Blackfin is one of the biggest players in the game of inflatable paddle boards and that has been the case for quite a while.
This gigantic brand had a humble beginning but it only had one focus: quality. Accordingly, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Blackfin is one of the more expensive choices on the market.
In that respect, today, we bring you an interesting iSUP that harvested plenty of positive reviews so far and pushed Blackfin’s reputation further ahead.
It didn’t take a while before our lens scoped out BlackFin Model XL which is why we decided to put it under the spotlight for a detailed review.
So, here’s all you need to know about the BlackFin Model XL!
BLACKFIN Model XL Review – Features & Specs
- Large soft EVA deck pad
- Textured Rear Deck Pad
- Front and tail tie-down system to stow all of your gear
- Towing D-ring beneath the nose
- Leash attachment D-ring
- 3 Strategically placed carry handles for easy transport
- Tri-fin setup
- Package includes :
- BLACKFIN board
- Triple action dual chamber high pressure hand pump
- Adjustable carbon shaft paddle
- Repair kit
- Coil leash
- Detachable fin
- Roller travel backpack
|Dimensions||11'6" Long x 34" Wide x 6" Thick|
|Material||Quad (4) Layer Military Grade Drop Stitch Material|
|Weight limit||485 lbs|
|Number of D-rings||16 D-rings
|Recommended PSI||15 PSI|
|Carry handles||3 carry handles|
|Warranty||2-Year Manufacturers Warranty|
The size of a board is often an indicator of its performance and target audience. Hence, here’s what measurement tells us.
The BlackFin Model XL is an extravagant board and a lot of that glory is attributed to its significant length. Indeed, the board at hand is 11 feet 6 inches long which is the equivalent of two adults stacked one on top of another.
From this number, we can tell that this Blackfin is designed to sustain balance and cut smoothly through water. Also, the length of the board makes it adequate for adult paddlers only.
In terms of width, the Blackfin in question had to strike a solid ratio to enhance stability to the maximum degree. Hence, the Model XL is 34 inches wide and that is great news for first-time paddlers.
In fact, since the BlackFin Model XL is the most stable in its category, it is far likely to appeal to paddlers of all levels.
As far as thickness goes, the Model XL doesn’t stray far from its younger sibling – Blackfin Model X – and commits to a standard 6 inches.
Now, some of you might be thinking that the thicker a board is, the stronger it will be and you are right about that. However, Blackfin remains faithful to its standards because anything beyond 6 inches at this length begins to look a little too bulky and out of shape.
When it comes to quality, you should understand that Blackfin is basically what it is today because of its consistent and reliable quality. Indeed, a lot of people who tried Blackfin paddle boards find it really difficult to switch because once you inspect one of their products closely, you can literally see quality & the Model XL is no exception.
Indeed, the Blackfin Model XL is one of those boards that set the bar way too high for its competition. So, despite the fact that it costs significantly more than its contenders, it is still one of the brand’s best sellers. Why? Let’s see!
Frist things first, the board at hand is uniquely built using 4 layers of marine grade PVC. Let that sink in for a minute… The best thing you can do in the market for a close price is dual layer and that is already a huge advantage for this Blackfin iSUP.
Moreover, one of the key components of Blackfin’s building process is the industrial drop stitching technique that pulls the layers firmly together and reduces the risk of malfunction to the impossible. Indeed, every layer is sewed firmly and nested within a cycle of loops that will make this board virtually immortal.
Also, since the rail is the weakest spot in any inflatable paddle board, Blackfin decided to be pro-active for once and fused the entire region with a carbon fiber compose to fortify the board and extend its life span indefinitely.
To put matters in perspective, this board went through a series of torture tests, including high drops and getting run over by large vehicles. So, you can rest assured that nothing will be able to break or damage it.
Features are a big deal for many reasons but mainly because they make our paddling experience far more enjoyable. Indeed, Blackfin has a long history with features enthusiasm because it values their effect on the customer. Therefore, one must wonder if the tradition continues with the BlackFin Model XL?
So, here’s what you should expect to find on this board:
- First is a uniquely designed gripping pad that is large enough to cover the hot spot on the platform but not too large to numb the authenticity of the board. Also, it must be noted that this isn’t a standard pad but a premium Eva thick pad that is both comfortable and really grippy.
- If you love tie-down systems then prepare for double the fun because the BlackFin Model XL comes with 2 nets, one on the front and another on the tail for extra cargo space. Thus, you can now store your personal accessories, fishing gear and paddles comfortably. Also, the front net is equipped with two handles to help children stay on the board in strong currents.
- If you know anything about inflatable paddle board handles, it is that they are often available but almost always painful. So, to avoid that pitfall, Blackfin decided to invest in soft yet resilient nylon grips that will make transporting this board quite easy.
- D-rings are never a bad thing on an inflatable paddle board which is why this one comes with plenty. Indeed, the BlackFin Model XL comes with 4 D-rings at the center which can be used to install a kayak seat. Also, the board features an extra ring on the tail for a surf leash and another under the nose for towing or anchoring.
Performance is a key component of a board’s resumé and it is one of the highlights of this board. Indeed, the BlackFin Model XL is literally a beast of an iSUP because it can handle any environment with ease.
Thus, whether you’re a complete beginner or a skilled paddler, you’re going to truly enjoy the capabilities of this iSUP because of its impressive length, reinforced rail and empowering triple fin navigation system.
Therefore, whether you’re going for a relaxing tour around your favorite lake or surfing down a white water rush, the BlackFin Model XL will get the job done”.
Since packaging is a big deal for inflatable paddle boards, Blackfin was not going to risk ruining a great board with a weak pack. Hence, the BlackFin Model XL comes with:
- A rolling travel backpack
- An adjustable carbon shaft paddle
- A coil ankle leash
- A triple action dual chamber hand pump
- A repair kit
- The Blackfin Model XL is a badass iSUP that’s well-engineered
- It’s featured with an innovative Carbon Rail for maximum rigidity and durability
- It comes in a complete package with quality items including a roller travel backpack
- It has 2 tie-down systems
- The paddle actually floats
- The EVA deck pad is one of the best we’ve ever tested
- Except for being pricey, one got nothing to complain about. You get what you pay for, and Blackfin Model XL is simply worth its value.
- An inflatable SUP board this big will take some elbow grease to inflate using the included manual hand pump. So, It’s highly recommended to invest in an electric SUP pump to avoid all the hassle.