iRocker Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP Review

Blackfin Model X Review

 

Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP Package

Blackfin Model X is iRocker’s premium quality all-around inflatable stand up paddle board that’s very wide (35 inches) and therefore stable, but it still has elements for speed. Carries paddlers weighing up to 450 pounds. The package comes with everything you’d need to get on the water, add to that customer support and a warranty of 2 years.

Blackfin Model X 10’6″ inflatable stand up paddle board looks to be a new board from iRocker that launched in early 2018. The 2019 version looks different.

Quick Overview For The Hasty

The iRocker Blackfin Model X inflatable SUP board measures 10’6″ x 35″ x 6″ (length x width x thickness), weighs 29 pounds and supports up to 450 pounds of weight (ideal for riders weighing around 260 lbs or less).

Who is this for? It looks to be an extra wide (35 inches) all-around board, so it’s suitable for anybody looking for more stability, be it experienced or beginner stand up paddlers, or larger paddlers because this Blackfin SUP board can hold up to 450 pounds in weight (ideal for rider 260 lbs or less). Good for almost anything to do with flatwater and some choppy conditions even. Flatwater paddling, fishing, yoga, or some whitewater river riding. It’s probably not the best option for touring, unless you preferred to go rather slowly compared to a dedicated touring board, nor surfing, I feel it’s too wide for that. Though it doesn’t exclude anything.

How’s the performance? This particular Blackfin model X iSUP is extremely stable. It glides, tracks and maneuvers decently enough for an all-around board. But all that is at the cost of speed. I’m not saying it’s slow, probably fast enough for an all-around board, but not the fastest. Also, on a windy day, this Blackfin iSUP will likely have a harder time going against the wind when compared to a narrower iSUP (inflatable SUPs are susceptible to wind like that).

  • Verstile
  • Portable (in a backpack)
  • Military grade durability
  • Extreme stablility
  • Extremely rigid
  • 3-fin setup – (1) attachable/detachable toolless main fin, (2) fixed sidefins
  • 6 D-rings with bungee storage area and safety handles at the nose
  • 4 D-rings in the middle for potential SUP accessory items in the middle
  • 4 D-rings with bungee storage area at the rear
  • Carry handle in the middle
  • Rear & nose grab handle
  • Carbon layer rails (sides) for extra protection
  • Comes with high quality iRocker Blackfin paddle, backpack, leash, repair kit and handpump
  • 2 year warranty

 


Who And What Is The Blackfin Model X iSUP Designed For?

In short, the Blackfin Model X iSUP is for:

  • who: paddlers weighing up to 450 pounds (ideally 260 lbs or less) (beginners, experienced, larger or multiple paddlers);
  • what: all-around (flatwater activities to whitewater river riding).

As long as the weight on the board is not exceeding 450 pounds (ideally 260 lbs or less because then the board would be half under water and half above water), almost everybody can ride it. Be it beginners or experienced paddlers, larger or multiple boarders, it provides extreme stability and there’s ample of room on this 35 inch-wide Blackfin Model X iSUP.

As an all-around board, it’s good for almost all SUP activities to varying degrees. Such a wide and stable board could be used for yoga and fishing, for example, or for just paddling around even in whitewater rivers, less for performance based SUP activities like surfing/racing or long-distance touring (unless slower pace didn’t bother you). It doesn’t exclude anything though, it will simply be more difficult to race or surf with such a board compared to a dedicated iSUP.

Who and what is Blackfin Model X iSUP board designed for?
Who and what is Blackfin Model X iSUP board designed for?

How Does The Blackfin Model X iSUP Perform?

Overall, the Blackfin Model X iSUP is:

  • extremely stable

This Blackfin board is extremely stable. It’s 35 inches wide at its widest point after all.

The Blackfin Model X was not designed for speed, but it does have elements that contribute to making it faster despite being bottlenecked by it’s width. The tail is pulled in a little (squash tail, 19 inches wide), narrower tail creates less drag on the water, and the rounded point nose cuts through the water more efficiently than, say, a rounded nose.

Maneuverability of this Blackfin Model X iSUP is decent enough for an all-around board this wide. But because it’s that wide, surfing is more difficult – usually the smaller/narrower the board the better it is for surfing. You could potentially ride the waves with this Blackfin iSUP, but not exactly surf them, though it doesn’t exclude anything.

How does Blackfin Model X iSUP board perform?
How does Blackfin Model X iSUP board perform?

How Have I Conducted This Review?

I’ve read all the dedicated reviews and customer reviews along with customer experiences with this Blackfin Model X inflatable SUP I could find, but also all the little disclosures and other cues to get a real good understanding of what this iSUP really is.

