Red Paddle Co 12’6″ Explorer Inflatable SUP Board Review

Red Paddle Co EXPLORER 12ft 6in inflatable SUP Board ReviewThe Red Paddle Co is amongst the most reliable inflatable stand up paddle board brands out there if not the most reliable one and that is but one reason to love this brand.

We have been reviewing inflatable stand up paddle boards for several years now and we have inspected over 25 different brands and hundreds of different inflatable SUP boards and I can safely say that the Red Paddle Co easily beats most of them.

As mentioned earlier, the quality of the Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP boards is almost unparalleled in the industry because this manufacturer has adopted a different approach from the other prominent brands and that is to build an inflatable stand up paddle board that would last for life.

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Technically speaking, Most Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP boards and specifically the Red Paddle Co Explorer are built using in-depth TEC air specifications to make sure they are as rigid as possibly conceivable.

Also, the body is strictly based off military grade PVC material which is then fortified by an industrial drop-stitch construction making it virtually indestructible.

RED PADDLE CO 12'6Simply put, you may crash this board against rocks, drag it on rough surfaces or sharp debris without permanently damaging it. Nonetheless, I do advise you to take care of it because it will last for long and you want it to look good for as long as possible.

When it comes to size, the Red Paddle Co Explorer is what you would call a giant as it measures 12 foot 6 inches long and 32 inches wide making it possible for two adults to actually lay on top of it head to toes.

A board this size is usually meant for young adults and adults who are familiar with paddle boarding and I advise you to keep it that way because as a beginner it’s going to be a little too hard to manage a board this big.

Moreover, the board measures 5.9 inches in thickness which is something I hoped to see in most inflatable boards because you can never go under with a board this thick. Subsequently, the weight limit on the Red Paddle Co Explorer is extended to reach up to 300 lbs and that can handle an adult user + child or pet without affecting performance a bit.

One thing which I personally appreciate in Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP boards in general is the amount of dedication even the smallest details are given in order to achieve that flawless final look.

2016 Red Paddle Co 12'6You can easily tell that this is a quality board by looking up close at its finest features and that is something that most manufacturers fail to accomplish.

Looking at the deck of the Red Paddle Co Explorer, you will notice that it comes with 6 bungee connected stainless steel D-rings instead of the common 4 to ensure larger cargo space and 4 more D-rings on the end which could serve to install a kayak seat if you want to + one more D-ring at the very end which is meant to help you tow or secure your board when needed.

Next thing is the EVA traction pad located on the center of the deck to ensure you balance your weight properly and help you maintain it even while standing tall; it’ll also come in very handy when you’ll need to climb back up on top after you dive into the water.

The board also has two rear fin runners and one more on the bottom front (nose runner fin) to help maintain trajectory and aid tracking in side winds.

Red Paddle Co 12'6Finally, there is always this one aspect which always helps me make up my mind about an inflatable board and that is the package in which it comes because believe me it can make the difference between a joy ride and a headache.

Fortunately, the Red Paddle Co Explorer comes in a healthy pack which is equipped with almost everything you’ll need to maintain this board.

First things first, this board comes with a special carry bag back pack and that is already an achievement as it’ll make transportation and storage of the board a piece of cake.

Simply, all you have to do is deflate, roll up, bag the board and carry it to the nearest body of water and same goes for storage:life saved.

Further, the package also includes a high pressure hand pump (PS: Board must be pumped up to 25 PSI) a basic repair kit which I doubt you’ll ever unpack and a removable singular fin which is all the board needs.

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  • This is one of the best quality boards you’ll ever put your eyes on and it is a solid guarantee that it’ll last longer than most boards out there.
  • The Red Paddle Co Explorer comes in an all inclusive package which will make maintaining it a piece of cake and that’s something to bear in mind.
  • The fine details and quality of build is unmatchable and you will see firsthand how that affects performance to the best.


  • The pumping might get a little bit more challenging with time. So, I suggest you fetch yourself a nice electric pump and save yourself the trouble.

Red Paddle Co 12’6″ Explorer Inflatable SUP Board – Images

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Darren Stokes

Darren Stokes

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