In this review, we will be going over the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 which I had a chance to test in coastal river conditions that have a mix of calm conditions as well as some slight wind.
We also managed to test this board side by side with the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ in calm lake conditions. We put both through the ringer as we put them through a bunch of on-water tests.
We will be going over what we liked, and disliked, who we believe the SUP is for as well as dig fully in-depth on both the board and the accessories it comes with.
Bluefin SUP has recently been making an effort to capture the north american market with distribution spanning from UK, Europe, and Australia to now having distribution in the United States and Canada.
Let’s dive in and see how the Cruise really performs as we try to compare this board to other North American equivalents.
Click here to see our Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ Review!
Bluefin Cruise 10’8 Paddle Board Review Ratings
Below is how I rated the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” SUP. Click the links below to jump to each section.
Total Score 8.3 (Averages of Below Scores)
- On-Water Performance – 8.1
- Stability: 8
- Tracking: 8.5
- Speed: 8
- Maneuverability: 8
- SUP Construction – 9
- Board Features – 8
- Deck Pad: 9
- D Rings: 7.5
- Deck Bungees: 7
- Action Mounts: 8
- Handles: 8.5
- Accessories – 8.1
- Backpack: 8
- Paddle: 8
- Pump: 7.5
- Fins: 9
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 8
- The Board is very stable
- Has good construction for its price tag
- Kickpad is a good addition for more advanced paddlers
- Has a great mixture of maneuverability and tracking
- One of my favorite deck pads due to the grip level
- The board performs well with kayak set-up
- Clip-on side fins give extra tracking ability
- Bluefin now plants a tree/ mangrove for every board sold
- Good board for 80% of paddlers new or experienced
- A great board for lakes and calm water conditions
- Decided to include a kayak conversion kit on Royal Blue models
- The paddle has no height range
- Can feel unsteady when paddling through waves
- Could use more deck bungees particularly in the back and an extra row in the front
Who is the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” For?
The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” Paddle board will be good for a good amount of different-sized and skilled paddlers in calm water conditions.
I found the board stable enough to stand on and I’m at about 6’1 180 lbs. I feel smaller to medium-large paddlers will feel confident paddling this board even if they are new to paddle boarding.
The Cruise 10’8 is also a good board that you can grow with that will last you a good amount of time. The board has a sleek shape which I found provided a good mixture of tracking and maneuverability. Plus if you wanted to start learning more difficult maneuvers such as pivot turns there’s a kick pad in the back that will help aid you in stomping the tail down to turn on a dime.
What SUP Activities Can the Bluefin Cruise be Used for?
The Bluefin Cruise is a solid all-around board for most calmer water conditions. Here are some activities it can be used for.
This is what most people starting out with this board will be using it for. The Cruise 10’8 is a great board to paddle in calmer waters due to its primary stability. Places such as:
- Slow moving rivers
- Calm Coastal Conditions
- Calm Beaches
- Calm Bays
When there are some waves about I found as a taller person that standing is doable but added concentration is needed. Thankfully you can always sit or kneel when you come across more tricky conditions.
Paddle Board Hybrid
We named the Bluefin Cruise as one of the best paddle board kayak hybrids of 2023. Not only does the board perform well in a kayak setup, but it also comes with a kayak kit. Be wary though that to get this kit in the UK, USA, and Europe you need the SUP to be in Royal Blue to receive the kayak seat and conversion package.
Paddling with Smaller Passengers
You can use the Bluefin Cruise to take smaller passengers such as dogs or kids. The deck pad is certainly grippy enough for them! The board also has handles on the front bungee area to allow the little ones to hang on.
I definitely advise putting kids and dogs at the front of the board as you can keep a close eye on them though!
Bluefin Cruise 10’8” Stats Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational
- Length: 10’8″
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 6″
- Volume: 111 L
- Weight: 24 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 330 Lbs
The Bluefin Cruise 10’8 SUP uses Exo-Surface Lamanate technology. So what does that mean? It’s a double layer PVC that is heat pressed together (similar to many of the “fusion processes of today). Bluefin boasts 11200 stitches of 500 denier space yarn per square meter which helps the board keep its rigidity.
This year’s Bluefin Cruise is a few pounds lighter than the last few year’s models as well. This is most likely due to them using this fusion process as opposed to a full dual-layer process that requires more glue and manual work.
The Bluefin Cruise, much like other higher-quality board manufacturer these days offer heat-welded double side rails. The rails of the SUP are typically the areas that will get the most wear and tear due to contact with objects or even resting the board on its side. They also are the part that holds the board’s shape together when it has 15 + PSI in it.
Bluefin Cruise 10’8” Board Profile
The great thing with the Bluefin Cruise line is that you have a lot of options as to what kind of board you want.
- Are you and average sized paddler starting out? Get the Bluefin Cruise 10’8!
