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BLACKFIN Model X Review

Blackfin Model X Inflatable SUP


Overall Rating



  • High quality, durable construction (carbon fiber rails, triple layer PVC)
  • Stable + very high weight capacity
  • Tons of d-rings, action mounts - can even be a great fishing SUP now!
  • Paddles great in a variety of conditions
  • Great for large paddlers and carrying gear/kids with you
  • 2 year warranty + 60 day return period


  • No US fin box. However, the snap-lock fins are super easy, and the river fin system is available
  • Can be a little wide for smaller paddlers who don't need the extra stability

Every year we get stoked to review the Blackfin Model X. It’s a board that continually ranks at the top of our best inflatable SUP list and for good reason. With it’s triple layer composite PVC construction, carbon fiber supported rails, and 35” width it’s a board that is fantastic for beginner and recreational paddlers looking for a very stable SUP, for intermediate to advanced paddlers looking for something capable of paddling down a river, for family paddlers who want to put kids and gear on with them, and even for SUP fishers who need a board that has tons of action and accessory mounts to make their fishing expeditions fun.

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It’s just a solid all around SUP that fits really nicely with a large portion of the population (beginner, recreational paddlers) we see getting into stand up paddle boarding right now:

  • Those who want a super stable, high quality iSUP that will last a long time
  • Someone looking for an all around board that will do really well in a variety of water conditions
  • Larger individuals (height above 6’, weight above 200 lbs), or those looking to paddle with kids or a lot of gear
  • Advanced paddlers looking for a great whitewater river SUP
  • Anglers who want an iSUP with the ability to easily connect and carry their gear for a long, fun day of fishing

We think the Model X is great for the following water conditions/situations:

  • Flat water paddling (lakes, bays, marinas, etc.)
  • River SUPing
  • SUP Fishing
  • Ocean paddling
  • Surfing in small surf (1-3 ft)

Blackfin Model X Review Overview

The Blackfin Model X got a brand new look alongside a few nice upgrades. Overall, iRocker took a fantastic iSUP and made it even better. I’m personally a big fan of the new look and how they made the board available in so many different colors. When the board is looked at overhead or from the side, I’m seeing almost a fish scale type graphic popping out that just makes me want to get out on the water and gives the board a really nice look.

Blackfin Model X Review 2023

Note: We have put a ton of hours paddling the Blackfin Model X. This review of the Blackfin Model X is NOT a spec review like you see on so many other websites. It’s an actual review, and our recommendations are based on the results from our testing process. As such, if you have any questions about this SUP, please contact us or drop your question in the comments below. We are happy to help you determine if this is the right paddle board for you.

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Blackfin Model X: Spec Sheet

CategoryAll Around, Inflatable
Board ShapeAll Around
Board Dimensions10’6” x 35” x 6”
Listed Board Weight27 lbs
Listed Max Capacity450 lbs
Recommended PSI14-18 PSI
FinsNylon, triple flip lock, removable
Paddle TypeFull carbon shaft + Nylon blade
MaterialsTriple layer composite PVC, carbon-fiber reinforced rails, high density drop stitch inner core
Price RangeMedium High
Warranty2 yrs + 1 yr for accessories

Official Test Results: Blackfin Model X

Below you will see the results of our in-house tests for the Model X. Our goal with these tests is to verify what the manufacturer claims so a consumer can see how the board performs vs similar boards in real-world situations.

In-House Measurements:

Board ShapeAll Around
Tail Width12”
Nose Width8.5”
Nose Rocker13.1°
Weight26.4 lbs
Tested Capacity:Coming Soon

Overall Score: 9.8

As an all-around inflatable SUP, we found the Blackfin to perform exceptionally well and has earned our top honors for one of our best all-around iSUPs of 2022. As an all-around iSUP, the Model X performs at the top of the list when it comes to stability and versatility. At only 10’6” long and 35” wide, this isn’t the fastest iSUP of the Blackfin Lineup. That honor goes to the Model V as the touring option. However, as an all-around iSUP, the Blackfin earns some of our top honors.

