Black Friday Sales!

BLACKFIN Model V SUP Board Review, 2024

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review


Overall Rating:



  • A clean split between a touring SUP and an adventure SUP, this board harnesses a bit of everything: it moves fast, travels far, and can be loaded up with tons of gear, a child, or both!
  • Action mounts galore. This SUP makes it easy to hook up fishing poles, sand spears, GoPros, selfie sticks, a fishing rack, a kayak seat, coolers, you name it.
  • Speedy quick! If you’re all about speed, you will be all over this SUP. Its long and narrow build makes it the fastest in the Blackfin series.
  • It is built to move across miles of water without stealing all of your energy. It’s 12’6x32’’ with a pointed nose so it smoothly cruises across the water.
  • Rigid and durable thanks to the triple-layer PVC composite, carbon fiber rails, and reinforced seams.
  • Can carry larger/taller paddlers + their gear! The weight capacity is high at 485 lbs.
  • Nice looking and colorful. It comes in 2 different color options; a subtle blue/gold and (our favorite) a bright blue/fuschia combination!


  • While we love the rear action mounts, we would love even more to see them integrated into the rear handles.
  • Because this is a long SUP with a lot of room for gear, we think a raised kick pad would improve its maneuvering abilities.

The Blackfin Model V is an excellent touring board for gear-heavy adventures

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review 2024
We love the pop of color the fushia bungee cords add to the Blackfin Model V. You can also get this board in blue/gold.

Check Prices

Ah yes, the Blackfin Model V.

This is the one of those boards that will truly amaze you when you find out everything it can do. At first glance, it looks like a vibrant, long and thin board with more action mounts than most other cruising boards tend to have. But with more inspection and comprehensive testing (this is where we come in), you’ll find out that while it is quite pretty and sleek, it also has a long list of capabilities in which it excels. It is able to go fast, travel far, hold up a fishing pole or even fishing rack, and support you + a friend (furry or not) all at once if you want it to.

Or, you can use it for different things at different times. If you want to fitness paddle, it’s 12’6×32 build makes for a smooth-cruising on the water workout. If you want to adventure, it has a 485 lb weight capacity so it’s ready to support a big load of gear or multiple people. Plus, it has plenty of bungee cargo space so if you’re thinking about using it on overnight adventures, just make sure you have some dry bags and you’re good to go.

But perhaps most importantly, it is stable enough that novice paddlers will easily find their balance, and agile enough that more advanced paddlers won’t get bored. It is a SUP that can fit into any family, and it just might be one of our favorites. We’re excited to tell you the details about what we found during our testing!
So without further ado, let’s dive in.

After thoroughly reviewing the Blackfin Model V, we feel it would be a great SUP for paddlers who:

  • Are looking for a second board that is faster than their all-around (or the Blackfin X or XL if you already own a Blackfin SUP)
  • Want a board that is a jack of all trades that excels at many: speed, fitness paddling, recreation, and overnight adventures.
  • Like to move fast and far when you want, but also like to stop and fish: there are a ton of action mounts ready for you to hook up your fishing pole or even a fishing rack.
  • Like to load up your SUP! Whether it be with every gadget imaginable, or you want to go for a tandem ride, this board can hold up to 485 lbs.
  • Enjoy a board that fits your vibe color-wise; you can pick between a more subtle blue/gold color scheme or a bright teal/fushia!

Blackfin Model V: Spec Sheet

Isle Explorer Pro 14'
In our testing, we found the Model V to be fast, travel far, track straight, and allow you to load it up with gear.
  • Main Category: Touring/Adventure
  • Board Dimensions: 12’6’’ x 32’’ x 6’’
  • Listed Board Weight: 29 lbs
  • Listed Max Capacity: 485 lbs
  • Recommended PSI: 14-16
  • Fins: 2 + 1 click-in fin setup
  • Paddle: not included
  • Materials: triple layer composite PVC
  • Warranty: 2 years general manufacturer
    • 3 years seams
    • 1-year accessories

