The Red Paddle XL is one hell of a big Stand Up Paddleboard, in fact its 17 feet in length and 60 inches wide. It has been designed for group paddles and events, and an add on to schools. Although not designed for individuals, surprisingly you can paddle this and turn it relatively easy on your own!
We put on a bit of an open day at the Avon Valley Adventure and Wildlife Park for paddlers to test out a range of boards, they were mostly from Red Paddle as they are our favoured board supplier. One of the key boards we wanted to borrow for the open day was the XL as most brought it up in the conversations leading up to the day.
Red paddle dropped off a list of boards to us including race boards and a rather nice cross over board, but it was the XL that was getting the attention. Well it did until we realised we had to pump it up! Luckily the board sported a number of nozzles so a few of us got pumping and it didn’t actually take that long. Once up it looked awesome!
We got straight on the water with it and immediately found out that it wasn’t as easy as it looked. We had a mixed group of paddlers on the boards and what we found is as you got going someone would have a little wobble and it would set everyone else off too. It was hilarious! We were laughing so much it was hard to get in to any rhythm at first, but once we did we really started moving. It almost felt a little like Dragon Boat racing.
The one flaw to this size board is the wobble thats caused by others, which can result in loosing crew members at a rather quick rate, but then thats the appeal of the XL and why it was so much fun.
These types of boards are now being used more in events like SUP Bike Run and charity events and we can see why. They are just amazing fun. If you get a chance to have a go on one, get a handful of friends and do it, you will love it trust me!