BLACKFIN Model X Review | 2020

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A popular inflatable SUP board that was initially introduced two seasons ago, the BLACKFIN Model X has received many exciting new features and improvements this season…

2021 BLACKFIN SUPs Are Here!

The 2021 BLACKFIN models have launched globally and we’ll be publishing our in-depth, hands-on reviews for each board shortly. In the meantime, we’ve written up our first impressions for the BLACKFIN family this year — including what’s changed and what hasn’t. Check it out… Blackfin SUP 2021 Launch First Impressions

The 2020 Models will continue to be sold as well at a discount.

iROCKER’s best-selling lineup of inflatable paddle boards is well-known for its great build quality and affordable price points, and the recently launched BLACKFIN SUP line is geared towards paddlers who want a higher-end inflatable paddle board with premium features and accessories.

BLACKFIN Model X Rails

Founded by two friends, Jacksonville-based iROCKER SUP has quickly become a well-known brand in the world of inflatable paddle boards. The company’s growing iSUP line currently consists of 9 models ranging in size from 10′ to 13’6″ in length, and their new premium BLACKFIN SUP lineup includes the 10’6″ Model X (which we’re covering in this review), the faster 11’6″ Model XL, and the brand new BLACKFIN Model V touring SUP.


We’ve recommended iROCKER paddle boards for quite some time due to their bombproof build quality, great features, generous warranty coverage, and affordable pricing. The BLACKFIN SUP boards offer the same great build quality and warranty, but they take things to a whole new level in terms of premium features and a massively upgraded accessory bundle.


In this updated 2020 BLACKFIN Model X review, we’ll take an in-depth look at all of the features that make this board unique, the new lighter weight construction and overall build quality, paddling performance, what’s included, pros and cons, where to buy it, and how you can save some money to get the very best deal. We’ll also tell you about some optional accessories that are worth considering and for those who prefer video, we’ve included our first look video which highlights the changes for 2020.

— In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary —

ProsDurable triple-layer PVC composite construction
Bombproof durability
Very rigid
Extreme stability
Tracks well in the water
Attractive new design
3 eye-catching new colors (White, Teal, and Blue)
Carbon rails for added stiffness and toughness
8 Action Mounts for GoPro and other accessories
Convenient toolless Flip-Lock fin system
Triple removable fins for easier packing, racking, and storage
Grab handles at nose and tail
Dual bungee storage areas
D-ring on underside of nose for towing
Additional D-rings for attaching a kayak seat or shoulder strap
Removable safety handles at nose and tail for kids
High-quality, Blackfin logo-branded traction pad
New fishing rack and sand spear mounts
Full Throttle dual-chamber triple-action SUP pump
Enlarged wheeled roller backpack
Full carbon fiber paddle shaft
Great customer support
2-year warranty
60-day money-back guarantee
ConsCarrying handle's neoprene cover isn't removable
Price & Where to Buy itCheck Price or Buy Now

BLACKFIN Model X Review: SUP Overview

BLACKFIN Model X SUP: A Review of What's New (2020)

Measuring 10’6″ x 35″ x 6″ and weighing in at 27 pounds this year, the 2020 BLACKFIN Model X is an incredibly stable board that’s tough enough to handle anything and everything you can throw at it. From the minute you pick the Model X up, you can tell that this board was designed to withstand serious abuse.


As far as the board’s aesthetics go, iROCKER once again did a fantastic job on the overall design this year. From the colors and design elements to the BLACKFIN SUP branding, everything is tastefully done. While this is subjective, the overall design of iROCKER’s BLACKFIN Model X is one of the nicest we’ve seen when it comes to inflatable SUPs.

Drag slider below to compare the 2019 and 2020 Model X


The top deck of the BLACKFIN 10’6″ Model X features a top-shelf traction pad — a multi-color EVA deck pad that is neatly embossed with the BLACKFIN logo. The traction pattern on this pad is unbelievably comfortable and much easier on the hands and feet than the style that you typically see on all-around boards, making the Model X a fantastic option for yoga/SUP fitness enthusiasts.

Click on hotspots for additional details

Sand Spear/Push Pole kits
Front Storage Area
Rear Cargo Storage
Carrying Handle
Carbon File Rails
Safety Handles
Front Safety Handles
Action Mounts
Grab Handle
Rear Grab Handle
Side Rail D-Rings
Fishing Rack Mounts
Traction Pad

At the center of the traction pad is a high-quality carrying handle that’s covered by a BLACKFIN-branded neoprene cover. While the handle’s neoprene cover isn’t removable, it does have a fairly low profile which we like…

BLACKFIN Model X Paddle Carry Handle

Located along the sides of the traction pad are six stainless steel D-rings for attaching the optional BLACKFIN kayak seat or shoulder carrying strap (more on that below). These can also be used as additional gear tie-down points for a SUP cooler, camping gear, etc.

BLACKFIN Model X Rear Tail Storage

At the nose are six more D-rings and an enlarged bungee cord storage area for securing a dry bag, your camping or fishing gear, and more. Just as they’ve done on the iROCKER ALL-AROUND 10′, ALL-AROUND 11′, 10’6″ CRUISER, and the rest of the BLACKFIN SUP line, the company has incorporated two neoprene safety grips into the bungee storage area which gives children a great place to hold onto while sitting on the nose of the board. These handles are even removable which is a nice touch. Also integrated into the bungee storage area are two Action Mounts which are perfect for attaching an action camera, fishing rod holder, etc.

Front Storage Area
Paddling Child BLACKFIN Model X
Front Bungee Storage Area

Positioned at the tip of the nose is a heavy-duty grab handle which really comes in handy whenever you’re pulling the board in and out of the water. The handle has a very comfortable neoprene cover sewn in.

Model X Nose

At the tail of the BLACKFIN Model X are six more stainless steel D-rings and a second bungee cord storage area that’s been enlarged for 2020. The board’s dual bungee cord storage areas really give you a lot of options when it comes to carrying additional gear. It’s also great for those times when a passenger or pup is riding along at the nose and you need to secure a bag or other gear.

Model X Tail

Another great feature is the integration of kids’ safety handles into the rear bungee storage area. Children can ride along at the nose or tail of the board and just like the front set, these are also removable.

Rear Elastic Bungee Cargo Area

There’s also another neoprene covered grab handle that’s branded with the Model X logo as well as a high-quality Halkey-Roberts style inflation valve. This rear grab handle is ideal for pulling the Model X in and out of the water as it elevates the fins, preventing damage caused by rocky beaches and other hard objects.

Anglers will be excited to learn that iROCKER has added new fishing rack mounts, mini Action Mounts, and Sand Spear/Push Pole mounts. These optional add-on accessories give you the ability to convert the Model X into a serious SUP fishing rig.


The bottom of the Model X features the handsome BLACKFIN logo across the middle of the board and there’s a D-ring strategically located on the underside of the nose for towing or tethering.

BLACKFIN Model X Bottom
Towing D-ring

The Model X once again comes with a versatile tri-fin setup, but this season iROCKER transitioned from a center US fin box to the more convenient Flip-Lock style that’s being used across the rest of their lineups. All three fins feature a simple but secure lever lock system that makes it quick and easy to attach and remove the fins.

Removable Flip-Lock Fins


iROCKER made the decision last year to move their BLACKFIN lineup over to a lighter weight composite PVC construction. The change paid off well and they’ve now transitioned their entire iROCKER SUP line over to the same triple-layer construction.


iROCKER’s triple-layer composite construction is lighter without sacrificing durability or stiffness and all of the BLACKFIN SUPs once again feature a carbon fiber rail for additional rigidity and toughness. When pumped up to the recommended inflation pressure of 14-18 PSI, the BLACKFIN Model X is super stiff and feels very similar to a hard board.


Lastly, all of the hardware on this inflatable SUP is top notch and the fit and finish are exactly what you’d expect from a premium board.

Paddling Performance

As you might expect, the BLACKFIN Model X isn’t the fastest board on the water, but it moves surprisingly well for a board that’s 35″ wide. The board doesn’t feel sluggish at all, and tracking is also quite good.

The stability department is really where the Model X shines, however. The widest board in the company’s lineup and even more stable than the popular iROCKER CRUISER, the BLACKFIN Model X feels rock-solid under the feet and really inspires confidence — even when it comes to first-time paddlers.

The BLACKFIN Model X is also an extremely versatile board. Perfect for beginners and advanced paddlers alike, this board is perfect for paddling with children or a dog and it can handle everything from flatwater cruising to challenging whitewater conditions. The Model X is also a great choice for fishing and yoga/SUP fitness workouts.

Likes and Dislikes

One of our top recommendations over the past two seasons, the Model X has only gotten better for 2020. This board packs on even more value this year with all of the added features and improved accessory package.

Unpacking BLACKFIN Model X

We love the front and rear kids’ handles and our children love the fact that they can both ride along at the same time. The fact that the handles are now removable is also great for paddlers who don’t find them useful.

The large number of new Action Mounts is also a fantastic addition. In addition to capturing amazing GoPro footage of your paddling adventures, you can also use them for a variety of other fun accessories including a waterproof speaker or fishing rod holder.

Lastly, we like the fact that iROCKER made a three color options available this season:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Teal

While we prefer the Teal and Blue colors, all of them look amazing.

As far as downsides go, it’s honestly pretty difficult to find fault with this board. The only thing that we’d change on the 2020 Model X is making the neoprene carrying handle cover removable. Other than this very minor gripe, there’s honestly nothing we’d change about this board — it’s perfect as-is.

  • Durability
  • Features
  • Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Portability
  • Warranty
  • Customer Support
  • Price


Weight27 pounds
Max Capacity450 pounds

What’s Included

BLACKFIN Model X Accessories

When it comes to high-end inflatable paddle boards, people expect to receive a premium-quality SUP accessory bundle — iROCKER does not disappoint with their bundle of BLACKFIN SUP accessories.

The company includes a premium wheeled roller backpack, upgraded full carbon fiber shaft paddle with new blade design, Full Throttle dual-chamber triple action SUP pump, coiled leash, repair kit, and BLACKFIN sticker pack…


An upgrade over iROCKER’s standard iSUP backpack, the BLACKFIN wheeled roller backpack is an extremely sturdy bag that’s very well designed. One of the only complaints we heard about this bag since it was initially released was that it was a bit on the small size but that’s been addressed — it’s nice and roomy, offering plenty of room for the board and accessories.


On the front of the bag is a large zippered storage compartment that is big enough to accommodate the included dual-chamber SUP pump as well as a new bungee net for stashing a towel or jacket. The front of the bag also features a see-through luggage ID window and a heavy-duty grab handle located at the top.

There are additional grab handles and compression straps located on both sides of the bag, and the bottom of the bag features a fourth grab handle that is made out of durable plastic. All of these handles are really helpful whenever you’re pulling the board in and out of your car.

BLACKFIN Backpack Bottom
Loading BLACKFIN SUP Backpack

The wheels that iROCKER incorporated into the bottom of the backpack are oversized and feature deeply grooved traction which comes in handy when pulling the bag through sand, grass, etc. Also, the company strategically positioned the wheels on the front of the bag which prevents them from digging into your back when the bag is on your shoulders. Additionally, this design keeps the bag’s straps from dragging on the ground when you’re rolling the bag around.

Backpack Wheels

On the back of the bag are two nicely padded backpack straps. The comfortable straps are fully adjustable and feature plastic D-rings for attaching gadgets and other small accessories which clips and carabiners.

Backpack Straps

The back of the bag is also cushioned, and there’s an adjustable sternum strap and a padded waist belt for stabilizing the bag when it’s on your shoulders.

Lastly, there’s plenty of zippered storage pockets for 2020 along with a large zippered storage pouch on the top of the bag which is designed to hold the company’s new compact electric SUP pump.

Zippered Storage Pocket


The BLACKFIN carbon fiber SUP paddle is essentially an upgraded version of iROCKER’s standard paddle. Featuring the same blade and reliable 3-piece design, the BLACKFIN paddle comes with a shaft that’s made out of lightweight full carbon fiber. The shaft has a shiny finish this season and it’s neatly branded with the BLACKFIN logo…

BLACKFIN Carbon Fiber Paddle Shaft

This fully adjustable paddle extends all the way to 86 inches which makes it a better choice for taller paddlers and iROCKER used a lighter, streamlined blade this year for reduced weight and improved paddling performance. It’s also color-coded with the board…


Full Throttle Pump

The Model X once again ships with the company’s upgraded Full Throttle pump which is even faster and easier to use than the original version which was introduced two seasons ago.

2018/2019 BLACKFIN SUP Pump Comparison

Featuring a highly-efficient dual-chamber design, the Full Throttle Pump has three modes. Inflating the Model X with this new pump is easy — just start inflating the board with the pump in setting #1, and as the pumping gets increasingly difficult, bump the setting to #2 and then ultimately to #3 to finish the inflation process.

Full Throttle Pump Action Control

This top-shelf iSUP pump also comes with a convenient built-in pressure gauge that’s integrated into the handle.

BLACKFIN Full Throttle Pump Pressure Gauge


Also included with the BLACKFIN Model X is a 10′ coiled SUP leash. Branded with the BLACKFIN logo on the ankle cuff, this comfortable leash features dual stainless steel swivels to eliminate tangles and a hidden velcro storage pouch for stashing your keys.


Repair Kit

Last but not least, the Model X comes with a BLACKFIN sticker pack and an inflatable SUP repair kit. Included in the repair kit is a valve wrench, three PVC patches, and replacement lever locks for the fins.

iSUP Repair Kit

Optional Add-ons

In addition to the impressive new range of BLACKFIN inflatable SUPs, iROCKER has also introduced a nice selection of BLACKFIN accessories that are available as optional upgrades. While not essential, they’re nice add-ons to consider and will increase the overall enjoyment that you get from the board.

Fishing Rack

Brand new for 2020, iROCKER’s Fishing Rack Kit gives you the ability to add a rack to the deck of your Model X. While the BLACKFIN Model X has always been a great board for SUP fishing, this new option makes it one of the best iSUPs available for serious anglers.

Sand Spear Kit

Another new add-on this year is the new BLACKFIN Sand Spear Kit which gives you the ability to anchor the board in shallower waters. 

Kayak Seat

An accessory that gives the Model X even more versatility is the BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Bundle. This easy to use kit includes a foldable kayak seat, mounting straps, matching carbon fiber kayak blade attachment, and zippered storage pouch.

BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Kit

To install the kayak seat, simply attach the metal hooks to the four D-rings located along the rails of the Model X. The included mounting straps are fully adjustable and it’s easy to shorten or lengthen them for the perfect fit.

BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Installation

To assemble the kayak blade attachment, just remove the uppermost shaft section from your BLACKFIN paddle and slide the kayak blade into place. Then, simply line up the pins with the holes and close the lock mechanism.

BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Package

Last but not least, the included storage pouch conveniently clips onto the back of the seat and can be easily removed whenever you want to take it with you.

Insulated Cooler Bag

Another great accessory that was initially introduced last season is the BLACKFIN SUP Deck Cooler Bag. This fully insulated cooler bag has a convenient lunchbox design that is easy to carry around when it’s not strapped to your board.


On the front exterior of the bag is a zippered storage pocket for stashing small accessories, and there’s a handy carrying handle on the top as well as an elastic bungee cord on the back. There are plastic hooks attached to the bungee cord which can be quickly clipped to the Model X’s D-rings, but our preference is to simply slip the bag under one of the board’s bungee storage areas.

BLACKFIN SUP Deck Bag Bottom

The inside of the bag features an insulated liner that does a good job of keeping drinks and snacks cold while you’re out on the water.

BLACKFIN Insulated SUP Deck Bag Liner

Weighing in at only 15.2 ounces, the BLACKFIN SUP Cooler is an incredibly lightweight and versatile bag that is perfect for keeping things cool during a paddle, road trip, or day at the beach.

Shoulder Carrying Strap

Another popular add-on accessory is the BLACKFIN Shoulder Carrying Strap. A much more convenient way to carry your board to the water and back, this handy strap is fully adjustable and features a grippy rubber lining on the underside of the strap pad. there are also four plastic D-rings attached to the top of the strap for securing small accessories.

iROCKER Carrying Strap

Each end of the strap quickly attaches to one of the D-rings along the board’s rail, and once the board is over your shoulder, it’ll give you an additional free hand for carrying extra gear.

iROCKER Electric Paddle Board Pump

A best-selling accessory in iROCKER’s line is its electric iSUP pump. While the included double-chamber Full Throttle Pump does a great job of inflating the Model X, there’s nothing better than the hands-free convenience offered by an electric paddle board pump.

iROCKER Electric Paddle Board Pump

Lightweight and fairly compact in design, iROCKER’s pump plugs directly into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter adapter and will automatically inflate the Model X in approximately 12 minutes. There’s an auto-shutoff safety feature to prevent over inflation and the pump also includes a handy set of alligator clips that you can connect directly to your car battery.

