A fast paddling, feature-rich inflatable touring SUP, the BLACKFIN Model V is the iSUP that many iROCKER fans have been patiently waiting for…
Since their initial launch last season, iROCKER’s premium BLACKFIN SUP boards have exploded in popularity due to their premium design and features, bombproof durability, and affordable pricing. While the first two BLACKFIN models were versatile all-around iSUPs, the latest addition to the lineup offers paddlers a sleeker, faster board that’s built for speed and performance.
In this no-holds-barred review of the new BLACKFIN Model V touring SUP, we’ll discuss this board’s features, build quality and construction, how it performs on the water, what we like and don’t like about it, specs, included accessories, optional add-ons, and warranty coverage.
Additionally, we’ll give you the inside scoop on some special promotions that are currently running which will save you some money and help you get the best deal on what will undoubtedly be a very popular board this season.
Last but not least, for those who prefer to watch videos, we’ve included several for you in this review…
In a Hurry? Here’s a Quick Summary…
Table of Contents
- BLACKFIN Model V Review: Board Overview: (Features, Construction, Paddling Performance, Setup Video, Likes & Dislikes)
- Included Accessories: (Unboxing Video, Backpack, Paddle, Pump, Leash, Repair Kit, User Manual)
- Optional Accessories: (Kayak Seat Kit, SUP Deck Cooler, Shoulder Carrying Strap, Fishing Rod Holder)
- Where to Buy it
- Final Thoughts
BLACKFIN Model V Review: SUP Overview
Measuring 12’6″ x 32″ x 6″ and weighing in at 27 pounds, the new BLACKFIN Model V has a maximum weight capacity of 485 pounds, giving you the opportunity to bring along plenty of gear, a child or two, or your dog.
Perfect for paddling longer distances and going on multi-day SUP excursions, the Model V is built for serious explorers. This is a board that experienced paddlers will really enjoy, but there’s still plenty of stability for newcomers and those times when you’re paddling around with small children or pets.
In terms of aesthetics, iROCKER really stepped up their game last season and the latest BLACKFIN designs are once again stunning. This board has an aggressive, racy appearance and the lighter blue colorway looks amazing in our opinion.
The top deck of the BLACKFIN Model V is covered by a very nice EVA foam deck pad that features a stamped BLACKFIN logo traction pattern. This custom detail is the sort of thing that you typically see on much higher-priced boards and the deck pad is incredibly comfortable on the feet.
(*Hover over hotspots for additional details)
Large front bungee storage area for stashing dry bags, backpacks, camping gear, and more.1 of 11
Rear bungee storage area for additional storage — perfect for those times when there’s a passenger or pup at the nose.2 of 11
Rear safety grab handles for the kiddos. Removable and well-padded for comfort.3 of 11
Rear safety grab handles for the kiddos. Removable and well-padded for comfort.4 of 11
Comfortable center carrying handle makes it easy to carry the Model V.5 of 11
Convenient front grab handle for pulling the board in and out of the water.6 of 11
Rear grab handle elevates the fins off the beach to avoid damage.7 of 11
D-ring at tail for quick and easy attachment of the included ankle leash.8 of 11
6 D-rings along rails for attaching the optional kayak seat kit, shoulder carrying strap, or tying down additional gear.9 of 11
Accessory mount allows for easy attachment of GoPro camera, fishing rod holder, waterproof speaker, and more.10 of 11
Premium EVA foam traction pad provides amazing grip and comfort.11 of 11
Located along both rails are 6 stainless steel D-rings which can be used for attaching the optional BLACKFIN kayak seat, shoulder carrying strap, or tying down additional gear. The front 4 D-rings are conveniently labeled “Kayak Seat Mounting Point” and “Shoulder Strap Mounting Point” which is a nice touch.
Mid-board is a comfortable neoprene covered carrying handle which makes it easy to carry the Model V around. We do wish that the handle’s cover was removable which would make it more comfortable to lay down on, but that’s a minor gripe.
