RED PADDLE CO 10’7’’ WINDSURF MSL 2018 REVIEW
The Windsurf from Red Paddle is now in its third season and remains unique in this class with its performance-defining removable daggerboard system. Last year we summed up our review by stating that it was “fundamentally a class-leading inflatable windsurf board design”. Would it still provide such a prominent performance? Constructed in the brand’s quality MSL Fusion materials, it is lightweight yet super durable and ensures the board remains stiff at lower pressures. The diamond cut pad that stretches over much of the deck has a lighter coloured part internally to act as a stance indicator for the novice rider. The four carry handles are then placed on the extremities of the deck to keep the standing-area as clutter-free as possible. It comes supplied with Red’s excellent double-chambered Titan pump, ensuring maximum inflation speed for minimal rider input. The newly updated All Terrain Backpack has more comfortable shoulder straps, (which can be easily stowed when not in use), double stitched seams for improved durability, integrated wheels and plenty of internal strapping and storage for all you’re likely to want to carry on an adventure. Supplied with a repair kit as most others are, the Red package also boasts several bonus items, such as a water resistant phone case and a Railblaza miniport, which fits securely into the RAM® Mount on the front of the 10’7” and enables you to attach anything from a mobile phone or action camera, to a fishing rod or navigation light! It is a certainly a thoroughly well thought out product, and can be bought complete with one of Red’s Ride rigs, available in four sizes from 1.5m to 4.5m.
“Windsurfing on an inflatable board isn’t a compromise – it’s a revelation. The 10’7” Windsurf pulls off the feat of combining the benefits of an inflatable SUP with all the technical elements of a windsurf board. Thanks to the specifically designed Sure-Fin dagger-board system, which slots through the centre of the board, provides unrivalled stability, increased tracking and more lateral control.”
Whilst there are updates and refinements to the Windsurf package, the board itself remains unchanged … and for good reason – its performance is still right at the top of the pile, particularly for windsurfing in light to moderate winds. The ‘Sure-Fin’ daggerboard is the secret to success, fabricated using a moulding process so that it is incredibly light and more importantly floats! With the daggerboard in place, the RED has such assured directional stability, which combined with the innately buoyant nature of an inflatable, makes squeezing forward and getting a feel for the sport so easy. Most suitable for riders of 100kg or less, it also tracks upwind incredibly well, keeping beginners safe whilst making exploration and long voyages a pleasure for the more experienced. The daggerboard also provides the perfect fulcrum for the board to pivot round as you push into a tack, or step back onto the rounded tail and the board responds crisply through the gybe. It once again shows that inflatable technology has come such a long way; what would have been perceived as a toy to humour and then dismiss just a few years ago, provides a performance level that is right up there with the best hardboards. Used as a stand up paddleboard, the 10’7” functions perfectly well, the flush experienced through the ‘Sure-Fin’ casing nothing more than a distraction.
It carries a high price tag, yet the Red is a true bona fide windsurfing board, possessing the ease and practicality of being inflatable. Paddling admirably in SUP mode and supremely capable as a progression platform for the novice rider, the Red would also suit the experienced sailor looking for a board for exploration in light to medium airs.
Other boards in this test: