Red Paddle Co 11'0" Sport
Portable inflatable paddle board in the sport touring category. Easy to transport and set up. Comes complete ready to paddle, just add water.
- Portable, wheeled or backpack
- Easily setup
- Very stable and easy to paddle
- Excellent online tutorial
- No instruction sheet included
I will start this review with the caveat that I am a rank beginner stand-up paddle boarder, having only attempted the sport once in the ocean, on vacation, and it did not go very well. Also, since I am so inexperienced I could not give this excellent paddle board a 5-star rating simply because I did not have it long enough nor do I I know enough at this time to comment on its long term durability. I am also not going to include a bunch of construction and material details as the Red Paddle website does a very thorough job of providing that information.
That being said, I was thrilled to get a chance to demo this paddle board for a month this summer, as I have wanted to get into the sport for some time. The Red Paddle board comes in a really nice rolling storage bag about the size of a golf bag. It rolled well and was easy to move over hard surfaces. A nice extra feature of the bag is shoulder straps that are tucked into a pocket in the rear of the bag. This makes it much easier to transport the bag over soft or uneven surfaces.
Unzipping the bag reveals the board rolled up and secured by adjustable straps to the inside of the storage bag along with a patch kit, air pump, and hoses needed to inflate the paddleboard. Removing the paddleboard and unrolling the bag is simple and the board is fairly light.
With no comprehensive written instruction sheet provided I was momentarily lost, then looking at the inflation inlet there were printed instructions on how to properly set the valve for inflation and deflation. A little fiddling and I figured out how to make the valve pop-up into the correct inflation position. The pump also had instructions printed on the main body and it was easy to connect the two via the provided hose and inflate the board.
When the board is partially inflated I was then able to slide the stiffening battens into the pockets on the side of the board and complete the inflation process. Disconnecting the hose and capping the valve, I was ready to test.
I put the board into my pool and practiced getting to my feet and paddling a bit. I then thought since I had no experience, I should check out the Red Paddle website, where I found several tutorials on adjusting the paddle, proper paddling technique, and how to turn the paddle board. I would advise people to watch the tutorials prior to even unpacking the board.
Now that I had some idea of what I should be doing, I took the paddle board, put in my truck, and drove to Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa, California. When inflated the board is light and the center hand grip makes it easy to move the board around. I followed the tutorial instructions and started out paddling from my knees to get a feel for this new sport.
A few minutes of that and I stood up and started paddling around the lake. I found the board very stable and it became quite easy to stay in balance. I learned quickly that if you keep the board in motion and keep paddling, balance becomes very natural. I found the board performed equally well on flat water and in mildly windy conditions.
While this 11-foot board is considered a "sport touring" or "sports car" of the lineup and is made for experienced paddlers, I found it very forgiving and easy to learn on. Having the inflatable soft deck allowed me to drop to my knees whenever I felt a bit off balance, without any painful consequences. By the end of the first day, I was comfortable paddling and really started to enjoy the sport.
Over the next several weeks I took the board out many times and I now consider myself a novice paddle boarder. I was bummed when my trial period came to an end and I had to pack up and return the loaner board. I now will start doing research on paddle boards from Red Paddle and other companies to find the paddle board that best fits my needs.
Specs: 11' long, 30" wide, 4 3/4" thick
Disclosure: I received a loaner sample of this product for the purposes of this review, but the opinions expressed are my own.
Source: tested or reviewed it for the manufacturer (Received a loaner sample of this product for the purposes of this review)
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