At the board’s nose are 6 more D-ring attachment points and a large bungee storage area for stashing your dry bag, backpack, Crocs, and other belongings. iROCKER integrated child grab handles into the bungee storage area at the nose last season and they’ve included those once again on the 2019 lineup. These are wonderful for small children who enjoy riding along on the nose of the board and this year iROCKER has made the handles removable for those paddlers who don’t find them useful.
Also located at the nose of the Model V is a grab handle and a premium Action Mount for attaching a GoPro camera, fishing rod holder, wireless Bluetooth speaker, and other accessories. There’s also a D-ring incorporated into the accessory mount for tying the board off to your boat or a dock.
Moving back to the tail of the Model V, you’ll find a second bungee storage area for securing even more bags and accessories. In addition to giving you the ability to bring along more gear, the rear bungee area also gives you an alternate spot to stash your dry bag or backpack if there’s a passenger or pup occupying the nose of the board.
Also integrated into the rear bungee cargo area is a second set of child safety handles which gives you the ability to bring along a total of two small passengers. These kids’ safety handles are fantastic and our 2- and 3-year-old children feel much more comfortable on the water when they have a comfortable and secure place to hold onto. Out of all the inflatable SUPs we’ve reviewed to date, iROCKER is currently the only company outfitting their boards with these…
Lastly, the tail of the Model V also features a durable D-ring for attaching the included ankle leash as well as a high-quality Halkey-Roberts air valve and rear grab handle. We use this rear grab handle the most when pulling the board in and out of the water as it allows you to elevate the fins and prevent damage caused by rough beaches and other hard objects.
Like the Model X and Model XL, both rails of the Model V are reinforced with a carbon fiber rail which adds rigidity and durability…
Last season, the underside of both BLACKFIN inflatable SUPs were predominately white which tends to get dirty and show wear. This year, iROCKER changed the bottom of their boards to a solid blue design which definitely hides dirt and grime a lot better — a good change in our opinion.
On the bottom of the Model V is a D-ring at the nose for towing or tethering and there are three removable fins at the tail. The large middle fin features a U.S.-style fin box with a bolt and screw attachment system, while the two smaller side fins utilize a locking lever setup. We love the fact that iROCKER has gone with 3 removable fins for 2019 as it allows you to roll the boards up into a smaller footprint for easier packing and storage. Also, having the ability to remove all three fins makes it a lot easier to stack boards on a roof rack.
Last year, iROCKER used ultra-durable quad-layer PVC construction across their entire lineup. This year, the company made the decision to switch the BLACKFIN Model X, Model XL, and Model V over to a triple layer composite PVC construction which dramatically reduced the weight of the boards without sacrificing durability. One of the only complaints about last season’s BLACKFIN SUPs was the fact that they were a little on the heavy side, but we’re happy to say that’s no longer an issue with 2019’s boards.
In terms of fit, finish, and hardware, everything is top-notch exactly as you’d expect on a premium board. From the accessory mount to the air valve, all of the hardware is very high-quality and the Model V really has a “next level” feel to it.
On the water, the BLACKFIN Model V is an incredibly fun board to paddle. This SUP glides well, is very fast, and offers exceptional tracking performance.
We’re also really impressed with the overall stability provided by the Model V — while this board is definitely more performance-oriented than the Model X and XL, the 32″ width still provides you with plenty of stability.
Likes and Dislikes
Overall, we’re extremely impressed with the Model V and were really excited to see iROCKER launch a touring model. Up until now, the company has been heavily focused on more versatile all-around iSUPs so the Model V fills a nice gap in the company’s popular lineup of inflatable paddle boards.
The Model V comes loaded with premium features and this is a board that honestly lacks nothing. We love all of the onboard storage options provided and the removable front and rear child safety handles are ideal for families.
The new accessory mount that the company has added to all of the BLACKFIN inflatables for 2019 is also awesome. This gives you an easy place to attach your GoPro camera and is great for capturing photos and video footage of your paddling adventures.
This new mount is also good news for anglers as it allows you to quickly attach a fishing rod holder to the nose of the board (more on that in a minute).
We’re also really impressed with the improvements made to this year’s SUP accessory bundle and we’ll take an in-depth look at everything that comes with the board shortly.
In terms of things we’d change about the board, we honestly can’t come up with much. This is an incredibly fun board that is affordable and loaded with great features — if you’ve been looking for a high-quality inflatable touring SUP that packs performance and premium features into a really affordable price point, your search is over. The Model V is exactly that.
The only things that we would really like to see improved on this board are the inclusion of a thicker rubber washer on the included GoPro mount and making the neoprene carry handle cover removable. The current washer is too small and makes it impossible to securely position the camera at an optimal angle, but we quickly fixed that with a spare rubber washer that was laying around the house (by the way, iROCKER said that they were already aware of the issue and have plans to beef up the washer).
As far as the carry handle goes, having the ability to remove the neoprene cover would allow the handle to lay flat a little better which would make it more comfortable to lay on. While this obviously isn’t a board that was designed with SUP fitness workouts in mind, you can still pull it off and sometimes it’s also just nice to paddle out, lay back, and enjoy the scenery.
BLACKFIN Model V (2019)
- Customer Support
|Max Capacity||485 pounds|
The BLACKFIN Model V comes with an extremely high-quality bundle of accessories. We love the fact that iROCKER bundled the board with everything that you need to get on the water (aside from a SUP life jacket or belt pack, of course).
The included backpack is the same exact bag that comes with the Model X and XL, except for one small detail — the color. This bag has a softer blue color that matches the Model V very well, as opposed to the more vibrant blue used on the other bag.
When introduced last season, this bag was very well-received but we did hear a few complaints regarding the fact that the pack was a bit on the small side. For 2019, iROCKER has enlarged the bag and we’re happy to report that it is much roomier than last year’s version.
The overall build quality of this backpack is excellent — the material, stitching, and hardware are all very nice, and it’s definitely one of the nicest iSUP backpacks we’ve reviewed.
On the front exterior of the bag is an oversized storage pouch with a zippered top. This can be used to store the included pump and other accessories and it’s the bag’s only option in terms of organization.
The exterior of the bag also features compression straps for cinching up your gear once it’s packed and there are grab handles on the side, top, and bottom of the pack.
Also located on the bottom of the bag are two oversized roller wheels with deeply grooved traction. The wheels roll nicely and it’s so much more convenient to pull the bag behind you instead of carrying everything on your shoulders.
The bottom of the bag is heavily reinforced with stiff plastic for durability and support, and the bag stands up nicely on its own. It’s also reinforced with a tough fabric material for improved durability.
At the top of the bag is a see-through luggage ID window, and the back of the bag features two heavily padded shoulder straps, a well-padded back cushion covered with breathable mesh material, and a nicely padded adjustable waist belt.
As we already mentioned, this is a really well-designed pack. iROCKER even mounted the roller wheels on the back of the pack to prevent them from digging into your backside and to also eliminate strap dragging.
The included 3-piece travel paddle is incredibly nice and features a durable nylon blade and premium matte carbon fiber shaft.
The blade is extremely tough and the outer edge is lined with a thin rubber coating to prevent chips and other damage caused by rocks and hard objects…
We love the matte finish on the lightweight carbon fiber shaft of this paddle. It’s really comfortable in the hands and looks top-notch.
Lastly, the paddle is extremely quick and easy to assemble. Simply slide the shaft pieces together, line up the holes with the locking pin and collar, and snap into place. Once assembled, the shaft pieces are very secure and won’t twist or come apart on you.
The BLACKFIN SUP line was launched last season with a new dual-chamber triple-action pump that made the inflation process much faster and easier. We’re excited to report that the pump has been further improved and the 2019 version is even better.
The new BLACKFIN Full Throttle Pump is essentially the same size as last year’s pump, but you’ll notice that the dual-chambers are more apparent on this year’s pump.
Located on the top of the pump is a convenient pressure gauge which tells you precisely how much air is in your board during the inflation process and there’s a port at the top where the included inflation hose screws on.
On the back of the pump is a handy “Action Control” dial which allows you to change the pump’s settings from “1” to “3”. When you first begin to inflate your board, you’ll want to set the dial to mode “1” — this will allow you to rapidly add air to your fully inflated board.
Once you begin to encounter significant resistance while pumping, switch the dial mode to “2” and continue. Lastly, flip the dial to mode “3” to finish inflating the board to 15 PSI.
