This is a review of the Blackfin Model V inflatable paddle board.
When iRocker launched the Blackfin line of inflatable paddle boards they were an instant hit. The Blackfin Model V is the performance board of the lineup. Apart from its beautiful design, it is meant to offer great speed, impeccable tracking, and overall awesome performance.
In this in-depth review, we’re going to talk about everything you need to know about the Blackfin Model V.
The speed of the Model V doesn’t disappoint. It is long and not too wide, a shape that allows it to glide smoothly, offering you a very good paddle boarding experience.
I love that it is also stable, in addition to being fast. You get great performance without sacrificing stability, which is amazing.
The other thing that makes this inflatable SUP board stand out is the feature-packed deck. iRocker did not hold back. You get two bungee storage areas, 20 D-rings, eight action mounts, and four safety handles. These features allow you to bring lots of gear for touring, fishing, a fun day at the water, etc.
There’s a lot to say about the Blackfin Model V and I’ll discuss it all here. But first, let’s look at the pros and cons.
Pros and Cons of the Blackfin Model V
Paddle Board Specs
- Length: 12’6
- Width: 32”
- Thickness: 6”
- Weight: 30 lbs
- Weight capacity: 485 lbs
Who Is the Blackfin Model V Best For?
The Blackfin Model V paddle board would be ideal for anglers, touring enthusiasts, athletes, and anyone ready to move on from a basic all-around board.
A good fishing and touring board should have enough gear attachment points for everything you need. With the Blackfin Model V, you won’t be disappointed. Imagine all the gear you can bring with 20 D-rings, bungee storage areas, and action mounts.
Going on a fishing trip? You can attach fishing rod holders, a fishing rack, SUP cooler, sand spear, and a cup holder. Thinking about a day-long touring trip? You’ll have a place to attach a kayak seat, deck bag, camera mount to capture all the epic moments with an action camera, and more.
The Blackfin Model V is fast and would be excellent for paddling long distances. If you’re an athlete looking for a fun activity to build endurance, you should consider the Model V.
Features of the Model V Inflatable Paddle Board
How does the Blackfin Model V really perform on the water? Read on to find out.
Most paddle boards sacrifice stability for speed.
The Model V inflatable is a stable board, ideal for paddlers of all sizes. Most touring boards tend to be narrow, something that makes them less stable. This one is 32 inches, a good width for stability and it feels comfortable when you’re paddling.
The surface is large, 12’6 x 32”, and not tippy at all. It also helps that the Blackfin V is 6 inches thick. Thicker means more volume and better buoyancy. It will hold any paddler plus their gear and even a dog without sinking and getting wobbly.
In addition to its remarkable construction, the Model V has a carbon rail that makes it super stiff, enhancing stability. Flex in inflatable paddle boards is not uncommon and it doesn’t help with stability. Luckily, it’s not something you’ll have to deal with when riding the Model V. It is solid.
The Blackfin Model V is not the easiest paddle board to maneuvre.
At 12’6, this SUP is on the longer side and that means it won’t be as easy to turn as, say, a 10’ SUP. Shorter paddle boards are much more responsive. Still, the Model V is decently maneuverable and you’ll have fun paddling it.
It may not be as playful as a shorter board but, given the length, it’s great. You won’t have a reason to complain.
Amazing Tracking Ability
Now, this is where the Blackfin paddle board shines.
The Model V tracks impeccably–that is, it’s not hard to make it go straight. A board that keeps zigzagging and veering off the path can be frustrating. It’s not something you want, especially with a touring board.
But you’ll have nothing to worry about. The Blackfin V is long with a pointed bow, features that significantly enhance tracking. The board also has three fins which help with making the board travel straight.
You won’t find yourself having to switch paddling sides more than you need to. For a touring paddle board, this is an important factor if you’re to paddle with speed over long distances.
Speaking of speed…
The Blackfin Model V is the fastest of all iRocker paddle boards–even faster than the iRocker Sport. It is long and moderately narrow, a great shape for speed.
Narrower boards are faster because of reduced resistance while gliding on the water. However, they usually have less stability.
The width of the Model V balances the two so you get speed and stability, which is not the case with most performance SUP boards. It’s awesome because this balance is what makes the Blackfin V so versatile. It is fast enough for touring and stable enough for fishing.
