Review: Red Paddle Co. Whip

8'10" X 29" X 3.93" (150 LITERS)

$ 1,199


Almost every company out there makes inflatable boards now. And for good reason: they're some of the most versatile and useful boards out there. Red Paddle Co. a UK-founded SUP company has taken inflatables to the next level. Red started making pump-up boards in 2008 and have been refining them ever since. For 2016, they're 8'10" Whip is one of the most impressive hollow SUP surfboards ever made. For us, it all starts with their RSS battens, which are flat, ruler-like rods that slide into pockets on each rail. They're a little difficult to put in at first but once you get the hang of it, the trouble all makes sense: they're a game-changer in the inflatable world, adding a stiffness that we've never felt in this category of SUP. The Whip is also extremely light—even for an inflatable—and durable thanks to the automated construction process and high-quality materials. But the big question still dangles: how does it surf? For an inflatable, it's a competitor for best in class. The four-inch rails and pulled in tail get you down the line nicely in steep sections, allow you to manage your speed and even perform the occasional floater, waves and skill-level permitting. Without hard rails to dig into the waves, though, you can't go vertical or surf rail-to-rail. Still, it's a major improvement in the inflatable category and a great choice for traveling SUP surfers than can't take the hassle of traveling with hard boards. —WT