2018 starboard stand up inflatable paddle boards best inflatable starboard sup

  • 2018 Red Paddle Co 10’7″ Wind

    From: $1399.00
Put simply, windSUPs or having a paddle board that you can also windsurf with, are booming. Add into that the option of an inflatable windSUP like the Red Paddle Co 10’7″ Wind, and you have a durable dual purpose board that can be stored and transported easily. We sold out of all our windSUPs quite early last season, and this year they are selling well again (don’t worry, we ordered more!). It seems everyone has seen the light. The 2018 Red Paddle Co 10’7″ x 33″ Wind stand up inflatable paddle board is updated for 2018 in line with the updates seen on the regular Ride all round models. The Wind or WindSUP as it was known last year, is what I like to call the paddle board you can also sail. Say 70% paddle board and 30% windsurfer.

Of course, there is the other model in the windsurf family by Red Paddle Co, and it is called the 10’7″ Windsurf. The Windsurf is a little more windsurfer friendly but a board you can still easily just paddle around on, let’s say about 60% windsurfer and 40% paddle board. The Windsurf version is actually fast becoming the go to board for beginner windsurfers and schools as it’s so easy to use, stable, light weight and being inflatable, it is extremely durable. Anyone who has windsurfed at any level, will appreciate these attributes. Anyway, the Wind version that we are reviewing here provides the paddle boarder the option to sail the board when the wind picks up.

After the huge step up in finish quality for the 2016 model year when MSL Fusion drop stitch construction was introduced, and now with a solid 2 years under their belt from this revolutionary change, the 2018 Red Paddle Co range updates focus on not only making the boards better looking but improves on the smaller details of the board, the bag and Titan Pump.

Note: This article is a review of the 10’7″ Wind by Red Paddle Co, for more info on how to set up and use the board, please see our knowledge base area or view the Red Paddle Co User Manual.

So, should I go for the 10’7″ Wind or the 10’7″ Windsurf? What am I getting or missing out on by choosing one over the other. We attempt to answer this question below with our review of the Red Paddle Co Wind 10’7″, and will follow up soon with our review of the Red Paddle Co Windsurf 10’7″ so have all the right information to make the best decision for you.

TL;DR: The 2018 Red Paddle Co Wind 10’7″ x 33″ offers up a board that is not only a great all rounder, but provides the option to mount a sail and windsurf the board if, or rather, when the wind picks up. Based on a popular all rounder, a convenient-to-store, transport and extremely durable board that doubles as a simple windsurfer, sign me up! My family keeps asking for one, but I can’t keep them in stock!

Red Paddle Co in 2018

Red Paddle Co is undeniably at the forefront of inflatable stand up paddle board innovation and technology. From boards, to pumps, to bags and even the fixtures and fittings, they have always lead the way. Mainstreaming double layer boards with their first models, then introducing MSL Fusion in 2016, Red Paddle are never ones to sit still. Aside from MSL, we’ve seen Rocker Stiffening System (RSS) battens and the Forward Flex Control (FFC) rod, the double barrel Titan Pump, wheeled bag with stowable back pack straps, RAM mounts, tool-less fins and now a 2 year warranty.

Content to just improve the technical aspects of inflatable paddle boarding, Red Paddle Co’s line hasn’t seen much in the way of aesthetic changes since 2015. For 2018 however, Red Paddle Co has made range wide changes to the graphics, colors and names of models. Offering a more eye catching and eye pleasing range of boards, they have aligned their position of using market leading technology with some of the best looking boards available.

The bag

The 2018 Red Paddle Co Original inflatable sup bag features an internal mesh pocket, bungee tie downs for a 3 piece paddle, foil lining on the bag material and upgraded zipper pulls. It features an easy loading system where the bag zips all the way along 3 sides opening up wide so you can get your gear in and out very easily.

For your board, you have a strap to hold the board wrapped up but there is also a handy internal cinch strap which keeps your board positioned and secure in the bag during travel. The bag features an easy loading system where the bag zips all the way along 3 sides opening up wide so you can get your gear in and out very easily.

Bag dimensions remain the same at: 37″ high, 14″ wide and 12″ deep.