The pointed nose also gives this paddle board a streamlined shape that helps it glide with impressive speed.
Like the other Blackfin boards, the Model V is built using triple-layer composite PVC and a dropstitch core. This three-layer construction results in a paddle board that is not only rugged but sturdy.
More PVC layers usually translate to a board that is more durable and stiffer when inflated.
You may notice that many of the super cheap models from no-name brands feature a single-layer construction. These SUPs barely last and they typically have a warranty period of a year or less. The cheap boards also flex, especially with heavier paddlers, which can be frustrating.
The Blackfin paddle board’s construction is virtually indestructible and much more reliable. It takes a lot to puncture it so you can explore with confidence. When you hit an obstacle while paddle boarding, it is more likely to bounce off than to get damaged.
It is so tough that iRocker offers a three-year warranty period, one of the best in the industry. Previously, the Blackfin models came with a two-year warranty.
The durable materials and build technology also give the Model V outstanding stiffness when fully inflated. It feels solid, even for taller and heavier paddlers. You don’t have to worry about flexing or bending, like with cheap boards. This SUP can support up to 485 pounds, which I think is impressive for a single-rider board.
The Blackfin Model V features a carbon rail which is designed to enhance durability and make it stiffer. This feature reduces the likelihood of flex even more.
The Blackfin Model V looks good–its shape, features, and graphics all come together so well. You can get it in three colors: mossy green, pacific teal, and midnight smoke. I personally prefer mossy green, but the others are gorgeous too.
It would have been great if the Model V also had six color options like the other Blackfin paddle boards.
The Blackfin V has a nice streamlined shape that enables it to glide with minimum resistance, giving you a smooth experience on the water.
Blackfin Model V Board Features
Now let’s talk about the features of the Model V.
Fins are an important part of any paddle board. Without them, your SUP will track poorly, much to your frustration. Fins also help with maneuverability and stability.
The Blackfin Model V comes with three removable nylon flip-lock fins. Some paddlers love removable fins because you can play around with different setups for different conditions. For a versatile paddle board like this one, that’s a good feature. An inflatable paddle board also folds nicely without the fins.
Other paddlers may not like removable fins because it’s easy to lose them. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
I love that the Model V fins are easy to attach and detach so it’s not an annoying process.
Large Traction Pad
The Model V inflatable paddle board has a deck pad that covers most of the area where you’ll be standing or kneeling. It is soft and comfortable. You can stand on it all day long while on your long-distance touring adventures without getting fatigued. The pad is kid- and dog-approved as well.
Apart from comfort, the deck pad also offers traction. The deck can be slippery when wet so you’ll need the grippy surface of the pad.
Multiple Grab Handles
There are three carry handles located at the front, center, and rear of this iRocker paddle board. The center handle makes it easy to carry the SUP solo when it’s inflated. Without it, you would have a hard time carrying a 12’6-long, 30-pound board to the water–plus your gear.
You can use the other two handles to carry the paddle board with a friend or drag your iSUP into and out of the water.
Regardless of how you decide to use them, you’ll be happy they’re there.
The SUP comes with safety handles, like the other iRocker boards; two at the front and two at the back. These are great when you have a child with you on the board because they’ll have something to hold on to.
D-Rings and Action Mounts
This is one of my favorite things about the Blackfin Model V touring board.
You have lots of options for attaching gear, whether you’re going on a fishing or long expedition trip.
There are eight action mounts that you can use for fishing rod holders, camera mounts, cup holders, fishing racks, speakers, and so much more. The best part? You can get all of these accessories–compatible with the Model V– from iRocker.
On top of that, you’ll have 20 D-rings at your disposal. You can attach a kayak seat and other accessories. The bungee storage areas at the front and rear would be great for securing a dry bag or cooler deck bag.
Paddle Board Accessories: What Does the Blackfin Model V Come with?
When you buy the Blackfin Model V, you get everything you need to start paddling right away. The paddle board package includes a paddle, backpack, leash, pump, and a repair kit.
The carbon shaft paddle has a nylon blade. It feels light, weighing only 29 ounces. It’s much better and more efficient than a fiberglass or aluminum paddle.
This carbon matte shaft paddle is adjustable 72” to 86” and breaks down into three pieces for transport and storage.