When tested side-by-side with 2018’s pump, there’s a noticeable improvement in this latest version. The 2019 Full Throttle Pump is definitely easier to use and it requires less time and effort to fully inflate the board.
The Model V comes with a durable coiled SUP leash. The leash has a well-padded ankle cuff that is covered by a soft neoprene material and there’s a hidden key storage pocket incorporated into the side of the cuff.
The leash has metal swivels at both ends to prevent it from getting tangled when you’re out on the water, and the multi-layer velcro closure on the opposite end is extremely secure.
Also in the bag is an iSUP repair kit that is housed in a plastic container. Included in the repair kit is a valve wrench, three color-coded PVC patches, and a few replacement lever locks for the two side fins.
User Guide + Sticker Pack
Last but not least, iROCKER throws in a user manual, quick start guide, and BLACKFIN SUP sticker pack.
iROCKER also has a growing range of BLACKFIN SUP accessories, and while these are not included with the Model V, we wanted to let you know about some of the optional add-ons that you can get for your board this season.
BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Bundle
Introduced last season, the BLACKFIN Kayak Seat Kit is an accessory that really adds a lot of extra versatility to the Model V. It’s super quick and easy to install and once attached, gives you the ability to paddle your board in a seated position.
Included with the kit is a comfortable kayak seat, zippered storage pouch, and carbon fiber kayak blade attachment.
To attach the kayak seat to the Model V, simply clip the metal hooks to the front two D-rings along both rails and adjust the straps to your desired length. Next, slide the kayak blade attachment into the top of the included paddle and lock into place. In less than a minute, the BLACKFIN Model V has been transformed into a seated kayak.
Insulated SUP Deck Cooler
We really love the insulated BLACKFIN SUP cooler deck bag. This accessory is basically a soft-sided lunchbox that will keep your drinks and food cool while you’re out on the water and the versatile design allows you to use it for a whole lot more than just paddling.
Located along the top side of the bag is a convenient carrying handle which makes it easy to carry around and the bottom of the bag features an elastic bungee cord and plastic mounting hooks for easy attachment to the deck of your board.
On the top of the bag is a zippered storage pocket for stashing small accessories and the interior of the bag features a fully insulated liner to keep things nice and cool.
Shoulder Carrying Strap
Carrying around gear is one of the least enjoyable parts of paddling, and the BLACKFIN Shoulder Strap makes this unpleasant reality a lot more bearable.
This handy little accessory weighs next to nothing and conveniently stashes away in your bag until you need it. It attaches in just a few seconds to the D-rings along the Model V’s rail and will allow you to carry the board over your shoulder.
In addition to making the board easier to carry, the carrying strap also frees up a hand for carrying other gear which means you won’t have to take as many trips back and forth.
The strap is fully adjustable and there are 4 D-rings sewn into the top of it for attaching small accessories. We also like the fact that the entire underside of the strap is lined with a grippy rubber material that prevents it from slipping off of your shoulder.
Fishing Rod Holder
Lastly, anglers will be excited to learn that iROCKER has introduced a brand new fishing rod holder for 2019. This rod holder screws securely onto the new action mount at the nose of the Model V and gives you a convenient place to hold your fishing rod while you’re out on the water.
All iROCKER SUP boards are covered by a rock-solid 2-year warranty which covers you in the event of a manufacturing defect. In addition to this warranty, iROCKER also offers a 30-day money back guarantee for additional peace of mind.
Where to Buy it
You can purchase the 2019 BLACKFIN Model V directly from iROCKER through their secure online store. In addition to offering great customer service, free shipping, and the lowest prices, iROCKER won’t charge you sales tax on your order unless you happen to live in Florida.
As good as last year’s BLACKFIN SUPs were, things have only gotten better for 2019 with the reduction in weight, new features, and improved accessory bundle. If you were sold last season on the premium features and affordable price point of these boards but prefer a faster touring SUP over a versatile all-arounder, you’ll absolutely love the new Model V. This is an incredibly fun touring SUP that brings more to the table than many iSUPs costing twice as much — it’s a great value and a board that definitely won’t disappoint.