BLACKFIN Model V Review (2019 iROCKER Touring SUP)

A fast and ultra-durable touring iSUP that's loaded with premium features.

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BLACKFIN Model V SUP Top
BLACKFIN Model V Board Bottom
Model V Rail
Model V SUP Nose
BLACKFIN Model V Tail
Model V D-rings
BLACKFIN Model V Accessories
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 Summary

  • The 2019 BLACKFIN Model V is iROCKER’s signature touring board designed for faster cruising and long-distance paddling.
  • New for 2019, all BLACKFIN SUP boards are constructed with a tri-layer composite PVC material that retains the same level of durability and rigidity as the company’s quad-layer boards but weighs 20% less. The Model V also features the signature BLACKFIN SUP carbon fiber rails and a high-density drop-stitch core.
  • Other premium features include expanded cargo storage, a variety of D-rings to tie down gear, handy grab handles, and a multi-purpose action mount at the board’s nose.
  • The BLACKFIN Model V comes with the usual set of accessories that iROCKER SUPs have been known for. Everything you’ll need to start paddling is included in the box.

Reviews by our Readers

No Title

5.0 rating
April 22, 2019

I’ve never owned a paddle board before the model V and I’d never paddle boarded before four weeks ago. When I dreamed of buying one and going out for the first time I thought of loading it down heavy and bulky with gear and heading out into the wide open. Well…after owning the V for about a month and getting out on the Big Lake (Lake Superior) four or five times a week since then in all kinds of weather (glass to chop to rolling waves and all of it with a fully loaded overnight pack) I have to say I couldn’t imagine a better board. But I have nothing else to compare it to. Just that it lived up to what I dreamed about. It’s fast enough, sturdy enough (and I’m not that athletic and I’m pretty clumsy) and can hold a lot of gear. I’ve gone out for up to four hours at a time without a break and the deck is plenty comfortable. It took me 10 minutes to pump it manually (I’ve left it inflated and it hasn’t gone down in PSI a bit in a month) and I got the kayak set-up too which I only tried once but it work amazingly great (paddled that way for about three miles.). It’s a great board. If you’re thinking about it…go for it…

Kevin Friedman

Introduction

MAKE:
BLACKFIN (by iROCKER)
MODEL:
Model V
TYPE:
Inflatable
MSRP PRICE:
$899
RECOMMENDED FOR:
Touring, cruising lakes, ocean paddling, SUP expeditions
WARRANTY:
2-year, 30-day money back guarantee
MODEL YEAR:
2019
WHERE TO BUY IT:
iROCKER’s website

Board Details

LENGTH:
12’6″
WIDTH:
32″
THICKNESS:
6″
WEIGHT:
27 pounds
VOLUME:
237 L
RECOMMENDED PRESSURE:
14-18 psi
MAX CAPACITY:
485 pounds
COLOR OPTIONS:
Steel Blue

Written Review

A common critique of many inflatable standup paddle boards is that they’re often geared more towards beginners. More often, iSUPs are designed for stability and ease of use with less of a focus on speed and performance. If you’re looking for something with higher performance in mind, then the new BLACKFIN Model V from the folks over at iROCKER should help you scratch that itch.

The 2019 Model V is iROCKER’s signature inflatable touring SUP board – it’s faster, more performance-based, and specially designed for long-distance paddling. Since the Model V is built to paddle longer distances, it’s the perfect choice for multi-day SUP expeditions and overnight camping trips.

The Blackfin Model V measures 12’6″ long, 32″ wide, and 6″ thick. The board’s width manages to provide good stability while the sharp nose profile helps it to glide through the water with minimal drag. This SUP performs great on calm to moderate water conditions and it can even be fun in small surf. Although its design focuses on performance, learning to ride the Model V is easy enough for relatively inexperienced paddlers.

The Model V is sleeker and faster compared to both the BLACKFIN Model XL and Model X. Although it’s currently only available in iROCKER’s Steel Blue color scheme, we believe the design will appeal to both male and female paddlers. The black rails perfectly complement the white deck pad, while the solid blue bottom surface rounds out its minimalist and modern look.

A major upgrade for the 2019 BLACKFIN SUP line is iROCKER’s new triple-layer composite PVC construction. Previously, iROCKER incorporated a quad-layer PVC construction as is still seen on their 10’6″ CRUISER, SPORT 11′, ALL-AROUND 10′, and ALL-AROUND 11′ models. By using mechanically-pressed PVC, the new Model V offers the same durability and stiffness while being 20% lighter. It also features pressure-tested heat-welded seams and a high-density drop stitch internal core and it feels nearly as hard as a rigid SUP when fully inflated.

One of the elements that make the BLACKFIN SUPs stand out from the rest of iROCKER’s inflatable paddle boards is the signature BLACKFIN carbon fiber rail. This tough reinforcement layer provides added rail protection and rigidity.

The combination of premium materials and the 6″ thickness of the Model V gives it an impressive carrying capacity of 485 pounds. This is more than enough capacity for tandem paddling or if bringing along plenty of gear. It’s also a great board for paddling your dog around and kids love the safety handles integrated into the front and rear bungee cargo storage areas.

Like other iROCKER SUPs, the Model V features a comfortable EVA foam deck pad. On the BLACKFIN line, the traction pattern is a stamped BLACKFIN logo which is a nice custom detail.

At the center of the deck pad is a nylon webbed carrying handle covered with neoprene and a rubber BLACKFIN branded label. Although this handle is convenient and comfortable when it comes to carrying around the Model V when it’s inflated, we wish that there was an option to remove the neoprene cover for those times when you want to sit or lay down on the deck of the board.

Several stainless-steel D-rings line the rails of the Model V which can be used to tether or leash cargo and other gear. Of course, they can also serve as attachment points for iROCKER’s optional kayak seat kit. While it doesn’t come standard with the Model V, the BLACKFIN kayak seat is a fun way to turn your SUP into a kayak.

There’s also an expanded front storage area which is held together by a bungee cord running through six D-rings. Removable grab handles are attached to the front D-rings, which is a great feature if you have a child passenger riding up front.

For those times when there’s a small passenger riding along at the nose, you don’t need to worry about losing your cargo storage space — the Model V has a second storage area at the tail. Four additional D-rings with a bungee cord at the rear of the board provides additional cargo storage and there are two more child safety handles at the tail for bringing along a second passenger.

A single, large D-ring at the tail is provided for attaching the included ankle leash. This D-ring sits right behind the high-quality Halkey-Roberts air valve which is used to inflate the SUP. Another extra D-ring at the nose of the Model V can be used to tether the board to a dock or a boat. Finally, grab handles located at both the rear and the front provide an easy way to pull the board out of the water when you reach the shore.

One more feature that is brand new to the 2019 BLACKFIN SUP line is iROCKER’s multi-purpose action mount which located at the nose of the board. This is a screw-type mount that can provide secure attachment of an action camera, waterproof Bluetooth speakers, or even a fishing rod holder. This small additional feature makes the Model V even more versatile and fun on the water.

In terms of performance, the Model V leaves little to be desired. It cuts through the water smoothly and has excellent directional tracking. This is the result of the board’s optimized shape and tri-fin system composed of a large middle fin and two smaller side fins. All three fins are removable, allowing you to easily customize the fin configuration of your Model V. Also, having three removable fins makes it easier to roll the board up or to stack multiple boards together on the roof of a vehicle.

The two side fins are installed using a simple locking lever system — the same one that’s used on the regular iROCKER boards. The large center fin features a U.S. fin box which uses a screw and bolt attachment system. We really like the fact that installation and removal of the Model V’s fins doesn’t require tools.

It’s impressive that iROCKER has managed to pack all of these premium features into such an affordable and incredibly portable package. This board is incredibly easy to transport, especially with the included wheeled carrying backpack. We love the fact that with an inflatable SUP, you don’t need to tie your board down to a roof rack — simply stuff the rolled Model V into the carrying bag along with its accessories and throw it in your trunk.

