RED PADDLE CO
The premium iSUP brand’ constant presence in the inflatable “surf “ market has been tweaked over the years, it has its place in their line up and could save your holiday when needed. The Whip delivers a thin (4” thick) board which is fairly stiff and of course you can surf it too (in a manner). It also does double-duty as a fine compact lighter person’s or kid’s iSUP all wrapped up in the familiar quality Red Paddle package. And it’s perfect for surfing remote places that you can’t get your regular wave SUP to.
Delivered in Red Paddle’s classy tailored wheeled backpack with a HP smaller pump and paddle the Whip has tons of space in the bag for your snorkelling gear too. On deck the board has a Ram (camera mount) on the nose, ¾ logo’d deck pad with kick pad, a padded webbing handle and HD leash point. The sides of the board come with RSS fiberglass stiffening battens. Underneath a single US box plastic fin with thumb screw is supplied in the drawn out tail. The board as a reasonable amount of nose kick but it’s not excessive like some brands have.
The 8’10” Whip, a surf inflatable SUP you can throw in a bag and take all over the world as if it were just any other backpack. It’s extremely durable and has been tested to destruction (actually, even after we drove over one of our boards in a tractor, it still worked just fine), making it the perfect travel surf SUP. It’s got a narrow tail, a removable, adjustable fin from world leading surfboard fin creators FCS and Red Paddle Co’s patented RSS batten system, which makes it super-stiff for maximum manoeuvrability.
So what’s it like to surf an iSUP? Well some brands have been pushing these boards for years and to be perfectly honest with you, if you’ve been surfing a 10’6 inflatable then the Whip is going to be far better than you expect. However if you’ve surfed a hard board then these round railed boards are going to feel sticky, slow and lack any real turning ability. The Whip is fine going along the wave and yes you can turn it as long as you’re far enough back. The stiffness is in the centre of the board so any movement in front or behind the RSS battens is noticeable as the board bends a fair bit on a wave (it is only 4” thick after all). Of course if you were after a proper wave board the only option for the discerning surfer would be a solid board, however there are for some people plenty of times when they’re travelling when a hard board isn’t an option and this is when the Whip becomes your ace card. I can think of many times when I’d much prefer to be SUP surfing an iSUP than sat on the beach with no option to do anything other than bodysurf. The Whip will certainly fit the bill for plenty of people as a go anywhere compromise board, it’s small it’s light and pretty stiff, your kids will love it too, and it’s from a brand that everyone trusts so resale should be a bonus too.
OTHER BOARDS IN THIS TEST: