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In this article we will provide a quick review of the 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’8″ Ride inflatable SUP. The 2017 model is an evolution from the 2016 version. 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.

With so many boards on offer, who might be interested in the 10’8″ Ride? Let’s find out how this board fits into the 2017 Red Paddle inflatable SUP range.

TL;DR: The 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’8″ Ride is one of the best all round stand up paddle boards for the unsteady beginner or larger paddler. Better suited than the popular 10’6″ Ride for paddlers above 200lbs, it offers a large stable platform for paddlers and/or passengers, fishing gear, coolers, or fitness activities.

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: 38″ 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…

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: 10’8″ long, 34″ 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 boards up to 20 PSI. I find this is a good balance between time pumping and on water performance. Inflating the 2017 Red Paddle Ride 10’8″ took me only 3 minutes and 35 seconds.

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, and most recently with their 10 step program to see if they could destroy a board! See all the details of those experiments here. These crazy tests will certainly 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 10’8″ Ride on the scales and it weighed in at 22lbs. For reference, the 2015 board weighed in at 27lbs. That’s almost 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.

Let’s take a little walk around the board and see how the real thing looks.

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 10’8″ Ride, the RAM Mount is integrated into the nose mounted d-ring.

The built in super durable fins, or iFins, continue in 2017. Still exceptionally durable and withstand all sorts of use and abuse. 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. Positioned close to the rear the 3 fins offer good tracking for flat water paddling and general cruising. An extra benefit of the fins being in close proximity to each other allows for 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 that comes with inflation instructionspump tips and care tips inside. A wrapping strap to keep the board rolled up.

On the water

The 10’8″ Ride is a great all round board overall and best suited for paddlers 200lbs and up. It is extremely stable and forgiving meaning anyone can stand on this board and have a good time paddling. The board is also well suited to families who want to carry a child or small passenger, a furry friend or perhaps a cooler with some drinks and lunch, or even a few rods for fishing. Cruising and turning is pretty easy and the 10’8″ Ride has decent 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 extremely easy and exceptionally stable paddle board for beginners to start on, or larger intermediate to advanced paddlers to use. Cruising the coastline, SUP Yoga, paddling workouts, riding small surf, slow moving rivers, bays, inlets, intra-coastals, tropical islands, you name it! It is also a great choice for families as the 10’8″ Ride can be enjoyed by all ages, with acres of space for children or furry friends up front. The almost indestructible design is also paw friendly.

Under the front bungee cord, you could strap down a cooler and fishing rod and enjoy paddling into hard to reach places and catch some whoppers. RAM mount on the nose for cameras, phones, GPS or rod holders.

Now for some detailed images of the 2017 10’8″ Red Air Ride, click to enlarge.

Vitals

  • Length: 10’8″
  • Width: 34″
  • Thickness: 120mm, 4.72 inches
  • Volume: 296 liters
  • Weight: 22 lbs board only, 30 lbs with backpack and pump
  • Max payload: 265 lbs/120 kg
  • Warranty: 1 year

Likes

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

Dislikes

  • Width interrupts fast paddling technique but buyers of this board will be seeking stability and larger platform over a fast paddling board
  • As usual, my gripe is with the Titan Pump, still a fraction bulky to travel with but it more than makes up for it with unmatched efficiency and performance

In conclusion

The 2017 10’8″ Ride is one of the best all round stand up paddle boards for the unsteady beginner or larger paddler. Better suited than the 10’6″ Ride for paddlers above 200lbs and offers a large stable platform for passengers, fishing or fitness activities. As an added bonus, it is also an inflatable board which makes travel, storage and general handling of the board so much easier. Combine it with a 3 piece SUP paddle, you’ve got the ultimate package for all conditions.

See the 10’8″ Ride Red Paddle Co product page for more details, specs and images.

If you are not sure which board to choose from the Red Paddle Co range, take a look at our helpful guide, comparison chart and see the whole range. or call us on 1-888-252-4983 if you can’t decide between the 10’6″ and 10’8″ or a 10’8″ and a 12’6″ Explorer or 11’3″ Sport, you get the idea… Call us.

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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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