Red Paddle Explorer 12’6″

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

The 12’6″ Explorer weighs in at 25lbs, including fin. Red Paddle Co are careful not to make the boards too light. Yes, there is such a thing. Obviously the weight is there for rigidity and performance reasons, but we also need some weight in the board to control it in rougher waters or wind. A board with some weight is predictable and stable making it better suited to all paddlers.

Red Paddle Co have chosen to go with the tool-less fin set up offered by the FCS II Connect fins. Many of the boards now use the 9″ touring style fin which inserts easily into the US fin box in a matter of seconds. It is so simple, I don’t know why all brands don’t sell all boards, both inflatable and hard boards, with these fins. Those little nuts and plate things would so often get lost or damaged so a tool-less option with 5 second insert and 5 second removal is a very welcome change.
Up a little closer we can see the edges of the material are cleanly cut, the glue lines that previously wandered are all now dead straight thanks to the robots. The tie-down d-rings are stainless steel with heavy duty bungee cord and RAM Mount in the forward cargo area. The center carry handles is all padded and the side handles are now mounted inboard to be more convenient for carrying, lashing things on board etc. There is also a carry handle integrated into the leash d-ring on the nose and tail which is excellent for pulling the board through waves, up the beach or generally just holding on etc. The nose handle also features a second RAM Mount.

Further updates to the range featured on this board are the Red Paddle Co logos on the top and underside of the nose are screen printed on rather than a layer in itself, further saving weight.


Thickness:150mm, 5.90 inches
Volume:370 liters


Weight:25 lbs board only, 34 lbs with backpack and pump
Max payload:330 lbs/150 kg