Is Bluefin CRUISE 10.8 worth to buy? Our review
The Bluefin Cruise 10.8 is one of the best-selling SUP boards and topped the bestseller list on Amazon in 2020. We wanted to know what makes the board a popular all-rounder SUP board and have tested the Bluefin Cruise for you.
What you will learn
- In brief
- First impression and structure
- Dismantling the Bluefin Cruise 10.8
- Areas of application & driving characteristics
- Move on the board
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Other special features
- The most frequently asked questions about the Bluefin Cruise
The Bluefin Cruise offers a very solid and robust workmanship and can withstand a maximum of up to 26 psi (recommended are approx. 15-18 psi). The board offers a high degree of rigidity thanks to the close-knit drop stitch and is very easy to turn thanks to the short board length of only 10’8 “. The accessories are very extensive and also include a high-quality double-stroke pump. The board offers a maximum load of up to 130 kg. The advantage of the Bluefin SUP boards is that you get a five-year guarantee on them. The workmanship is consistently high quality and the extensive accessories and the action cam mount round off the overall package! We therefore give a very clear recommendation to buy the Bluefin Cruise in the all-round version. You can find detailed information about the different versions and the detailed test report with many pictures below! If you are looking for a robust touring board, you should take a look at the Cruise 12 foot version. Is maximum stiffness important to you? Then the 10.8 carbon version could also be something for you.
- Excellent build quality & rigidity
- High load capacity (up to 130 kg)
- High stability
- Low board weight (only approx. 11 kg)
- High quality backpack with thick shoulder straps
- Balanced driving characteristics
- Kickpad for fast turns
- Integrated action cam mount
- Kayak seat & paddle included
- 5 year guarantee
- Fiberglass paddle rather simply constructed
- Own fin system (no compatibility with fins from other manufacturers)
L x W x H: 327 cm x 77 cm x 15 cm
Weight: approx. 14 kilograms
Volume: 305 liters
First impression and structure
The order was placed on the company website and the board was delivered well packaged within a few days. Both the board and the accessories were well packaged and fully included. First, I checked all the parts and then went to build the board.
The cover pad with crocodile skin look and the marbling ensure the best possible slip resistance on the standing surfaces. Even if the board or feet have gotten wet, you stand stable on the deck pad.
Dismantling the Bluefin Cruise 10.8
To make the Bluefin Cruise transportable again, first dismantle the middle fin and then open the valve to let the air escape. As soon as you activate the valve mechanism, the air flows out of the board again. The remaining air will escape when you start to fold the Bluefin into the packaging. If you proceed carefully here, the board will quickly be in the delivery condition again and can be stowed in the board bag.
The spacious backpack holds the inflatable SUP loosely and is comfortable to carry thanks to the shoulder pads.
I was curious about the processing of the board. While some test reports found the processing of the Bluefin Cruise to be particularly successful, there were also few critical voices. They complained that the board threw blisters at connection points, leaks or was poorly glued. I couldn’t find any of this in my test of the board, so I join the group of satisfied testers: The board is flawless, the seams were all neatly taped and no air escaped during the test drives. A total of 11,200 stitches with 500 denier space yarn ensure an ultra-strong board and the fabric is additionally reinforced and heat-welded on the sides. Since the manufacturer gives a 5-year guarantee on its boards and communication in English is fast and solution-oriented, if you have any doubts you should simply go to the manufacturer if you have caught a Monday model.
Areas of application & driving characteristics
All-round boards are ideal for relaxed SUP tours (up to approx. 15 km), relaxed cruising on the lake or on rivers and of course as a classic family board. The Cruise is also suitable for small waves in the sea thanks to the two additional side fins (permanently attached). The two side fins increase stability when riding in waves. Thanks to the 82.5 cm wide board, which is also very wide throughout, the Cruise offers extremely high stability against tipping. In combination with the high rigidity, it offers beginners a lot of safety on the water. Due to its length of only approx. 327 cm, it is very easy to turn and can be pulled around the curve with just a few paddles. Even quick turns are no problem thanks to the kick pad (edge at the rear of the platform). The board is perfect for improving SUP skills, practicing walking and moving on the board, or doing sports exercises on the huge standing area.
Move on the board
The Bluefin Cruise offers all-round typical driving characteristics. Due to the short board length, it is very manoeuvrable, but offers less straight-line stability than the 12-foot version *. So we would recommend the longer version for extensive SUP tours. Thanks to the pointed nose, the water tear is somewhat improved compared to a strongly rounded nose (otherwise common for all-rounders). The two supporting side fins don’t really have an effect in shallow water and are more useful in choppy water (small waves). The Cruise is not a board for high speeds, but rather for relaxed driving over the lakes, rivers or the canals and canals of the city. With the option of attaching a kayak seat (even included), the Bluefin Cruise offers maximum flexibility in the areas of application. Accordingly, it is really a SUP board for the whole family. The stand area (EVA deck) has a very non-slip diamond structure. Even when wet, it still offers enough grip.
Bluefin also leaves nothing to be desired when it comes to accessories and equipment. The board itself offers a luggage net at the bow and five D-rings around it to attach SUP bags, dry bags and the leash. For action cams or the GoPro there is a pre-assembled bracket on the bow. The Double Action SUP pump is light and with it you can bring the board to 15 PSI in about 6 minutes. The enclosed leash is comfortable to wear and has a long enough cord. The telescopic fiberglass paddle consists of three parts so that it can be easily stowed away. As one of the very few providers, Bluefin also offers a canoe set consisting of a seat and a paddle conversion kit.
The supplied fiberglass paddle consists of 3 parts.
As a nice giveaway, the accessories also come with a waterproof cell phone case. All accessories can be stowed in the Blufin Boardbag, your new backpack. It offers sufficient storage space and attachment options so that you have to stow your pump and paddle on and not in your backpack. If something breaks, the included repair kit will help you.
As a paddle you get a three-part vario paddle with the board. This consists of fiberglass and is accordingly pleasantly light. Thanks to the three parts, the paddle can also be stowed away wonderfully in the supplied backpack. The paddle blade is simply attached and secured with a small pin. The paddle handle is pushed in at the top and fastened with a clamp. The clamp can be fixed without tools. The paddle blade is made of plastic and is very large. This causes a lot of displacement in the water and, accordingly, a lot of propulsion. However, when a paddle pull is used, the paddle is a little more restless in the water when a little more force is used. Immersing and pulling the paddle cleanly is not that easy.
The upper clamp is unfortunately a bit more sharp-edged at the edges, so that this is a bit annoying when changing hands (changing the paddle side). Otherwise the paddle offers a lot of flex, which means that it does not put too much strain on the shoulders. The paddle is slightly better than the usual aluminum paddles that are usually included with many complete sets. Compared to high-quality paddles, the Bluefin paddle can only be classified as mediocre. Beginners can still be very happy with this SUP paddle. It is sturdy and is not that heavy in the hand (thanks to fiberglass). The paddle is sufficient for relaxed cruising across the lake. However, if you are a little more advanced, want to paddle with more strength and more sporty, you should perhaps think about a high-quality paddle. To convert the paddle into a kayak paddle, simply remove the handle and insert the other paddle blade supplied. Finished!
A high-quality double-stroke pump is included with the Bluefin SUP. With this the board is inflated to the maximum pressure of 18 psi in about 6 minutes. When the going gets tough, you can switch to a single-hub function using a small pen. Then air is only pumped into the board when it is pushed down.
The pressure can be read on the top. However, the display on the pump only shows something when the board has already been properly filled with air. In return, the display goes up quickly. Towards the end it gets a bit more exhausting. However, with a little practice, the board is always pumped up faster. Pay attention to the valve position when inflating (spring relieved) so that the air does not flow out of the board again when the hose is removed from the valve. The handles and the base are wide enough and offer sufficient support. The pump does not have a function for pumping out the air (only inflate).
A classic dolphin fin is included as a fin. This consists of a robust plastic and can be easily installed in the fin box. A separate system is used here – the so-called Smart-Lock-System. To do this, the fin is pushed into the box and fixed with a lever at the rear. Should this break off, a small replacement lever is also included. Thanks to the Smart-Lock-System, the fin can be mounted in a few seconds without tools. However, it has the disadvantage that no fins from other manufacturers can be used on the Bluefin board.
The supplied backpack has very wide shoulder straps, so that it is extremely comfortable to carry. Since the backpack is very large, all accessories can easily be found in this space. The backpack has a large main compartment and a smaller additional compartment on the front. Perfect for stowing the instructions, the repair kit, the leash and the fin. The zippers make a robust impression. When packing the board, you should make sure that the back area is as straight as possible and that no accessories or a fin press directly on the back. This can become uncomfortable when wearing. The backpack does not have wheels, but thanks to the very wide shoulder straps it is still very comfortable to carry. With all the accessories in the backpack, however, it is also comparatively heavy. It is best to leave the accessories at home that are not needed for the SUP round anyway.
A SUP leash is a safety line for stand up paddling. This is part of the basic equipment for stand up paddling. A coiled leash is included, which is ideal for stand-up paddlers. In the unloaded state, the line is rolled up and does not drag in the water. The leash is attached to the D-ring of the board and to the ankle or calf. Should you ever fall into the water, your SUP board will not just drift away.
A kayak seat for SUP boards is also included as an additional accessory. This is simply clamped onto the existing D-rings and tightened with straps. Then the seat is firmly fixed on the stand surface of the SUP board and holds surprisingly well. If you want to take a seated lap, you can do so with the kayak seat and paddle.
Strengths and weaknesses
In my opinion, the overall package is the greatest strength. The Bluefin Cruise is characterized by a cleanly processed SUP with extensive accessories AND good driving characteristics. The board does not have any weaknesses in view of the price range. Since the board is often out of stock, you should order when it is available. In addition, there have been a few, very few boards with processing errors in the past. The manufacturer’s support will help you here very quickly and you are also really well covered with a 5-year guarantee – which is also a strength.