Space is aplenty for the Titan pump, fins, a 3 piece paddle, leash and even wetsuit, PFD etc. The Titan Pump comes with the board wrapped around it which is a great space saving technique and something I continue to do. It also keeps the pump secure with the board when cinched down. With previous pumps, this wasn’t such an issue but as the Titan is a little bulkier it makes sense to use the space inside the rolled up board for something, keep it secure in the bag and have room for more. I’ll get into this more later in this review but thanks to the MSL Fusion construction process, the board also rolls tighter leaving you even more room in the bag for extras.

Carry handles on both sides, as well as the top and bottom give you, and baggage handlers, plenty of places to grab and carry the bag. The Sherpa backpack system is featured on the Original Bag so you can carry the bag on your back with comfortable shoulder and waist straps, or tuck them away out of sight and away from baggage belt monsters and just roll the bag on the integrated wheels and be confident the bag will arrive safely.

As packaged from the factory the board is protected by a layer of plastic to separate the board from itself when rolled, the Titan pump in it’s own bag and a bag that bundles the whole lot.

The pump

The majority of the Red Paddle Co line now comes standard with the improved and more efficient Titan Pump. Overall the Titan makes pumping the board a much quicker process. The angled foot base and wide handle work well for me with my long legs and wide shoulders.

I always found the Ezee and Ezee HP a little small to get my frame around, sort of akin to an elephant trying to ride a bike.

Anyway, Red have taken into account some of the ergonomics for comfortable and efficient inflation as well as doubling the input volume of air with every stroke.

Pump up to about 8-10 PSI on the included gauge and then you pull the red plug out of the back of the handle, affix to the little nub so it doesn’t flap around, and continue on the HP side to go all the way to 25 PSI. The Titan still beats any electric pump I’ve come across in inflation time, but yes, you do have to do the work…

Back in 2017, the Titan Pump had been totally reworked internally and was even more efficient. The 2018 model continues with the improved handle design, beefier internal valves, hose adaptors for your favourite inflatable toys, it pumps even more smoothly and efficiently.

Inflating the 2018 10’7″ x 33″ Red Paddle Co Air SUP Wind model is the same as last year. Overall pumping time with the Titan Pump was about 3 minutes and 40 seconds, then add a minute or so to attach the fin(s) and you’re good to go! Obviously, rigging your sail if you are going windsurfing will add some time to your set up.

The board

Dimensions: 10’7″ long, 33″ wide and 4.75″ thick. Based on the 10’6″ x 32″ and 10’8″ x 34″ Red Paddle Co Rides, the Wind (and Windsurf) split the difference in length and width for arguably the best combination of handling, manouverability and stability. The first two characteristics cater to the paddle boarders while the stability caters to the windsurfers.

Visually, a bigger update than previous years with improved deck graphics and softer handles, while continued relatively unchanged are the fin placements, nose mounted handle with Railblaza and RAM Mount, and tail mounted handle with integrated leash d-ring.

Once again for 2018, thanks to the MSL Fusion construction, the board finish is so good it looks like a regular hard board. MSL, or Monocoque Structural Laminate Fusion, basically eliminates a lot of excess glue and human error. In previous years, the “board within a board” Red Paddle Co is famous for was primarily glued together, making a super durable board but adding extra weight and the potential for hand gluing or human errors.

This process consists of industrially fusing and machine pressing the inner layer of polymer to the high density drop stitch core at the raw material stage. Same “board with a board” construction but with material that is now structurally more sound, even more rigid, as well as lighter. More details about MSL over here. For 2018, Red Paddle Co have refined the MSL construction, tweaking materials, thickness and bond strength which means they’ve all but stopped batch inconsistencies and it allows them to make boards from the most advanced drop stitch available, without any unnecessary excess or errors.

MSL tech talk aside, what does this mean for the paddler? Well, the cosmetic finish is drastically improved over standard inflatables, the boards are about 20% lighter over the standard double layer boards, and since they are fused and machine pressed together, they are essentially one piece instead of 2 layers, and are structurally stiffer at lower pressure. Red Paddle Co recommend a pumping pressure of 16-22 PSI for most applications to make the most of these benefits and improve overall performance.

I usually stop pumping at 20 PSI on the Red Paddle Co boards, I prefer to be paddling than pumping. I find this is a good match between pumping effort and stiffness on the water. If it is choppier, I have a passenger on board, or with this particular board and I am windsurfing, I will pump it up a little more to make sure I am getting the best performance possible.

