Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Review

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is an advanced iSUP that boasts of impeccable performance. It is shaped more like a touring SUP and has features that make it stand out. The board comes with more than just the typical SUP package that other boards offer. But is it as good as the manufacturer claims? We are about to find out in this in-depth Bluefin Cruise Carbon review?

But let’s get to know the manufacturer first.

The Bluefin SUP company is based in the UK and the paddleboards are available all around the globe. The company was started by two watersports enthusiasts in 2013. Will and Charlotte wanted families to enjoy premium iSUPs at affordable prices. So far, they have managed to make some of the most durable paddleboards you can get.

bluefin cruise carbon paddle board

Take a quick look at the pros, cons, and paddleboard specs.

Pros

  • Incredible construction, durable, 5-year warranty
  • Complete SUP package and kayak conversion kit
  • U.S fin box design, toolless installation
  • Flex reduction system, remarkable rigidity
  • High-quality accessories, paddle floats

Cons

  • Side fins are not removable

Paddle Board Specs

  • Length: 12’ (366 cm)
  • Width: 32” (82 cm)
  • Thickness: 6” (16 cm)
  • Weight capacity: 385 lbs (175 kg)

Who Should Buy The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′?

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is ideal for touring, families, beginners, and paddlers looking for a well-performing, all-around SUP.

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 is long and narrow with a rounded square tail and pointy nose. The dimensions and shape allow it to glide with less resistance. This makes the board great for touring because you can paddle longer distances in a shorter time. It has two bungee storage areas for all your luggage when going on day-long excursions. The kayak conversion kit lets you take a break when you are tired of standing. 

According to the manufacturer, the Bluefin Cruise 12 can hold two adults and a pet. SUP is fun when alone, but there’s something special about sharing it with loved ones. The board has a weight capacity of 385 pounds (175 kilograms). If you are looking for a family paddleboard, you will love the Bluefin 12. The deck space is sufficient and it is super stable.

Speaking of stable…

That is the quality that every beginner wants their new paddleboard to have. This is what makes the Bluefin Cruise Carbon a great iSUP for newbies. It offers a long, wide platform for easy learning. The soft deck pad also gives you a comfortable place to stand/kneel on. And it keeps you from slipping when the board is wet too. These are some of the features that you’ll appreciate when getting started.

Lastly, if you want an all-rounder that performs well, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is perfect. Most paddlers tend to be adventurous. They like to explore different areas, and that means different conditions. The Carbon 12 is designed to perform well in almost every condition. The construction will withstand pretty much anything. You can have it as your primary or secondary paddleboard.

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Bluefin Cruise Carbon Performance

a. Stability

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon paddle board is 12 feet long and 32 inches wide. Longer and wider paddleboards are more stable. Typically, a 32-inch width is standard. It offers enough stability for newbies, yoga, and other activities without being too bulky. Even with two paddlers and a restless dog, it is stable enough.

Although the length and width of a SUP are the biggest determinants of stability, the build quality plays a part as well. Cheaply made paddleboards flex, causing them to be less stable. The Bluefin is built using state-of-the-art technology, and two air chambers, which makes it as stiff as a hard SUP when fully inflated.

The thickness of the Bluefin contributes to its stability too. A thicker inflatable paddleboard is more rigid and has a higher volume. It rides above the water and can hold more weight. Thinner boards, on the other hand, will sink and bend making the paddleboard wobbly.

b. Maneuverability

The Bluefin is maneuverable. It handles well and is quite responsive.

Generally, the shorter the paddleboard, the more maneuverable it is. Seeing as the Bluefin is a little on the longer side, smaller people (especially inexperienced ones) may find it harder to handle. But it has a unique kick pad feature which enhances responsiveness, helping you make quick sharp turns. 

The fin system also helps with maneuverability.

c. Tracking

The Bluefin Cruise tracks exceptionally, thanks to the fin system.

A paddleboard that doesn’t track properly will be snaking all over the place. You will find yourself switching sides more than necessary. Fins prevent the tail from being swayed to the side when you push water back with each stroke. This ensures that the paddleboard maintains a straight line.

d. Speed

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 is fast—faster than the average all-around SUP.

