We’re incredibly proud (not to mention excited!) to have released the new Bluefin Cruise range in time for SUP season. We caught up with our product design team to answer those all-important questions we know everyone is asking right now.
Can you tell us what’s new for the 2022 Cruise Range?
To start off, all these boards have all been constructed using MSL – or monocoque structural laminate to give it its full name! This means the new boards are at least 10% lighter than the previous Cruise models.
We’ve also added some new patent-pending safety features including reflective D-ring mounts and detachable bungee cords to give our customers added peace of mind when paddling in poorer light conditions and more control over the set-up and customisation of their board.
There will be six different colours for the new models, can you tell us more about it?
For the first time, the Cruise model will be available in up to six new colourways (depending on size). We wanted to expand our colour options beyond our legacy blue to offer customers greater choice and to be able to express their personality out on the water!
Extensive market research showed us which colours have a higher demand and we set out to fulfil those needs, releasing boards in vibrant red, orange, pink and purple as well as in our classic legacy blue and a cool mint shade.
Share with us what went into the design of these new boards, as well as a bit more about the general design and development process and how that works?
Our vast knowledge of the market, competitor boards and user insights gained through industry experts really helped us to design a new range of SUPs we can be proud of. We spent time breaking down the market and understanding what users want from a board, as well as what sizes and architectures we were missing in our range.
Our team then took all of this market knowledge and user insight research and merged it with a new set of graphics, pattern and print. We put a lot of time into protecting our design and have patent pending features across the board that really benefit the user on and off the water.
It’s at this stage we get the industry experts to take another look and this really helps us to iron out any design flaws that may have appeared during the design process. A large portion of time then goes into sampling the board designs, looking for quality issues, testing the boards to see how they look and feel before we move into production.
Once our board designs have moved to production we are confident they will be appreciated by both avid paddle boarders and beginners wanting to dive into the activity.
Tell us more about testing conditions and the overall process?
We aim to test the boards on all types of water from choppy sea waves to still vast lakes making sure they perform well out in the field. We have on-site flex test equipment and really try to get the board samples out and used as much as possible before going to production.
All the boards and all the accessories are put through their paces in both the factory where they’re produced and at our head office. From the first sample all the way through to the more defined production models, we look for design flaws, quality issues and any other problems the user might come up against and create testing suitable to overcome these issues.
Do you have any tips on who should get which model?
As a guide, at the smaller end of the scale, we have the Cruise Junior, which is ideal for children and teens just getting into SUP.
We think most adults up to and around 6’ and weighing less than 90Kg will do just fine on our 10’8. However, anyone with a smaller build may be more comfortable with one of our new sizes, the 9’8 and 10’4. These are slightly slimmer, shorter boards which offer a bit more stability, control and manoeuvrability.
The 12’ is for anyone with more experience and wanting to go a bit further, faster as it has a longer profile more commonly found on touring boards. This SUP is capable of carrying a heavier load, so it could equally suit a solo paddler of larger build or someone wanting to carry an extra passenger such as a child or dog.
Finally, the 15’ is our tandem SUP intended for paddling in pairs. We can make recommendations but ultimately it’s whatever the customer feels most comfortable with, so long as they’re paying attention to the spec and not overloading the board.