Red Paddle Co 10’6” Ride MSL iSUP: Overview
When you close your eyes and think of a paddle board, the image most people conjure up will look almost exactly like the Red Paddle Co 10’6” Ride MSL. Now if that is the board creating the image or the image creating the board, that’s a bit harder to decipher. What we do know is that the 10’6” Ride is an absolute classic all-around iSUP. It expertly blends paddling performance characteristics, clean lines, and high quality construction.
— Red Paddle Co 10’6” Ride MSL Summary Ratings and Review —
Red Paddle Co 10'6" Ride
Construction & Durability
Features and Versatility
The Red Paddle Co 10’6” Ride MSL is a classic all-around iSUP that is fun to paddle, simple to use, and backed by an excellent warranty and brand
- 4.7” thick construction keeps you lower to the water for a more connected feeling
- Wide outline provides excellent stability
- High quality MSL Fusion construction is lightweight and rigid
- Logo-embossed deck pad provides great grip, feels good, and is made of a high-density foam for durability
- Fixed fins perform well and eliminate accidental loss
- High quality pump and Transformer bag included
- 5 year warranty
- Some paddlers may prefer to have fin boxes to fixed fins for more customization
- Lower volume shape and few cargo options are not ideal for heavier paddlers or carrying lots of equipment
User Review( votes)
Construction and Durability
The 10’6” Ride MSL uses Red Paddle Co’s MSL Fusion construction to create a lightweight, rigid iSUP. Additionally, Red’s construction process is heavily time-intensive and results in superb cosmetics and excellent durability.
The 10’6” Ride, like all of Red Paddle Co’s iSUPs, is made with the Red Paddle Co MSL Fusion technology. But what in the world is that? MSL stands for Monocoque Structural Laminate, and is Red’s trademark term for their construction process. In plain-speak it’s a structural material that combines multiple components into one indistinguishable layer. Fusion is a term used in the industry to indicate machine-laminated materials that use heat, pressure, and less (or no) glue to bond layers of PVC materials together.
Red’s MSL material and process starts with a drop stitch core material (like all iSUPs) but rather than coating this fabric material with liquid PVC, Red uses a proprietary adhesive material to pull double-duty as both a sealant for the fabric and as an adhesive layer for the reinforced PVC tarpaulin that is then machine-pressed onto the fabric. The end result is a high-quality material that provides great rigidity and durability, but at a much lighter weight than a traditional double-layer construction.
The 10’6” Ride is made with a drop stitch inner layer that is 4.7” thick rather than the standard 6” of most iSUPs. This has a few different tradeoffs. The thinner board places the rider closer to the water for a more “connected” feel and slightly lower center of gravity. However it also reduces the overall volume of the board, so the recommended rider weight maxes out at 220 lbs. It will also be less-rigid than a 6” board of the same construction. More on that in a bit.
The deck and hull layers of the board are joined with an inner rail band that is glued with a large degree of overlap on each side. The additional overlap helps to create a more durable, long-lasting bond and provides a little more rigidity to the rails of the board once inflated. A second layer of PVC material is then glued around the entire edge of the board again to further reinforce the rail.
In addition to the quality of the material itself, Red Paddle Co iSUPs have impeccable cosmetic finishes. I’ve not once seen a wrinkle or other cosmetic imperfection on one of their iSUPs. The overall build process is done extremely well, and it’s no wonder Red backs their iSUPs with a 5 year warranty.
One of the concerns with a 4.7” thick iSUP is its rigidity. Thinner boards are inherently less rigid than thicker boards with the same construction. So we loaded the 10’6” Ride MSL onto the sawhorses for our dry-land bend test. With our standard load of 170 lbs, the 10’6” Ride MSL bent1.575” (4.0 cm). That is just barely more than the average result across all of the boards we’ve put through this test (nearly 100 now). While that might sound a little ho-hum, when you consider that the 10’6” Ride is just 4.7” thick it’s actually quite an excellent result.
On the water there is very little flex noticeable while paddling in anything other than a dead sprint, and I’m technically over the recommended rider weight of 220 lbs (I’m 230 lbs). Now when bouncing on the board I can easily produce a moderate to moderately high amount of flex, but what’s great is that when I stop bouncing on the board it comes back to rest with a very soft and comfortable rebound rather than a disjointed tight or springy feeling.
Overall the 10’6” Ride MSL is masterfully made and feels great on the water.
Features, Accessories and Versatility
THe 10’6” Ride is an all-around iSUP designed to do a little bit of everything. It can just as easily cruise around the bay with your friends, catch a few waves, head out to a nearby island for a picnic lunch, or even help you catch a few fish or stretch out for some light yoga thanks to its effective shape. However, if you like to deck your SUP out with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos, that might be a bit harder to manage.
While the 10’6” Ride may not have dozens of different cargo and accessory mounting points, it does have just enough for what the board was intended for – a little bit of everything. You can still bring fishing equipment, or coolers, or even a large dry bag for a lightweight overnight trip, but you might not be able to bring them all at once.
The 10’6” Ride is available in a few different forms. The base kit includes the board, pump, bag, and leash. You can also opt for a “complete” kit that includes a three piece paddle, or you can even upgrade your paddle to a lighter, higher-performance version. The Titan II hand pump is incredibly fast and efficient, and the ATB Transformer bag easily holds everything you need. You can also remove the “bag” part of the transformer bag and use it as a backpack harness for the board if you are hiking in a long distance for a chance to paddle that beautiful mountain lake under a picturesque snow-capped cirque.
The 10’6” Ride is one of those iSUPs that just feels good under your feet. The size, shape, thickness and construction all work together to give you a comfortable and confident time on the water.
Many people will assume that you can tell how stable a paddleboard will be just by looking at its width. While width is part of the equation, it’s definitely not the only variable. At 32” wide, the 10’6” Ride seems like it would have pretty average stability. However, the wide nose and wide tail combine to help give the 10’6” Ride a great, super-beginner-friendly, feeling on the water compared to boards with more tapered outlines. Additionally, the 10’6” Ride is only 4.7” thick and has good rigidity. This means that your body’s center of gravity is closer to the water and the board doesn’t flex under normal use.
While standing, paddling, and even walking on the board I never feel like it’s wobbly, twitchy, or unstable, even in choppier conditions. When paddling at a dead sprint I do feel the board flex and it does reduce the overall stability, but in that case the active paddle in the water provides additional stability.
I did find one, minor, drawback that is likely only to impact intermediate level paddlers who are switching to the 10’6” Ride from a thicker, 6”, iSUP. The narrower board can sometimes catch its rail easier during fast turns, and there is less volume in the tail, making it much easier to sink the tail and lift the nose for a pivot turn. If you aren’t ready for this change in feel, it can throw you off a little (as seen above). But even in this case, the overall stability of the 10’6” Ride is such that it’s no problem to throw a quick paddle brace and readjust your weight on the board.
Speed is likewise a product of many factors – length, width, shape, rigidity, but most importantly, the paddler. The 10’6” Ride is not built for top speed like several of other iSUPs by Red, but it does have good gliding speed and efficiency for all-around paddling.
All-around paddle boards are designed to let you try a little bit of everything, but they certainly aren’t specialists in any one area. That often is most noticeable with speed. It takes a considerable amount of effort to paddle most iSUPs with any degree of speed. The 10’6” Ride is no different here, however it does respond well to this increase in effort.
In our sprinting tests, the 10’6” Ride held an average sprinting speed of 5.3 MPH and hit a peak speed of 5.7 MPH. That’s quite good for an all-around of this size. However while paddling at these speeds, the board’s tracking did suffer noticeably.
While cruising along at a far more normal pace of around 25 strokes per minute, the 10’6” Ride clips along at an average of 3.7 MPH. It’s not the fastest cruising all-around iSUP we’ve tested, but it is toward the top for the category. The same goes for the 10’6” Ride’s gliding efficiency. Once up to its cruising speed, the 10’6” Ride moved an average of about 19 feet per stroke before noticeably slowing down. That gives it a gliding ratio of 1.8 board-lengths per stroke – quite high for an all-around iSUP, but not quite as high as a touring-style board.
Maneuverability and Tracking
The 10’6” Ride takes a departure from other high-end iSUPs by utilizing twin fixed fins rather than 1, 2 or 3 fin boxes. The fixed fins are shaped and placed to maximize the balance between maneuverability, tracking, and stability. They do quite a good job of it, though the fixed fin concept may leave more advanced paddlers wanting for customization.
In our maneuverability testing we force paddleboards to execute what may seem like an easy maneuver, but in a difficult way. This allows us to really see how the board reacts in this stress test and helps truly differentiate boards based on performance. Starting from a standstill, we use a forward sweep stroke (paddling in an arc from nose to tail) to turn the board in a complete circle. The forward sweep stroke is a very common way to turn and steer your board, but it is also one of the least efficient at doing so as it also imparts forward momentum. The 10’6” Ride handled this test easily needing an average of only 5.5 strokes to turn in a complete circle. It was easy enough to not frustrate new paddlers, but, as you’ll see in a moment, provides just enough resistance to turning to keep the board easily on course.
Using a reverse sweep stroke (paddling in an arc from tail to nose) turns the board much faster, needing only 4 strokes to complete the circle. Reverse strokes work against the fins, rather than with them, and are a quicker way to turn (provided you aren’t moving forward at a high rate of speed already). Of course, one of the fastest ways to turn any SUP is to step to the tail and perform a pivot turn. This lifts the nose out of the water and puts your weight (and pivot point) directly over the fins. The 10’6” Ride swings quickly and easily around as the 4.7” thick tail slices through the water. It’s so fast that you do need to be tilting slightly to allow the water to pass under the board as you turn as you can accidentally catch your edge and dig the board down into the water.
With two shorter fins I didn’t have high hopes for how well the 10’6” ride would do in our tracking test, but it gave me a rather pleasant surprise. While paddling on course toward a distant target I take 10 paddle strokes on a single side of the board and then measure the difference between the new course and original target with a compass. The 10’6” Ride did excellent given its size, shape, and fins by deviating an average of just 17° off course. While this isn’t nearly as precise as a dedicated touring board, or even several of the longer all-around boards we’ve tested, considering its maneuverability and the fin size I was quite impressed. For casual paddling, the 10’6” Ride has very good tracking ability.
The twin fins of the 10’6” Ride MSL are glued in place at the tail of the board and have a very slight toe angle pointing them toward the center. They are 4.5” long and have a 6” wide base. This large-surface shape allows them to be shallower and still provide enough traction and stability to keep you on course. The toe angle is a feature for those who like to ride waves. By toeing the fins in they can provide slightly more pressure on the wave face for better engagement than fins without toeing.
The flexible plastic material is extremely durable and will bend on impact rather than jolting the board to a stop or ripping the fin off the board. They do have a slight tendency to bend when the board is stored, however they do bend back after a few minutes. It’s not recommended, though, to store the board with the fins rolled tightly or with the board resting on its fins for long periods of time as this can cause more than normal deformation.
Fixed fins can be done well, as in the case of the 10’6” Ride, or they can be done not so well. The more I paddle the 10’6” Ride, the less the fixed fins “bother” me on such a high end board. However I can certainly understand the desire to have fin boxes that allow for swapping in longer, shorter, or different shape fins. I think this is definite more of a consideration for more specialty boards, but for an all-around like the 10’6” Ride MSL, these fins do a great job.
Warranty and Customer Support
Red Paddle Co. offers a 5 year warranty on all of their iSUPs, however you must register your board within 3 months of purchase in order for the warranty to take effect. Because Red Paddle Co is primarily a retail brand, return periods will vary based on your chosen retailer. Green Water Sports provides a 30 day return period for unused equipment. If you purchase directly from Red you’ll also have a 30 day return period for unused equipment. If you have any questions about the 10’6” Ride MSL or any other Red Paddle Co product you can reach Red via their website chate, email, webform, or phone. You can also reach out to Green Water Sports via their website chate, webform, email or phone.
Overall Impressions/Review Summary
The 10’6” Ride MSL is the classic all-around paddle board. It’s stable, agile, easily paddles where you want it to go, and can even be quite quick when you’re racing your friends back to the beach for lunch. The high quality construction really shines through with not only how the board performs, but how it feels and looks. If you like clean, classic looks and a great paddling experience, the 10’6” Ride MSL is the board for you.