Blackfin Model V Inflatable SUP Review | 2024

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review 2024
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The Blackfin Model V is a super-stable touring iSUP that’s great for beginners or expedition paddlers.

Blackfin Model V iSUP: Overview

The Blackfin Model V is an adventure-touring iSUP with a feature set that will make any SUP angler smile. The long, sleek, outline of the Model V gives it great speed and efficiency while the 32” width is both beginner friendly and capable of hauling everything you need for multi-day trips.


— Blackfin Model V Summary Ratings and Review —

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

Overall Score

The Blackfin Model V is an adventure-touring iSUP with a multitude of uses.

Pros

  • Rigid and Durable construction with a dual-layer PVC deck and hull
  • Carbon fiber fabric rails reinforcements for additional abrasion resistance
  • Sleek shape and longer size make the Model V the fastest Blackfin iSUP
  • Multiple cargo locations, accessory mounting points, D-rings, and Scotty mounts make it easy to customize for your needs
  • Kayak seat compatible and the Blackfin 3 piece paddle is kayak conversion ready
  • Tool-less fins are easy to install and remove, locking tethers prevent accidental loss
  • 3 year warranty

Cons

  • The center carrying handle is slightly behind the balance point of the board, which can make it harder to carry over long distances
  • I would like to see iRocker introduce a touring-style fin and remove the side fin boxes from the Model V to reduce drag without reducing tracking performance.

Construction and Durability

The Blackfin Model V uses iRocker’s “Triple-Layer Composite” construction and enhanced rails that utilize carbon fiber fabric to greatly increase abrasion and puncture resistance in some of the highest impact areas of the board.

Blackfin Model V carbon fiber fabric rail reinforcement
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Caption

The Model V’s “Triple-Layer Composite” construction is made of, you guessed it, three distinct layers. The first is the knitted fabric base layer of the interior core. On top of that there are two layers of PVC material that create an airtight material and add rigidity and puncture resistance. Inside the board thousands of “drop stitch” fibers are sewn between the fabric base layers of the deck (top) and hull (bottom) sides of the board. These fibers give the board its flat shape and the internal tension increases board rigidity.

The top and bottom layers of the board are joined together by a strip of PVC material that runs around the entire side of the board creating the board’s rails. This interior seam is glued to the top and bottom layers and then covered entirely with another, larger, outer rail layer. Blackfin iSUPs all feature a carbon fiber fabric rail reinforcement. This fabric layer is applied to the Model V’s rail through the middle standing area of the board and then covered with yet another piece of PVC tarpaulin. These two extra layers give the Model V excellent abrasion and puncture resistance along the rail – the area most likely to impact or drag on the ground as you move the board to the water, or against docks and pylons as you are launching and landing. Lastly two more narrow strips of PVC are glued to the top and bottom of the rail layers to provide one more level of durability for the rail.

Once the board is built, then all of the deck features, deck pad, fin boxes, etc are applied. All together the Model V weighs in at 28.4 lbs. The board is rated for a maximum recommended pressure of 16 PSI. While this is a slight decrease in maximum recommended pressure from the 2022 model (18 PSI), the new Model V is still very stiff when inflated.

Blackfin Model V rigid while standing
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The Blackfin V remains very rigid while standing and paddling.

In our dry land bend test we loaded the Model V with 170 lbs of static weight and measured how much the board bent across a 7’ span. When the dust settled, the Model V deflected just under 1.5” (3.8 cm), scoring “above average” across all iSUPs we’ve tested to date.

With a great bend test result in the bag it’s time to see how the Model V feels on the water, after all that is the most important measure of a board’s stiffness!

While out on the water I did not notice any flex or bend in the Model V while standing on it or while paddling normally. When I picked up the pace, the Model V continued to do very well and I only began feeling some slight flex when I was paddling in a dead sprint.

Blackfin Model V flex while bouncing
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Jumping on the board produces some moderate flex with a smooth rebound.

Jumping up and down on the Model V did produce a mild-to-moderate amount of flex. When I stopped jumping the board quickly and smoothly returned to normal without any springy rebound.

Overall the Model V, and the other Blackfin iSUPs, exhibit a classically great construction with the added bonus of extra durable rails and a pleasantly rigid feel on the water.

Specifications

Dimensions
Length 12'6"
Width 32.5“
Thickness 5“
Weight
Max Capacity 485 pounds
Board Weight 28.5 pounds
Kit Weight
39 pounds
Buying Info
List Price
Warranty 3 years
Returns period 45 days

Features, Accessories and Versatility

The Blackfin Model V is fully featured for fitness paddling, day touring, overnight trips and fishing adventures. When speed is important and the distances are long, the Blackfin Model V makes the miles feel easy.

Blackfin Model V dimensions and profile
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The Blackfin Model V is 12’6” long, 32.5” wide, 6” thick, and has a maximum weight capacity of 485 lbs.
Blackfin Model V nose shape and front cargo area
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The nose of the Blackfin Model V is kept rather wide until tapering to a point in the final two feet of the board. A removable cargo strap is strung between six D-rings on the front of the board along with two removable passenger handles.
Blackfin Model V front carry handle
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The front carrying handle is located on the front rail of the board, rather than the deck.
Blackfin Model V threaded accessory mount
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The closest two D-rings of the front cargo area also have integrated threaded accessory mounting points.
Blackfin Model V deck pad
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The deck pad is made with a grooved and logo-embossed EVA foam. It provides great traction without being so roughly textured that it becomes uncomfortable.
Blackfin Model V rear mounting points
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Behind the standing area are several different accessory mounting points. There are dual sand-spear mounts, two scotty mounts, and two threaded accessory mounts between the handle and the rear cargo area.
Blackfin Model V sand spear mounting point
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The sand spear mounting points have two threaded inserts and a loop of webbing to secure and direct the hard plastic sand spear sheath (available separately) on either side of the board.
Blackfin Model V kayak seat d-rings
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There are four D-rings around the midsection of the Model V to mount a kayak seat or use with a shoulder carrying strap.
Blackfin Model V rear cargo area
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The rear cargo area is a mirror image of the front with a removable bungee cord, 6 D-rings, and removable passenger handles. While there are no integrated threaded accessory mounts, there are two threaded mounts placed separately just in front of the cargo area.
Blackfin removable cargo bungee
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The removable bungee cords use two plastic swivel clasps for easy removal and installation.
Blackfin Model V tail shape
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The tail of the Model V has a medium width and square shape for increased stability without unnecessary drag.
Blackfin Model V fin boxes
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The Model V has three flip-lock style fin boxes and comes with a 9” center fin and two 5” side fins.

Blackfin iSUPs are available from iRocker in multiple configurations thanks to the new Bundle Builder feature on their website. You can choose to purchase just the board (which includes fins and a repair kit), you can select the standard package, or you can build your own custom kit with paddle upgrades, pumps, waterproof carrying bag, and/or other accessories. The standard configuration includes a transportation bag, triple-action hand pump, coiled leash, and three piece carbon fiber paddle.

Paddle

With the standard accessory kit you get a carbon fiber/nylon hybrid paddle that breaks down into three pieces for easy transportation. The Blackfin paddle has received a visual update this year, but still provides the same great performance we’ve come to expect from this package.

Blackfin three-piece paddle
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The standard Blackfin three-piece paddle has a carbon fiber shaft and nylon blade and handle.

The Blackfin three piece carbon fiber paddle has a lightweight and medium-stiff shaft with a medium-size rectangular blade made of nylon. The nylon blade provides just enough flex to keep the paddle comfortable for all-day use, but doesn’t feel floppy in the water. You can feel the blade flex when putting down high-power strokes while sprinting, but for any paddling other than sprinting, the Blackfin three-piece paddle feels solid in the water.

There is a new handle grip this year made with a textured plastic material rather than the smooth molded composite material of the previous generation. The grip fits comfortably in your hand and doesn’t feel soft, but some may find the texturing to be a little rough at first.

