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Blackfin CX Ultra iSUP Review, 2024

Blackfin CX Ultra Inflatable Paddleboard


Overall Rating:



  • Impressively stiff, performance focused all-around SUP
  • Extremely compact design allows for the most in portability
  • High Value SUP kit with an included iROCKER 12V Electric Pump
  • Above average tracking capability as an all-around
  • Versatility focused features, without crowding your standing area
  • Lightweight build puts this SUP at just 19.8 lbs


  • We’d like to see iROCKER shift the center carry handle more towards the center of the SUP
Blackfin CX Ultra SUP Review
The Blackfin CX Ultra has quickly become Justin’s personal favorite SUP.

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Before we get into the nitty gritty of our review of the Blackfin CX Ultra, I want to put the sheer portability and performance of this SUP into perspective:

I was in the midst of reorganizing our boardroom, in a desperate attempt to create more space, when our regular delivery person, who is used to unloading 5-10 non-compact iSUPs at a time, dropped off the Blackfin CX Ultra. ‘Small one today’ he said, as I signed off on the shipment. While he went on his way, I was left staring at this little box in complete disbelief that there was a 10’6 x 32.5 “ iSUP in there.

Despite my initial doubt, the Blackfin CX Ultra was in that tiny box though, along with a string of other accessories that all pack away to fit into a roughly 2’ x 1’ SUP bag (about the size of a small carry-on suitcase). It can fit in the corner of a closet, in between the backseat of a car, and is light enough to be brought through an airport. In other words, the Ultra line solved all of our spacial problems in one fell swoop.

While this new development was super exciting, I am stubborn at my core and tried not to let the storage component alone sway me on iROCKER’s compact boards. I grew up on hard boards, and have consequently become a bit of a stickler when it comes to performance. And though I knew these boards had the potential to become one of our top recommendations to our readers, I wasn’t about to let them have it easy. Rest assured, I put the entire Ultra series, especially the higher-end Blackfin CX Ultra, through the ringer to test for stability, maneuverability, speed, tracking, construction quality, and plain old aesthetics.

I won’t leave you hanging; the Blackfin CX Ultra (and frankly, the entire Ultra line) exceeded most of my expectations. At 10’6 long, 32.5” wide, and equipped with a newly designed twin fin set-up, the CX Ultra is the sportiest, most agile and performance-focused SUP in iROCKER’s Blackfin Series. Even still, it displays an accommodating level of stability without losing out on speed or tracking, and has achieved a standard of rigidity that surpasses even their heavier built SUPs while remaining just 19.8 lbs.

The Blackfin CX Ultra has successfully intertwined lightweight, stiffness, and performance to manifest into this impressively compact board. As the final cherry on top though, the Ultra line is accompanied by one of the highest value SUP kits we’ve seen to date, and includes their iROCKER 12V Electric pump, a multi-year placeholder on our list of Best Electric Pumps.

We think the Blackfin CX Ultra would be great for paddlers who:

  • Want a truly compact inflatable SUP that can accompany them on tons of adventures, whether it be hikes up into mountain lakes or a flight to a tropical destination
  • Value performance above all else, and aren’t willing to compromise between board weight and rigidity
  • Need a high quality kit to compliment the SUP
  • Want an all-around with above average tracking and speed capabilities without losing out on maneuverability
  • Are primarily paddling in flat water with chop or mild ocean waves
Blackfin Ultra CX

Blackfin CX Ultra : Spec Sheet

  • Main Category: All-Around, Inflatable
  • Board Dimensions: 10’6 x 32.5” x 6”
  • Listed Board Weight: 19.8 lbs
  • Listed Max Capacity: 320 lbs
  • Recommended PSI: 14-16 PSI
  • Fins: 9” twin-fin; snap lock system with tether
  • Paddle: 5-piece carbon shaft w/ nylon blade
  • Materials: Woven drop stitch w/ triple PVC layers and carbon fiber rails
  • Price Range: High
  • Warranty: 3 years

Performance Review of the Blackfin CX Ultra Stand Up Paddle Board

Blackfin CX Ultra iSUP Review
Maintaining an impressive level of rigidity, the Blackfin CX Ultra enters into the category of high-performance all-arounds.