- Want a board that will be more comfortable for smaller paddlers? Get the Cruise 10’4!
- Want a board that will be better to paddle for longer distances? Get the Cruise 12’!
- Want a tandem board that both of you can share? Get the Cruise 15’!
But since this is about the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” let’s stick to this board. The Cruise 10’8” features a pointier nose followed by a squared-off tail which gives it a good amount of stability in calm water conditions. For those who are bigger/ taller, you may want to size up to the 12’ Cruise.
You can also look at the Cruise Carbon series if you are looking for a more rigid board with higher-quality materials and a bit better glide per stroke.
What’s On Deck
The Bluefin cruise has a few things up its sleeve that make it a viable option for a wide range of paddlers.
*But perhaps the most important thing to note is the fact that for the new Cruise line-ups, it is only the Legacy Blue packages that come with the kayak conversion kits across different countries. If you select a different color’ you won’t receive it included with the package.– Editors Notes
This has been one of Bluefins selling points over the years and I do feel its a bit of a shame to not include the conversion kit with other colors.
Bluefin Cruise Deck Pad
I must say right off the bat that the Bluefin crew makes some of the most grippy deck pads I’ve tried! Bluefin features a thermostatic crocodile deck pads which helps your feet keep a grip onto the board, even if it gets wet.
The deck pad takes up about 2/3rds of the board and goes further to the edges than previous Bluefin Cruise models. Which we think is an improvement as you get more grip for a wide variety of stances you want to try or use.
This deck pad would be ideal for activities that require you to move your feet around. Such as SUP Yoga or even doing pivot turns. Speaking of pivot turns the Bluefin Cruise features a kick pad at the back that makes learning them just a bit easier.
The kick pad gives you some extra leverage for stomping the tail into the water allowing you to do 360’s on a dime!
Bluefin Cruise D Rings
The Bluefin Cruise features 9 total D rings on the SUP. Four of which are free for the kayak conversion kit.
Those 4 free D rings can also be used for things such as shoulder straps, strapping bigger coolers, or strapping bigger gear that you need. Although the Bluefin Cruise would not be my first choice for that due to the Bungee deck storage. This brings us to our next section…
Bluefin Bungee Deck Storage
This is one area where I felt the Bluefin Cruise is limited compared to other competitor SUPs within its price range. The Cruise has 2 rows of bungee deck webbing near the front which really limits what you can bring and even what you can use this SUP for.
“For me, I was able to store my sandals, dry bag, and a water bottle. I definitely would have appreciated some rear bungee cargo room at the back for other miscellaneous items such as small cooler bags, speakers etc. This also limits the board for use of up to a couple of hours unless you strap a bigger hard cooler where the kayak’s conversion D rings are.”– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Mounts
The Bluefin Cruise features 3 action mounts near the front of the board. Which I think is the right amount and places in the right locations.
The Action Mounts are located: (See Above Pic)
- 1 on the Nose of the board
- 2 on the Last row of bungee deck webbing
You can purchase camera mounts from Bluefin’s site.
Bluefin Cruise Handles
The Bluefin Cruise features 3 main handles at the front, back, and center as well as “child’s handles” at the cargo area in the front.
The handles are padded with neoprene and feel comfortable to carry in your hands.
Bluefin Cruise Accessories Explained
Depending on the package you choose, Bluefin has a good amount of good-quality accessories included to help get you in the water.
In my mind, one of the most important factors I look for in a bag that is included with an ISUP is: “Will the board fit back into the bag after you are done using it?”
In this case yes, even with a less than perfect fold you can fit the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” back in its bag with relative ease. Its dimensions are 35.4″ L × 18.1″ W × 12″ D (90cm x 46cm x 30cm) which makes it easy to fit in most trunks or back seats.
The bag is boxy but comfortable to wear and I would say it’s one of the nicer SUP backpacks that comes with the package. The back features a good amount of padding to make the board comfortable to carry on shorter walks to the shore.
I do like that the package comes with a big spacious front pocket as well. I personally like to use it to store an electric pump and leash but it will fit a manual pump inside as well. The bigger the front pocket = the more stuff you can take with you!
If I had one thing I would change, I would put loops inside the bag or some sort of paddle attachment to keep the paddles secure. I also wish there were some designated fin pockets inside out outside of the bag as things can get lost pretty easily if you have 3 fins flying around in one big pocket area or the main storage compartment of the bag.
I was personally impressed with the design and use of the Bluefin paddle although it is on the heavier side in terms of fiberglass paddles. At 2.1 Lbs (975 grams) it can start to feel a bit heavier when you are paddling faster but at this point we are picking at straws.
The paddles shaft is made of fiberglass while the blade is a polyurethane tear drop shaped blade that can float in the water. I will say that I really like the design of the handle. You get a rubbery grip surface with a handle that I found contoured my hand well. Definitely, a plus when you are doing faster strokes.
