Since we first decided to bring inflatables into the shop, red paddle co was on the short list. We went to the Surf Expo demos and tested out a lot of inflatables. None of them even came close to the performance of red.
Then we went to the show and talked to the guys from red. They were friendly and patient as they walked us through things from the ground up. They had great props to show how their construction was different- i.e. better, than other inflatables. It all backed up what we felt when we tested them. And they were genuinely excited about it all.
I still say that you’ll never mistake your inflatable for a hard board. But if you are in the market for an inflatable, look no further than red. Since we first met them in 2014 a lot has changed. As the leader in inflatable sups they were not satisfied to rest on their laurels…they continue to innovate and improve.
Some noteworthy upgrades over the past two years are
– MSL constructionwhich lightened boards up approximately 4 lbs.
– The already excellent carry bag now has a foil lining to better protect boards from extreme temperatures.
– All boards now feature RAM mounts so you can connect a variety of accessories..
– The Rigid Stiffening System (RSS) battens already added rigidity to the boards. Now they attach to the board with a Velcro tab so the strings aren’t free to catch on things and drag in the water. They have also introduced a Forward Flex Control (FFC) to the Elite boards to increase stiffness even more when you really need it- when you are racing.
– Nose runner fins on some models aid in tracking.
– The Titan pump (which debuted in 2015) combines the best of their old pumps into one so that you can push large amounts of air into the board very quickly and when it becomes hard to get more air in, you can close off the large chamber and add air a little bit at a time to top it off. Many boards claim that they can be inflated to 20 psi, but their pumps make it nearly impossible to get to 15. The Titan Pump actually enables you to get the board up to pressure.
These are just a few of the things that set red apart from other boards on the market. But the boards are also just one piece of the picture of why red is such a standout company in the standup paddleboard industry.
They have demo tours…a couple of guys move into an Airstream with one of every (or close to every) board in the lineup, and they travel around to Red Paddle Co dealers to do demos. They are there to answer questions and demonstrate everything you need to know about inflating, deflating and storing the boards. The guys were super friendly, have great accents, and make you feel like one of the red family. Last year there was even a discount code available to save 5% if you purchased a board as a result of the demo. We have stressed over and over again the importance of trying before you buy. Especially with inflatables…they are not all created equally and you can definitely feel the difference.
They have red university. This program is for anyone who sells red paddle co products. It is a series of videos and quizzes touching on every aspect of red and the lineup. For a taste of some of the categories covered: each category of board, fin options, paddles, the bag, the pump, inflating and deflating, windsurf options, paddle bags, basic paddling instruction, construction specifics, and much more. I cannot think of another company so committed to educating their dealers. This is so essential so we can disseminate and share the info with prospective buyers. There is also a knowledge center on their website for all users to see.
Service is also a top priority. My e-mails always get returned very promptly both by the rep and in-house customer service. They are always incredibly nice and helpful. There is also a chat option on the website which I have found very helpful while trying to get an answer with a customer standing in front of me. And they regularly share stock levels with dealers so we know pretty accurately what is in stock and when new shipments are expected.
If you follow them on social media, you will see pictures of red boards in some of the most beautiful settings. They encourage you to share your paddle pics with them so the world can see some of the possibilities. There is a “Board vs” series to demonstrate the durability of their boards and it’s definitely a group that knows how to have fun. “Board vs dog”, “Board vs ninja”, “Board vs crane”, just to name a few.
If it totally sounds like I am stroking red…I am. I really believe they are a standout in standup. They are head and shoulders above the competition in so many ways that they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.
Tags: paddleboard demos, inflatable sup, inflatable paddle boards, inflatable sups, inflatable paddleboards,choosing an inflatable paddleboard, buying an inflatable paddleboard, red paddle co, inflatable stand up paddle board, paddleboard demo
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