  • Stability: 9.8/10

  • Speed: 8/10 (above expectations for an all-around iSUP)

  • Glide: 8/10 (above expectations)

  • Tracking: 8/10 (slightly above expectations)

  • Board Stiffness: 9.8/10 (excellent)

  • Weight Capacity: 9.8/10 (excellent)

  • Construction Quality: 9.5/10 (excellent)

  • Accessories: 9.5/10 (excellent)

*Please keep in mind that we don’t award 10’s like you see in the NBA dunk contest. If a board earns a 9, that is considered exceptional a far above expectations. A 7 is also considered above average/expectations and is a very good score.

Our overall rating of 9.8 on the Blackfin Model X is us saying this is one of, if not the best, all-around inflatable SUPs

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

Performance Review: Speed, Glide, Tracking, and Maneuverability

As you can see in the results below, the Blackfin Model X performed exceptionally well in all of our tests. Remember, our goals with these tests are to help our readers figure out what is the best SUP for them and their needs, and to provide solid feedback to brands like iRocker so they can continue to improve their boards every year.

With that being stated, we think it’s important to recognize and give proper kudos to iRocker in that they really do listen to us and to our readers. Every year they are improving their boards based on our feedback, and we think the quality of their Blackfin Model X reflects this.

Speed Test

You’ll notice that the Blackfin Model X is not the fastest Blackfin Model iSUP in their lineup. If you are looking primarily for speed, then you are going to be looking more at the Model V than the X. When compared to the iRocker lineup, we found the Blackfin to be faster than the 10’ All Around and the Cruiser, and just a little slower than the 11’ All Around and Sport Models.

At 35” wide and just 10’6, we found this board to fit squarely within the ‘All Around’ iSUP category in terms of speed. When compared to other all around iSUPs, the Model X performed quite well in terms of speed, and I’d say a little faster than what we would expect from a board this wide and short.

Glide Test

Average Distance Per Stroke:

(results to be posted soon)

We’ll have all our glide test results posted soon (so stay tuned). However, from a feel perspective, I always love paddling the Blackfin boards. The solid board construction (dual layer PVC, high density woven drop stitch, carbon fiber rails) gives the board a very nice, solid feel. It also helps the board maintain its shape and glide through the water efficiently. This is not a flimsy inflatable, it’s a well built iSUP that we find to be on par with performance level boards that cost several hundred more.


The Blackfin Model X tracks very well for a 10’6 x 35” iSUP. No, it doesn’t track as well as the 12’6 Model V, but that is to be expected as this is an all around SUP and not a dedicated touring board like the V. We really like the triple fin setup. While a single fin would be slightly faster, we do appreciate the increased stability that 3 fins provides.

One note – the Model X is 35” wide, which does make it slightly harder to maintain a vertical paddle and you end up sliding the paddle against the side rail at times, especially for shorter paddlers. This can affect your stroke, and also your tracking. If this is a concern, then we do recommend looking at the Model V or the iRocker All Around 11, as they are 32” wide iSUPs. You can also look at the Model XL, as that is 34” wide. Going from 35” to 32” cuts off 1 ½” of reach, so taller individuals with broad shoulders won’t notice this as much.


Where the Model X shines in the Blackfin lineup is with maneuverability. At only 10’6” in length, and with a 10” tail, it’s very easy and comfortable for a paddler to step to the tail, lift the nose, and turn on a dime. It’s also easier to paddle around rocks in a river than is it on longer iSUPs like the Model V.

This is why the Model X is one of our top recommended iSUPs for river paddling, as that maneuverability is required to safely navigate those kinds of waters. The maneuverability also makes this a great board to paddle around with kids or just a leisure day out on the lake by yourself.

Board Stiffness

Stiffness Test:

1” Bend (board on top of saw horses placed 7’ apart, with 150 lbs of weight added right by handle in middle of the board)

There is a lot of debate in the SUP world about carbon fiber rails on inflatable paddle boards. Most industry experts seem to lean to the thought that adding carbon fiber to an inflatable is worthless and just makes the board harder to roll up.

From our tests, we are finding that the data says the carbon fiber rails does help improve stiffness. We found the Blackfin boards to be more firm than their iRocker counterparts, which don’t have the carbon fiber rails. Yes, the Blackfin Model X is wider than the iRocker All Arounds, but we even found the 32” wide Model V to be more firm than the 32” wide iRockers. Also, the Blackfin lineup tested as one of the stiffest lineups, in line with other iSUPs that have carbon fiber rails.

Bottom line here – this is about as stiff as you get with an inflatable SUP, and it feels very solid in the water. We do think the 2 extra layers of PVC + carbon fiber layer on the rails helps improve stiffness and feel on the water and hope to see this continue on future Blackfin models.

Weight Capacity:

Listed Weight Capacity:

450 lbs

Tested Capacity:

(coming soon)

If you need a high performance iSUP that has a high weight capacity, you will love the Blackfin Model X. In past years I have paddled with 2 other large adults onboard the Model X with me, and the board was able to carry that weight. Yes, the board slows down as you approach that 450 lb capacity, but it will stay afloat. I’ll also say that the board still performs quite well with me + one of my teenagers sitting on the board in front of me (so about 250-280 lbs of slightly distributed weight).

There isn’t an inflatable SUP we’ve tested yet that is much better than the Model X in terms of weight capacity. Bluefin SUPs do a fantastic job as well, and so does Thurso. However, neither of those brands have a 35” wide SUP and you have to go to the 12’ Cruise Carbon to get to the same capacity as you do with the 10’6 Blackfin Model X.

Bottom line – if you need a board that can support you + a kid (or two, depending on their size), or some gear, then the Model X is a great option. You can also look at the Model XL, which has an even higher weight capacity if you think you might need that.

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Construction Quality: 9.5

The Blackfin Model X is made with a high density, woven drop stitch core that is attached to a fabric layer on all sides. It is then wrapped by 3 layers of dedicated PVC + a carbon fiber mesh side rail.

There is a lot of discussion in the SUP community about construction, materials, etc. when it comes to inflatable SUPs. I’ve had several people try to call out Blackfin and state that they are not using an actual triple layer composite PVC around the drop stitch core.

However, when I’m paddling the Model X it does have a solid feel to it that many other boards just don’t have. In talking with the founders over at iRocker, they explained why their boards have such a solid feel – it’s because they actually apply 3 distinct layers of PVC to the board. The 1st and 3rd layers are solid PVC layers, and the middle layer is a mesh PVC. This mesh PVC layer I think is genius, as it cuts down on the weight of the Blackfin lineup (last year is when they went to this construction and cut weight by around 20%) but still gives the board a solid feel. You see the results in our bend test, and I can feel the results when I’m paddling.

The deckpad is a comfortable yet grippy EVA foam with deep cut lines to help water run off the board, and we really like the small Blackfin logos that are stamped into the pad. They look great and also add a little bit of grip.

There is nothing cheap feeling about the Blackfin, and our team at SupBoardGuide feels that the Blackfin lineup earns all the accolades it gets for construction quality and is worth the cost of the board. This board is going to last a long time, and we have never had any issues with the Blackfin models we’ve tested (and we still have the 2019 board they sent us almost 3 years ago and lend that board out to anyone who wants to take it out, it’s been through the ringer).

Accessories: 9.5

Accessories is another area where Blackfin shines. When you purchase a Blackfin Model X you get the following in the kit:

  • 3 piece carbon fiber shaft, nylon blade paddle
  • Dual chamber, triple action pump
  • 10’ lease
  • 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)

Essentially, you have everything you need to get out on the water and start paddling from day one.

Paddle: 8/10

We like the new Blackfin paddle that comes included in the Model X kit. With the paddle, you get a matte carbon-fiber shaft and nylon blade.

The shaft feels nice and comfortable while paddling, and the thin nylon blade keeps the paddle lightweight. For a kit-standard paddle, this is on the nicer end of things.

There are two small improvements we’d like to see iRocker make with their paddles, however:

  • Add a clamp in addition to the pin lock where the shafts connect. There is a very slight amount of twist to the paddle that could be gotten rid of with such a clamp.
  • Add a tracking/guide slot on the inside of the paddle. This would also help reduce any twisting of the shaft and improve paddling slightly.

Of course, if you are someone who is as particular as I am about paddles, then you are most likely going to want to purchase an aftermarket paddle that is sized perfectly for you (this is why a lot of the higher end, performance brands don’t include a paddle in their kits).

Pump: 9/10

While we love the dual chamber, triple action pump that comes in the kit, we can’t recommend enough upgrading to the electric pump by iRocker.

iRocker’s electric pump is (so far) our favorite available on the market today.