The premium backpack has padded back and waist support. It’s very comfortable and you can carry it over long distances, with all your paddling gear inside. Besides, it has wheels which make transport even easier.
In addition to the large main compartment, the Blackfin travel bag has two side pockets, a front zipper pocket, and a bungee cord cargo area. The pockets will come in handy for storing small items that you need quick access to.
The dual-chamber, triple-action hand pump has an integrated pressure gauge. This is miuch easier to use, compared to many other manual pumps. However, it’s still a manual pump and it takes some effort to fill up the SUP. I highly recommend upgrading to an electric pump if you can afford it. It’s a good investment, especially if you own multiple inflatable paddle boards.
The 10-foot coil leash is one of the most comfortable leashes you can get. It has neoprene padding that feels comfortable against your skin. You can wear it all day long while paddling—as you should—without any issues.
It also has a key stash spot inside the strap.
Optional Model V Accessories
The included accessories above are all you need for a basic paddling trip. But if you want to make your trip more fun and adventurous, iRocker has other accessories to help you with that. They are all compatible with the Blackfin Model V.
- Kayak conversion kit (kayak seat and kayak blade)
- Action camera mount
- Electric iSUP pump
- Electric pump battery
- Rotomolded SUP cooler
- Fishing rod holder
- Fishing rack
- Waterproof speakers
- Sand spear
- Cell phone holder
- Cup holder
- SUP anchor kit
What Users Are Saying About the Blackfin Model V Paddle Board
The Blackfin Model V is an excellent paddle board, in my opinion. But do other paddlers agree? Let’s find out.
A certain paddler wanted a SUP for fishing and touring. So he took to Reddit to ask for advice from other paddlers.
Another paddler, dnva75 says he had the same requirements and went with the Blackfin Model V. According to him, it’s stable and tracks well – even in windy conditions.
Alison spent so much time researching different paddle boards and she finally settled on the Blackfin Model V. According to her, the performance–tracking, speed, and stability–is impressive. She didn’t experience any flex and she is confident that the board will last.
Bill has owned several models from iRocker, including the Sport. While the Sport is fast, he says it’s no match for the Blackfin V. The SUP is stable and performs well even with a kid and camping gear on board. He, however, agrees that it isn’t very maneuverable.
Jason agrees with the other paddlers that the Model V is fast. His only complaint is that the paint seems to be coming off after a few uses.
Blackfin Model V Inflatable Board Alternatives
All the Blackfin boards seem amazing and you may be wondering which one would be right for you. So let’s see how the Model V compares to the Model XL.
Blackfin Model V Vs Blackfin Model XL
The Blackfin Model XL is 11’6 long and 34” wide. It has a weight limit of 485 pounds.
The SUP is wider and shorter than the Model V. The wide platform is great for stability, making it a fantastic board for fishing, beginners, and even yoga. It is slightly more stable than the Model V but the width slows it down a little. The Model V is the faster board.
The Model XL and the Model V can both support up to 485 pounds and they would be suitable for heavier paddlers. While the two boards can support multiple riders, the Model XL is more suited for that because it has more stability.
Both Blackfin boards are built using quality materials and triple-layer PVC construction. They also have carbon rails and come with a three-year warranty.
All the included accessories in the SUP packages are the same.
While the Model V is only available in three colors, the Model XL has six color options.
I’d recommend the Model XL to the paddler who is more concerned about stability than performance. This could be an angler, someone who wants to have multiple riders on board, a SUP camping enthusiast, or perhaps a beginner.
I think the Blackfin X would also be right for you if you love any of the colors not available with the Model V (though this would purely be a style choice).
The Blackfin Model V is suitable for the paddler who wants speed and overall great performance. It’s definitely the better option for paddling long distances.
iRocker has done a fantastic job with the Model V and I think it’s an awesome paddle board.
The SUP board delivers when it comes to performance. It glides fast and tracks well–exactly what you need for SUP touring. I like that it balances speed and stability, so you get a paddle board that you can use for almost any SUP activity.
The attachment points are amazing as well. They allow you to attach different kinds of accessories and gear for a fun day at the water. You can try fishing, camping, exploring, and more. Regardless of what you’re in the mood for, you will be able to bring all the gear you need.
Lastly, this is a good-looking, high-quality paddle board that comes with a three-year warranty. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it.
So check it out. It just might be what you’re looking for.