In this Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 review we will be going through all the ins and outs of this board as we directly compare it against the regular Bluefin Cruise 10’8”.
We do this to let you know what you can expect from the Cruise Carbon series while allowing you to decide if the upgraded carbon is worth the price for you and your budget.
We go through all the pros, and cons, who I think the board is for as well as test the board in the water through some of our on-water tests.
Click here to see other Bluefin Paddle Board Reviews.
What Did We Think of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ SUP?
In our testing, we felt that the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ was one of the more rigid boards we’ve tested thanks to It’s “air duo” double bladder and carbon side rails. From a stability stand point we felt that the Cruise Carbon 10’8″ was a bit more stable compared to the original Cruise 10’8″. However we did not think that it warranted the price difference between the two.
The Cruise Carbon 10’8″ is a truly impressive board that is well made and manufacturerd however we fell this technology is better suited towards their more perfomance oriented boards like the Cruise Carbon 12′ or other perfomance oriented boards. We felt that a lot of these features were a bit overboards for an all around SUP.
We also felt that Accessories package to be a bit of an upgrade to the original Cruise package. But nothing that truly stood out other than the FCS center fin.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” Review Ratings
Below is how we rated the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8″ SUP. You can compare this score with how we rated the original Bluefin Cruise 10’8 Paddle Board below.
Total Score 8.4 (Averages of Below Scores)
- On-Water Performance – 8.25
- Stability: 8.5
- Tracking: 8.5
- Speed: 8
- Maneuverability: 8
- SUP Construction – 9.5
- Board Features – 8.6
- Deck Pad: 9
- D Rings: 8
- Deck Bungees: 8
- Action Mounts: 8
- Handles: 9.5
- Accessories – 8.1
- Backpack: 8
- Paddle: 8
- Pump: 8
- Fins: 8.5
- Set-Up/ Take Down – 7.5
- Extra bladder helps with rigidity
- It has an extra row of bungee deck webbing in the back
- Features US Fin Box that allows you to customize the fin setup
- Features Kayak conversion kit
- The 2023 version is almost 9 lbs lighter
- I love the sleek black design of this board
- Features 5 Action Camera Mounts
- The bag is of good quality
- Features a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects
- Plant a tree with each sale
- Feels more stable than the original 10’8 Cruise
- There should be measurements on the paddle
- An electric pump included in the package would be a nice addition
Who Should Be Using the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” SUP?
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon will be for many levels of paddlers who want to spend a bit more to get a high-quality stiff board that is equal parts rigid and stable.
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon will be good for about 90% of the paddlers out there. It offers enough primary stability for most ages and experience levels while remaining stiff throughout. We will detail how exactly they do this below…
What SUP Activity Can the Cruise Carbon 10’8” Be Used For?
The Cruise Carbon board is more adept at giving you better stability in the water due to its stiffness compared to the regular Cruise 10 ‘8 ” SUP. This opens the SUP’s doors up for bigger paddlers who want to paddle a more maneuverable board. All the while keeping stability in most cases.
The Cruise Carbon can also be used in a wide variety of environments such as lakes, slow-moving rivers as well as coastal conditions, and beaches with smaller waves.
The Cruise Carbon can be a board that you take out from an hour all the way to a day paddle with overnight touring being a possibility if you use the extra D rings this board has in the middle of the deck.
Paddle Board Kayak Hybrid
One of the marketing features that Bluefin has had for years is the fact that they actually include a kayak conversion kit in their packages. This is no different from the 2023 Cruise series which includes it in the Royal Blue package.
This is a great feature for those who are going on longer paddling expeditions. After a while those legs will start getting tired. So why not have a seat and continue the paddle on the way back?
I also find paddling in a kayak formation is a lot more efficient and actually better when paddling against the wind as you have more paddling velocity and sit lower which gives the wind less force to push against.
Paddling with a Small Passenger
The Bluefin Cruise has enough capacity and rigidity to put a small passenger such as a smaller child or beloved pet onboard. The Bluefin Cruise Carbon also offers child handles on the front and rear of the board which allows your child to hang on in case things get a bit wavey.
I do wish that the Cruise Carbon line came with deck padding that went a bit further toward the nose of the board to give additional passengers some extra traction.
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
|Total On-Water Score
Below are some of the On-Water tests we did with the Cruise Carbon. We compared it to the original Bluefin Cruise 10’8 SUP as a comparison to see how much extra performance is really in the Cruise Carbon 10’8’ SUP.
This is the area that I found was the biggest difference between the Cruise and Cruise Carbon series. The Carbon is more rigid thanks to its 2 bladders and carbon side rails. As a result this also makes the board feel more stable in the water, despite having the same dimensions as the original Cruise.
When I mention the stability of the Cruise I mean there was less side-to-side rocking. Another factor is that the Cruise Carbon is heavier compared to the original Cruise board. On the whole, heavier boards tend to give you better stability compared to lighter-weight ones.
In my tests between the tracking ability of the 10’8” Cruise and Cruise Carbon SUPs, I found the tracking to be almost identical. The board tracked about 5 strokes a side before you had to switch sides. This was done with the original Bluefin fin setups which consisted of the two side fins and the center dolphin fins.
|Average Paddle Strokes (All Around)
To Keep Straight Course
This makes sense as both boards are the same shape and dimensions. Usually boards in the 10’8 or 10’6 range track at about 5 to 6 strokes per side. If tracking was important to you I’d recommend getting the Cruise Carbon 12’ as the longer more narrower shape will help the board track better.
From just the feeling on the water the Cruise Carbon felt like it had slower acceleration but a faster top-end paddling speed. The increased acceleration in the Cruise is down to the board being lighter. Even though the weights between the Cruise and Cruise Carbon are listed as the same you can tell that the original Cruise is the lighter board.
As soon as you got into a rhythm of paddling the Cruise Carbon started to get the upper hand. The extra rigidity and the momentum of the extra few pounds of weight helped the board glide in the water better compared to the Cruise counterpart.
As with tracking, if you wanted a more specialty board with a better top speed then it’s recommended you upgrade to the Cruise Carbon 12. The Carbon 12 is more adept at handling longer distances.
The maneuverability of the Cruise Carbon was strikingly similar to the Cruise. The Cruise has a slight edge in terms of being more maneuverable by a stroke to half a stroke when I did the reverse side paddles and reverse sweep strokes. The reason is, that the Cruise Carbon is a few pounds heavier which will affect the paddler’s output in terms of turning the board around.
|Average Paddle Strokes (All Around SUP’s)
|Paddle Strokes for Reverse Sweep Stroke
|Paddle Strokes for Reverse Side Paddles
We also conducted some pivot turn tests that compared the Cruise and Cruise Carbon. Because of the Cruise carbons’ extra bit of stability, it was a bit easier to stand on the tail of the Carbons tail allowing you to find that edge a bit easier before falling off.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” Stats Deconstructed
- Type of Board: Recreational
- Length: 10’8″
- Width: 32″
- Thickness: 6″
- Weight: 24 Lbs
- Maximum Capacity: 330 Lbs
|Average Score (All Around)
One of the main differences between the Cruise vs the Cruise Carbon is the fact that the Cruise Carbon has put more emphasis on the construction of the board.
Like the Cruise, the Cruise Carbon line is made of a Monocoque Structural Laminate Technology which consists of two layers of PVC heat pressed together to form a stronger seal and further protection against those darn harder items such as sharp rocks and logs.
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon also has carbon stiffening side rails. There has been some debate in the SUP community as to how effective these rails truly are. But in my experience, there is a positive correlation between stiffness/ on-water performance with the side rails vs. without.
On top of this, the Bluefin Cruise Carbon also features another bladder that gives you an extra layer of safety in the extremely unlikely case that the board fails. Mind you, adding another bladder does give the board an extra failure point within the board but I would not worry too much about this as this SUP has been around for a few years and the company has had time to perfect its process of adding the extra bladder into the SUP.
“In my experience, the extra bladder does a good job of being non-intrusive on the deck pad as well as adding more rigidity to the board allowing it to feel more stable standing up.”– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” Board Profile
The new Bluefin Cruise Carbon series offers three sizes. The 10’8”, 12’ and 15’ boards.
- The 15’ is for tandem paddlers who want more than one adult on the board.
- The 12’ is for paddlers who want to cover more distance with a slightly faster clip
- The 10’8” is the recreational kind that will be suitable for most paddlers
Now let’s get back to the 10’8” Cruise Carbon board. This SUP’s profile has a slightly more pointed nose compared to other all-around boards. I find this shape is great for displacing waves that come your way from boats. Rather than floating over them the nose actually cuts into them, giving you a bit extra stability going through the process.
The tail, like the Cruise, is squared off to give the board a bit more stability for those new paddlers entering the water.
“Overall there is little difference between the Cruise and Cruise Carbons’ actual board profiles as they are shaped very similarly. This also leads to only slight differences in both board’s on-water performance which we will get into below.”– Editors Notes
What’s On Deck
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
|Board Features Score
|Deck Pad Score
|Deck Webbing Score
|Action Mounts Score
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon has a few more additions on deck compared to the original Cruise boards. Most importantly though, you do get your kayak hybrid kit that comes with the board.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” Deck Pad
The Cruise Carbon 10’8” has one of the best deck pads in my humble opinion. It offers a good level of grip, even when the deck pad gets wet. And trust me, it will. The deckpad is made of thermostatic crocodile deck padding in diamond-shaped cuts. And don’t worry, no crocodiles were harmed in the making of this deckpad! It’s just the name and texture that is inspired by those cuddly crocs.
The Cruise Carbon offers a good amount of room for the deckpad. Although I would have liked to see it go a bit farther forward to make it a more ideal SUP for furry friends to climb aboard and not have to worry about slipping on PVC.
While you can do activities such as yoga on this board it would not be the go-to for this activity. For pure yoga enthusiasts, we would recommend the Bluefin Aura. But for the odd warriors pose this SUP can definitely work.
The Cruise Carbon, much like its Cruise brother also has a kick pad in the rear that allows you to perform pivot turns more efficiently.
“One of the things we did notice, was the fact that the Cruise Carbon was able to perform pivot turns a bit easier compared to the Cruise 10’8. We think this is due to the rigidity of the boards thanks to the second bladder and the carbon side rails.”– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Carbon D Rings
The Cruise Carbon has 5 extra D rings that are not attached to anything. The 4 free D rings on the Cruise Carbon are closer in and actually part of the deckpad. When attaching the kayak seat I found out that the straps attached to the back need to be clipped to the front while the seat part needs to be attached to the rear D rings.
The rear also has a D ring for your leash. It’s a bit more inconspicuous compared to other tail D rings but it’s relatively straightforward forward attach the leash to it.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Deck Bungees
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon offers 2 rows of deck webbing in the front and rear. This is great for smaller odds and ends of gear. Things such as water bottles, small soft coolers, and dry bags/ small backpacks come to mind.
In comparison, the original Cruise 10’8” does not have any deck webbing on the back. So for those who want to bring a bit more aboard for a day trip. the Cruise Carbon would be a strong consideration.
Some things I usually like to stash under the bungees include:
- Water bottle (or 2)
- Small cooler
- Waterproof speaker
- Dry bag (with keys, towel etc)
Things may get a bit more challenging when you want to load bigger items onto this SUP though. But if you are creative I’m sure you can think of something, especially if you use the center “Kayak conversion” D rings
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Action Mounts
One of the improvements that the Cruise Carbon has over the Cruise is that the carbon version has 5 action mounts instead of the 3.
The action mounts are well placed in my mind with one at the front of the nose, 2 on the last row of the front bungee deck webbing, and 2 on the last row of the rear bungee deck webbing.
These give you good cam vantage points that allow you and the environment to both be included in the shot.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 Handles
One of the additional accessories that the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” has on board is more handles compared to the regular Cruise. The Cruise Carbon offers 9 handles compared to the 5 provided by the Bluefin Cruise board.
The main 3 handle placements that you would see on most SUPs (front, middle, rear) are covered with neoprene padding to make carrying the SUP easy on your hands.
The 2 neoprene handles on the sides of the bungee deck webbing are meant to be child’s/ passenger handles so that they can hold on while paddling. Ideal for those bumpy waves caused by those darn boaters!
Finally, the Cruise Carbon has two extra side handles that will give people of different height ranges an easier time to grip and carry the board down to the shore.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Accessories Explained
|Average SUP Score
(All Around Boards)
The differences in accessories between the Bluefin Cruise Carbon and the Cruise lineup is relatively small but there are some subtle differences mentioned below.
The Cruise Carbon package comes with the bag, a dual chamber triple action pump, a carbon hybrid paddle, and 3 fins (the center of which is US fin box spec). The Cruise Carbon series also features a kayak conversion kit that comes with the package.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Backpack
The Bluefin Cruise Carbon package offers a similar backpack but with a few modifications. The Cruise Carbon bag features a side handle as well as two wheels on the bottom which is a personal preference of mine.
The wheels help you save your back which allows you to drag the bag like travel luggage. It can be dragged through gravel, grass, and pavement sections.
The Cruise Carbon bag offers a rather large front pocket in which you can put items such as ankle leashes, dry bags, etc.
The bag also has side pockets on the bottom for smaller things such as small water bottles or little odds and ends like GoPro holders and of course the fins.
In terms of back padding, it has a good amount of cushion that helps keep parts of the board/ package digging into your back. The bag also has a waist strap which helps keep the board more comfortably strapped to you so that the bag does not move around as much.
“I personally like a lot of the features of the bag but I did feel it was a bit awkward to lug around compared to other paddle board bags. The SUP always has a tendency to lean towards the front pockets. Thankfully there is a strap inside the bag that allows you to clip the board to the back of the bag to give it more support.
I also found that this board can be more difficult to pack away compared to other paddle boards with similar rigidity ratings. More on that below..”– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Paddle
The Carbon package has a fiberglass shaft with a nylon blade. The paddle is about average weight at about 2.15 lbs. I personally feel that they could have upgraded the paddle to be a lightweight carbon paddle that could be a few tenths lighter.
The blade is tear-drop shaped which allows you to transfer more power per stroke. But on the flip side, it also adds more strain during longer distances as compared to a thinner rectangular blade.
The paddle’s length goes from 68” to 82” in length which is good for most paddlers. The shaft has a grippy feel to it which definitely helps things when you have sunscreen on your wet hands!
I also liked the rubber handle part that you hand grips. I feel this is one of the more natural-feeling paddles to hold. The extra rubberized grip of the handle helps hold the paddle.
“One of the things I wish Bluefin would do is have measurement markers on the adjustable handle portion of the paddle. I find that these help aid your memory in how to set the paddle instead of always having to adjust to your height.
Another thing to note is that the clamps on the paddle need adjustment with a screwdriver before going out. I have had this happen with both the Cruise and Cruise Carbon models. I also think that the kayak conversion paddle stretches this out compared to the handle which makes you have to make secondary adjustments when the handle is being put back into place.“– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Pump
The pump that comes with the Bluefin Cruise Carbon is an upgrade to the original Cruise series. This pump has a 3-stage setting which helps pump more air into your board.
You start off at stage #1 to pump air from both cylinders on the up-and-down stroke. As soon as it gets harder to pump (usually around 5-7 PSI) you switch it to the 2nd stage which entails both chambers pumping on the down stroke. As soon as this gets difficult you can switch the pump to the down stroke on setting 3 to fill the rest of the board.
If you want a 3-stage manual pump before going out then this is a pretty solid pump to be included. But for those who want more efficiency, I’d recommend getting an electric pump. Especially if you hate manual pumping up a board.
Bluefin offers the E-Swift eclectic pump and their regular electric pump. The E swift pump has been designed in-house and is the premium version which allows you to not just pump up paddle boards but also floaties, air mattresses, yoga balls, inflatable toys, etc.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Fins
The Cruise Carbon comes with a 3 fin setup which includes a dolphin fin and two 5” side fins. One of the main differences here between the Cruise and Cruise Carbon is the fact that the Cruise Carbon features a US Fin box for the center fin. This feature opens up a variety of center fins you can use. You can choose from both paddle board and surfboard fins that have that same “US Fin Box” designation.
“I have done some on-water tests with the original Cruise on fin set-ups and I have to say having the 2 side fins on does make a noticeable difference. I recorded 7 strokes per side before having to change over vs 5 with just the center fin. Side fins definitely help the Carbon track better all the while adding a bit more stability as you paddle.“– Editors Notes
Bluefin Cruise Carbon Kayak Conversion Set-up
Often times after paddling for a long time your legs start getting a bit tired and your feet start to feel numb. Sure you can sit on the board but it can be a bit strenuous without a back rest.
This is where Bluefin’s kayak conversion kit comes into play. The Cruise carbon package comes with a kayak attachment paddle where the original handle goes and a kayak seat. Many premium SUP packages sell these separately but thankfully Bluefin has included them in this package.
Having tried the kayak conversion kit I would say that it would help if Bluefin had a footrest similar to the design that Isle has for their Switch model. The footrest allows you to get more power from out of your core to do more energy-efficient strokes.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 Set-Up
|Average Score (All Around)
Setting up the Cruise carbon is pretty straightforward. There’s a bunch of packaging you have to get rid of first. Once everything is removed you want to pump the middle inflation chamber FIRST. This helps keep the integrity of the board as if you pump the outer chamber first it surrounds the inner chamber and can stretch the materials.
After that, clip on the side fins, screw in the center fin, and away you go!
After taking the time to fold the Cruise Carbon and the Cruise one by one, I can say that the original Cruise is easier to fold.
