“Adventure Gear Insider is reader supported. We may make a small commission at no extra cost to you should you make a purchase through links from this site. We get nothing if you don't like what we recommend and return it. Learn more

Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′ Paddleboard – Test and Review

Sharing is caring!


Manufacturer and Model: Bluefin Cruise Carbon 12′
List Price: $602


Summary

The Bluefin Cruise Carbon line is their upgraded all around board line. They have dual air chambers along with carbon reinforced rails. They come with upgraded accessories, including carbon paddles, a wheeled bag, and a triple action pump. As a bonus, they also include a kayak seat and conversion paddle blade.

The Cruise Carbon comes in 3 sizes: 10’8″, 12′ and 15′. The price ranges from $602 to $736. This puts them at a very budget friendly price, well below premium brands such as Red Paddle Co. and Starboard.

What we liked:

  • Bluefin offers a 5 year warranty on their inflatable paddleboards
  • The board is very stiff for an inflatable paddleboard allowing for hard and aggressive paddling
  • Good on water performance for heavier over 300 lb paddlers
  • Comes with a kayak seat and extra paddle blade
  • The backpack straps can be stowed away on the bag.

What we didn’t like:

  • The clamps on the paddle need to be tightened before using
  • The bag doesn’t have a handle on both sides
  • The kick pad is too far rearward on the board to be useful
  • The board is on the heavier side at almost 35 lbs

Specifications

  • Size – 12′ x 32″ x 6″
  • Weight Capacity – 386 lbs
  • Board Weight – 34.8 lbs
  • Construction – ESL Fused PVC with Carbon Rails
  • D-Rings – 14 D-Rings
  • Paddle – 3 Piece Carbon
  • Pump – Triple Action Hand Pump

Bluefin Carbon Cruise Features

Let’s get into the details of the Bluefin Carbon Cruise.

6 – Warranty

Bluefin offers a 5 year warranty on all their inflatable paddleboards. This is much longer than the 1 to 2 year that is normal. It’s 2 years longer than the 3 year warranty offered by iRocker. A 5 year warranty means that the company really believes in the durability of their product.

6 – Construction

The Cruise Carbon is constructed with fused PVC drop-stitch and carbon reinforced rails. It has dual air chambers that add even more to the stiffness and safety of the board.

The board has a diamond grid deckpad that extends from the rear of the front bungee back to the rear of the board. The board has a kick pad in the rear of the deck pad.

The board has a front and rear bungee and 14 D-Rings. There are also 2 action mounts at the front and 2 at the rear of the board.

Underneath, you will find a standard 3 fin arrangement. The 2 small fins use flip locks. The center fin uses a US fin box, giving you more options for after market fins. The US Fin box does make that fin take longer to install, and you have to be careful not to lose the small brass nut and bolt.

6 – Stiffness

We did our standard stiffness test with the Cruise Carbon. We put 121 lbs on the middle of the board and measured how much it deflected. The board only went down 0.9 inches.

This was the stiffest board we have tested to date. Most $400-$600 boards deflect in the 1.1 to 1.4 inch range. Most cheap $200-$300 boards will deflect 2.5 to 3 inches or more. This board is really stiff for an inflatable.

SUP Board Board Size Construction Deflection (inches)
Blackfin Model X (15 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.0
Blackfin Model V (15 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Blackfin Ultra CX (15 psi) 10'6" x 32.5" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Bluefin Cruise 10'8" 10'8" x 32.5" x 6" Fused PVC 1.4
Bluefin Carbon Cruise 12' 12' x 32" x 6" Fused PVC 0.9
BOTE HD Aero (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.1
Coolwave (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.3
Chasing Blue Orion (14.5 psi) 12'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.6
Chasing Blue Infinite (14.5 psi) 10'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
DAMA (15 psi) 11' x 33" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 3.0
Freein Overall 11 (15 psi) 11'' x 33" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 1.4
iRocker Nautical (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
iRocker All Around 11 (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 3 Ply PVC 1.3
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra (15 psi) 11' x 32" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
iRocker Cruiser Ultra (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nice C (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 1 Ply PVC 2.6
Nixy Newport G4 (15 psi) 10'6" x 33" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.1
Nixy Monterey G4 (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.0
Outdoor Master Swordfish (15 psi) 10'6" x 32" x 6" 2 Ply PVC 2.8
Red 12'6" Sport w/RSS (20 psi) 12'6" x 30" x 5.9" MSL with Battens 1.2
Thurso Expedition 150 (15 psi) 12'6" x 31" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.4
Thurso Max (15 psi) 11'6" x 34" x 6" 2 Ply Woven PVC 1.2

