Inflatable SUP Reviews

Blackfin Model XL Review

Although it was first launched way back in 2018, the Blackfin Model XL has been updated just in time for the 2021 season. It comes from the brand iRocker SUP, and it is their largest product to date.

In fact, it is one of the most popular inflatable paddleboards in the market right now— and for good reason.

The Blackfin Model XL is ultra-durable, extremely versatile, and has a whopping 485-pound max capacity, making it an excellent choice for taller or plus-sized paddlers.

Blackfin Model XL Review

In this review, we’ll take a look at all of the specifications and unique features of the new Blackfin Model XL SUP.

We’ll also delve a little deeper into whether or not this model comes with an adequate warranty and any added extras or accessories.

REVIEW

Board Specs

  • Length: 11’ 6”
  • Width: 34”
  • Thickness: 6”
  • Weight: 29 lbs
  • Weight Capacity: 485 lbs
  • Volume: 259 liters
  • Recommended Inflation: 15 PSI
  • Material: Triple-layered composite PVC with drop stitched inner core layer

Board Features

  • Soft EVA traction pad on the deck of the board with lined grooving that extends all the way to past the back valve, provides grip and comfort to the rider as well as helps with maneuvering.
  • A Tri-fin setup using 3 flip-lock fins provides intuitive traction in various water conditions, while also improving stability and control.
  • Large 6 point bungee system at the front and back of the paddleboard for attaching equipment and gear.
  • Comfortable carry handles at the nose, tail, and center of the board for easy transportation and portability.
  • 20 action mounts for use with cameras, speakers, and any other accessories you want to bring along on the water.
  • Fishing rack attachment points for mounting fishing rack to the paddleboard. 
  • 19 D-rings allow for you to bring equipment on the water and gives you the option of converting your SUP into a kayak   

Who Should Buy the Blackfin XL SUP?

While the Blackfin Model  XL SUP is a fantastic all-around SUP, it’s particularly suitable for bigger paddlers, families, and anglers.

Most iSUPs aren’t capable of supporting the weight of a large paddler, extra luggage, an additional person, a child, or the family dog. However, the Blackfin Model XL can handle this with no trouble.

This is thanks to the sturdy and effective construction, which reduces the chances of bending your board or sinking it completely. 

It’s common knowledge that SUPs shouldn’t be used by children unsupervised, and of course, you can’t buy a separate board entirely just for your dog. This Blackfin Model XL SUP allows everyone to enjoy the paddleboarding experience safely.

The deck itself is large enough to squeeze in an adult and up to two small children. It even comes fully equipped with safety handles for them to grip onto during the ride. The deck is super soft, wipe-clean, and pet-friendly. 

This iSUP is perfect for anglers, too. This is because of the multiple attachment points on this model.

Anglers can bring their fishing rack, SUP cooler, sand spear, and much more without having to worry about having enough space. You also won’t need to DIY rig your paddleboard either. 

For anyone looking for a high-quality all-around paddleboard, the Blackfin Model XL is a great choice. It’s suitable for use in all bodies of water including rivers, oceans, lakes, and pretty much anywhere else. 

How does it perform?

As mentioned above, the Blackfin Model XL iSUP is very stable. While it is not the fastest paddleboard on the market, the speed is still pretty decent. It moves smoothly on the surface of the water and is nimble enough to take quick turns easily.

Thanks to the board’s rounded point nose and slim tail, it cuts through the water effortlessly with minimal drag or resistance. When you first set up the board, it will require a few powerful strokes to build up speed.

This board works best on flat, even waters. This is because it has slow maneuverability, making surfing strong waves near impossible.

While you won’t be winning any paddleboard races anytime soon with the Blackfin Model XL, you will have heaps of fun!

Maneuverability

While the Blackfin Model XL can make tight turns, it’s not recommended. This is because you’ll be able to dip the rear and pivot as needed, but it can take a little more leg and upper body strength to make quick turns.

When you plan on making a turn with this board, we recommend allowing enough time and enough space to turn the board, especially when it is packed with gear or children.

The brand famously upgraded its board design back in 2019. This reimagined version comes equipped with a triple-layer composite construction and carbon rails that help to keep the board steady and stable on the surface of the water.

The new and improved model weighs 20% less than its older version. This lighter design allows for better maneuvering. 

Construction

As well as the triple-layer construction, the Blackfin Model XL even features an internal drop-stitch core which is what gives the board its unique structure.

This drop-stitching expands when inflated and helps to keep the board together using a complex webbing system that secures the outer PVC layers and is what gives the board its shape and makes it feel much like a hardboard. 

The carbon rail is built into the side of the board, which you can see when the board is deflated. This carbon rail helps the board to maintain its shape and structure, as well as adding extra strength and durability.

While the carbon rails can make rolling the deflated board a little more tricky and time-consuming, if you dry and fully deflate the board properly, as per the manufacturer’s guidelines, it should easily roll up and squeeze inside the carry bag. 

Features and Benefits

At the nose of the board, you’ll find 6 D-rings along with an elastic bungee cord for securing bags and other gear. Also found at the nose is an additional grab handle, giving children and other riders a safe place to hold on to. 

The tail of the Blackfin Model XL is full of great features. You’ll find a second bungee storage area with 4 D-rings, which gives you more on-deck storage space.

There’s also another grab handle and an inflatable valve and a D-ring that can be used for attaching your SUP leash. 

The top of this board features a high-quality traction pad that is comfortable and ergonomic, meaning it won’t take its toll on your hands and feet.

On the deck itself, you’ll find an embossed Blackfin logo, which adds a sleek and professional look. In the center of the board, you’ll find a heavy-duty carrying handle that is coated with a soft neoprene cover.

Additionally, on each side of the traction pad, you’ll find D-rings suitable for attaching a Blackfin kayak seat (which is sold separately and completely optional). 

Optional Extras

Blackfin makes a huge range of additional accessories, some of which include:

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

Warranty

Much like every other Blackfin product, the Model XL is covered by a 2-year warranty. Also, for added peace of mind, the brand even throws in a risk-free, no-quibble, 30-day money-back guarantee. 

This means that you can return your board for a full refund if you simply don’t like it, or if it doesn’t meet your expectations. 

Pros

  •  The Blackfin Model XL is a well-engineered iSUP
  • It comes with an innovative Carbon Rail for maximum rigidity and durability
  • It comes with multiple handy added accessories, including a roller travel backpack
  • It has 2 tie-down systems
  • The paddle actually floats
  • The EVA deck pad is one of the best on the market at the moment 

Cons:

  • Besides being pretty expensive, there’s not much to complain about with the Blackfin Model XL. Even though it’s pricey, it is simply worth its value. 
  • An inflatable SUP board of this size will require a little elbow grease to inflate if you’re using a manual hand pump. To remedy this, we recommend investing in an electric SUP pump to avoid any hassle. 

Final Thoughts

This Blackfin Model XL is a super fun, well-built, and thoughtfully engineered SUP board that will work for both SUP experts and beginners alike.

Whether you plan to use it for its premium stability, multiple different accessory options, balanced feel in the water, or for its extended cargo capacity — you can’t go wrong with the XL.

Check it out today to use for your next fishing trip or family vacation at the lake!

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.