Red Paddle Co 14’ Elite ISUP Review

Red Paddle Co 14' Elite Race inflatable SUP

The Elite Race is an ISUP of a different class. This board can compete against hard-board designs in speed and performance.

It is lean and strong and extremely fun to paddle. If you are new to stand-up paddling it might take a little time to get used to the sleek design of this board.

However if you have some experience you will likely appreciate the performance it offers right off the bat.

You can paddle further with less effort and cover a lot of ground picking up some great speed.

Best of all it is an inflatable so it rolls up into a small package, stores inside the included rolling backpack carry bag and can be taken anywhere you want to go in the world.

Red Paddle Co Race Quick Stats

  • 14’ long
  • 26” wide
  • 5.9” thick
  • can hold up to 265 lbs.
  • weighs 33 lbs.
  • US fin box with removable fin

Material: 150mm drop-stitch material

Pros: Super fast, very rigid, Rocker Stiffening System, US box fin, removable racing fin, front bungee cord system, quick setup time, 3 convenient carry handles, extremely fun, comes with an awesome rolling backpack and the Titan pump

Cons: A little heavy

Where To Buy The Elite Race ISUP

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at

Click here for the 2017 Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite at – Save $270 on 2017 models and get a free glass/nylon paddle valued at $179 while supplies last.

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at – Use coupon code ISWFREELEASH for $30 off or a free leash (choose your leash from the drop down box).

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at

More In-Depth Info On The Elite Race

Red Paddle Co Elite Race

So many inflatable SUP boards are very similar in design, they paddle well, are great for cruising around but in effect are quite similar to many of the other boards out there.

So when I got to try out the Red Paddle Co Elite Race ISUP, I was thrilled to get a whole new SUP experience.

This board is unique. It is long and lean, fast and thrilling to paddle. If you want a very portable race board that is ideal for racing and fast exercise paddling, the Elite Race is the way to go.

This SUP comes in two different lengths… a 12’6” board and a 14’ board. I got to try out the 14’ Elite Race and I loved it.

I think if you really want a performance board, the 14’ length is ideal. It glides smoothly through the water.

I only took it out on flat water with a little bit of wind. It is the sleekest inflatable SUP I’ve paddled at only 26” wide and I noticed the tippiness right away

However being 6” thick made it a very rigid platform and I found that even though I had to focus a little more than normal, I got comfortable quickly.

The Elite Race is easy to love, fast, fun and extremely well made.

Important Features Of The Elite Race

RSS Battens

The Rocker Stiffening System (RSS) that this board offers eliminates any possibility of flex making it even more competitive in the SUP racing world.

It comes with two RSS battens that slide into pockets on each side of the board.

They provide that extra little bit of stiffness to really make the Elite Race excel.

The RSS battens are a unique feature offered by Red Paddle Co alone.

inserting the Rocker Stiffening System Battons on Red Paddle Co Race

RSS Stiffening Battens

Forward Carry Handles

Besides the regular center carry handle the 14’ Race has two forward carry handles as well, which are perfect for race starts or beach running.

They also work well for just hanging on to your board in the water. I like these forward carry handles a lot and I’ve never seen them on another inflatable SUP.

They are an ideal feature for a race board and really convenient to use. You will appreciate these forward handles when you need to enter the water fast.

center carry handle

Elite Race front forward carry handles

Nose Runner Fin

There is a nose runner fin on the deck that helps to prevent nose diving.

It is also very helpful in shedding water in choppy conditions.

14' Elite Race front noserunner

Racing Fin

As you would expect with a board of this caliber it comes with a fiberglass racing fin that secures nicely into the low profile US box fin system.

With the US box fin system you are able to switch out the fin for another one if you choose to or need to.

Red Paddle Co US fin box

racing fin for Elite Race ISUP

Front Loading Backpack

Red Paddle Co has offered the best backpack in the ISUP industry for a long time.

The bag has been improved upon this year so it is even better than ever.

It has wheels so you can pull it as opposed to carrying it, making it ideal for airplane travel.

It has padded shoulder and waist straps that can be tucked away when not in use.

It is a front loader, which makes it extremely easy to take the board out as well as place it back in.

The bag will fit the 14′ Race, the RSS battens as well as the Titan pump.

This bag is extremely durable and well made. It is ideal for traveling through airports or just transporting in the trunk of your car.

It comes standard with the package.

Red Paddle Co front loading backpack

Red Paddle Co backpack

Red Paddle Co backpack with padded shoulder straps

Titan Pump

Red Paddle Co has a new inflation pump that they include with some of their inflatable SUP boards… The Titan Pump.

This pump has two chambers and inflates in both high pressure and low pressure mode.

It has a wider handle making it more comfortable to pump and best of all it will inflate your board a lot faster than most other manual pumps.

I found the Titan pump easy to use and it definitely did inflate the 14’ Race quickly.

It still takes a bit of work to get the board up to 20 PSI, but it takes less effort than usual and most importantly less time.

Titan Pump

Red Paddle Co Titan Pump


As this board is designed for racing there is not much need for numerous D-rings.

There is one D-ring however at the back of the board that is ideal for attaching your board leash.

D-ring on inflatable SUP

Drop-Stitch Material

As soon as you inflate the Red Elite Race you can feel how strong and durable it is.

All of the Red board are built using Tec Air specifications. Click here to learn more about the Tec Air process and how the Red Paddle Co ISUP’s are constructed.

Red Paddle Co Elite Race Setup

I found the setup of the Elite Race was really fast.

Take the board out of the backpack, unroll and inflate with the Titan pump.

Inflate the board to roughly 1 PSI initially then insert the RSS battens.  Once inserted you can then finish inflating the Race up to 20 PSI.

Re14' Elite Race, Titan Pump, RSS battens and backpack carry bag

This board is long but it is lean and you can have it inflated up to 20 PSI in well under 10 minutes.

Once inflated you can secure the fin and then hit the water.

Packing it away after use is just as simple. Give it a quick towel dry, unscrew the fin, deflate, pull out the RSS battens, roll it up then place everything back inside the backpack.

It is easy, portable and convenient.

Red Elite Race

carrying the Red 14' Elite Race inflatable racing SUP

14’ Elite Race Performance

The performance was excellent. I wouldn’t say this is a board for beginners but if you have the skill you can paddle this SUP very fast.

It definitely has some rockiness to it, which is to be expected considering it is only 26” wide.

However I found that the 6” thickness still provided a fairly stable base and once comfortable it is extremely fun to paddle.

If you want a real race board that you can take anywhere in the world, this one will not disappoint.

It cuts through the water effortlessly and slices through chop with ease.

This wouldn’t be my choice for just cruising around. There are other boards that are far more stable and far more versatile for recreational use.

However, if speed and racing are you thing, I’d highly recommend the Red Paddle Co 14’ Elite Race.  I am not a racer but I liked this board far more than I expected to!

paddling the Red Elite Race

paddling the Red Paddle Co Elite Race -

The Negatives

There is only one negative that stuck out for me with this board. It is a little heavier than I expected.

It is still very manageable so I don’t think this should deter anyone who is considering buying it.

I just noticed that it was heavier at 34 lbs. than I expected for such a lean board.

I could still easily carry it however and that extra weight likely makes it more solid in the water and less likely to get blown by the wind.

More Pics

carrying the 14' Elite Race paddle board

paddling the Red Elite Race ISUP -

Red Paddle Co 14' Elite Race and 11' Sport

14′ Elite Race beside the Red Paddle Co 11′ Sport

Where To Buy The Red Paddle Co 14’ Elite Race

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at

Click here for the 2017 Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite at – Save $270 on 2017 models and get a free glass/nylon paddle valued at $179 while supplies last.

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at – Use coupon code ISWFREELEASH for $30 off or a free leash (choose your leash from the drop down menu).

Click here for the Red Paddle Co 14′ Elite Race at

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  1. Lisa Kidd says:

    I am looking for a board to ride the Columbia River. I currently have the Needle 116, I like it but it bends in wakes. Any ideas about a board that will be steady in chop and wakes? I am 160 5’10 long armed gal. I love the ease of my needle, and have gotten used to the occasional dunk due to current and waves. I’m trying to build a quiver that will allow more days on the river. Is it just a skill set that comes with time. Or can you buy a board that moves along and can handle current waves?