Performance Review of the Blackfin Model V Stand Up Paddle Board

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
The small amount of rocker (the upward curve of the nose) helps the board navigate choppy waters
Blackfin Model V iSUP
You can really see the length of the SUP when you pop the nose out of the water (12’6’’)
Blackfin Model V
The 6’’ thickness increases the volume, allowing a higher weight capacity at 485 lbs

Overall Score: [9.7/10]

  • Stability: 9.3/10
  • Speed: 9.3/10
  • Tracking: 9.3/10
  • Maneuverability: 8.5/10
  • Construction Quality: 9.7/10
  • Features/Accessories: 9.7/10

Check Prices

Stability Rating: [9.3/10]

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
Even as a long and narrower SUP, the high stability makes it a manageable board even for beginner paddlers
Blackfin Model V iSUP
You do get some bend in the board, but less than expected.

Although this SUP is built long and narrow, 12’6 x 32, it is wider than a typical touring or race board (which is usually 28 – 30 inches wide). This extra width is a bonus for its stability. We found that while it moves fast and goes far, it does so in a stable and balanced manner even for beginner paddlers.

This extra width also increases the board’s total volume. It has a total volume of 259 L. This is an important factor because with all the room for extra gear (fishing poles, etc) the board must have enough volume to support high-weight loads. In this case, the board can hold up to 485 lbs of weight, and we are confident in saying that even with a large load or an extra person on the board, you will stay stable.

I will get into it in more detail down below, but the construction quality of Blackfin SUPs is very high, which plays a big part in the stability of the board as well. Boards that are built poorly can have more bend and feel floppy on the water, making them way harder to stay balanced on. But the Blackfin Model V has a precise construction process with a dedicated team behind it.

We think the Blackfin Model V has a great shape and build for going fast and far while also accommodating a wide range of paddlers in terms of stability.

Speed Test: 9.3/10

Top Sprint Speed:5.7 MPH
Average Cruising Speed:4.5 MPH
SUP Board Guide’s Speed Testing:
To obtain our speed test results, we use a Speed Coach Sup 2. This gives us accurate readings on how fast we are paddling and our current stroke rates. For the top sprint speed, we paddle as hard as we can for approximately 10-15 seconds and then record our average speed. For the casual test, we paddle at 40-35 strokes per minute for approximately 30-60 seconds and record the average speed.

The high speed we recorded in our speed tests is one of the reasons why we love this SUP so much. Yes, here at Supboardguide we like to move fast.

Upon first impressions, it can seem like the Blackfin Model X is geared more towards adventuring than endurance or racing (i.e. many action mounts, cargo space, high weight capacity). But, that’s not the case, and it is definitely an even split.

5.7 MPH is a high sprint score comparable to some of the dedicated touring SUPs we tested. And a 4.5 cruising speed is an admirable score and makes us happy because we can endurance paddle without tiring out after 15 minutes.

While we aren’t going to tell you to enter an official race with this SUP, we do dare you to race against yourself (or perhaps a buddy who likes to brag about how fast their board is). We are confident that you are going to see your time reduce to surprising speeds the more you paddle, and really enjoy the speed you get on longer adventure paddles when you’re loaded up with gear.

Tracking: 9.3/10

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review 2024
With all 3 fins clicked in, you move straight. If you want to increase tracking even more, just use the large center fin.
The fins are click-in with a new and improved locking system so you never have to worry about losing one.

Being that this board is long (12’6’), it has a long water line which is very helpful when it comes to the board moving in a straight line. Needless to say, the Blackfin Model V tracks very well and takes very few corrections from the paddler to stay straight.

It has a three-fin setup, and while there is an ongoing debate about whether this is the best setup for achieving the maximum capabilities of a SUP, the three fins on the Blackfin Model V are set up in what is known as a ‘2+1 fin setup.’ This means that the fins are aligned in a triangle shape, where there are two smaller fins on the side and one larger fin in the middle (see the picture above).

A huge bonus to the click-in ‘2+1’ setup is that, if you want, you can take the two smaller fins out and paddle with just the large center fin (some theoretical SUP gurus will say that will make you faster, but you honestly will need to be pro level in order to even notice). Or, you can take out the large center fin and paddle with just the two smaller side fins if you’re paddling in shallow water.

