We first stumbled across the Red Paddle Co inflatable SUPs 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, now well-known for performance, innovation and ruggedness. Each year, Red Paddle Co raises the industry bar with new models and new features, now sporting 22 models ranging in size from 8’10” to 22’0 for single to multi-paddlers.
In September, some of the new 2017 models arrived in the States. Having previously reviewed the Ride 10-6 in 2015, we decided to take a look at the new features on our biggest selling board.
Following is our write-up on the 2017 Ride 10’6″ from Red Paddle Company. (Please note, some of this is repeated from previous write ups.)
Getting Started with the Red Paddle Co Ride 10-6
The box as received weighs 39 lbs, measuring 38 x 15 x 15 inches.
Inside the box is the SUP body, roller backpack, Titan pump, pressure gauge, cinch belt, instructions, repair kit and a bonus cell phone case. Once rolled up, the SUP board and pump fit into the backpack, as well as a breakdown paddle with shafts 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 21 lbs.
The 10’6 Ride inflatable SUP arrives rolled up around the high pressure Titan pump, inside the backpack. The instructions (Welcome Guide) are located in a mesh pocket inside the backpack. These include generic information on using the pump, using the valves, deflating the board, basic paddle boarding tips, fin details and board care.
Remove the fin guards and unroll the SUP body. (AirKayaks note: the fin guards should be considered packing materials, they are not meant to be permanently used.) 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 Paddle 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, make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The included Titan dual-barrel (or twin cylinder) pump comes with a built-in pressure gauge, so you can monitor the board’s PSI. It also now comes with multiple adaptors, which can be used on inflatable kayaks, dinghies and kite equipment. To start off, you will be using both barrels, allowing the board to be filled in less time, and with less strokes. To do this, make sure the red plug near the pump handle is inserted in the hole – not to worry, the instructions are printed on the pump body.
Screw the hose onto the pump carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure. Then take the military valve adaptor (adaptor on the end of the hose), and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position. You’re ready to pump.
This is where we came upon our one and only problem. We were so eager to get started, we forgot that the new Titan pump features a clip which attaches the pump body to the red plug tether, ensuring that the pump handle doesn’t telescope when being carried. We pulled up on the pump handle and immediately snapped the plug tether, popping the plug into the air. Luckily, the high visibility color allowed us to find it after a couple minutes of searching. So …. make sure to remove the clip before pumping!
With 57 strokes (just over a minute) the board had unfurled and we were at 3 PSI. At 75 pumps, we were at 5 PSI and – even with my entire body weight – couldn’t push any more air.
We removed the red plug on the Titan, and started using the single barrel. A breezy 40 more pumps brought us to 8 PSI, and another 40 pumps to 12 PSI. The pumping started to get a little harder, but with another 25 pumps we were at 15 PSI and quit. So, about 180 strokes and under 5 minutes.
The higher the pressure, the stiffer the board. The Red Paddle recommended pressure is between 16 to 22 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, and they may need the extra rigidity.
Here I will digress on another nifty Red Paddle product, the Schrader valve adaptor. While I didn’t use it this time, I did use it on the previous model. This adaptor 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 5 minutes – once you get the hang of it, it truly is just pump and go!
Remove the adaptor, replace the valve cap and that’s it, you’re ready for the water. And despite the upper arm workout, it’s surprisingly easy!
Red Paddle Ride 10-6 iSUP Construction
One attribute making Red Paddle inflatable paddle boards superior to others on the market has to do with the internal construction.
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 ensures that air doesn’t move around inside the board, creating a stable ride. The Ride 10-6 utilizes a slightly thicker 120mm dropstitch technology, making the board 20% more rigid than many boards yet still allowing the rider to keep a low center of gravity.
The boards also 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 Paddle features four layers of staggered taping to ensure minimal chance of air leakage due to punctures.
Last season Red Paddle Co kicked it up a notch with the introduction of Monocoque Structural Laminate, or MSL fusion technology. In the past, the “board within a board” was glued together, creating extra weight and the potential for hand-gluing errors. The new process consists of industrially fusing the second layer of polymer to the dropstitch core at the raw material stage. The end result is a material that is structurally more sound, even more rigid, as well as lighter – in fact, many of the boards are now 5-10 lbs lighter than previous models. For 2017 Red Paddle again tweaked the material, making the injected, reinforced second layer thicker with increased bond strength.
Features and Specifications on the Red Paddle Ride 10-6 ISUP
There is one nose (tether) d-ring located 4 inches from the snout on top of the board.
New for 2017 is an integrated thread which allows one to add an optional universal RAM mount socket (shown above), available in two sizes. With this socket, paddlers can purchase a myriad of optional RAM mount accessories, allowing one to attach a cell phone holder, camera mount, fishing gear, Go-Pro fixture, cup holders – you name it! This is located next to the front d-ring, 5 inches from the nose.
A bungee deck-lacing system with four metal d-rings begins 23 inches from the snout, measuring 16 to 22 inches wide and 20 inches deep – a perfect spot to attach gear.
A textured, traction pad is 79 x 27 inches, beginning 38 inches from the nose. In the center is a low profile handle, centered 28 inches from the top of the traction pad. Roughly 3/4 of the traction pad features a low-profile, crocodile texture, while the rear 20 inches is comprised of diamond groove.
There is one military valve to inflate the board – this is imprinted with inflation instructions. A padded, rear carrying handle makes it easier to pull the board into the water, and also has an integrated ankle leash d-ring. The handles have been redesigned to be more robust, yet easier and more comfortable to grab.
The Hull-ID number is located between the valve and the handle.
The logo and many of the deck pad design features are now screenprinted on the board, keeping everything low-profile while reducing potential problems with deck lift.
Three integrated 6-inch wide by 4.25-inch deep molded fins – two are slightly v-angled and one is straight – provide control and tracking. These are designed to be ultra-durable, and low profile enough to easily pack away. Another neat feature – if they get bent while packed or during use, just pour hot water over the fins (or use a hair dryer) to reshape them into position.
The newly-redesigned roller back pack is well thought-out. It 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 (with very slick Red Paddle branded zipper pulls) 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.
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” on the back – 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. Both these and the lower connecting straps are accessed from another two lower side compartments, located near the roller wheels on the back.
Inside, one integrated cinch belt keeps the board in position. New for 2017, the roller packs are foil-lined, minimizing potential extreme heat on the boards. A new interior mesh pocket houses the “Welcome” instructions. Another nifty new feature is the integrated, elastacized paddle containment system – paddle outlines show how to stash your 3pc breakdown paddle inside the bag so it doesn’t move around.
Outer measurements on the backpack are 40 x 14 x 11 inches, allowing the pump and an optional breakdown paddle to fit inside. The bag weighs approximately 6.4lbs.
The Ride comes with the highly-acclaimed dual-barrel (twin cylinder) Titan pump which features a large and small barrel. When initially pumping, both cylinders are used, putting in more air rapidly. When it gets tough to pump, remove the pump plug which utilizes just the slim barrel, making it easier to pump to higher pressures. The updated 2017 Titan pump is killer. While similar to the original Titan pump, a few updates are quite notable. The handle is now reinforced, so that it can withstand more pumping pressure. While the military valve adaptor is permanently affixed to the hose end, the Titan pump now comes with a variety of additional adaptors – a Boston valve adaptor, nozzle adaptor and two screw-on adaptors. These are attached via a very nifty system, allowing one to use the Titan pump on inflatable kayaks, dinghies and kites. In conjunction with this, the gauge now features three “green” zones – one from 1 to 4 PSI for lower pressure inflatables, one from 6 to 8 PSI for higher pressure kayaks and kites, and then the third from 15 to 20 PSI for paddle boards. The instructions state the pump can inflate up to 30 PSI, but I think you would suffer a heart attack before then.
And that’s not all. The gauge now begins registering immediately (before it started at about 5 PSI) and also reads real time without the “needle bump” on previous versions, making it easier to see what pressure you have attained. Additionally, the pump no longer “telescopes” if you lift it by the handle, also aided by the clip system that attaches from the pump body to the red plug string. Not noticeable is the internal redesign to drastically improve pump performance and efficiency. The Titan pump weighs 5.2 lbs.
We did measurement tests. The Red Paddle Ten Six Ride inflated is approximately 10 feet 6 inches long, 32.5 inches wide, and roughly 4.75 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, in a nutshell, what’s new on the 2017 model versus the 2016 models?
- Integrated threads for attaching optional RAM mounts and accessories.
- Improved MSL dropstitch material with increased bond strength and thicker second layer.
- Rollerpack updates as outlined above including the new foil liner.
- Improved features on the Titan pump as outlined above
- Slight graphics and design changes.
The 2017 Red Paddle Ride 10-6 On the Water
First of all, this is a beautiful board. While some inflatables slap on standard graphics and colors, the 2017 Red Paddle Co line pops out – when you’re on a Red, people know it.
With two years passing since I last took out a Ride 10-6, I had forgotten how very much I like this board – it feels like a well-fit glove. The new MSL technology shaved a few pounds off the weight, while the deck pad upgrades made for a comfortable “ride.”
As on the previous boards, the Ride has a great glide, and it’s highly maneuverable. Either standing or kneeling, paddling and tracking was straight. In fact, the board feels substantial and rugged – yet very nimble. While we don’t have surf options here – other than boat wake and white caps – I could imagine the Ride would handle well in a variety of situations.
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.
While I did not take members of the pack out for a Ride, I have taken them on previous versions. Here is Woody on last year’s Explorer Plus 13-2 . The boards are so rugged, I would not hesitate bringing along a canine companion.
Best of all, it’s a mere 20 to 21 lbs, making it quite easy to carry.
Red Paddle Ride 10-6 Inflatable SUP: 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 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 Titan pump on the snout so the pump is rolled up inside – remove the hose first, so it doesn’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 – but stow your paddle in the bag first. 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 2017 Red Paddle Co Ride 10-6
The 2017 Red Paddle 10’6 Ride inflatable SUP is a classic and an all-time winner! With a 32-inch beam, 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 maneuverability. It’s a great choice for users up to 220 lbs (100kgs) for both novice through advanced.
At 20 to 21 lbs, the Ride is lightweight, very simple to set up, paddles well and track/glide nicely. And at 15 to 22 PSI, they are extremely rigid.
The new MSL fusion technology has smoothed out “the bumps” resulting in a board that looks streamlined, sleek and finished. The lower-profile, crocodile-print deck pad offers standing comfort, providing just enough grip.
The thicker 120mm material provides more rigidity for paddlers on the higher end of the limits without sacrificing paddling versatility, while the bungee deck lacing system enhances the board functionality without sacrificing performance.
The new RAM mount expands the user experience, allowing paddlers to easily videograph their excursion, keep in touch with the world, or enjoy a hard workout with some heart-pumping music.
According to the manufacturer, Red Paddle inflatable SUPs are virtually indestructible. In one video, a Red board 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 Paddle 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 Paddle Ride 10-6 can be enjoyed by all ages, children to adults. With its near-indestructible construction, parents can relax when the kids start tossing it around. The integrated fins are pretty indestructible and if bent, easy to straighten, while their low-profile allows the board to ride over shallow areas without hanging up on rocks.
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!
Best of all, it easily 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.
Which to choose? The Ride 10-6 is an excellent choice for a typical adult wanting versatility. Smaller paddlers – or those wanting a degree more maneuverability – might look at the Ride 9-8 with it’s slightly smaller size and thinner profile. Larger paddlers – or those wanting to bring more gear or another paddler – should take a gander at the Ride 10-8.
The Red Air Ten Six Ride from Red Paddle Company is a winner and an industry classic. And at $1299 – bundled with the remarkable Titan pump and very handy roller backpack – it is quite competitive with other inflatable SUPs on the market.
You can also read our blog on the Red Paddle Co 2017 Product Line Up or our Guide to Choosing Your 2017 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP.
Also check out our YouTube video (below), which features the 2017 Red Paddle Co 10′ 6″ Ride Inflatable SUP.