Overall Score: 9.9/10

  • Stability: 9.6/10
  • Speed: 9.1/10
  • Tracking: 9.4/10
  • Maneuverability: 9.2/10
  • Construction Quality: 9.8/10
  • Features/Accessories: 9.8/10

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Stability Rating: 9.6

The Blackfin CX Ultra is about 32.5” wide, so will provide plenty of lateral (side to side) stability to keep most paddlers confidently on their feet.

That being said, the CX Ultra is performance oriented, and therefore a bit more responsive as you shift your weight between feet. Additionally, the tapered tail slightly decreases volume and surface area in contact with the water, swapping in a bit of sportiness instead of extra stability. It is not quite as stable as the standard (non-compact) Blackfin line or the similarly sized standard iROCKER 10’6 Cruiser.

That’s not to say the stability difference on the CX Ultra is major though, as it’s a hair more stable than the iROCKER 11’ All-Around Ultra, and about on par with the iROCKER Cruiser Ultra, despite being a shorter, more maneuverable SUP.

Speed Test: 9.1/10

Blackfin Ultra CX Speed Test
The Blackfin CX Ultra bested the 10’ All-Around Ultra by a couple of seconds.
Blackfin Ultra CX Speed Test - Casual
Even at a more casual stroke rate, the Blackfin CX Ultra kept up a decent pace.

Despite being half an inch wider, the Blackfin CX Ultra proved slightly faster in our sprint test when pinned against the 10’ All-Around Ultra from iROCKER. It came across the finish line relatively quickly in our casual paddle test as well, being nearly tied with the narrower 32ish” SUPs in iROCKER’s Ultra line.

We think the tapered tail comes into play here as well, since the decrease in surface area that we discussed above should help limit the amount of drag and friction produced against the water. I’d also credit this SUP’s above-average stiffness, as it limits any performance-hindering flex or ‘taco-ing’ to keep the board’s rocker consistent as you paddle. Lastly, I think the CX Ultra’s lightweight build is also a contributor; being just 19.8 lbs, this SUP paddles with ease and picks up speed with just a few quick strokes.

The Blackfin CX Ultra will easily keep up with a group of friends, and will likely even stay towards the front of the pack. We think it’d make an awesome choice for paddlers who want a bit more speed out of their all-around without trading too much in stability or maneuverability.

Tracking: 9.4/10

Blackfin Ultra CX Tracking
The tight, twin-fin set-up doesn’t allow for much side to side sliding in the tail of the CX Ultra, giving this SUP excellent tracking capabilities.
Blackfin Ultra CX Tracking Abilities
The Blackfin CX Ultra will naturally hold its course if you keep good form, but is still very forgiving even if you’re more relaxed in your stroke technique.

As with the entire Ultra line-up, the Blackfin CX Ultra tracks exceptionally well as a SUP in the all-around category.

The 9” twin fin set-up just seems to get a really firm grip on the water and doesn’t allow for much side-to-side sliding in the tail, enabling the paddler to move in a straighter line without having to frequently switch sides.

We even found that the effect of the twin fin set-up is more exaggerated on the Blackfin CX Ultra than it is throughout the rest of the iROCKER Ultra line. We’d estimate that because the tapered tail on the CX Ultra pushes the two fins into a tighter formation, they are able to trap more water between them, limiting tail sliding even further and subsequently improving tracking to an even greater degree.

Of course, this is just our best speculation, and we cannot say with 100% certainty that the difference in fin spacing is fully to blame for the CX Ultra’s noteworthy tracking capability. Another component at play is, again, the CX’s stiff construction, which results in more consistent water-to-board contact/drag and also helps to keep this SUP moving in a straighter line without too much adjusting from the paddler.

