RED PADDLE CO
The Compact is likely the most polished, well though-out inflatable package we’ve tested yet. It really does take up about half the space of a regular iSUP when stowed; in scenarios like yachts, family cars packed for holidays, airplanes and keeping your kit at work, this is the difference between having a board and going paddling, and not. Performance wise it’s a real treat; a light, nimble, go-anywhere do-anything paddling platform.
You get your Compact, a Titan pump, two ‘click in’ fins with FCS compatible fittings, a comfy coiled leash, a five-piece adjustable carbon paddle with tough nylon blade, all secured in an ingenious backpack with adjustable lumbar support and concentrated shoulder strap padding. Everything is premium quality, we’ve never had an unboxing experience like it. The Compact has a generous cargo bungee, offset padded carry handle (for widthways folding but it also makes carrying inflated easier) and two reinforcing stringers and is constructed from Red’s new Pact material which is softer for folding up but packs more threads per square inch than before for structural integrity.
Our aim was to produce the most transportable board on the planet, without compromising on performance – and the result is the 9’6” Compact. Ten years in the making, this game-changing new board with international patent pending technology, folds down the middle and packs super-small.
This innovative new board offers unprecedented convenience, so you can easily take it around town, hop on and off the train or even on your bike. Plus, it has never been easier to store your SUP! Most importantly, there’s no compromise on performance – the 9’6” Compact is as stiff and durable as all Red Paddle Co boards.
If you’re not grinning by the time you’ve unpacked and inflated it, you will be once the Compact is on the water. We found the length to width ratio makes a really stable, manoeuvrable board for exploring rocky, rough corners of the Cornish coastline. It fits in everywhere. It proved itself a real load-carrier too during our freediving and fishing go-outs. This light board moves forward easily so while you won’t hit personal best top speeds it won’t fatigue you on long days out. The 5-piece paddle is similar to Red’s Carbon Nylon model which we’re a fan of. It has a smooth, secure lever-lock adjustment with a tough nylon blade that is also forgiving on the rails. This is a premium product with no compromise in performance aimed at keen paddlers who find board storage and transport issues are keeping them off the water. So it’s more likely to find itself stowed in the lockers of motor-yachts, in the back of electric cars, under commuter’s desks than in the containers of water-side commercial operators. If you would like to make paddle boarding a much more frequent part of your life but can’t see how, now, if you can get to the water you can get your board there too. So what will it be? Another year of gym treadmills of a year of three-times a week paddle adventures on all the waterways around your work and home?
OTHER BOARDS IN THIS TEST: