BLACKFIN Model X iSUP Review | 2024

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Blackfin Model X is a super-stable and maneuverable premium all-around stand up paddle board.

Blackfin Model X: Overview

The Blackfin Model X is a highly stable paddle board built to do just about everything from cruising, to fishing, or even dipping your toes into the world of whitewater SUP. With a plethora of cargo mounting options and great paddling ability, the Model X is a true performance all-around iSUP.


— Blackfin Model X iSUP Summary Ratings and Review —

BLACKFIN Model X
  • Construction & Durability
  • Features and Versatility
  • Stability
  • Speed
  • Maneuverability
  • Tracking
4.7

Overall Score

The 2023 Blackfin Model X is a super-stable and easily maneuverable iSUP that’s ready for any adventure.

Pros

  • Increased durability and rigidity thanks to a slower construction process and upgraded internal rail construction for stronger seams
  • Excellent stability and high weight capacity due to the 35” width and rigid construction.
  • Load the Model X however you want for your next adventure with seven different accessory mounts, 2 large removable cargo areas, extra D-rings and removable handles.
  • Secure your fins with the new fin tethers and never worry about losing your fins in the water
  • Excellent maneuverability is great for cruising and paddling smaller bodies of water
  • High weight capacity and larger deck pad make it easy to use with a partner, pet, or loaded with equipment.
  • 3 year warranty for the board, and 1 year warranty for accessories

Cons

  • While highly maneuverable, the Model X doesn’t track as well as it’s longer sibling the Model XL
  • With the size and stability of the Model X, I’d love to see a river-specific version with a cleaner deck, more rocker, and a kick pad for even better maneuverability.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Video Review

Blackfin Model X Updates

The Blackfin Model X received a number of changes for this model year, however the paddling performance remains nearly identical. While testing the previous and new Model X side-by-side I could not feel any notable differences while on the water.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The 2023 Model X (left) and 2022 Model X (right) have more in common than not, but there have been a few key updates.

The biggest upgrade for the Blackfin Model X is in its construction. To create a stronger, more durable board, iRocker increased the amount of overlapping material on the internal rail band and slowed down their production process overall. This rail band is what connects the deck and hull around the entire perimeter of the paddleboard to make it airtight. From my measurements, the overlap increased 4.5mm (about 3/16”) on both the top and bottom layers for a combined increase of 9mm (about ⅜”) of contact surface area all the way around the board. While it may not seem like a huge change, that adds up to a significant amount of surface area for better adhesion between the deck/hull and the rail. Additionally, one other change I have noticed is a straightening of the rail-reinforcement band from the slower production process. This narrow layer of PVC material is added on the top and bottom to help protect the edges of the outer rail band from damage. The new construction did not appear to add any noticeable weight to the Model X, though, as both boards weighed in at 26.2 lbs on our scale.

One other change to the construction of the Model X is a reduction in the maximum recommended pressure from 18 PSI to 16 PSI. While this might sound like a downgrade, check out our bend test results in the Construction and Durability section below for a very pleasant surprise!

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The slower production process results in straighter rail reinforcement strips (shown here in comparison near the nose of the two boards).

While construction is the most significant change to the Model X, it’s not the only change for this year. First, the colorways have been updated. There are six different color options for the new Blackfin Model X. The model shown in this review is the Blue/Gold option. The Model X does lose one set of D-rings compared to the previous version. The missing set was formerly in the middle of the board on either rail. Though this one set of D-rings has left, the deck pad has been extended all the way to the tail. This gives the board more usable room, especially for those who want to lean into the Model X’s great maneuverability for use on the river or ocean waves.

The cargo bungee cords now have removable clasps on them, and the shape of a few of the accessory mounts have changed from circles to rectangles. The exact positioning of most of the accessory mounts has changed, though. In the front half of the board, the center handle, front threaded mounts, and front cargo area have all shifted about 3” forward.

The rear cargo area is in close to the same position, however the rear threaded mounts have moved rearward about 1.5” and the Scotty mounts and sand spear mounts have shifted 2” forward. While this doesn’ seem like a huge deal – and on the water it’s not – I’ve found that it does create an issue when rolling the board up for transportation. In all of my years using inflatable paddle boards, nearly every iSUP I’ve used has been able to roll from the tail to the nose using the fin boxes as a sizing guide to fit the board into the bag. Some have been tight fits, but almost all iSUPs I’ve encountered have packed away easily using this method (the exception being the new range of compact SUPs that require specific rolling techniques to fit into smaller bags). The change in placement of the Blackfin Model X’s accessory points still lets you do this, however it results in a fold that is too wide to fit into the 2021/2022 Blackfin iSUP bag. The only way I’ve been able to get the new Model X to fit into the 2022 bag is to roll the board from the nose to the tail in a looser shape which takes up the entire volume of the bag. This makes it more difficult to pack the remaining accessories into the bag as well.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The new Model X (right) has a longer deck pad and several accessory points have been shifted forward which changes how the board can be folded/rolled.

Construction and Durability

The Blackfin Model X uses iRocker’s “triple-layer composite” shell with carbon fiber reinforced rails for an incredibly stiff and highly durable construction.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The carbon fiber reinforced rail adds rigidity and durability.

At the core of the Blackfin Model X is a 6” linear drop stitch construction with a knitted fabric layer. This core gives the Model X its thickness and maintains its shape and rigidity on the water.

The shell of the Model X is made with what iRocker refers to as a “triple-layer composite” PVC material. This is not the same as three-layers of PVC material, though. Three full layers of PVC material would be incredibly heavy and more expensive. Instead the triple layer construction refers to two layers of PVC that are reinforced with a layer of fiber material. This provides more rigidity and durability than PVC alone while keeping the overall weight of the board at a very manageable 26 pounds.

The inner rail band (made of a wide strip of PVC) has increased in size to allow for nearly a quarter-inch more overlap with the deck and hull materials. This gives the rail band more contact surface area for better glue adhesion. The Model X then gets an outer rail band layer that sandwiches a strip of stabilized carbon fiber fabric at the middle of the board. This carbon fiber fabric prevents the sides of the board bulging to create a more rigid ride on the water. It also adds an extra layer of protection to the board at the more high-wear/high-impact areas. Lastly, the rails are further protected on the top and bottom with a narrow band of PVC. This protects the edges of the outer rail band from damage through normal wear-and-tear.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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Blackfin Model X: 1.00” Bend with 170 lbs at 16 PSI.

We set up the Blackfin Model X for our dry land bend test to see how rigid the updated construction is. With a 170 lbs load, the Model X bent just one inch at its maximum 16 PSI. That’s an excellent result and is well above the average across all of our tested iSUPs.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X has excellent rigidity while on the water.

On the water, the Model X also did not disappoint. While bouncing up and down on the board, I felt only a low amount of flex that had a very light and short-lived rebound (rather than continuing to flex and reverberate after I was done bouncing). While paddling and moving around on the board normally, the flex was only perceptible when I went looking for it, otherwise it felt quite solid.

Overall the Blackfin Model X is a very rigid iSUP, even at the new, slightly lower, 16 PSI maximum pressure.

Specifications

Dimensions
Length 10'6"
Width 35“
Thickness 6“
Weight
Max Capacity 450 pounds
Board Weight 26.2 pounds
Kit Weight
pounds
Buying Info
List Price
Warranty 3 years
Returns period 45 days

Features, Accessories and Versatility

The Blackfin Model X is loaded up with cargo areas, accessory mounts, and a high-capacity and high-stability size that makes it incredibly versatile.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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Blackfin Model X: 10’6” long, 35” wide, 6” thick; 450 lbs weight capacity.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The front cargo area features a quick-release bungee cord, removable passenger handles, and two threaded accessory mounts integrated with the D-rings. There is also a carrying handle on the front edge of the nose.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The rear of the Model X has another quick-release cargo area, removable passenger handles, and two discreet threaded accessory mounts.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The deck plaid is logo-embossed and grooved for maximum traction.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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There are two Scotty-style mounts behind the standing area that are ready to accept the Blackfin fishing rack.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The threaded accessory mounts use M6 bolts and are compatible with a number of different accessories like cup holders, speakers, and more.
Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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Each side of the Model X has D-rings for additional tie-down points or use with optional kayak seats and carrying straps. There are also sand spear mounting points on each side.

The Blackfin Model X is ready to be loaded up for adventure. There are two large cargo storage areas on the nose and tail of the board. Each has quick-release bungee cords to let you easily remove the cords to use your own tie-downs for large cargo as needed.

There are four threaded accessory mounts – two on the front cargo area, two near the rear cargo area – that can be used with a number of different ready-to-use accessories, or for your own DIY options using M6 bolts. iRocker has a range of accessories including phone mounts, action camera mounts, cup holders, and fishing rod holders. There are also two sets of D-rings along the sides of the Model X that are compatible with the iRocker kayak seat and shoulder carrying strap.

There are two Scotty-style mounting plates behind the standing area that are ready to accept the Blackfin fishing rack system. This gives anglers a great way to keep their equipment organized and within easy reach. For fishing flats and other shallow areas, there are two mounting points on the sides of the board to use the Blackfin sand spear to quickly anchor your board.

One of my favorite updates for the Blackfin Model X is the deck pad extension. The former Model X’s deck pad ended at the front of the rear cargo area, leaving multiple feet at the tail of the board uncovered and slippery. The Model X’s deck pad extends all the way through the cargo area to the tail of the board. Combined with the ability to quickly and easily remove the cargo bungee, paddlers can now freely use the tail of their board for quicker turns and better control while surfing or river running. That extra stability and usability could be further enhanced with the addition of a raised kick pad. I think the Blackfin X is primed to be offered in a river-specific version for use on up to Class II+ whitewater with just a few tweaks.

On the hull of the Model X there is a D-ring on the nose of the board to allow you to easily anchor or tow the board, and three fin boxes. The Model X uses the same flip-lock style of fin boxes as iRocker’s other inflatable SUPs, but with the addition of the locking tether cord that was first introduced in the iRocker and Blackfin Ultra series compact iSUPs. Older fins will still fit these fin boxes.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X uses the same flip-lock fin boxes as iRocker’s other inflatable SUPs, but with the addition of a locking tether cord.

The Model X is available as a basic kit with just the board, fins and repair kit. You can also use the iRocker bundle builder to select a board bag, leash, paddle, pump, and other accessories to meet your specific needs.

Paddle

iRocker has begun selling the Blackfin iSUPs, including the Model X as stand-alone paddle boards with options to build your own kit (with a choice of different paddles or no paddle) or as a Standard Kit with the Blackfin three-piece carbon fiber hybrid paddle.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Blackfin three-piece paddle uses a carbon fiber shaft and nylon blade.

The Blackfin three-piece paddle is a lightweight kit paddle with a relatively stiff paddle shaft and medium-sized blade.

Weighing in at 28.3 ounces, the Blackfin three piece paddle is the lightest kit paddle that we’ve tested thanks to its carbon fiber shaft and lightweight nylon blade. The shaft itself provides a relatively stiff platform (79mm flex) for better power transfer. The high-aspect (rectangular shape) Nylon blade is relatively thin and has a low 4° blade angle, but a deep scoop shape. This combination of shapes creates a general-use design that works well for cruising, or for paddling long distances. The blade does have a significant amount of flex, so it’s not ideal for high-speed paddling, but the flex does provide a more comfortable paddling experience compared to a completely rigid design.

The handle section is also made of a composite material, rather than plastic, and uses a pin-and-clip adjustment mechanism to keep the handle aligned properly with the blade. While there are no length markings on the handle section, once you find a height that you like, it’s relatively easy to set the paddle each time by counting the number of visible holes.

Overall the Blackfin three-piece paddle is one of our favorite kit paddles. It’s well balanced in both weight and performance, and has stood up well over time.

Stability

The Blackfin Model X iSUP excels in stability. The rigid construction, wide shape, and grippy deck pad work together for a fun and stable ride for paddlers of all skill levels.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X has excellent stability while flat and while on its edge.

When first standing up on the Blackfin Model X, the 35” wide platform does an excellent job of reducing any rolling or tipping sensations. Even while walking around on the Model X, I found no reactionary wobbling or tipping sensations. The rigid construction reduces any vibrations in the board to nearly imperceptible and gives a solid feeling base for your feet to connect with. Less-rigidly constructed paddleboards flex at your feet and cause your body to grip heavily with your toes, which can lead to foot fatigue and pain.

While purposely tilting and tipping the Model X I found that it quickly and smoothly resurfaces and settles flat without any aggressive “popping” sensations that are sometimes present in super-light iSUPs. It’s also quite easy to tilt the Model X high on one rail and hold it in that position. This secondary stability is important when paddling in choppier and rougher conditions where the board is less likely to be flat all the time. Being able to easily hold a paddleboard in this position equates to more time for you to correct the board in these rough conditions before going for an accidental swim.

Stepping back to the tail of the board for a pivot turn is easy and stable. Again, the reverberations in the board while walking are extremely minimal. The newly-elongated logo-embossed deck pad extends all the way to the tail and makes sinking the tail easier and more secure-feeling, however a raised kick pad would make that even better.

Speed

The Blackfin Model X is not an overly fast paddleboard and is not going to win any races. Rather, the Model X is a respectable cruiser iSUP with good efficiency on the water.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Blackfin Model X is not a sprinter, but does offer good efficiency and cruising speed.

When paddling for the maximum top speed on the Blackfin Model X, the fastest speed I was able to reach is 5.3 MPH (8.5 KM/H). While this is a pretty respectable speed for such a wide and short paddleboard, I was only able to keep that top speed for a few strokes before I could no longer maintain that speed. For longer “sprints” I was able to maintain a more consistent speed just under 5 MPH.

Average cruising speeds, while paddling at a consistent 25 strokes per minute), clocked in at 3.0 MPH (4.8 KM/H). This is a respectable cruising speed that is fairly average for an iSUP of this size. 25 strokes per minute is the equivalent of taking a short pause between each paddle stroke, so it’s quite easy to maintain this cadence over long distances.

We also like to test the efficiency of each paddleboard we review. This is a measure of how far a paddle board will travel with each paddle stroke, before it begins to noticeably slow down. To make this number more comparable, we convert it to board-lengths per stroke. The Blackfin Model X traveled an average of 17.5’ per paddle stroke for an overall efficiency of 1.7 board-lengths per stroke. This is quite high for such a short and wide paddle board.

The Model X’s efficiency and easy cruising make it a great board for casual paddling and shorter day trips. For better speed and long-distance paddling while maintaining great stability, the slightly longer and narrower Model XL is a better choice. For the best touring board from iRocker, the Model V’s longer, narrower outline trades in a small amount of stability for better long distance tracking, speed, and efficiency.

Maneuverability and Tracking

The Blackfin Model X is a highly maneuverable iSUP that makes it great for cruising, fishing, and river running, but it does fall short of this excellent performance when it comes to long-distance tracking.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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Turning the Blackfin Model X is quick and easy.

The Model X’s is a quick-turning iSUP no matter how you do it. With a basic forward sweep stroke (starting at the nose and pushing out and away toward the tail), the Model X can make a complete 360° turn in just under 5 paddle strokes, which is quite good considering forward sweeps are not the most efficient way to turn a paddleboard! Reverse sweeps (starting at the tail and pushing out and away toward the nose), work against the fins to create an even tighter turning radius of just 3.5 strokes for the Model X.

While paddling normally, the Model X responds very quickly to steering input through different blade angles and different strokes. This does also mean that it responds to accidental steering input as well, so make sure to keep your paddle vertical and close to the board when you want to paddle straight.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X doesn’t have the best tracking performance overall, but does reasonably well at normal speeds.