BLACKFIN Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker (by Speaqua)

The BLACKFIN Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker gives you a great way to enjoy your favorite tunes while out on the water. Available in two colors, this tough speaker is 100% waterproof, submersible, sand/dust proof, and even floats.

BLACKFIN Waterproof Speakers

This versatile speaker features a removable suction cup and there’s even a threaded insert that allows it to be securely screwed onto the new Action Mount at the Model X’s nose…

BLACKFIN Bluetooth Speaker Bottom

This little speaker produces a surprisingly rich sound and is incredibly fun to bring along on the water. In addition to being able to use it with your phone, the speaker also has 4GB of built-in memory that can store up to 1,000 songs — perfect for those times when you don’t want to bring your phone along.

BLACKFIN Speaqua Speaker

The rechargeable battery provides up to 5 hours of tunes and there’s a speakerphone/microphone with caller-ID function. Last but not least, the speaker supports dual-pairing which means that you and a friend can wirelessly connect and sync your speakers together while out on the water.

Action Mount

If you’ve got a board without an action mount or just want the ability to secure more of them to your BLACKFIN Model X, iROCKER now sells add-on action mounts that you can quickly and easily attach to the deck of your board.

iROCKER Action Mount

Waterproof Phone Case

Also available from iROCKER is a waterproof cell phone case. Capable of holding phones up to 6.5″ x 3.5″ in size, this case includes a convenient lanyard and many smaller phones even float if you blow air into it before sealing it up.

iROCKER Waterproof Phone Case

Cell Phone Holder

An accessory that goes great with iROCKER’s waterproof phone case is the new cell phone holder. This quickly screws on to the Model X’s action mount and keeps your phone accessible at all times while you’re paddling.

iROCKER SUP Phone Holder

Fishing Rod Holder

Fishing Rod Holder

iROCKER’s fishing rod holder quickly attaches to the Model X’s Action Mount, giving anglers a convenient and secure spot to place their rod when they’re out on the water.


The entire BLACKFIN SUP line is covered by iROCKER’s rock-solid 2-year warranty which covers any manufacturer defects. Additionally, the company offers a generous risk-free 60-day money back guarantee for added peace of mind. For 2020, iROCKER is also making an extended warranty available, giving you the ability to stretch the coverage out to a total of 3 years.

Where to Buy it

You can order the brand new BLACKFIN Model X at iROCKER’s official online store. In addition to offering FREE expedited shipping and super low prices, iROCKER also offers easy financing, one of the best customer service experiences in the industry, and a 60-day money-back guarantee.

If you don’t live in the U.S., you’ll be happy to know that iROCKER SUPs are available worldwide. Just click the link above and you’ll be automatically redirected to the company’s online store for your country. Currently, iROCKER is shipping to:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • UK
  • Europe
  • Australia
  • …and more

iROCKER Sales & Discounts

iROCKER regularly offers limited-time promotions featuring discounts on select paddle boards and accessories. These vary by region and change frequently; check out the latest iROCKER promos below. For all the best deals from iROCKER and other top SUP brands visit and bookmark our SUP sales and discounts page.


Is the BLACKFIN Model X a good board for paddling with kids and dogs?

Absolutely — in fact, this model is one of our favorites this season for parents and pet owners. For children, the safety handles that have been integrated into the nose’s bungee storage area are very helpful and the extreme stability of this board will help your children to feel safe and confident on the water. As far as pups go, the outer PVC layer is practically indestructible so you don’t have to worry about damage from your dog’s nails. Additionally, there is ample room at the nose for your pooch to comfortably sit or stand.

Is the BLACKFIN Model X worth it?

iROCKER’s premium BLACKFIN range offers a tremendous amount of value and is a better choice than many boards costing nearly twice as much. The BLACKFIN Model X comes loaded with upgraded features, top-shelf accessories, and a 2-year warranty for added peace of mind.

iROCKER vs. BLACKFIN — which is better?

We highly recommend both lines, but in terms of which one is best, this depends entirely on you. The regular iROCKER lineup is a bit more affordable and doesn’t include the premium features or upgraded accessories of the BLACKFIN SUP line. Also, both BLACKFIN boards include a carbon rail which adds even more durability and stiffness. Bottom line — if you can afford the slightly higher price tag and prefer extreme stability and premium upgrades, we’d recommend the BLACKFIN boards. If you’re working with a tighter budget and just want a stable, well-built board without the added bells and whistles, go with one of the regular iROCKER models. For more details, please check out our BLACKFIN vs. iROCKER SUP buyers’ guide.

Can I fly with the Model X?

Yes, both BLACKFIN boards are great options for airplane travel as they can be conveniently checked with the rest of your luggage. Just pack the board up in the included backpack and bring it along with you on all of your vacation adventures — you won’t have to spend money anymore on SUP rental fees. Also, since the Model X is such a versatile all-around board, it can be used on lakes, bays, rivers, and oceans anywhere in the world.

What type of care and maintenance is required for the BLACKFIN Model X?

Honestly, not much! First of all, it’s always a good idea to give your board a quick rinse after paddling (especially if you’ve been paddling in saltwater conditions). Secondly, don’t leave your board sitting out in the hot sun for extended periods of time as the heat will cause the air in your board to expand and potentially damage it by blowing a seam. This is obviously not an issue when you’re paddling as the water keeps the board nice and cool. Additionally, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can deteriorate materials over time, so a little 303 Aerospace Protectant from time to time will provide added protection and prevent UV damage. 303 Aerospace Protectant won’t damage PVC, rubber, or plastics, and it’s safe to use on the Model X — just don’t apply it to the traction pad though as things can get a little slippery. Last but not least, if your board begins to look dirty, you can give it a quick wash with some mild soap and water.

Can the BLACKFIN Model X be used without the center fin?

Yes, you can use the board with just the two fixed side fins in shallow water or whenever tracking performance is not essential. Additionally, the BLACKFIN Model X features an upgraded U.S. fin box which gives you the ability to experiment with different center fin setups.

How long does it take to fully inflate the BLACKFIN Model X with the included pump?

Inflation time varies depending on how quickly you pump, but it typically takes 5-10 minutes to pump the board up to 15 PSI.

Is the Model X be used for tandem paddling?

The BLACKFIN Model X was not designed for tandem paddling, but it’s certainly capable of supporting two adult paddlers. If you’re interested in doing some leisurely flatwater paddling it’ll work just fine, but for serious tandem paddling, we’d recommend a board that’s been specifically designed with that in mind.

Does the BLACKFIN Model X work well for SUP fishing?

While not specifically designed with SUP fishing in mind, the BLACKFIN Model X is a great board for anglers who are interested in extremely stability, durability, and versatility. The dual bungee storage areas and multiple D-rings provide plenty of places to secure fishing gear and a SUP cooler, and this is a board that you’ll be able to use for a variety of other purposes when you’re not out catching fish.

Can I buy a BLACKFIN Model X SUP in stores, or only online?

At this time, the BLACKFIN line is only available for purchase on iROCKER’s website — you won’t find them on Amazon or in stores. By bypassing the normal retail channels and selling direct to the consumer, iROCKER is able to sell their boards at much cheaper price points than their competition.

Is the BLACKFIN Model X a good inflatable paddle board for beginners?

Both BLACKFIN paddle boards offer outstanding stability and are ideal for SUP beginners. First-time paddlers will have absolutely no trouble standing up on the Model X thanks to the board’s 35″ width, and this board is a great option for confidence building with beginner paddlers. We highly recommend this board for paddlers of all skill levels.

Where is the BLACKFIN Model X made?

All iROCKER inflatable SUPs are designed in Jacksonville, FL and manufactured at one of the top iSUP factories in China.

I want to know how to install the BLACKFIN kayak seat kit – is it difficult to do?

Attaching the BLACKFIN SUP seat to the top of the Model X is a simple job that only takes a minute to do. After setting the seat on the top deck of the board, just clip the straps to the D-rings along the rails and adjust to your desired length.

What’s the difference between the BLACKFIN Model X and Model XL?

The Model XL is longer and slightly narrower than the 10’6″ Model X, providing you with added speed and improved tracking performance. The Model XL is also a better choice for larger paddlers.

Final Thoughts

We’re excited about all of the new changes that have been made to the 2020 BLACKFIN Model X — as good as this board was when it was originally introduced two seasons ago, things have only gotten better. This board is absolutely loaded with great features and we love the stunning design and fine attention to detail.

Bottom line: If you’re looking for a beautiful inflatable SUP that’s affordable and comes loaded with premium features and accessories, the bombproof BLACKFIN Model X should be at the top of your list. The Model X is an extremely stable board that offers amazing versatility and it’s a SUP that’s been designed for serious use.

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  1. Hi there last season I purchased the Blackfin model x 2019 on your recommendation its an awesome beautiful board thank you!! Im looking to purchase another board this year a little different from the 35inch width something a bit quicker im considering one of the Thurso water walkers or the irocker all arounds any suggestions would be great 11ft or the 10ft irocker all around love the look of the thursos

    thanks !!

    • Hi Shelby! Thanks a lot for your comment…

      So glad to hear that you’re happy with the Model X, it’s a great board. In terms of another recommendation, I’d go with the new ALL-AROUND 11′ or SPORT 11′, they will both be available shortly and I’ll ping you as soon as they’re launched. I’ve had them for the past month or so and they are even better than the boards in last year’s lineup – I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

      Hope that helps, Shelby! As mentioned, I’ll ping you as soon as the new iROCKER lineup is launched so you can check out all of the new models. Happy paddling…

  2. Hi, new to ISup.

    just wondering why some boards of pretty much the same dimension have vastly different weight carrying capacity. This one say 450 lbs. other with similar spec much lower 265 lbs.

    Is that something to consider? less flex in the middle?

    I was also looking at eh Nixy line for their lightweight design but they top at 300 lbs


    • Hi Joel, thanks for the comment.

      Yes, board construction is definitely a factor when it comes to capacity. Also, some companies list a “recommended” capacity while others provide a “maximum” weight.

  3. Hello,

    Thank you for your very informative reviews. I had a Badfish MCIT that sprung a bad leak in the middle of a trip last weekend. I’m in the market for a new board. I’m looking at either the Blackfin X or XL. We do a good mix of lake and river paddling and can get in some tight spaces. My other board was 11’6 and there were times it was tight. I also frequently have either my dog or my daughter on board. Although, my daughter is 7 and quickly beginning to paddle her on vessel. Any advice on which board would be appreciated.

    Thank you!

    • I’m really sorry to hear about your Badfish issue. You’ll be very happy with the BLACKFIN line, the Model X and XL are both awesome boards and perfect for what you’ll be using them for. Your daughter will also enjoy the integrated grab handles at the nose/tail — it’s a great feature for kids.

      If you feel that the 11’6″ was a bit restrictive due to the length, I’d definitely go with the 10’6″ Model X. It’s insanely stable, very easy to maneuver, and will give you access to those harder-to-reach spots.

  4. Thank you so much!

    2 quick follow ups:

    1) is the craftsmanship of both boards comparable? or would you say the blackfin is noticeably better?

    2) How about the actual paddle that comes with it? big difference?

    • It’s my pleasure, Inigo.

      1. There’s no difference at all in terms of build quality — the fit/finish of iROCKER’s regular boards and their premium BLACKFIN line are identical.

      2. As far as the paddle design goes, the iROCKER and BLACKFIN paddles are identical except for the fact that the iROCKER comes with a fiberglass shaft while the BLACKFIN paddle features a lighter carbon fiber shaft.

  5. hi, I am an owner of a Starboard Astro deluxe 11.2x32x6 which got damaged on the seam and appears to not be fixable…I am contemplating i-rocker/Blackfin.

    Most of the time I will be going on my own and the water where I SUP is an open Bay (a bit choppy at times). I am in between these 3: i-rockers 1) all around, 2) sport and blackfin X.

    I own a Werner 3-piece paddle.

    Lastly, I am 5’7 and 135lbs and with a fair amount of experience.

    Many thanks! you’re super helpful!

    • Hi Inigo! Thanks for your nice comment…

      Between the three boards you’re considering, I’d recommend either the BLACKFIN Model X or iROCKER ALL-AROUND 11′. The ALL-AROUND 11′ will be most similar to your Astro Deluxe while the BLACKFIN will offer a lot of additional stability due to the wider 35″ profile. Due to the fact that you already have a good bit of experience under your belt and have been paddling a board with similar dimensions to the ALL-AROUND 11′, that might be the better choice (unless you’re specifically looking for something a little different this time around).

      I hope that’s helpful. If you have additional questions, just let me know and I’ll do my best to assist…

  6. Hi. I purchased the blackfin 10’6 a month ago and I absolutely love it! I just had one question though. How do you mount your gopro to the front mount? All the mounts I see require a screw to go up into the camera mount and I havent seen one with a screw coming out of the camera mount. Any help would be appreciated. Name of the type of mount or how you setup your camera. Thanks in advance!

    • Hey Vince, thanks a lot for your comment. I’m glad you’re enjoying the board.

      You can get the camera mount here

  7. Just bought myself one 2weeks ago, and the company just shipped this morning. I am very excited, the design (beautiful, vibrant color, the construction (military grade pvc, carbon fiber rail, high density drop stiches tec) a very high-end paddle board with a medium price.

    • Congratulations on the new board, Hue. I guarantee you’ll be blown away once it arrives — iROCKER did a fantastic job on this updated 2019 version.

    • Hi Steve, thanks for your comment. You can find additional user reviews here.

      After that page loads, just scroll down and click the “Reviews” tab.

  8. What are your thoughts on the Blackfin compared to Hala? Obviously there’s a price difference but what do you get in the Hala for the price difference? In your 2017 review of the Hoss you seem to think highly of Hala, but now that the Blackfin is available why would I choose one over the other? Thanks.

    • Hi Mark, thanks for your comment…

      Hala makes fantastic boards, but the new BLACKFIN models are a much better value in my opinion. They’re built incredibly well, come with a nice bundle of accessories, and are priced very affordably.

      Hala obviously has a much more diverse lineup at this time, but if you’re simply looking for a really nice all-around board, I’d recommend one of the BLACKFIN boards.

  9. I will be paddling for the first time on a friend’s isup. Have been seriously looking at them for the last month. Really debating wether to get the blackfin model x or model xl. I am 5’7 130 pounds and a mother of 2. I would love to go on my own but realistically will no happen often due to hubby’s long work hours. So I will most likely have 1 maybe even 2 kids onboard with me. Was thinking of getting kayak seat and attaching at front d-ring and first d ring of the bungee cord so they can both sit together when needed. They are7 and 4. My hopes is to go more often with just one of them but have a feeling if I really want to enjoy my board, most time, I will have them both on board. I don’t want those super big family board as I am hoping hubby will love my board when able to and buy a second one in which case we could each porter one kid on the weekends. Would you recommend X or XL?

    • Hey Anne! Thanks for your comment…

      If you think your husband would enjoy paddling, you could surprise him with the XL and purchase the Model X for yourself. iROCKER is running a great combo deal promo that will get you an additional discount if you buy two boards at the same time.

      Having said that, if you only feel comfortable buying one board at this time, I’d recommend the Model X. There won’t be quite as much room to move around with two kids on board, but it’ll still work for you and will be an easier board to handle.

      Hope that helps, Anne — I’d love to hear what you decide!

      • I tried my friend’s body glove performer today 11 foot, 34 inches and 6 inches thick and loved it. I want to splurge and buy the blackfin for sure. Just afraid 10.6 foot might be a bit small for 3 people. I didn’t find her 11 foot hard to manage and I didn’t fall even if there were boats on the lake ( was pretty proud of myself!). The x would be more stable versus the XL and bit longer. Was just wondering if we could fit 3 comfortably on the X. I personally love the color of the X but like the idea of longer and a bit more speed… i am so torn between the 2. Any idea how they compare to the body glove I tried today?

        • Hey Anne…

          Keep in mind that you can always stagger the kiddos if needed — one on the front, one on the back. As far as differences in stability goes, both boards are very similar so I wouldn’t be overly concerned about that. At the end of the day, the Model X and Model XL are both unbelievably stable on the water. If you ultimately decide that you really want the additional length of the XL or the bump in speed, go for it!

          As far as comparing these two models to Body Glove’s Performer 11, the BLACKFIN boards are more stable and track much better in the water. The BLACKFIN models also come with a higher-quality bundle of accessories, premium features (dual bungee storage areas, grab handles at nose and tail, safety handles for the kiddos, etc.), and a better warranty (2-year vs. 1-year).

          I hope that’s helpful info for you, Anne. Let me know if you have any other questions and I’ll be happy to help!