Red Paddle Co have famously tested the durability and toughness of their boards over the years. Most recently you can watch a series of unbelievable durability tests performed on a poor 2017 10’6″ Ride model. Also, take a look at a 2014 board taking a beating. Knowing that the Red Paddle Co MSL construction boards are this strong, should put your mind at ease!

Let’s compare the 2017 10’7″ WindSUP more closely with the 2018 10’7″ Wind.


You’ll notice the small changes here. The deck pad is slightly bigger towards the nose. This provides a much bigger standing area for when you are windsurfing. It gives you plenty of deck pad to move around the mast, turn the board and sail comfortably. It also provides a larger grippy area if you want to paddle with a passenger, say a young child or four legged friend. Although not a change between years, the space required up front for moving around while windsurfing means the Wind does not have a cargo area. You can of course tie things, like a dry bag, to the center handle or between the center and nose handles.

The mast base attachment point is in the same position, as are the fins. You’ll notice the little divot on the underside of the board, opposite the mast base, this is the drop stitch internals being cut to make room for the mast base, meaning the underside doesn’t get the full support of the internal threads. This does not alter the board’s strength but with this design of mast base you do need to use a mechanical or knuckle universal joint to connect a sail. These types of joints are readily available or with the Red Paddle Co Windsurf rig packages that are sold separately. We have the 3.5m and the 4.5m rigs available. Note: This little divot/bump is also seen opposite the inflation valve. More on that here.

The 2018 Red Paddle Wind 10’7″ weighs in at 23lbs, including fins. Red Paddle Co are careful not to make the boards too light. Yes, there is such a thing. Obviously the weight is there for rigidity and performance reasons, but we also need some weight in the board to control it in rougher waters or wind. A board with some weight is predictable and stable making it better suited to all paddlers.

For 2018, Red Paddle Co have chosen to go with the tool-less 9″ SUP fins. Two fins come with with board. In paddle boarding “mode” the Wind has excellent tracking thanks to the larger 9″ fin when compared to the regular Ride iFins. Then, when in windsurfer “mode” the second fin can be used in the center of the board. I won’t go into too much of the physics here but as with yachts and other sailing dinghies, the sail tends to push the vessel sideways as well as generating forward motion.

Therefore a keel, dagger board or, in this case, a fin is used to limit this sideways slip and improve tracking. Not so much on the shallow 9″ fin, but the dagger board on the 10’7″ Windsurf for example, also provides extra stability when handling the rig and moving around the board. Much like a larger fin provides additional stability on a paddle board, but times 10.

Since 2017, almost all of the Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle boards feature a Railblaza/RAM Mount, or two. These mounts use a special screw thread to which there are many compatible Railblaza/RAM Mount products, two of the world’s leading accessory bracket manufacturers. This mount enables you to securely attach a range of accessories, from GPS devices and cameras to fishing rods and cup holders. On the 2018 10’7″ Wind, there is one mount located up front with the handle. More info on RAM Mounts here.

Up a little closer we can see the edges of the material are cleanly cut, the glue lines that previously wandered are all now dead straight thanks to the robots. The center carry handle is padded and now softer to get in the way less underfoot. There is also a carry handle integrated into the leash d-ring on the tail which is excellent for pulling the board through waves, up the beach or generally just holding on etc. While paddle boarding we strongly suggest using a leash, and a PFD. However, while windsurfing this board, we suggest you only use a PFD so as not to tangle the leash up in the rig and create more problems.

Further updates to the range featured on this board are the Red Paddle Co logos on the top and underside of the nose are screen printed on rather than a layer in itself, further saving weight.

The rest

The package includes a repair kit with glue and patches, a waterproof phone case, and a general guide book with inflation instructions, pump tips and care tips inside the mesh pocket. Finally, a wrapping strap to keep the board rolled up.

On the water

The Red Paddle Co 10’7″ Wind board paddles very much like the 10’6″ Ride with better tracking from the larger fin and a sprinkle of extra stability thanks to the increased 33″ width. You don’t really notice the empty center fin box underneath your feet, the drag it creates is minimal, remember this is an dual purpose all rounder, so some compromise is to be expected. With the extra width, it can also cater to slightly heaver paddlers. It’s rated to 265lbs, same as the 10’8″ Ride, up from the 220lbs for the 10’6″.

