SUP: Sports day – Red Paddle Co Sport 12.6ft x 30” 2016 review

red paddle coThere are inflatable SUPs, and then there’s Red Paddle Co. While a number of other brands are certainly no slouch in terms of getting new technology within the air SUP market moving, Red are right up there in the mix – leading from the front. With inflatable stand up paddle boards being their only product line, it’s no wonder the brand devotes considerable time to R&D – hence Red’s new MSL technology.

Without getting into a long winded spiel of what MSL is, instead check the vid on Red’s Facebook page – So in a nutshell, MSL technology reduces human error in the gluing stages and brings automation technology to the manufacturing process, reduces weight, increases rigidity and each Red is built to last.

Inflating the Sport 12.6ft with the brand’s awesome Titan pump (another iSUP innovation) is a swift and easy process – certainly easier and quicker than lesser pumps. That said, it’s still a ‘process’ to inflate. While it takes less time with the Titan, it still takes some time.


Due to Red’s manufacturing materials and process you can ram far more than 15 PSI inside the Sport 12.6ft. This, along with the brand’s patented Rail Stiffening System (rods you slide into pouches along the rails), means boards are stiff.

And you can definitely feel this on the water. At 6” thick, the Sport 12.6ft rides higher than other Red models in the range. But it remains composed and certainly delivers that ‘authentic’ paddling experience the brand strive for. It tracks well – better than some hard SUPs we’ve used – and doesn’t require many corrective strokes to keep you going in the direction of travel. Glide is also pretty good while stability (30” wide) is fine for most intermediates and no hassle if you have further experience.

Red Paddle Co 2016 bag

The Sport 12.6ft is a step up in terms of performance for many. For those familiar with Red’s Ride 10.6ft, the Sport offers the next level. It covers distance much more efficiently, can be loaded with essentials paddlers need for longer journeys and overnight stays, and even copes with moderate swell – as our test team discovered.

We should also mention Red’s bag. With a high level of thought, it’s a great example of what iSUP bags should be like. The Sport packs down into a neat package and there’s enough room inside the bag for other items if needed – great for travelling on airlines with kit. Its roller wheels only add to the appeal and the shoulder straps are super comfy.


Red Paddle Co’s 12.6ft Sport is a good looking, superbly manufactured inflatable SUP that’s had a lot of thought put into it. The brand’s MSL technology ensures it is lightweight and it can be blown up way past the listed PSI. Patented RSS stiffening system rods add to an already rigid ride.

The supplied bag and top drawer construction are welcome (the bag especially when travelling) and in conjunction with Red’s Titan pump you’ll have a very appealing setup. Able to cope with various paddling environments, the Sport 12.6ft takes it all in its stride and will place beaming smiles on progressing intermediate and advanced SUP faces alike.

Price: £899


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