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If you’ve already decided on the Bluefin Cruise series when looking for your new SUP board, then you’re basically on the right track.

With all our paddleboard reviews, the boards from Bluefin SUP are still among our top favorites!

But one question remains: Does the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 or the Bluefin Cruise 12 suits you?

Basically, the boards are very similar and differ mainly in length and thus, of course, in terms of volume (payload) and weight.

While the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 belongs to the all-round or cruising boards, the assignment of the Bluefin Cruise 12 clearly goes in the direction of touring boards. Thus, the main difference between the two models is clearly in the ride.

The 10.8er board is shorter, thus lies a bit more stable in the water, and is therefore better suited as a maneuverable companion for most beginners and varied areas of use. Due to the gain in length, the Bluefin Cruise 12 is again better suited for long distances.

It runs through the water with much less resistance and has a much better straight line, but you have to accept sacrifices in maneuverability and tilt stability.

Tip: First check out our Bluefin Cruise review, where we’ve covered the board in much detail.

Best Paddleboard 2022 for most Paddlers
Bluefin Cruise 10'8
9.4/10Our Score

The Bluefin Cruise is one of the best SUP boards on the market. What convinces me most about the Cruise SUPs is the high-quality workmanship of the boards and accessories. Clearly, no quality has been spared here. Last but not least, the Bluefin Cruise comes with an incredible five-year warranty.

Bluefin Cruise 10.8 vs Bluefin Cruise 12

In the following section, we’ll take a look at the different features of the boards in detail, so you can make the right decision for sure!

Dimensions

The most obvious difference between the two SUP boards is the length. At about 12′ (366 cm), the Bluefin Cruise 12 towers over its little brother in the 10’8 (about 325 cm) class by about 16” (41 cm).

Even though it looks different, the width of 32” (approx. 83 cm) is identical for both models. The thickness is also the same at 6” (15 cm).

ModelLengthWidthThickness
Bluefin Cruise 10’810’8 (325 cm)32” (82 cm)6” (15 cm)
Bluefin Cruise 12′12′ (366 cm)32” (82 cm)6” (15 cm)

Design and Construction

These points are not a meaningful criterion for distinguishing the boards, since the construction and design are the same:

The core of both models is manufactured using the classic “dropstitch” process, in which a great many polyester threads (11200 threads per m²) connect the top and bottom sides and are also woven together.

The outer shell of the Bluefin Cruise boards consists of 2 thermo-sealed layers of PVC (1000 denier military grade).

In addition, the outer layer is UV-resistant coated and thus very robust against environmental influences. Bluefin calls this manufacturing technique ESL (Exo Surface Lamination).

Due to this construction the Bluefin Cruise boards achieve an excellent stiffness which is only surpassed by the Bluefin Cruise Carbon boards (with carbon reinforced sides), here you can find an informative comparison of the two series!

Both the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 and the Cruise 12 are equipped with 3 completely removable fins. The center fin and the small side fins are removable and are attached to the board via the so-called “Smartlock System”.

For this purpose, the respective fin is inserted into the fin box and fixed in seconds via the permanently installed locking mechanism.

The effects of varying the fin setup can be seen in detail in the next section “Performance”.

Viewed from the side, you can see the slightly upward-curved board tip (nose) on both models. This design is called a “noserocker”, which makes the boards glide much better over the water and the tip doesn’t dip as easily in waves. This feature is somewhat more pronounced on the Bluefin Cruise 12.

Best Paddleboard 2022 for most Paddlers
Bluefin Cruise 10'8
9.4/10Our Score

The Bluefin Cruise is one of the best SUP boards on the market. What convinces me most about the Cruise SUPs is the high-quality workmanship of the boards and accessories. Clearly, no quality has been spared here. Last but not least, the Bluefin Cruise comes with an incredible five-year warranty.

Performance

The described difference in length leads to significant differences in glide. It’s not for nothing that people in the SUP scene say “the longer, the faster”. The Bluefin Cruise 12 glides much smoother through the water than the shorter Cruise 10.8.

The longer version is also clearly ahead in terms of directional stability and straight running. In practice, this also leads to higher speeds, as you can set many more powerful paddle strokes without straying from the straight course.

The disadvantage of the longer board is naturally the reduced maneuverability, but this can be compensated for by the practiced use of the kick pad (elevation in the rear area of the standing surface).

The Bluefin Cruise 10.8 comes out on top when it comes to tipping stability. Apart from the identical width, the relation to the length is also important for this characteristic. Nevertheless, the Bluefin Cruise 12 with its 32” (83 cm) is also a wide touring board and has comparatively good basic stability.

On the subject of riding characteristics, however, it must also be noted that all 3 fins on both boards are now removable. This gives you the additional possibility to influence the running behavior by changing the setup in the desired direction. This way you can adjust your board to different areas of use and react to changing conditions.

The classic 3 fin setup (2+1) has the consequence that the tipping stability and also the maneuverability are maximally pronounced. For beginners and for unspecific use, this is usually the best option.

If you are going on a tour, you can also remove the two small side fins and paddle only with a single fin. This increases the straight-line stability and keeps the board more stable in the track. As a result, you can also reach higher speeds, since you don’t have to change sides as often and can ultimately realize a faster, very dynamic paddling rhythm.

