BLACKFIN Model X Review 2020

Blackfin Model X Inflatable SUP

9.9

Versatility

9.9/10

Construction

9.9/10

Stability

10.0/10

Appearance

9.7/10

Performance

9.9/10

Pros

  • High quality, durable construction
  • Stable + Very high weight capacity
  • Carbon fiber rails
  • Tons of d-rings, action mounts - can even be a great fishing SUP now!
  • Paddles great in a variety of conditions
  • 2 year warranty + 60 day return period

Cons

  • No US Fin box, so less options available for fins. However, river fin system coming out soon from BLACKFIN to increase versatility
  • Can be a little wide for some smaller paddlers

Last Updated: March 10, 2020

We are finally able to release our 2020 BLACKFIN Model X review! We’ve had the board for just over a month, and it’s been killing us to not be able to let everyone know about all the fantastic upgrades to the board this year.

Basically, iRocker/BLACKFIN took a fantastic board and made it even better in 2020 – and earned our award for best all-around sup for 2020 in the process!

Blackfin Model X Review

The core of the Model X board has basically stayed the same, which we are very glad to see. The length, width, and shape of the board is the same, the volume is the same, and they kept the same triple layer composite PVC construction and carbon fiber rails that made for a fantastic board last year.

Where BLACKFIN really has improved quite a bit on the Model X this year is with the features of the board that make the board our best rated iSUP for 2020. These features include: adding 7 additional action mounts (so a total of 8 now), adding mounts for fishing accessories, larger rear cargo area, and spear mount options.

Check Prices

SUP Board Specs: Blackfin Model X

Length10′ 6″
Width35″
Thickness6″
Weight27 lbs
Max Capacity450 lbs
Recommended Inflation15-18 psi
FinsNylon, Quick-lock, Removable
Paddle TypeFull Carbon Shaft, Nylon bBlade
MaterialsTriple Layer Composite PVC, Drop Stitch Inner Core

Who Should Buy This Stand Up Paddle Board:

The BLACKFIN Model X is a fantastic board for the following:

  • Those wanting a super stable stand up paddle board that is very durable
  • Larger paddlers and those who want to paddle with multiple kids (or even their partner/spouse)
  • Beginner to intermediate/advanced paddlers who want a board for all situations
  • People who want to try their hand at stand up paddle board fishing!
  • River SUPers who need a wide, stable board that can still maneuver around rocks and other objects

The Model X is great for the following conditions/situations:

  • Flat water paddling in lakes, bays, marinas, etc.
  • River SUPing
  • SUP Fishing
  • Ocean paddling
  • Surfing in small surf conditions (not for fast, hollow waves)

Check Prices

Video Review

Performance Review

Stability

Blackfin Model X Performance

It’s pretty tough to find a SUP board (hard or inflatable) that is more stable than the 35” wide BLACKFIN Model X. With a weight capacity of 450 lbs you won’t find many boards that can hold as many people either. We actually have tested that weight capacity because it’s a little hard to believe the board can hold that much weight and still be stable.

It can. Yes, if you load 450 lbs on the Model X you won’t be too fast, but you won’t sink and you can still paddle around. If you have 300-350 lbs on the board it still performs remarkably well.

Note: when we review iSUPs, we first start with stability. Most of our readers are first time SUP buyers, and if they can’t stand on the board then they will give up on SUPing pretty quick. In our review of the BLACKFIN Model X, we were extremely impressed by the board’s stability.

Maneuverability

Blackfin Model X Maneuverability

One of the reasons we ranked the BLACKFIN Model X over the Model XL is because of it’s increased maneuverability. Being a foot shorter in length makes it a little easier to turn the board and maneuver. For example, if you are looking to go downstream river SUPing, you will want a wide board (check) that is shorter so you can easily paddle around rocks and other obstacles. The BLACKFIN Model X would do this really well.

Last year BLACKFIN went to a triple layer composite PVC construction w/ carbon fiber rails to decrease weight. In doing so, they created a board that not only is stable but also a board that is lightweight and maneuvers well. In this new 2020 model, BLACKFIN kept that same construction, mostly because of how successful the board was last year.

