The Boardworks Surf Badfish MCIT Inflatable SUP Review with Mike Harvey and Zack Hughes

CKS Squad Favorites, Stand Up Boards

Boardworks Surf Badfish MCIT Inflatable SUP Review

It’s no secret that SUP technology is growing by leaps and bounds. River SUP in particular was literally invented just a few years ago, with the first boards being ones designed for coastal use, but paddled down river and surfed. Repeatedly patching river damaged epoxy after paddling was not the most productive use of time. Because of this, inflatable SUP was born (iSUP). These SUP’s were (and still are) very durable, and can withstand the rigors of heavy duty down river use. So what’s the next revolutionary step in the progression of river based stand up paddling? Boardworks surf, along with Mike Harvey and Zack Hughes, the co-owners of Badfish Stand Up Paddle, have delivered the next “game changer”. The Boardworks Badfish MCIT (Multi Chamber Inflatable Technology) inflatable has a very stable drop stitched platform based on the utilitarian ShuBu iSUP. There are 2 inflatable chambers on the side of the board that act as tapered rails. The revolutionary part of this board lies in the fact that the deck is lower than the rails; a technology that was taken from racing and touring boards. A lower center of gravity on the deck, adds stability. The inflatable rails sit up higher than the deck, which also add gobs of stability. This in addition to having an incredibly stiff board creates a true river weapon.
I had a chance to talk with Mike and Zack, to get even more info on this board. Here’s the scoop:



The Boardworkds Badfish MCIT will be offered in 3 sizes:

  • 10′ – 150lbs and under
  • 10’6″ – 150-200lbs
  • 11’6″ – 170-225lbs


  • MCIT is the real deal, and is what sets this board apart. Badfish and Boardworks wanted to work together on a project that was different and new. With the river and surfing experience of Mike and Zack(Badfish), and Boardwork’s production background; we knew something unique was brewing when we heard the news. The MCIT was the result. This board paddles like a traditional box shaped inflatable SUP, but has secondary stability that has never been seen in the world of iSUP's.

    Standing on the edge of a prototype board. You can see the inflatable rail in black.
  • The MCIT inflatable is VERY stiff. The fillets that are used to glue the rail to the drop stitched floor create longitudinal stiffness that is needed for advanced downriver whitewater paddling and surfing. When this board hits holes and other river features, it will paddle up and over them, and not taco like some "softer" boards out there.
    Mike T has been putting this board to the test on Eastern rivers.

    R and D testing in Salida, CO.
  • The other feature that makes this board so stable, is the placement of the deck. The main deck of the board is recessed (lower than the rails), thus creating a lower center for gravity for the paddler. The rails are taller than the board, which also creates stability.
  • Even though the MCIT has big fat rails, it still has a surfy tail. The board is nice and stiff, and the tail is narrow; which means that it turns easily, and is nimble. This board will most likely be offered with a thruster fin set up, which is also good for surfing. Zack Hughes grew up on the coast of CA, and knows how do design a surf board with the best of them. Mike has a background in river paddling, and also builds whitewater play parks...I would say that these guys know how to make a river surfer better than anyone.
    The MCIT will be able to surf, because it's lineage comes from THIS!

    Badfish co-owner Zack Hughes.
  • The Colorado portion of R and D testing was done solely on The Arkansas River at low flows. This means that the river was super technical with lots of shallow rapids (no fall zones). Although the features were not as powerful, the lines of the rapids were much more difficult. This is part of the reason why the MCIT is as nimble as it is.

    Pealing out into the current is much easier with 2 inflatable chambers along the rails of your SUP.
  • Because of it's incredible primary AND secondary stability, this board will be a great choice for kayak fisherman. You can walk around on the deck without having to worry about falling over. Being inflatable, means that you deflate the board at the end of the day, throw it in the trunk of your car, and drive home.
    Stand on the nose. Go ahead, try it. Don't worry, you won't fall. How come? MCIT!

  • This is also a great choice for multi day trips. It has the stability of roto mold boards (that weigh more than twice as much), but the portability of of an inflatable. There's also a conveniently located bungee on the front of the deck for a gear bag. You could do a self support pretty easily.
  • This is a fun board for flatwater. The increased stiffness improves glide.
  • There's more rocker on the MCIT than with the Shubu series. Zack worked very closely with Boardworks to perfect the amount of overall board rocker.
  • The bumper nose cone increases durability and is good for advanced river paddling.


