Worried about tipping over on your SUP in whitewater? Boardworks and partner company Badfish of Salida, Colo., recently unveiled a new inflatable paddleboard that will do wonders to keep you on the surface where you belong.
Predicted to lead the market in terms of performance and stability, the new patent-pending board – the MCIT, for Multi Chamber Inflatable Technology — challenges the design constraints of existing drop-stitch inflatable SUP technology by offering tapered rails and enhanced rigidity. In short, it’s a board with small “sponsons” on the side, greatly increasing stability.
“Conventional drop-stitch material construction, which is used by the leading inflatable SUP manufacturers, has a consistent thickness, limiting design variations to outline shape and rocker curve,” says designer Phil Rainey of Boardworks. “Our new technology lets us create design elements previously only possible in hard boards, including tapered rails which increase responsiveness and stability.” He adds that MCIT’s I-Beam Stiffening System is another design innovation that greatly boosts rigidity.
These features and more make the MCIT suitable for all levels of SUP paddlers, from beginners and surfers to fitness paddlers and river runners. They also make it perfect for instructional programs, combining ease of storage and transport with stability, safety and durability.
With its enhanced rigidity and stability, the MCIT is also expected to open the doors to the world of river SUP, which is what Boardworks partner Badfish SUP of Salida, Colo., plans to capitalize on with the design it helped create.
“Inflatable boards are popular for river use, but until now they’ve required sacrifices in stability and performance,” says Badfish co-owner Mike Harvey, who helped design the board with partner Zack Hughes and the Boardworks’ design team. “The new MCIT is the most stable inflatable in whitewater, yet it’s incredibly nimble and fun to paddle. It does many of the things that make our MVP hard board a great river runner.”
Perhaps its best feature, he adds, is the board’s secondary stability. “You can lean it over on edge to make eddy turns and the rails don’t grab, which is a critical feature for river SUP boards,” Harvey says. “It also has three air chambers compared to one in conventional inflatable SUPs, making it safer, and it punches holes and surfs waves well.”
The Boardworks Badfish MCIT line is comprised of 9’0”, 10’6” and 11’6” models and will be available in the spring of 2012.