2018 red paddle co - 2018 range of inflatable SUP paddle board

Reuben is back with another SUPBoarder detailed video review. This time he features the Red Paddle Co 8’10” Whip inflatable surfing SUP.

The Whip is a new model for 2016 and it’s a bit of a mash between the outgoing 9’2″ Surf Star and the 9’8″ Ride. The more surf inspired pin tail of the 9’2″ joined with the wide and round nose of the 9’8″ Ride, in a slim 29″ width package that offers stability up front, surf skills down the back. Factor in a US box glass fin, RSS battens and Red Paddle Co’s industry leading product quality and pump/bag package, Reuben is in heaven, he says “Because the Whip is so good for an iSUP we started judging it like a hard board.” Find out more in the video and the transcription below.

2016 Red Paddle Co Whip 8’10” Video Review

Hey guys, welcome back to a new SUPBoarder review and this week we’ve been looking at the Red Paddle Co Whip. Brand new board for Red Paddle Co this year, Red Paddle Co are definitely one of the world market leaders in iSUPs and they are constantly chasing the iSUP development. 

Specifications for this, the Whip. It’s 8’10” long, it’s 29″ wide, it’s 4″ thick, comes in at 150l in volume, it weighs 8kg (18lbs) and it retails at £749 ($1199). 

Materials the board is made out of, it’s the same material as all the Red Paddle Co range, the 2016 range. It’s made of their MSL construction with drop stick internal core and PVC outer shell. Have a look at some of our other Red Paddle Co videos if you want to find out more about that. The board’s designed predominantly just for SUP surfing, of all abilities and levels. 

Same bag you see on other Red Paddle Co boards, lightweight material but still really strong, really nice quality zip this year. It’s got handles at the base, it’s got wheels, go the back pack, got the internal straps that you can hide away when you’re flying. It’s got everything, it’s a nice quality bag to go with the board.

Moving onto the look and finish of the board and what you get on the board fittings wise. Deck pad, really nice EVA diamond grip deck pad. Really well finished with the graphics, Red Paddle Co logos and moving to the back of the tail with a nice kick pad for your foot when you’re surfing. Deck pad is absolutely perfect. The carry handle, nicely padded and easy to get your hand in, not too high, but that’s actually a really good thing because you do not want a high sticking out carry handle if you are SUP surfing and moving your feet around the board. So carry handle is great. 

Leashing point on the side, is all standard, valve, all that sort of stuff standard. RSS batten you get on the Whip, so on all their performance based boards at Red Paddle Co you get the RSS batten. Slightly shifted further forward again from your standing area, does make a massive difference when you’re standing and surfing and also with our deflection test that we put this board through which we do all our iSUPs, a gap of 1.5m (5ft) apart, a weight of 75kg (165lbs) on the top, this board drops 18mm (0.7″) which is pretty good considering this is a 4″ thick board and it is pumped out to 20PSI. 

Looking at the board shape, this is where it looks very different to other iSUPs on the market today. A very nice rounded nose which gives a lot of stability and makes the board very easy to stand on in chop. Coming down to the midsection, in starts to narrow in which helps produce speed, and into the tail, a nice pin tail, which is all to aid your turning and the pivoting around the fins at the back of the board. 

Looking at the underneath of the board, the general rocker line or the curve of the board, a slight bit of nose kick at the front which is to get you over the waves and to stop the board catching. It has got a slight continual rocker throughout the board, but that really does help with the SUP surfing. 

Moving to the back of the board. You have these 2 side bit, indestructible plastic fins on the side, and then into the back and in the center you have the brand new Red Paddle Co US Box Whip fin they’ve specially designed for this board. Great looking fin, nice and stiff and it’s really nice and light and it fits really well in the fin box.

Ok, let’s get onto the performance and what it’s like to paddle in the surf. Ok yes, before we go ahead, you can paddle it on flat water, and if you’re a lightweight rider you can go on flat water, but this is a surf SUP so we’re going to give it a surf SUP review.

This is definitely one of the easier “I” surfing SUPs we’ve every used at getting out back and paddling out over chop and this is due to 2 things: It’s due to the RSS batten which is giving the board lots of stiffness so you can get your board weight back and bring the nose up and the board reacts much quicker, and because of the wider nose when you do get over the white water the board is very stable, the wide nose does give you a lot of stability and enough time to get your paddle in and get you paddling out through the waves.

When you’re out back in the chop, again because of the wide nose it is incredibly stable. you probably find this board you you could ride it in pretty much all conditions, definitely the choppy seas don’t make a difference. The reason getting back on an iSUP is so important when you’re paddling out back, is because of the thicker noses generally if you don’t get your noses over the white water and you sort of plant it into the white water, the waves will knock you back. So this RSS system really does help to get that nose up and get you over the chop. And then when you’re paddling for your first wave, the first thing you notice is it picks up and it has quite a lot of glide for it’s size, I mean and 8’10” long board it’s not very long, it’s going to be generally quite slow and sluggish but it does pretty much catch most waves that you want and it has a nice amount of tracking and that’s due to the more pulled in pintail and the nice stiff center fin that Red Paddle Co have put on there.

Now, when you’re on a wave, this is the point that makes or breaks any iSUP surfing session and any iSUP we’ve ever tested before, the bottom turn. So many iSUPs, you go down a wave you for a bottom turn and either something happens or it’s spontaneous combustion or it’s a huge spinout or it’s a total disaster. This board, you can actually bottom turn. You can actually go down a wave straight, lean on your paddle and actually crank a proper bottom turn. Oh. Hallelujah! The time has come, Red Paddle Co have produced the first board, with a nice pinned in tail, a nice fin setup that produces a good bottom turn. Then after the bottom turn the board reacts and picks up on the waves, you can almost do little sort of speed trims, you can try and get the board up and down the wave face. The board isn’t massively quick on the wave face and the reason I say this because after that bottom turn you’re no longer surfing an iSUP, you’re surfing a hard board. So from that point onwards, now, the problem is for us, we’re starting to use it like a hard board but then as soon as you put your top turn in you realise, ok, I got to go a little bit steadier here, it hasn’t got the rail shape in the tail like the hard boards do, so the top turns do work but they’re not as aggressive as we instantly felt that they would be and that’s due to being, you get on the board, you do a really nice bottom turn, it trims up and down the face really well and you think it’s just going to crank one round, but it’s a little bit more sedate. Cutbacks, it’s really smooth and it’s really nice for a gentle, slow roundabout turn if you want to get out into the face and bring your board back. So top turns it’s good, cutbacks it’s better. Floaters and re-entries, really good because of the wide nose the board’s really stable.

The negatives of the Whip are a bit of an interesting one. Because the Whip is so good for an iSUP we started judging it like a hard board. So actually then you get on the board and after about an hour of surfing it you’re like “Ah, it’s not that quick” but it’s not that quick compared to a hard board. But it is quick compared to an iSUP, but it’s not that quick to a hard board. Nose rocker: it’d be great if it had a bit more nose rocker, just so you can get round and get those sections and get more dramatic and more extreme on your turns because the nose does catch, but then you have more nose rocker, the board’s slower. Arrgghh, so it’s a real catch 22. The negatives are just negatives because the board is so good.

Value for money: is the Red Paddle Co Whip value for money, at £749 it is one of the best performance iSUPs on the market, ok, it probably is the best performance iSUP on the market but we haven’t tested all of the others yet. Great bag, great pump, nice and lightweight, yeh really good value for money. 

Overall SUPBoarder verdict, you’re probably guessed it, it’s a real thumbs up for the Red Paddle Co Whip. The board’s so good, we started judging it as a hard board. If you’re into SUP surfing or you’re a landlocked SUP surfer and you want to get an inflatable paddle board that surfs as good as it can this is your board right here. Until we test any others, the Red Paddle Co Whip is definitely our firm favourite for the iSUP surfing scene.

So there you have. The Red Paddle Co Whip sits atop the heap as the inflatable surfing SUP to get.

 

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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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