The Verdict:

The Boardworks Badfish MCIT inflatable is definitely a revolutionary advancement in SUP (and iSUP in particular) technology. It was co-designed by a high performance river SUP company (Badfish Stand Up Paddle), and will be incredibly stable, and also very nimble. These are 2 features (agility and stability) that do not always go hand in hand with river SUP. If you have tried paddling your favorite class III kayak run on a stand up board, you know that stability is of ultimate importance. It mean the difference of paddling a rapid upright on the board, instead of swimming next to it. The multi chamber approach to inflatable SUP will alleviate the issue of traditional SUP's having ZERO secondary stability. We can't wait to try this board on high water runs with boily eddies, pourovers and holes that typically would humiliate the real world stand up paddler.
For the time being, CKS is the only Boardworks Badfish MCIT retailer in the world. You can expect this board available to the general public around January of 2012.

For more information on Boardworks and Badfish check out the following links:

26 thoughts on “The Boardworks Surf Badfish MCIT Inflatable SUP Review with Mike Harvey and Zack Hughes

  1. Alan

    I couldnt agree more with Bob’s review… Got my Badfish out for a paddle finally after waiting for this much anticipated machine and did find it to be amazingly stable, even more so than the Shubu Wide-body’s.
    I’ve pushed my 10’7″ Shubu thru just about everything shy of rivers and have always believed that dollar for dollar, they are the best value for anyone that doesn’t have the logistics of a traditional hard board, ie: transportation, storage and especially my market, boating…
    The MCIT concept developed by BadFISH and BOARDWORKS will make a it the frontrunner in the ISUP world especially the river sup world.
    But as Bob did point out, with this board being the “new new thing” reflecting it development in its MSRP price of $1380USD , I can only hope that it becomes accepted in the other venues of SUP. Just gotta get the people out on it !!!!
    Alan Montgomery

  2. Alan

    Did get it out in some decent size shore breaks today and had FUN as did a few others that tried it out…!!!! It does have a bit of a learning curve as opposed to hard boards, but i tell stand on that nice tapered tail and it will carve a nice turn!!!

  3. WhiteWaterGusher

    The Original Liquid Shredder Is a Nice Beginner Board 

  4. Merrion_jackson

    Where can I purchase this SUP ? I live in the USVI and would have to order on line.

    1. Bobby Kuepper!&ea_q=MCIT

      We sell them and can ship to the USVI.

  5. Jeff

    Hi, just wondering how this board would handle on places other than my local rivers, such as lakes, and when I travel to the ocean?

    1. Bobby Kuepper

      The MCIT does very well on lakes and flat water. The center fin is removable, which allows you to replace the fin that it comes with (with a longer one). It will not be as fast as a glass board, but is stable, and has good speed for being inflatable.

      It surfs reasonably well on the ocean. It was intended for downriver paddling, and the rocker profile is fairly basic. If you are surfing every once in a while in the ocean, the board will do just fine. If you are performance surfing, you may want to look at other options (C4 waterman inflatables that were specifically designed for ocean surfing).

  6. The Ultimate Stand Up Paddling Quiver

    […] Badfish MCIT – This is one of the most popular inflatable’s that we sell / rent. It’s ultra stable (both primary and secondary stability), maneuverable and has a unique multi chamber design. Click here to read the complete blog review. […]

  7. New SUP and Whitewater Kayaking Items For 2013: OR Highlights

    […] as some super hot promo videos. They released the Badfisher fishing SUP. Basically, it’s a modified MCIT with a wider waist, more primary stability, and some cool fishing accessories like scotty mounts […]

  8. goose

    I’ve had the MCIT out on tiny tidal channels, 2-3 ft. surf, flat water with little and more than little wind, and just today on a class II river. To get the bad stuff out of the way, seams on the bag started to break within 4 trips, and it can be a pain to fit the board inside. I wonder if the bag was built for something smaller than the 11’6′ model? Others have told me their bag has held up great, but they have smaller model. It was supper fun in the tidal channels (15 to 3 ft. wide) as I could see whether the path I was taking was going anywhere, which beats a kayak in that situation. It isn’t the best ocean surfer, but was still fun and caught some waves. I’m glad I got the 11’6” model on flat water as it is decently fast for an inflatable board. I was keeping up with a double canoe with some newbies in it. River was the most fun yet. I briefly wished I had gotten the 10’6” on some of the eddy turns, but that might just be as I’m low on the learning curve? Surfed on first day and didn’t fall off that much on class II, which was unexpected as my paddling experience is not whitewater. I’ve also flown this on a plane and store it in my apartment storage locker with no problem.

    1. Bobby Kuepper

      That is too bad that the bag is coming apart. We have not had any issues with that here at CKS. Did you buy the board from us? If so, give me a call (Bobby) and I will get you a new one…

      Agreed. Those boards do much better in the river than they do ocean. They are designed to go down river, and surf some, but not for ocean surf….

      The 11’6″ will be good in bigger water. I have paddled both, and like the bigger one because it is more stable in harder whitewater (II+/III- for me).

      Let me know about the bag, and I can take care of you.


      1. goose

        I just got a new replacement bag thanks to Bobby (the guy above). Excellent customer service from CKS on what was probably a manufacturer dud. I’ve had the board out a few more times now, and am still very happy with my purchase.

        1. Bobby Kuepper

          awesome. glad you got your bag. hope this one lasts a little longer.

  9. Inflatable SUP Review - Which board is right for me?

    […] with boards like the MCIT (and River Surfer for hard shell boards) available to the public. The MCIT has a patent pending on it’s unique multi chamber design. It is also rumored, that the MCIT is the most popular […]

  10. tallduc

    Any chance a longer version for bigger guys ( 230 plus) coming out? or a racing version?

    1. Bobby Kuepper

      I am not sure. For now, I think that their plans call for making the MVP-X which would be their racing version board. It is not an inflatable. 12’6″ race board with tons of primary stability.

      That would be a cool idea though. 12’6″ MCIT Race Version.

  11. Cindy

    how much does this board weigh? (thinking 10′ or 10’6″)

    1. Bobby Kuepper

      The 11’6 is 33lbs. The 10’6 just a
      little less. The 9′ is probably around 29 or 30.

  12. Roddy

    Any tricks for getting the puddle in the middle of the board to drain?

    1. Bobby Kuepper

      Hey Roddy-
      Yes , there is a bit of a trick to keeping water out of the middle of the board. I am guessing that you are on either the 10’6″ or 11’6″ and are a mid weight to heavier paddler? That seems to be where the issue mainly happens….
      Make sure that you have the main deck of the board topped of at 15 PSI the next time that you paddle. If there is even 1-3 PSI less in the main drop stitch area, and you happen to be on the heavier side of the weight range, you can slightly concave the board, thus causing it to retain a small amount of water.

      I weigh 210 lbs, and had this happen to me when I paddled the 11’6″ because I had it at about 10-12 lbs…I topped it off at 15 psi the next time I demo’d it, and did not have the problem.

      Let us know if that works…

  13. rebecca

    how do I find a demo of the inflating part, how difficult is it to inflate and take apart, but together?


      I don’t know that Badfish has a specific demo of how to inflate their board – here’s a video from a pump company (K Pump) if someone inflating a C4 Waterman board with a K Pump. The process is very similar:
      Overall, the boards are very easy to inflate / deflate and put back in the bag. I would guess that it takes 5 minutes to get it fully inflated, and about 5 minutes to deflate and get back into the bag.

  14. Paddleadict

    Just started paddle boarding last month off the Kona coast. loved it so want a board I can use in Montana on lakes and flat rivers plus take to Hawaii with me. I am a beginner and older than most Paddle boarders. So I like the 11’6″, 6′”wide Board that is stable. Which of the Badfish Models do you recommend. Do you make a break down paddle that is 6’4″. also one that is 7′ 2 for my husband. What is the maximum weight the board can take as my husband will use it sometimes and he is 6’4″ tall, and 225 lbs.
    Price for both?


      The Badfish 11’6″ MCIT would be a great board for you. It has the big 6″ side tubes for ultimate stability, and is pretty fast for it’s size. The only draw back to this board, is that it is not cheap; you get what you pay for. You are paying for the technology and durability that goes into a board that can float a 225 lb adult, keep them stable, and also perform VERY well on rivers and even the ocean.

      As far as paddles go – The Accent Max 3 piece paddle is a great option. It is adjustable, but only up to 82″. If you were looking for something a bit longer than that, you may want to take a look at Werner Carve Adjsutable because it goes up to 87″, which is I think what you are looking for.
      This is for the Carve.
      This is for the Accent, which is a slightly better value but not available in the larger size.

      The price for both would be 10% off retail of the entire package.

      Feel free to email me at if you would like an estimate for this package, or any other that we sell.


      1. Paddleadict

        Thanks Bobby for your advise. i don’t mind getting the more expensive Board because I knowit will get alot of use. And I want it very sturdy and stable. Especially for just cruising the Ocean off Kona. The warner Carve adjustable sounds perfect also. Thanks for your advise.

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