When John Hibbard founded Red Paddle Co over a decade ago, inflatable paddle boards were almost non-existent and not great quality. John’s resolute mission to make the sport he loved more accessible, lead to a commitment to only produce the very best inflatable paddle boards, and this amounted to an ongoing personal problem-solving exercise. Ten years on, it’s safe to say it was a success.

Throughout this time, the Red design team have kept innovation at the heart of the brand and haven’t rested on their laurels. As forerunners of the field, they have released their trademarked MSL inflatable technology, the Titan pump, patented RSS stiffening systems and user-friendly details such as the wheeled carry bags. These innovations have established Red Paddle Co as the undisputed leader of the inflatable paddle boarding industry and they have expanded the potential of the sport as a whole. But the problem-solving doesn’t stop there.

The main benefits of high-quality inflatable boards are their transportability, storage and durability, not to mention their weight. But the Red Design Team saw room for improvement in all of those areas and after years of research and testing and many, many prototypes, the result of their hard work is finally on the market.

We caught up with Phil Hawthorne, Head of Design at Red Paddle Co, to find out why he and his team spent over a year designing the new 9’6″ and 11’0 Compact, and what this means for the sport as a whole.

PHIL, RED PADDLE CO BOARDS ARE CONSIDERED TO BE THE BEST INFLATABLE BOARDS IN THE INDUSTRY AND REALISING THE COMPACT VISION HAS COST YOU YEARS OF RESEARCH; WHY DO IT?​