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The 2016 Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″ inflatable SUP in detail

Reuben from SUPBoarder is back with us again and this time gives us a video review of one of the new models in the 2016 Red Paddle Co Range, the Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″ inflatable paddle board. We’ll have them in stock in about towards the end of November (with pre-order now), just enough time to get excited and plan a weekend getaway.

The Red Paddle Co Explorer 12’6″ gets a sibling for 2016, a slightly more streamlined, quicker on the water, touring and expedition board we have been wanting. Sure to be a hit this season, I’m just worried Green Water Sports won’t have enough in stock.

Let’s have a look at what Reuben has to say about the new Red Air Explorer 13’2″ inflatable SUP, here is the video transcript:

2016 Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″ Review

Hi and welcome back to another SUPBoarder independent review and this time we’re going to be looking at the 2016 Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″ by 30. So this is the second board we’ve tested in the Red Paddle Co 2016 range so far. A few weeks ago we tested the 10’6″ Ride, one of the most popular boards. And some bits on that video that i might ask you to refer to if you want to know more about certain things that i might not really talk about so much in depth in this video.

So, Red Paddle Co, one of the biggest SUP or iSUP brands in the world. Started making iSUPs in 2008 and very much are still up there making the best iSUPs in the world to date and are up there with the big players. As you may know.

This board is a brand new totally different board, totally different shape, never been done before for Red paddle Co. So we move to the specifications for this board: 13 foot 2 long, 30 inches wide, 150mm thick, 370 litres in volume. This one we’ve weigh at, it comes in at 12.5kg (27.5lbs), has a recommended retail pressure, recommended retail pressure? Recommended PSI pressure of 15 to 25 PSI, which this one’s pumped up to 20 and the retail price is £949 ($1649).

So the materials this board is made out of. Drop stitch as all iSUPs are, this is where, this is made out of their new drop stitch technology, their MSL technology, it’s the monocoque fusion laminate. Go onto the 10’6″ video, I’ve gone into a bit more depth about that, but it’s just as strong and it’s much, much lighter than last year so that’s what they’re doing in all their board range this year.

It comes with the standard Red Paddle Co back pack that you’ve seen in the other videos. Super duper back pack. Nice heavy duty back pack straps, shoulder, waist mounted clips to keep the back pack nice and sturdy. Nicely padded, wheely case and everything. So that was the great back pack. And, comes with the super duper Titan Pump. Have a look at the other videos if you want, I talk a bit more in depth about the pump, but another great pump. So pump and bag as standard.

Who is the Red Paddle Co 13’2″ Explorer+ aimed at?

Who is this board aimed for? Ok, so basically this is a pure and out exploring or touring board. You could use it for just going paddling down the river and stuff like that but it really does lend itself to having, putting weight on it and that sort of stuff because of all the tie down points and everything. So it really is an exploring/touring board that you want to get out and go places.

So our first impressions are straight away you’ll notice this is a very different board from the 2015 and 14 Red Paddle Co Explorer. That Explorer was a 12’6″ by 32″, to be honest a little bit slower, a lot heavier, it was a first sort of generation of the iSUP Red Paddle Co exploring board but this has come one quite a long way in refinement, weight and finish.

A lot more things for the user, way more tie down points, a lot bigger tie down points, so you can get a lot more weight on there, a lot more volume of weight on there so you can actually go somewhere for a decent length of time, I mean you can probably even go do a week, 2 week trip easily on this sort of sized board with this amount of tie downs.

Nice to see, nice handles everywhere because you know when you’re portaging, when you’re getting out, maybe you’re going over weirs, if you’re going on sea crossing, up cliffs, you need to be able to get your handles on those hand holds, get up the board, get out the board as easily as possible and launch the board as easy as possible. So really good comfy hand points everywhere. Really nice handy one at the tail predominantly because when you’ve got your kit laded it up really heavy on the back, let’s say you put it on the beach or in the shallows, you got you kit on there, then your fin is basically on the bottom so it’s ruined and you end up  dragging your fin out through the sand or on the rocks, having the handle on the back there, lift it up, slide it in the water, really good move, simple thing makes a massive difference.

Tie downs at the back obviously, grippy little pads here to stop your kit from sliding around which is neat, because I have had it where you put it on especially on the PVC your bag starts to slip around so these are really handy to have these little grippy pads at the back there underneath your dry bags you can put on. I think Red Paddle Co do their own sort of dry bag range thing, but we just you know just use standard dry bags, it’s fine. You could probably, the attachments you could do anything with this, bungees, you can even change them to rope or put a net over the top, you can pretty much go nuts. They’re all attached with the nice stainless fittings that are on all the other boards as well, these a black all stuck on nice and neat. This is a print and the deck pad is really nice, good under your feet and the graphics are quite cool and yeh so it’s a nice comfy deck pad and stuff like that. So the top of the board and the finish of the board is, A1 perfect. And really nice under your feet when you’re paddling it.

This one opposed to the last 2 years, this has got a RSS batten, so the RSS batten is obviously a stiffening rod that goes down the side of the board, does this make board a lot stiffer. Being 150mm thick, in thickness, which is a you know 6″ board, it’s a thicker iSUP board you get and with the RSS batten, this came out on the deflection test with only 11mm drop, which is nothing really. So that’s a really good stiff board and also you can see as we’re paddling it, we took it paddling, and we had 2 bags of about 5 to well they’re about 7kg (15lbs) really, I was going to say about 5 to 10 but about 7kg in each bag and the board sits really nicely on the water and paddles just the same, it doesn’t really have an effect that actually there’s weight in the bags. You could probably put up there, you’d be quite happy to put sort of 15 to 20kg (33-44lbs) at least in both bags on it’d be quite comfortably take it. Obviously it depends how heavy you are yourself but, yeh, so you can take a lot of weight and go down and do a lot of exploration with a lot of kit you need to carry, which is great.

Turn the board over. Still got water on it from when we’ve been out. It comes as the last 2 years of the Explorers did, they had like some tail runners here at the back and they had a nose runner there. They say it adds stability in chop and cross jaw chop. I don’t know if I notice it massively, it’s there, I haven’t used one without it so I’m sure but the good thing about these is if you’re doing some really shallow rivers, obviously safely you know leashes and all the correct kit and stuff like that, but if you are doing really shallow rivers and your fin’s you know it’s that deep, you can actually take that out and between this you’ll actually have enough drag to keep your board’s tail up river as you’re going down river so that actually that does, you can actually ride without a fin on these 3 boxes here actually does make a difference if you, if you understand what I mean, using the drag of these 3 items here. So that works really well actually, I don’t think they’ve really intended it as that but that actually does work really well. 

Green colour underneath, quite nice finish, not getting grass stays as you’re pulling it up the bank and other than that it has got the same Red Paddle Co high finish that we’ve seen on a few boards so far, so they’ve been doing well. Printed on Red logo at the front, nice information around the valve pressure cylinder there.

12’6″ Explorer and 13’2″ Explorer Plus Comparison

So the question you’re probably wondering is if you’ve got a 12’6″ Explorer or you’re thinking between the 12’6″ and 13’2″, which one would you go for? Personally I think this has a lot more need than the 12’6″. The 12’6″ is by 32″, it’s a bit slower to paddle, it’s a bit wider obviously so it’s going to produce more drag. This, is a winner. I would pick this board everytime unless maybe you’re a bigger, wider person, you’re really worried about the stability, but for general paddling ease, this board is a winner if you wanted to do some distances and go places with your kit.

So, negatives or downsides to the 2016 Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″, can’t seem to find any because exploring and touring is a very personal thing. Somebody might say oh I want something a bit thinner because I want to do a bit more cruising, you know get a bit more distance, but i think it fits in a really good category of board that has been missing of this width of 30″. So can’t see any negatives to be honest. Finish is really good, board looks good and it paddle well.

Is the 2016 13’2″ Red Paddle Co Explorer Plus value for money?

Value for money? Is the 2016 Red Paddle Co 13’2″ value for money? It retails at £949 ($1649), it’s a very good price point, there are some slightly more expensive boards and they’re are probably some slightly cheaper boards you can find on the market. But it’s a very competitive, good price board of a good product. And when I say good product, is because if you are going SUP touring you’ve got to do your research and get a good product especially if you are going off and doing some offshore stuff. Just do you research, find out, go on reviews like this, see what people think of it. But yes at £949 ($1649) it’s very good value for money.

The SUPBoarder verdict for the 2016 Red Paddle Co Explorer+ 13’2″, this is a really nice board that actually I’d be happy to go places on. I’d be happy to take some kit on, load it up go away for a week, two weeks, easily. Drive down to the south of France and do a proper, proper board trip.

I think Red have really thought about this one. It’s nice to have it a bit thinner and length than the old one. Lots of glide, a really nice board that if you’re into exploring and touring you’ve got to have a go on it.

Bam, if you need more convincing give us a call! 1-888-252-4983 and we’ll sing it’s praises too. Red Paddle Co have really nailed it with this board, a gap in the market and they’ve seized the opportunity for a top quality exploring and touring inflatable paddle board.

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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.