BADFISH STAND UP PADDLE COBRA 6’6″ REVIEW

Boats/Boards, Gear, River/Surf, Stand Up Boards
bobby@coloradokayak.com

Badfish Cobra 6’6″ – making smaller river waves more fun since 2015
The Badfish River Surfer might be the single coolest river related toy that I have ever owned. Actually, it’s not a toy, it’s a weapon. It is a precision utensil built for the specific purpose of slicing apart river waves. It’s fast where it needs to be, has rocker and volume in the right spots, and rails turns like nobody’s business. I did not realize how damn good the the River Surfer 6’11” was, until I had the chance to paddle some “river surfing” boards built by other brands. After surfing another brand of board, I felt myself longing to be on my River Surfer, which locks into waves, and “just feels right”.
How could Badfish possibly come up with something better than the River Surfer? What could they do to improve upon it? I even have a 14 lb ultra light River Surfer that is so quick edge to edge, it is almost telepathic….why would I possibly want to surf on another shape, even it is was designed by Badfish?
The answer is simple, the new Badfish Stand Up Paddle Cobra 6’6″ is just plain fun. It is a light hearted, playful short board that feels like you are on a skateboard or jib oriented snowboard. It begs you to spin it, grind it, ollie it, and pretty much do anything except front surf. Don’t get me wrong, you can front surf this thing to the cows come home, but it’s true niche is making the task of river surfing much easier, thus allowing you to take your freestyle repertoire to the next level.
History:
The Cobra is named after a guy nicknamed Cobra. He’s a SUP river surfer, who got in touch with Badfish and told them about his idea. He thought that it would be cool to have a board that did well on every day sized features (as opposed to huge Western stye features). He liked various parts of the MVP, namely how it did not pearl very easily, and how the rails were very forgiving. The MVP was not enough of a performance board for every day surfing. He and the rest of his crew thought that it would be cool to have a board with the performance characteristics of the River Surfer, yet the overall playfulness and ease of use of the MVP.
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Design:
The Badfish Cobra 6’6″ is more than a small river surfer. It has a completely different design altogether. Besides being shorter, wider and thicker, it also has softer rails.  The Cobra 6’6″ is as loose as a goose. It’s really hard to catch an edge, because it is one step away from not having an edge. For that reason, this board spins very easily. If you want to learn 360’s, this is the SUP for you. If you want to learn to grind, or increase the amount of time that you can hold onto a grind, you need the Cobra. If you like to surf huge, powerful river waves, and carve big arcing turns, look elsewhere…
Again, for those of you that have surfed the Badfish MVP 7’6″, the Cobra has the stability and confidence of the MVP, yet the performance value of the River Surfer. Besides that, you need to surf it to really find out what it is like…

Performance:
The sweet spot for this board is on smaller, steeper river waves.  A big wave surfer it is not…grab your 10’6″ for Big Sur (or even your River Surfer 8′ or 6’11”), and and use the Cobra for everything else. Think of it as a 6′ whitewater play boat that you can stand on.
The place that this board is WICKED fun, is when the river drops to be low enough that the River Surfer starts to feel too long for a wave. Late summer surfing will be more fun with the Cobra; it’s the ultimate September / October “extend your season by another 30 days board“…I know out of experience that on a 300 cfs day where my River Surfer was borderline boring…a small wave that the RS 6’11” would sit on top of, the Cobra can ollie and spin in.

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The Badfish Cobra 6’6″ is a very loose and stable board. It’s fun for beginners to learn on, as well as advanced paddlers who want to learn freestyle moves.
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You can see the rockered nose, raised edge and soft rails…#spinme!
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It’s a potato chip, no wait, it’s a Badfish Cobra. 6’6″ x 36″ x 6″
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The Badifish Stand Up Paddle Cobra is at home on smaller, steeper and faster river waves. Anywhere that you’d want to paddle a modern 6′ freestyle kayak, is a place to bring the Cobra.
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Soft edges. This board is a good blend of the MVP and River Surfer. The edges are there, but they are raised out of the water, and are very soft.
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Thruster fin setup. The Cobra is VERY loose. If you surf this board finless, it will spin on it’s own. A nubster in the middle will create a little more bite (but still VERY loose), and a full center fin will feel more like the River Surfer.
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Being 6″ thick, the Cobra can plow over gnarly eddy lines. A beginning, or heavier river surfer will love this board. The edges will not sink into the eddy when paddling over eddies that could trip you up…
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The edge on this board is quite dull up front. It will not catch very easily…great for learning to surf, and for spinning.

