Red Paddle Co were one of the first companies to realise that inflatable stand up paddle boards were going to big news within the realms of SUP. In this Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft review I SUP in Grenada to test it out.
With a large amount of participants not being able to own their own gear due to transport or storage restrictions, the development of iSUPs suddenly allowed purchasing SUP kit a possibility – and Red Paddle were right there at the start.
In 2013 the company has a diverse catalogue of shapes that fit the requirements of many different paddler’s wants and needs. It’s the 9.6ft AllWater though that’s proving to be one of Red’s more popular designs.
With this review we wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Have a holiday and test out the iSUP concept in a travel scenario while I SUP in Grenada. The perfect test!
Due to the destination of choice (Grenada W.I.) we couldn’t have been in a better position to conduct this Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft review.
For those not aware, British Airways, one of the only carriers making regular trips to Grenada, have restricted all forms of oversize baggage that can be carried in the hold. Everything is now crated into containers meaning that conventional hard SUPs are a no go. An iSUP and three piece paddle were therefore the only real options.
Packing neatly into a backpack, no bigger than normal hold luggage, the Red AllWater and paddle made it onto the plane easily with zero suspicions from airport check in staff – result! Being able to pack clothes into the same bag was a bonus.
Just based on our departure experience, the iSUP concept was a total revelation and a real winner.
SUP in Grenada
Grenada is a Caribbean island that remains under the radar for watersports when compared to its higher profile siblings of Barbados and Tobago.
Renowned for its production of spices – in particular mace and nutmeg – the Spice Isle is a lush, tropical paradise that’s perfect for a spot of SUP.
Watersports in general on the island are almost non-existent. The main tourist hub of Grand Anse has a smattering of diving schools. Plus there is good windsurfing and kayaking but with old kit, but other than that, nada.
It’s a crying shame as Grenada is a SUP paradise with regular north to south Trade winds providing amazing downwind paddling options; the Atlantic side (and in places Caribbean Sea coast) offers good waves while the flat water race/touring potential of the island is astounding.
We based ourselves at the Flamboyant Hotel, nestling in the southern corner of Grand Anse, and although we didn’t really score any major swell, we regularly had some shore break to play in – plus the whole expanse of the bay for flat water shenanigans.
On a few occasions we also ventured across to the Atlantic facing coast for a mess about in more significant waves. There’s so much untapped SUP surf potential here it’s criminal that Grenada isn’t promoted as a wave destination.
Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft review
The Red Paddle AllWater is a lightweight iSUP that’s ready to rock straight out of the bag. No faffing about with fins as the design comes equipped with moulded on skegs. Simply inflate to the preferred psi (15 – 20) and away you go.
The three piece Red paddle slots together easily making the whole set up super quick, getting you floating in a flash.
On the water
The regular Trades of the Caribbean blow side offshore within Grand Anse bay and our initial thoughts were that paddling into wind might be hard work. However, we were proved wrong.
The AllWater’s upwind capabilities are absolutely fantastic. Cutting through chop and ‘pinching’ with ease, the 9.6ft made easy work of ‘spooning’ along the three mile stretch of tropical palm fringed beach.
Red’s three piece paddle, while nowhere near the performance of a high end carbon ‘stick’, did the job in an efficient manner. The wide blade provided ample propulsion for ‘sweeping’ upwind and was light enough to not fatigue muscles.
In an ideal world we would have taken our carbon paddles but the Red three piece performed admirably.
During the course of our stay we did quite a few downwinders on the AllWater 9.6ft and while not a specific board for this discipline it was still a lot of fun.
The rocker of the board allows for easy riding of swells while the boards stability keeps everything in check and doesn’t cause unnecessary wobble – especially good for beginners and intermediates.
We managed to find a few shore break lumps to play on while we SUP in Grenada and were surprised with how well the AllWater coped with waves.
On first glance the moulded plastic fins don’t appear like they should grip particularly well but over the course of one afternoon, when riding a fairly hollow wave on the Atlantic coast, the AllWater was a delight.
Handling drops and coming off the bottom efficiently, the Red AllWater was a whole heap of fun.
Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft review: Conclusion
The Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft and three piece paddle was an absolute revelation during our trip to Grenada. The ease of transport, setting up and performance once on the ground was fantastic. Oh and to SUP in Grenada is a real treat!
Red’s AllWater lends itself to a variety of SUP scenarios meaning wherever your trip leads, you’ll be poised to make the most of your environment with this gear.
Red’s newly designed bag is well thought out and can accommodate all your travel essentials – not just SUP equipment. This makes for a stress free time at airports.
If you haven’t tried an iSUP then a Red Paddle AllWater would be a good first choice. Show up and blow up!
We hope you found this Red Paddle Co AllWater 9.6ft review useful. If you’d like to SUP in Grenada or try other activities then check out our Grenada adventure articles.