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Badfish Flyweight Review

A lightweight, streamlined board that is easy to haul or travel with to your adventures
Badfish Flyweight
Credit: Badfish
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Price:  $1,199 List | $1,199.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Lightweight, includes Go-Pro mount and water bottle holder, eco-friendly packaging
Cons:  Narrow, unstable, expensive, poor quality pump
Manufacturer:   Badfish
By Jenay Aiksnoras ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 26, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 15
  • Stability - 30% 6.0
  • Glide Performance - 25% 8.0
  • Maneuverability - 25% 7.0
  • Ease of Transport - 10% 9.0
  • Ease of inflation - 10% 7.0

Our Verdict

The Badfish Flyweight is a lightweight inflatable SUP board that folds up into a small footprint for easy travel. This lightweight model weighs in at just 18 pounds, making it among the lightest inflatable boards we've tested. The Flyweight is also ready for adventure; it is outfitted with a GoPro mount and a convenient water bottle holder. This board has a streamlined body that cuts smoothly through calm water and is easy to maneuver, though it can feel a bit unstable for less experienced paddlers. This would be a good choice for more experienced paddlers seeking a lightweight board they can take just about anywhere.

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Badfish Flyweight
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Price $1,199 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Lightweight, includes Go-Pro mount and water bottle holder, eco-friendly packagingStable and fast, carbon reinforced construction, kayak conversion kit, high-volume pumpAffordable, lightweight, stable, maneuverable, easy to transportLightweight, affordable, playful design, includes a capable paddleLightweight, good all-around performance, excellent value
Cons Narrow, unstable, expensive, poor quality pumpHeavier, somewhat expensiveAttached side fins, leash sold separately, limited accessoriesNot very fast, unstable in rougher waterLimited maneuverability, no dual cargo system
Bottom Line A lightweight, streamlined board that is easy to haul or travel with to your adventuresThis fast, stable board can be paddled like an SUP or a kayak with a convertible paddle and included seatOne of the best boards at a great price for paddlers who want to feel confident on flat water, chop or wavesA fun, lightweight board that provides an affordable way to get on the waterAn affordable price tag and respectable performance highlight this fun and lightweight board
Rating Categories Badfish Flyweight Bluefin Cruise Carbon Bote Breeze Aero ROC Inflatable SUP FunWater 11
Stability (30%)
6.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
7.0
Glide Performance (25%)
8.0
9.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
Maneuverability (25%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Ease of Transport (10%)
9.0
5.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Ease of inflation (10%)
7.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Badfish Flyweight Bluefin Cruise Carbon Bote Breeze Aero ROC Inflatable SUP FunWater 11
Inflated Dimensions 10'6" x 30" x 5" 12' x 32" x 6" 10'8" x 33" x 6" 10' x 32" x 6" 11' x 33" x 6"
Weight (lbs) 18 lbs 28 lbs 20 lbs 17.8 lbs 18.9 lbs
Fin Configuration 2+1 detachable 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin 2+1 plastic fins, with large detachable center fin
Paddle Included? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Folded Dimensions (inches) 32" x 15" x 8" 34" x 15" x 10" 38" 18" x 12" 34" x 12" x 14" 34" x 16" x 7"
Weight Capacity (lbs) 230 lbs 309 lbs 250 lbs 300 lbs 330 lbs
Bungee Cargo System Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pump included? Yes Yes, high-pressure, dual chamber Yes Yes Yes
Includes Backpack Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Adventure awaits experienced paddlers with the Badfish Flyweight. The board's seams are bound with AirLite drop stitch technology which is intended to increase rigidity and durability while still allowing for pliability while deflated. This board is a good option for paddlers who like to bring their board along just in case there might be the chance to get out for some exploration. It performs best on flat, calm water, gliding smoothly with good speed.

Performance Comparison


Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - the badfish flyweight is one of the lightest boards in our lineup...
The Badfish Flyweight is one of the lightest boards in our lineup making it great for travel.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Stability


We found the Flyweight to feel fairly stable and rigid while paddling on calm, flat water. Experienced paddlers were able to find their balance and, with a steady paddle stroke, cruise along gracefully. The three quarter deck pad provides grip when standing in the center or at the back of the board. Paddlers smaller in stature and lighter in weight experienced more stability on the Flyweight.

At just 30 inches wide, though, the Flyweight it is one of the narrower boards we've tested. Less experienced paddlers were challenged to maintain their balance as easily with this board compared to most others. Also, the maximum listed weight capacity is 230 pounds. When we added gear or watched larger paddlers climb aboard, the board sank deeper into the water, decreasing the stability.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - the 30-inch width reduces speed-robbing friction but also reduces...
The 30-inch width reduces speed-robbing friction but also reduces stability.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Overall, this board felt less stable than other boards in all conditions, particularly when in boat chop and wind. In 10 to 15 mph winds, with mixed waves, testers were concerned that the board might capsize. The ride also became less steady when we invited dogs on board. Beginner paddlers preferred to remain kneeling in choppy conditions.

Glide Performance


This narrow and lightweight board certainly does fly across calm water. Touring ponds, calm lakes, estuaries or other flat waters are what the Badfish Flyweight is designed for. You can bring along your camera and snap shots as you adventure across the water. We took the board out on Lake Tahoe during the calm of the morning and a peaceful evening. Using buoys, and comparing paddling speeds among beginners as well as experienced paddlers, we raced it against other boards. With a steady paddle stroke we traveled about 100 feet in 30 to 40 seconds.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - just 5 inches thick and designed to glide well on flat water, the...
Just 5 inches thick and designed to glide well on flat water, the Flyweight cruises easily for all paddlers.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Boat chop and winds will challenge paddlers choosing the Flyweight. The front of the board curves upward, and we experienced it lifting over waves rather than pushing through them. In wind effected chop, this board became more difficult to manage. It tended to bounce between the waves rather than through them. We found that the shorter height (5 inches) combined with the weight of a paddler sank the board into the water, decreasing the glide.

Maneuverability


The Flyweight comes with three 4-1/2-inch removeable fins. These shorter fins provide steady tracking and are useful when traveling in shallow water. Maneuverability can be adjusted by removing or adding fins, a useful adjustment for traveling paddlers who may find themselves in variable conditions. Smaller fins are lighter weight and easier to pack. Those seeking a better pivot point for more aggressive turning could replace the center fin with a longer one, which is available separately on the Badfish website.

Three small removeable fins keep the Flyweight tracking forward and...
Three small removeable fins keep the Flyweight tracking forward and reduce drag.
Add or remove the fins on the Flyweight to adjust glide...
Add or remove the fins on the Flyweight to adjust glide, maneuverability and access in shallow waters.

We practiced turning around buoys while standing on the center of the board with a traditional stance and paddle stroke, as well as from the back of the board, and with a cross bow stroke. Experienced and beginner paddlers were able to make quick turns and redirect the board with ease. The carbon fiber paddle with aluminum shaft is another lightweight addition to the package that made maneuvering easy. This board allows paddlers to explore what lies beneath the water with little disturbance and to easily maneuver or change directions.

We tested the ease with which the Flyweight would turn around buoys...
We tested the ease with which the Flyweight would turn around buoys and other obstacles.
Paddlers can make quick turns due to the sleek design and three...
Paddlers can make quick turns due to the sleek design and three removeable fins.

Ease of Transport


The Flyweight was designed with travel in mind. The AirLight drop stitch technology is a new system intended to reduce excess PVC material and reduce the ovearll weight. The streamlined shape of this board makes it easy to carry once inflated and with the fins attached. The board weighs 18 pounds and features handles on the front, back and center. Bungees on the front of the board provide cargo space for gear on your adventures. The handles on the front and back were easy to hold onto as we transported the board into and out of the water.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - carrying the flyweight is a pleasure due to the lightweight of the...
Carrying the Flyweight is a pleasure due to the lightweight of the board, small fins and carbon fiber paddle.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Everything in this package is lightweight and fits in the bag easily with extra room for additional gear. Features include a full zipper that allows the front to be opened all the way, top and side handles, padded straps and a chest strap. There is also a front pocket for additional items. This bag adjusts to be relatively comfortable for most paddlers while carrying it on their backs. Some sacrifices were made to decrease the weight, namely the pump, which we address in the ease of inflation metric.

Everything included with the Badfish Flyweight is lightweight and...
Everything included with the Badfish Flyweight is lightweight and ready for travel.
The Flyweight bag features side and top carrying handles, as well as...
The Flyweight bag features side and top carrying handles, as well as padded straps and a chest strap that can be adjusted for comfort.
The Badfish Flyweight packs up small enough to fit into the bag...
The Badfish Flyweight packs up small enough to fit into the bag along with the paddle, fins and pump leaving plenty of space for packing additional gear.

Ease Inflation


The relatively smaller size of this board results in easier and quicker inflation compared to larger boards. We timed how long it took for us to fill the board using the included pump. It took our testers about 8 minutes to reach 15 psi. Like all manual, dual action pumps, you can adjust it when getting closer to full inflation to increase the power of your pump. We did experience a sound like the air was leaking out of the hose when we began inflation. Holding the hose in place on the board stopped this and it did not continue as we reached capacity. This pump does not have an option to switch the hose to the opposite side for deflation. The fins snapped in with ease and felt secure, and once we attached the leash, we were ready to paddle in just under 15 minutes.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - the dual action pump and hose allow paddlers to inflate the board in...
The dual action pump and hose allow paddlers to inflate the board in about 8 minutes.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Value


Upon first unpacking the Badfish Flyweight, it was noticeably different from other boards. The box was smaller and everything inside was wrapped in paper, rather than plastic. The sleek and lightweight design are obvious. It features AirLight drop stitch technology to increase durability and rigidity without sacrificing weight and pliability. Included in the package is a lightweight paddle and fins as well as a pump. This "adventure board" is a good pick for anyone looking for a solid, lightweight set-up and streamlined inflatable that can travel to just about anywhere.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - wrapped in paper, rather than plastic, everything you need for the...
Wrapped in paper, rather than plastic, everything you need for the Flyweight comes in a smaller than usual box.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Conclusion


Flat water paddling and maneuvering is easy for experienced paddlers on the Badfish Flyweight. This thinner and lighter board is designed with travel in mind. If exploration of calm waters and shallow zones is what you seek, the Flyweight has all that you need. Beginners will struggle to get on and off this board and we don't recommend it for windy or choppy conditions. It is an inflatable board designed for you to take along on your back, in the belly of a plane, or packed on a boat.

Badfish Flyweight inflatable sup - from the lightweight paddle to the water bottle holder and gopro...
From the lightweight paddle to the water bottle holder and GoPro mount as well as front cargo space, the Flyweight is ready for adventure.
Credit: Jenay Aiksnoras

Jenay Aiksnoras
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