ProView – Badfish Flyweight
The Badfish Flyweight won Gear of the Year for 2021 in the paddleboard category. In the review, Outside says, “Grandmas can easily get this svelte 30-inch board in the lake, while the younger set can use it for easy river running, racing, flatwater paddling, and more.”, and this quote couldn’t be more true. My mother, who is a proud Grandma, was happy to carry this paddle board around. And my 11 year old niece had a grand ol’ time riding waves in the ocean. This paddle board really is for everyone, and my whole family agrees.
Product Name: Badfish Flyweight
Product Description: Weighing in at only 18 pounds, the Flyweight is the newest addition to the Badfish inflatable lineup. This revolutionary board weighs less and is more packable than the average inflatable paddle board, allowing you to always take your board with you. Utilizing Badfish’s new AirLite drop stitch technology, the Flyweight is soft and pliable when deflated, and shows no compromise with excellent rigidity and durability when inflated. The Flyweight is easy to pack, light to carry and has all the same features you expect from a Badfish inflatable paddle board.
Offer price: MSRP: $1199.00
A lightweight, easy to set up, enjoyable to use, paddle board with tons of features. Bring it on the plane, bring it into the backcountry, leave it in your car for when a SUP adventure might strike your fancy.
- Travel friendly
- The whole family can use it
Leaving the comfort of the snowy Colorado mountains never comes easily. But when there’s crisp clear water, white sand, alligator laden inlets (maybe), and the beautiful Choctawhatchee Bay prime for the SUP’ing, it makes the flight out a little easier. With beaches on the mind, I knew I would want some actives that weren’t just consuming trash novels under an umbrella and leaving footprints along the sunrise reflected tides. I am an active person, and around water I want to be in it, on it, and through it. But SUP rentals are bulky, expensive, and come with a host of issues like how to transport it, renting extras like a pump and paddle, and liability. Don’t worry, the Flyweight came to my rescue. This paddle board is EIGHTEEN POUNDS. I put it in all caps, so you knew I wasn’t joking. I could check two of these adventure creators and still be under my weight limit for a single piece of luggage. Flyweight, want to see the clear waters of the Gulf coast? Of course you do!
It’s cool and all to have a superlight paddle board that you can check on a flight easily, or sling on your back and hike into a backcountry lake or river. But if it does’t inflate easily, handle well, and stay stable through varied conditions, what’s the point? The Flyweight handles like a champ. I jumped back and forth between the bay and the ocean and it took me into the surf with gusto each time. The handling is great. There are three spots for fins, with an option to place a larger one in the center, so you have great maneuverability without the large swing back and forth during strong paddle strokes.
The inflation process is fast and straightforward. The kit comes with a breakdown paddle, double-action pump and hose, and 11 inch coil ankle leash. So this paddle board is ready to go right out of the bag (that’s provided). The double-action pump makes it easy to get the PSI dialed in. Then you’re ready to jump on the water. This is the fun part — mostly because I’ve been stuck carrying heavy paddle board to and from my car MANY times. This paddle board is not that. It is 18 pounds under arm and very easy to maneuver. My eleven year old niece was practically skipping around with it in her little arms. And my mother, in her late sixties, was happy to carry it out to the water without complaint.
Once it’s on the water, you would never know it weighs less than a Dachshund.
I have paddle boarded quite a bit in my day, and those first few strokes always bring up the, “Am I gong to fall?” feeling. But not this paddle board. With the new technology that reduces excess PVC along the drop stitching (where the SUP is sew together) the board is light, but still extremely stable (inflating to 17 PSI — woo!). The lightness is a great pair with the stability and it feels like a zoom board. Super comfortable and super confidence inducing.
This paddle board has got some style. The bright red moving to yellow cut with the light bright blue is a great combo. Retro but fresh. I really loved inflating it and seeing the design play out. It looks great out on the water as well.
Time to shine Flyweight! This feather weight (okay, a lot of feathers, but still extremely light) is PACKED with features that make it easy to travel with, easy to inflate/pack away, and easy to enjoy. Below are a few of my favorites:
Backpack Board Bag
This bag made it super easy to travel with the Flyweight. Everything you need fits inside, plus some. While I was traveling, I used clothing to pad around the edges so the luggage handlers wouldn’t damage anything as it was thrown around. Even with extra padding in there, it was well under the weight limit to fly. The bag also has a chest strap and belt strap making it comfortable to carry. I would be happy going into the backcountry with this for a solitude filled paddle.
Extra-wide padded carry handle
This made tromping around with the SUP once it was inflated super easy. It was comfy on my fingers and easy to transport whoever needed. I also appreciate the front and back handles so two people and carry it (though not super necessary because one person can easily handle it).
6 point tie down, water bottle holder, GoPro mount
These goodies all live on top of the board. How many times have you wanted to stash your water bottle but your PFD is already in the tie downs? Fear not, all your problems have been solved. Keep your water bottle secure while still having room to store that extra layer you don’t need. And you can film all your beautiful organization with the integrated GoPro mount and show your friends.
This fin options make this SUP super versatile. I switched back and forth between the ocean and the bay multiple times, but I would be comfortable taking this on light white water and river excursions as well (which I will be come warmer weather in Colorado). The tri-fin options mean you can get creative and figure out what configuration works best for your current conditions.
10’6” x 30“ x 5”
These are the dimensions of the Flyweight and they give you a solid surface for any activity you’d like. Yoga? No problem. Kneeling? You’ve got it Power stance? Of course. The five inches high keeps you above the water, the thirty inches across gives you a wide platform to stand, and the ten and a half feet make it easy to nap after a long morning of SUP’ing.
Inflatable paddle boards have come a long way in the realm of durability and construction. Often I would choose to only use a solid board for their stability, but inflatables open a whole new realm of possibility. And now that they’ve caught up with the solid boards, I prefer them. The Baddish Flyweight utilizes new AirLite drop stitch technology. That allows for less weight while maintaining the durability and integrity of the stitches. The Flyweight also handled flying like a champ. I checked it easily with my other bags and found it unfazed on the other side.
The Final Word
The Badfish Flyweight is in a (weight) class all of it’s own. Not only is it super lightweight, it has plenty of usable features and most importantly, it’s enjoyable to use. My mom enjoyed it so much she’s considering getting one for herself. I look forward to bringing this SUP along on many trips both near and far for the next many years.
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About the Gear Tester
Roxy Dawson lives in a van full time and travels around the country working as an adventure journalist, searching for backcountry adventure, and using her dog as a pillow. Like most adventurers, she loves coffee, hot springs, and getting pretend lost. She works for Outdoor Prolink as the Content Marketer. She is trying to make a small positive impact on the world, and a larger one in her community. Follow her on Instagram at @roxyjan_