Posted by: airkayaks | October 19, 2017

Guide to Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUP

2018 heralds the 10 year anniversary of the Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP brand – these have now hit the market!

2018 Red Paddle Co Line

For 2018, Red Paddle Co has 23 models for surfing, whitewater, recreation, touring and racing, ranging in size from 8’10 to 22’0. This includes the introduction of 1 new model – the Voyager Tandem 15’0″ – 6 renames, a limited-edition anniversary model, a consolidation of the racing boards, revamped graphics and added features on several of the current boards. With all the models, activity types, sizes and features, how does one choose the best board? Each year we update our previous posts to reflect the new Red Paddle Co models and product upgrades – use this guide to take away some of the guesswork when looking at the myriad of options with Red Paddle Co iSUPs.

2018 Red Paddle Co Voyager Tandem

The more noticeable new features include:

  • Updated graphics and color scheme for most of the boards and paddles.
  • Further advances in Red Paddle’s innovative new Monocoque Structural Laminate (MSL) fusion technology. For 2018, Red Paddle again tweaked the material across the entire product line, making the injected, reinforced second layer thicker with increased bond strength.
  • Boards with removable fins continue to use the standard US Fin box – these are divided into two types. The Sports, Explorers and Whip now feature FCS Connect Tool-less Fin Systems which quickly snap into position without need for hardware or tools, yet now come with a finger screw to ensure the fins are secure. The racing boards (Elites, Max Races) come with a glass race fin.
  • Each board with removable fin now includes an extra fin pin/screw in the repair kit.
  • A third set of d-rings with expanded bungee deck lacing on many of the models. This provides a larger surface for attaching gear.
  • Embroidered logos on the carrying handles, making them softer to touch.
  • Upgraded deck pads
  • Two versions of the popular Red Paddle backpack – the Classic version and the new All-Terrain Rugged with some upgraded features for traveling comfort.
  • Expanded list of attachable third-party accessories utilizing the integrated nose mount, from Railblaza.
  • Updated seals and handles on the Titan dual cylinder hand pump.

Prices are generally remaining the same with some slight decreases over 2017. (See a complete list of the new 2018 Red Paddle Co Line and new features on this blog article.)

All 2018 Red Paddle Co iSUPs  (except the 3 giants) come with either the Classic or Rugged All-Terrain roller backpack featuring integrated wheels, making it easier to thread through airport lobbies, while still comfortable enough to pack into the remote country. Most of the boards come with the Titan dual action pump; the two smaller Whip 8’10 and Snapper 9’4 boards – as well as the larger Dragon, Ride XL and Ride L – come with the Red Air HP EZee pump. Each board includes a cell phone case, instructions, repair kit.

How do you use the following tables? First, ascertain your size from the list:

Big & Tall – 210+ lbs and 6’1? plus inches in height
Average – 140-200 lbs, 5’7? to 6’0? inches in height
Small – Under 140 lbs, Under 5’7? inches in height
Child – Under 100 lbs, under 5’0 inches in height

Then decide the type(s) of paddling you want to do (paddling situations):

Touring – Ocean, waves, long paddles, camping
Recreational – Lakes, sloughs, slower rivers, coastal, calm
Whitewater – Fast-moving maneuvering with eddies, drops.
Downriver – Wide-open moving water.

Determine what attributes are important (or not!) to you – do you want versatility or storage capacity? Stability or speed?

Rank your experience level, realizing that the more you get out on the water, the better you will get. More experienced paddlers can get away with smaller boards. Last of all, will this be used by various members of the family? Do you want the ability to bring along a child, dog or gear? Might two people be on this together?

Multi Paddlers/Family: Two Adults, Adult and child or dog.
Advanced Paddler

Follow the color key to decide what board is good for varying sizes and activities:

Blue – The board is great!
Green – The board is good.
Yellow – This board is not recommended.

For instance, if you were 5 feet 10 inches with a weight of 180 lbs, and whitewater rivers was the highest priority with a bit of recreational paddling, the Wild 9’6 would be a good choice. But, if you wished to do predominantly recreational paddling with a bit of whitewater, the Ride 10’6 would be best.

For easier viewing, the Red Paddle Co boards in the following tables have been separated into three categories: recreational, specialty and race. If you are having trouble viewing the details in the three tables, follow this link for a larger, zoomable and printable PDF version of the Choosing Your 2018 Red Paddle Co Inflatable Paddle Board iSUP.

2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational Inflatable SUPS.

This section outlines the recreational models, which include the Ride 9’8, 10’6 and 10’8, the Sport 11’0, 11’3 and 12’6, and the Voyager 12’6, 13’2 and new Tandem. This also includes the 2018 Limited Edition Ride 10’6″ created to celebrate Red’s 10th anniversary.

2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational SUP Line2018 Red Paddle Co Recreational Line

2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Inflatable SUPS.

The table below outlines the specialty boards, which include the Whip 8’10, Snapper 9’4, Wild 9’6, Wind 10’7, WindSurf 10’7, Activ 10’8, Ride L and the Ride XL.

2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Line2018 Red Paddle Co Specialty Line

2018 Red Paddle Co Racing Inflatable SUPS.

The last table below outlines the racing boards, which include the Max Race 10’6 in two widths, the Elite 12’6 and 14’0 – also in two widths – and the Dragon 22’0.

2018 Red PAddle Co Racing Line2018 Red PAddle Co Racing LineWhy are there varying board thicknesses?

Some of the larger boards feature heavier, drop-stitch materials, thus making the boards thicker. What does this mean? The thicker the board (and larger the board) the greater the air volume. This will increase the board rigidity at lower pressures. The Sport 11″0 and 11’3, Ride 10’6 and 10’8 boards – constructed from 120mm materials – will have roughly 20% greater rigidity than the 100mm material boards (Whip, Snapper, Ride 9-8), thus will carry more weight, but will be slightly less maneuverable. The 150mm material boards – such as the Flow, Elites, Sport 12’6 and Voyagers – will exhibit roughly 50% greater rigidity. But, the 100mm boards (as well as the 150mm Elites, Sport 12’6 and Voyagers) have been beefed up with the Rocker Stiffening System (RSS), which also gives them an additional boost over the 100mm boards built by other manufacturers.

How high do I really need to pump this up for best performance?

Recommended pressure is 18-20 PSI, with an optimum of 18PSI. We suggest starting off at 15 PSI, and then deciding if you need to go higher – no sense spending time and effort reaching the highest PSI, when it may not get you any better performance. For instance, as a smaller person, I generally don’t pump up my boards higher than 12 PSI. And one of our customers – at 6’3″ and 300 lbs – found his 12’6 was perfectly fine at 20 PSI.

You can read more about SUP pumps in our Guide to Choosing a Pump for your High Pressure Inflatable SUP.

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you can view details on the various Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPS at

We also have completed the following reviews:

Looking to save some money? We have a limited amount of the 2017 Red Paddle Co Inflatable SUPs at 15% off, while supplies last.

Still having trouble? Feel free to Contact Us via email, or give us a call at 707-998-0135.



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