Cruising and turning is pretty easy and the 10’7″ Wind has ok glide. Either standing or kneeling, paddling is comfortable and tracking from the 9″ fin is quite good. Interestingly, the larger fin on the 10’7″ Wind means it works a little better than the Ride boards in the surf. Inflatables turn off the fins in surf, rather than via the rails and fins like on a hard board.

The 4.72″ thickness is a perfect match between rigidity, performance and manoeuvrability. Thick enough to be rigid and keeping your feet out of the water but not so thick that it feels like you’re riding a cork or feel disconnected from the board or the water.

This is an incredibly easy paddle board for beginners to start on, or intermediates to advanced paddlers to use. Cruising the coastline, SUP Yoga, paddling workouts, riding small to medium surf, slow moving rivers, bays, inlets, intra-coastals, tropical islands, you name it!

The deck pad is larger and comfortable. For 2018, it now has a “red” logo textured finish which is a nice touch yet still provides ample grip for general use and is very forgiving. Also new for 2018, the tail section of diamond cut textured EVA has a pointed front to it, meaning it extends further forward in the middle of the board, While this fits well with the new and improved deck graphics there is also a functional element here which provides better grip in the center and towards the tail for step back turns. The pointed front edge of the diamond groove deck pad helps locate your foot position when moving on the board. Much like an arch raise on a surf board tail pad. It helps you know where your foot is in relation to the tail and the center of the board without having to look down, in barefoot at least. The diamond texture also provide better grip for getting back on the board to ride waves.

When windsurfing, it is a super relaxed cruising windsurfer. Very stable with 33″ of width and wide nose and tail. Many traditional or exclusive windsurfers tend to have pointier noses to pierce through waves at speed but it made them unstable at lower speeds and for learning on. This board is more of a cruiser and beginner board and for someone to take advantage of the wind if it picks up. The focus is on paddle boarding but the center fin and mast base give you an option to go sailing rather than sitting on the beach because it is too windy. Being inflatable it is also very resistant to masts and booms falling on it repeatedly, just be sure to use a mechanical or knuckle universal joint with your rig (or the one that comes the the Red Paddle Co rigs).

Vitals

  • Length: 10’7″
  • Width: 33″
  • Thickness: 120mm, 4.72 inches
  • Volume: 296 liters
  • Weight: 23 lbs board only, 31 lbs with backpack and pump
  • Max payload: 265 lbs/120 kgs
  • Warranty: 1 year, 2 years with product registration

Likes

  • Slick new and improved graphics with attention to visual details that now match the advanced construction and stiffness technologies
  • Top quality MSL Fusion construction with “hard-board-like” finish
  • Quick inflation with the efficient Titan Pump
  • Clever internal packaging in the carry bag for secure transportation of paddle, fins and other accessories
  • Nose accessory mount for things like GPS, camera or phone
  • Red embossed EVA deck pad with rear diamond texture section for better feeling and grip
  • New extended deck area towards the nose for easier footwork while windsurfing
  • Extremely stable platform for paddling and sailing
  • Very low profile mast base, it’s not noticeable underfoot
  • Center handle is comfortable and lower profile now, plus very useful tail and nose mounted handles for positioning board while windsurfing
  • Excellent tracking provided by the 9″ fin and second 9″ fin while windsurfing
  • Two year warranty with board registration

Dislikes

  • No cargo area
  • Slight inconvenience of installing and removing fin(s)

In conclusion

Updated for 2018 in line with their other industry leading boards, the 2018 Red Paddle Co 10’7″ x 33″ Wind is a master of two disciplines with minimal compromise. It provides class leading all round ability with a dash of windsurfing. The tradeoffs are kept to a minimum with the fin arrangement and the lack of cargo area, but we can’t have it all! The 10’7″ Wind is for those who want a board that they can paddle on and still play with when the wind picks up, or they want a paddle board they can also learn how to windsurf on, it’s an easy, forgiving and stable platform. If you feel like you need a little more of a windsurf focused board, the 10’7″ Windsurf might be worth a look.

If you can’t decide contact us via email, via chat on this page, or give us a call: 1-888-252-4983. Many moons ago we called ourselves windsurfers, so we know what to look for in a windsurfing paddle board. Or is it a paddling windsurf board? Let’s go with WindSUP, see you on the water.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a hockey fan, football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.

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