It is long and narrow with a pointed nose. This shape reduces resistance and helps it cut through the water smoothly and with impressive speed. 

But unlike most iSUPs designed for speed, it is not too long and too narrow. So it manages to strike a balance between speed and stability.

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Build Quality

Like all Bluefin paddleboards, the Cruise Carbon 12 is made using 1000D exo-surface laminate and pro-weave Dropstitch technology. The paddleboard is so tough it can be inflated to 28 PSI. It also has a flex reduction system. The rails are reinforced with carbon and heat-welded to make the board extremely rigid and indestructible.

For added stiffness, it has two air chambers. The inflation loop is independent of the main air chamber. The paddleboard can float on the inflation chamber only. Not only does this Air Duo feature make the board more rigid, but it also increases safety.

The Bluefin SUP company offers a five-year warranty for the paddleboard.

Quality construction means a durable paddleboard. People prefer inflatable boards for their portability and durability. iSUPs like the Bluefin Cruise Carbon are virtually indestructible. This board has been tested in every kind of way to ensure you are getting nothing but the best. You will have an amazing time traveling everywhere with the Bluefin SUP. Unlike a solid SUP, it will not get dents or dings when you drop it or bump it against something.

Design

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon is built like a touring paddleboard. It is long and slightly narrow with a square tail and pointed nose. This design allows it to be fast yet stable and easy to control.

At the end of the board, there’s a kick pad feature that helps you make sharp turns quickly. The iSUP only comes in one color but it looks great.

The board has a fixed GoPro-ready mount at the nose.

Board Features

1. Fins

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 features a three-fin setup. The large center fin is removable but the side fins are not. Most paddlers prefer to have three removable fins because the paddleboard folds nicely once deflated. Additionally, it is good to be able to change the fin configuration to suit the condition you’ll be paddling in. However, this is not a deal-breaker. The Bluefin Cruise still folds compact.

The inflatable paddle board comes with the versatile US fin box—something that SUPers will appreciate. Even better, you don’t need tools and there are no small parts that can get lost.

2. Deck Pad

The Bluefin Cruise has a croco-diamond deck pad that offers enough traction and comfort. It is much grippier than most deck pads. It keeps you from slipping when your feet and the board are wet. While it is not a full-length pad, it covers a fairly large area.

3. Handles

This paddleboard comes with five grab handles—at the center, nose, tail, and sides. The neoprene handles make the board easy to carry, whether alone or with a friend. 

4. D-Rings

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 has 14 D-rings. They are for attaching the provided kayak seat and customizing your paddleboard. Eight of the D-rings have been used to create cargo storage areas at the front and rear.

SUP Board Accessories

As already mentioned, you get more than just a SUP bundle with the Bluefin Cruise Carbon. In addition to a paddle, bag, leash, and pump, it comes with a kayak conversion kit.

a. The Paddle

It has a carbon-fiber shaft and a polyurethane blade. It is 45% lighter than the average aluminum paddle that you get in most SUP packages. The paddle blade is extremely tough and it will not warp or chip. It has a no-flutter design too. This helps you save energy with efficient strokes.

b. The Pump

The triple-action Bluefin Cruise pump inflates on both the downstroke and upstroke, making your work easier. It features a slim, lightweight design and fits nicely into the bag. The pump also has an ergonomic grip and a high-pressure PSI gauge.

c. The Bag

The durable Bluefin backpack has extra padding on the straps and back for added comfort. The straps are wide too. 

The bag fits the paddleboard and all the accessories. It has outside pockets and reinforced zipper webbing. It now includes wheels to make those long hikes much easier.

d. Kayak Conversion Kit

It includes a kayak seat and an additional blade. Now you don’t have to choose between kayaking and SUP. Converting your Bluefin Cruise Carbon to a kayak takes a couple of minutes. And you won’t need any tools.

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What Users Are Saying

Helen loves SUP while her husband loves kayaking. With a kayak, it is hard to stretch out your legs and when the flow is stronger, she wanted to be able to change from SUP to kayaking. For them, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon seemed like the perfect choice. She says that they had fun the first time they used their Bluefin boards. They were easy to control even in tricky areas and they have proven to be very stable.

