iRocker Blackfin Model X
While in the past the line between standard iRocker and Blackfin has been fairly straight forward, how do continue to make that differentiation when the other iRocker boards themselves are becoming more and more premium? Surprisingly, they find a way and the 2020 Blackfin Model X is a perfect example of this.
- Ultra premium accessories included
- Able to accommodate additional accessories that other iRocker boards can’t
- Carbon reinforced rails
- Super stable
- Solid Build
- D-ring attachments
- Multi-purpose fin box
- Available in 3 color options
- Includes everything you need to start paddling
- Upgraded accessory package
- 2 year warranty + 60 day money back guarantee
- Free Shipping Included
- Responsive customer service
- More expensive than other iRocker boards
- Rounded shape brings down speed
- Heavier than most iSUPs of the same length
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From the moment you pull this SUP from the box, you can feel that it’s different. Once you get it on the water, that feeling doesn’t go away. Even though this isn’t the fastest thing on the water by any means, the Model X feels like velvet on the water. Just about anybody can get on board and get moving because of the extreme stability you get with a board that comes in a 35”. Beyond just helping you not fall off the board, this stability opens up a world of possibilities from bringing along more passengers to performing yoga to fishing, but we’ll cover that more in another section.
Another standout of this SUP is just how maneuverable it is. Since the Model X is relatively short and stout plus a few other factors such as the fin setup, you can really turn without much effort at all, making this perfect for navigating shallower waters.
In general, the Model X has a lot on common with other iRocker models in this department. For instance, there’s the massive amount of storage that we’re so fond of with this brand. Both the front and back have 6-point bungee storage areas where you can put loose bags and equipment plus D-rings where you can clip on gear like dry bags or coolers. Also, you can stick your paddle in here in a pinch, though it would have been nice to have a dedicated paddle holder.
Keeping on brand, the Model X comes equipped with 20 D-rings. While you can use these for even more equipment, they have a variety of purposes such as towing and docking or attachment points for the included ankle leash and additional equipment such as the available kayak conversion kit.
The last feature we want to get into here are the attachment points for action mounts. These can be used for cameras and a GPS or even fishing setups. What makes the Blackfin models different are that they can attach the larger fishing rig so that you can attach multiple poles and even a bucket for a more storage and a place to sit. Even though this is a premium iSUP, you generally don’t see these features on boards under $1000.
Is it possible to be menacing but in a good way? While you only have a choice of 3 color schemes — white, blue and teal — they all have that cold, space empire feel. Maybe that doesn’t sound so good but it really looks sharp, especially when you’re on the water.
The nose of the board is raised up at a good height though not as high as some of the other iRocker boards. This means that while there is some protection against choppy water, you’ll get the most out of this board on flat water.
Speaking of the nose, this one is more rounded for than some of the other boards of this line, although there’ still a little bit of a V-shape up there. This means that while it may be able to cut through some flat water, this board values stability over speed.
Finally, we can’t forget the fin setup. A 3-fin thruster setup with all 3 fins removeable is a rarity to be sure. Being able to remove all 3 fins makes life a lot easier, especially when it comes to setting up and packing the board away or even stacking multiple boards. This is particular important with a board like this since with all the available options, you’ll most likely be using this board for fishing, yoga or other physical, non SUP-specific activities.
In the past, quality in iSUPs was defined in how many layers of PVC a board had, and iRocker was always on the higher end with 4 layers. The downside to this is added weight. Over the past few years, more and more companies have been manufacturing boards with a tougher inside which lets them use fewer layers PVC and theoretically a lighter iSUP. While that may be true in making a stronger board, the problem is that this doesn’t help with outside damage like punctures.
iRocker’s new construction this year combines the best of both worlds by using a stronger drop stitch core while still having 3 layers of military grade PVC on the outside to protect the board. This creates a strong board that can withstand the elements while still finding a way to keep the weight down. Additionally, the Blackfin line of iSUPS has an added carbon rail to make the board even stronger. Having a rail like this can make a big difference since the seams on the rail is the weakest spot in the construction of any iSUP. Keep in mind that there is a cost to this as it adds to the overall weight of the board.
Out of the box this iSUP comes with a wheeled backpack dual chamber triple-action hand pump, full carbon ultra-light adjustable paddle, 3 fins flip lock fins and a 10’ ankle leash with a key pocket. As always, these are some of the best quality accessories you can buy for an iSUP — and they come standard!
In addition, there is a huge number of add-ons that you can purchase to really sup up your SUP! We won’t get into too deep into this since we could be here all day, but these include anchors, fishing setups and even electric air pumps. Unique to the Blackfin boards are the option to attach a fishing rack or sand spear, making this an even more versatile board. As with the rest of the iRocker philosophy, they are all the accessories are high-quality yet super affordable.
Even for iRocker, this board has a premium feel. Also, when you get on the board itself in the water, its dimensions are unlike just about any other iSUP we’ve seen which make it really stand out. If you’re looking for general fun on your board with friends or are beginner, this is an excellent choice without breaking the bank. True, it’s more expensive than the other iRocker iSUPs, but with you won’t see a board with these features without paying about at least $500 more.
If you’re looking for a faster board or one that’s longer than the 10’6” of the Model X but still want the premium look and feel of the Blackfin line, they also both the XL and V iSUPs. This year they’ve even included a Blackfin hardboard to the lineup, if you enjoy this brand and want to try something new. Either way you go, you’re sure to find yourself with one of our absolute favorite boards on the market!