Red Paddle’s The Whip 8.10ft surf specific SUP has been available for a few months now, winning hearts in various global locations. Speaking of winning The Whip also won 2015’s European SUP Surfing Champs (inflatable division) which should tell you a lot…
Many paddlers will be aware you can ‘surf’ any kind of SUP in theory. Dropping into a wave and gliding along a face is easily doable on most boards. There are very few inflatables, however, that deliver a true representation of what paddle surfing actually is. Red’s The Whip is one such sled which ticks all the boxes. SUPM test team member Stephane Lefevre gives us the low down.
‘First impressions and it looks a lot smaller than any other air SUP I have seen or been on! As usual Red offers great build quality – the brand’s MSL technology and manufacturing is awesome. Feeling light and stiff, thanks to the RSS (Rail Stiffening System) battens, I was pleased to see Red keeping the concept even on a smaller board. In fact, when talking about wave riding it’s even more important to have a rigid platform – anything that can help with this is always going to be welcome.
The Whip’s central fin is proper high performance and brilliant it being a US Box fitting. This gives opportunity to swap out and tune the board if you wish. I would’ve liked more performance orientated side fins, instead of the moulded plastic ones supplied. This is only a minor point, however.
Easy and quick to inflate The Whip gets up to 18PSI in a flash, although it can take 20PSI. At 18PSI, however, it’s a super solid board and raring to go. 3.93” thickness is a lot thinner than many of the inflatables we’ve been testing of late. As such you are much closer to the water which makes The Whip feel more stable, deliver less ‘bounce’ (as you’re not buffeted by chop) and really gets riders in contact with their environment.
The Whip’s nose is wide but not in a bad way. It helps paddlers get over white water fairly well – floating up above broken waves you’ll be in position without hassle. It also makes a good SUP platform for hanging your tootsies over, nose rider style. Just be aware there’s no anti-slip in this area.
A narrow pin tail is what helps with bottom turns and gives a more responsive feel at the top of the wave allowing for proper lip hits – it’s pretty comparable to a hard shell board in this instance. If it wasn’t for a very small amount of ‘play’ you would forget The Whip is an iSUP and not a composite board.
Bottom turn, top turn, without drifting sideways; as long as you ride from the tail it really is a proper surf orientated air filled SUP that works incredibly well in most wave environments. It’s also accessible and user friendly for those paddlers new to SUP surfing. Anyone wanting to move into this part of the sport, but wanting to keep that space saving/transport flexibility iSUPs are great for, should give Red Paddle Co’s The Whip a whirl’.
The Whip from Red Paddle Co is a true wave riding vehicle filled full of air! It certainly works in surf environments and a delivers as realistic a paddle surfing experience as you’re likely to get with iSUPs currently – although technology is advancing fast. Ridden best off the tail it’s a compact and thin railed iSUP that’s great for a variety of riders – newbies or experienced. If you’re looking for a wave riding vehicle that has oodles of convenience in the storage and transport department, with performance to boot, then search no further.