Tracking/Glide

Blackfin Model X Tracking
The one area we were concerned with going into 2020 with the BLACKFIN Model X was tracking. Due to customer requests, BLACKFIN decided to go from a US fin box and large hatchet center fin to a smaller nylon flip-lock center fin. We really liked their large center fin last year, because it helped the board track and perform very well. We were worried that the tracking performance would decrease slightly by going to the easy to snap in fins.

We also typically prefer US fin boxes because of the versatility you can get out of buying whatever fins you like best. However, they can be kind of a pain when it comes to screwing in the fins every time you want to take the board out.

In other words, last year’s BLACKFIN Model X had a more versatile fin box. This year’s Model X has a more user friendly fin box – so which one is better really depends on you and your preferences.

For us, we have been very pleasantly surprised at how well the board tracks. I took out last year’s Model X and this year’s Model X and rode them side by side several times. After doing this, what I found was that the difference in performance is very minimal. Advanced paddlers might be able to tell the difference, but beginner and intermediate paddlers won’t at all. However, everyone will notice and appreciate how easy it is to put in the flip lock fins. AND…iRocker/BLACKFIN is coming out with a nice set of river fins that will fit both the iRocker and current BLACKFIN fin boxes. As such, you will still get the versatility you had with last year’s model, with the convenience of the snap in fins.

Blackfin Model X Tracking Away

Materials


The BLACKFIN Model X is constructed with triple layer composite PVC and carbon fiber rails. Combine those elements with a drop stitch core and you end up with a very firm, durable board.

The key element that stands out on the BLACKFIN line of SUPs is the carbon fiber rail. No, this isn’t a completely firm carbon rail that won’t fold. Instead it’s a carbon fiber composite that still allows you to roll the board up after use. It does make it a little harder to roll up, but it’s much less inconvenient than the stiffening rods used with a system like RedPaddleCo’s stiffening rods.

Check Prices

Board Design/Shape

You can see in the image above that the shape of the BLACKFIN X SUP is wider than the iRocker lineup, with the front coming into a point, but not the way a touring SUP would.

At 10’6” x 35” it’s basically a nice all-around shape with a few extra inches added to the width. The positives with this shape (and the reason we have it rated so highly) are pretty straightforward – this is a go anywhere and do anything type of board. Want to go out and paddle around the lake? Need to take 2 kids with you and use this as a family board? Want to take your daughter out fishing on the far side of the lake that is super tough to get to? Want to go river SUPing? The shape of this board makes all of that possible.

The only downside to the design and shape is possibly the width. When paddling you don’t want you paddle hitting the side of the board. At 35” wide, that means you do have to adjust your paddle stroke a little bit as you will end up paddling a little wider than on a 31” board (unless you are a pretty big and tall person). Of course, if the width is a concern, then you could go with the Model XL, which is 34” wide. Or, if you are really looking for a more pure touring board, then I’d recommend looking at the Model V, which is only 32” wide.

However, for a great all-around, family, river, lake, etc. board – we can’t recommend the Model X enough. Basically, it’s the board that gets picked by almost everyone on our team when they only have 1 board to take out and they are headed to the lake with family and friends.

Board Features

The BLACKFIN Model X really is a feature-packed inflatable stand up paddle board. So far, we haven’t seen a board with more features in 2020. If we do, we’ll let you know. Some of the key features of the Model X by BLACKFIN include:

  • Carbon Rails. We put this feature first, because the rails really make this a very firm board. If you haven’t ever used or seen an inflatable SUP before you will be shocked at how firm the board is. A nice, firm board = higher performance, and we love that about the Model X and all the boards in the BLACKFIN lineup.
  • High quality Triple Layer Compsoite PVC layers. iRocker/Blackfin stands behind their products with a free 2 year warranty for a reason – they last, and people love them. That all starts with quality materials.
  • Ability to attach a ton of accessories. 8 action mounts, 2 fishing rack mounts, side spear mounts, 2 large bungee cargo areas, 20 d-rings, etc. You just won’t find that kind of optionality on any other board on the market today. You could literally pack a cooler, a waterproof speaker, a cup holder, a GoPro, a kayak seat, a fishing pole holder, a fishing rack, a phone holder, and a dry bag and still have room and ability to attach more accessories.
  • High quality carbon fiber paddle that makes paddling much easier.
  • 3 different handles (front, rear, and back) to make carrying the board easy for just about anyone.
  • High quality EVA deck pad that is both comfortable and grippy.
  • 2 sets of safety handles to make it easy for your kids to hold on while you are paddling them around.

