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BLACKFIN Model X Review, 2024

Blackfin Model X Inflatable SUP

9.8

Overall Rating

9.8/10

Pros

  • Super stable board with a high weight capacity (450 lbs), making this a great board for a beginner, larger paddler, or paddler wanting to load up with cargo, pets, and/or kids.
  • Faster than we expected for such a wide, stable iSUP.
  • Rigid and durable thanks to the triple-layer composite PVC and added carbon fiber rail. Improved rail construction features closer, tighter seams for a more uniform and stronger bond.
  • Extra wide (35’’) so you can reel in a big fish without tipping over; its deck pad is full of action mounts and Scotty mounts for sand spears, fishing poles, fishing racks, and other gadgets.
  • Simple to use click-in and locking 2+1 fin system. Now there is no need to worry about losing a fin!
  • These boards look awesome and there are 6 different color options to choose from!
  • Great features and accessories, from nice, grippy deck pads to removable bungees.

Cons

  • We still would like to see a Blackfin option that doesn't include the Scotty mounts or finds a way to move them more to the outside edge of the board. These don't get in the way at all while paddling, but can get in the way if you're trying to do yoga or paddle with 2 people on board.

Meant for easy paddling, vibing, and/or action-packed days on the water, the Blackfin Model X has something for everyone.

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The Blackfin Model X has already been known as an excellent all-around board; it has largely stayed atop our recommendations as one of the best SUPs for most any paddler, but it’s due for another review because the 2024 model is even more rigid and higher-performing than the previous years! Oh, and now you can get it in pink! (If you’re not as excited about pink as I am, feel free to choose one of the other five color options).

As a 10’6 x 35’’ board, it’s generally short and wide, making it not only super stable but also highly maneuverable. Its deck pad is decorated with action mounts so you can hook up anything from a sand spear to an entire fishing rack. It’s very family-friendly and keeps the kiddos in mind with the removable grab handles that are on the (also removable) cargo bungee areas. Not to mention, those cargo areas can hold a lot of stuff!

And just in case you keep reelin’ in 10 lb fish, the Blackfin Model X has a 450 lb weight capacity. Or, perhaps you just want to take out a cooler and a few bodies (furry friend or a child!) for a fun picnic on the water.

Regardless of how you load it up, on the Blackfin Model X, you will feel prepared to take on the water even as a new paddler and thoroughly enjoy yourself.

We think the Blackfin Model X would be a great SUP for paddlers who:

  • Want a wide, stable, all-around iSUP that is high-quality and meant for a lot of day-to-day use: whether it be cruising on the lake, loading up with gear for long paddle adventures, or even fishing at your favorite watering hole.
  • Like a board that can hold a lot of weight: this SUP has a 450 lb weight capacity and works great for paddling with gear and/or kids or pets
  • Want something that’s a looker! It’s got a great design and 6 different color options that all pop!

Blackfin Model X: Spec Sheet

Blackfin Model X iSUP color
This is the ‘Sunburst’ color option for the Blackfin Model X. As a team, this is one of our favorite color options.
  • Main Category: All-around
  • Board Dimensions: 10’6 x 35’’ x 6’’
  • Listed Board Weight: 27 lbs
  • Listed Max Capacity: 450 lb
  • Recommended PSI: 16
  • Fins: 2+1 click in lock fins
  • Paddle: Not included in kit, can be added at checkout
  • Materials: PVC, carbon fiber
  • Warranty: 2 years general manufacturer, 3 years seams, 1-year accessories

Performance Review of the Blackfin Model X Stand Up Paddle Board

Blackfin Model X All Around SUP
This is an awesome all-around SUP that performed better than expected in our speed tests.
Blackfin Model X Yoga Pose
It’s stable enough that it can act like a yoga SUP (although I did step on the Scotty mounts when doing downward dog pose)
Blackfin Model X Construction
The high-quality construction makes this SUP smooth and enjoyable to ride

Overall Score: [9.8/10]

  • Stability: 9.8/10
  • Speed: 9/10
  • Tracking: 8.9/10
  • Maneuverability: 8.8/10
  • Construction Quality: 9.7/10
  • Features/Accessories: 9.7/10

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Stability Rating: [9.8/10]

Blackfin Model X Stability
The Blackfin Model X is one of the most stable iSUPs on the market today.

