Bluefin Cruise Lite review: SUPer lightweight travel companion

You’ll never have to worry about lugging your paddle board about again

Bluefin Cruise Lite review
(Image credit: Future)
T3 Verdict

Compact and extremely lightweight, Bluefin's Cruise Lite is perfect for active adventurers. Whether you're a new or experienced SUPer, this board is easy to use and made from high-grade materials. Everything you need is neatly packaged in a waterproof backpack weighing only 12.2 kg, making it the perfect addition for your daycation, staycation, or further trips abroad.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Very lightweight

  • +

    Compact and super easy to travel with

  • +

    Comes with everything you need to start SUP

  • +

    Easy to construct and pack away

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    Certain parts are a tad fiddly to put together

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Whether you’re a new paddler or have been SUPing for years, the Bluefin Cruise Lite paddle board is perfect for all abilities. But what makes this board so likeable is how compact and lightweight it is (35% lighter than all of Bluefin’s other paddleboards, in fact). Plus, everything you could possibly need comes packaged in a waterproof, roll-down backpack, so it’s ideal for taking on your outdoor adventures, near or far. But does it make the cut as one of the best inflatable paddle boards on the market? Read on to find out.

 Bluefin Cruise Lite review: specs 

  • Length: 345cm
  • Width: 76cm
  • Diametre: 13cm
  • Weight inflated: 8.4kg
  • Full kit weight: 12.2kg
  • Max person weight: 150kg

Bluefin Cruise Lite

(Image credit: Future)

Bluefin Cruise Lite review: Design and features

The Bluefin Cruise Lite is available in two sizes: 11’4” or 10”, for this review I tested out the 11’4”. You can’t purchase the board separately, which is why I think it’s particularly ideal if you’re new to SUPing and are after the entire kit, or, if you love going on adventures and are in need of something compact. 

I loved that everything I could possibly need for my SUP experience came neatly packaged in a waterproof wet bag – including the board, pump, paddle, fin and safety leash. Weighing just 12.2kg, it was very easy to carry and made all the more comfortable by the padded straps. Plus, there’s a handle at the top so you can manoeuvre the bag around once you’ve found your perfect paddling spot. The bag isn’t crammed full either, so there’s definitely some spare room for a couple of sandwiches and drinks.

More than half of the board is covered in non-slip croco-diamond material for enhanced grip, which I really liked and think is beneficial for any type of paddler, particularly newbies who may be feeling a little less confident. Other standout features include patent-pending reflective D-ring mounts to improve visibility on the water, the fixed camera mount at the front of the board and the extra-long bungee cords to keep your belongings securely in place while cruising.

Bluefin Cruise Lite paddle board

(Image credit: Future)

Bluefin Cruise Lite review: inflation and set up

The Bluefin Cruise Lite took a total of 30 minutes to set-up. This time probably would’ve been even quicker, but I did experience a couple of niggles along the way.

There weren’t any instructions for setting up the board, but this wasn’t a big deal as everything was pretty straight forward (e.g. putting the pump together and attaching it to the valve). Blowing up the board itself was easy, too, and I think it’s really useful that around the valve, Bluefin has written what PSI you should pump the board up too, so you’re not left questioning whether you’ve done it enough.

As the board is very light and has a neoprene handle on the side, it was easy to flip over to attach the fin. Although, this is where I encountered the second niggle and instructions at this point could have been useful, as attaching the fin wasn’t as straightforward as I’d imagined. Slotting it into place was easy enough, but there’s a small screw that you also need to twist into it to secure it. Once this was done, there were no problems at all, but without instructions, it ate into my set-up time.

The paddle comes with different numbers on, so you just attach the pieces together accordingly. The safety leash I’d been given wasn’t a coiled one, as shown in the picture online. Instead, you had a bum bag with a clip inside and a very long piece of rope. On one end was a clip to attach to your paddle board, but you had to tie the other end in a knot around the clip in the bum bag. I personally didn’t like this, and if you’re not good at tying knots, then it’s pretty pointless.

Bluefin Cruise Lite

(Image credit: Future)

Bluefin Cruise Lite review: out on the water

I took the Cruise Lite out for a paddle on the canal. Lifting it into the water presented no problems as it’s so light. The water was calm, so I expected to be speeding along, although I was surprised by just how quickly this paddle board moves. This may be down to its ultra light paddle, made from fibreglass and polyurethane, which is a lot lighter than aluminium paddles. The nose of the board hovers just out of the water also, so that it can swiftly change direction (which it does).

As previously mentioned, more than half of this board is covered with grip, which really helps you feel stable and confident on it. Although I didn’t stand up (due to having a bad back) I was very comfortable on my knees and I think the board is wide enough to give beginner SUPers that little extra confidence to stand. However, the 10' Cruise Lite may be an even better option as it's slightly wider.

In terms of using it on the sea, I’d feel more than confident doing this, as the board is very sturdy and, even though the water would be choppier, you’ve got all that additional grip on the board to prevent you from slipping and sliding all over the place.

Bluefin Cruise Lite

(Image credit: Future)

Bluefin Cruise Lite review: verdict

I think the Cruise Lite is a fantastic inflatable paddleboard for beginners, as it comes with everything you need to get you going on the water, as well as experienced SUPers. If you're someone who likes to take water sports equipment with you when you travel or like heading out on outdoor adventurers, this is exactly what the Cruise Lite is for, as it's so compact and lightweight. 

As well as being pretty straightforward to inflate, it's even easier to deflate, and you won't have any trouble packing it away either (the key here is to roll up the paddleboard as it'll leave plenty of room to slot everything else around it). It's not the cheapest beginner SUP, but I think the Cruise Lite is excellent quality and is worth the price. I wouldn't hesitate to take it anywhere with me.

Bluefin Cruise Lite review: also consider

In terms of price, the Cruise Lite 11'4' is slightly more expensive than some of the other paddleboards we've reviewed, such as the Two Bare Feet's Entradia 10'10' paddleboard, but is still significantly cheaper than the Red Paddle Ride MSL.

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.