Red Paddle Co: Elite 12’6”
- Unrivaled rigidity and speed.
- Stable and balanced.
- Fast glide.
- RSS and FFC technology.
- MSL Fusion construction.
- Raised kick pad.
- Secure grip.
- Ideal length for women.
- Accessory mount.
- Streamlined design.
- Extra carrying handles.
- Paddles not included.
Table of Contents
These boards are some of the fastest racing iSUPs available and we are going to find out what makes them so. The complete Elite lineup consists of four different racing boards; we are going to take a look at the 12’6” range; two models with varying widths.
Get to Know Red Paddle Co
The Red Paddle Co, a leader in the stand-up paddle board industry, is a company driven by innovation, passion and performance. Red Paddle Co products are all made in an in-house production facility under close supervision guaranteeing nothing but the best hits the market. Red Paddle Co boards are the ultimate combination of function and form. The Red Paddle Co invests their time in their products with a close attention to detail and their customers with a full 2-Year warranty on each of their boards. As a bonus, if you purchase any of the inflatable SUPs from the 2020 range you are qualified for an extended 5-Year warranty. All you need to remember to do is register your board within three months of purchase.
The Board Basics
The overall shape of the board is geared towards speed, with a long narrow body the entire surface of the Elite 12’6” has been finely tuned to get you across the finish line first. Two boards are available in the 12’6” length, one at 26” wide, designed for top finishers and the other slightly wider for less experienced racers at 28”. Each board was designed for advanced riders but if you’re not up to competing class just yet, the 28” width will offer a slightly more stable platform to practice on. The shorter of the racing class boards the 12’6” series is ideal for women who tend to be shorter than men, if you happen to be one of the lucky long legged ladies, there is a 14’0” Elite range available as well. The board itself, including its heavy duty components, still only weighs 22 pounds making it a super easy to transport board, especially when it’s packed away in the included all-terrain travel backpack. This incredibly rigid board was built to outlast and outperform. Riders up to 240 pounds can enjoy the Elite 12’6” range of iSUPs.
|12’6”||26”||22 lbs||240 lbs||Check Price|
|12’6”||28”||22 lbs||240 lbs||Check Price|
Fin configuration: Single removable
Building the Board
How exactly does Red Paddle Co make a board so fast and rigid? Well to begin, R&D looked at competing boards and found what was missing, a way to reduce flex in racing boards. The ever so clever team at Red Paddle Co found the solution. They start with MSL Fusion technology to fuse a single layer of durable adhesive around a drop stitch core, increasing rigidity and reducing the overall weight of the board. Then they use their patented RSS, to stiffen the rails of the board, these are battens that you insert yourself upon inflation of the board. Lastly, to top it off, Red Paddle Co uses FFC, Forward Flex Control, this is a special carbon strut that stiffens and straightens the nose of the board, think of wearing a rigid back brace. A removable back fin is angled to avoid getting caught on debris in the water, this fin snaps into a US fin box and can be tightened by a bolt. Double nose fins are used on the Elite to help direct water away from the deck of the board and to prevent nose-diving at high speeds. The top deck of the board is covered in crocodile cut embossed EVA foam for a soft yet secure grip under your feet at any speed. The tail pad is raised for extra grip when down winding so you can slide your foot back into position without having to look. Four carrying handles are located along the rails at the nose of the board for easy launching and pulling your board out of the water. A high-quality inflation valve is at the tail of the board alongside the leash attachment point. You can adjust the stiffness of the FFC rod by using the lever at the nose of the board; in the center of the rod you will find the accessory mount attachment for using GPS trackers or GoPro cameras.
You receive the standard iSUP package from Red Paddle Co with the purchase of either elite 12’6” board. The all-terrain backpack features a unique foil lining to keep your board and all of its accessories safe from the most extreme of temperatures. Padded shoulder straps, grab handles, grooved wheels and a clear ID window make this a great travel bag even for flying. A Titan dual-chamber pump helps you to inflate your board in less time with less effort, so you can save your energy for the race. You will also receive a repair kit; with two patches and a valve wrench and a waterproof phone pouch.
On the Water
The long and narrow bodies of the 12’6” models allow it to cut swiftly through the water and waves, but also make it a super easy to maneuver board. The narrower widths of the racing boards are meant for more experienced paddlers who know how to find their balance. The Elite is by far the most rigid and stable board on the water thanks to its RSS and FFC system. The carbon strut keeps the board rigid from tip to tail leaving absolutely no room for flex. For the seasoned racer, the 26” wide will give you more speed and straight tracking while the 28” will allow new competitors to focus on power overbalance. This is not a board meant for touring as the shape of it will have you going in all sorts of directions at lower speeds; if you’re looking for an all-around cruiser check into the Ride range from Red Paddle Co.
Pros and Cons: An Explanation
In order to construct the perfect racing iSUP, Red Paddle Co had to look at what everyone else was doing wrong. After doing this they were able to eliminate the flaws in racing boards from other companies, with that being said there’s not one thing about the boards themselves that we would change. Our usual complaint is the lack of deck storage but since this is a racing series, on board storage is not necessary, so we will complain about the lack of included paddles instead: we wish the board came with a paddle that is all.
Where to Purchase Products
If you are on the hunt for a Red Paddle Co board for yourself, you’re in luck. You can purchase these amazing boards directly from the company website; from a number of retailers online and unlike many other companies, you can even find Red Paddle Co boards in select retail stores.
You will be hard pressed to find a racing board that is faster and more rigid than the Elite series from Red Paddle Co. The 12’6” models are ideal racing platforms for fresh riders and first time winners. Each size caters to a different rider experience and each model outperforms any other brand on the market. These boards perform so well we forget that they’re inflatable; which makes them even better, now you can join in the competition from anywhere in the world with the convenience of an inflatable transportable board. If you’re after a longer model check out what we have to say about the Elite 14’0” range.