Bluefin Cruise Carbon Inflatable Paddle Board Review

If you have been doing your research about paddle boards, then there’s no doubt that you will have come across Bluefin and its wide range of inflatable offerings. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is their most premium option from their offerings and the inflatable stand-up paddleboard is already gaining a reputation for being an excellent performer as well as having all-around capabilities.

In this review, we have asked for feedback from paddle boarders that we know along with local paddling clubs to get their opinion on this board. We have put together hours of research and will dive deep into the board's features, performance on the water, and what users can expect from this Bluefin product.


The Bluefin Cruise Carbon stands out for its impressive performance on the water. Much like all of the best inflatable paddle boards, the Cruise Carbon is packed with the latest technology to give the best experience on the water. This section delves into the specific features that contribute to its stability, manoeuvrability, and smooth gliding capabilities.


Finding a stable board is crucial, especially for beginners. The Cruise Carbon tackles this challenge with a three-pronged approach:

  1. Flex Reduction System (FRS): Imagine a skeleton for the board – that's what the FRS essentially is. Thin layers of carbon fiber are heat-welded between the PVC layers on the sides. This creates a much stiffer board that resists bending even in choppy water. With less flex, you experience a more stable platform, reducing wobbliness and increasing your confidence on the water.


  1. Air Duo Inflation System: This innovative system inflates two separate chambers within the board. The main chamber fills the bulk of the board, while the second chamber sits underneath the deck pad. By inflating both chambers, you achieve an unparalleled level of firmness.


Think of it like a double-walled structure – it provides significantly more rigidity compared to a single chamber design. This translates to a more stable paddling experience, even for heavier riders or when encountering waves.


  1. High Weight Capacity: Not all boards are created equal when it comes to weight capacity. The Cruise Carbon boasts a capacity of up to 286 lbs, making it suitable for a wide range of paddlers.


This higher weight limit contributes to stability because the board is designed to handle the weight distribution effectively. You won't experience excessive sinking or a feeling of being overwhelmed by the board, even if you're near the weight limit.

Manoeuvrability: Surprisingly Agile for its Size

Stability often comes at the cost of manoeuvrability. However, the Cruise Carbon defies this expectation. You may have seen the Scout and Ranger kayak featured in our best inflatable kayak article and in truth, the tracking with this exceeded our expectation. Here's how it achieves surprising agility:

  1. Responsive Design: The board's overall design and construction make it responsive to your paddling input. Whether you're using back paddling strokes to slow down or performing step-back turns for quick changes in direction, the board reacts efficiently. This allows for better control and a more dynamic paddling experience.


  1. Pointed Nose: The pointed nose cuts through waves and choppy water with ease. This not only enhances stability in rougher conditions but also allows for smoother carving and turning. Imagine using a knife to slice through butter – the pointed nose achieves a similar effect, reducing drag and allowing for sharper turns.


  1. Good Tracking: Despite its agility, the Cruise Carbon maintains a good track. This means you can paddle in a straight line without constantly having to correct your course. This is due to the board's overall shape and fin configuration, which help it stay on course, even for less experienced paddlers.

Glide Effortlessly Across the Water

Effortless paddling is a dream for many SUP enthusiasts and much like their battery powered sup pump, Bluefin have tried to make this paddle board as effortless as possible. The Cruise Carbon factors in two key elements to achieve this smooth gliding experience:

  1. Stiff Construction: The combination of the FRS and the Air Duo Inflation System creates a remarkably stiff board. This stiffness minimizes flex, which can otherwise create drag and slow you down. With a stiffer board, you can put more power into your strokes, translating to smoother gliding and covering greater distances with less effort.
  2. Pointed Nose: As mentioned earlier, the pointed nose plays a crucial role in reducing drag. By slicing through the water rather than pushing against it, the board requires less effort to propel forward. This allows you to glide effortlessly across the water surface, making paddling a more enjoyable and efficient experience.

    Built Tough: High-Quality Materials for Lasting Performance

    1. Military-Grade PVC: The core of the Cruise Carbon is constructed from military-grade PVC. This robust material is known for its incredible puncture resistance and tear strength. It can withstand bumps, scrapes, and even minor collisions with rocks or underwater obstacles without compromising the board's integrity. Compared to standard PVC, the military-grade version offers a significant increase in durability. This ensures you can explore various water conditions with peace of mind.


    1. Heat-Welded Carbon Fiber Rails: These aren't your average inflatable SUP rails. Bluefin incorporates heat-welded carbon fiber rails on the sides of the board. Carbon fiber is renowned for its remarkable strength-to-weight ratio. By integrating it into the rails, the Cruise Carbon boasts enhanced rigidity and improved overall performance. The heat-welding process creates a seamless bond between the carbon fiber and PVC. This eliminates weak points and further solidifying the board's structure.


