Words and pics: Darren Farrar
Well, first off let’s get a little intro out of the way. I’m Darren Farrar. I’ve been paddling for a few years now along the UK coasts, rivers and abroad. I form part of the Instagram UK SUP page @StandUpPaddleUK. We like to think of ourselves as a promoter of the people, a place for UK SUP to share images, and an unbiased place that reviews equipment. Which leads us on to the business end.
I recently received the 2019 Bluefin Sup Cruise Carbon 10’8 and WOW I’m impressed by the package. The Carbon is a dual weapon, both paddleboard and kayak. I had no preconceived ideas about this board, only that it looked very cool… Which is important of course!
Looks and features
When I unrolled the board I knew I had made the correct choice. Those tuna blues, and grading greys on the croc diamond deck pad. It’s such a cool looking board.
- Dual cargo nets for stowing bags, and also you can connect bags to the rings (14x D mount rings in total).
- A very comfortable board under foot also, which is a big plus for people that like to paddle for hours on end.
- Rear kick pad for those sharp turns on the step back. Gives you a good boost actually
- GoPro mount, a plus for GoProers!
- Five grip handles.
- Two main pump points, the rear pump for the bulk of the board, and the central point for the ‘kayak seat’ – such a cool idea. I’ve had 18PSI in both and it holds very well.
- Travel friendly backpack which really does hold ALL the items that come in the box, and more! Can go in the hold on a plane, which is very cool.
What’s in the bag?
- The Cruise Carbon 10’8 with integrated GoPro mount.
- Kayak conversion kit.
- Triple action pump.
- Coiled leash.
- Carbon fibre double paddle and fin.
Let’s talk stability
I’ve come from riding the ultra stable 2017 Red Paddle Co 10’8 (also used the 2018 version), so it’s a great board to gauge against. Now, there are different brands, boards and design but in my opinion, the Cruise Carbon rivals Red’s 10’8 for Stability.
The FRS carbon composite rail, 1000 Denier Exo surface laminate and Pro-Weave drop stitch materials make the Cruise Carbon so tough it holds up to 28 PSI! Bluefin say it will be, “The most rigid and stable inflatable stand up paddle board you’ll ever buy,” and I really have to agree with that.
I always find jumping onto a new board a happy go lucky moment, you are either going to love the board – or hate it because you find it unstable. My first ride was on a very strong current on the River Ouse in Bedford and I didn’t once feel like the board wanted to eject me quicker than a fighter jet. Comfortable and stable, two things of huge importance!
It also feels like a quick board, yes that really depends on how fast you paddle, but it doesn’t feel bulky or heavy through the paddle motion.
Do I need a gym membership to carry it?
Nope. I’ve used boards in the past and carrying them from the truck to the water was a pain in the backside, due to being awkwardly shaped, lacking hand grips, the size! The Cruise Carbon is light, when pumped up it is manoeuvrable due to all the handle grips. I was very surprised at the ease of carrying and moving in and out of the river.
Is it worth your cash? In a word… Yes. Currently retailing at £799.99 on their website – this is quite the package deal considering what comes out of the bag. The guys at Bluefin are even throwing in a free camera! And for a limited time, using the code DARREN10 at checkout will also gain you a discount!
Any questions please get in touch with Bluefin SUPS, myself on Instagram @darrens_visuals or @standuppaddleuk !