starboard 2024 inflatable sup paddle boards

Are Red Paddle Co Boards Worth It?

Are you here for all the details and a long winded explanation, or do you just want to choose a board already and go paddling? Well, the short answer is, yes, Red Paddle boards are worth it! Worth every penny. There, now you can go shopping for your Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle board!

Those who need a bit more convincing to part with their hard earned coins and make sure they are making the right investment into an enjoyable, long and fulfilling paddling experience, stick around, we’ve got the details too.

Let’s be up front, right from the off. The price is up there. But just like investing in a good quality pair of running shoes, or a well-built and reliable car, Red Paddle boards are the same. The upfront cost is a bit higher but with that you are getting industry leading materials, performance, quality, innovation, and product support and warranty.

1. Quality and Durability – Materials

Red Paddle Co are the only inflatable paddle board manufacturers that produce SUPs in their own facility. This allows Red Paddle to manage every step of the material selection, production, quality control and packaging process. While outsourcing production to other countries is cost effective, other inflatable paddle board brands are left vulnerable to this process and ultimately, it can reflect poorly on the brand if things don’t go well – even if the brand did everything they needed to. By producing their own inflatable paddle boards, in their own facility, Red Paddle Co can ensure the product under your feet is exactly how it should be.

Tec Air is not a product it’s a process, a 72 hr process. By focussing in on the key areas of the production process Red Paddle Co have been able to identify ways they can improve the end result. Whether it be detailing exactly where and how the layers are bonded or how the rocker curve is applied to the board, no area of the design process is ignored. The key areas of construction are inside the board. Red Paddle Co’s attention to detail on the inside ensures the best experience on the outside.

Drop stitch is the name given to the material inside an inflatable board. Red Paddle Co boards are built using specially produced, high density drop stitch that makes for a stronger and stiffer core. Red Paddle Co does not use linear drop stitch which is a mass produced, cheap material that cannot hold high pressure. Linear boards can be identified by the straight lines of dimples on the board.

To start, Red Paddle Co use a machine to weave the inner core. Next they cover the woven surface in an adhesive that both seals the woven material so it is air tight, and adheres to the second layer, which is applied in next stage of the process. They then attach the deck pad, fins and other parts to the outer layer. The whole process takes 72 hrs. Yes, 3 days. This is how careful and precise Red Paddle Co are when producing boards.

Ultimately the board construction is called Monocoque Structural Fusion Laminate or MSL. A proprietary construction that no one else on the market is using. The next generation is called MSL PACT which features on the Red Paddle Co Compact boards.

2. Out and Out Performance

When designing inflatable paddles boards, Red Paddle Co takes a thickness for purpose approach. Performance of inflatable SUPs essentially comes down to the stiffness of the boards. How stiff a board is, is dependent on several factors, but the 2 main factors are: 1. Inflation pressure (Materials), and 2. thickness of the board (drop stitch).

Achieving a high inflation pressure is about the materials used and the construction process. We have established that Red use only the best materials and have their own facility to 100% control the entire production and packaging process from start to finish. This top level MSL construction is key to Red Paddle Co having an industry leading 25 PSI maximum inflation pressure. So that’s half the stiffness equation sorted for being best (stiffest) inflatable SUPs on the market.

Next, it’s all about thickness. And thickness is a tricky one. You can just go with an 8″ drop stitch core and call it a day and have the stiffest boards on the market. However, no one wants an 8″ thick personal board, it’s akin to standing on a dock, not a paddle board! A thick board means a higher center of gravity (less stable), a longer reach to paddle efficiently (more tiring), harder to carry (difficult to reach around to carry handles), longer to inflate, etc.

So Red Paddle Co design with a thickness for purpose philosophy…. This means that smaller boards are thinner (4″) to suit lighter weight paddlers. Surf inflatable boards are thinner (4″) to provide better grip on waves. All round/general purpose boards like the Ride models are medium thickness (4.75″). Larger boards are thicker to match the load carrying needs required (Voyager), racing paddlers (Elite) or to stop water washing over the sides while you’re in downward dog (Activ). Supersize Team or Family boards like the Tandem are 8″ thick to ensure the largest boards are stiff and capable of carrying several people.

So, we covered pressure (materials) and thickness and how they relate to Red Paddle being high performance, but what else is in their bag of tricks to make them perform even better? I’m glad you asked, I was just about to mention them. Yes them, there are several.

3. Tech Leaders – Innovation

Red Paddle Co are not only developing best-in-market materials and construction processes, to name just a few below, Red Paddle have also been leading the technical innovations in the inflatable stand up paddle board world for several years.

All of these technologies and features are exclusive to Red Paddle Co:

Follow the links for the full details, but rest assured Red Paddle are constantly pushing the envelope with inflatable paddle board design.

4. Authentic Experience

Can you really put a price on having an authentic experince? For this alone, Red Paddle boards are worth it, 100%. Going out paddling is as much about connecting with nature as it is about disconnecting from our lives. Having an inflatable paddle board designed to essentially ride, behave and handle like a rigid board, but roll up into a bag, fit into a backpack/trunk/closet is the goal. Red Paddle boards are often mistaken for hard boards!

5. Peace of Mind – Warranty

A 5 year warranty was unheard of when Red Paddle Co introduced it back in 2020. As standard every board comes with one year coverage. Simply register your board with Red Paddle Co as the first owner, for free, and you will be covered for an additional 4 years, meaning a full 5 years of manufacturer warranty. Red Paddle have their own private production facility where materials and production processes are monitored closely and quality control is tight. This allows Red Paddle Co to stand behind their inflatable paddle boards offering peace of mind to the purcahser. Who knows, one day you might be paddling with the Red Paddle Co team, and they’ll surely want you to enjoy that and every other session without worry.

“You had me at yes, but thanks for the full length explanation and supporting details.” Confidence in your investment is a big step forward to enjoying your time on the water. We’re here to help if you have any more questions, or want help choosing between Red Paddle Co models! Call us on 1-888-252-4983 or email us now.

Remember the full range of Red Paddle Co inflatable stand up paddle boards is here.

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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.