  10. Hello!

    I want a paddle board that i can ride with my girlfriend (not just a kid lol) . We are both fit, so we don’t weigh that much. Is this the right one for that? Also, would like something that can navigate fast. I have been looking at many options for these features that i want, and i think this is the one. Am i right? what other would you recommend?

    Thank you so much for your reviews!

    • Hi Christian, thanks for the comment!

      Are you guys interested in doing some serious tandem paddling, or are you just planning to paddle her around a bit? If you’re planning to paddle your girlfriend around while she sits on the deck of the board, then the Model X and the Model XL would both work (given the choice, I’d opt for the larger XL). However, if you’re planning to do some serious tandem paddling, I would go with a board that is specifically designed for tandem paddling.

  11. Trying to decide between the Blackfin X and XL. 110 lb wife, 5’1″. Never been on a paddleboard in her life. I think that most usage would be by herself but we have eight (as in 8) grandkids ranging from 18 years down to 3 months which she will want to either have on board or use it themselves during visits. Also a couple of her (inexperienced) friends will want to go tandem. SUP will be kept on and used from our 42′ trawler so weight is less of an issue, not carrying it anywhere. Waters will be anchorages off the intracoastal waterway in south Florida. Any hints on which inflatable would be more suitable? Is the XL overkill? Sometimes less is more…not sure about this instance!

    • Hi there, thanks for your comment…

      Overall, I think the Model X would be a better choice for your wife. The only instance where the additional length of the Model XL would really come in handy is when she’s paddling with a friend. Keep in mind that the BLACKFIN boards aren’t really designed for tandem paddling with two full-sized adults — while it’s definitely doable, things will be a bit more cramped than on a larger multi-paddler model like the new iROCKER BIG BLUE.

      I hope that helps. They’re amazing boards and I’m sure you’ll be really happy with whatever you decide on!

      Happy paddling…

      • Thanks for the info. The tandem use with a grown adult would be very infrequent. With grandkids under the age of 10, more frequent but most use would be solo. Is the XL much more difficult to propel and maneuver than the X? Is it too big a board for 5’1″ 110 lbs beginner going solo? Sounds like I should maybe look harder at the XL due to grandkids maybe? Sorry for the bother with all of this.

        • No bother whatsoever, I’m happy to help…

          I would still recommend the Model X for your wife — it’d be the ideal choice for her when paddling solo and it would also work great for those times when she takes the grandchildren out. Both BLACKFIN boards are excellent for hauling kiddos around due to the fact that they are incredibly stable and have child grab handles integrated into the front bungee storage area.

  12. Hi, I have been looking at the Blackfin reviews, and I can’t decide between the X and XL models. I am newbie, have average balance, and I don’t swim well. So a stable board, and one which is easier to climb back on when I fall in water (which is going to be frequent) is what I am looking for. Which one would you recommend? Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Sreeni, both boards are extremely stable and easy to climb back onto when in the water. If you are a small to mid-sized paddler, the Model X would be perfect. For larger paddlers, I’d recommend the Model XL.

      • I’m in the Canadian Rockies and looking for a board to lake and river paddle with minor rapids, sweepers, etc paddle. would these boards work? I’m a surfer and confident SUP wave and downwinder rider.

        • Hi Sarah, thanks a lot for your comment. The Model X will work well in those conditions, just be mindful of the fins. If you’re going to be paddling in shallow water or are concerned about breakage on rocks and other objects, I’d highly recommend switching out the large center fin for something more suitable (iROCKER offers a 3″ low profile flex fin and 4.6″ river flex fin as add-on options at the time of purchase). The side fins can’t be swapped out, unfortunately, but they can be removed entirely.

          I hope that helps, Sarah. Happy paddling…

  13. I have terrible balance and am a 70-year old female, but I’m thinking about a Blackfin. I’m also concerned about the additional weight as I will have to carry it to the water as the parking lot is too far to leave the board and bag while I go back to the vehicle. So I am just trying figure out how hard and unbalanced it would be to carry it about 100 feet or so at my age. I just love being on the water and even if I can’t stand on it, I I’ll feel safer knowing it is stable. Any suggestions on being able to get it to the water by myself? Thanks.

    • Hi Sandi, thanks for your comment.

      It sounds like the BLACKFIN Model X will work very well for you as it’s an extremely stable board in the water — I’d be very surprised if you have balance issues when standing on it. Regarding your concerns about carrying the board from your vehicle to the water, the folks at iROCKER just released this brand new strap that will make things much easier for you.

      I hope that helps, Sandi. If you have any other questions, just let me know. 🙂

  14. Hello!

    I can’t decide between the Red Paddle 10.6 and the Blackfin X… The Red is more expensive and has less accessories included but what are the big differences between those boards?



    • Hi Marie-Eve, thanks so much for the comment. Both are great boards, but they’re quite different…

      As you mentioned, the Red Paddle 10’6″ Ride is a lot more expensive and doesn’t include a paddle which is an obvious downside. However, if you buy the board here you’ll receive a free fiberglass paddle. The paddle obviously won’t be as nice as the carbon fiber shaft BLACKFIN paddle, but it’ll get you on the water. Also, you’ll get a free pressure gauge and a cell phone dry bag with the 10’6″ Ride which helps to offset the BLACKFIN’s included leash, although for a limited time iROCKER is also throwing in a free BLACKFIN swag bag which comes with a BLACKFIN hat, lanyard, and coozie.

      In regards to build quality, both are extremely well-made boards that include a 2-year warranty (prior to this season, Red Paddle only offered 12 months of warranty coverage). Other than the fact that the Ride 10’6″ is quite a bit lighter than the BLACKFIN (22 pounds vs. 29 pounds), I personally prefer the BLACKFIN Model X in every way. It’s stiffer (6″ thickness and carbon rail), more buoyant, more stable, tracks better, and has more features (dual bungee storage areas, safety handles for kids, dual grab handles, and versatile U.S. fin box).