“This is where the Cruise Carbons stiffness and extra 2 bladders can be a hindrance. I found the PVC of the Cruise carbon a bit more difficult to keep in place as I was doing the folds. I also originally wanted the board to start folding from the fins but this did not work due to the placement of the valves and the fact that there are action mounts in the way. So it’s best to start folding this board from the nose.
I found it was also a bit tougher to find the ideal folds as you have to time your folds with where the accessories are which can be a bit challenging to figure out. I highly recommend getting a white marker and making marks where the folds are on the board so you can replicate the manufacturers’ folding process.”– Editors Notes
The bag of the Cruise carbon is nice and made of good materials but I found it to be kind of awkward to carry. Unlike with other SUP bags, this one has a tendency to have the folded board flop to the front pocket which makes it awkward to carry. Thankfully Bluefin does have clip-on straps inside to help secure the board to your back.
About Bluefin Paddle Boards
Bluefin continues to be one of the SUP giants in Europe and has distribution all over Europe, North America, and Australia. They were founded at the beginning of the 2010’s while the first paddle board they made (the Cruise 10’8”) was released to the public in 2018.
Bluefin has had lots of praise for the design and manufacturing of its boards. They have a very similar level of rigidity compared to more expensive brands but can still be had at a good price point and warranty coverage.
Bluefin Warranty and Returns Policy
Bluefin offers a warranty and return period that is one of the better ones in the industry. Bluefin offers a 5-year limited warranty and a 60-day return policy.
You should read between the lines on this though as Bluefin has a tiered return policy.
- Up to 60 days: A new replacement board may be offered
- 60 Days to 6 Months: A new replacement may be offered
- 6 Months Onwards: A like-for-like refurbished replacement board may be offered.
The warranty does not cover regular wear and tear, or damage caused by neglect or misuse of the product. You can go to the Bluefin warranty page to see the full details of this.
It’s important to look through all of these terms before buying so that no surprises come to you.
What Customers Think of the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8” SUP
With the Cruise Carbon, I made the most of my use at my friend’s cabin by letting people try the board out. Some comparables at the cabin were the Cruise and the Jimmy Styks Beaver hard board (10 years old).
“Some comments I collected was that overfall the Cruise Carbon was more stable of a vessel although as I mentioned above the tracking/ speed and maneuverability differences between the Cruise Carbon and the Cruise were not too noticeable. Specifically for some of the novice paddlers in the group.
Some other notes of interest were that while the Jimmy Styks Beaver board did glide better, the board’s tracking was not as good as the Bluefin boards. The Beaver board also is harder on your feet after a period of time standing compared to the Cruise and Cruise carbon boards provided.”– Editors Notes
A few of the friends at the cabin also commented that the Cruise Carbon had a particularly grippy deck pad which they liked the overall feel of. Especially compared to the hardboard.
One of the other interesting tests we did was to try to put 3 adults on the Cruise Carbon and paddle over to the rope swing. Suffice it to say that 3 grown adults and 630 lbs were too much for the board to handle. But it could passenger two full adults (375 lbs) relatively easily.
Overall customers had a lot of positive things to say about the Cruise Carbon 10’8” Sup.
“I was pleasantly surprised by just how well-made this board is. Even the supplied paddle is robust. Probably not a board for use at professional levels in rough sea conditions but perfectly fine for lake use.”– Desima (Verified Bluefin Customer)
For now this was most of what I could find. Since the Bluefin Cruise Carbon premium series is relatively new there are not a lot of customer reviews on it yet, but we will be updating this.
Where to Buy the Bluefin Cruise 10’8” Carbon Premium Board
You can purchase the Bluefin Cruise Premium board from The Bluefin website. If you click the link it will take you to the country closest to you.
Bluefin has distribution in:
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Canada (New)
You can also find the Bluefin Cruise Carbon 10’8 on Amazon as well.
Comparable Paddle Boards
Below are boards from other brands that are comparable.
Nixy Monterey 11’6” Paddle Board
While the sizing may be different the Nixy Monterey has dual chambers similar to the Bluefin Cruise Carbon. The Monterey has more action mounts and Scotty Mounts and has more bungee deck webbing which would make the Monterey a better choice for longer excursions.
iRocker All Around 11 Ultra Paddle Board
iRocker is a direct competitor to Bluefin SUPs in that it has the same global reach in terms of distribution. The iRocker 11’ is a few inches longer and has more mounting points and bungee deck storage. It does not have the same level of rigidity though as it is a single chamber board.
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