Guide to Choosing Your 2016 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board

The new 2016 Red Paddle Co inflatable SUPs are now arriving, and  everyone is inquiring about standup paddle boards. With all the models, sizes, thicknesses and activity types, how does one choose the best board? (Interested in the 2017 Red Paddle Co Line? See our updated 2017 Guide to Choosing Your Red Paddle Co Inflatable Board.)

We’ve updated our previous post on Choosing your Red Air Paddle Board – now for the 2016 models – which are arriving November 18 through 25th. The tables (below) will hopefully take away some of the guesswork and confusing options when looking at the Red Air iSUPs.

2016 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Boards

For 2016, Red Paddle Co has 17 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10” to 17’0. This includes the introduction of 3 new models, revamped graphics on several of the current models, and one retiring model. (See a complete list of the new 2016 Red Air Line on this blog article.)

Well-known for their ruggedness throughout Europe, Australia and New Zealand, each of the Red Paddle Co boards utilize high pressure drop-stitch technology – allowing them to be inflated from 15-25 PSI – and feature quadruple rail construction, double layering, traction pads and fins. Most of the board come with the new Titan dual action pump; the two smaller Whip 8-10 and Snapper 9-4 boards come with the Red Air HP EZee pump.

The major change for 2016 is the introduction of a technologically innovative new process named Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion technology which reduces the weight of each board approximately 20% while increasing the tension and making the boards slightly more rigid. The 2016 Red Paddle inflatable boards now weigh from 15 to 25 lbs, down from 20 to 34 lbs.

Red Paddle Co wheeled backpack

All 2016 Red Air iSUPs now come with the roller 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 – these were rolled in during mid 2015.

How do you use the following tables? 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.
  • Surfing
  • Fishing
  • Racing
  • Yoga

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.
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate/Medium
  • 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.

For easier viewing, the Red Paddle Co boards in the following tables have been separated into three categories: recreational, specialty and race. If you are having trouble viewing the details in the three tables,  follow this link for a larger and printable PDF version of the Choosing Your 2016 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board iSUP.

This section outlines the recreational models, which include the Ride 9-8, 10-6 and 10-8, the Sport 11-0 and 12-6, and the Explorer 12-6 and 13-2.

2016 Red Paddle Co Recreational Paddle Boards


2016 Red Paddle Co Recreational Paddle BoardsThe table below outlines the specialty boards, which include the Whip 8-10, Snapper 9-4, Flow 9-6, Activ 10-8, Windsup 10-8 and the Ride XL.

2016 Red Paddle Co Specialty Boards


2016 Red Paddle Co Specialty BoardsThe last table below outlines the racing boards, which include the Max Race 10-6, Race 12-6 and the Elites 12-6 and 14-0.

2016 Red Paddle Co Racing Paddle Boards


2016 Red Paddle Co Racing Paddle BoardsWhy are there varying board thicknesses?

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 Sports, 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 (Whip, Snapper, Ride 9-8), thus will carry more weight. The 150mm material boards – such as the Flow, Race, Elites and Explorers – 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?

No. 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 Paddle Co Inflatable SUPS at You can also read the following product reviews – with mega photos and details on setup – on this blog. Stay tuned, we will continue to posting reviews on the new models and updated materials.

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 2016 models.



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