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Author Topic: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.  (Read 7945 times)

DavidJohn

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Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« on: March 10, 2013, 04:00:38 AM »
Pete is an Aussie that lives in the UK and he contacted me a couple of weeks ago and said he was coming to Melbourne for a week and wanted to join me for a paddle around St Kilda marina.

Yesterday Pete arrived and today we paddled.. Pete said he was bringing his own board on the plane with him and I wondered what sort of board this would be.. I asked if it was a wave board or a flatwater board and he said it was a new 12'6" RedAir inflatable race board.

I had seen a RedAir inflatable wave board years ago and didn't even know they made flatwater boards.. It turns out that inflatables is all RedAir make and they make a couple of different size 12'6" board.. I was pretty impressed after paddling it.

I gave Pete a lift back to where he was staying and before I even had my board on the roof of my car he had deflated and was rolling it up packing it into the bag.. I think I might have to concider getting an inflatable myself one day.

Here's some pics that I took today..

DJ

 





























































spookini

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 06:09:11 AM »
As shown in the photos, Red uses batten inserts in the midsection for stiffening of their blow-ups.

DJ, how much of a differentiator do you think the battens are?  Gimmicky, or you would say their board is effectively/noticeably stiffer than other 12-6" inflatables you've tried??

Thanks very much.  As far as I know, they are the only company using battens so far --
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Boludo

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 07:34:20 AM »
Very nice.  I like the removable fin and the backpack.  Does the paddle breakdown and fit inside the backpack?
Thanks for the awesome detailed pix as always!

Kojack

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 08:03:04 AM »
Of all of the inflatables I have seen to date, There seem to be some really interesting pieces of tech built into this one.  The batten idea is really interesting to me as we have some chop to contend with where I paddle sometime so added rigidity seems like this could make this a much more interesting option.

DJ-I know you have some experience with the Naish one.  How do you compare the two and how was the weight of the Red?

Thanks

Fog City Rider

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 02:46:09 PM »
Nice looking board.  The Naish ONE looks really cool too. 

Once blown up, how much do inflatables like that usually weigh? 
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JeanG

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 03:13:10 PM »
Awesome.

DavidJohn

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2013, 03:51:43 AM »
As shown in the photos, Red uses batten inserts in the midsection for stiffening of their blow-ups.

DJ, how much of a differentiator do you think the battens are?  Gimmicky, or you would say their board is effectively/noticeably stiffer than other 12-6" inflatables you've tried??

Thanks very much.  As far as I know, they are the only company using battens so far --

I'm not sure if it was the battens or the higher inflated pressure (about 18 psi) or maybe it was slightly thicker but it did feel stiffer and paddled better than most inflatables that I've paddled .. I don't think it was quite as light as the Naish and Starboard 12'6" but adding pressure must add weight because of the extra volume of air.. When you bounce up and down in the center of the board it still wobbles like an inflatable does but doesn't seen to want to bend in the center of the board like they normally do.. The battens must have something to do with that.. I think if your a bigger sized guy this board might work better for you than the Naish and Starboard because even though it's the same length and width it seems a fair bit thicker.. It's a high quality board and to be honest not what I was expecting from RedAir.

DJ

DavidJohn

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2013, 04:01:25 AM »
Very nice.  I like the removable fin and the backpack.  Does the paddle breakdown and fit inside the backpack?
Thanks for the awesome detailed pix as always!

The fin system is pretty cool because you can use any standard fin with it.

There's also a kind of nose fin (strip) that must be there to help with tracking.. It also works as a skid bar as you slide it onto the shore.

The back pack is the best that I've seen for an inflatable bag.

The paddle was a three piece.. Fairly light and paddled well and does also fit in the bg.

DJ

DavidJohn

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 04:07:16 AM »
Of all of the inflatables I have seen to date, There seem to be some really interesting pieces of tech built into this one.  The batten idea is really interesting to me as we have some chop to contend with where I paddle sometime so added rigidity seems like this could make this a much more interesting option.

DJ-I know you have some experience with the Naish one.  How do you compare the two and how was the weight of the Red?

Thanks


As I said I think the Naish and Starbie inflatables are slightly lighter but not by much.. I think if you're a lighter person the Naish and Starbie might be a better choice but if you want more stability and more float for a bigger guy you should concider this board.

DJ

DavidJohn

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 04:10:52 AM »
Nice looking board.  The Naish ONE looks really cool too. 

Once blown up, how much do inflatables like that usually weigh? 

I'm guessing the Naish and Starbie are about 10-11 kgs (24 lbs) and this was about 11-12 kgs... The added amount of air might be the reason it's a little heavier.

DJ

Argosi

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2013, 01:29:51 PM »
Great pics and info as usual DJ.

The RedAir 12'6" is heavier than the Starboard, Naish, and Mistral inflatables. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Red has thicker material than the other boards (more durable as a result)
- Red has higher density of drop stitch fibers inside the board

The Red can also be inflated to significantly higher pressures than most other inflatables as a result. One UK shop with lots of experience selling and renting inflatables suggests inflating the Red to 20-25psi for best performance.

The Starboard and Mistral boards should be inflated to 18-20psi according to this shop.

I just tried out the Mistral 14'x27.5" Mistral inflatable yesterday pumped up to 19psi and it worked great. There's a huge difference between 15psi and 19psi in terms of how the board feels on the water. It performed very well in the flat water 10mph winds I had yesterday. I was sufficiently impressed that I may buy this board.

I think the higher pressure the Red is capable of will result in even better performance. The Red has some other great features as DJ as pointed out. They put some good thought into the design.:
- Ability to swap standard fins (not stuck with the included fin)
- Stiffening battens (makes sense to me)
- Forward tracking ridge for better tracking. The Mistral I tried is supposed to be one of the best tracking inflatables around (better than the Starboard and Mistral boards) yet it still doesn't track as well as a regular race board.
- Great backpack that's not just an afterthought

You need some good pumps to get to the 18-25psi for optimal performance. I've looked into those as well but that's another topic.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2013, 01:34:55 PM by Argosi »

spookini

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Re: Paddling the new 12'6" RedAir.
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 06:03:53 PM »
The Red 12-6 is listed at 30 POUNDS, so yeah a bit heavier than competing blowups of the same size.  I think as Argosi mentioned though, it's due to thickness of material used, 4ply material at the rail seams, etc.

Curious to hear ppl's opinion on inflatables and weight..  30lbs is not a light board...  though durability/punc-resistance is an obvious issue in this product category.  Have seen other 12-6's listed at 22lbs.  I wonder what the trade-off is in terms of weight v. durability?  Would suck to buy a lightweight inflatable only to have if fail during the 1st season...
« Last Edit: March 12, 2013, 06:05:53 PM by spookini »
-- My doctor says I suffer from low kook --
Do sharks attack?  Hope not
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