10 – Accessories

The Cruise Carbon comes in a complete package that includes a 3 piece carbon paddle, roller bag, triple action pump, ankle leash, phone case, and repair kit. As a bonus, they also throw in a kayak seat and conversion blade. Every accessory is upgraded from what you will find in the standard Bluefin Cruise package.

Bag

The bag is padded and has rollers on the bottom. The padded backpack straps can be stowed away, so the straps aren’t hanging everywhere. There is a pocket on the side that can hold a paddle blade. The bag easily fits this entire package with no trouble getting the zipper closed.

Paddle

The paddle has a carbon shaft with a nylon blade. It has clamps at both joints, which helps prevent rattle and clunkiness. A separate kayak conversion paddle blade is also included that can take the place of the SUP handle for use as a kayak paddle.

One note about the paddle. You will need a screwdriver to tighten the clamp bolts on the top clamp. It is too loose out of the box. The paddle handle will slide down and turn if you try to paddle hard.

Hand Pump

A triple action, double barrel hand pump is included. It has a removeable handle and base so that it can fit in the bag easier. A small pump storage bag is also included. This is a nice touch for keeping all the parts together and organized inside the roller bag. The pump can inflate and deflate and has a dial for switching modes.

I always use an electric pump instead of the hand pump. I’d rather use my energy to paddle than pump.

See our review of the Bluefin Swift-E pump for a good electric pump option.

Kayak Seat

A generic padded kayak seat is included. This can be clipped onto the 4 seat D-Rings on the board.

9 – On the water

The Cruise Carbon 12′ is a bigger board. It has a more pointed nose, which helps with glide and cutting through small chop. It’s 32 inch width still makes it a very stable board that is suitable for larger beginners.

The board is stiff enough that it can be aggressively paddled. One of my testers noted that he could paddle it fast enough to leave a wake.

The 3 fin arrangement does a good job with tracking once water is moving over the fins. The 12′ Cruise is either an oversized all around board or a smaller beginner touring board.

It would also work really well for paddling with a dog. You have a lot of deck space, and the bungee cords are removable.

This board excels for larger paddlers in the 300 to 350 lb range. The dual air chambers give the board much more stiffness underfoot. Your feet don’t sink down into the middle of the board like they do on a single chamber board.

The kick pad at the very tail of the board is too far rearward to really be useful. One experienced paddler tried to do step turns with this board. They couldn’t get far enough rearward on the board to get onto the step pad.

10 – Kayak Conversion

The board includes everything you need to turn it into an inflatable sit on top kayak. The generic padded seat works okay. It doesn’t have the padding or support needed to be comfortable for more than an hour or 2.

The carbon paddle works as well as any convertible paddle. It doesn’t have drip rings so you will get a little wet. The SUP blade shape is not ideal, but it gets the job done.

Recommendation – Buy or No Buy?

If you are a larger paddler that needs a stiffer board, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is for you. If you want a longer board with room for your dog, the 12′ Carbon Cruise is also for you. The dual air chambers and carbon reinforced construction make it very stiff. The included accessories, including kayak conversion, make it a good value for the price.

See the Deals!

Doug Ryan Portrait Skiing 200x200

Ryan Craig
Co-Founder & Chief Editor

I am a total gear nerd and love learning how things work and thinking about how they could be improved. Nothing excites me more than trying out new gear. I’d rather spend 3 hours taking my bike apart and learning how to change something than go to a bike shop. These days, I reside in Michigan by the Great Lakes and go skiing, biking, and boating as much as possible. Visit our About Us page and learn more.

ryan@lowbudgetadventurer.com

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment