By Oliver Jordan/Jessica Ashley
East of England Paddlesports
My initial thoughts on the package were that of a very high standard. Good quality, sturdy materials used and a well-thought-out colour scheme throughout; for example, the same design scheme on the paddle, fin, board etc., the blue and grey pattern is something I’ve not seen before, it stands out, and I like it very much!
As expected from a company that shouts about its eco credentials, the packaging with the board was almost plastic-free, which was refreshing to see. Upon unpacking, you find all parts of a modern SUP package that you would expect, including a very spacious backpack-style bag, a carbon shaft three-piece paddle, a very cool compact double chamber pump, leash (it would be good to see the new Bluefin waist leash included), fin, repair kit and even a mobile phone waterproof bag. I was impressed to see information regarding SUP safety and links to websites rather than adding unnecessary paper manuals and guides.
At 12’6” x 30”, the Rogue fits into the ‘touring’ category. Bluefin has designed a very sturdy board, including carbon-looking tape that runs along the top and bottom of the rail, which hides the seams and creates their reinforced Flex Reduction System – meaning a stiffer board! Something I’ve noticed with Bluefin is they do love an acronym! I loved the oversized centre handle, making it super easy to grab the board whilst keeping it perfectly balanced.
The shape at first was slightly different from any I had experienced before, with a slightly wider nose section and a narrower tail end. However, the board cuts through the water effortlessly as a bigger paddler (6’2” and 105kg) I found it quite hard to balance at slower speeds. This board would be great for fast-paced, longer paddles, racing etc.
The board has plenty of deck space and bungees for a longer/multiday paddle kit. One downside I have found is that the board is on the heavier side; the website states that deflated board weighs 12.3kg, and in my experience, a lighter board glides easier. (Add the bag and all the accessories; if carrying this any distance, it’s worth noting it’s quite heavy).
The pump is a good double chamber unit, which packs away neatly; if you’re tall, however, it’s quite low. The paddle lets the package down; the two shaft sections are nice and light; however, the plastic blade adds much bottom weight to the paddle. It can be an effort to lift out of the water on each stroke. The handle has a nice feel but will take some getting used to as it slightly differs in shape from most I have seen or used. The additional parts are all good quality, a coiled leash with strong velcro, a strong fin and a robust storage bag (with plenty of space) – wheels would have been a nice addition due to the weight; however, I guess this would add more weight! Catch 22, I suppose!
A great package, good value for money and from a company with excellent eco credentials, i.e. they plant a tree for every board ordered and try to reduce plastic packaging where possible. They also offer a five-year warranty on each board, and you know they’ll honour that throughout your paddling journey! There’s also a 60-day return window which is helpful, and a few attractive offers currently listed online.
So who is this board truly designed for? I am confused about my own opinion. Due to the weight, you’d assume this was pushed for bigger, potentially stronger paddlers; however, the board’s design for me, being tall and big, was probably not ideal. This is not for beginners or XL riders but is better suited for someone looking for their next step in longer distance or faster paddling. If you’re looking to pootle around on a great looking board, and are not too worried about carrying at long portages and good value for money, definitely check out the website!