Fins

Blackfin Model X Fins
The fins that come with the Model X are nylon ‘flip lock’ fins. I’ve already talked about the fins quite a bit, but wanted to show them so you can see what they look like on the board. Again, from a performance standpoint, the fins do great. You will want to grab their set of shorter river fins when they come out, but for everything else these are good fins. I’m kind of hoping that next year BLACKFIN will go with the new FCS II longboard fin even though I think some consumers would probably put those in wrong and lose the fins. As such, the flip lock fins you get with the Model X are really the ideal setup for probably 90-95% of all people who purchase an iSUP.

Deckpad

Blackfin Model X Deck Pad
I’ve always loved the BLACKFIN deckpad. It’s super comfortable, the vertical grip lines are nice and deep and provide great traction. We also really like how the pad extends beyond the inflation valve. We’ve also had a ton of success with BLACKFIN’s deck pad durability, and it cleans up nice even though it’s white on this model.

Handles

Like last year’s model, this year’s Model X comes with three different carry handles. One is in the front, which is really nice when you’re pulling your board in from the lake or ocean. One is in the middle of the board for carrying the board solo. And one handle is found on the rear of the board which is nice for pulling your board into the lake or ocean (fin first so it doesn’t dig into the sand/shore).

D-Rings/Bungees/Cargo Areas

Last year, the BLACKFIN Model X had 18 d-rings. Somehow, BLACKFIN figured out a way to add 2 more, for a total of 20. Basically, you will never run out of d-rings for attaching accessories.

You also have 2 large cargo areas (6 d-rings each) for storing dry bags, coolers, and other gear. The rear cargo area was increased from 4 to 6 d-rings, which is a nice addition and makes that area more usable.

Accessories Review

Blackfin Model X Accessories

Paddle

As mentioned above, BLACKFIN upgrade the paddle that comes included when you purchase a Model X. Everyone on our team who has reviewed the Model X has really liked the new paddle. It feels a little lighter with the carbon shaft and nylon blade. The blade is a little more thin and lightweight. Because the blade is at the end of the paddle, losing some weight there really makes a difference in the amount of weight you have to move with every stroke you take. Great job, BLACKFIN, with upgrading the paddle.

Really, the only thing that they could do to improve the paddle would be to offer a full carbon paddle (both shaft and blade). They could also maybe offer a one-piece paddle option for those who know the exact size paddle they need and want the lightest and most firm paddle available. However, I’d assume that those type of upgrades would add to the cost significantly, so I’m glad to see that they include a quality paddle in the base kit.

Pump

Like last year, included with the Model X purchase is a very nice triple action, dual chamber pump. The pump is a high-volume pump that performs really well. What is different this year is BLACKFIN improved the hose just a little bit and made it a little more thick and flexible. We didn’t have any problems with last year’s version, and like this one even more.

Of course, we can’t recommend enough upgrading to the new electric pump that iRocker/BLACKFIN offers. If there is one accessory you decide to purchase, please make it an electric pump. Nothing will make SUPing more enjoyable in our opinion. Yes, we pump up A TON of boards, but it is so nice to have that electric pump doing all the hard work so you can save energy for your paddle. The electric pump also really helps when deflating the board, because it can suck out almost all the air from the board, making it really easy to roll the board up nice and tight. However, if you don’t have the money for the electric pump, the manual pump that comes with the Model X really is top-notch and is one of our favorite manual pumps.

Backpack

The backpack that comes with the BLACKFIN lineup is a super high quality, roomy backpack that has both the space and compartments you need to keep your SUP in great condition. It also is very comfortable on your back and makes it very easy to carry your SUP wherever you need to.

