The new 2015 Red Paddle Co inflatable SUPs are rolling into town, and everyone is inquiring about standup paddle boards. With all the models, sizes, thicknesses and activity types, how does one choose the best board?
We’ve updated our previous post on Choosing your Red Air Paddle Board – now for the 2015 models, which are arriving through January. The table (below) will hopefully take away some of the guesswork and confusing options when looking at the Red Air iSUPs.
For 2015, Red Paddle Company offers 12 models ranging in size from 9 ft 2 inches to 14 ft. 0 inches. This includes the introduction of 3 new models, a revamped look on the current nine models. Four models have been retired. (See a complete list of the new 2015 Red Air Line on this blog article.)
AirKayaks note: This Guide has been updated for the Red Paddle Co 2016 Product Line.
Well-known for their ruggedness throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, each of the Red Air boards utilize high pressure drop-stitch technology – allowing them to be inflated from 15-25PSI – and feature quadruple rail construction, double layering, thick traction pads and fins. Each board comes with the Red Air EZee or EZee HP pump, allowing one to inflate a paddle board to 18 PSI and higher in less than 10 minutes.
All 2015 Red Air iSUPs now come with an updated backpack featuring integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. The new packs are beefed up with tougher sail-cloth construction, larger wheels and heftier zippers that can take a beating.
This year we’ve added a couple more categories, separating “down river paddling” (wide rivers) versus “whitewater” (eddies and drops), and now including the popular “yoga” option.
How do you use this table? First, ascertain your size from the list:
- Big & Tall – 210+ lbs and 6’1″ plus inches in height
- Average – 140-200 lbs, 5’7″ to 6’0″ inches in height
- Small – Under 140 lbs, Under 5’7″ inches in height
- Child – Under 100 lbs, under 5’0 inches in height
Then decide the type(s) of paddling you want to do (paddling situations):
- Touring – Ocean, waves, long paddles, camping
- Recreational – Lakes, sloughs, slower rivers, coastal, calm
- Whitewater – Fast-moving maneuvering with eddies, drops.
- Downriver – Wide-open moving water.
Determine what attributes are important (or not!) to you – do you want versatility or storage capacity? Stability or speed?
Rank your experience level, realizing that the more you get out on the water, the better you will get. More experienced paddlers can get away with smaller boards. Last of all, will this be used by various members of the family? Do you want the ability to bring along a child, dog or gear? Might two people be on this together?
- Multi Paddlers/Family: Two small adults, Adult and child or dog.
- Advanced Paddler
Follow the color key to decide what board is good for varying sizes and activities:
- Blue – The board is great!
- Green – The board is good.
- Yellow – This board is not recommended.
For instance, if you were 5 feet 10 inches with a weight of 180 lbs, and whitewater rivers was the highest priority with a bit of recreational paddling, the Flow 9-6 would be a good choice. But, if you wished to do predominantly recreational paddling with a bit of whitewater, the Ride 10-6 would be best.
If you are having trouble viewing the details in the table (separated into two), follow this link for a larger and printable version of the Choosing Your 2015 Red Air Inflatable Paddle Board iSUP.
This section outlines the Surf Star 9-2, Snapper 9-4, Flow 9-6 and Rides 9-8, 10-6 and 10-8
This table outlines the Sport 11, Race 12-6, Explorer 12-6, Max Race 10-6, Elite 12-6 and Elite 14-0:
Some of the larger boards feature heavier drop-stitch materials, thus making the boards thicker. What does this mean? The thicker the board (and larger the board) the greater the air volume. This will increase the board rigidity at lower pressures. The Sport 11, Ride 10-6 and 10-8 boards – constructed from 120mm materials – will have roughly 20% greater rigidity at 15 PSI than the 100mm material boards (Surf Star, Snapper, Ride 9-8), thus will carry more weight. The 150mm material boards – such as the Flow, Race, Elites and Explorer – will exhibit roughly 50% greater rigidity. But, the 100mm boards (as well as the 150mm Race and Elites) have been beefed up with the Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), which also gives them a roughly 20% boost over the 100mm boards built by other manufacturers.
Do I really need to pump this up to 25 PSI for best performance?
Typically not. Recommended pressure is 18 PSI. We suggest starting off at 15 PSI, and then deciding if you need to go higher – no sense spending time and effort reaching the highest PSI, when it may not get you any better performance. For instance, as a smaller person, I generally don’t pump up my Red Air Sport 11 higher than 12 PSI. And one of our customers – at 6’3″ and 300 lbs – found his 12-6 Explorer was perfectly fine at 20 PSI.
You can read more about SUP pumps in our Guide to Choosing a Pump for your High Pressure Inflatable SUP.
Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can view details on the various Red Air Inflatable SUPS at http://www.AirKayaks.com. You can also read the following product reviews – with mega photos and details on setup – on this blog:
- Product Review: 2015 Red Air Ride 10-6 Inflatable SUP
- Product Review: 2015 Red Air Ride 9-8 Inflatable SUP
- Product Review: 2015 Red Air Explorer 12-6 Inflatable SUP
- Product Review: 2015 Red Air Sport 11 Inflatable SUP
Still having trouble? Feel free to Contact Us via email, or give us a call at 707-998-0135.
Here is also a short video on some of the new models.