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BLACKFIN Model V SUP Board Review



Overall Rating:



  • Well built, stable, fast touring board
  • Plethora of D-rings, action mounts, straps, and accessory mounts - make for a great adventure SUP
  • Heavy duty construction with 2 year warranty
  • Exceptional fishing platform for intermediate to advanced paddlers.
  • Great new color options
  • Quality kit that contains everything you need to get out on the water


  • Rear action mounts could be integrated into the side handles
  • We’d love to see a slightly longer deck pad

Blackfin Model V  Review

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The Blackfin Model V, much like the iRocker Sport, is one of our team’s favorite SUPs to review. The long 12’6” water line and narrow(ish) 32” width just looks fast in our opinion. Combined with some of the color options this is one good looking iSUP.

Looks aside, this board has a lot going for it performance wise. The triple layer composite PVC construction, supplemented by carbon fiber rails really gives this board a solid feel when fully inflated. Probably most intriguing of all though is that due to it’s longer shape and reasonable width it has the same volume as the Model XL, which means this too is rated by Blackfin to support 485 lbs. In case you missed that review, that weight capacity offers you a lot of possibilities and makes this a very versatile touring SUP. It’s a very good choice for touring as it’s long water line lends itself to a fairly efficient glide. Pack whatever you want, even the kitchen sink, and get out and explore. We think this is a great board for:

  • Wants a quality built, solid feeling iSUP
  • Wants a faster touring iSUP for longer adventures and fitness paddling
  • Needs a board with a extremely high weight capacity (485 lbs)
  • Would like to paddle with kids and/or additional gear
  • Wants to load their iSUP with all kinds of accessories for a fun day out on the water

We think the Blackfin Model V is a great choice for the following water conditions/situations:

  • Flat water paddling (lakes, bays, marinas, etc.)
  • Recreational paddling (beginners, just paddling around flat water w/ friends and kids)
  • Ocean paddling
  • Sup Fishing (intermediate to advanced paddlers due to narrower profile)

Blackfin Model V Review: Overview

Blackfin Model V Tracking

Blackfin Model V Nose
Blackfin Model V Deckpad

The Blackfin Model V is a very solid feeling and fast board despite being skinnier than it’s stable mates by around 2 inches. At 12 ‘6”, this is very solidly in the touring board category. And while the board could be even faster if they made it 30” wide, we find ourselves liking the extra width. The board is still fast (see the speed test results below), but also extremely versatile because of the high weight capacity and stability.

Like all Blackfins, the Model V comes well equipped with a host of user friendly features and accessories. This is really the board you want for touring with a lot of gear and equipment. Don’t believe us, just look at iRocker’s (Blackfin’s) ever growing list of accessories on their website. Furthermore, the 8 included action mounts open the board up to an entire world of compatible attachments.

Note: We spend hours paddling these boards. We try to ask all companies who send us boards to allow us to keep them so we can test them throughout the year. These aren’t just quick spec reviews. Bottom line – we spend hours and hours on these boards, and more hours testing them. If you have questions about the board, drop us a line – we’d love to answer your questions and help you out!

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Blackfin Model V: Spec Sheet

Main CategoryTouring, Inflatable
Board Dimensions12’6” x 32” x 6”
Listed Board Weight30 lbs
Listed Max Capacity485 lbs
Recommended PSI15-18 psi
FinsNylon, triple flip lock, removable
PaddleFull carbon shaft + Nylon blade
MaterialsTriple layer composite PVC, carbon-fiber reinforced rails, high density drop stitch inner core
Price RangeMid – High ($1,000 +)
Warranty2 yrs + 1 yr for accessories

Official Test Results: Blackfin Model V

The comprehensive SUP testing results are listed below. Again these are an aide for the end user when making a purchasing decision. If you have any questions we are more than willing to help you out directly as well. Shoot us a message or leave a comment below.

Overall Score: 9.5

This is a very nice touring board. Often my biggest complaint with touring boards is that there is simply not enough room and weight capacity for gear and equipment storage. That is not the case here, with one of the greatest manufacturer recommended weight limits, I would challenge you to find something you COULDN’T take on your next paddling trip.