    • The Needlenose is the fastest flat water ISUP but there are other boards that are better suited for river and chop. The Starboard Astro Blend Deluxe gets rave reviews for paddling well in large wakes and chop. I haven’t tried it yet but I keep hearing really good things about it. The Red Paddle Co 10’6″ Ride is also a great option. The Sea Eagle Longboard tends to be quite versatile and does well in surf, rivers and flat water. A much cheaper option is the Ten Toes Board Emporium Weekender. This board is quite versatile and I find it handles wake really well. It is shorter than the others however so not quite as stable or fast but really easy to turn and maneuver.

      • Lisa Kidd says:

        Thank you for the detailed response! Now another question about PFD. Do you have one you like? I have the self inflate waist. Next I need one that I can use with bladder for down winders. Have you heard of any great ones?

        • I have the self inflate waist pack as well but I don’t like using it in rougher conditions. I just bought the Onyx A/M 24 Deluxe inflatable life jacket. I haven’t reviewed it yet but so far so good. It inflates automatically if you are fully submerged in water. I don’t like the bulky feel of regular PFD’s when I stand-up paddle but I wanted a little more protection than the self-inflating waist packs. So I’m hoping this one works out. I like that it automatically inflates if a fall in. However depending on the conditions if you are falling in the water regularly it’ll get costly having to replace the CO2 cartridge. I’m on the lookout for a sleek comfortable PFD that works well for stand-up paddling. I also have the Stohlquist Cruiser PFD for women. It’s not bad, not perfect but better than most I’ve tried.

      • Hi Lisa,
        I have the Astrro Blend Deluxe and my board kicks ass! I love it handles chop really well tracks well is pretty fast and looks cool I do recommend the Deluxe (6in) model as it is stiffer and bascally rips! plus my 70 lb lab loves it I weigh 155 so with both of us we can chase storms, haha . more like otters and deer on the shore. Anyway happy to answer any questions you may have oh yea its super light weight like 23lbs. I packed it in to a high alpine lake at 11,5 elevation and 1000 ft vert. super bad ass place anyway i love my board!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Lisa Kidd says:

    Before I forget…I also need a daily paddle. I only have the NN116 paddle…any suggestions? I read your reviews and wonder what paddle you use? I am going to get the starboard astro blend.
    Thanks again!

    • I bought the Werner Nitro for my boyfriend a while back and I’ve all but stolen it. I love it. We fight over who gets to use it if we are paddling together. So far it’s my favorite one I’ve tried. It’s not cheap but it’s incredibly light and feels awesome to use. I have a few others as well, all fine but nothing special. I was debating on buying the Werner Soul. It’s not as light as the Nitro but still looks quite nice and it’s a little more affordable. Great choice with the Astro Blend!

  3. Hi,
    How does the Red Elite compare to the Needle Nose in terms of speed?

    • HI JD, the Red Elite is considered a racing board and is faster than the Needlenose. It is quite a bit slimmer at only 26″ wide so is able to cut through the water at a faster speed but of course is a lot less stable. The Needlenose is probably the fastest of the recreational SUP’s that I have tried but isn’t technically considered a racing board.

  4. Thanks for the review. I’m thinking of buying this board as you can get them pretty cheap right now. I live in the Idaho mountains, so I wouldn’t be using this for racing. My intended use for this board is for downriver cruising on flat but moving water and to paddle back upstream to avoid shuttling. (Which is the whole purpose for a really fast board) and also long distance lake cruising. I can do it on my 12′-6″ Soltice Bora Bora but it is a lot of work when the water level is up. Too high and forget it. I come from a whitewater background and frequently paddle Class 3 and sometimes even Class 4 rapids on my C4 Opae at 36″ wide. So the 30″ Bora Bora is nothing to me. I can paddle moving water and cross eddy lines in my sleep on that thing. So is jumping down to 26″ really that unstable as you say in the review? After the version of this board is 25″ wide. What about sag? I weigh 210 lbs. Do you think it will sag too much?

    • Hi Walt, There’s no sag, I don’t think you’ll have any issues in that area. I noticed a big difference in the 26″ as opposed to a 30″ wide board however I got used to it fast. I wouldn’t really want to have it out in big waves but on flat or moving water totally doable. My boyfriend who is more your size found it even more tippy with his weight – he prefers a wider board but I think if he had continued with it he would have been fine, it was just a little out of his comfort zone. You will certainly notice less stability but it is also super fun to paddle. If you’re up for the challenge and can find a good deal on it I say go for it! Good luck and happy paddling!

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