The paddle measures 68” to 82” which is about standard. However, there is no height indicator on the paddle which we felt to be a bit of a con.It’s not the end of the world but it is nice to know what height number you can set the paddle at for future reference.
One thing I also liked was the fact that there was a paddle lock at the base of the shaft. This helps make the paddle more firm when doing strokes in the water.
“I’d recommend checking the paddle locking mechanisms and insuring that they are the right tightness before going out though, as the lock I had was a bit flimsy and needed some tightening.”– Editors Notes
The Bluefin Cruise features a proprietary fin system much like other brands such as iRocker. The package comes with 3 snap-on fins. A 9” center fin and two 5” side fins help the board track better.
In Fact, I’ve tested using one fin vs 3 fins (a friend with an iRocker board forgot his fins) and I found that the 3 fin setup will give you a 2-3 more stroke per side compared to just having the one center fin. The advantage to having just the center fin attached is that the board will be more maneuverable which is something to keep in mind when you are in tighter quarters. See more on the tests in the On-Water section!
Unfortunately having a proprietary fin system does limit your options as to what fins you can attach as you are restricted as to what Bluefin has to offer. If the board had a US fin box you would have the choice of many more fins from both paddle board and surf manufacturers.
Bluefin Hand Pump
The pump that comes with the Bluefin Cruise is a single-chamber dual-action pump. Meaning you can inflate the board on the up and down stroke or just the down stroke. Starting up, you usually want it on the dual action as that pumps the most air into the board. As you get to about the 5-7 PSI range you will want to switch it to single action to make pumping easier.
I personally now mostly use electric pumps. I detail why this is in the Set-Up section.
The ankle leash is comfortable to wear and features two swivel bases to make sure that it does not get tangled.
I did some paddling with the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” to see how it performed. We also did some basic tests such as stability, maneuverability, tracking, and speed runs to see how this board compares.
The Bluefin Cruise felt pretty stable throughout a few different conditions. I first tried standing on the board in wavey conditions and minus the odd wobble, I was able to stand on it and paddle away. Having said that, I have some experience with paddling boards in coastal conditions so if you are new I would start off standing in calm conditions first.
Of course, when I stood on the board in the calmer waters of the Nikomekl River, it was easier to get up and stand from a kneeling position. I did have the kayak seat to navigate while standing but overall it was a positive experience. It didn’t feel twitch and the side-to-side movement felt controlled.
When compared to its more expensive brother the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ I did feel that the Cruise Carbon had more noticable stability due to the boards rigidity. Which ultimatly came down to its construction of havonh 3 bladders and carbon side rails for extra support.
We did two sets of tracking tests with the Bluefin Cruise 10’8”. We first tried tracking the board without any side fins (a friend with an iRocker board forgot his fins!).
- Without Side Fins: 5 Strokes a side until you need to correct
- With Side Fins: 7 Strokes a side until you need to correct
So I think the moral of the story here is don’t forget your side fins! Now mind you the test was a tad bit flawed due to the wind pushing towards the back right of the board making it favor the right side more. The actual results of the tracking test was 8 per side on the left and 6 per side on the right which made me round to the 7.
In calm water conditions in Ruth Lake the board tracked 5 strokes a side casually paddling. The result was the same across the board with the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ SUP.
The Bluefin Cruise 10’8” is an all-around board so it won’t be the fastest SUP in the world. But it did admirably and felt good to paddle at a prolonged quicker clip. It should be noted though, that I did feel like my stroke felt a bit disturbed. I found out after the video that it was indeed the height I had set the paddle was a bit shorter than I usually like it.
One thing I did notice when paddling faster is that the nose digs into the water more than many other all-around boards. Thankfully the nose has a bit more of a pointed profile which allows the board to part the water a bit easier compared to a board that has a more rounded nose with the same rocker profile.
When compared to the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ I found the original Cruise (model we are reviewing here) to be the quicker accelerator. While the Cruise Carbon had a slightly higher top end paddling speed. We think this is down to the weight and rigidity of the boards.
The Cruise 10’8″ is a lighter weight board so as a result it will be the faster accelerator. However the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ will have a higher top speed due to its rigidity and extra weight which gives it more momentum as it gets going. Having said this the differences are still pretty slight between the two boards.
What I like about clip-on-side fins is the fact that it allows you to tweak the board handling to your liking. We tested a few basic maneuvers such as side paddles and reverse sweep strokes with and without the 5” side fins. Here’s how the board did:
- Reverse Side Paddles Without Side Fins: 12 to get to a 360
- Reverse Side Paddles With Side Fins: 15 to get to a 360
Again the wind and tide were not doing me any favors on the last test but I figured it rounded out.