In short, there are a multitude of attributes involved in the Blackfin CX’s seemingly natural ability to hold its course in the water. However, it’s important to remember that your paddling form is the final piece of the puzzle. With great form comes great tracking, and vice versa.

Maneuverability: 9.2/10

Blackfin Ultra CX Nimble
Justin found the Blackfin CX Ultra to be the most nimble of the Ultra series, and loved how aggressively he could sink the tapered tail for a step back turn
Blackfin Ultra CX Pivot Turn
Even with a less aggressive stance, the lightweight Blackfin CX Ultra makes it easy to lift it’s nose and pivot the SUP in any direction.
Blackfin Ultra CX Sweeping Turn
The Blackfin CX Ultra is a bit slower in sweeping turns than the standard all-around 11’, but not so much that it hinders your overall experience.

Given how well the Blackfin CX performed in our tracking tests, we were expecting it to make an understandable trade-off in maneuverability. However, the CX Ultra surprised us here, and proved just as maneuverable as the 10’ Ultra and even more so than the Cruiser Ultra.

While not quite as maneuverable as some of iROCKER’s non-compact SUPs that sport a 2+1 fin set-up, the decrease is fairly minor. Backstroke and forward sweeping stroke turns are still effective; the initial change in direction just requires slightly more effort than we had become accustomed to on some 2+1 fin set-up all-arounds. I’d attribute this to the fin set-up, of course, but I also think it has to do with the fact that the CX Ultra is able to pick up a bit more speed, making redirecting that momentum a little harder.

That being said, the lightweight build on the Blackfin CX Ultra combined with its tapered tail make lifting the nose and sinking the tail for a stepback turn much more manageable, even for lighter or less experienced paddlers.

Overall, the Ultra line-up as a whole, and the Blackfin CX Ultra specifically for this review, are plenty maneuverable for most paddlers. However, paddlers that are needing a SUP capable of quick turns with just a couple of strokes (i.e river paddlers, big wave ocean paddlers) would benefit from swapping out the 9” twin fins for a pair of iROCKER’s shorter side fins.

Construction Quality: 9.8/10

Blackfin Ultra CX Rail
iROCKER’s Blackfin line is built with a carbon fiber rail, slightly increasing rigidity and durability.
Blackfin Ultra CX PSI
The entire Ultra line has a recommended pressure of 14-16 PSI.
Blackfin Ultra CX Seams
Every iROCKER/Blackfin SUP has reinforced seams.
Blackfin Ultra CX Folding
The Ultra line is made to be folded up the middle (hotdog style), to fit into the upgraded, compact SUP bag.

Construction on compact SUPs never ceases to be impressive, and the Blackfin CX Ultra has raised the bar in this category.

Differing from their standard, non-compact line, iROCKER constructed their Ultra line with a woven dropstitch inner core, which achieves more stiffness than a linear drop stitch core while using less material (i.e. creating a lighter board).

The Blackfin CX Ultra is then coated with 3 composite layers of PVC (‘composite’ meaning each layer is of different thickness), for added stiffness and overall durability. What really sets the CX Ultra apart though, is its carbon fiber rail layer, which is characteristic to the Blackfin line and contributes just a bit more rigidity and makes the SUP more resistant to punctures or other damage.

While we realize that the construction section of our reviews can get laden with technical jargon, the most important piece to understand here is that the Blackfin CX Ultra is exceptionally rigid, despite being just 19.8 lbs.

Board Stiffness:

Blackfin Ultra CX Bend Test
The Blackfin CX with no weight on its midpoint.
Blackfin Ultra CX Stiffness
The Blackfin CX Ultra gave way to only 1” of bend when loaded with 150 lbs.

Stiffness Test: 1” Bend

Our stiffness test or ‘bend test’ is carried out by placing the SUP on two sawhorses set 7’ apart and measuring how much the board bends when it’s loaded with 150lbs at its midpoint. This test is not so much a replication of the SUP’s behavior on the water, but more serves as a tool for us to differentiate between construction processes/materials that are used throughout the industry.

The Blackfin CX performed exceptionally well in this test. It’s on par with the rest of the Blackfin line despite being significantly lighter. I’d interpret this as a testament to the effectiveness of a cross or ‘woven’ drop stitch pattern in producing a lighter SUP without detracting from stiffness.

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Features/Accessory Review: 9.8/10

Though compact, the Blackfin CX Ultra does not skimp out on versatility focused features.

Blackfin Ultra CX Accessories
From nose to tail the Blackfin CX Ultra has a front carry handle, removeable front cargo area w/ a pair of grab straps and 2 incorporated action mounts, kayak seat compatible D-rings, an offset center carry handle, a removeable rear cargo area w/ another pair of grab straps, a third action mount, and a rear carry handle.
Blackfin Ultra CX Twin Fins
The Blackfin CX Ultra’s twin fin set-up sits closer together than the other ‘Ultra’ SUPs due to it’s tapered tail; we think this is why it excels above the rest in our tracking tests.

One of our favorite features on the CX Ultra is the removeable bungee cargo areas. iROCKER added a clip to their bungee system that you can simply undo, to thread or de-thread your cargo areas without having to cut and replace your tie-down bungees several times over. We also really appreciate that they kept their standard 3-carry handle system, as that can be something that’s left out of other compact SUPs.

Blackfin Ultra CX Deck Pad
Unlike other Blackfin SUPs, the Blackfin CX Ultra’s deck pad is free of their typical scotty mounts, allowing for more room on this compact SUP.
Blackfin Ultra CX D Rings
The kayak seat D-rings are also compatible with iROCKER’s shoulder carry strap, making long walks to the water much easier.

Additionally, we like that iROCKER opted to still incorporate their kayak seat compatible D-rings along the CX’s rails, making it easy to switch up your water activities while still benefiting from the compact design of the Ultra series.

Blackfin Ultra CX Deck Pad
Seen here, the Blackfin CX Ultra’s deck pad is split up the middle, allowing you to fold the SUP in half before rolling it into the bag. This is an integral piece of of it’s compact nature.
Blackfin Ultra CX Deck Pad - Comfortability
As usual, the Blackfin deck pad is soft and comfortable, yet grippy enough to feel secure as you shift your feet or move around the board for more advanced skills.

As a final note in this section, we really appreciated iROCKER’s decision to keep the CX Ultra’s deck pad nearly identical to that of their standard Blackfin line, using deep grooves as well as brand stamping to keep your feet dry and provide some extra grip.

The only real differences between this deck pad and the standard Blackfin deck pad are, of course, the split down the middle as well as the off-centered middle carry handle. Of course, this allows you to fold the board in half before rolling it up, but we’d appreciate it if iROCKER shifted the handle closer to the SUP’s midline, as it does sometimes get in the way if paddlers have a more narrow stance.

Included Accessories:

Blackfin Ultra CX Included Accessories
From right to left: 10′ Blackfin coiled leash, iROCKER 12V Electric Pump, Compact SUP backpack w/ roll top closure and zipper front panel, accessory pouch.
Blackfin Ultra CX Paddle
The Blackfin CX Ultra (and the rest of the Ultra series) included paddle breaks down into 5 pieces for easy storage. It is assembled using a series of ‘push-button’ connection points, as well as a clamp for the handle piece.
Blackfin Ultra CX Snap Lock Fins
The Ultra series sports iROCKER’s new 9″ twin fins, which still utilize their ‘snap-lock’ fin-box but also involve a locking tether to eliminate the risk of losing fins.

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iROCKER’s Ultra comes with one of the most inclusive and innovative SUP kits that we’ve reviewed to date, though there are a few improvements we’d like to see iROCKER make in the future. Included with each Blackfin CX Ultra is the following list of accessories:

  • 5-piece carbon shaft paddle w/ a nylon blade
  • iROCKER 12V Electric Pump
  • 9” snap-lock fins (x2)
  • 10’ coiled leash w/ key pocket
  • Accessory Pouch
  • Compact roll-top/front zip backpack

Firstly, we love iROCKER’s decision to include their 12V Electric pump with their Ultra line. Any electric pump will make for a much more enjoyable inflatable paddle boarding experience, but iROCKER’s electric pump in particular is one of our favorites in the industry. It’s fast, reliable, and its shape and cord compartment make it super easy to fit in a SUP bag. This pump even holds second place on our list of Best Electric Pumps.

Moving to one of my personal favorite pieces of this kit, the accessory pouch is not only the perfect spot to store the electric pump, but it also has extra room to hold your fins, leash, and any other small accessories in your arsenal that would otherwise get lost in the backpack.

Blackfin Ultra CX Backpack
The Ultra series packs into a SUP bag that is slightly larger than an average backpack.
Blackfin Ultra CX Molly Loops
Decked out with molly loops on both shoulder straps, this bag is easy to clip a water bottle for a moderate hike.

Staying on the topic of the backpack itself, we’re essentially in love with it. The entire front panel unzips, making it super easy to just place your SUP inside when it’s time to pack up. Once the front panel is re-zipped, the bag functions with a velcro roll top, which allows you to load anything on top of the SUP without having to wrestle with a zipper to get it closed. So far we’ve just been placing the accessory pouch on top for easy access, but there’s plenty of space to take along an extra set of clothes or some towels.

Blackfin Ultra CX 5 piece paddle
The Ultra line’s 5-piece paddle is able to adjust to a variety of taller paddlers.
Blackfin Ultra CX Paddle Height
Even when adjusted to it’s shortest height, the 5-piece paddle is still a bit too tall for me at 5’2” tall.

Our only suggestions on future versions of this kit would be for iROCKER to include a shorter pair of twin fins (maybe in the 7” range) that would allow for a bit more maneuverability, as well as adjust the paddle design to adjust to shorter paddlers. At 5’2”, the 5-piece paddle is slightly too tall for me even when lowered to its shortest height. Summary Review of the Blackfin CX Ultra Inflatable Paddleboard

Summary Review of the Blackfin CX Ultra Inflatable Paddleboard

Blackfin CX Ultra iSUP Review, 2024
The exceptionally compact and portable design of the CX Ultra, and the Ultra series overall, will allow you to reach new and more remote locations with your SUP.

In much fewer words than we’ve used through the course of this review, the Blackfin CX Ultra encompasses everything we could want out of a compact, inflatable SUP.

It’s stable but doesn’t lack in performance, and seamlessly displays impressive levels of speed, tracking, and maneuverability.

Overall, this SUP has quickly become a crowd favorite here at SUPBoardGuide, and we think it’d be a great option for paddlers that value quality in their paddling experience, construction, and included kit.

In the future, we’d like to see iROCKER explore the option of 4.7” thick SUPs in their Blackfin Ultra line, but for now, we’re ecstatic with the current Ultra series.

As always, we hope you’ve found our review of the Blackfin CX Ultra helpful, but feel free to let us know in the comments if there’s anything we’ve missed or if you have any questions.

Stay safe; we’ll see you on the water!

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Heyo! At we are a team who love the water, the outdoors, and are more than grateful that our full-time job allows us to review stand up paddle boards. We paddle year round (it helps that we are just about 2 hours outside of Las Vegas), and we bring in a wide range of paddlers with the goal of providing our readers with the best, most in-depth, and accurate stand up paddle board reviews.

26 thoughts on “Blackfin CX Ultra iSUP Review, 2024”

  1. Thanks for the detailed reviews. This is super helpful!

    I’m beginner/intermediate, 5’10”, 145 lbs, 52 yo, living in Santa Barbara, CA. I’m shopping for an all-around board with light touring ability. Most of my experience is on rented hard boards. I like the idea of inflatables, but the one I tried felt somewhat strange, like I was unusually high above the water. I suspect that most 6″ thick boards are overly buoyant for my weight. Or maybe inflatables just take some getting used to? My most common use case will be 2-4 hours paddling near shore in moderately calm conditions. Sometimes I encounter wind, swell, and chop. I will travel with the board, and I could imagine biking/hiking to access local launch spots, so portability matters.

    The Blackfin CX Ultra sounds like a game changer, ticking almost all the boxes, except it’s 6″ thick. Would I be better off with a 4.7″ thick board, like the Honu Byron? Or should spend 2x for a Red Paddle 11′ compact board, to get a 4.7″ board that folds small like the Ultra? The accessories matter, but less so, because I can always upgrade to an electric pump or different paddle later. Thanks for advising!

    • Dave,

      My background was in hard boards too, and I am definitely familiar with the ‘strange’ feeling that comes with some inflatable SUPs. However, I’ve noticed that feeling to be diminished as the board quality increases because with that comes a fairly high level of stiffness/responsiveness that will almost mimic a hardboard. That said, the Blackfin CX Ultra is exceptionally rigid and really responsive. While the 6″ thickness will undoubtedly take some getting used to, the CX Ultra is the most capable of light touring out of both the Byron and the Red Paddle Co. 11′ compact. The Byron is a true all-around, meaning it’s sporty and maneuverable, but won’t track as well as the CX Ultra if you’re taking on a few miles. The tracking on the Red paddle Co. C11′ Compact is good, but just not quite as good as the CX Ultra. It’s not quite as rigid as the CX Ultra, and to be honest we love the CX Ultra’s backpack a lot more; it’s just much more comfortable to wear on a hike and a lot easier to pack up, especially when you consider the price difference.

      Though because portability is high on your priority list, we’d recommend investing in iROCKER’s rechargeable battery pack as well, so that you can inflate your SUP anywhere with the electric pump and won’t need to be anchored to your car.

  2. What am amazing review, this will be our first time purchasing any isup. W decided on the irocker brand. My wife and I are both disabled veterans with stability and balance issues to service connected injuries. However we are determined to stay active . We weight in the range of 150- 175. Heights are 5’9 and 5’3 one board will be taking our son , 7 yr old and the other our service pup. We were content to purchase the original black fin and cruiser. But just saw the ultra series. I see you mention they are just as stable as the original? Which trim do you recommend for us? Ultra or original and which models ,11 all around, black fin or cruiser.

    Respectfully sent

    How y’all come to YouTube!!

    • Hi Will,

      Firstly, thanks to you and your wife for your service; paddling is a great way to stay active. I think the Blackfin CX Ultra and Cruiser Ultra are your best choices out of the Ultra series, given your sizes and wanting to bring along human and furry passengers.

      As for the original Blackfin and Cruiser versus the Blackfin CX and the Cruiser Ultra, your main differences are going to be in weight/portability, as well as stability for the Blackfins specifically. Both the Blackfin CX Ultra and the Cruiser Ultra are significantly lighter than the original iROCKER Cruiser and Blackfin Model X. They also pack down extremely small, and I love that they come with an electric pump. That being said, the stability between the Cruiser Ultra and original Cruiser is relatively the same (the Cruiser Ultra is just a little more responsive). However, the Blackfin CX Ultra is 32″ wide while the Blackfin Model X is 35″ wide, making the Blackfin CX Ultra less stable than the Model X, though the CX Ultra has a higher level of performance overall and I think the portability of it makes the small stability trade-off worth it.

      If portability is one of your top priorities, I think the Blackfin CX Ultra and the Cruiser Ultra are phenomenal choices. On the other hand, if portability is less of a necessity and more of an added perk, I’d advise going with the Cruiser Ultra and the Blackfin Model X. This way, you’ll still receive iROCKER’s electric pump and the stability of both the Cruiser Ultra and the Blackfin Model X, while also saving space by having one compact board.

      I know this was a mouthful, but I hope it was helpful; please reach out if you have any additional questions.

      Also, we’re currently working on a YouTube video for the Cruiser Ultra. It’ll be live fairly soon.

      • thank you ! we ordered our 1st isup form irocker from you recommendation . Even one for my 8 year old son ! we are truly excited to start our active journey! we miss your youtube videos m please come back !

        bless you guys !

        • Will, that’s so exciting! Please let us know what you think of the boards!

  3. Overall Rating:


    Great review, thank you.
    Just FYI on the paddle length, my wife is 5’2″ as well and if you leave out 1 mid section and extend the top section fully, it is a prefect size.

  4. Is the CX ultra dog friendly? Assuming the 32+ inch width would be stable enough for a medium sized dog and a 5’2″ paddler but would love any feedback. Considered buying the Blackfin X but the 35″ seems a little wide to properly maneuver for a petite body frame. What do you suggest?

    • Hi Gale,

      The CX Ultra is dog friendly; I’m also 5’2 and have taken my 50 lb dog on it a few times now without any issues. If your dog isn’t used to paddling, it might be worth looking into the Cruiser Ultra as an option; it’s more stable than the CX Ultra, though not quite as fast.

  5. How would you say this board compares to the sea gods skylla? I am torn between these two! I am wanting the best bang for my buck quality wise. not sure if blackfin uses heat fusion? I also love the look of both but prefer a lifetime warranty. However, I know blackfin is a better known brand that has been around a lot longer. I Want the faster of the two boards but also keeping stability in mind because I will travel with my dog often and encounter wind and boat chop conditions. What do you recommend?

    • Patricia,

      The Blackfin CX Ultra is faster than the Skylla in most cases, though Blackfin/iROCKER does not use heat fusion in their SUPs. I don’t think that detracts anything from a construction or durability standpoint though, as the Ultra series are still lightweight and extremely stiff. As far as stability goes, the CX Ultra is not quite as stable as the Skylla, and it does get a little tight for me when I bring along my own dog, whose about 50 lbs; if you have a smaller dog, it’d be less of a squeeze. Both SUPs handle wind and boat chop conditions very well.

  6. Hello, and thankyou for the review. We do touring paddling on sometimes light choppy water. I ride a 12’6″ board and my wife currently uses an 11′. Were looking to replace here’s with a small package like these ultras. I’m having trouble figuring out the best one to get between the blackfin ultra and the 11′ ultra cruiser. It seems like the black fin out performs the 11′ and there’s not really a discernable difference other than total volume. My wife is 5’3″ & ~135 lbs.

    • Hi Brian,

      In this case, I’d recommend the Blackfin CX Ultra for your wife. It has great touring capabilities and will be a bit faster than the Cruiser Ultra would be for longer tours; I also really like the Blackfin CX Ultra’s rocker line when venturing into choppy water. On the flipside though, if your wife needs a little bit more stability or is planning on bringing along more than a day’s worth of gear, a dog, a child, etc. then she might enjoy the Cruiser Ultra.

  7. Dear Supboardguide, Firstly thank you for your detailed and helpful reviews. I would appreciate some advice. I never thought of a compact SUP until I saw your photo of the backpack for this board and realised that I could carry this board on a bike. I live near the shore of an estuary in the south west of England with mediocre access by road but excellent accessibility by bike- launching at a good spot would be a big bonus because I could plan shorter passages to where I want to go.
    I’m 6ft and 90kg and the conditions around me are often windy and a bit choppy too (1-2 ft), tidal flow around me is brisk so I need speed to get where I’m going and back within slack water. (I currently have an irocker cruiser and would like more speed for this reason). Firstly I wonder if I’m asking too much of a compact board, and if not whether the cx ultra is the best for me? It seems to be quick and stable but I notice it doesn’t feature in your best boards of 2022. I also wonder if I’m a bit on the large size for it, I’d previously planned to get a big touring board but then I’m stuck with launching from wherever I can park. Many thanks for your help, John

    • Hi John,

      I actually think the iROCKER 11′ Ultra would serve you better. It’s about the same speed wise as the CX ultra, but the tracking is almost on par with some of our favorite Touring SUPs. We’ve found it to be a great go-between if we want some all-around stability but also want touring board speed and tracking. It’s not quite as stable as the CX Ultra, but if you have paddling experience, it should be more than manageable.

