The Red Air Ten Six Ride from Red Paddle Company is a winner, rapidly becoming an industry classic. And at $1299, it is quite competitive with other inflatable SUPs on the market.
For more details you can also watch our YouTube video (below) on the new 2015 Red Air 10′ 6″ Ride Inflatable SUP. To purchase, visit the Red Paddle Ten Six Ride product page on AirKayaks.com. You can also read our blog on Guide to Choosing Your Red Air Inflatable Paddle Board.