When the trails get hot, the cool water begins to call. Bluefin hopes to answer that call with the 12′ Cruise SUP package which includes an inflatable paddle board, floor pump, paddle, and even a carry pack. This is my review:
The Bluefin Cruise 12′ comes as an entire kit, complete with the inflatable paddle board, a hand powered air pump, a two function fiberglass paddle, carry bag/backpack, a kayak conversion kit, and a leash. It is currently selling for $679, although the actual MSRP is $999.
The board itself is 6″ thick, 12′ long, 29″ wide, and is built from 1000 denier Laminate PVC with “Pro Weave” drop stitch. The board is equipped with a padded deckpad, three carry handles, bungees for cargo, and connection points all over for the included kayak seat or other accessories. Tracking is via the three fin design with the largest fin being removable without tools. The deck It’s rated at 28 PSI and weighs roughly 28 pounds, although weighing it with my equipment was a bit unwieldy and imprecise.
What I liked
Setting up the Cruise is quite straightforward. Simply remove it from the backpack, unfold it, and connect the pump, which locks in place with a simple quarter turn. After pumping it up to the recommended pressure, listed as a range on the pump’s integrated air gauge, it is ready for the bottom fin which snaps into place with a simple click. The leash attaches via a Velcro strap that attaches to a D-ring on the back of the board. Setup is about a straightforward as can be and only takes a few minutes, aside from somewhat lengthy act of pumping it up. The only thing to watch for is to make sure the valve is set to one way (a simple turn of the valve itself), or you’ll dump all your air once you remove the pump.
Actually riding the paddleboard is a real treat. It rides smooth, tracks extremely well, and is impressively stable. The generous 29″ wide deck provides plenty of room to move around, and is stable enough that even standing in poor/improper positions doesn’t make the board feel wobbly or tipsy. In fact, the board is steady enough that I was able to walk around on the board, get up and down, and even grab equipment that I had strapped to the nose without getting off balance. The padded deck feels nice against bare feet and provides plenty of traction, even while wearing water shoes. It handles small waves quite well and holds a decent amount of speed for a paddle board, making multiple mile circuits around flat bodies of water an easy feat.
Build quality has overall been really good, especially with the board itself. The extremely high 1000 denier PVC laminate body can really take a beating. I’ve pushed the board onto concrete, gravel, rocks, through trees and bushes with no real signs of wear yet. The paddle is also rather sturdy, with a solid grip and a fiberglass handle that doesn’t flex under pressure. They claim the fin is impossible to chip or damage, but time will tell if that holds true. The paddle also floats, which is a nice bonus. The leash is similarly well built, and the backpack/carry case is fine, not great but not bad. It does the job.
The kayak conversion kit is actually quite viable and extremely handy. An included seat connects to the D rings placed about the board, and provides a fairly comfortable and stable place to kick back and relax. The paddle converts from a single finned board paddle to a dual sided kayak paddle by simply removing the grip/handle and replacing the grip side it with another identical fin arm, which is also included. The process takes just a couple minutes and this setup is a great way to introduce people to the sport, without having them actually stand up on a device they’re not yet familiar with. Or, if you’re feeling lazy, it is a less tiring way to get around a large body of water, especially in the wind. I love the flexibility it adds and the fact that it is included for the price is hugely appreciated.
The kit, as a whole, is absolutely complete and feature packed. Having the included backpack makes traveling off the beat path possible and way more convenient than carrying a 12′ inflated board. The attachment points on the board allow for make shift boat packing (is that a thing?) or simply carrying lots of equipment, like food, drinks and accessories. It even includes a patch kit just in case something goes wrong.
Weight wise, I was pretty impressed with the package as a unit. The board comes in at an appreciably light 28 ish pounds, while each accessory individual feels agreeably light. The paddle is a fair weight for a bundled option, although I do wish it was a little longer. When everything is lumped together into the backpack It is still rather wieldy, even with the pump inside. It will take a little effort to lift up, but once it is on the back like a backpack, it doesn’t feel too bad, considering how much equipment is inside. I wouldn’t want to carry it for miles, but from a parking lot I would happily take it a few hundred meters to a water way, or a few dozen steps into my home.
Considering everything that is included, the pricing is rather fantastic. Generally, I see the board listed on sale at $679 direct from Bluefin or via Amazon (link at the bottom of the page), and given it comes with everything you need to get started (short of a life vest and sun protection), a sub $700 price tag is really attractive.
What I didn’t like
The included pump does a great job, but does take a little commitment. Inflating to the recommended pressure usually took me around 180 pumps, with the last 80 or so becoming increasingly challenging as the PSI increases. Thankfully, the valve is one way, so once you remove the pump it doesn’t gush back out, but can be opened up for a quick deflation also. They do offer an electric pump at the sound of $180 bucks if you want to save some energy. If you’re lacking in arm strength or stamina, it may be something to consider. Personally, I’m keeping the included pump as it has held up well so far and I’m outside partly for the exercise anyway.
While the board itself is of great quality, some of the accessories feel a little cheap in particular areas. The clamp that holds the paddle together doesn’t inspire confidence, as the plastic lever feels brittle and makes me weary of locking it down too tightly. The backpack is fine, but is made of a fairly basic nylon and not exceptionally comfortable (fair given the price) and some components of the pump feel a little cheap too, namely the air hose. Thankfully, I’ve not actually ran into any issues yet, and the only corners that were cut are on parts are easily and often replaceable anyway. Basically, it is great as a starter set but should serve for years if taken care.
The Cruise SUP Package comes across leaving me impressed. Not only is the board of rather good quality, with a surprisingly stiff and stable deck that I particularly appreciated, but the package as a whole feels like a real bargain. I loved the ability to use it as a stand up or convert it into a kayak, setting up each provided its own unique and enjoyable experience, even the pre-SUP pump workout. It isn’t a kit that is designed for the professionals, but for someone who wants a good quality way to jump into the sport, it is a solid option and an exceptional value, especially if you can catch it at the $679 sale price.
For more information on the Bluefin Cruise Paddle Board package, check out our Amazon link. This helps us out.
For information on our rating system and our testing procedures, check out our About us/ Contact us page.
I want to extend a huge thanks to Bluefin for providing this product for review. We couldn’t do it without their help.
Our full disclosure can be found on our About Us page. Thanks as always for reading! Don’t forget to follow our blog for future updates and reviews (link on the right also).
If you have any questions, comment below, send us an email, or find us on Twitter or Facebook (links on the right)