In the process of such research, I’ve structured my findings in a way that can be useful for others, but useful for me too as I learn all there is to know about the world of SUP.


Specs Of The Blackfin Model X iSUP When Inflated

Specs
TypeAll-around
(extra stable with elements for speed)
ConstructionInflatable
Length10’6″
Width35″
Thickness6″
Tail Width19″
Weight (lbs)29
Weight Capacity (lbs)450
Volume (liters)237

1 – type
Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP board is closer to being an ALL-AROUND than anything else. It’s extremely wide, but verstile, so that’s why. An extremely stable and wide ALL-AROUND iSUP then.

2 – construction
It’s INFLATABLE. It’s got carbon rails (sides of the board) which add to the durability were it to glide into something on the water, say rocks or whatnot. This Blackfin model X iSUP board can be deflated, rolled up and stored in a backpack that comes with the purchase of this package.

3 – lenght
Blackfin Model XL iSUP is 10 feet and 6 inches in length. Normally, all-around boards are from 10 to 12 feet in length, a little more than 12 actually.

4 – width
This inflatable Blackfin model X stand up paddle board is 35 inches wide at its widest point. Width dictates how stable the board is side-to-side. That means this Blackfin iSUP is extremely stable.

5 – thickness
Blackfin Model X inflatable SUP board is 6 inches thick. Typically, inflatable boards are 4 to 6 inches thick. Thicker boards feel stiffer and more stable than thinner boards.

6 – tail width
This Blackfin Model X iSUP has a tail measuring 19 inches in width. It’s a narrower squash tail next to the max width (35 inches) of the board. Such a tail reduces drag on the water and so adds to its speed. Though that alone doesn’t make this iRocker Blackfin model X inflatable SUP board fast, perhaps tries to compensate for how wide the board is in general.

7 – weight
For an iSUP, the iRocker Blackfin Model X is more to the heavy side, weighing 29 pounds. If you deflated the board, rolled it up and put it in the backpack that was fully loaded, you’d get a backpack that weighed about 43 pounds if not more (more about the backpack in a corresponding section somewhere below).

8 – weight capacity
This Blackfin Model X iSUP board can carry up to 450 pounds in weight. This allows you to take extra equipment with you if you wanted.

9 – volume
The volume of iRocker Blackfin Model X inflatable SUP board is reported to be 237 liters (L). It’s a reference point for determining optimal performance, which for ALL-AROUND iSUP boards is at around 2x your weight (in kilograms), but it can be lower or or higher than the optimal one, too, and there shouldn’t be too much of a problem. So if you weighed 260,7 pounds: 260,7 / 2.2 = 118,5 (kg), the optimal volume would be 118,5 (kg) x 2 = 237 (L), and you’d be golden.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Specifications
Specifications of the Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP board.

When DEFLATED
iRocker Blackfin Model X inflatable SUP is, when deflated, 37 inches wide and 14 inches in diameter.

 


What is This Blackfin Model X iSUP Board Made Of?

Similarly to all the rest of the iRocker iSUPs, the Blackfin Model X too is made of:

  • quad (4) layer military grade drop stitch material

This inflatable SUP board is made of quad (4) layer drop stitch (PVC) military-grade core, which makes the board rigid, comparable to a hard board, and tough, more durable than a hardboard.

What is PVC? PVC material (link opens in a new tab).

The Blackfin models have carbon rails (sides) as an added layer of protection when riding into rocks etc while paddling on the water.

 


What Are The Features Of The Blackfin Model X iSUP Board?

The Blackfin Model X comes in just 1 color code variation (teal, black spots, white stripes) and has a bunch of quality features for many purposes.

Blackfin Model X iSUP Features
Features of the Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP board. Starting from the nose, at the bottom there’s 1 D-ring. On top, there’s a grab handle. Below that are the 6 D-rings with bungee net and safety handles. 4 D-rings near the rails in the middle of the board and inbetween a carry handle. The deck pad, which is stamped with logos, and another bungee net storage area attached to 4-D rings. At the rear of the board in a rapid fire, there’s the last grab handle, high pressure inflation valve and finally 1 D-ring for the leash.