Richard loved his Bluefin 10’8 so much that he decided to buy the Bluefin 12. He couldn’t be happier with his decision. He says that it is super tough and the design is nice. He can walk back and forth on the board comfortably even though he weighs 200+ pounds. It is that stable. Three adults have ridden on the board with no issues too. 

Mike loves the Bluefin Cruise package. He is so thrilled about the kayak seat and blade. He would have had to buy them separately had he got a typical SUP bundle. He describes the Bluefin Cruise as extraordinary and says that the quality is outstanding.

Lizzy says that the Bluefin SUP is super stable and easy to maneuver. Her dog jumps on it and it doesn’t tip. However, she doesn’t give it five stars. She says that manual inflation is a difficult task.

Jerry agrees with Lizzy. The paddleboard is fantastic but it took him almost half an hour to get to the recommended PSI. Once inflated, he says that the rigidity is unmatched.

Bluefin Cruise Carbon Alternatives

a. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 Vs Thurso Surf Expedition

thurso expedition touring paddle board

The Thurso Expedition paddle board is designed for long tours. It is built using what Thurso Surf claims to be the “strongest iSUP structure on the market.” It features a dual-layer construction and triple/quad PVC coating on the deck and sides.

It is fairly long (11’5) and narrow (30 inches). The nose is pointed, giving it a streamlined shape that facilitates speed.

The Expedition inflatable SUP comes with a carbon paddle that weighs 2 pounds, backpack, leash, and pump.

The Bluefin is longer than the Thurso but wider. You can expect it to be more stable. As far as speed goes, the difference will be barely noticeable. The Thurso is shorter and this may slow it down a little. But it is narrower and glides with less resistance. So they are almost the same.

The Thurso comes with three removable fins. You can’t remove the side fins on the Bluefin. The board features a paddle holder too. You will not get this with the Bluefin Carbon Cruise.

But the Bluefin has its great qualities. To begin with, it comes with a five-year warranty, while the Thurso has a two-year warranty. There are only two grab handles on the Expedition whereas the Bluefin has five.

The two paddle boards are similar in many ways. When it comes to construction and performance, they both will not disappoint.

b. Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 Vs Blackfin Model V

blackfin v touring paddle board

Whenever touring paddleboards are mentioned, the Blackfin Model V will always come up. That’s because it is an amazing paddleboard from iRocker, a reputable SUP company.

The paddleboard is built using triple-layer composite PVC construction. The manufacturer says that it is just as durable as a quad-layer SUP but 20% lighter. It has a weight capacity of 485 pounds. The Blackfin Model V SUP package includes a leash, paddle, pump, and backpack. The bag has wheels and the paddle has a carbon shaft and nylon blade.

The Model V features eight action mounts and 20 D-rings for attachment and customization. You can bring your camera, fishing rod holder, sand spear, speakers, and much more. The Bluefin only comes with 14 D-rings and a GoPro mount. All the fins on the Model V are removable.

These two SUPs are 32 inches wide but the Model V is longer. You can expect it to glide faster but the speed difference is not much. Both of their bags have wheels which makes transportation easier.

The Bluefin Carbon Cruise has more grab handles—two more than the Blackfin Model V. The Bluefin is covered by a five-year warranty while the Model V’s warranty is two years. The Bluefin package includes a kayak conversion kit. For the Model V, the kit is sold separately.

Both paddleboards are made using impeccable construction. They come with high-quality accessories that last almost as long as the SUPs. Paddlers rate them highly.

Verdict

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12 is a well-made inflatable SUP that performs remarkably. It is mainly a touring paddleboard but it would make a fantastic all-rounder as well. You have seen from the user feedback that its stability is commendable. Although the manufacturer says that it holds two adults and a dog, someone had three adults on his Bluefin with no issues. The five-year warranty shows confidence on the company’s part. And don’t forget that you get a full premium SUP bundle and a kayak conversion kit.

Do you have any question about the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12? Feel free to ask us below.

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