This board ranks near the very top, if not the top, in a group of fairly competitive touring boards. After looking at everything that comes in the bag, not to mention the bag itself, it’s easy to see why.

  • Stability: 9.4/10

  • Speed:9.4/10

  • Tracking: 9.4/10

  • Maneuverability: 8.3/10

  • Construction Quality: 9.3/10

  • Accessory Review: 9.8/10

Our overall rating of 9.5 for the BlackFin Model V ranks it ahead of most other touring boards tested. That performance, along with the versatility of this board, has earned the Blackfin Model V a top spot on our ‘Best Inflatable Touring SUPs’ list. In terms of price, it’s just barely in the “high end” category. So it’s competing with boards that are $500+ more expensive in some cases.

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In-Depth Review of the Blackfin Model V Stand Up Paddle Board

Blackfin Model V Back Step Turn

Blackfin Model V Gliding
Blackfin Model V Carbon Rails

The Blackfin Model V is a pleasure to review. It’s extremely stable while also being very efficient through the water. This means getting where you’re going faster and having room on board to bring the gear to enjoy your time there. I have to commend iRocker for really delivering a touring board loaded with interesting features.

Stability Review: 9.4/10

As expected the Model V did very well in our stability reviews. This is not unexpected as the entire Blackfin line is manufactured with extremely high standards, quality materials, and those carbon fiber reinforced rails. These boards are just plain solid and the reviews reflect that. I would have no problem recommending this board to just about any sized paddler regardless of experience level.

Board Stiffness:

Stiffness Test: .968” bend at 18 PSI | 1” bend at 15 PSI

The stiffness of a board displays a lot about how well the board will perform in real world situations when loaded down with people and gear. It also is a good way to see how well a board is made in comparable terms, without having to cut up everyboard we test.

In this case, the triple layer composite PVC, carbon-fiber reinforced rails, and high density drop stitch inner core, goes a long way to keep this board flat regardless of how much weight we continue to add. I know there is some talk over “carbon-fiber” being a marketing gimmick in terms of iSUPs. After doing a considerable amount of research we have come to the following conclusion. To experience its full potential in terms of rigidity, carbon fiber needs to be combined with resin. Doing this prevents the rails from being “rolled” up as an iSUP would need to do. However, there are current manufacturing companies working with highly flexible carbon fiber panels in various industries. The pieces in question are highly flexible in a single plane, while being extremely rigid in the other plane. Does this mean the Blackfin uses this newer carbon fiber layup methods in their boards? Again, without cutting out the carbon fiber rail it’s hard to say. We feel that in direct comparison to the iRocker models of the same width and thickness, we saw the following results:

  • The iRocker All Around bent at 1.0625” (18psi) and 1.125” (15psi).
  • The Blackfin Model V bent at .968” (18psi) and 1”(15psi).

What we can infer from this is that:

Since the iRocker boards showed a greater degree of flex, the carbon rail stabilization actually does help the board retain its rigid shape. Since most of our test results differ in the form of 16 ths of an inch that approximate .125” (⅛”) is significant.

Weight Capacity:

Listed Weight Capacity: 485 lbs
Tested Capacity: (coming soon)

Weight capacity tests show how reliable a manufacturer is at rating their boards in terms of usable weight capacity. We have seen some manufactures (like iRocker) under-rate their board capacity, leaving us happily satisfied, about as much as some manufacturers will do the opposite. It’s important to test this because the true weight capacity goes a long way in determining a board’s usability.

When considering the weight capacity of a particular iSup it’s important to take into account several variables (some of which we get into below). First and foremost we look at the volume of the board itself. This is probably the number one factor in determining a usable weight capacity. Simply put the more volume the board has the more lbs it can effectively carry across the water. Another big aspect is the construction quality and materials used. Having a better construction quality with more durable materials means the board can be pressurized better, giving it additional buoyancy.

