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The 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride inflatable stand up paddle board is an evolution from the 2016 model. After the huge step up in finish quality, weight improvements and durability with the MSL Fusion drop stitch construction for 2016, the 2017 model updates focus not only on the details of the board, but also the bag and Titan Pump.

2016 was a year where the introduction of MSL set Red Paddle Co apart from all the other inflatable paddle board manufacturers. While many of them are playing catch up with fusion style constructions of their own, Red Paddle Co is already a year ahead and improving on the industry leading MSL Technology. MSL is a patented technology and construction process, much like Gore-Tex, so you won’t find it on any other paddle boards.

So what exactly are the details they’ve updated for 2017? Are the boards better? Should I get a 2017 10’6″ Ride inflatable stand up paddle board? In an attempt to answer these questions, let’s begin with the 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride review and videos.

TL;DR: Red Paddle Co have managed to improve on perfection. The devil is in the details and after they revolutionised the inflatable paddle board world last year with MSL Fusion, they have managed to improve the MSL process with a thicker skin for added durability with almost no weight penalty. They’ve also upped the game and now include features like RAM Mounts, bag with foil lining, mesh pocket and paddle holder, and improved Titan Pump. I have a 2016 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride, but I want to upgrade. Does this make it clear?

The bag

The 2017 inflatable sup bag is an updated version of the 2016 bag with an internal mesh pocket, bungee tie downs for a 3 piece paddle, foil lining on the bag material and upgraded zipper pulls. 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. For 2017, they’ve also included paddle holding bungees and a mesh pocket to help pack and locate items while travelling. The foil lining improves the heat protection of the board if you leave it in your car or in a hot climate and doubles as a waterproof lining so your wet gear won’t leak out of the bag after a session. Bag dimensions remain the same at: 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 remains in 2017 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 pump

12-2017-red-paddle-co-titan-pump-fast-pump-inflateThe majority of the Red Paddle Co line now comes standard with the improved 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. Overall 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 2017 10’6″ Red Air Ride took me only 2 minutes and 56 seconds as compared to the time in 2013 which I managed an inflation time, of 4 minutes 47 seconds with the regular Ezee pump.

While it may look similar, the 2017 Titan Pump has been totally reworked internally and is now even more efficient. Improved handle design, beefier internal valves, hose adaptors for your favourite inflatable toys, it pumps even more smoothly and efficiently.

The board

Dimensionally, same again as last year: 10’6″ long, 32″ wide and 4.72″ thick and as I’ve mentioned, there are just a few improved details, a few minor tweaks and upgrades. You can’t really see the thicker second layer as part of the MSL Fusion process, but you can see the revised deck pad, rail and shoulder graphics, RAM Mount on the nose integrated with a d-ring. Last year it was an underside d-ring but for 2017, the d-ring is packaged with the RAM Mount on the deck.

Once again for 2017, thanks to the MSL Fusion construction, the board finish is so good it looks like a regular hard board. MSL, or Monocoque Structural Laminate Fusion, basically eliminates 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 process consists of industrially fusing and machine 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. For 2017, the Red Paddle Co have made further improvements to the MSL material, increasing thickness and bond strength which means they can reduce batch inconsistencies and allows them to make boards from the most advanced drop stitch available.

MSL 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 standard double layer boards, 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 Paddle Co recommend a pumping pressure of 16-22 PSI for most applications to make the most of these benefits and improve overall performance.

I’m 190lbs and I usually pump my 10’6″ Ride to 20 PSI. I find this is a good balance between time pumping and on water performance.

For a direct comparison of the 2016 and 2017 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 2017 MSL construction boards are even stronger than before should put your mind at ease!

So, the board is still super tough and durable, what are my actual weight savings? I put the 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride on the scales and it weighed in at 21lbs. For reference, the 2015 board weighed in at 25lbs. That’s a 20% weight saving. 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 once again see the edges of the material are cleanly cut, the glue lines that often wander on inferior brands are all perfectly straight thanks to the robots. To continue the attention to detail, the tie-down d-rings are stainless steel with heavy duty bungee cord. The center carry handle is padded. There is 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.

Almost all of the 2017 Red Paddle Co inflatable paddle boards feature a RAM Mount, or two. A RAM Mount is a special screw thread to which there are many compatible RAM Mount products, the world leading accessory bracket manufacturer. This enables you to securely attach a range of accessories, from GPS devices and cameras to fishing rods and cup holders. On the 2017 10’6″ Ride, the RAM Mount is integrated into the nose mounted d-ring.

The built in, super durable fins, or iFins, for 2017 continue the slight reposition for 2016 which lead to 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 screen printed on rather than a layer in itself, further saving weight.

The rest

The package includes a repair kit with glue and patches, a waterproof phone case, and a general guide book with inflation instructions, pump tips and care tips inside the mesh pocket. Finally, a wrapping strap to keep the board rolled up.

On the water

A mostly unchanged experience for 2017. The changes in material continue the responsiveness and ease of handling, and adjusted fin position still helps to improve tracking and manoeuvrability overall and in surf. Handles are comfortable and a treat to use to and from the water and getting back on the board. Cargo area up front is very secure with the stainless steel d-rings and bungee cord.

The 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride is a great all round board for paddlers up to 220lbs. It’s the perfect width at 32″, meaning it is enough to be stable but still narrow enough to be manageable to carry on land and easy to paddle on the water. 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 quite 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 the 10’6″ Ride can be enjoyed by all ages, with enough space for a child or 4 legged friend up front. The almost indestructible MSL construction is also paw friendly.

The deck pad is large and comfortable. It has a “crocodile-skin” textured finish which provides ample grip for general use and is very comfortable. New for 2017, the rear section (about 1.5′ from the tail inwards) is now a diamond cut EVA texture which provides better grip towards the tail for step back turns. It also helps you know where your foot is in relation to the tail without having to look down, in barefoot at least. The diamond texture also provide better grip for getting back on the board to ride waves.

Vitals

  • Length: 10’6″
  • Width: 32″
  • Thickness: 120mm, 4.72 inches
  • Volume: 240 liters
  • Weight: 21 lbs board only, 30 lbs with backpack and pump
  • Max payload: 220 lbs/100 kg
  • Warranty: 1 year

Likes

  • Improved MSL Fusion construction with top quality “hard-board-like” finish
  • Quick inflation with the improved Titan Pump
  • Clever internal packaging in the bag for secure transportation of paddle and other accessories
  • RAM Mount to mount accessories like GPS, camera or phone
  • Improved EVA deck pad with diamond texture towards the tail for better feeling and grip
  • Stable board, decent glide
  • Nice and secure cargo area

Dislikes

  • Can I get back to you on that?
  • If I had to choose one, for such a slick package, the Titan is still a fraction bulky but that is more than made up for by the unmatched efficiency and performance

In conclusion

A high quality product from Red Paddle Co who are now the outright leader in inflatable paddle boards – the 10’6″ Ride is still my go to board for all round paddling. Excellent value for money when you consider the excellent quality of the board, bag and pump. I use one, it’s our number 1 selling board. Does that make it clear?

Find all the details here: 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride.



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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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