That’s not to take anything away from the excellent boards of 2015, but for 2016 Red Paddle Co suggested that the change is not just a clear step forward from the pack but a substantial leap forward in terms of quality, finish, rigidity and ultimately performance and pleasure. The technology they refer to is the MSL Fusion construction process, promising all the good stuff I just mentioned.
Does it live up to the hype? Let’s take a look at the details, how this board is different, how it paddles and who it’s good for. So let’s begin with the 2016 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride review and walk around video.
The 2016 inflatable sup bag is an updated version of the 2015 bag with a thicker internal coating on the bag material and upgraded support for the zip. 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 the 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. Bag dimensions: 37″ high, 14″ wide and 12″ deep.
Space is aplenty for the pump, 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 new construction process/material of the board, it now 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 also features in 2016 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. See more photos of the bag here.
As packaged from the factory the board is protected by a layer of plastic to separate the board from itself when rolled, small inflatable “water wings” which go around the fins to help them keep shape, the Titan pump in it’s own bag and a bag that bundles the whole lot. The water wings are the only things you’ll want to keep from all this packaging. They are handy to keep to protect the fins, though not vital as the iFins are very durable and can be straightened easily when heated. Read more here about straightening iFins.
The majority of the Red Paddle Co line now comes standard with the awesome Titan Pump. The 8’10” Whip and 9’4″ Snapper come with the Red Paddle Co Ezee HP since they are small, low volume boards. 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, kinda like an elephant riding 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…
Inflating the 2016 10’6″ Red Air Ride took me only 2 minutes and 56 seconds as compared to the time in my last full test in which I managed an inflation time, of 4 minutes 47 seconds with the Ezee pump back in 2013.
Dimensionally, same as last year: 10’6″ long, 32″ wide and 4.72″ thick. As I’ve mentioned, on the surface it looks like just a few minor tweaks and upgrades, New handle here, uprated stainless steel tie-down rings there, but when you take a closer look at the board, you’ll notice something very significant.
The board finish is so good it looks like a regular hard board. For this we have a new construction process to thank. It is called MSL Fusion, or Monocoque Structural Laminate Fusion, and what it does is basically eliminate 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 new process consists of industrially fusing and 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.
Tech talk aside, what does this mean for the paddler? Well, the cosmetic finish is drastically improved as I’ve mentioned, the boards are about 20% lighter over the 2015 model, 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, and I also, still recommend a pumping pressure of 18-20 PSI for most applications to make the most of these benefits and improve overall performance.
For a direct comparison of the 2015 and 2016 10’6″ Rides, move the slider to see the changes.
Red Paddle Co have famously tested the durability and toughness of their boards over the years, see a 2014 board taking a beating. Knowing that the 2016 MSL construction boards are even stronger should put your mind at ease!
So, the board is still super tough and durable, what are my actual weight savings? I put my board on the scales and it weighed in at 20lbs. The 2015 board weighed in at 25lbs. That’s a 20% weight saving. I wish I could somehow incorporate MSL into my body’s construction! This is a significant weight saving and is immediately apparent when you lift the board out of the box. Then when you have it inflated and carry to the water, much easier. On the water too, more responsive and easier to paddle. However, 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.
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 tie-down d-rings are now stainless steel with heavy duty bungee cord. The center carry handle is now padded. There is now 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. The nose d-ring has a larger base plate for a more reliable and firm attachment.
The built in, super durable fins, or iFins, for 2016 are slightly repositioned to have better all round performance. The toe-in style of the 2 forward fins in the tri-fin or thruster arrangement helps the board perform and make turns in the waves. The slightly further back position of these 2 fins also improves the tracking for flat water paddling and general cruising. The centre fin is moved slightly forward for the same reasons. An extra benefit of the new “closer together” positioning is a tighter roll up of the board.
The Red Paddle Co logos on the top and underside of the nose are now screen printed on rather than a layer in itself, further saving weight.
On the water
A mostly unchanged experience over 2015 except that the lighter weight helps in responsiveness of the board when turning and paddling. Adjusted fin position helps ever so slightly improve tracking and manoeuvrability in surf. New handles are a treat to use to and from the water and getting back on the board. Cargo area up front offers a little more space and more confidence in the stainless d-rings.
From the 2015 review:
The 10’6″ Ride is a great all round board for paddlers up to 220lbs. It’s the perfect width at 32″, enough to be stable but still narrow enough to be manageable and easy to paddle. Cruising and turning is pretty easy and the 10’6″ Ride has nice glide. Either standing or kneeling, paddling is comfortable and tracking from the iFin built in fins is straight. 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! It is also a great choice for families as the10’6″ Ride can be enjoyed by all ages, with enough space for a child or furry friend up front. The almost indestructible design is also paw friendly.
Deck pad is large and comfortable. It has a “crocodile-skin” textured finish which provides ample grip for general use and is very comfortable.
- Length: 10’6″
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 120mm, 4.72 inches
- Volume: 240 liters
- Weight: 20 lbs board only, 29 lbs with backpack and pump
- Max payload: 220 lbs/100 kg
- Top notch finish
- Quick inflation with the Titan Pump
- Lighter to carry and handle and more responsive on water
- Comfy handles, useful tail mounted handle
- Large and comfy deck pad
- Stable board, decent glide
- Nice cargo area
- Hmm, do I have to include one? Ok, Titan Pump is a little bulky but well worth the pumping speed and comfort
A high quality product from Red Paddle Co is now the outright top notch product in inflatable paddle boards – the 10’6″ is my go to board. Excellent value for money when you consider the excellent quality of the board, bag and pump. Find all the details here: 2016 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride.