Advertisements
News Ticker

SUP: Non-elitist ride – Red Paddle Co Elite 12.6ft x 26” 2016 review

red paddle coAfter the joy that was Red Paddle Co’s Sport 12.6ft we couldn’t wait to take the described more performance orientated Elite for a spin. Designed as the brand’s race sled it certainly looks up to the job. There’s no pussy footing around here. Red’s Elite is an extremely flat rockered board. A very subtle curve runs through the entire length of the Elite – its progressive bend is designed to excel in straight lines, there’s no question.

Red Paddle Co Elite 12.6ft hull profile

As with Red’s Sport the Elite’s rigidity success is down to MSL Fusion Technology (see Red’s website for an explanation) and the rod inserts (RSS) that slot into pockets along each rail. Its narrow 26” width also aids the solid feel when standing on the deck – after all, less board means less surface area to bend and a more compact shape is the result. MSL technology also makes the board 30% lighter than normal.

The beady eyed will have noticed a plastic runner attached to the underside of the nose. Keeping the Elite tracking straight and true this nifty bit of detailing allows paddlers to focus on the act of paddling, winning races and not having to worry about throwing in corrective strokes. The Elite is also 150mm thick which raises the board out the water and gives and elevated paddling ride, reducing drag in the process.

Red Paddle Co Elite 12.6ft fin configuration

On the water it’s certainly one of the best tracking inflatables we’ve tried. The US fin box allows high end race skegs to be swapped out which delivers a tuning element to the board – another tick in the box. Although we didn’t actually scientifically test the board’s speed it felt quick. Up against other boards, hard and iSUPs, it was always towards the front of the pack. Paddle with a high stroke cadence and the Elite reacts by surging forwards, that low rocker knifing an efficient line towards the finish line.

What surprised us the most was how well-mannered Red’s Elite 12.6ft is. For such a race orientated board with only 26” width (perceived unstable for many) it delivers a composed and user friendly ride. So much so that pivot turns are swift and mostly moisture free. Another characteristic is its versatility – the possibility of surfing some small waves is there making it a more rounded purchase. Obviously paddle fundamentals need to nailed down to get the most out of such a board but it’s certainly more of an all comers iSUP than you’d initially think.

Red Paddle Elite 12.6ft water shot

Conclusion

For a brand who focus on all water paddlers, and getting every skill of SUPer up and riding, the Elite 12.6ft may initially put the masses off. Yet this wouldn’t be correct. For sure Red’s Elite 12.6ft is poised to take paddlers to podium finishes but there’s more performance built in than dimensions alone suggest. It’s possible to surf the Elite, in small swell, and practicing those all-important buoy turns are more applicable than you’d believe – even with 26” of width. As a step up from something more touring orientate Red’s Elite will fit the bill perfectly.

Price: £999

Info: http://redpaddleco.com/uk/board/126-elite/

Advertisements
About SUPMagUK (468 Articles)
Stand Up Paddle Boarding Mag UK is the home of UK SUP. Paddle surfing, downwind SUP, all round SUP, SUP racing and more - it's all here!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: