We’ve written about many paddle boards here, usually answering the question of whether they were any good. What if you had that same question but about Bluefin paddle boards instead? Should you get one of these boards or look for another brand?
Bluefin paddle boards are highly regarded among SUP enthusiasts, with some websites calling these boards among the best of the year. Bluefin SUP boards are beloved for their quality, handling, and weight capacity, which is higher than similar boards from other companies.
If your curiosity is now piqued and you’re wondering if you yourself should use a Bluefin paddle board, this is the article for you. In it, we’ll talk about everything to do with the Bluefin brand. This includes company history, reviews of Bluefin’s current paddle boards, and the factors that matter to you when selecting a paddle board. Keep reading!
What Is Bluefin?
As promised, let’s begin with a detailed history of the Bluefin brand. The company began in the Southern Uplands, a well-known Scottish mountain range. Bluefin’s founders loved to paddle and play in the water near these mountains. They then had the idea to create their own line of inflatable paddle boards, and thus Bluefin was born.
The Bluefin Trading Company is designed to have no middleman involved. This allows the brand to sell boards at a more affordable rate than some other companies. Bluefin makes all its boards in the United Kingdom (UK) and offers a warranty good for five years if you bought your board after September 1st, 2018. If your board is older, you get a warranty that lasts a year.
The warranty protects you from manufacturing faults. You even get a UPS return label that’s prepaid for the first six months of your board ownership. If you have to send your board back for any reason, Bluefin says return processing might not happen for 28 days after the board arrives to its destination.
Besides just selling SUP boards, Bluefin seeks to educate those looking to get into this rewarding hobby. On their FAQs page, they have a comprehensive guide on diagnosing, repairing, and maintaining your inflatable SUP board. This guide includes sections on bagging your board, using D-rings, patching damage, taking care of valve leaks, and more.
There’s even a page on their site about finding a paddle board that’s right for you, since Bluefin believes that there’s “a paddle board for everyone.” They also have an informative blog, a buyer’s guide on the Info Zone section of their site, and a Community Page. This connects Bluefin fans and lets them learn more about latest news and events going on with the brand.
Are Bluefin Paddle Boards Any Good?
In our review of Decathlon paddle boards, we examined several factors that a SUP board shopper like yourself would want to know more about. These are price, style options, and the materials used, which will affect the paddle board’s quality.
We’d like to do that again, but now for the more upscale brand Bluefin SUP boards. If you’re not sure whether one of these boards would be good for you, this section should answer most of your questions.
We wrote in that other article that the paddle board prices vary widely between $300 and $3,000. Where do Bluefin’s offerings fit in that range? The less costly Bluefin boards are about $500, while one of the most expensive boards is $1,599. That’s for the Bluefin Mammoth, a paddle board that truly lives up to its name, as it’s 18 feet long. By the way, it’s on sale for $900 now at the link below.
In this case then, you’re paying more money for more board. Given that not every SUP rider is going to need a board that’s 18 feet long, that this one is more expensive is not necessarily something worth lingering on for too long.
Remember that Bluefin says they make boards for everyone, and that’s at a variety of sizes and price points. Paying less than $1,000 for a paddle board is a pretty great deal, especially when that’s the board’s price when it’s not on sale.
Further sweetening the pot is the fact that very rarely are you just buying a paddle board when you shop through Bluefin. They offer packages that come with all the tools and equipment you need to get riding, such as D-rings, a backpack, convertible paddles, mounts, and more. When you factor the costs of all these parts together, the price of any Bluefin board is almost a steal. You can add on a kayak style seat and an electric compressor if desired.
Bluefin always uses PVC that’s military grade in the design of their board. The PVC has overlapped seams that lend the paddle board more durability and stiffness.
Their Exo Surface Laminate technology with a 1,000-denier count provides a stunning, polished, and smooth finish to your paddle board. Bluefin also adds premium-grade inflation valves, composite dropstitching that’s reinforced for durability, and an HQ coating that resists UV damage. The thermosealed crocodile deckpad is another great feature from Bluefin’s Exo Surface Laminate technology.
Bluefin produces only inflatable paddle boards, that’s it. According to their website, their boards are designed for riders of any and all skill levels, even complete SUP beginners. Those who have only used rigid paddle boards to this point may be reluctant to try an inflatable board like those offered by Bluefin, at least at first. But the inflatables’ share of the paddle board market now stands at 70% and will likely continue to increase. Rigid boards will always have specific advantages for niche uses, but most prefer the convenience of iSUPs.
But don’t inflatable boards risk puddling in the middle? Well sure, if you don’t inflate them all the way. What about standing in the middle of the board? Won’t the other ends rise up as the middle sinks? This article from Inflatable SUP Shop that’s a testament to all that’s good about Bluefin boards mentions that most of the brand’s boards have a weight capacity of about 310 pounds. That’s quite high for an inflatable board. We don’t think you’ll have to worry about the middle sinking in when you stand on a Bluefin board, then.
If you read through the above section again, you can see that a lot of love, care, and attention to detail is put into every one of these boards. Yes, they’re inflatable, but you’ll probably quickly forget that once you spend an afternoon SUP riding on a Bluefin board.
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The Best Bluefin Paddle Boards
If you’ve now decided you want to buy a Bluefin paddle board, then the problem now becomes which of these boards should you choose?
To help you answer that question, we’ll review some of the most popular offerings from the Bluefin brand.
This board is designed with stability in mind, demonstrated by its 38” width. It can be used as an all round board, especially for newcomers who want a little more stability while learning to paddle board.
Wide boards are also great for specialty uses like paddleboard yoga and fishing. As with all Bluefin boards that follow, it is shipped as a complete package.
Bluefin’s Cruise board comes in three sizes: 10 feet, eight inches, 12 feet, and 15 feet long.
Let’s begin with the nearly 11-foot Cruise. This, like many other boards from Bluefin, is an entire package deal for $550-$850 depending on length. To see the entire Cruise and Cruise Carbon lines of paddle boards, visit this catalog page.
No matter which version of the Cruise you select, they have all the same features. For instance, the Cruise includes a center fin that stretches eight inches that, together with a rake, allows for greater versatility and gliding when cruising on the water. A smart lock keeps any metal parts from becoming detached or falling into the water.
An included paddle made of fiberglass is light but durable. You can stash the paddle in your Bluefin travel backpack—also a part of this package—when the paddle isn’t in use. Each paddle has two pieces while the backpack is designed with spacious strap width and padding for your comfort.
Also in your Cruise package is a set of D-rings you can use to make your SUP board into a kayak should you want a different riding experience. You attach the D-rings to the padded seat. Then you transform your handle from one for SUP riding to a kayak paddle end. You even get a GoPro mount for taking film or photos on the water!
You could inflate this smaller paddle board to 28 PSI max and it won’t pop or explode. That’s due to the materials Bluefin uses for each of its paddle boards. Remember, they promise great stability and rigidity.
Much like the original Cruise, you can select from three sizes for the Cruise Carbon: 10 feet, eight inches, 12 feet, and 15 feet long. The key difference between these paddle boards and the ones in the original Cruise line is the Cruise Carbon boards include thicker carbon parts.
That increases the prices of the boards. The near 11-footer costs $799. The longer boards are priced at up to $1,299.
Although you’d pay more, there are a lot of good reasons to consider the Cruise Carbon from Bluefin as your next paddle board (or even your first one). It too has all the parts and accessories you could want from a Bluefin board. The carbon fiber paddle will drop 70 percent of the weight other SUP paddles are afflicted with. It too comes in two pieces for portability. You can even opt for a US box fin that’s carbon fiber to match the paddle.
Another Bluefin feature loaded into this paddle board is the Flex Reduction System. This is part of the carbon fiber rail layer, a 3K board detail with a diagonal twill and carbon fiber rovings. The carbon textile used for the rail is 210 grams per square meter or GSM. This carbon textile doesn’t weigh much yet won’t sacrifice flexibility or stiffness. The carbon mid-rail will never come loose either when it’s attached to the rail tap externally and internally via heat welding.
The boards in the entire Cruise Carbon line use Independent Inflation Loop Air Duo inflation technology, a great Bluefin feature. The sizable air chamber contains a standalone inflation loop designed to make inflating this paddle board to 28 PSI max very easy. The air chamber has a toughened body made of carbon that promises higher volume, better rigidity, and less destructibility.
Other noteworthy features of the Cruise Carbon are a kick pad for turning, neoprene handles and paddle stay, 14 D-rings for mounting, a GoPro mount, and cargo at the tail and nose.
The Cruise Jr. only comes in one size: eight feet long. In case the name didn’t give it away, this paddle board is designed for children. It still has the same thickness as the other Cruise boards, six inches. It’s got a fiberglass body as well. The Cruise Jr. retails for $899.
Just because it’s meant for the young’ins doesn’t mean Bluefin omitted any features. The Cruise Jr. is jam-packed with handy stuff. For one, you get a double action pump. The smart lock keeps all parts intact, which is especially good for curious kids who might play around with everything on their paddle board.
The Cruise Jr. also has a fiberglass paddle that won’t fatigue the sometimes fragile arms and hands of children. It weighs almost half of other paddles, 45 percent less weight, as a matter of fact. The blade, which is polyurethane composite, won’t chip or flutter. It also floats should your child drop it.
Your children can tote around everything they need in a kid-sized travel backpack. A handy outside pocket lets your kids stash their phone or other important items in the bag as well. There’s more padding than usual with this travel backpack so your children don’t end the day of SUP riding too achy or sore.
Should you want to get your children into kayaking as well, the D-rings make it easy to switch the Cruise Jr. from paddle board to kayak in minutes. Capture all those priceless memories with ease with an included GoPro mount.
It’s recommended that children five feet, three inches and under use the Cruise Jr. It inflates to 28 PSI max and is made with Pro Weave Drop Stich and Exo Surface Laminate PVC with a high denier count.
Although it’s not a kids’ board, the Sprint from Bluefin is available in only a single size as well, 14 feet long. Bluefin refers to it as the “ultimate race paddle board,” and you can get your hands on it for a new low price of $699.
Ideal for, as Bluefin says, “the intermediate-to-advanced” SUP rider, the Sprint can cruise in open waters, flat waters, and just about everything in between. It boasts quick gliding, seamless turning, and amazing maneuvering. While it is a lengthier board, the Spring is one of the slimmer options in the Bluefin family.
With your purchase, you get a coiled ankle leash that can also sit on the calf. The neoprene leash’s tight coils will reduce drag and aide you as you ride in choppy waters. Attach it with Velcro and you’re all ready to go!
The same fiberglass paddle and smart lock features found on many of the other Bluefin paddle boards we’ve reviewed thus far are included with the Sprint as well. Its polyurethane blade and fiberglass shaft reduce weight by 45 percent compared to other paddle materials. The GoPro mount is back as well.
With a dual action pump, you can increase your pumping times, going down for each downstroke and up for every upstroke. This won’t hurt your hands or arms thanks to the included ergonomic grip. When you’re done with the dual action pump, stash it in your included backpack and get on with your day. With the Sprint, the travel backpack has outer pockets and zippered webbing that’s reinforced.
Enhance your performance with the Croco-Diamond kick pad and deckpad, the sharp nose, and the double side rails. These are heat-welded and enrobed in PVC fabric that’s 500 denier. Of course, you have your Exo Surface Laminate technology for the exterior.
Let’s wrap up our reviews with a Bluefin paddle board we’ve discussed before, the gargantuan Mammoth. It’s an 18-footer with a price recently slashed to $899 (from $1,599.) Bluefin isn’t lying when they declare the Mammoth their “ultimate stand-up paddle board.”
You don’t have to go it alone, either, as the Mammoth can hold 650 kilograms of weight, or 1,433 pounds. You can bring your dog, several dogs, or a group of friends (up to 10) on this huge paddle board. How does it hold that much weight, you ask? Well, that’s in part due to the rear fins, of which there are five to increase paddle board handling and stability. The track pad is also quite large. Bluefin’s triple-layered PVC, which is military-grade, doesn’t hurt, either.
Since it’s so huge, you can take the Mammoth on any kind of adventures you’d want to enjoy on your paddle board. These include sea riding as well as traversing estuaries, canals, rivers, lakes, and the ocean. Somehow, Bluefin made a backpack big enough to contain this bad boy, but only when it’s deflated. It helps that the tracking fins come off so you can compress the Mammoth down.
When it’s time to fill the board back up, several valves across the board make it easy, as does the included high-pressure pump.
How long do inflatable paddle boards last?
If you’ve never owned an inflatable paddle board, you may have questions about their durability. How long should you expect to have your board? Although it can vary by brand, the average lifespan of an inflatable paddle board is between one and three years. By caring for your board and storing it somewhere out of the elements, it’s possible your inflatable SUP board could last you even longer.
Is Bluefin shipping free?
You hate shipping costs; don’t we all? Is there any way to avoid paying for shipping when buying a paddle board through Bluefin? Indeed, the company offers all shipping to Ireland and within the UK for free. They offer free shipping to the US at times, as well.
Several premium board brands are now available for sale worldwide. As the popularity of paddle boarding rapidly increases, many manufacturers are selling out quickly. Several stores such as Amazon are out of many different brands. Using direct Bluefin store purchases ensures you’ll get your paddle board in a decent time frame so you can...wait for it...
Get out there, stay safe and have fun!