Now we tried out reverse sweep strokes both with and without side fins. Here’s how the board did:
- Reverse Sweep Stroke Without Side Fins: 4 to get to a 360
- Reverse Sweep Strokes With Side Fins: 5 to get to a 360
The 5 reverse sweep strokes are about what is average for what 10’6” boards with side fins have.
So what can you get out of these tests? Well if you are in more open water conditions and want the board to go in a straighter line. Attach those side fins! If you are in tighter corners like mangroves, tighter rivers, or hugging the shore during low tide in coastal conditions use the center fin!
For shallower water, you can also get a river fin from Bluefin and keep the side fins on to ensure tracking performance does not go downhill too much.
Bluefin Cruise 10’8” Set-Up/ Take-Down
Setting up the Bluefin Cruise from Box to shore is relatively straightforward. The paddle, pump, and accessories usually come outside of the bag in the box. Thankfully because the board has all the air deflated completely out of it, it’s easy to fit these things into the bag.
I personally kept the manual pump and home because I have an electric pump I like to use. I do this because:
- It gives you time to unpack and set up the board while the electric pump is doing its thing.
- Anyone who’s had a back injury over the years (especially if you are taller) knows how much of a pain it is to do this up-and-down motion furiously.
- Why take away some of the vital energy you need for paddling?
Packing up the board is relatively easy. First, since this board came from the ocean in my on-water testing I gave it a good rinse! saltwater can deteriorate your boards so be sure to do this after use! I let the boards dry with the sun and towel.
Now, this is another area where electric SUP pumps can come in handy (I’m relentless aren’t I?). Many SUP pumps have a deflating end that sucks the air out of the board. I personally am usually too lazy to do this but I will say it helps massively with the folding process!
The main nemesis is air, the more you can get out of the board the easier it will fold! So I usually like to lie on the board first to get the air from the nose to mid-board out. I like to fold the board so that things like action mounts or fin boxes are on the front or bottom and not the side folds. Because if they are placed on the sides there is more pressure on them.
After the board is all rolled up I put the board in the main compartment of the bag followed by the paddle and kayak blade attachment. I keep the kayak seat separate as it’s a bit too big to fit into the bag.
All the little odds and ends like fins, leash, and repair kit get put into the front pocket and away we go!
About Bluefin SUPs
Bluefin is one of the SUP giants in Europe and is expanding its reach to North America. Bluefin was founded in the beginning of the 2010’s. Their first version of the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” was released in 2018.
Bluefin has recently teamed up with Ecologi where for every product sold they plant a tree in the woodlands, forests, or mangroves.
Bluefin Warranty and Returns Policy
Bluefin offers an astounding 5 year warranty which is one of the best in the industry! They also offer a 60 day return policy which is also one of the better ones in the SUP industry!
What Customers Think
When we had several testers try out the Cruise 10’8″ and Cruise Carbon 10’8″ boards many of them felt that the differences between the two boards were slight. With most agreeing that the Cruise Carbon had better stability over the original Cruise SUP.
Because the Cruise and Cruise Carbon have similar shapes there is no massive difference in on-water perfomance besides a stroke to a stroke and a half difference in some manueverability tests.
Bluefin has gotten praise from bigger SUP publications such as SUPBoarder for their construction. But what about other customers who have recently bought Bluefun SUPs?
“Yesterday was my first time paddleboarding. It only took a minute to get the hang of balancing on this board. It’s easy to get back onto if you jump off to swim around. I have found my new favorite pastime.”– Cynthia (Verified Customer)
“I didn’t dislike anything, so there you have it. I wanted a hobby, a distraction, a peaceful getaway in the open to help me balance the struggles of today’s society. Well, if that’s you, the board would easily provide you with these benefits. The assembly is simple! I wish that I had something negative to say, but I have nothing. Sorry, so enjoy life to its fullest, and paddle away!”– Neil (Verified Customer)
These are a couple from Bluefin’s website. If you were looking for a more unbiased source Bluefin has a Trustpilot page where they have a remarkable 4.4 star rating out of 712 reviews. Which is one of the highest I’ve seen for anything on Trustpilot!
Where to Buy the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” SUP
- United Kingdom
- United States
If you click the website you will be directed to the closest Bluefin site for you.
Below are some comparable boards that we think rival the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” paddle board
Red Paddle Co Ride 10’8”
The Red Paddle Co Ride is a rounder board that is 4.7” thick compared to your standard 6” thick paddle board. Red Paddle also has a similar warranty length to Bluefin at 5 years and is a UK-based company that has distribution throughout the world!
iRocker Cruiser 10’6”
The Bluefin Cruise profile reminds me a lot of the iRocker Cruiser. Slightly pointed nose in the front followed by a squared-off tail to ensure stability. The iRocker Cruiser has similar dimensions as well as more onboard accessories compared to the Bluefin Cruise. However, the Cruiser only has a 3-year warranty and a 45-day return policy.