The backpack includes the following:

  • Main compartment for your board and paddle.
  • Large front compartment that fits the pump perfectly. We love this because you don’t have to store the pump and board in the same compartment. This might not sound like a big deal, but it does hold things better and is easier/more efficient with the space.
  • 2 side mesh pockets, each with zipper pouches found behind. These smaller pouches are great for keys, wallets, and other small items (new for this year).
  • A new zipper pocket at the top of the bag that will fit the electric pump perfectly. Again, buy an electric pump :). And when you do, it’s super nice that you have a place to store it. We’ve been purchasing small cooler bags to store our electric pumps, and are very excited that iRocker/BLACKFIN is the first company including storage for this in their standard SUP bags.
  • A velcro pocket that is behind the back support.
  • Roller wheels so you don’t have to carry the bag if you don’t want to.

Leash

The BLACKFIN Model X comes with a high quality coiled leash. The leash attaches to the rear d-ring and is coiled so it won’t drag in the water and won’t get in the way while paddling. It also swivels nicely so you don’t get all caught up in your leash.

Repair Kit

Included is a standard repair kit that includes an inflation valve wrench. Keep track of this wrench, as it is very useful if your inflation valve ever becomes loose. This is very rare, but if you just throw the wrench away you know Murphy’s law is going to smack you in the face and your valve will end up coming loose.

You also get a few patches in the repair kit.

Optional Accessories

As always, iRocker has a ton of great accessories that you can purchase to go along with your new All-Around 11’ SUP! Here is a quick list, but you can see them all in more detail on our iRocker accessories page:

  • Speaker
  • Kayak kit (seat and kayak blade)
  • Kayak Seat Cushion
  • Shoulder Carry Strap
  • Cup Holder
  • Camera Mount
  • Cell Phone Holder
  • Electric Pump
  • Selfie Stick
  • Cooler Deck Pad
  • Fishing Rod Holder
  • Fishing Rack and dual Rod Holder
  • Push Pole and Sand Spear attachment
  • Sand Spear Mount

Company Review – BLACKFIN

BLACKFIN/iRocker is one of the best companies out there when it comes to producing quality, durable iSUPS. In addition, their customer service is top-notch. We’ve tested them as a ‘normal’ consumer where they don’t know who we are, and every time we’ve had great experiences. Bottom line – the company will take care of you. You can read our full BLACKFIN company review here.

Check Prices

Bottom Line BLACKFIN Model X Review

As you can tell, we love the BLACKFIN Model X. It’s our top rated inflatable SUP for 2020, and is simply a fantastic board. You can’t go wrong with a BLACKFIN, and our general favorite of the 3 models for all-around conditions is the X.

Is there anything we missed or forgot to talk about? Have any questions about the BLACKFIN Model X? Ask questions below, or contact us directly and we’ll get back to you ASAP. We also will be updating our Model X review periodically, so please give us feedback and we can continue to make improvements to our review. Thanks, and get out there and SUP!

The following two tabs change content below.

Justin - SupBoardGuide

Heyo! At SupBoardGuide.com 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.

45 thoughts on “BLACKFIN Model X Review 2020”

  1. Can you show how to refold it to fit in the back pack. Ours doesn’t want to go back in and we think it was folded this way originally (in thirds).

    Reply
    • Lorraine,

      What year is your board? Is it a new 2020 BLACKFIN, or is it a 2019 model? Basically, if you deflate the board entirely (I’d actually recommend using he pump to get out all the air), then start rolling it up from the fins like it should fit pretty easily, but you do need to make sure that the rolls aren’t wider than the width of the bag. If that doesn’t help let me know and I’ll post a photo of how to get it started.

      Reply
  2. Looking for a board to use in rocky river setting with variable water levels
    When will the shorter river fins be available?

    Reply
  3. Hi. Looking for the right board for someone 5’1″. Concerned that the model x width of 35″ made be too wide to comfortably paddle for any length of time. What do you think? An online review suggested the Blacfin Excel which was I believe around 32″.

    Reply
    • Roberta, not sure what the BLACKFIN Excel is – I have a feeling they were referring to the Model V, which is 32″ wide.

      If you are looking to use this board mainly as a touring board for longer distances, then I would recommend purchasing the BLACKFIN Model V vs the Model X or XL. It will be more comfortable paddling long distances than the Model X will be mainly because you are going to be able to keep the paddle vertical more easily.

      If you are looking for an all-around board that will also be good for casual paddling with friends, going down the river, doing yoga, or anything else the Model X will be more versatile.

      So I guess the question is: what are you going to be using the SUP for? If you can let me know that then I can give you a better recommendation.

      Thanks!

      Reply
  4. Hi,
    I’m 5’-10, 186 lbs. Most of my paddling will be on the Great Lakes. It’s generally not calm water, so I’m looking for a good all around board that will handle better in the swells. I currently have a 10’ board that is 30”wide. It does fine during calm days. What would be a recommendation for a board that would handle some small waves (less than a foot)? I was considering either a Blackfin X or XL. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Steve,

      I think you will love either of those boards. Given that you are coming from a 30″ board, then I’d recommend the Model XL. The XL is only 34″ wide, vs 35″ for the X, so it might be a little easier for you to keep the paddle vertical on the XL. You also might appreciate the extra length and stability that comes with the bigger board.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  5. I’m trying to decide between the x or xl. I’m 5’11” and just over 200 lbs. Would mostly be using on small lakes maybe an occasional paddle on the Hudson River. Would you recommend one of them over the other?

    Reply
  6. Trying to decide whether the Irocker cruiser or the Model x Blackfin is best for me. I am five foot 2 135 pounds, will be used in the ocean on calm days just to tour around on. What do you suggest is the best – my concern is the X looks awesome but I might have issues paddling as it is wider. I have a small shoulder injury which may also cause concern on the wider board.

    Thoughts

    Reply
    • Kathy,

      Both boards are fantastic boards. If you are worried because of your injury about reaching over those extra 2″ to keep your paddle vertical, then I would recommend going with the Cruiser. It’s a crazy stable board and is more than enough for someone your height and weight. It’s also a little cheaper, so you could put that extra $$ into iRocker’s new pump (trust me, it’s amazing).

      Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’d love to know what you decide to go with!

      Reply
  7. Hi question. I am 5′ 2 about 135 pounds. My kids are 14 and 12 and a couple of dogs. Which board would be better suitable for us the irocker cruiser or blackfin x? I would like something that would work for family but also alone weather it’s just the kids or myself.

    Reply
    • Angel, I would recommend either the BLACKFIN Model X over the cruiser. The Cruiser will work for sure, however you do get a larger board with higher weight capacities with the BLACKFIN lineup. When your by yourself, you’ll also appreciate how well the BLACKFINs paddle.

      Let me know if you have any other questions, and I’d love to know what you decide!

      Reply
  8. Hi there, just wanted to say a huge thank you for your brilliant reviews and videos. They really have been great in helping me make a decision on which SUP to buy. Maybe too helpful as I have spent far too long deciding between an iRocker Cruiser, 11′ all round, all the Blackfins, Red paddle co. 10’6 Ride or 9’6 compact! I finally bit the bullet and ordered a Blackfin X on Saturday. I think they look amazing and the accessories they come with and which are available to purchase makes this seem like the ideal choice. I can’t wait for it to arrive, especially as the weather in the UK this week is due to be amazing. Thank you so much again for helping me make my decision, you really do have the best and most in-depth reviews.

    Reply
  9. Can you please help me decide on Blackfin X or XL. criteria are:

    – 6ft 3 height and 85kg
    – beginner but quite sporty
    – mainly ocean paddling (but relatively calm)
    – mainly for solo (no wife or kids)

    Reply
    • James,

      That’s a tough one! Both boards are fantastic boards. That being said, here’s some of the more subtle differences between the boards:

      The Model XL is going to be slightly faster due to it being a foot longer and one inch thinner. This lends itself slightly (again, we are talking pretty slight here) to being a better board for paddling across a lake and for longer paddle adventures. When I paddled all day at Lake Powell a few weeks ago I brought the Model XL over the X.

      However, the Model X is a little more maneuverable. This lends itself really well to paddling in rivers, especially if you do any kind of faster water or rapids. If I’m going down a river I grab the Model X over the XL.

      Other than that, both boards are great options and I think you will love whichever one you choose!

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

      Reply
  10. Hi, 5ft 10. 83kg. I’m undecided & veering towards this or an all round 11. My concern is the extra width may make it difficult to paddle at 5ft 10?

    Reply
    • Ash,

      If it helps, I’m 5’11 and really don’t have any problem paddling the Model X. It is slightly wider at 35″, but in reality that’s only an extra 1.5″ that you have to reach over to keep your paddle straight when compared with the 32″ all-around.

      I hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  11. Thanks for all the info! I’m seriously considering this board due to the stability, capacity, D-rings, and durability. The action mounts aren’t super important to me one way or the other, but I am concerned about the mount for the fishing accessory (in the deck pad itself). Do those get in the way at all? I’m wondering about comfort for a kid sitting back there, as well as for the tops of my feet if I happen to be kneeling.

    Is there another similar board that doesn’t have that fishing thing but has the other features I’m looking for?

    Reply
    • Ayla,

      The action mounts are almost always out of the way if just one or two people are on the board. When I paddle with my kids I have them sit in front of me to keep the weight balanced and not have them dragging the board/slowing things down – so the mounts aren’t in the way. When I add a 2nd child, then yes they can get in the way.

      If you like the durability, d-rings, etc. but don’t want the action mounts, then I would consider the Thurso 132. It’s not as wide of a board, but is built just as well and is just as durable as the BLACKFIN. It also has carbon fiber rails, and is a super stable board.

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

      Reply
      • Thanks, Justin! I have two kids, ages 2 and 4, so I’ll be carrying passengers for a good long while.

        How does the Gili Meno 10’6 board compare to the Blackfin and Thurso? It seems to have that super high weight capacity like the Blackfin, as well as the D-rings, bungees, and 35″ width. How’s the durability of its construction?

        You provide an awesome service with these reviews and by answering questions, thank you again so much!

        Reply
        • Ayla,

          Your welcome! I really like the Gili Meno 10’6 (hence why it was added to our best SUP list this year). It will be more comparable to the Blackfin than the Thurso, as it’s basically the same shape as the Model X. The Gili is also a lot lighter than the Blackfin, which does make it a little easier for the kids to paddle around (my kids prefer the Meno over the Blackfin because of that). However, it’s not quite as stable as the Blackfin, and you do get an extra layer of PVC around both the Blackfin and Thurso boards that you don’t get with the Gili Meno, and I do think the deck pad is better on the Blackfin and Thurso boards.

          So, with the Gili you get a lighter board, but it won’t be quite as durable as the Blackfin or Thurso. Sorry, I wish it wasn’t the case, but with SUPs you almost always have a trade off. In this case it is lightweight for durability (although please note that the Gili is still a well-built board).

          Hope that helps, let me know what other questions you have!

          Reply
  12. looking for 2 boards for me and my wife. both in our upper 40’s, hovering around 195 lbs and 165lbs , respectively. for use on the tidal bay / sound area, on calmer days which means constant water moving with the tide and small rolling waves from passing boats. Primarily sandy bottom, no river use, no ‘ocean’ surfing. we’re long-time boaters but brand new to sup’ing. NOT looking for long cruises.. at the most a relaxing ride along waterfront homes in our neighborhood during the week or taking with us on the boat to private beach area on weekends. We’re looking forward to getting a little exercise while having fun on the water together. Stability is on the top of our list. NOT looking to fish from them. will probably use every once in a while with a kayak seat, but not buying for that reason. Have two athletic daughters (one high school, one college) that will borrow with their friends from time to time, but primarily for us. Been going back and forth between the Cruiser 10’6, Blackfin X and Blackfin XL. Also open to other brands but online reviews and pics circle me back here to iRocker / Blackfin since I also prefer ‘lighter’ colors for safety reasons. Any thoughts? Open to getting two the same or two different ones. Thanks!

    Reply
    • PJ,

      Honestly, you will be great with either the Cruiser, Model X, or Model XL. My preference and recommendation would be to go with the Model X (+ an electric pump if you can, the new iRocker pump is amazing). The Model X is the most stable SUP that iRocker makes, and is a fantastic, well-built SUP. It also works really well with their kayak seat (and get their kayak seat cushion if they have it available still).

      I hope that helps, please let me know if you have other questions – and I’d love to hear what you decide to go with!

      Reply
  13. Awesome. Thank you Justin for your reviews and followup recommendation. I am more confident now that the Model X will be perfect for us / our situation. I placed my “pre”order for two Model X (white and teal) as well as the electric pump! Super excited to get out there on the water! Cheers!

    Reply
  14. Hi there! I have seen how helpful your comments have been so I figured I would give this a shot 🙂 I am deciding between the Blackfin X and Blackfin XL. I am a 35 year old female who weighs 150 pounds and is 5’5″. I won’t be using the SUP for fishing at all- my activities will mainly entail paddling down the French Broad River and going out on lakes. I am assuming my partner will join me sometimes, sometimes my pug will be on there and I will occasionally have my nieces with me on the lake (this is only like once a year). I am leaning towards the Blackfin X but my only hesitation is that it would be annoying to have to reach out so far to paddle since it is 35″ wide? What are the main reasons someone would pick a Blackfin XL over the Blackfin X? I would love any advice you have to give on this! Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Elizabeth,

      If you are nervous about the reach out, then I would recommend going with the XL vs the X. It actually would be a little better as well for when your partner goes with you, as the weight limit is a little higher and you gain an extra 1′ in length. It’s also a little faster than the X when paddling in lakes and down slow moving rivers.

      If you are looking for something to take down any quicker moving sections of the river or any white water, then I would recommend the X as it’s a little more maneuverable and you’ll appreciate the extra width in that scenario.

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

      Reply
    • Scott,

      I would recommend looking at the Model XL, as it has just a little higher weight capacity (485 lbs vs 450). We have tested the Model X up to 500 lbs, so yes I do think that it would work for you – just think you would appreciate the extra volume that the XL gives you since it’s a foot longer than the X.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions!

      Reply
  15. Hi, I’m 38, 6ft and weigh in the region of 190lb. I’m looking at the blackfin x. I’m a complete beginner but quite sporty and active, should I have any concerns over the width of this board? Would there be any other board recommendations for me. I will be mostly using it on a river, maybe sometimes in the sea as well.
    Kind regards
    Pete.

    Reply
    • Peter,

      As a beginner you won’t have any problems with the Blackfin Model X. It’s a fantastic board, and one that I prefer to use on rivers vs some others given that it’s only 10’6 but still very wide and stable. That lets me maneuver the board as needed, but still have the stability to paddle from side to side and around rocks, trees, etc. in the river.

      I’m 5’11 and I don’t have a problem paddling the X. Yes, you have to reach over another inch or so vs the iRocker All-Around to keep your paddle vertical, but most people who try the blackfin have no issues with that. The only ones who do would be someone who really should be looking more at a touring board and wants something much skinnier to improve speed. Of course, as a beginner that becomes a problem since you then have stability issues – so you end up liking the Model X much better than a skinnier board because you can actually stand up and paddle. And again, in a river I do think you’ll love the X.

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

      Reply
  16. Thank you so much for responding to specific questions on review threads. I like that I can find a lot of answers to unique scenarios. I’ve been trigger shy on purchasing an isup and have been reading way too much on them for nearly two years while I watch the weight of my nieces grow , and I’m at the point where I have to pull the trigger and could use some support. I’m 5’5” 220lbs with such short arms that I have body envy for a t-rex’s reach. Its super important to me to take my niece out with me so she can appreciate the outdoors and always have a sense of adventure. Typically, this enjoyment comes from kayaking but she’s getting too big to ride with me (and always wants to bring a friend) and portage is usually a 1.5 mile hike to her favorite spot. I have oru foldable kayaks and need to expand my outdoor equipment but would prefer an Isup to be able to carry both (kayak and isup) to where we port in. Most of our water activities are rivers, reservoirs, and lakes. However, I hope an Isup would expand their horizons to the shore line (eventually, post COVID) as we live in area where both is readily available. When I’m out on my own, tracking and speed are my priority but with the girls (and the rivers) it’s stability and maneuverability. I like the kayak attachments to this model and the bluefin, but am hoping you can offer advice that balances the aforementioned goals (ability to transport being the least important but energy needed to transport 80 lbs of gear & inflate without electrical pump BEFORE the day even begins is def a consideration) The last thing that’s had me locked up, is that 70% of my treks, with or without the girls, are with one vehicle, and usually on the rivers, where ‘we’ (read I) paddle upstream first for usually 1-3 hours, and then coast back, so poor tracking can seriously limit us to where we can go. The kayak will always have enough space for any gear for longer trips so the board would never have more than one adult and a kid. I hope the kids take the kayaks and I can get the workout of the isup but when it’s just two of us, an Isup that can accommodate the weight is more ideal than two kayaks. I’ve spent literal entire evening scouring reviews and have almost bought this and the blue fin carbon fiber 12’ multiple times but every time I do, I instead spend more hours researching. HELP! Lol please.