From top to bottom, here are the features of this Blackfin iSUP:

  1. D-ring (1)
  2. Nose grab handle
  3. Nose D-rings (6) with cargo storage bungee
  4. Safety handles
  5. D-rings (4)
  6. Carry handle
  7. Deck pad with stamped logos
  8. Rear D-rings (4), 2nd storage area
  9. Rear grab handle
  10. Inflation valve
  11. D-ring (1) for ankle leash
  12. Fins (3)

1 – D-ring (1)
At the front end on the bottom of the Blackfin Model X iSUP, you’ll find D-ring. This can be used for towing the board with some rope for example or for attaching an anchor to it when practising yoga or when fishing, for example. Maybe you know of any more uses for it?

2 – nose grab handle
Blackfin Model X iSUP has a grab handle located at the nose of the board. It’s made of soft neoprene cover which doesn’t tear your hand when using the handle. Maybe I’m simply not creative enough, but it seems to be used for just pulling the board around in the water. Dragging the board on the ground from this grab handle may damage the board or the fins.

3 – D-rings (6) bungee net
The Blackfin Model X iSUP has 6 D-rings on the front end of the board. These D-rings hold the bungee cords that act as a storage area.

4 – safety handles (2)
This Blackfin Model X iSUP has 2 safety handles attached to the 4 out of the 6 D-rings mentioned earlier. They’re made of soft neopreme material so as to not tear the hands of whoever holds onto them, a passenger for example. This board can easily carry multiple riders.

5 – D-rings (4)
The Blackfin Model X has 4 D-rings on the side of the rails in the middle for various accessories, such as a kayak seat or fishing storage box, for example.

6 – carry handle
As with basically any SUP board, the Blackfin Model X iSUP has a carry handle located on top of the board in the middle for carrying the board to where you need it when it’s inflated. It’s got a soft neopreme cover that doesn’t tear your hands when you carry this somewhat heavy (when it comes to inflatable boards) Blackfin iSUP board.

7 – deck pad
The Blackfin Model X iSUP board has a deck pad with irocker logo stamped all over it. It provides a good grip for your feet and feels soft enough for comfortably riding on the board. It shouldn’t get too hot when riding under the sun.

8 – rear D-rings (4)
These 4 D-rings, located at the rear of the Blackfin Model X iSUP board, hold the second storage area that’s created with the bungee net attached to the D-rings.

9 – rear grab handle
As there was a grab handle at the nose of the board, a second such grab handle is located at the rear of the board. It’s got a soft neopreme cover that doesn’t tear your hands when using, too. It can be used to hold onto when lifting the Blackfin Model X iSUP. Do note however that it’s not exactly advisable to drag the board on the ground as the iSUP may get damaged like that.

10 – inflation valve
Blackfin Model X SUP wouldn’t be inflatable without an inflation valve. This is where you inflate the board. It’s located at the rear of the board, between the grab handle and the last D-ring. A full inflate takes about 5-10 minutes to get to the optimal air pressure, 15 PSI (or 14-18 PSI). The air pressure can go up to 23 PSI.

11 – rear D-ring for ankle leash
For attaching your leash, the Blackfin Model X iSUP has a D-ring at the very back end (rear) of the board.

12 – fins (3)
All of the iRocker boards have similar tri-fin setup. The blackfin boards differ slightly. The Blackfin Model X has 2 fixed smaller sidefins and 1 bigger one that’s attachable/detachable without needing any tools somewhat between the 2 fixed sidefins.

 


What Else Is Included With The Blackfin Model X iSUP Package?

Apart from the board and its color, when buying the Blackfin Model X iSUP package, you also get the Blackfin:

  • paddle,
  • leash,
  • backpack carry bag,
  • handpump,
  • repair kit.

As for optional accessories that the iRocker offers, these are Blackfin:

  • kayak bundle (seat + paddle blade),
  • cooler deck bag,
  • shoulder carry strap.

PaddleBlackfin Model X iSUP Paddle
The Blackfin paddle has a convenient rubber grip, floats, can be adjusted from 72 to 86 inches and breakd down into 3 separate pieces (35 inches long). The 3 pieces can be stored in the Blackfin backpack.

The shaft of this Blackfin paddle is made of carbon (most other paddles are made of fiberglass – carbon is stronger than fiberglass). The blade of this paddle is made of nylon and is covered with a protective rubber around the edges so as to make it more durable when hitting againsts hard objects while paddling.

LeashBlackfin Model X iSUP Leash
With the iRocker Blackfin Model X iSUP package comes the Blackfin coiled leash. The leash is 10 feet long when stretched out. Such a leash (coiled) is best used in flatwater conditions (not advised when riding huge waves, which you probably really can’t with this board anyway, nor when whitewater river riding where there is entanglement risk).

See more about the types and usages of leashes by clicking here (link opens to SUP Safety post in a new tab).