As is often the case, high maneuverability frequently coincides with less-than-ideal tracking. In our 10-stroke tracking test we paddle toward a distant target taking 10 “perfect-technique” forward strokes on a single side before measuring our new course. The Model X had an average variance of about 16° after 10 strokes on one side. Numerically, this is actually pretty good for a shorter, wider board, but it doesn’t quite tell the whole story. I did feel that during regular paddling, and especially when paddling with any amount of speed above a casual cruising pace, the Model X liked to wander quite a bit. While traveling from one point to another I found myself switching which side I paddled on more frequently than normal (every 4-5 strokes vs every 6-8 strokes).

While this isn’t ideal tracking performance, for me it’s not really a big negative for the Model X. The Model X is a shorter, wider board that is built for stability and maneuverability first. To that end, a slightly lackluster tracking performance is actually OK to me. If I want a similar board with better tracking for more long-distance paddling, I’d recommend the Blackfin Model XL or even the Blackfin Model V – both of which offer better tracking performance (but lower maneuverability).

I think iRocker should lean into the maneuverability of the Model X and create a more river-centric version for paddling faster water. While nearly any iSUP can be used on rivers, even up to some Class II- whitewater, a board that is stable and highly maneuverable makes those river runs even more fun. By removing some of the fishing-focused features and adding a little more rocker (and a raised kick pad) the Model X could be quite the river runner for those who want a crossover all-around/river SUP.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X includes a 9” center fin and two 4.5” side fins.

Tracking and maneuverability are influenced greatly by the number, placement, and types of fins being used. The Model X has three flip-lock fin boxes and comes with a 9” center fin and two 4.5” side fins. All three have a “dolphin” shape which is meant to offer a blend of maneuverability and tracking performance. Changing or removing fins will impact maneuverability, tracking, stability, and speed.

Unfortunately iRocker offers relatively few fin choices for their flip-lock fin box. There are no other fin options for the side fins, and the only other choice for the center fin is a shorter 4.5” “River Fin” that has the same dolphin-fin shape. I’d love to see iRocker build out a more robust lineup of fin options for their fliplock fin box. A touring-style fin and other options would really allow you to dial in your maneuverability and tracking performance.

Warranty and Customer Support

The Blackfin Model X is covered by iRocker’s 3 year warranty against manufacturing defects. Any accessories included with the Blackfin Model X are also covered under a 1 year warranty. iRocker has a 45 day return policy for their iSUPs. If you are unhappy with your paddleboard, you may return it for a refund within this time. You can reach iRocker customer service with any questions via their online contact form or via their customer service phone number. You can also contact iRocker through their social media channels.

Overall Impressions/Review Summary

Blackfin Model X iSUP Review
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The Model X is wide, stable, maneuverable, and loaded with features.

The Blackfin Model X iSUP is a great paddleboard for those wanting high stability, high capacity, and high maneuverability in a shorter paddleboard. The updates have added excellent value to an already great paddleboard. Whether you are cruising in a bay, fishing the flats (or depths), or getting your feet wet on easier whitewater rivers, the Blackfin Model X has the ability to do it all.

Blackfin Model X iSUP FAQ

Is the Blackfin Model X good for paddling with kids or dogs?

Absolutely! The Model X’s stability and capacity make it great to paddle with a passenger whether they are kids, dogs, or even another adult.

How long does it take to inflate the Blackfin Model X?

While using the triple-action hand pump, it takes about 8-10 minutes to fully inflate the Blackfin Model X to its maximum 16 PSI.

Is the Blackfin Model X good for fishing?

You bet! The Model X is built with anglers in mind. The two Scotty-style mounts behind the standing area are included to work with the optional Blackfin fishing rack, the threaded accessory mounts are ready for fishing rod holders, and the excellent stability and high capacity make it easy to bring along everything else you need while fishing.

What is the difference between the Blackfin Model X and Blackfin Model XL?

The only difference between the Model X and Model XL is the size. The Model X is shorter and wider (10’6” x 35”) while the Model XL is a little longer and narrower (11’6” x 34”). The Model X is more maneuverable and more stable while the Model XL tracks straighter and is faster. Both have the same set of on-board features and same construction.

46 Comments

  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

    Thanks.

    • 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?

    Thanks!

    Marie-E.

    • 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.

    Thanks!

    Brian.

    • 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.

    Thanks,
    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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