The pin-and-clip adjustment system is easy to use by pulling the clip out to adjust the paddle length and pushing it back in to lock it in place. This system also has the added benefit of automatically aligning the blade and handle and making an easy job of resetting the length between uses.

iRocker also released a new two-piece fully carbon fiber paddle this year. This new premium paddle uses the same basic outline and shape of the three piece paddle, but with a carbon fiber blade and composite handle. You can choose to bundle this new paddle with your board rather than the three piece paddle, however it will not pack down into the board bag. Rather this new paddle includes a padded carrying case.

Blackfin premium carbon fiber paddle
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The new premium 2-piece paddle has the same shape and size, but with a carbon fiber blade.

Stability

The Model V fits into a growing category of iSUPs we’re referring to as Adventure Touring boards. These boards combine increased speed and efficiency with more stable and voluminous shapes for more capacity.

Blackfin Model V stability on edge
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Holding the Model V on its rail is an easy task thanks to its parallel mid section.

At just over 32” wide (32.5” at its widest point) and 12’ 6” long, the Blackfin Model V offers a significant amount of volume and stability that’s better than most shorter all-around boards. The medium-width square tail and broad front half of the board keep the Model V feeling balanced while standing, walking, and of course paddling.

Another benefit of this board shape is its great secondary stability. Because the middle of the board is roughly parallel, when you tilt the board on its edge (or your paddling through choppy conditions that tilt it for you) much of the board’s surface area remains in contact with the water and gives plenty of stability and time to recover. When dipping the edges of the board under the water, they resurface and level out easily without any catching or over-buoyant feeling.

Blackfin Model V stability side to side
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Rocking the Model V side to side is comfortable and the board resurfaces smoothly.

The deck pad has both deep grooves running the length of the standing area and a logo-embossed texture giving it great traction and a comfortable feel. iRocker also extended the deck pad farther back toward the tail of the board which gives the Model V a more secure feeling as you move back on the board. When I walked back to the tail for a few quick pivot turns, the Model V stayed predictably stable and my footing felt great.

Speed

As a touring paddle board it’s important for the Model V to not only be fast on the water, but also efficient. Fortunately, it manages both of these while still providing excellent stability and carrying capacity.

Blackfin Model V speed performance
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The Model V has great speed and efficiency for a 32” wide board.

In our speed evaluation we look at top speed, average sprinting speed, cruising speed and board efficiency.

While paddling the Model V with the standard Blackfin three-piece paddle I was able to clock the board at a maximum of 6.0 MPH. That’s quite fast for an inflatable paddleboard, however this is not a speed that is easy to maintain for more than a few strokes. The Model V’s average sprinting speed – sustainable sprinting speed – turned out to be 5.6 MPH, which is still quite excellent for a 32” wide board.

While the Model V is fast on the water in a sprint, it’s not built as a racing board, but rather as a touring board to paddle longer distances efficiently. At a far more casual, but rather continuous, pace of 25 strokes per minute the Model V cruises along at a very respectable 3.8 MPH. With each paddle stroke the Model V has the ability to glide an average of nearly 23 feet before noticeably slowing down. This gives it a gliding ratio of 1.8 board lengths per stroke. That is on the lower side of efficiency for dedicated touring boards, but most of those are also two inches narrower. At the same time it is significantly faster and more efficient than the vast majority of all-around iSUPs.

Maneuverability and Tracking

Touring boards are known for their speed and their tracking ability, but they aren’t typically considered to be the most agile options on the water. The same is true for the Model V. It’s got great tracking performance, but takes a bit of effort when turning in large chunks.

Blackfin Model V turning performance
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Flat-turning the Model V can be tricky, but steering is still straight forward.

Our maneuverability test is designed to be a stress test to show any strengths or weaknesses between different boards. While this does give us a consistent way to determine maneuverability, it’s not necessarily a real-world example. In our test we turn in a complete circle from a standstill using only forward-sweep strokes – one of the less efficient ways to turn your board. In this test the Model V took an average of 15.25 strokes to make a complete circle. The longer waterline and triple-fin setup really does a great job of keeping the board moving straight, but can make it tricky to turn.

The good news is there are other, faster, ways to turn the Model V. Reverse sweep strokes (paddling in an arc from the tail to the nose) do a much better job for large turns and complete the same circle test in just under 5 strokes. Pivot turning – stepping back to the tail to lift the nose – is even faster and an experienced paddler can turn 180 degrees in a single stroke. Steering the Model V in smaller increments is also easily accomplished with sweep and draw strokes.

Blackfin Model V tracking performance
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The Model V has impressive tracking ability over long distances.

Where the Model V struggled with maneuverability, it does a great job with straight-line tracking performance. When paddling over long distances small changes in your trajectory can amplify and lead you way off target, or an alternating zig-zag pattern can add a significant amount of distance to your trip.

In our 10-stroke tracking test the Model V did a great job of staying on course. Over 10 paddle strokes on one side of the board, the Model V deviated an average of just 8 degrees from its original target. Since most paddlers take fewer than 10 strokes per side, it’s very easy to keep the Blackfin Model V moving in whichever direction you point it.

Blackfin fliplock fins with tethers
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The Model V includes a 9” all-around center fin and two 5” side fins as shown here on the Model XL.

The Model V has three flip-lock style fin boxes with locking tethers. It comes with a 9” center fin and two 5” side fins. With this combination you can use all three, just the center fin, or just the side fins to adjust the maneuverability and tracking performance to suit your needs (or to paddle in shallower waters). The fliplock fin boxes are easy to use and require no tools or bolts to install the fins. The new locking tethers help reduce accidental fin loss both on and off the water. While the fliplock fin boxes are easy to use, they are slightly limiting in fin availability if you’d like to use different size or shape fins. I would like to see iRocker develop a touring-style fin for the Model V (or any of their iSUPs). That will help improve tracking performance when using just the center fin without the additional drag from the side fins.

Warranty and Customer Support

The Blackfin Model V is supported by a 3 year warranty against seam leaks, and a 2 year warranty against any other manufacturing defects. iRocker’s accessories are also covered by a 1 year warranty. iRocker also offers a 45 day return period in case you decide the Model V is not the right board for you. If you do have any questions about the Model V you can contact iRocker via email, phone, web form or social media.

Overall Impressions/Review Summary

Blackfin Model V Pivot Turn
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The Blackfin Model V makes for an excellent adventure-touring and fast-action fishing iSUP.

The Blackfin Model V is a great option for any paddler looking for an Adventure Touring iSUP. It has excellent stability and a high capacity, great speed and efficiency, and tracks incredibly well. With a fully-featured deck you can rig the Model V for fishing, camping, day touring, or just with the bare essentials for a great time out on the water.

Blackfin Model V iSUP FAQ

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

The Model V is longer and narrower than the Model XL, providing added speed for long-distance paddles. The Model XL is the more stable of the two boards, which makes it a better choice for beginners and as a dedicated fishing SUP.

Is the Blackfin Model V good for SUP camping and multi-day trips?

Yes! The Blackfin Model V is a great option for SUP camping and multi-day trips. The 32” width gives it great stability and extra carrying capacity for expeditions of any length.

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

With the Blackfin triple-action hand pump it takes about 8-10 minutes to fully inflate the Model V to its maximum 16 PSI. With the iRocker electric pump it takes 10-12 minutes to inflate the Model V, but without all the hard work!

Is the Blackfin Model V good for fishing?

The Blackfin Model V has plenty of cargo space, accessory mounting points, and fishing accessory compatibility for SUP anglers who like to reach the best spots (which always seem to be on the other side of the lake!).

26 Comments

  1. Are you aware of the “exploding boards” from the use of inferior glue during production?
    I have a model V and it is part of the recall. The email I received advised me that I wouldn’t be compensated with the same board it would be “comparable”. Apparently comparable is considered any board they make in any colour they want to send. Also the replacement board will take 6 months to ship after they receive a picture of your board after being cut up and destroyed.

    Just thought I’d reach out as your giving good reviews for a brand that has left all its customers of effected boards very unhappy (Blackfin model V Facebook pages have the proof of our dissatisfaction in the brand).

    • Hello,

      Yes, we are aware of the Blackfin recall. https://www.inflatableboarder.com/blackfin-isup-limited-recall-july-2022/ The glue issue impacted a number of boards on a few production runs. Those boards have been recalled. iRocker is replacing them with the same models with the 2023 model year boards that are currently in production. Customers may choose to replace it with a different model board that is currently in stock if the customer wishes to do so. iRocker is not forcing customers to replace their Blackfin boards with other models – that is patently false. They are replacing the boards with brand new ones of the same model and restarting customers warranties once they receive their new boards. All of this is clearly explained on the Blackfin recall website. While this recall is unfortunate, iRocker is doing everything in their power to make it right, and safe, for all customers.

  2. I have two model Vs, a Cruiser, and an all-rounder all from iRocker/blackfin. The model Vs have been a disaster. One has fallen apart as none of the fixtures were properly stuck down and the other has been recalled for seam problems. The other two boards have performed fine and are still going strong despite being three years old.

    It seems like there is a serious quality control issue with the most recent model Vs. I suggest not buying until these issues are resolved. The boards themselves are great but for a Premium brand, there are some issues with the current batch of materials/manufacturing processes.

    Replacement boards have been offered, but only after months of trying to get a response from irocker, and an expected wait of six months for the new boards to be delivered. Needless to say, this is not good as who wants to miss a season of boarding.

    I was a huge fan of irocker but now, not so much.

    • Hello, iRocker has voluntarily recalled their Blackfin iSUPs for this year due to an issue with the glue. Out of an abundance of caution, iRocker has pulled their remaining inventory of these boards and recalled those sold that may have been impacted. The new 2023 models are in production and those will be sent to customers with recalled boards. Unfortunately this does take time for the boards to be built, tested, shipped to warehouses, inventoried and then shipped to customers. iRocker estimated 6 months from the time of the recall (end of this year) for shipping to customers to begin in order to accommodate all of those steps rather that promise a faster time frame and need to walk it back if there is a delay. https://www.inflatableboarder.com/blackfin-isup-limited-recall-july-2022/

  3. Thank you so much for the review, it’s very helpful. My husband and are I are currently looking for a SUP and are debating between Blackfin Model XL and V. We will be paddling together all the time and we beginners. Which one would you recommend?

    • Hi Ravi – glad you’re looking into paddleboarding! Both the Model V and Model XL could be good options depending how you plan to use them.

      Model V: 12.5′ x 32″
      The Model V is is the longer, narrower board. Designed as a touring board, you’ll find that it’s best for paddling long distances as it’s faster and straight tracking, but is somewhat less stable than the Model XL. This may make it a bit more of a challenge as you’re starting out.

      Check Price / Buy: BLACKFIN Model V

      Model XL: 11.5′ x 34″
      The Model XL is sort of the “SUV” of the Blackfin boards. It’s a super stable, all around board that’s great for general paddling, fishing, kayaking, and cruising. Many beginners find it a very comfortable and confidence inspiring board to start on because of its stability, but it’s maneuverable enough to keep up with you as you grow.

      Check Price / Buy: BLACKFIN Model XL

      Hope that helps! Let me know what you end up picking and how you like it.

  4. hello I have a question currently stuck between the Blackin model XL and blackfin model V. Going to be using the board mostly in calm/flat water lakes and canals sometimes also on the ocean but rarely but want the board to handle some light chops if needed. I’m going to be using the board by myself most of the times and barely taking anything heavy on the board. I want a paddle board that performs good on the water in terms of speed and decent stability also every time I go out to explore I usually go for 5 hours or more. The only thing is that on some of the places I go to are not open water only is a mix of open water and pathways where you have some turns so not sure if the model V may be to long and maybe a bit of a pain to maneuver in that area I seen people in there with tandem kayaks which are long so maybe it can work but in overall for what i described which do you guys think may fit better for what i want to use it for thanks.

    • Emilio – it sounds like you have some great adventures planned! Both the Blackfin Model XL and Model V are great platforms for exploring, fishing, and adventuring. Since the Blackfins are somewhat heavier boards, they do a great job of resisting choppy water and wind.

      Both boards are quite stable, although I’d give the edge to the Model XL with the greater width. On the other hand, the Model V is faster and straighter tracking in open water with its slightly longer length and touring shape. I think you’ll find them about equally maneuverable for the water pathways you describe – the Model V isn’t that much longer and is still quite easy to handle. As you point out it’s still shorter than most kayaks.

      So it depends on your priorities. Model XL is great if you want to maximize stability or carry a ton of gear. Model V would be the choice if you’d rather have some extra speed, tracking, and distance. I recently had these two boards out in some narrow waterways and they both handled well, although Model V is my personal favorite.

      Hope that helps! When you’ve made your choice, if you can use our links to buy, it’ll help support our site:

      Buy BLACKFIN Model XL
      Buy BLACKFIN Model V

  5. Hi looking to buy 2019 model v here in UK. I am a kayaker so will be doing 12 miles on flat water river wye also model v is much lighter to transport would this model v be better for me to use than a kayak any advice would be appreciated

    • Gareth – the Model V is designed as a touring board, which would make it a good option for longer distance trips. Are you planning to paddle it standing up or would you prefer to use it like a kayak? Like many SUP makers, iROCKER offers an optional kayak seat that you can attach to the SUP in order to sit and paddle it like a kayak. You might want to look into that option, if you haven’t already.

  6. Thank you for the review. I am currently in between buying a blackfin model xl and model V. I’m a first time rider but tend to have very good balance. I would be using it for everything, exercise, exploring, fishing, and just relaxing. I was wondering if you’d say one of the boards was better in choppy ocean water conditions?!

    • Alicia — those are both great boards that I think you’ll like. They’re not radically different from each other since they share a lot of the same DNA, but which to choose may depend on what you anticipate using it for the most.

      The Model V is longer, narrower, and has a slightly more pointed nose. These are all characteristics that will help it cut through choppy conditions better. And they generally make for a more efficient board if you’re going for longer distances.

      On the other hand, the Model XL is wider and shorter, which gives you more stability and more room for exercise (yoga?), fishing, and relaxing. Speaking of fishing, iROCKER has a cool new fishing rack that you’ll want to check out.

      When you’re ready to buy, using these links helps support our site:
      https://www.inflatableboarder.com/get/modelv/
      https://www.inflatableboarder.com/get/modelxl/

      Let us know which one you decide on!

  7. Hi Thank you for your review, it is very informative. I am new to paddle boarding and looking to buy a board that I can use but also take one of the kids with me. The touring type board really calls my attention as I can see me doing more touring in the future. How do the blackfin model v compare to one of the red paddle co voyage boards? They are a lot cheaper it sounds almost too good. In live in the UK so don’t know too much about irocker.

    • Hi Ian, thanks for the comment…

      Red Paddle makes outstanding inflatables, but the BLACKFIN SUPs offer a lot more value in my opinion. The Model V is an outstanding full-featured inflatable touring SUP that definitely offers a “premium” iSUP experience at an extremely reasonable price point. It’s a very well-made board that comes loaded with everything you’d want on a touring model and includes a top-shelf accessory bundle and 2-year warranty. Both offer similar features but the Model V also includes a 3-piece carbon paddle, leash, and comes in at approximately half the MSRP retail price of the Red Paddle Voyager 12’6″ and Voyager 13’2″ 13+.

      Lastly, if you’re in the UK, you can order the Model V here and it includes free shipping.

      Hope that helps, Ian. If you need anything else, don’t hesitate to ask. Happy paddling…

  8. I’m currently looking at the XL model but it’s out of stock here in Canada so now I’m considering the model V. What are the differences between the two models and which would you recommend for a first timer who will also be sharing with my wife and probably taking my two small kids out for a paddle.

    • Hi Tom, the Model XL offers quite a bit more stability as it is 2″ wider. Having said that, the Model V still offers plenty of stability and I have no trouble paddling our 2- and 3-year olds around on it. As a beginner, I don’t think you’ll have any issues with the Model V in terms of stability — it’ll just take a little more effort to turn.

      Hope that helps, Tom. If you need anything else, just holler.

  9. Thank you for the thorough reviews! I love the youtube channel and website.

    How does the Blackfin V compares with the Thurso Surf Expedition?

    They seem very similar in your reviews. I am trying to decide between the two. What are your thoughts on this?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Nico, thanks so much for the nice comment. I’m really happy that you enjoy our reviews.

      The Model V and THURSO Expedition are both very nice inflatable touring SUPs. The Model V is 12″ longer and 2″ wider, providing more stability and buoyancy than the Expedition. The Model V is also a pound lighter, despite the added size. Both boards come loaded with great features, although the Model V offers a bit more in this department (carbon reinforced rails, GoPro mount, and front/rear grab handles for kids). Both companies really stand behind their gear and the Model V and Expedition both include great 2-year warranties.

      As far as accessories go, the paddles and packs are very comparable while the Model V’s Full Throttle double chamber pump wins out over THURSO’s standard single chamber pump.

      I hope that’s helpful, Nico. If you have any other questions, just let me know and I’ll do my best to help you.

      Happy paddling!

  10. Hi, I am thinking of purchasing the Model V. I currently have a 2018 11′ iRocker All Around. Is the Model V different enough to own both? I would use the iRocker for playing around with kids in the sea and the Blackfin for rivers etc.

    I find the iRocker a bit sluggish in a straight line, not helped it seems by the quite upturned nose. Does the Model V have a similar nose profile?

    Thanks very much

    • Hi Sam, thanks for your nice comment. The Model V is a completely different board than the ALL-AROUND 11′ — it’s a touring model designed for speed and paddling longer distances. While the nose rocker is similar, the overall shape of the Model V and the extended length make a big difference when it comes to speed and tracking performance.

      While very different, both are fantastic boards and worth owning in my opinion. I completely understand your concern in regards to possible overlap between the two models, but they are unique enough for that not to be an issue.

      I hope that helps, Sam. If you’ve got any other questions, just let me know.

      • Thanks for the quick response, that’s a great help. I just wondered why the nose rockers were designed like this when it seems a flatter profile would be better (all the Red Paddle boards I’ve seen look very flat). Maybe it helps in choppier water?

        Also, if I got the Model V and just wanted to do long paddles on flat water in a straight line, is it best to just use the centre fin and remove the side ones?

        Thanks again.

        • Exactly, Sam. The nose rocker really helps whenever you’re paddling in choppy conditions.

          In regards to your fin setup question, I personally prefer to use all three fins but many do opt for a single fin configuration in situations such as what you described as it reduces drag.

    • Hi Rick, thanks for your comment. The BLACKFIN Model V and Hala Carbon Hoss are two very different boards — the Model V is a pure touring SUP while the Carbon Hoss is an all-around board. The Model V wins in terms of speed while the Carbon Hoss excels in the stability department. Both feature carbon fiber reinforcement and offer excellent rigidity — iROCKER uses it along the rails of the Model V while Hala uses a carbon fiber stringer.

      A much better comparison would be the BLACKFIN Model X or Model XL — both wider all-around models that perform similarly to the Carbon Hoss. As much as I like Hala’s boards, I’d recommend going with a BLACKFIN as the quality is top-notch and they’re a much better value overall.

      Hope that helps, Rick. If you have any other questions, just let me know.

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