It came as no surprise to us that the Blackfin Model X was a highly stable board for our entire crew, even the less experienced paddlers. The board closely replicates the shape and size of an average all-around style board (short and oval shaped), but it is extra wide (35’’ total) which adds to its stability and allows newer paddlers to quickly find their balance. Also, the tail is squared-off and only tapers to 19’’ inches. That gives it a nice wide surface to flatly rest on the water as well as a large volume of 237 L for a high weight capacity of 450 lbs.

Additionally, the construction is very high-quality, with rails that are improved for greater stiffness and longevity of the board.

Considering the Blackfin Model X has lots of room for cargo, many action mounts, and a high weight capacity, we are stoked that it’s stable enough for newer paddlers to feel balanced right off the bat. We think this makes it a great choice if you are hoping to take this SUP out adventuring with gear or your child without having to worry about a learning curve regarding board stability.

Because this board is very similar to its ‘larger sibling’ the Blackfin XL, you may be wondering which board is more stable. The X is one foot shorter than the XL but 1” wider, and for us, it’s a toss-up when it comes to stability. We found the XL to be more stable when carrying an extra large load of gear (think for overnight adventures), but otherwise, they are neck and neck stability-wise.

Speed Test: 8.6/10

Blackfin Model X Speed Test
The Blackfin Model X surprised us with how fast it was on the water even when it’s only 10’6″ in length.
Top Sprint Speed:5.35 MPH
Average Cruising Speed:3.8 MPH
SUP Board Guide’s Speed Testing:
To obtain our speed test results, we use a Speed Coach Sup 2. This gives us accurate readings on how fast we are paddling and our current stroke rates. For the top sprint speed, we paddle as hard as we can for approximately 10-15 seconds and then record our average speed. For the casual test, we paddle at 40-35 strokes per minute for approximately 30-60 seconds and record the average speed.

We were impressed with how well the Blackfin Model X performed in our speed tests. A 5.35 MPH sprint is comparable to some of the other lighter-weight, thinner, all-around SUPs we have tested. While we weren’t necessarily expecting a boost in speed from last year’s version to this year’s, we were proven wrong. We actually did notice a slight speed improvement and after analyzing the results we concluded that the improved rail construction on the board is what we can attest to the improvement in speed.

This comes down to the fact that the improved rails decreased the amount of flex in the board (see the bend test below) and in turn gives the board an ever-so-slight smoother glide. And a better glide correlates to higher speeds.

Side note: we conducted our speed test without any extra cargo or people on board, so don’t expect to go 5.35 MPH while you’re paddling with your cooler full of drinks. But if you do, then definitely let us know in the comments!

Tracking: 8.8/10

Blackfin Model X Tracking
Even at 35’’ wide you can move in a straight line without having to switch sides too often.
Blackfin Model X Fins
You can choose which fins you keep clicked in! If you’re in shallow water, go ahead and just use the small fins.

Generally, a shorter and wider board has high maneuverability, which can be a tradeoff to its tracking. But we find that the shape and size combined with its 2+1 fin setup help to balance that tradeoff and allow the Blackfin Model X to perform well in both categories. No, the Model X doesn’t perform as well as the XL when it comes to tracking, but that’s to be expected given it’s a full one foot shorter and 1” wider.

However, it still is one of the better 10’6 x 35” iSUPs that we have tested in terms of tracking and should not discourage anyone from buying.

Maneuverability: 9.2/10

Blackfin Model X Step Back Turn
Lifting the nose out of the water is easy since it’s on the shorter side – look how high Justin got it!
Blackfin Model X Maneuverability
You will have no problems with changing the direction of this SUP – it’s meant to move.

As I mentioned above, a short and wide board tends to have higher maneuverability. And the Blackfin Model X lives up to that. We noticed that this SUP has better maneuverability than the Blackfin Model XL, as it’s a foot shorter.

When I went out for a paddle on this board, I was able to maneuver my way into a small opening in the shrubs that surrounded an underwater sandstone rock. From far away the water above the rock looked crystal clear, so I wanted to get closer and check it out. It was easy to paddle my way in there and hang out for a bit. It’s nice that this board is only 10’6’’ long because it can maneuver its way into smaller, off-the-beaten-path places for some solo rest and relaxation.

Also, with the Blackfin Model X, it’s pretty easy to lift the nose out of the water, change directions with back sweeps, avoid a shrub, or make small directional changes with short quick paddle strokes. It only took us on average 4 back sweeps to turn the board a full 360 degrees.

Construction Quality: 9.7/10

Blackfin Model X Deck Pad
The elongated cuts in the deck pad are as aesthetically pleasing as they are functional
Blackfin Model X fin locks
The locking system is super simple to use, you just click the plastic pin into place and turn it clockwise to lock it.
Blackfin Model X deck pad
We like how the deck pad extends to the tail of the board yet it switches patterns and colors. Blackfin keeps it interesting.
Blackfin Model X carbon fiber rail
The carbon fiber rail can be seen as the raised ridge that runs along the sides of the board.

The Blackfin Model X is constructed with a high-density, V-knitted drop stitch core with non-resined carbon fiber rails. This means the fabric base layer(s) is knitted patterned and the nylon threads that make up the inner chamber of the board (and allow it to be inflated into a board shape and not balloon out) join together in a V-pattern. iRocker uses this construction method with all their Blackfin SUPs, with the exception of the Blackfin Ultra CX (which used x-woven dropstitch for the inner core).

From last year to this year, iRocker made an improvement to the construction of the board rails by bringing the top and bottom layers closer together before overlaying and gluing on the PVC and carbon fiber rails. I’ve mentioned throughout this Blackfin Model X review how this improvement has shown us better results across all of our testings, and we are very happy to see this improvement.

Additionally, with all of their Blackfin boards, iRocker claims to have slowed down their entire construction process to ensure quality and longevity. The eye and feel test on our end certainly backs that up. We can see the clean, tight lines, and feel the increased rigidity in the board throughout all of our on-the-water tests.

Overall, we notice that the Blackfin Model X performs very well even when it is loaded up close to its maximum capacity. We think this attests to not only its awesome shape and design but also how it’s constructed. With high-quality construction, the less flex or bend a board has, the more it can hold up under high weights without having a ‘taco’ effect and throwing the paddler off balance.

Board Stiffness:

Blackfin Model X iSUP Bend test
Before 150 lbs of sand bags were placed on top…
Blackfin Model X iSUP bend test after
And after! It bent 0.875 inches. That’s a clear improvement from last year’s model!

Stiffness Test: 0.875” Bend

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

The Blackfin Model X only bent 0.875 inches!

Last year, it bent 1 inch.

We love when we see a clear improvement in our bend test because it allows us to feel confident in the technological advancements the company makes to the SUPs. In this case, the improved rail construction has created a Blackfin Model X that is more rigid.

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Features/Accessory Review: [9.7/10]

Features:

Blackfin Model X features
All of the black features you see here are some type of action-oriented bonus: grab handles on the bungee cargo areas, action mounts, and Scotty mounts!
Blackfin Model X bottom profile

This board is meant for adventure. By just looking at the pictures, you can tell that it has a lot of action mounts and bungee cords that are ready to be put to good use.

On the nose, there is a large bungee cargo area that can fit multiple dry bags (for camping gear), as well as any other items you might want to bring along (cooler, water bottles, etc). It’s also removable so if you don’t want to bring any gear and you’d rather have a smooth surface for your pup to lay on, go for it. The cargo bungee area on the tail mimics the design on the nose.

Running along the sides of the board, there are four D-rings that can be used to rig up a kayak seat or used to strap down additional cargo. We noticed that iRocker decided to eliminate two of the D-rings this year, however, the kayak seat still rigs up to the D-rings very quickly and easily. We like how the kayak seat attachments use bolt snap hooks to secure them into place. We used iRockers kayak booster seat option, but if you’re looking for an inflatable kayak seat, that option is also available on the iRocker website.

There is an additional D-ring on the tail of the SUP that is useful for hooking your leash up to, and on the underside of the nose that you can use for towing.

The Scotty mounts are perfectly aligned to be compatible with iRockers fishing rack. So, if you’re on a mission to catch a lot of fish, we recommend purchasing the rack! There are also a few integrated accessory mounts that work great for gadgets like a GoPro, a smartphone, or even a selfie stick.

And let’s not forget the sand spear mounts!

Justin and I spent a lot of time on this board to get a shorter and taller paddler’s perspective. When discussing, we found ourselves going back and forth on if we loved all of the features, or wanted some of the action mounts moved out of the way. Ideally, we’d love iRocker to find a way to move the two rear action mounts to the side like they do at the front of the board. Also, it would be great if they could find a way to move the Scotty mounts out of the way, but we aren’t sure that’s possible and we realized that’s more of an “on-land” observation rather than an on-the-water problem. Personally, I stepped on the Scotty mounts a few times while going into a downward dog yoga position, but it felt more like a friendly reminder to start more forward on the board than it did a hindrance.

I also want to point out that the EVA deck pad on the Blackfin Model X is super comfortable and grippy when it gets wet. We love how it is designed with the embossed Blackfin logo and elongated cuts that make it easy for the water to drain off the board. Not to mention the sleek and shiny colors that are carefully added to make it an even more family-friendly and exciting SUP to paddle.

Included Accessories:

Blackfin Model X locking fins
The locking system is fixed to the Fin so all you have to do is put it into its designated spot on the side of the fin and twist it clockwise to lock it into place.
Blackfin Model X downward dog
In this picture, my feet are on top of the Scotty mounts, but you can also tell that I am too far back on the board.
Blackfin Model X Scotty Mounts
The Scotty Mounts are set up for iRockers fishing rack. If only I could catch that many fish…

When you purchase the Blackfin Model X, you also get the three flip-lock tethered fins and a repair kit.

The flip lock fins are new and improved on this model because they now have a tethered locking device, which gives them another level of security even after being clicked in! It is a super user-friendly system and as a team, we really like it, especially for these Blackfin boards because it adds to their family-friendliness. Your kids will be able to click these fins in easily and lock them into place so you won’t have to worry about them falling out. To lock them in, you just take the locking pin and fit it into its designated spot (clearly marked on the fin) and then turn it clockwise until it locks into place! It takes all of 15 seconds per fin.

The Blackfin Model X does not come with a paddle, pump, or a leash, so be sure to bundle those at checkout if you want (they do force you to add a leash, which we 100% agree with). This helps keep the price of the board down and helps to reduce waste for those who already have a paddle and pump and do not want/need an extra one.

It also does not come with a SUP bag. When discussing this as a team, we kept coming to two different conclusions. On one hand, not having a bag poses the issue of transportation. But on the other hand, it keeps the cost of the board down compared to a lot of other brands that also produce high-quality boards, and it makes it a slimmer set-up for storage. From personal experience, I do not need a bag and I feel as if it is easier for me to put the board in my car without one and drive to the water to get started even quicker. In the opinion of one of our other testers, he thinks that a bag is necessary especially when he is going to the lake with his family and has a lot of extra stuff. So, overall, it depends on your personal preference and if you do want a bag, make sure you bundle that at checkout!

Summary Review of the Blackfin Model X – 2024

Blackfin Model X Review Summary
I love that the Blackfin Model X is wide and stable + performs well so I can do yoga or paddle distances

The Blackfin Model X has a lot going for it and that’s not just because it comes in a multitude of awesome colors. It’s a rigid, sturdy, high-quality, and family-friendly SUP that has a bit of everything so anybody can take it out and enjoy themselves.

While it performs well and is stable on the water due to its design and new and improved rail construction, it is also decorated with fishing and action mounts so it’s suited up for a day of adventuring. If you have good luck when it comes to fishing, we encourage you to buy iRockers fishing rack that hooks right into the Scotty mounts that are already adhered to the deck.

At 10’6’’ x 6’’ x 35’’, it has 237 liters of volume so it can hold up to 450 lbs of weight. That’s great news for larger paddlers and/or paddlers who plan to load up their SUP! Whether you want to bring out a kid, a dog, or enough supplies for long adventures, this SUP has you covered.

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

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Justin - Chief Paddler

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.

59 thoughts on “BLACKFIN Model X Review, 2024”

  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. Overall Rating

    9

    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
  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.

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  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.

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  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

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  25. Overall Rating

    8.5

    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!

    Reply
    • 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.

      Reply
  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!

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  27. Overall Rating

    10

    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!

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply

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