Bluefin Cruise Review
The Bluefin Cruise is one of the most sold SUP boards, is in my opinion one of the very best models on the market and also convinced in our SUP Board Test. In addition to the excellent workmanship, the five-year warranty offered by the British manufacturer on the board, the extensive scope of delivery and the extremely stiff construction speak for themselves.
The complete set already includes the complete basic equipment and is suitable for beginners into Stand Up Paddling as well as for advanced users who want to switch from a very cheap model to a really good SUP with high-quality accessories. Considering the extremely long warranty period and the accessories that come with the board, the price-performance ratio is excellent.
The Bluefin Cruise model was so successful that the British manufacturer launched several new variants on the market. In addition to the Bluefin Cruise Junior (Kids SUP), the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 (Allround SUP), the Bluefin Cruise 12 (Touring SUP), the Bluefin Cruise Tandem (SUP Board for two persons), the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is also offered, which is an even stiffer version of the board that is equipped with an extra carbon layer and two separate air chambers.
For most paddlers, the standard Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is the right choice. The Allround Board is best suited for various applications and can also be used for touring. Particularly ambitious paddlers, on the other hand, are better off using the Bluefin Cruise Carbon. With their extra stiff construction and even better accessories, these inflatable SUP Boards offer even more performance.
About the board
The Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is 325 cm long and 83,5 cm wide. It is a typical all-round SUP board and best suited for cruising lakes, canals, slow flowing rivers and waters with smaller waves.
Both versions of the Bluefin Cruise are 15 cm thick. The 6 inch thick boards are stiffer than narrower boards. Another advantage is that more air fits into these thicker boards. This provides more buoyancy, a higher load capacity and more stability.
Beginners should especially avoid SUP boards that are only 10 cm thick. These boards tend to bend in the middle. This has a very bad influence on the riding characteristics and when paddling the feet get wet quickly. At colder temperatures this is especially unattractive.
The wide construction and the extra high air pressure, on which the Bluefin Cruise can be inflated, provide a lot of buoyancy. The maximum load of the Bluefin Cruise is therefore 130 kilograms (10’8) and 140 kilograms (12) respectively. The Cruise can also be used for heavier paddlers, joint trips with a child or SUP with a dog.
With a weight of 12.6 kilograms (Bluefin Cruise 10’8) or about 14 kilograms (Bluefin Cruise 12) the boards are not quite light, but are in the average range.
With the included backpack, which has very well padded shoulder straps, the board can be transported comfortably . The higher weight is due to the construction with the very robust outer shell. On the other hand, the board is particularly durable and stiff.
The Bluefin Cruise is equipped with a large EVA cover pad. The non-slip coating of the deck offers a good grip and allows a safe stand. The Bluefin deck pad is particularly handy because the crocodile structure has a deep profile.
Another special feature of the Bluefin Cruise is that this board has a kickpad. At the back of the board the kickpad is thicker. By stepping on the kickpad with one foot, the weight can be effectively shifted backwards. In this way turns on the spot are possible.
Kickpads are rarely found on Allround SUP boards. For longer touring boards and race SUPs these are more common. For beginners, turning with a kickpad is very demanding, but with some practice and a feeling for the board, the Bluefin Cruise can be turned very quickly with the kickpad.
Furthermore, the Bluefin Cruise has a total of nine D-rings, which can be used to attach further equipment and above all to attach a kayak seat, which is already included in the delivery.
At the front of the Bluefin Cruise there is a baggage net which can be used to transport a dry bag or other equipment.
The board is also equipped with a central carrying handle and one handle each at the front and rear of the board. The two additional handles allow the SUP to be carried by two people.
The middle carrying handle is particularly striking because it can also be used as a paddle holder. If you want to swim in the middle of the lake, you have a good place to store the paddle.
In the front area there is also an Actioncam holder, which is compatible with all common Actioncams.
Processing and quality
The quality of the board makes a very good impression. The edges are neatly finished and there are no other flaws on the board. The board sleeve of the Bluefin Cruise is much more robust than many other inflatable SUP boards. All in all, the board looks as if it will last a long time.
The Dropstich process was used in the production, in which two PVC layers were joined together. The production process is today’s standard and makes the board particularly stiff. In addition to the relatively thick layers, which provide additional robustness and stiffness, the manufacturer also states that the Bluefin Cruise has the highest density of stitches (another quality feature) of any SUP board.
The cover of the Bluefin Cruise is so stable that it can withstand an air pressure of up to 28 PSI. At this very high pressure most boards of other manufacturers already give way. The recommended maximum air pressure is 15 to 18 PSI, which is higher than most SUP boards, which are often inflated to 12 to 15 PSI.
The higher air pressure provides high buoyancy on the one hand and even more stiffness on the other. The extreme stiffness of the Bluefin Cruise can also be felt on the water.
In the Bluefin Cruise Test the board gives in only little. This is a sign of a lot of stiffness and is also noticeable on the water.
Another very positive thing is that Bluefin offers a five year warranty on the board. This is of course a great sign of confidence in your own products. The Bluefin Cruise also makes a very good impression with its robust case and good workmanship quality and looks like a board that will really last long.
The quality of the Bluefin Cruise can easily keep up with boards of well-known brands or is sometimes even better. Their boards, however, are also in the four-digit range.
The Bluefin Cruise offers a lot of tilting stability, which also benefits beginners. The Bluefin Cruise 10’8 focuses on stability. This makes it a very good board for trips over lakes, canals, slow flowing rivers and waters with low waves. With its sporty construction and extreme hardness, the board is also suitable for medium-length tours.
The Bluefin Cruise 12 also offers a lot of stability with its relatively wide construction and is safe in the water, but the long construction provides better straight-line stability. This makes the Bluefin Cruise 12 a better board for long trips.
For beginners in stand up paddling, all-round boards like the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 are the better choice. The slightly wider boards offer more tilt stability. Especially at the beginning it is easier to keep the balance.
The Bluefin Cruise 12 can also be interesting for advanced riders, ambitious beginners and beginners, who especially want to go on longer tours. The longer board keeps the track better. When paddling the side has to be changed less often and higher speeds can be built up.
The construction with three fins, of which the two side fins are fixed and only the main fin is removable, gives the board further stability.
The light Noserocker is also practical for smaller waves. With the high bent tip of the board the board does not dive into every wave, but glides better over the water.
We particularly liked the very hard edges. The inflated board and especially the edges are extremely hard, which makes fast turns possible. The Bluefin Cruise’s riding feel is much closer to that of fixed SUP boards than that of other inflatable SUP boards.
The Bluefin Cruise comes with many accessories. Included in the delivery is the complete basic equipment needed for the first tours. The Bluefin Cruise comes with a backpack, leash, kayak seat, paddle, instruction manual, repair kit, air pump and waterproof mobile phone case.
Compared to the single purchase of the accessories, the purchase of such a set can save a lot of money. The accessories included with the Bluefin Cruise would probably cost more than 250€.
Bluefin has special offers from time to time, where you can get the Bluefin Cruise with additional accessories on the website bluefinsupboards.com/us/. That can be for example a free Actioncam or a better air pump, which is then additionally contained in the scope of supply.
A fiberglass paddle is included, which weighs considerably less than the aluminum paddles included in many other sets. The quality of the workmanship also makes a good impression. The connectors are well made and close well.
Fiberglass paddles are popular with beginners and advanced users. The lower weight makes the paddle much easier. Furthermore, the paddle included in the Bluefin Cruise is floatable. Other manufacturers include aluminium paddles in some of their SUPs that can’t even swim.
The height-adjustable paddle can be adjusted to a maximum length of 2.15 metres and is suitable for paddlers up to 1.95 metres tall. For transport and storage, the SUP Paddle can also be dismantled into three individual parts.
A further special feature is that the paddle of the Bluefin Cruise can be converted into a double paddle with a second paddle blade, which is also included in the scope of delivery. In this way the SUP can really be used as a kayak.
Also the supplied air pump makes a very good impression. The handle is very wide and pleasant to the touch. It is a double stroke pump which can be switched between the single stroke mode and the double stroke mode. In double stroke mode, the air pump can pump air into the board when pushing down and pulling up.
In this way the time for inflation can be significantly reduced. It is best to use this mode to quickly pump a lot of air into the board at the beginning. From a value of five to seven PSI, the board switches to single action mode and pumps to the end.
With the included air pump we only needed six minutes to inflate the board in our Bluefin Cruise Test.
The included backpack is very spacious and offers enough space for the rolled up SUP Board as well as all accessories and further equipment. The workmanship of the backpack is of high quality. This is a SUP backpack which can also be used for other purposes.
On the one hand, the fact that there is a strap inside the backpack with which the board can be fixed is particularly noticeable. When carrying, the weight is closer to the back and transport is easier. On the other hand, both the shoulder straps and the back area are very well padded. This ensures a high level of wearing comfort.
The scope of delivery also includes a leash. One end of the leash is attached to the ankle and the other end to the rear D-ring. In case of a fall into the water the board cannot swim away.
The Bluefin Cruise is a Coiled Leash. These kind of holding lines are rolled up in the basic condition and are also the today’s standard. The advantage of coiled leashes is that they do not expand to their full length until you fall into the water. This is an important safety measure because these leases cannot get caught on plants or rocks.
- Waterproof phone case: The included waterproof phone case makes a good qualitative impression and effectively protects even large smartphones from the water.
- Fin: The removable main fin is attached to the board using a Smart-Lock system. Installation takes only a few seconds.
- Kayak seat: The supplied kayak seat can be attached to the four central D-rings. With the kayak seat and the double paddle the Bluefin Cruise can also be used as a kayak.
- Bedienungsanleitung: The operating instructions briefly explain how to assemble the board.
- Repair kit: The repair kit includes several color-matching PVC patches.
The Bluefin Cruise is one of the best SUP boards on the market. For beginners the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 is the right choice. Advanced paddlers who want to reach even higher speeds or longer distances are well advised to use the Bluefin Cruise 12.
The different models of the Bluefin Cruise speak for the high-quality workmanship, the extremely stiff construction, the very high-quality accessories, which stand out clearly better than with low-priced SUP Boards and the extensive scope of supply.
We also consider the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 to be one of the best SUP boards for beginners because it strikes a good balance between a stable SUP board for beginners and a board that is also suitable for touring. You can grow with the Bluefin Cruise.
Techniques for advanced paddlers such as turning with a kickpad or building up higher speeds are possible with the board due to the pointed construction, but for the beginning the board also offers a good degree of stability.
The Bluefin Cruise is definitely not a cheap board, but considering the high-quality construction, the extensive and high-quality accessories and the incredibly long warranty of five years, the price is definitely justified. While other manufacturers sometimes save massively on the quality of the board and especially on the accessories, you notice the Bluefin Cruise its class.