RED PADDLE CO SPORT 11’3 SE TEST REVIEW
The Sport 11’3 is a beautifully laid out board that’s incredibly user-friendly over a vast range of situations. Built for the ocean, this rigid platform is instinctive for new paddlers on evening glides and stays composed when you’re hacking out through the overfalls of windy coastal headlands. The Carbon 100 paddle is perfectly machined and compliments this superb board that leads the way in the user-friendly touring experience.
The Sport is made for touring and picks up where the 10’6 Ride leaves off. The front end is extended for a sleeker front profile which runs via a low-rise rocker to the squared-off tail with a hard rubberised edge for better release. A centre US fin sits underneath. Red’s unique flat cargo strap system binds kit to the deck and is comfortable to walk over / lie on when empty. The EVA deck pad has a skin-friendly granular texture mid-ships changing to a diamond pattern over the tail for sensory reference. Three tubular carry handles set you up for carrying, portage, leashing, towing and hauling from the surf. It should be mentioned that all of these specific features are unique to Red’s boards and won’t be found elsewhere.
At 32” wide, the 11’3” Sport SUP is the same width as our award winning 10’6” Ride board, making it stable no matter what your experience level. This board has been designed to deliver more speed and dynamic performance (although it’s not a race board). The secret to its performance lies in its sleek shape, which has been crafted to cut through the water cleanly. The drawn-out nose section also gives the board more glide across the water, so you’ll be able to reach higher speeds than with our Ride range.
The Sport is beautifully thought out and great to look at but the Ace-up-the-sleeve is the 4’7” side-wall height and stiffening battens. The thinner rails reduce the side-windage by about one square foot and lower the ride height. Both factors significantly improve cross-wind paddling and stability in all surface conditions as the rider connection with the water is more direct which allows the body to react naturally to surface perturbations.
The Sport is stiff, especially so for its high circumference to area cross-section, so energy from each paddle stroke is converted more to forward motion and less to boinging up and down. All of these performance advantages mean the rider is going faster and further with less energy expended.
We trialled the Sport with several new riders in some strong currents and headwinds and they made great progress – we’re convinced that this is an excellent board for any adult who knows they want to paddle properly, it’s all the board you’ll need.