Of course, if you want the workout, then this triple action pump will do a great job. It pumps up the board very fast, is well built, and is a great pump to have around as a backup if you do end up purchasing the electric pump.

Backpack: 9/10

The Blackfin backpack is a great backpack for your iSUP. It’s padding is comfortable, there are lots of adjustable straps, and even more extra pockets to organize and carry about anything you might 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 (great for keys or other small items)
  • Large front compartment (where I like to keep the pump and leash)
  • Top zipper compartment (fits the iRocker electric pump)
  • Side and top carry handles
  • Bungee front straps

Optional Accessories

iRocker offers almost too many accessories to list. With the 20 d-ring attachments, 8 multi-use action mounts, sand spear mount, and fishing rack mount, you can customize your Blackfin any way you would like to.

Some of the more noteworthy accessories you can add onto the Blackfin lineup includes:

  • Electric Pump
  • Sand Spear/Push Pole
  • Fishing Rack
  • R

  • iver 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)

Summary Review of the Blackfin Model X

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As you can see from our review, we are pretty big fans of the Blackfin Model X. It’s a fantastic all-around SUP that has great stability and maneuverability, while also tracking and gliding very well. The Model X is constructed using high quality materials, and is backed with a 2 year warranty by iRocker, one of the most respected brands in the inflatable SUP world.

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

Happy paddling!

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Justin - Chief Paddler

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

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60 thoughts on “BLACKFIN Model X Review”

  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).

    • 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.

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

  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″.

    • 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.


  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.

    • 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!

  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?

  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.


    • 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!

  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.

    • 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!

  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.

  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)

    • 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!

  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?

    • 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!

  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?

    • 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!

      • 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!

        • 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!

  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!

    • 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!

  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!

  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!

    • 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!

    • 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!

  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

    • 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!

  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.

    • 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?

  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,

    • 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.

  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.

    • 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.

  19. Overall Rating


    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.

    • 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!

  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?

    • 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!

  21. This looks like a great product, but I’m a little disappointed that the only video shows a flat lake on a still day. If it’s really a good all around, I’d like to see it in use on a river and particularly on more open saltwater. Not surfing exactly, just managing some waves.

    • Pamela,

      I agree! I’d love to get out and do some videos in some chop and whitewater. COVID has made things much harder this past year, but I’m hoping to get out more this season as things open up and traveling is a bit easier. I will say, that I have liked this board both in some gentle whitewater (haven’t taken it down anything too crazy yet), and also in small surf. I personally love the 10’6 length and 35″ width for those activities as I can maneuver the board easily, but it still provides nice stability.

  22. I’m looking for a board that I can fish off of, but that will also hold up to scraping against lots of rocks in class II-III whitewater. Do you think the Model X has that kind of durability? Thanks.

    • Levi,

      Yes, the Model X is a very durable board. While there is some debate as to weather carbon fiber rails add stiffness (from our testing it appears to do so), I will say that the carbon fiber rails add durability in situations where your bumping up against rocks.

      Hope that helps!

  23. Thank you for your fantastic reviews! As a 5’0, 116lb petite woman, I’m wondering if this board would be too wide for me. I’d like to use my board for yoga and casually hanging out with friends, so speed isn’t a priority.

    • Marti,

      If you are using the board mostly for recreation and casual paddling, then the width will not be a big deal at all. It would come into play if you are going on longer touring adventures or trying to go as fast as possible. However, for cruising around with friends and doing yoga, this is a great SUP!

  24. So I’m 5’7”. 220lbs. Wide shoulders. I’m leaning towards the X. I’m a beginner. I like stability. Will be using mostly on lakes. Maybe fishing. Maybe taking it out a mile. Speed is not a factor. Would you recommend the x or xl

    • Nick,

      I think I’d recommend the XL for you, mainly due to the fishing. I think you’ll appreciate having that extra 1 foot in length with fishing gear. However, you would be more than happy with the Model X, so if the extra $$ is an issue, then go with that one.

      Hope that helps!