    Reply
    • Kel,

      Looks like you have spent a lot of time on this! Sorry for the slow response (I’ve been traveling the last few days), are you still looking or would you still like a recommendation?

      Reply
  17. Hey there, thanks for the amazing review. I’m looking for a board for my husband and I, and torn between the All-Around vs Blackfin X/XL.

    My husband is 5 ft 9 in and 175-180lbs. He is intermediate skill level. I’m 5’4 and 130lbs, intermediate skill level. Typical use on lakes in Austin, with occasional small waves at the coast.

    For my husband, should I purchase the XL version? And for myself the X?

    Thanks so much,

    Reply
    • Ashley,

      I think that would be a great option for you to get the Model X, and your husband the Model XL. That gives you 2 great boards that are just a little bit different, and you can switch things up if you want.

      Reply
  18. I am debating between the X and XL for use with my two young kids. Will the X be long enough to hold me and my two kids or should I go with the longer XL? We will be using this on local lakes and maybe the occasiona ocean bay.

    Thanks in advance for your help.

    Reply
    • Scott,

      Yes, the Model X fits 2 kids (I’ve fit 3 + me on that board). However, I do prefer the XL when I’m taking out more than 1 of my kids because of the extra space.

      Reply
  19. Versatility

    9

    Construction

    9.5

    Stability

    9.5

    Appearance

    10

    Performance

    9.5

    I bought my Blackfin X a month ago, I am 5’9” and around 192 lbs.
    I am a beginner, and I can just say, this is an amazing paddle board, I was concern about the stability but it works excellent, high quality SUP.
    My only complaint is the action mount, those comes with a thread size of 8 mm, I cannot find any place to buy a mount for my Gopro since this and most of the mounts come with 1/4”-20 to do not say all.
    Irocker does not have in stock this mount, and I have been trying to get the M8 mount in different stores and online without success.
    My point is, why you decide to go with M8 instead 1/4”-20, make easy the life of your customers, it will create a fantastic loyalty to Irocker, for some of you it could be a small detail, but details weight at the moment to make a decision.
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Javier,

      Great point! I’ll be sure to pass that info along to iRocker, as they are always very welcoming of solid feedback like this! I’ll also reach out if I can figure out a solution for you. We always get the accessories sent to us (rough life, I know), so I haven’t had to search for a gopro mount yet…but will do so now!

      Reply
  20. I’m looking for an isup that is capable of doing some whitewater and has a good kayak setup option. I’m a beginner but I want to grow into something and I want to have an isup that is versatile. It should be stable and track well but also not drag too much, be capable of a little bit of touring and small surfing, and also be durable enough to do some whitewater river adventures (it likely won’t be as good as an IK but…). Basically I want one water based item (an isup) that can accommodate trying out lots of different things (i didnt mention things like yoga or just having a lazy day on calm water because I assume all isups are good for that for the most part).

    Which of the isups on this list do you think fit the bill?

    Reply
    • Manuel,

      I would recommend the Blackfin Model X 100%. It’s a great board for just about everything, from paddling around the lake to whitewater SUPing. At 10’6 it would also be ok for small surfing, and is super durable with the triple layer composite PVC + carbon fiber rails. Basically, that’s the reason we ranked it our top-rated all-around SUP for 2020. Really the only drawback to the Model X is that at 35″ wide you do get a little more drag than you would on a 32″ board. However, that additional drag is slight and if you are wanting a board to do some whitewater SUPing, then you really do want something that wide.

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

      Reply

Leave a Comment