Other special features
With four additional D-rings on the sides, a kayak seat can be mounted on the board in a few simple steps. This is simply put on, attached to the D-rings with small hooks and finally tightened with straps. Even the paddle can be converted into a kayak paddle, so that you can take a lap while sitting down. The Cruise is thus a stand up paddle board with a kayak option (everything included!). Another special feature of the Cruise are the additional handles at the front of the board tip and at the back of the stern. This makes it even easier to carry the board to the water, lift it out of the water and transport it by several people at the same time. A waterproof drybag can be stowed on the rubber bag. We also have an attachment option for a camera at the front of the board tip. A standard bracket (suitable for most action cams such as GoPro etc.) and even a 3/4 thread are firmly integrated here. This makes it easier to attach a camera to the SUP board so that adhesive pads do not have to be used here.
As an alternative to the Bluefin Cruise 10.8, the manufacturer also offers other models in the series. For very tall, heavy people and all those who think even more in the direction of SUP tours, the Bluefin Cruise 12 is worth considering. The 12’0 variant is longer (366 cm) and carries a user weight of up to 140 kilograms.
Both variants are also available as Bluefin Cruise Carbon. In the carbon version, the models offer two air chambers, are equipped with the US Box fin system and carbon paddles are included instead of fiberglass. In addition to the more powerful triple action pump, the Bluefin Carbon Cruise models score with two independent air chambers. This is supposed to provide additional strength and offers a plus in security. If the main chamber is damaged while paddling, the SUP has a second air chamber to provide buoyancy. In addition, the boards are reinforced with carbon fibers to provide even more rigidity.
Instead, children choose the Bluefin Cruise Junior. The 8 inch long SUP is just as well equipped as the 10’8, but much easier to maneuver for children up to 135 cm.
The Bluefin Cruise offers an excellent price-performance ratio. The inflatable stand up paddle board looks well thought out, offers many cool features and balanced riding characteristics. The build quality of the Bluefin board and the accessories is high, so we can only recommend this one. Especially in combination with the large scope of delivery, the Cruise offers beginners the perfect introduction to stand up paddling. There is no need to buy additional accessories. The Cruise also offers high rigidity and load capacity, is robust and durable and comes with a five-year guarantee. Accordingly, we can only recommend the Bluefin Cruise. If you are looking for a board for the whole family and want a high level of flexibility, this Stand Up Paddle Board is the best choice. If you prefer to do long SUP tours, you should go for the 12-foot version of Bluefin.
The most frequently asked questions about the Bluefin Cruise
Which versions of the Cruise are there?
Bluefin Cruise 10’8 ″: Perfect for beginners and medium-length SUP tours (up to approx. 15 km)
Cruise 12 ′: For extensive SUP tours, as it has better gliding properties
Bluefin Cruise 15 ′: The version for several people at the same time (at least 2)
Bluefin Cruise Junior: The board for children
Which version is best for me?
That depends entirely on your previous experience and goals in Stand Up Paddling. There are three different board lengths of the Cruise in the standard version. Both the 10’8 ″ version * and the 12 ′ version * are ideal for beginners and beginners. If you want to do longer tours in the future, you should take the longer version right away. If you are looking for a family board that can also be ridden by children, you should choose the 10’8 “version * or even the Cruise Junior version *. The Tandem 15 ′ version * is designed to be used by several people at the same time. If you want to drive alone, it will be quite difficult on this version of the Bluefin boards. Driving together is definitely fun. All boards offer a high level of stability and are actually easy for beginners to master. Just think about what you want to do in the future and who should ride the board. Then you can quickly decide on a version. If you want to find out more about Bluefin and the models, have a look at the article ” Bluefin SUP boards review“.
Bluefin Cruise Carbon or Standard?
There is also a carbon version of the Bluefin SUP boards, which has a flex reduction system, two air chambers (double chamber) and other features. This costs about 300 euros more than the standard version of the Cruise in the 10.8 version. Take a look at the detailed comparison of the two variants. After that you should know which version is better for you.
Is there a five-year guarantee on all Bluefin boards?
According to Bluefin, there is also a five-year guarantee on all available boards. So also on the Bluefin Cruise tested here. You only get a one year guarantee on all accessories. On the Bluefin website you can find more information about the warranty provisions for the SUP boards.
How is the board inflated without the air escaping when the hose is removed?
The SUP valve on the Bluefin Boards always consists of a ring with a pin with a spring in the middle. So that the air does not escape when the hose is removed, the pin must be relieved before connecting the hose. This means that you push the pen in and turn it slightly. Then you will notice that the spring is relieved. Just try out the two valve positions before connecting and you will quickly find the right position. When you have inflated the board, you can relax and pull off the hose without the air escaping from the board again. By the way, you can always read the recommended pressure on the valve ring. This is between 15 and 18 psi for the Bluefin boards.