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A quick review of the 2015 Red Paddle Co 9’8″ Ride inflatable SUP

In this article we will provide a quick review of the 2015 Red Paddle Co 9’8″ Ride inflatable SUP. This is a new model in the 2015 Red Paddle Co range and takes over from the 9’6″ x 32″ All Water and the 10′ x 30″ Surfer. Customers would always be back and forth between these models so Red decided to merge them into one all conquering board. With outline and rocker cues from each board, the 9’8″ at 31″ wide has taken the surf style tail and narrowness from the 10′ Surfer but included some width and a wider nose for stability from the 9’6″ All Water. A match made in heaven, this board looks the business for the serious paddler or smaller beginner.

The bag: For 2014, Red Paddle Co introduced wheels on the bag. For 2015, they’ve gone a step further refining the wheeled bag to be even more sturdy, durable and comfortable. Once again, the back pack straps can be hidden in the “Sherpa Carry System” making wheeled travel more pleasurable and keeping the straps out of the airport conveyor belts.

The pump: The 2015 9’8″ Ride ships with the Red Paddle Co Ezee HP pump which makes inflation to 25PSI much easier. Included with the pump is a pressure gauge and hose. You also get a standard repair kit in the package and a bonus cell phone case which includes the inflation/deflation and care manual.

The inflation process is very straight forward and pumping with the HP Ezee pump is very easy. Be sure you have the valve in the inflation position so all that pumping doesn’t go to waste when you’re ready to remove the pump hose and put on the valve cap. Read our guide about valve position and board inflation, and watch us inflate a board here.

UPDATED Jan 19, 2015: The board now ships from Green Water Sports with the revolutionary Titan Pump. See which Red Paddle Co boards ship with the Titan pump here.

2014-Red-Paddle-Co-ComparisonThe board: 9’8″ long, 31″ wide and 3.93″ thick, and rated up to 210lbs. This is a 100% new design for 2015 but has borrowed heavily from each of the 10′ Surfer for surfing prowess and the 9’6″ All Water for stability and all round performance. Built using Red Paddle Co’s Tec Air construction process, it features high density drop stitch technology, double layering “board within a board” technique and quadruple layered rails. The weakest part of an inflatable paddle board is the rail (sides) where the top and bottom layers are joined, due to the lack of internal support from the high density drop stitch. Most inflatable stand up boards are constructed with just one rail layer on the rails, whereas Red Paddle Co use 4. Find out more about Red Paddle Co’s Tec Air construction.

The 9’8″ Ride comes with RSS battens which are designed to counter the effects of the paddler’s standing position and weight, the point around which inflatables can flex. RSS battens improve stiffness by up to 50%. That said, it is hard to notice any flex at all when paddling a Red Paddle Co board.

Let’s take a look at the 2015 9’8″ Ride, move the slider to see both sides.

Bottom-Red-Paddle-Co-inflatable-SUP-19-8-rideTop-Red-Paddle-Co-inflatable-SUP-19-8-ride [/twentytwenty]

Let’s take a little walk around the board and see how the real thing looks.

On the water: The 9’8″ Ride is a top of the line inflatable paddle board. With a lineage like the 9’6″ All Water and the 10′ Surfer, the 9’8″ as part of the greater Ride family of boards is a sure thing. Great in the waves, good to turn but stable for all round cruising, touring and on the river. The thinner 3.93″ profile makes it more responsive, but the RSS battens ensure maximum stiffness at all times coupled with the industry leading inflation pressures of 20-25 PSI. iFins in thruster (3) formation provide good overall tracking as well as grip on waves.

The 2015 9’8″ Ride is an amazing all round cruising board, designed for a rider wanting good all round performance on flat water, rivers, rapids or waves. Smaller to handle than the 10’6″ Ride so it’s good for the smaller all round paddler. More manoeuvrable than the 10’6″ Ride but not as small as the 9’2″ Surf Star, so it’s better for waves for the intermediate to advanced regular sized or larger paddler.

Under the front bungee cord, you could strap down a lunch pack or dry bag, and enjoy paddling into hard to reach places.

Now for some detailed images of the 2015 9’8″ Red Air Ride, click to enlarge.

See the 9’8″ Ride Red Paddle Co product page for more details, specs and images.

If you are not sure which board to choose from the Red Paddle Co range, take a look at our helpful guide to choosing your 2015 Red Paddle Co board or compare all the important specs of each board here with our 2015 Red Paddle Co iSUP range announcement.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of 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 football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.