PROS:

  • EASY TO LEARN ON: The Badfish Cobra 6’6″ is very wide and stable, which means that it is easier to get on a wave with than the River Surfer. It is also a few inches shorter, and that means that the nose will not catch on a steep trough as easily. The rails are very soft, and out of the way. The board can carve when you want it to, but is not even remotely close to being edgy.
  • GREAT FOR SMALLER RIVER FEATURES:Short boards do better in smaller features. This board is a blast in a 400 cfs small river wave hole. If you can surf it in a modern whitewater freestyle kayak, you can most likely surf it with the Cobra 6’6″
  • JIB MACHINE:The Cobra is an all out jib machine. It loves to ollie and grind. The hull is amazingly loose, and it spins with ease. The hull is actually much looser than the River Surfer, which means that any trick that involves rotating the board will be a breeze. If you want to learn to 360, this is hands down the best board on the market. It is so loose that if you surf with just the side fins in (and maybe a nubster in the middle) the board will rotate without even putting in a draw stroke…clean 360’s are totally possible.
  • CARBON INNEGRA OPTION IS LIGHT AND DURABLE:The Badfish Cobra is offered in 2 layups. The standard Innegra / fiberglass layup is very durable. The overall weight is just below 30 lbs. The carbon / Innegra layup is extremely light (around 19-120 lbs).  The carbon version is easier to ollie, and easier to spin (less rotational weight).
    The carbon version only costs $200 more, which is very reasonable in the world of carbon surf boards. Most full carbon boards that we sell are around $2400-$3000.
  • RELATIVELY INEXPENSIVE:The Badfish Cobra is a lot of board for the money, especially the carbon layup. For $1398, you can a 19 lb river surfing SUP that is very durable, light in weight, and is fun to surf.

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CONS:

  • NOT AS CARVY / EDGY AS THE RIVER SURFER: The Badfish Cobra is very user friendly, and is super loose on a wave, but does not have the same crisp edges as the River Surfer. If you are looking for a board that has an edgier feel, you may want to check out the River Surfer. It carves turns better than the Cobra.  If you want a loose and slarvy surfing device – get the Cobra. And remember, it’s a quiver sport, so you really need both….seriously, you do.
  • SLOWER THAN LONGER BOARDS: At 6’6″ (and with copious amounts of nose rocker), the Cobra is NOT a speed demon. It’s stable and steady, but not fast. If you live near a glassy, or lower angle wave, you may want to look at faster short boards, like the River Surfer 6’11” or 8′. The Cobra is the most at home on smaller / steeper features.

CONCLUSION:
Who is the Badfish Cobra good for? What niche does this SUP fill? If you’re learning the sport of river surfing, the Cobra will make your life easy. It’s very stable, and makes getting over difficult eddylines less challenging. It is also very stable when it is on the wave.  The Badfish Cobra also has a loose hull, which makes it a great freestyle board.  It ollie’s and spins as good as anything out there.  If you want to learn to 360 on a river wave, get this board immediately.  If you’re looking for an edgier feel, or a faster board for bigger waves, the Cobra will do an OK job, but you may want to check out the River Surfer 6’11” or 8′.
Overall, the board is a ton of fun. I have had my Cobra for about a week now, and am still getting the board dialed in. It’s fun to have a small board in the quiver, I’m a huge fan.

2 thoughts on “BADFISH STAND UP PADDLE COBRA 6’6″ REVIEW

  1. rob

    what weight paddler is this for?

    1. bobby@coloradokayak.com

      The Cobra has a very wide weight range…I think that the range would be around 100 lbs up to maybe 240 or so?
      The lighter that you are, the more stable you are going to be. The heavier you are, the more of a jibber it becomes. I know a guy who is about 6’2″ and 240 and he has surfed one on our wave in town.

      I would guess that the sweet spot for the board would about 140-220 though..

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