      You won’t go wrong with either board as they’re both outstanding inflatables, Marie-Eve. However, if given the choice of one or the other, I would personally choose the BLACKFIN over the Red Paddle.

      I hope that’s helpful — if you have any other questions or need additional help, feel free to ask!

    • I used the Red Paddle 10’6″ for my first time paddle boarding and didn’t like it at all. I’m in the U.K. and was on normal marine water and felt unstable and half sunk in the water. I was informed later it was only 4 inches thick compared to 6 on the Blackfin. Everything about the Blackfin looks better than the Red Paddle.

    • The red board is quite a bit more expensive, and even more so in lacking pretty much all of the accessories.

      On the flip side, the warranty is significantly longer. It is a 20 psi board, it has real carbon rails, and the build is 2nd to none.

      Then again, the price is 2nd to none. If you are going to buy a board like that, make sure to get the $500 paddle to go with it.

      By the time you buy the board, and all the accessories that came with the irocker/blackfin board, the price is nearly double.

      20%-30% better board, and nearly 2x the price. Choices choices.

  15. Hi,

    Love the detail of your reviews, very helpful. Helpful enough to narrow my list down to three boards. The iRocker Crusier, Model X and Thuro 11′ waterwalker.

    We live on an inland lake in WI where we’ll be using this board. We’ve got two kayaks we use regularly but I want to give SUPing a try. We also have two Golden Retrievers ~60lbs each who kayak with us and I’d love to get them on the SUP as well. I’m 6’2″, 200. My wife is 5’9″ about 145. The lake is typically flat to light chop.

    From what I’ve read and heard back from the manufacturers (who both responded very quickly with thorough responses) the iRockers will likely be more stable and have quad layer construction, includes a tail handle (on both, front on the blackfin) and has what looks like more deck padding. The Thurso will be a bit quicker, has a shape which may be better as we gain more experience, has a better package than cruiser (carbon shaft paddle, deck pack cooler), 3 removable fins but not as good as the Blackfin. Curious your thoughts on which way to go.



    • Hi Brian, thanks for your nice comment. You’ve definitely done your homework and it sounds like you have a solid understanding of the pros and cons of each board.

      The additional stability of the BLACKFIN Model X will definitely come in handy whenever you’re paddling the pups around. If that’s something that you’re planning to do a lot of and you can afford the slightly higher price tag, I’d recommend the BLACKFIN. The accessory bundle is extremely nice and it’s well worth the difference in price.

      Having said that, all three are great boards and will work well for the type of paddling you’re planning to do. I’d love to hear what board you decide to go with once you make your decision — happy paddling!

      • After a few more emails back and forth with John from iRocker who was always very responsive and answered all my questions and after showing my wife all three of the boards / features we decided the BLACKFIN was the way to go. The additional stability will be great with the dogs and for early season paddling when the water temps are still too chilly to fall in (May 1 and water is 51F!!). The additional speed over the Cruiser will be nice when I’m on the board and my wife in her kayak so I can keep up. The package was also just so good compared to anything else out there so we pulled the trigger. Can’t wait to get it inflated and in the water. Will provide an update once we get it!

        Thanks for the feedback and input!

        • Thanks for the update, Brian. Congratulations — I’m sure you’re going to love the board.

          I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts once it arrives…

          Happy paddling.

          • The Blackfin X has arrived and I couldn’t be more impressed. All of the included items are top notch as you’d expect. The backpack/roller bag is just silly – super well built, shame I won’t be using it very much since will 98% of the time be paddling from home. Pumping the board up took much less time than expected with the dual chamber pump. Love the three settings to make life easier as well. Quickly got the board up to 15psi (about 5 mins). The paddle is also outstanding, light, solid, comfortable. It’s been cool here and the lake was still in the high 50’sF so have had to wait to take it out. I got a chance to this week and just love it. I didn’t intend to go very far but was having such a blast I spent about :45min paddling around. Came back and let the dogs out, Each took a turn with me on the board. We have two ~60lb Golden Retrievers.

            Lucy (2.5 years) went first and sat in front of me the whole time, just a quick 5min paddle to get her used to it. Miller (5 months) was next and he walked around on the board the whole time, sometimes back and forth between my legs, sometimes around the outside of my legs!! Never once felt like we were gonna lose balance or fall in!

            With just me on the board it was VERY stable and it tracks really well. The long center fin does a great job keeping you headed in the right direction. The deck is also very comfortable on the feet, never felt the need to adjust foot position or move around.

            This is exactly what I was hoping for in a SUP and I can’t wait for more opportunities to get out on it. Gonna be great for spotting fish, calm morning and evening paddles w/ me on the SUP and my wife in her kayak. I’m a bit reluctant to let her try it out because I’m pretty sure we’re going to end up with two of these 🙂

          • Hey Brian, thanks so much for taking the time to share your feedback on the Model X. I’m really happy to hear that you’re pleased with the board and that it’s working out perfectly for you so far. Your reservations about letting your wife try the board are valid, but if she digs it, you could always use that as an excuse to pick up the 11’6″ Model XL. 🙂

            If you’re on Instagram, ping me as I’d love to follow along with your paddling adventures this summer. Happy paddling, Brian.

  16. Accidentally must have hit review stars for the iRocker Blackfin and lowered their overall score. I was trying to read reviews. Can you please delete this as I don’t want to effect their overall reviews.

    I just purchased this board after grueling research and am sure it will meet my needs.

    Betsy Surcouf

    • Done, Betsy! Thanks for letting us know and we hope that you enjoy your new BLACKFIN Model X once it arrives — you bought yourself one very nice board. 🙂

      Happy paddling.

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