The Bluefin Cruise is the perfect beginner all-rounder that rivals far more expensive brands in terms of build quality and warranty. Bluefin has somehow managed to create an affordable paddleboard that could easily go at the top of any list in terms of value for money. To get a full package paddleboard set up, with a 5-year warranty, for under £500 is just incredible.
The Cruise is the most popular in the Bluefin range, and we’ve been lucky enough to test and review the 10’8 and 12’ versions.
The board can hold a much higher pressure than other paddleboards at a similar price, which makes it far more solid than other low to mid-range inflatables. Being able to withstand a huge 28PSI gives the board more rigidity and stiffness. On the water this will help the board feel stable, more manoeuvrable and be able to withstand chop without feeling like a bouncy castle.
The Cruise comes with everything needed to get you on the water straight away. The accessories are all very good quality, especially the carry bag. Along with all the standard paddleboard extras, the Bluefin Cruise comes with a kayak seat, an extra blade to convert your paddle for kayaking, a mobile phone waterproof case and a mount to attach your GoPro (or other action cameras). So with all this available, if you are looking to get on the water and have as much fun as possible, the Bluefin Cruise might well be the answer for you.
The 10’8 Cruise is available from £449.99 – View boards on Bluefin’s website >
Bluefin have not held back by manufacturing a board that is made incredibly well, is very durable and should last a long time.
On their website, Bluefin say the board is constructed with ‘1000 Denier Exo Surface Laminate PVC & Pro Weave Drop Stitch’. We’ll attempt to break that down to explain what that means…
Exo Surface Laminate PVC is the layering of materials that forms the board. Most cheaper boards only have one layer, which makes them lightweight and easy to fold away, but are always compromised on robustness and longevity. The reason why we say Bluefin boards are constructed well is that they are built from layers of PVC, instead of just one. The top layer of PVC also has a UV resistant coating, which helps prevent sun degradation.
Pro Weave Drop Stitch are the internal threads that hold the top and bottom of the paddleboard together. The drop stitch helps the paddleboard maintain its shape when inflated to high pressures. Bluefin put 11200 drop stitch threads in their paddleboard.
I’ve seen a fair few posts on Facebook groups with people saying ‘the Bluefin Cruise is heavy’. Now you know why it’s heavier than other similarly priced boards. Bluefin has used double the amount of materials to build their boards, so it’s no surprise they weigh a little more.
Along with the super solid construction, Bluefin has added some nice features to its board that makes it stand out from similarly priced competitors.
Kayak D rings
The kayak D ring adds another dimension to this package and will enable you and your family/friends to have even more fun on the water. Bluefin knows exactly who will be buying and using this board and fully know you aren’t a committed, professional paddleboarder… yet.
They also know you’re likely to take this board to the beach where others will want to play on it. If it’s slightly choppy and the sea breeze kicks in, add the kayak seat and you can still have a great time on the water.
The double-action pump worked well, which I used to finish off inflating the board when the electric pump couldn’t do anymore. Double action means it pumps air in when pulling up as well as pushing down.
The electric pump was easy and simple to use, and helped get the board started whilst I was faffing around getting changed. It’s not the most powerful electric pump but did OK.
The bag is a level up on any paddleboard that costs similar to the Bluefin Cruise.
The carry bag is easily big enough to fit everything in and it’s very well padded in all the right areas, making it as comfortable as it could possibly be.
The paddle is quite interesting, firstly it’s made from fibreglass, so it’s a little bit lighter than the aluminium paddles you’d get as standard with other paddleboard packages around this price.
Secondly, you can convert this paddle into a kayak version for when you want to have a sit down on the board.
When on the water I thought the paddle flexed quite a lot, so if you’re a powerful paddler, you might want to upgrade to a stiffer paddle.
Similar to other manufacturers, out of the box the top section twisted after a few hard paddle strokes. So make sure you tighten up the quick release clamp to stop the handle from moving around when you’re on the water.
The coiled ankle leash is comfortable and perfect for the style of paddleboarding you’ll do on the Bluefin.
What I don’t like about the Cruise
I’m not going to say the negative of the Bluefin is its weight, because every other blog on the internet says that. I’m more than happy to take on a board that weighs a little bit more because it’s constructed so damn well, so we’ll leave it there.
How it looks
I’m not a huge fan of how the Bluefin looks, in terms of the graphic design it’s not the best looking board on the market. I think Bluefin is absolutely doing the right thing on getting the construction perfect first, so hopefully on the next Cruise version, they can work on improving the aesthetics.
The fin mechanism
I asked my beginner friend about the fin mechanism and she loved it because it was so quick and simple to install. So maybe I’m being a bit harsh and this might be a little irrational but I don’t quite trust the fin box ‘Smart lock’ system.
I’m used to the screw in Powerbox, US or FCS fin systems that feel super secure and I have 100% confidence my fin isn’t going to fall out during the session.
About the author
Watersports Pro is managed by Ollie, who has been in the industry since 2007. A paddleboard and advanced windsurfing instructor, Ollie has travelled the world teaching these sports.
Now based on the South Coast of England, he shares his experience and knowledge on watersportspro.co.uk.