Red Paddle SUP 2024 Preview

Retail Buyers Guide:  2024 SUP Retail Buyer’s Guide
Brand:  Red Paddle Co
Interviewee: George Shillito. Commercial Director

Carry overs were the go-to choice in 2023 to help clear the retailers & distributors existing inventories. Did the strategy pay out?
2023 saw some defining moments for the Red brand. Our strategy last year was (and always will be) based on building the Red brand. In 2023 we became a certified B Corporation joining the likes of Burton and Patagonia in our mission to use business as a force for good. It was a three-year process in which every area of the company was assessed, audited and scrutinized. We are continually taking steps to improve the way we design our products, reduce our impact on the planet and build a strong community of paddlers around the world. Alongside this, our range highlights saw the launch of our smallest, patented Compact board, the first purpose-built all-abilities board and a limited edition board providing 10% of brand profits to Ocean Conservation. We formalized our Red Foundation to provide better support to many water-based communities and groups as well as developed a specific rescue range in partnership with leading lifesaving authorities around the world.

When do you think supply and demand will balance out and why?
Potentially a bigger consideration here is will there still be supply when existing inventories have been reduced. During a recent review with our suppliers, it was estimated that between 85-90% of inflatable SUP factories have closed – the majority of which have done so permanently. These closures mean a huge amount of skill and knowledge is being lost meaning quality is likely to drop. Something we will not allow to happen. This is not the case for Red Paddle Co. We operate, and are constantly working with our private board factory and supply chain to ensure we retain highly skilled and experienced workers. Not only to ensure jobs but to deliver long lasting, quality products. It takes years of training to build the knowledge, processes and competency to consistently hand produce inflatable boards. We believe that ensuring customers are getting durable, reliable and performance-led products is crucial to growing the sport, reducing waste and keeping customers safe on the water with inflatable boards they can trust.

What is your product strategy for next season? Bold and fresh or a more cautious approach?
As part of our commitment as a B Corp – we never stand still. It’s part of our DNA. We are always innovating and developing the range to enable customers to create their own adventures on responsible, uncompromising kit designed by paddlers. So watch this space.

Which inflatable models are you pushing in 2024? Anything new in the technology/material front to report?
For 2024 we’ve introduced our new MSL800 range. At 800gramms lighter per square meter than our MSL material – this super stiff material has been designed to give longer boards lightening quick performance. 2KG lighter and five years in the making, the challenge was to reduce weight without compromising on the durability and reliability of the board. On average, we handle 500 copyright claims a year due to suppliers using the MSL name such is its reputation amongst manufacturers for being the finest dropstitch material with unrivalled properties. The new Sport+ range has been designed specifically to help people upgrade from an all-round shape and cater for the increasing demand in endurance and touring paddling. With mass paddling events selling out in a matter of hours across the world the Sport+ range is designed to improve efficiency, acceleration and overall speed whilst reducing drag and fatigue on longer paddles. The latest 12’6 Sport+ breaks the rules when it comes to traditional dimensions. When combined with our patented RSS system, MSL800 allows us to create a board that is just 4.7”/120mm thick giving paddlers a more stable, connected feel when on the water and revolutionizing the experience for many looking to take on a new adventure.

How are you supporting retailers through this difficult period?
Our support and commitment has always been based on working proactively and personally with stores to ensure the products and brand are successful for them.  The biggest area of change this year is our new package options allowing customers to easily upgrade their board with board-only options through to full packages. It’s not only kind on customers wallets allowing them to upgrade without compromising on quality but also means they are able to buy the kit they actually need which is better for the planet. All Red stores have full access to our online training portal, specific B2B trade sites, instore merchandising, in-person product training, specialist sales guides and documents, in-market distributor support, a full offering of spare parts as well as exposure via our optimized store finder online.

Key Products:

12’6 Sport+ :
Designed for progressive paddlers and longer routes, the 12’6″ Sport+ is 2KG lighter for the ultimate crossover tourer. Offering exceptional stability, particularly in chop, at just 4.7″ thick the 12’6″ Sport+ sits low to the water to maximise balance and minimise windage. Constructed in our new MSL®800 double-drop-stitch material, it’s much lighter yet even more rigid than ever before, reinforced with our patented Rocker Stiffening System (RSS) battens.



13’2 Voyager :
Chosen by long-distance paddlers and adventurers the world over. The Voyagers unique V-hull and twin fin configuration provides laser guided tracking, allowing paddlers to maintain a straight course and cover longer distances with efficiency and speed. Designed to be loaded up with kit the 13’2 is packed with features that allow you to focus on the adventure no matter what the conditions throw at you.



10’6 Ride Limited Edition :
Renowned for its allround performance, award winning design and superior paddling experience, the 10’6 Ride is no stranger in the Red Paddle Co range. At 32” wide and 4.7/120mm thick it offers a more connected, stable ride that gives paddlers complete confidence to explore their world. The unique 10’6 Ride – Limited Edition has been designed in partnership with Love the Oceans and provides 10% of brand profits to marine conservation.



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