Most Travel-Friendly SUP? Red Paddle Co Launches 9’6” Compact

Red Paddle Co has created the most compact, high-quality inflatable SUP we’ve ever seen. The 9’6” Compact packs down into an impressively small backpack. That little backpack also carries a high-capacity pump, durable fins, and a super-adjustable paddle.

Red Paddle Co specializes in inflatable SUPs. The brand is an expert in this space and has been making inflatable SUPs for 10 years. The 9’6” Compact is its latest offering. It might be the most travel-friendly SUP yet!

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact SUP

“Our aim was to produce the most transportable board on the plant, without compromising on performance,” states the brand. The Compact is the outcome of that goal and looks to hit the mark.

The 9’6” Compact is on the shorter side for an all-around leisure SUP. While the board isn’t super long or wide, it is relatively thick. What this should amount to is a short, rigid, maneuverable board that can support a wide range of paddlers.

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact SUP

A stiff, durable, quality board with good performance that packs up crazy small doesn’t come cheap, however. The 9’6” Compact comes in at $1,899, which is a very premium price for this style of board.

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact SUP

All-in-One Travel SUP Solution

One big reason this board costs so much is that it comes with just about everything you need to get on the water. You still do need to supply a PFD. Otherwise, this setup from Red Paddle Co comes with the board, fins, paddle, and transport backpack.

How Does It Get So Small?

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact SUP backpackThe main reason this board is able to pack down so small is the split deck pad and offset air valve. These features allow the board to easily fold down the middle.

Besides these visible features, the 9’6” Compact also sports Red Paddle Co’s patent-pending PACT technology. The brand describes this tech as “a new weaving process [that] creates an extra-high-tensile thread matrix at the core of the board that combines with a super-strong but malleable outer layer and a tensile quad stringer-system.”

What all that fancy technology adds up to is a rigid and lightweight board that is still able to pack up incredibly small. Rigidity allows the board to support more weight and glide through the water more efficiently. It also allows for more aggressive carving when surfing a wave, but the thick rails won’t allow you to carve this board too hard.

The included five-piece paddle also helps this setup pack down small for transport and storage. The carbon shaft helps keep the paddle lightweight and transfers power to the blade efficiently. And the paddle’s nylon blade should be durable but not all that light or performance-oriented.

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact SUPs with pumps

This inflatable SUP setup also comes with Red Paddle Co’s Titan high-volume pump. The whole setup could probably be even smaller without the big pump, but a smaller pump would make setup more of a chore. The board wraps around the pump and itself to pack up into a small cube that fits in the backpack easily.

Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact Inflatable SUP

  • MSRP: $1,899
  • Board: 9’6” long x 32” wide x 4.7” thick, ¾-length deck pad, 222L volume, 209lb. weight capacity
  • Twin fin setup: Two rubber click-style fins with secondary security screw, FCS-compatible fin boxes
  • Paddle: Carbon five-piece, adjustable-height shaft; nylon blade
  • Pump: Titan
  • Backpack: Padded handles/back/shoulder straps, customizable lumbar support, adjustable height, 22” x 16.5” x 11”
  • Overall weight: 27.9 lbs.

The Red Paddle Co 9’6” Compact might just be the perfect travel SUP. But that perfection does come at a cost. If you can spare the greenbacks, this board setup looks like an amazing option for airplane, sports car, and even motorcycle travel. Not to mention how little space it will take up in your home, leaving more room for more toys.

Bryon Dorr

Bryon Dorr caught the outdoor adventure addiction through whitewater kayaking, and worldwide adventures to remote places ensued. He crafted his own professional path as a photographer, journalist, and marketing consultant in the automotive and outdoor industries, while full-time overland traveling for nearly 8 years. You’ll usually find him out exploring by 4x4, adventure motorcycle, or sports car while seeking out opportunities to ski, mountain bike, and kayak. Bryon now has a home base in Portland, OR with his wife and young daughter.