As a team, we found that having all three of these fins clicked in allows for the SUP to track well without having to switch the side you paddle on very often. However, with this setup, you do have the freedom to play around with your fins and find out which mode tracks the best for you.

Maneuverability: 8.5/10

Blackfin Model V
At 29 lbs you can still get the nose out of the water pretty high even though it is 12’6’’
Blackfin Model V iSUP Reviews
Back Sweeps are the easiest way to change the directions of the board

While we might want to, we can’t fight physics: a longer and more narrow board that is meant to go straight and fast will have lower maneuverability than a board that is short and wide. With that being said, the maneuverability of the Blackfin Model V is still very good, and for us, did not pose any problems when we wanted to change the direction of the board or dodge a small shrub.

It took us on average 5.5 back sweeps to turn a full 360 degrees in calm waters. The one time I did run into some maneuverability snag was when I was out paddling this SUP in windy and choppy conditions and I attempted to turn in a full circle; I did have a moment where I made three back sweeps and didn’t make much progress. But my solution, and a great one I must say, was putting more effort and strength behind my stroke to combat the wind fighting against me. With more force, I was able to continue to spin the board and complete my full-circle turn.

We’d love to see a raised kick pad mounted onto this board. We think that would help improve the board’s maneuverability, especially for a long and more narrow SUP.

Construction Quality: 9.7/10

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review Construction
The deck pad is logo embossed, comfortable, and great for traction
Blackfin Model V iSUP Review 2024
You can unhook the bungee cord and take it all the way off if you want
Blackfin Model V iSUP
The carbon fiber rail is the raised ridge that goes along the sides of the SUP
Blackfin Model V
The 3 layers of PVC on the deck and hull are precisely glued onto the board – the glue job is so well done you won’t see any evidence of it

Dun dun dun dun! Introducing the Blackfin Model V and its triple-layer PVC!

Yes, that rhymes. But no, I’m not a poet, so let’s get back to the construction of the board before you exit out of this Blackfin Model V review.

To get an inflatable to maintain its shape, a drop-stitch core is mandatory. This means there are durable nylon threads attached to the upper and lower fabric material. This makes up the drop-stitch inner core that is then, in the case of the Blackfin Model V, sandwiched between three layers of PVC composite material. Adding three layers of PVC allows this SUP to be extra rigid, and thus excel in not only stability but all of its capabilities. The more rigid and durable an inflatable is, the better stability and on-the-water sensation it will have.

In addition to the three layers of PVC, the Blackfin Model V has a built-in carbon rail that allows for even more rigidity and enables the board to have such a high weight capacity (485 lbs). A carbon fiber rail is an additional layer of non-resined carbon fiber added to the sides of the board and layered with another layer of PVC. It’s this extra addition and attention to detail that allows us to feel confident when we tell you to load this board up with gear or a child and take it for a spin. This year, the rail material is brought closer and tighter together for an even stronger bond, and we can feel this improvement when we paddle. The board has a particular ‘strong’ feeling underneath our feat. It’s muscly.

The logo-embossed EVA deck pad feels awesome under your feet and is proactive at keeping the board grippy when it gets wet. Personally, I like that it has the elongated cuts because (ok don’t judge) I think it looks cool, as well as offers traction. Also, upon checking it out and testing it, it seems as if all of the action mounts and extra cargo areas are very well secured to the board and Blackfin puts a lot of thought behind where and how they apply those extra accessories.

Board Stiffness:

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review bendtest
Before 150 lbs worth of sandbags were placed on top of the SUP
Blackfin Model V iSUP Review  bendtest
After 150 lbs worth of sandbags were placed on top of the SUP – it only bent 1 inch!!

Stiffness Test: 1” Bend

SUP Board Guide’s Bend Testing:
In order to attest to the rigidity of each board, we use a bend test curated by Supboardguide. In order to obtain the results, we inflate the board to its maximum recommended PSI and then place it across two sawhorses that are 7 feet apart. We then take a measurement in the middle of the board. Then, we place 150 lbs worth of sandbags on the middle top of the SUP. Last, we record its displacement (the movement from its original position). We use this method for every board we test as a way to mathematically compare boards across a common denominator.

To attest to the stiffness of the SUPs across a common denominator, we use a personally curated bend test. For this, we place the board across two sawhorses that are 7 feet apart. We then measure the middle of the board. For the bend, we place 150 lbs of sandbags on the top and then measure the displacement (the movement from its original position).

When we saw that the Blackfin Model V only bent a single inch, we were pleasantly surprised. We knew that Blackfin is one of the higher-end boards that iRocker puts out, but we didn’t realize it was going to be so rigid that it only bends an inch in our test! That’s an awesome score and we are stoked to see it.

Check Prices

Features/Accessory Review: [9.7/10]


Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
On the very tip of the nose, you can see a small D-ring that’s strategically placed so you can tow the SUP behind a boat.
Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
How many action mounts and D-rings can you spot?!

Adventure awaits! I’ve said it already, but we have now arrived at the section specifically dedicated to talking about the features and cool extras this board has. And for the Blackfin Model V, well, there’s a lot.

At the front and the rear, there are large bungee cargo storage areas, and the rear cargo space has removable passenger grab handles. These cargo areas allow space for multiple drybags (to fit camping gear, etc) as well as additional room for personal accessories, shoes, water bottles, and that sort of thing. The removable handles are an awesome addition because your kids can grab onto them if they are riding passengers.

We like the handle integrated mounts in the front and found ourselves wishing the two furthest back mounts did the same for a clear deck pad area.

Dispersed throughout the board you will find six D-rings. There are two that run on each side of the board and can be used to tie down cargo, or more specifically kayak seats or coolers. You can actually attach two kayak seats onto this SUP and ride in tandem. There is a D-ring underneath the nose of the board to be used to attach an anchor for holding the boat still in one place, and then there is a D-ring on the tail that you can use to attach your leash.

Okay, that’s it.

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
The Scotty mounts are an angler’s best friend since you can hook up iRockers fishing rack
Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
More action mounts are hidden in plain sight. AND it’s stacked onto the removable grab handle.

Just kidding, there’s more.

There are also two flush-mounted Scotty mounts in the rear, designed to fit the iRocker fishing rack. So if you’re out to catch a lot of fish, we suggest purchasing this. They can also be used as a sand spear mount.

I told you, this SUP is designed for adventure!

Included Accessories:

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
We recommend using all three fins, but you technically have flexibility in your setup if you want either two small or one large.
Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
The tethered lock system is super easy to work with and major anxiety relief

All Blackfin Model V orders are bundled with the inflatable paddle board, three flip lock tethered fins (one large and two small side fins), and a repair kit.

If you want to order items such as a paddle or an electric pump (which we highly recommend) you will receive 25% off if you bundle them with the board at the time of purchase. Selling these items with a bundle discount instead of with the board helps keep the cost of the board down and reduces waste for those who don’t need a paddle or other accessories.

Summary Review of the Blackfin Model V – 2024

Blackfin Model V iSUP Review
With the Blackfin Model V, you can stop by 2 fishing spots across the lake from each other without wasting time or energy

Considering we’re a team of SUP testers (and nerds), it’s always exciting when we come across a board that combines a plethora of SUP capabilities into one. And does it well. The Blackfin Model V certainly does a great job and has us thoroughly impressed.

But even when we find a board that claims to do a bit of everything, we don’t consider it a winner unless we see that it is constructed with care and is high quality. As for the Blackfin Model V, it’s definitely a winner. It has excellent construction and is made by iRocker, a well-established and trustworthy competitor in the SUP world. So in conclusion, our team sees a ton of value in this board and we are excited to get this review out to the public so you can consider it for yourselves.

Happy paddling! We hope you enjoyed this review of the Blackfin Model V. If you have any questions or comments please leave us a comment below!

Check Prices

The following two tabs change content below.

SupBoardGuide Editorial Team

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.

Latest posts by SupBoardGuide Editorial Team (see all)

38 thoughts on “BLACKFIN Model V SUP Board Review, 2024”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for your great reviews. I am orientating for a SUP, and your site gives clear info, thanks for that!
    Due to your enthusiasme i now focus on this model V. I am a beginner and want to Sup tours by myself, but enjoy it also with my 2 daughters (2 and 5). So in this review i read on one hand that it is good for taking pets/ kids, but on the otherhand further on i read that the experience with bringing your daughter made it tipsy. So is it stable, or tipsy?
    Thanks for your input!
    Best regards,
    The Netherlands

    • Geert,

      Great question! The model V will be very stable for you, and for you + kids as long as the kids are sitting down. If you plan on having them stand up and paddle with you then I’d recommend the wider Model X or XL from BLACKFIN. I was totally fine paddling with my daughter on the Model V, but it isn’t quite as stable as the other BLACKFIN models when two people are standing up and paddling.

      Does that help?

      • Thanks for your reply, it certainly helps! Then i will go for the V since I expect that ‘tandem-fun’ will not be our main objective.
        A friend of mine is really enthusiastic of the red paddle 12.6 touring and even advices the 13.2. How do you compare those?
        Best regards,

        • Geert, great question! The biggest difference will be in price. The red paddle 12.6 or 13.2 will run about $600-$700 more vs the BLACKFIN, and you won’t have quite the weight capacity. The RPC (RedPaddleCo) will be a little lighter though, and will also comes with a US fin box system vs the snap-lock system used in BLACKFIN models this year.

          Overall, bang for your buck is going to be with the BLACKFIN Model V. It’s a fantastic board at a great price. The RedPaddleCo is going to be a slightly higher end board geared a little more towards performance – so it’s really a question of whether or not the extra $600+ is worth the little bit more on the performance side of things.

          Given that you might go out with your daughters at times, I’d still recommend the V as it will be a little better for multiple riders.

  2. I just purchased a BlackFin V two days ago and it will arrive in two days before my 60th Birthday on May 6. I always been active thanks to the man upstairs. So im looking forward receiving it and having a lot of fun with it when I take it out on my camping trips. I totally agree with you about customer service I had such a good experience over the phone with Matt that we started building a friendship, Im planning to go down this summer to Florida in my Ram truck if all goes well here where I live at in NJ because all thats been happening with this Corona 19 hopefully it will pass just like anything else. Well ill give you my personal thoughts on the BlackFin V after I receive it.Thank you for all the info, it made me more confident i made the right choice on the model V. Stay safe with your family. God Bless.🇺🇲🤙🏻

    • Rocky,

      Happy birthday! So glad you had a great experience with iRocker’s customer service. We are always impressed with them, and I hope you have a great time out on your Model V. It’s a fantastic SUP, and I look forward to hearing what you think about it!

  3. Thank you for your helpful reviews! I’m looking for a board to use in the Austin area on our calm waters and would like speed and a good workout but if I get the Sport don’t want to wish later I’d have spend the extra for the V…which do you recommend? Will also be getting a Nautical or two for my teens and friends to join.

    • Audrey,

      Great question! If you’re looking for speed and a good workout then you are looking at the right two boards. I really love both boards, but the main difference comes down to a few personal preferences and fit. The BLACKFIN Model V is 12’6 long and 32″ wide. It’s a board you can take out yourself, or you could also paddle with another person (I just took out my 11 year old daughter a few weekends ago and paddled the Model V). The Model V comes with fishing mounts, and is going to be a more stable board that is still very fast. It’s also going to be heavier, so it will start paddling slower than the Sport, but pick up speed as you go.

      The Sport, on the other hand, is 11′ long and 31″ wide. This makes it a lighter, more responsive and maneuverable board. Like the name suggests, it has a nice ‘sporty’ feel to it. While it doesn’t have as large of a weight capacity as the Model V, you will still be able to paddle it with another person, you just won’t have quite as much room and at 31″ wide it’s just a little less stable than the V.

      I guess bottom line is if you are wanting a lighter, more sporty board then go with the iRocker Sport. You won’t regret it later. If you are wanting a board that is a little heavier, can handle multiple people better, and is more stable than go with the V. Either way, I don’t think you’ll regret it!

      Please let me know what you decide! I’ll also recommend buying the new iRocker pump given you are buying 3 boards – your arms will thank you, and that new pump is AMAZING!!! It just launched, and we weren’t allowed to talk about it until now, but it is the best electric iSUP pump I’ve tested so far.

  4. Hi, many thanks for such a good review. My partner would like to buy this board and I just wonder if this is good board for paddling on a sea shore water? Could you please advice? Many thanks, Katerina

    • Katerina,

      Yes, the BLACKFIN Model V is a great board for paddling in the sea/ocean waters!

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

  5. Hi,

    Thanks for a nice and detailed review.

    I have a Red Paddle Co Voyager 13.2 but as my girlfriend is also getting into SUP now we are in the market for a new inflatable board. We have pretty much landed on the Model V as it is similar to the Voyager and have some some cool features (like the kayak seat). We found that the local irocker store sell the 2020 model and some 2019 the difference in price between the two is AU $298 ($1,397 vs. $1,695). Would you consider the upgrades to be worth it? The upgrades that looks the most appealing is the carbon shaft, the backpack and the deck pad and rear cargo storage, the other ones we don’t care about. Board is being used approx. 1 time per week, so not that often. A bit sad that the new electric pump has not arrived in Australia yet, but I hope it will shortly.

    Also do you know if the electric pump will work on my Voyager?


    • Paul,

      I generally recommend the new 2020 Model V if you have the $$$. The biggest improvement for me are the new, lighter paddle (which makes a big difference when paddling for more than 20-30 minutes), and I do prefer the new deck pad. However, the 2019 is a great buy at the discount if you can still get it, and you could use that money to purchase a new full carbon paddle if you want, or an electric pump.

      Regarding the iRocker pump, yes it would pump up your Red Paddle Co as well, which I’m sure you would appreciate!

      Finally, I wasn’t aware that iRocker was selling through retail stores in Australia. I’d love to know what store your looking at if you wouldn’t mind.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      • Hi,

        Thanks for the quick reply.

        How would the carbon paddle work with the kayak paddle (considering balanced weight) or is it just the shaft that is made of carbon and the blade is the same for both?

        Incorrect of me to say store, it’s their Australian homepage, I have actually not seen these boards sold anywhere else either, apologies about that.


        • Paul, sorry I didn’t think about that. If you end up buying the 2019 model V you might end up with a paddle that is slightly different weight than the kayak blade in the kayak conversion kit. Be sure to ask iRocker (you can use their chat, they’ve got great support there locally in Australia) if the kayak kit blade will be the same as whichever model you purchase.

  6. Hello!

    I am trying to make a decision between the Model V and Model XL for my husband and I – this will be our first SUP purchase! Context: we have enjoyed renting boards for 4-8 mile paddles on Texas lakes and plan to continue with going similar distances on lakes and coasts paddling. We also enjoy just being out on the water with less intention to *go* places, but the real joy we have gotten from paddle boarding is getting to explore. We spend 2 months out of the year on the Maine coast and are looking for a board that will handle that well, too. We have two dogs (80lbs and 60lbs) who we hope to bring with us on our excursions once we own our own boards. Knowing all that…would y’all recommend the XL or the V? Thanks!

    • Liv,

      The Model V is going to be a better touring board, so if you are looking to do 4-8 mile paddle adventures, then I would recommend the V over the XL. It’s longer and thinner, which reduces drag, improves glide, and makes it a little easier to keep your paddle vertical. All those things make the V a faster board. You will also have plenty of space for your dogs on either board.

      I hope that helps – let me know what other questions you have and what you decide to go with!

  7. HI There
    I am 75kg and have used a SUP around 20 times.
    I cant decide between the V or the XL.
    I would mainly use the board in the lakes and the Dutch canals, and when travelling I would like to use it out to sea to tour the coastline and do some fishing. When fishing on the sea coastline, I would like to take my 13 year old son who is around 40Kg.
    I do like the idea of more speed as I am competitive in sport, but not sure about the V for paddling at sea, or fishing with my son. However, cant help but think the V might not be stable enough to take both me and my son out at the same time?
    Any ideas to help me choose between the V or the XL?

    Thanks in advance

    • Mark,

      While the Model V will be faster, you would be a little better on the Model XL when fishing with your son. However, I do think it would work to fish from the V with your son as long as you aren’t both trying to stand up and move around at the same time. The Model V is also longer, so you would have a little extra length for gear. I have paddled with my kids who weight similar to your son and we did ok. It was not as stable as the XL, but we got the hang of it for sure.

      Essentially, it’s a trade off in speed vs stability. iRocker rates the V at a ‘100’ for speed and ’80’ for stability, and the XL is rated at ’70’ for speed and ‘100’ for stability. I would agree on those ratings. So, if you are mostly going to use the board yourself, want speed, and just every once in a while go fishing with your son, then I would be tempted to go with the model V. Worse case, your son needs to sit down while you are paddling, but if you both have good balance then you will probably be fine like I was with my daughter.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have other questions.

  8. Overall Rating:


    I have a lot of difficulty making a choice. I really like the V model because it is narrower, but I will be paddling a river among the boats, so I will have to deal with a lot of waves. Is this the right model? On the site it rates the handling at 5. What do you think?

    Thank you

    • Eric,

      If you aren’t doing any whitewater SUP on the river, then the Model V will be a great option. No, it’s not as maneuverable as the Model X or XL, but it is more than maneuverable enough for a slow moving river with waves from boats.

      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have further questions.

  9. Hello. I need advice on the appropriate choice for my next SUP. I would consider myself an intermediate paddler and have been using an all-around. I live in San Diego and am paddling exclusively on the bay. I want a faster board mainly for a workout, 1-3 hour sessions. But sometimes I would also want to go on the ocean and along the coastline. Not interested in getting in the surf. From other advice you have given, it seems like the Model V would be a good choice. But what about the iRocker Sport for what I am looking to do? And should the Gili Adventure or Thurso Waterwalker be in the conversation? Last question, or do I actually need two different SUP’s for what I want to do? Sorry for all the questions but it seems like I am splitting hairs at this point and harder to figure out on my own by only reading reviews. Thanks, Joe

    • Joe,

      I don’t think you need 2 boards for what you are doing, and I think the Model V would be a great board for both the Bay and the open ocean paddling. The carbon fiber rails make it a little stiffer than the iRocker Sport, and it’s a bit more firm than the Gili Adventure (the advantage of the Gili Adventure would be how light-weight it is). It will also be the faster board between those three options, but still give you the balance you need for the ocean paddling.

      I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have other questions (and sorry for the delay in responding)!

  10. Hallo,
    I’m looking for a sup for touring-cruise on the sea in Italy, approx 20km per day along the coast. Seven days trip. Model V is better than XL?

    • Nicolas,

      Yes, for a touring/cruise that far on the sea you will find that the Model V is a better choice than the XL. It’s a little thinner, so you get less resistance in the water and can go faster.

      I hope that helps!

  11. How would you compare the Black fin V to a Blue fin 12’8 carbon?
    I’m looking for a all rounder with speed stability and decent maneuverability.
    Be able to handle 3-5 wake/chop, rivers , lakes 3-5 hour paddles.
    Should I also consider a bluefin carbon sprint 14? I’m open to any suggestions to brands.

    Thank You,


    • Jeremy,

      Sorry for missing this comment and not getting back to you sooner. I would say the Blackfin Model V is a little quicker than the 12′ Carbon and is more of an adventure/touring board. The 12′ Cruise (to clarify, Bluefin makes a 10’8 Carbon and a 12′ Carbon) has a little wider tail, and I would say is slightly more oriented to all-around performance than the Model V.

      The 12′ Carbon is stiffer due to the dual air chamber, but both boards feel fantastic on the water. So between the 12′ Carbon and Model V, I would recommend the Model V for what you are looking to do.

      I do think you would consider the Bluefin Carbon Sprint 14′ if you are more concerned with speed than anything else. That board is faster from our tests than the Model V. It won’t do as well in the 3-5′ chop, and it quite a bit less maneuverable, so it won’t perform as well in rivers.

      I hope that helps, let me know if you have any further questions!

  12. I have the model V and love it. I’m looking at doing some multi-day trips this summer, paddling 10+ miles a day on lakes with gear. Would dropping some $$$ on a high end paddle make a big difference? Or does the blackfin paddle do a somewhat comparable job? I unfortunately have no way to test paddles without first buying them. Thank you!

    • Dan,

      Glad you love your Model V! With paddles, that really comes down to personal preference. The Blackfin lineup comes with a paddle that is really good for a kit paddle. It has a nice feel to it, and it pretty light-weight and strong. However, if you do have the budget and want to take your paddle boarding to the next step then you might want to consider a more custom paddle option. It’s going to be a little spendy, but will make some difference if you are going on multiple day-long adventures. I’d look for an online shop you can call and get some advice for your height, weight, and type of paddling you’ll be doing.

  13. Hi Justin,
    Any chance you can compare this BF V to the BOTE Traveller Aero? I am trying to decide which one to buy…I do some touring, and also Fishing…and really like the options both of these boards offer for ‘extra features’.
    I’ve been paddling for 7+ years, not adversed to taking my SUPs into rough waters (lake or ocean)…and the narrower width of the BOTE is similar to one of my older iSUPs, so I don’t think the width will be an issue on either boards.
    These both seem to be ‘heavy’ boards…any comment on that? is there any other recommended Touring/Fishing style SUPs (inflatable) that I should consider??

    Thanks much
    Vancouver, BC Canada

    • Marc,

      We haven’t done a direct comparison of the Blackfin Model V vs the BOTE Traveller Aero (we are waiting to get the Traveller in for a full review). However, I think you will really like either board for what your looking to do. I personally prefer the Blackfin, as I like the longer side fins for better tracking and stability – both for the longer touring paddle adventures and when fishing.

      As far as being ‘heavy’ – yes, these are a bit on the heavy side compared so some other inflatable boards, but they don’t feel heavy in the water by any means. A few lighter boards you could check out would be the Gili Meno 12’6, which is a really nice, lighter-weight option that still has a lot of good fishing attachments. You could also consider the Red Paddle Co Voyager, but that won’t have much in terms of fishing attachments.

      Hope that helps!

  14. Thanks for the great review. I just ordered the Blackfin V with a whole slew of accessories – great sale right now, I will be in a very busy bay here in NJ and being 6ft – 270lbs I need a bigger board. I was also considering the Megalodon 12ft and it was a really tough choice. I still am not sure if I made the correct choice given how much wider the Megalodon is I am wondering if that would not be a better option for stability. On smaller epoxy boards in the 10’6 to 11’6 range I have no problem using them however I can not move around much on them without them being unstable for me. I want to avoid that.

    • Patrick,

      I think you made the right choice – the Model V is very stable, and it’s much easier to paddle than the 12′ Megalodon.

      Let us know if you have any questions when the board comes!

  15. Hello –

    I am trying to decide between the Blackfin V and the XL. I am 6’7″ and 225 pounds, so I am thinking of going with the longer board. The drop in stability is a concern, however. Just not sure how big of a drop that is. I will definitely be doing some fishing from the board, but mostly just having fun on lakes. Would also like to be able to float down some rivers, although we would use inflatable kayaks with anything that had too much whitewater on it. Any thoughts on the V vs XL for my intended use? Thank you!!

    • Hi Ryan,

      The drop in stability between the Model XL and the Model V is definitely noticeable, but it’s not anything that you couldn’t overcome within an hour or 2 of paddling. At 6’5, you’ll definitely benefit from the added length on the Model V. On the other hand, the Blackfin XL is easier to fish off of, due to the added width/stability, though it won’t be as fast as the Model V.

  16. I currently have the Gili adventure 12’. It’s my first board and it’s really fun. I noticed when comparing the speed tests between the two boards that the V was considerably faster (same test paddler for both boards). Both boards are same width but the V is longer. Would you consider the V to be a good choice for a touring ‘upgrade’ board if I decide to purchase one? Or are the differences more subtle than the numbers suggest? I realize it’ll be awhile before they’re available…

    • Hi Matthew,

      Good questions! As a general rule of thumb, longer boards are always faster if the width is kept the same. The Model V is also a bit more rigid than the Gili 12′ Adventure, which helps to keep the rocker line more consistent while you paddle, and will also account for an increase in speed. I think it would be a good upgrade board if you’re in the market for a stable, but relatively fast, touring board.


Leave a Comment