  25. Overall Rating


    Hi. I’m looking for a board that I can take on a river. No real whitewater, but do need to maneuver around a lot of downed trees. I’m 5′-11″ and about 180 lbs, a beginner, but generally athletic and pick stuff up quickly. I also kayak a lot. I was leaning towards the Model X, but iRocker told me that I’m too tall for it – they said it’s for people 5′-8″ or shorter and that I would be better off with the Model XL or the iRocker Cruiser or even the 11′ All Around. I’m not sure I follow their logic given the board specs, but they are the ones designing/making them. What do you think? I am likely also getting a second board for medium/large lakes with some chop. Leaning towards the XL for that board, but also considering the 11′ All-Around. Any recommendation? Thanks!

    • Bob,

      Do you know who the sales rep at iRocker was who said that? I’d love to discuss with them, as I would disagree completely. I’m almost your exact same size and I would choose the X over the XL for going down a river every time. The 10’6 length makes the board more nimble and maneuverable, which is what you need on the river.The XL can work, but I don’t think it would be the best option for your use case. For the lake/second board, I would actually recommend looking at the Model V. It would be a great compliment to the Model X, as it’s a touring board vs an all around. The V will be faster and will still be great in the lake chop.

  26. Hi , just had my first sup experience on a cheap budget rented board and I liked it a lot. So much that I am considering buying one myself. I was about to get a MOAI or Bluefin cruiser but then I came across the iRocker / blackfin boards and was very impressed with the possibilities on packing your stuff, placement of handles etc etc. I rather spend a bit more , extra quality makes it easier to learn and progress.

    I am 5’5-5’6 , about 130 lbs, looking for a board to use for family cruising and maybe when I get the hang of it do some recreational touring myself on daytrips. Like the idea being able to switch to kayaking when it gets windier and / or getting tired at the end of a session. Have youngsters as kids, so taking a youngster or a friend on the board along sounds great to me as well. Any suggestions for me? Kinda leaning towards the XL atm , but it is my first board and maybe the xl is a bit too much? The budget is not the problem though. Thanks!

    • Annick,

      I would recommend the Model V over the XL given that you want to eventually get into recreational touring. The XL is a fantastic all-around (it’s the one board I take if I have just one to choose), but the Model V is a little bit faster, and at your height/weight you won’t need the extra width for everything you are looking to do.

      I hope that helps!

  27. Overall Rating


    Hi thank you so much for your great review and video – I found the comparison review of all inflatable SUP which is great, it has helped me a lot with my decision making. I am in Australia so our stock is different to what you have over there in the US, think these brands and Bote are all new to Australia. I have a carbon fibre SUP currently (new, used it once) but it is 9 foot 6 inches and coming from a big stable hard SUP (which I love but find it too hard to manage on my own) I just didn’t like it, I take my dog with me and found it too small for both of us and too unstable. So I am looking at selling it and now looking at the Blackfin as I also fish and kayak (but my kayak is heavy and difficult for me to get it on and off the roof racks of the car on my own) so the Blackfin looks like a great option for me that I can manage and easier for travelling (car and I have a camper trailer). So my question is I am a female 60kg and about 165cm tall, my dog is an Australian Kelpie she is about 18kg so I am unsure if I should get the X or XL of the Blackfin please? We paddle in the bay/river side of the ocean (not waves) big area but the wind does get up, lots of jet skis and boats so get boat roll and the tides are strong and fast there – we try to time it with the tides and wind however that does not always work! I carry gear as I paddle to sand islands for my dog with friends and we carry a lot of water for the dogs and lunch for us too. When I travel I plan to use it then in bay/river side of ocean at places or at big dams/rivers no rapids etc. Any assistance be greatly appreciated. Also is the 2020 model ok too of the Blackfin X or XL please, much difference to the 2021 model? as I have found they are on sale on our Aus website (the 2021 model is more expensive). Thank you so much!

    • Hello! Given that you are looking to carry gear + the dog, I’d recommend going with the XL. I don’t think your going to be sad that you have that extra 1 foot of length, as it makes the board a little faster and gives you more space.

      As far as the 2020 vs 2021 models go, if you can still get a 2020 model I’d go for it. They did update a few things in 2021, but the 2020 version is very similar.

      Hope that helps!

  28. Yes, the Model X is a very durable board. While there is some debate as to weather carbon fiber rails add stiffness, I will say that the carbon fiber rails add durability in situations where your bumping up against rocks. It helps a lot. Thanks for posting it


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