  8. Overall Rating:


    Hi Supboardguide, Thank you for sharing all your reviews, they’re so informative and helpful. Would you recommend a particular board to be used for lake fishing and general touring? My first foray into inflatables… the Blackfish XL looks exciting, but I’m just not used to the weight. Many thanks.

    • Hi Jay,

      The CX ultra could be used for fishing if you mount some rod holders using the action mounts. I’ve also taken it on some long-ish tours (about 6-8 miles) and thought it did reasonably well for more of an all-around. Though, if SUP fishing is your main activity, definitely check out our list of Best Fishing SUPs.

  9. Hello, I purchased an iRocker All Around 10′ Ultra, and find that it really bounces and slaps the water at the bow when conditions get a bit choppy. I’m considering trading for another model, either this Blackfin CX Ultra, or the 11′ All Around Ultra. I’m 5’4, around 140 lbs. Do you think either of these would perform better in chop? Thanks for your reviews, they are very helpful!

    • Hi Laura,

      Are you making sure to inflate your SUP all the way up to 16 PSI? All of the Ultra series SUPs that we’ve tried have been extremely stiff, and we haven’t experienced any bouncy-ness in chop.

  10. Thank you for this great, in-depth review. I just started paddleboarding this year. I’m looking to paddle small lakes, rivers in New England and maybe do some more advanced stuff as I gain confidence like surf and even trying the Hudson River around NYC. I’m 6’3″ and 195 lbs. Would these smaller boards be too small for a guy like me?

    • Hi Michael,

      These smaller boards would definitely come with a learning curve for someone your size, but they’d end up being a ton of fun if you’re up for a bit of a challenge. Justin, another SUPBoardGuide reviewer, is 6’0 and 180ish lbs and loves the CX Ultra for it’s agile and sporty feel on the water. I’d maybe hold off on venturing into the Hudson until you feel fully confident on this board though – as a former NJ resident, that’s definitely not water that you’d want to fall into.

  11. Thank you for your reviews and advice!
    I am considering buying two ultra boards for myself and my wife.
    We are 6’2″ at 195lb and 5’9″ at 170lb. We are beginners at paddle boarding.
    We live in Seattle and have access to Puget Sound and large lakes.
    The immediate goal is to have fun on the water together or with the family
    but to have an option for longer trips and exploring Seattle waterways.
    I am deciding which two boards to get out of the CX Ultra, 11′ Ultra, and Cruiser Ultra.
    The Cruiser would probably offer a gentler learning curve in terms of stability but I worry both of us would outgrow it quickly.
    Or maybe I could then take the Cruiser to give my wife some handicap and to be better matched in speed? 🙂
    Any words of advise for a couple of our size and skill level?

    • Hi Andrew,

      The CX Ultra is nearly as stable as the Cruiser Ultra, but is faster and tracks better, so you’re not likely to outgrow it as quickly – it’s a great size for your wife, but at 6’2″, you might enjoy the 11′ Ultra a little better. The only thing to note with the 11′ Ultra is that it is less stable the both the CX Ultra and the Cruiser Ultra, though it is the fastest out of the three.

  12. Overall Rating:


    Thanks for the great review.
    I’m 59yo,6ft, 90kg, and this would be my 2nd board after a break of 2 years. Having relocated to the UK I’m mostly going to be paddling on quiet reaches of the Thames. I am really struggling to choose between the CX Ultra and the Cruiser Ultra, leaning slightly to the Cruiser for what I perceive to be slightly better stability. I love SUPping because it helps me keep active balance but as I get older, ankles and knees just become more troublesome, hence my question as to which you would recommend. There is also a £250 price difference playing onmy mind. Would appreciate your opinion.

    • Hi Bill,

      The Cruiser ultra is definitely a little bit more stable than the CX ultra, but not by any super significant measure – either would likely feel stable enough if this is your 2nd board.


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