Red Paddle Co introduced the Sport range of inflatable SUPs to fill a gap. Allround SUPs are stable and easy to paddle, but they are not that fast. Race SUPs are super fast but can also be super wobbly! Touring SUPs are great for carrying kit and long adventurous tours, but they’re pretty big and not that manoeuvrable. So what about those who want it all; something that glides well, is stable and maneuverable. This is where the Red Paddle Co Sport comes in.
A common misconception with the Red Paddle Co Sport range seems to be created by their name; being described as the ‘sports car’ of paddleboards. If they’re Sporty they must be only for advanced paddlers, right? No! Unlike racing cars, sports cars could be driven by anybody, and these SUPs are pretty much the same. These go-anywhere inflatable paddleboards offer plenty of stability for all but the largest of riders.
Comparing these to allround boards, the Red Paddle Co Sports have a sleeker shape with a drawn-out nose section to allow them to cut through the water more easily, offering greater glide with each paddle stroke. This makes them faster than the allround boards, which is a good thing. At 32″ wide, the width of the Red Paddle Co 11’3 Sport is the same as the renowned Red Paddle Co 10’6 Ride, and although it has a narrower nose, this is made up for by the squared-off tail, making it a good stable platform.
What options are there? The Red Paddle Co Sport comes in three different lengths:
11’0: Length: 11’0, width: 30″, Thickness: 4.72″, Volume: 250l, Rider weight: Up to 90kg
11’3: Length: 11’3, width: 32″, Thickness: 4.72″, Volume: 260l, Rider weight: Up to 110kg
12’6: Length: 12’6, width: 30″, Thickness: 5.9″, Volume: 350l, Rider weight: Up to 150kg
The 11’0 is not much different in length to the 11’3, but the 2″ difference in width between them means the 11’3 is quite a bit more stable so makes for a better all-rounder if that’s what you’re after. If you want a focus on straight-line paddling speed, the 12’6 has the extra length and the narrower outline meaning it will track faster.
Whats the tech like? The paddleboards use Red Paddle Co’s ‘MSL’ technology, which basically means that they can make the boards 2kg lighter in weight and stiffer at lower pressures than they used to be. This is a great construction that really does make for a very durable board. A couple of other features I like are the RSS stiffening battens which slide into the side of the board for increased rigidity, and the inclusion of an FCSII fin which is perfect for touring. Being FCS, you can easily swap your fin for one of your choice if you wanted to opt for something a little different.
Should I buy this SUP? I really rate the Red Paddle Co Sport boards. They really bridge a gap beautifully between the allround shapes and the faster race boards, offering more straight-line speed without requiring the balance of a ninja! Well done again red Paddle Co, well done.