Last but not least, it is also possible to mount only the side fins. This reduces the draft to the maximum, which may be necessary on shallow river sections, for example, to avoid damage. With this setting, however, the board no longer has good guidance and steering becomes more difficult…as soon as conditions allow it again, you should use the center fin again!

Load and Weight

Here the boards differ clearly from each other. The reason for this is also the size. The maximum payload is purely physically dependent on the volume of a board.

The capacity of the air chamber is of course much larger on the Bluefin Cruise 12 than on the Bluefin Cruise 10.8. Consequently, it has a higher buoyancy and can be loaded heavier. This is also evident in the manufacturer’s specifications for recommended user weight and maximum payload:

According to Bluefin, the Cruise 10.8 is the better choice for paddlers up to 185 lbs (85 kg), and its maximum load limit is 33 lbs (150 kg).

For a user weight over 185 lbs (85 kg), you should accordingly opt for the Cruise 12, whose maximum load is stated as 385 lbs (175 kg). From my experience, however, I can say that the smaller board is also perfectly suitable for paddlers up to about 220 lbs (100 kg)!

The tare weight of the Bluefin Cruise is of course higher due to the material effort, with about 30 lbs (14 kg) it brings about 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) more on the scale. In practice, however, this is not an enormous difference. Overall, the Bluefin Cruise boards are comparatively heavy anyway, which is clearly due to the above-average material quality.

Scope of Delivery

The scope of delivery is absolutely identical for both models and consists of the following components:

SUP backpack, 3-piece paddle (fiberglass shaft) including second paddle blade (kayak extension), switchable double-stroke air pump with pressure indicator, coiled leash (spiral-shaped safety line), removable center fin (Smartlock system), repair kit and waterproof cell phone case.

The accessories are of good quality throughout and go very well with the superbly finished boards. Every beginner can get started with it immediately. In particular, the backpack with its wide and comfortably padded straps as well as the webbing in the interior stands out from the broad mass of SUP backpacks.

Best Paddleboard 2022 for most Paddlers
Bluefin Cruise 10'8
9.4/10Our Score

The Bluefin Cruise is one of the best SUP boards on the market. What convinces me most about the Cruise SUPs is the high-quality workmanship of the boards and accessories. Clearly, no quality has been spared here. Last but not least, the Bluefin Cruise comes with an incredible five-year warranty.

To find out more about the Bluefin Cruise 10’8 and also the 12′ version, check out our review here.

FAQ

Is the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 better suited for women than the Bluefin Cruise 12?

You can’t say that as a blanket statement, after all, gender equality also rules in the SUP sector. However, the handling of the Bluefin Cruise 12 is certainly a bit more strenuous due to the length and the higher weight. Especially small paddlers with relatively little strength reach their limits faster with the larger board…but this applies to men and women equally!

Should beginners go for the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 or the Bluefin Cruise 12?

I would tend to recommend the Bluefin Cruise 10.8, the shorter design has a positive effect on the tipping stability, which is an absolutely decisive criterion for many beginners. Added to this is the better maneuverability, the strengths of the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 lie accordingly in its versatility. As a beginner, you first want to try out many facets of SUP use, for which the Cruise 10.8 is ideal. Compared to many other all-rounders, however, the shape of the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 with its slightly pointed nose is already quite streamlined and glides well. Ambitious beginners who already know that long distances and higher speeds are the objective can also get started with the Bluefin Cruise 12. For a touring board, it is wider than average at about 32” (83 cm) and offers good basic stability. You might need a little more stamina in the beginning, but in the long run you will be rewarded with a much better glide.

Is the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 better for tall people than the Bluefin Cruise 12?

No, at least not if you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. According to Bluefin, the Cruise 10.8 is better suited for paddlers up to 185 lbs (85 kg). For users weighing more than 185 lbs (85 kg), the company recommends the Cruise 12. From my experience, I would like to put these statements into perspective a bit. Basically, the Bluefin Cruise 10.8 is a bit more tilt-resistant due to its reduced length, which also benefits tall SUP beginners. However, due to the higher volume, the Bluefin Cruise 12 has significantly more buoyancy and is overall more resilient?

Which Bluefin Cruise is better for occasional use as a couple or with a dog?

The Bluefin Cruise 12 is certainly the better choice for this purpose. Apart from the higher load capacity, the footprint and thus the available space is of course also significantly larger. However, both boards are not designed for long-term use by two people. Not without reason, Bluefin has with the Cruise 15 Tandem, a thoroughbred 2-person SUP board in the offer!

Is the Bluefin Cruise 12 more expensive than the Bluefin Cruise 10.8?

Yes, the production of the larger Bluefin Cruise 12 is simply a bit more complex and material-intensive, which is of course also reflected in the price.

Hi, my name is Max. In 2016, on my first SUP trip, I was still a bit shaky on the SUP board. But quickly the ambition grabbed me and my passion for SUP was ignited. That’s why I founded stand-up-paddling.org the same year. Our mission is to help beginners discover this sport and bring more transparency into the market with our in-depth product reviews.

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