Overall the Blackfin Model V did very well in our weight capacity tests. With the Model V, it has a really high weight capacity and is a great option for someone looking to adventure long-distances, or carry a lot of gear, and kids. I can stand up and paddle with my daughter (she was about 100 lbs at the time), but would struggle if me and my wife were paddling together. It’s fine though if she were to sit down while I paddled.

Speed Test: 9.4

Blackfin Model V Sprint Test
Blackfin Model V Casual Test

In terms of speed the Model V is the fastest available in the Blackfin lineup and also performed faster than all the other touring SUPs we tested, with the exception of the Red Paddle Co 12’6 Sport. Even at 32” wide, this is a fast SUP.

With the long water line and “relatively” narrow width it’s easy to see why. That width also allows for more even paddling (more vertical and therefore more efficient) and it also benefits from the three fin setup allowing this board to track fairly straight

Part of us wants to say that we’d love to see this board slightly more narrow (i.e. 30”). That would make this more of a dedicated touring SUP and give it a little extra speed. However, we think that for the vast majority of paddlers they will appreciate how versatile the SUP is and will be more than happy with the speed. If you are someone who really is just looking for speed and doesn’t want to ever carry gear or other paddlers, then you could get a little bit faster if you look at the Red Paddle Co 12’6 (if you can find it in stock).

For us, we are happy with the 32” width and speed of the Blackfin Model V and don’t recommend that iRocker change the width in future models.

Tracking: 9.4

Blackfin Model V Tri Fin Snaplock Setup
Blackfin Model V Maneuvering

Tracking plays a big part in the speed of a board as well. The less corrections the rider needs to make to their course the more they can focus on putting power into their forward motion.

Though some may say the three fin setup isn’t the ideal way to go for speed, I would argue that the setup provides greater tracking ability. Regardless of where you sit on the multi fin vs single fin debate, this board does a great job of tracking straight due to its fin setup and long water line.

Maneuverability: 8.3

Blackfin Model V Maneuverability
Blackfin Model V Back Step Turn

With great speed comes poor maneuverability. Well, not always but they do seem to work counter to each other. Simply put, the attributes of a SUP that breeds speed are the same ones that make a board more difficult to turn. This is true with all touring SUPs, and the Blackfin is no exception. It’s not going to be the most maneuverable board, but it does perform above average when it comes to more advanced techniques like the step-back turn.

Simply put, in order to really turn on a dime with a 12’6 board you are going to need to step toward the back of the board, lift the nose out of the water, and turn. This is pretty easy on the Model V, and easier than some other boards in this category. Going back to that 32” width – it does make it a little easier to balance while you lift the nose and turn.

One thing we would love to see that relates to maneuverability on the Model V would be extending the deck pad and including a rear stomp pad. That would make the back step turn even easier.

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Construction Quality: 9.3

Blackfin Model V Tail
Blackfin Model V SUP Board Review
Blackfin Model V Scotty Mount
Blackfin Model V Stake Holder

The Blackfin Model V benefits from being the “high end” model in the iRocker company lineup. Not only does it share the excellent triple layer composite PVC and high density drop stitch inner core, it benefits from having carbon fiber reinforced rails. Again, we acknowledge the debate on whether this is simply a marketing trick or if it actually adds solid benefits. We feel that at very least the use of the carbon in the rail (which visibly sticks out from the rest of the board) will work well to keep the rails protected. Even if that is simply due to it’s extra thickness. Furthermore the flex results clearly show a slight edge in rigidity with the carbon fiber reinforced rails.

In our opinion the board feels well built from nose to tail. The materials all seem to be of a grade commensurate with more expensive boards. It’s overall weight of approximately 30lbs may be a little more difficult for smaller individuals to lug around, but it reinforces the well built feel of the board overall.

Accessory Review: 9.8/10

Blackfin Model V Accessories

Blackfin Model V Center Handle
Blackfin Model V Kayak Seat D Ring

Included Accessories:

In the bag accessories is excellent with the Blackfin Model V. You get the following:

  • 3 piece carbon fiber shaft, nylon blade paddle
  • Dual chamber, triple action pump
  • 10’ leash
  • Wheeled SUP backpack
  • Standard SUP repair kit
  • 8 multi-use action mounts
  • 20 d-ring attachments
  • Sand spear and fishing rack mounts (spear and racks sold separately)

That’s everything you need (except PFD), to get on the water right away. This kit is really designed to be taken directly to your nearest body of water!


Blackfin Model V Glide
Blackfin Model V Carbon Paddle

Blackfin includes a nylon bladed paddle, (great for durability) attached to a matte carbon-fiber shaft. This is a fairly good piece of standard equipment that is only bettered by going to a custom paddle. So the fact that it’s included with the Model V is a great deal.

Some improvements would be to add some sort of clamp to the lower connection point. It twists ever so slightly and we would like to see that eliminated. This might also be accomplished by adding some sort of guide mechanism like we’ve seen on the inside of other kit paddles.

Again, this is a great paddle to come in a kit, but if the above issues speak to you then it’s probably time to go custom. Most high-end boards don’t even include a paddle because they assume you already have one.


Blackfin Model V Dual Chamber Pump

Out of the bag you get a dual chamber, triple action pump. When compared to other kit pumps it’s fairly effective and won’t leave you out of breath when you’re done pumping up your board. If we had to give it a rank overall, we would probably rate this just behind the Red Paddle Co Titan pump. That pump is simply the best manual pump we’ve tested to date.

As always, we can’t recommend the benefits of upgrading to the electric paddle board pump by iRocker enough. Being our current favorite electric pump available, it really does make getting on the water much easier. Especially considering this board is made to hold a lot of gear and equipment. Save your back, shoulders, and arms for paddling, fishing, etc.


Blackfin Model V Roller Backpack

Like the rest of the equipment included with the Model V the Blackfin backpack just feels like quality. In comparison to the iRocker series it does feel like it’s made with better materials and offers some more storage and features. It’s comfortable with good padding, and lots of straps and pockets for all the necessary gear you could need. The backpack comes with:

  • Rolling wheels, which are strategically placed on the outside of the backpack. This keeps the straps from getting caught in the wheels and makes it easy to roll the backpack around.
  • 2 mesh side pounces
  • 2 small side zipper pouches
  • Large front compartment
  • Top zipper compartment
  • Side and top carry handles
  • Bungee front straps

Optional Accessories

Accessories and add ons are where these boards really stand out. The Model V is perfect for those looking to adapt their paddling experience for almost any situation. With too many accessories to list, really, go check the website, here are some of our favorites:

  • Electric Pump
  • Sand Spear/Push Pole
  • Fishing Rack
  • River fin system (shorter fins to make the board perform better in rivers)
  • Kayak conversion kit (very popular with those who don’t want to stand at all times or who want to bring their kids onboard with them)
  • Kayak seat cushion (this I highly recommend for those buying the kayak conversion kit, but I’m super inflexible and need that extra lift when sitting)
  • SUP anchor
  • Cell phone holder
  • Cup holder
  • Vibe waterproof speaker (my kids favorite accessory)
  • Soft cooler deck bag
  • Hard cooler (great for sitting on while fishing or just paddling around)

Bottom line, this board is designed to be as diverse and flexible as you are. From fishing to relaxing with friends this board has the accessories and the ability to change at the drop of hat for your next adventure.

Summary Review of the Blackfin Model V

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The Blackfin Model V is a great touring board with significant features that allow it to do just as well in the all around category, and even some good sup fishing.

This board has an absolutely incredible capacity allowing you to modify your adventures from day to day, or just bring most everything along with you. There are tons of attachment points and available accessories so you really have a lot of options.

I personally love the look and feel of the board, it’s swift water line, and that sand spear. With all the included accessories we feel this is a great deal and one that will last you a very long time.

Of course, if we didn’t cover something in our review of the Blackfin Model V, please leave us a question in the comments below, or shoot us an email. We are happy to help you figure out if this is the right board for you!

Happy paddling and we look forward to seeing you on the water!

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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.

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38 thoughts on “BLACKFIN Model V SUP Board Review”

  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.


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