 What’s Included

Rolling Travel Backpack – The travel backpack that comes with the 2019 BLACKFIN Model V is roomier than ever. In addition to the massive main compartment, the front zippered storage pouch is large enough to hold the Full Throttle Pump and a few other accessories. Interior and exterior compression straps keep everything on lockdown when your bag is packed, while grab handles at the top, bottom, and sides allow you to easily pick the bag up from virtually any orientation. iROCKER has done everything possible to keep this backpack comfortable with cushioned shoulder straps, padded hip belt, and comfy back support. A pair of all-terrain roller wheels at the front bottom of the pack are strategically located to avoid getting tangled in loose straps or causing discomfort to your backside when the bag is on your shoulders.

Adjustable Carbon Shaft SUP Paddle – The lightweight, durable paddle that comes with the Model V features a nylon blade and a carbon fiber shaft that includes a gorgeous matte finish. Should you lose your grip, it’s great to know that this paddle floats. The length of the paddle can be fully adjusted from 72 to 86 inches which makes it a great option for taller paddlers and it can be broken down into three small pieces that conveniently fit into the included roller backpack.

Coiled Ankle Leash – The included ankle leash is incredibly durable and features metal swivels at both ends prevent any tangling. The ankle cuff is made with comfortable neoprene, has a very secure multi-layer Velcro closure system, and has a hidden key stash pocket.

Full throttle dual-chamber hand pump – The new BLACKFIN Model V comes with iROCKER’s upgraded 25″ Full Throttle hand pump. This new pump is basically the same size as the previous BLACKFIN SUP pump but it allows you to inflate your board much faster and with less effort. The pump comes with an integrated pressure gauge to help you hit the prescribed 15 PSI every time.

Repair Kit – Lastly, the Model V comes with a small repair kit that includes three color-coded PVC patches, a valve wrench, and two replacement lever locks for the removable side fins. This is all encased in a blue plastic container, keeping things consistent with the color scheme of the whole Model V package.

 Warranty

As with all other iROCKER boards, the BLACKFIN Model V comes with a rock-solid warranty policy. The warranty is valid for two years and covers all damage related to workmanship and materials outside of normal wear and tear. Additionally, if for some reason you’re not happy with the Model V, the folks at iROCKER offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Pros:

  • The BLACKFIN Model V is a premium inflatable touring SUP which a major focus on performance and speed. Paddlers looking for a more dynamic and fast-paced experience will feel right at home on this board.
  • The upgraded triple-layer composite PVC construction makes the 2019 BLACKFIN boards 20% lighter than before without sacrificing durability and rigidity. With heat-welded seams, carbon fiber rails, and a drop stitch core, the BLACKFIN Model V is undoubtedly one of the toughest inflatable SUPs available today.
  • Dual storage areas allow you to bring more gear along on your paddling adventures. The D-rings also serve as attachment points for the front and rear grab handles, allowing you to paddle with a child at the nose and at the tail.
  • The BLACKFIN Model V comes with a complete set of SUP accessories.
  • This board is a solid alternative to the BOTE Traveller Aero. The Model V is a lot more affordable, lighter, more stable, and includes a longer 2-year warranty.

Cons:

  • The center carrying handle’s cover isn’t removable which can make things slightly uncomfortable if you’re sitting or lying down on the board.

 Final Thoughts

If you find that the typical all-round inflatable SUP just doesn’t do it for you, then the new BLACKFIN Model V may prove to be exactly what you’re looking for. This board is fast, glides well, has excellent straight-line tracking, and provides an incredibly fun experience on the water. It outperforms the popular BLACKFIN Model X and Model XL boards without making huge compromises in terms of stability and it’s definitely one of the best values we’ve seen when it comes to touring iSUPs.

Click Here to Buy the 2019 BLACKFIN Model V

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