Backpack carry bagBlackfin Model X iSUP BackpackBlackfin Model X iSUP Bag
The Blackfin backpack is something of a PREMIUM quality (it’s included with the Blackfin Model X iSUP package) with quite a lot of good comfy features.

It’s got elements similar to what one can find on traveling bags – the Blackfin backpack has 2 wheels on one of the sides at the bottom for easier traveling. The bottom of the backpack is strong. The shoulder straps are adjustable, soft and durable with which you can carry the bag on your back. There’s a soft layer for your back built into the backpack for more comfortable carrying. On the sides, on top and at the bottom there is a grab handle. The Blackfin Backpack itself is roomy enough to store the entire package, that is Blackfin Model X iSUP board (when deflated and rolled up), paddle, pump, leash and repair kit, but there’s room for more, such as a towel, change of clothes, bottles or other SUP accessories.

The size of the iRocker Blackfin Model X iSUP backpack, when packed full,  measures about 4 feet tall, 16 inches wide and 18 inches deep (give or take quite a lot of inches because nobody provided such information in this case and I had to measure and estimate these numbers judging by the ratios throughout all the contextual pictures I could find).

Pump
With Blackfin Model X iSUP package comes the 25-inches tall dual-chamber handpump that has 3 modes you canBlackfin Model X iSUP Pump manually switch between to make the inflation process more efficient:

  1. “max capacity” – quickly fill the empty board with air;
  2. “medium pressure” – use this once pumping becomes more difficult with the mode 1;
  3. “max pressure” – and this to reach the optimal air pressure (14-18 PSI).

Inflating this Blackfin board can take anywhere between 5-15 minutes, delfating takes around 3-10 minutes. The Blackfin pump comes with its own little netted bag for extra organization, but it fits in the main Blackfin backpack still.

A pressure gauge is integrated into the Blackfin pump, it’s located on top of the pump, with which you can keep track of the air pressure inside the iSUP when pumping. Optimal air pressure is 15 PSI (or 14-18 PSI), max pressure is 23 PSI.

Repair kit
The Blackfin Model X iSUP package comes with a blue cylinder canister that has the Blackfin repair kit inside. The repair kit consists of a valve wrench and 3 PVC patches (adhesive/glue not included with the repair kit).

 

Note: and now a little about the additional non-essential accessories from iRocker that are specifically designed to go with this Blackfin iSUP board that aren’t included in the package, bought separately.

 

Kayak bundle (OPTIONAL)
iRocker offers a kayak bundle (at extra cost) to go with this Blackfin Model X iSUP. The bundle consists of Blackfin kayak seat with a small zippered storage pouch at the back side that can fit smaller accessories, and Blackfin carbon shaft paddle blade to make the bundle complete.

The Blackfin kayak seat can be attached to the 4 D-rings in the middle area of the board. The Blackfin kayak blade can be attached onto the other end of the 3-part Blackfin paddle, so that it has 2 blades on each side like a kayak paddle.

Cooler deck pad (OPTIONAL)
iRocker offers a Blackfin zippered cooler deck pad (separately for extra cost) for keeping beverages or anything else you need in it. It’s fully insulated and has a water resistant design. It can be attached to the many D-rings at the nose or the rear of the board, or it can be simply put under the bungee cords.

It’s relatively small, something like a little lunchbox with a carry handle on top. It’s got a smaller zippered storage area on the side.

Shoulder carry strap (OPTIONAL)
The convenient Blackfin shoulder carry strap (offered separately for extra cost) is for carrying the whole board in case the carry handle in the middle was not to your liking. It attaches onto the 2 D-rings either side of the Blackfin Model X iSUP board in the middle area.

 


So Is Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP For You?

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced paddler, small or large paddler (up to 450 lbs, but ideally 260 lbs or less), there’s something for everybody in Blackfin Model X iSUP. It’s super stable while still performing relatively well as it’s got some elements meant to speed things up or/and deal with choppy conditions (narrower tail, rounded point nose with a small rocker). Let’s call it an extra stable all-around type of iSUP. Good for: flatwater paddling, river riding, some ocean, fishing, doing yoga, or even whitewater river riding.

This I’d say is a premium quality iSUP package (Blackfin Model X board, paddle, backpack, pump, leash, repair kit) at a good price ($759). It overdelivers.

Unless the activities you embark on or your body weight/height don’t quite match with this board’s design, it will be hard to find a better one.

 

Why it might not be for you:
If you’re looking for a board to occasionally surf, race or go to long-distance tour with, Blackfin Model X iSUP might not be for you. Unless of course you’re fine with just riding smaller waves, give it your all to exceed the optimal speed this board can go with in harmony or don’t mind taking your time when touring. Might lack the challenge, in other words (unless you compensate with alternative SUP activity, whitewater river riding, which this board can handle). Also, if you weighed too close to 450 lbs, it might not be for you because starting from 450 lbs, the Blackfin Model C iSUP would simply be forced completely under water due to the weight (at 260 lbs, the board would be half under and half above the water).

Check out iRocker SUP Reviews (2018) (link opens to a summary review post in a new tab) in case you want something that sits with you better than this Blackfin Model X.


CONCLUSION

You’ve found the right board when you were after an extremely good quality, verstile wide and stable board that goes a little faster than you’d expect due to its width. Good one for flatwater paddling, yoga, fishing or even some whitewater.

As long as these things tick with you, the quality you get when buying this Blackfin Model X iSUP package makes it worth it.

iRocker Brand
The company behind this new Blackfin iSUP board has got enough experience behind their backs to deliver. The Blackfin Model X iSUP is something of a premium release from iRocker, an upgrade in 2018 from their normal boards that were already relatively good for what they were meant for.

Blackfin Model X 10’6″ iSUP Board
The Blackfin Model X iSUP is verstile, extremely stable and glides well enough in the water. Good for flatwater paddling , fishing, yoga or some white water riding, can withstand choppy conditions.

Included Accessories
Included with this Blackfin iSUP board are quality Blackfin carbon based paddle, premium backpack, dual-chamber handpump, leash and a repair kit.

2 Year Warranty
It has a 2 year warranty in case of unintended defects. It’s an affordable quality iSUP with caring brand (iRocker) that has already, I think, overdelivered with this board – what’s not to like?

Where To Buy
You can buy this Blackfin Model X iSUP package (board + included accessories) online from iRocker homepage only, as I don’t think it’s made available on other platforms. The 2018 version is probably not available anywhere though, just the 2019 version.

 

FURTHER READING

(Links open in a new tab)

The TOP 15 Best Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2019 | post | sunsetpaddler
Best Cheap Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2019
 | post | sunsetpaddler
List of Pink Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Boards in 2019 | post | sunsetpaddler
Freaking Awesome stand up paddle board Stickers | post | sunsetpaddler
How much do inflatable SUP boards cost? | post | sunsetpaddler
Is a cheap inflatable SUP worth it? | post | sunsetpaddler
How to choose a SUP paddle? | post | sunsetpaddler
iSUP care & maintenance | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP buying guide | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP boards list | post | sunsetpaddler
What is PVC? | post | sunsetpaddler
SUP safety | post | sunsetpaddler

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5 Comments

    1. Paddler

      That’s something new. I’ve only really heard good things about them so far.

      They seem like a smaller dedicated company doing their all to please the customers in order to stay in business. It would hurt their business big time if the word got out about this as the SUP community isn’t all that huge either…

      But, for the benefit of doubt, maybe patience is the key here as they have to verify the case and then come up with a solution accordingly rather than give away free new packages each time somebody claims their board came with a defect. Might just take more time for things to get settled even though, granted, you might have had plans with it that are all ruined/cancled for now.

    2. Steve

      iRocker answers the phone and talks to you without transfers. They answer questions on email quickly. They sent me a new pump for $15 shipping when the seal in mine kept flipping (they didn’t have just the seals so they sent a new pump). And they’ll give you a $50 discount if you’re military.

      I think they’re a really good company and I’ve been calling or emailing for two years. And my Cruiser is holding up very well after two years.

  1. steve

    I wonder how hard it is to lug this thing around or to roll it up? My Cruiser is a pain to inflate and it’s hard to roll up because it’s so thick. I’ve been telling myself I wouldn’t want anything heavier or thicker, but the Blackfin is 5 pounds heavier.

    1. Paddler

      Chances are your hunch is right.

      What would stiffen things up for when you’d roll it up is the added layer of rail (carbon rail).

      However, depending on where and how you’d prefer to roll with it, the rolling wheels added to the backpack/carry bag can potentially circumvent some issues. Other than that, I don’t think the 5 pounds would make that much of a difference when compared to the Cruiser. Might even feel easier (psychologically) as there’s less worrying about damaging the board (added protection, carbon rails).

      PS!
      Inflatable SUP boards are their weakest at the rails. That’s why, psychologically speaking, it might feel, in a way, easier to drag it around a bit when neccessary (it’s not exactly recommended to drag an iSUP board on the ground in the long run) because there’s simply less stress and less of other problems of similar kind involved like that.

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