    1. Anti-UV Coating: Sun exposure can be detrimental to inflatable SUPs, causing the material to degrade over time. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon combats this issue with a protective anti-UV coating. This coating acts as a shield, absorbing or reflecting harmful UV rays that could otherwise weaken the board's material. By safeguarding the PVC from sun damage, the anti-UV coating extends the lifespan of your board and maintains its optimal performance for years to come.


    1. 5-YearWarranty: Bluefin's confidence in the quality of the Cruise Carbon is evident in their extended 5-yearwarranty. This warranty demonstrates their commitment to providing a product that is built to last. While the warranty covers manufacturer defects for the entire 5 years, it's important to note that you'll be responsible for return shipping costs after the initial 6 months. However, the extended warranty period signifies Bluefin's dedication to customer satisfaction and their belief in the long-lasting durability of the Cruise Carbon.

    Designed for Versatility: A Shape that Fits All Needs

    The Cruise Carbon's all-around shape is a testament to its adaptability. This design blends various features to create a board that excels in different paddling scenarios:

    1. All-around Shape: This core shape offers the perfect balance between stability and manoeuvrability. It provides a wider platform compared to touring boards, making it easier to find your balance, which is ideal for beginners. Yet, it's not overly wide, allowing for efficient paddling strokes and direction changes.


    1. Pointed Nose: The pointed nose tackles waves and cuts through choppy water with ease. This design element enhances not only stability in rougher conditions but also allows for smoother carving and turning. It reduces drag as the board enters the water, making paddling more efficient and less tiring.


    1. Flat Tail: The flat tail section contributes significantly to the overall stability of the board. This wider section at the back provides a solid platform for confident paddling, especially for those new to the sport. It also aids in take-offs and landings when encountering small waves.


    1. Rocker Profile: The rocker profile refers to the curvature of the board's bottom edge from nose to tail. The Cruise Carbon features a well-balanced rocker that allows it to handle choppy water effectively. This curvature helps the board glide over waves without digging in and also maintains manoeuvrability for easy turning and navigation.


    1. Rigid Construction: Combining the military-grade PVC, heat-welded carbon fiber rails, and the all-around shape culminates in a remarkably rigid construction. This rigidity is paramount for optimal performance. It minimizes flex, leading to improved tracking, efficient paddling, and a more enjoyable overall experience on the water.

    Compare features vs Rivals

    A globally trusted brand loaded with premium features




    Fusion Layer with ESL



    Reinforced 1000 Denier

    Inferior Quality

    Nose Technology

    Upward Curved Nose

    Low Rocker

    Fin Technology

    Smart Lock 2+1 System

    Fixed basic fins

    5x Action Camera Mounts

    Front and Rear Bungees

    Carbon Fibre Paddle

    US Fin Box

    Board Features

    Deck Designed for Confidence and Control

    1. Croco-Diamond Deckpad: Forget about slipping and sliding – the Bluefin Cruise Carbon features a Croco-Diamond deckpad. This textured pad boasts a diamond pattern that provides exceptional grip, even when the deck is wet. This improved traction is crucial for maintaining balance and control, especially for beginners who are still finding their footing (pun intended) on the board. The textured surface also provides a comfortable feel underfoot, reducing fatigue during long paddling sessions.


    1. Kicktail: Take your turns to the next level with the integrated kicktail. This raised section at the tail of the board provides additional leverage and control when performing step-back turns. By digging your foot into the kicktail, you can initiate sharper turns with more power and precision. This feature is not only beneficial for experienced paddlers looking to manoeuvre with agility but also helps beginners master turning techniques more comfortably.

      Effortless Transport and Storage

      Five Carry Handles: Hauling your inflatable SUP to and from the water shouldn't be a hassle. Even if you haven't got one of the best electric paddle board pumps to help you pump the paddle board, the Cruise Carbon features five strategically placed carry handles. These handles are positioned on the nose, tail, sides, and even in the middle of the deck pad. This allows for easy carrying by one or two paddlers, depending on your preference and the distance you need to travel. The multiple handle placements also offer different carrying positions for added comfort during transport.

      Innovation That Enhances Performance

      Air Duo Inflation System: As discussed earlier, the Air Duo Inflation System plays a significant role in the board's rigidity. This innovative system inflates two separate chambers within the board.

      The main chamber inflates the bulk of the board, while a second chamber sits underneath the deckpad. Inflating both chambers simultaneously creates an unparalleled level of stiffness, contributing to a more stable and overall, more enjoyable paddling experience.

        Versatility at its Finest

        1. 14 D-Rings: D-rings are like the attachment points for your paddling adventures. The Cruise Carbon features a total of 14 D-rings strategically placed around the board. These D-rings allow you to attach a variety of accessories, transforming your board to suit your specific needs. You can use them to secure a kayak conversion kit for a different paddling experience, attach a cooler for extended trips, or connect a paddle leash to keep your paddle within reach. The possibilities are virtually endless, allowing you to customize your board for various paddling activities.


        1. Cargo Areas with Bungee Cords: Packing light for your paddling adventure? The Cruise Carbon has you covered. Integrated cargo areas with bungee cords are built into the deck of the board. These designated spaces allow you to securely store essentials like a dry bag, water bottle, or sunscreen without worrying about them slipping off or getting lost in the water. The bungee cords provide a simple yet effective way to keep your gear in place, ensuring a smooth and organized paddling experience.

        Essential Accessories for a Complete Package

        1. Carbon Fiber Paddle: Bluefin doesn't skimp on the extras. The Cruise Carbon comes with a high-quality carbon fiber paddle. Compared to traditional aluminium paddles, carbon fiber offers significant weight savings. This translates to less fatigue on your arms and shoulders, especially during long paddling sessions. The lightweight construction also makes manoeuvring the paddle on the water feel effortless.


        1. Dual-Chamber Triple-Action Pump: Inflating your board shouldn't be a chore. The included dual-chamber triple-action pump makes inflating the Cruise Carbon a breeze. The dual-chamber design allows you to inflate both chambers of the board simultaneously, saving you time and effort. The triple-action functionality further simplifies the inflation process by allowing you to switch between single-action and double-action modes depending on the pressure level. This makes inflation easier on your arms, especially as the board reaches its maximum pressure.


        1. Backpack with Wheels: Once you've deflated your board, storing, and transporting it becomes effortless. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon comes with a convenient backpack equipped with wheels. This backpack allows you to comfortably store all the deflated components, including the board, paddle, and pump, in one place. The wheels eliminate the need to carry the bag, making transportation to and from the water a breeze.


        1. Leash: Safety is paramount when paddling on any body of water. The included leash attaches to your ankle and the board, ensuring you don't get separated from your board in case of a fall.

          Who Should Buy the Bluefin Cruise Carbon?

          Ideal for Confidence-Building Beginners

          Are you a first-timer or a beginner looking to explore the world of stand-up paddleboarding? The Cruise Carbon can be your perfect stepping stone. Here's why:

               Unwavering Stability: This board excels in stability thanks to its features like the Flex Reduction System (FRS) and Air Duo Inflation. This translates to a wobble-free platform, inspiring confidence as you learn paddling techniques and find your balance on the water.


               Easy Manoeuvrability: Despite its stability, the Cruise Carbon offers surprising manoeuvrability. The responsive design allows for easy back paddling and step-back turns, making navigation a breeze as you get comfortable steering the board.

          Ideal for Confidence-Building Beginners

          Even seasoned paddlers can appreciate what the Cruise Carbon brings to the table:

               Performance Powerhouse: The rigid construction due to the heat-welded carbon fiber rails and overall design allows for efficient paddling and smooth gliding. You'll experience less flex and drag, making every stroke count and covering greater distances with less effort.


               All-Around Versatility: The all-around shape offers the best of both worlds: stability for relaxed cruising and manoeuvrability for carving through waves or exploring narrow coves. This versatility caters to experienced paddlers who enjoy a variety of paddling styles and conditions.

          Durability Meets Peace of Mind

          For those seeking a long-lasting and feature-rich iSUP, the Cruise Carbon delivers:

               Top-Notch Construction: Military-grade PVC and heat-welded carbon fiber rails ensure the board can withstand everyday wear and tear. The anti-UV coating further protects the material from sun damage, extending the board's lifespan.


               5-Year Warranty: Bluefin's extended warranty demonstrates their confidence in the board's quality. This provides peace of mind, knowing you're investing in a product built to last for years of paddling adventures.

          Know Your Size: A Consideration Before You Paddle

          While the Cruise Carbon caters to a wide range of paddlers, it's important to consider your size for optimal stability. Here's a point to remember:

               Size Matters: If you're over 6 feet tall or weigh more than 250 lbs, the 12' carbon model might be a better choice. The extra length and width of the 12' board will provide enhanced stability for taller or heavier paddlers.

          Bottom Line

          The Bluefin Cruise Carbon strikes a perfect balance between stability, manoeuvrability, and performance. It's ideal for first-time paddlers seeking confidence on the water, experienced paddlers who value versatility, and anyone looking for a durable and feature-rich iSUP.


          Just remember, for taller or heavier paddlers, the 12' carbon model might be a better fit for ultimate stability. So, grab your paddle and get ready to experience the joy of stand-up paddleboarding with the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10'8"!

          Copyright © 2024 Sports Engineer. All Rights Reserved.

          • Refund policy

          • Terms of service

          • Privacy policy