If you love traveling and paddle boarding at the same time, then you should know how to pack an inflatable paddle board. When you don’t, chances are, you’ll be leaving your board behind.
And when you’re visiting one of the best paddle boarding locations, you’ll miss out on the fun. With such, it’s a must to learn how you can bring your board with you. Keep reading this guide so you can go anywhere with your inflatable paddle board.
- What Is An Inflatable SUP Board?
- Benefits Of Using An Inflatable SUP Board
- Equipment Used In Packing Inflatable SUPs
- The Steps To Pack Inflatable SUP Boards
- How Long Should An Inflatable SUP Board Last?
- Can You Repair An Inflatable Board?
- Ready To Travel With Your Inflatable Board?
What Is An Inflatable SUP Board?
An inflatable SUP board is made by repeatedly knitting an evenly spaced thread between two polyester layers, sealing them together. After this, an air-tight coating is added to the outer part of the board. This is also applicable to the silicone sidewall part of the board, which is also made of polyester. Lastly, the seams are covered with tape to prevent air from coming out.
Ultimately, the build quality and the material used for the board all play a role in determining the board’s strength, rigidity, and even performance. And here are some of them:
1. Drop-stitching Inflatable Paddle Board
To put it simply, drop-stitching is a method of weaving that sews multiple fine threads together in between two layers of fabric. This type of stitching uses about 400 needles that are placed in stitching machines to create the thread.
As a result of the strongly-sewn fabric, the material can expand and contract to adjust to the SUP board’s shape. This creates a strong enough board to hold intense pressure, allowing paddle borders to stand on the board.
2. One-Layer Inflatable Paddle Board
As the name suggests, one-layer paddle boards are made with only one layer of drop-stitch. The fabric is then paired with PVC, which enables it to remain light. These types of inflatables tend to be more affordable.
3. Dual-Layer Inflatable Paddle Board
Just like the previous board, dual-layer boards contain the same drop-stitching. The difference, however, is its reinforcement. This type of paddle board is fortified with another layer of PVC, making them highly sturdy and rigid. The only downside of a dual-layer board is that they don’t age well.
Benefits Of Using An Inflatable SUP Board
Aside from carrying your inflatable paddle board anywhere, there are other benefits to buying one. Here are some of them:
1. Use It For A Longer Period
Surprisingly, an inflatable paddle board is highly durable and sturdy. It can withstand extreme pressure, making it last longer.
While tears and scratches are inevitable, you can prevent such if you’re careful not to drop your board. And unlike some boards that break after a few uses, there’s less to worry about an inflatable SUP. As long as you maintain it, it can have a longer lifespan.
2. Take Advantage Of Its Rigidity
An inflatable paddle board is also firm and rigid, especially once it reaches its optimal PSI level. People often find it hard to differentiate inflatable and non-inflatable boards since inflatables tend to mimic the rigidness of regular boards.
Despite being rigid, it’s good at dealing with the pressure of falling. Moreover, it lessens the impact and assists with grip. This is thanks to the traction pad located on top of the board. The traction pad is also great for giving a soft surface where you can kneel and step on.
3. Provide Great Stability
Most of the time, an inflatable board is lighter than hardboards despite having the same size and dimension. But that doesn’t stop it from providing astonishing support.
Despite being light, it has strong weight capacities, which allows them to remain stable. Although thickness, width, and shape all matter, the board’s stability are still contingent on the weight capacity. This means that the board can be more stable when it has a higher weight capacity.
Thus, beginner paddlers benefit more from inflatable SUP because of its fantastic stability than any other hardboard.
4. Carry It Anywhere
One important benefit of using an inflatable board is its portability. Compared to regular boards, inflatables are much easier to carry around while traveling. Most of the time, an inflatable SUP can be decompressed to about the size of a suitcase, making it easy to store while traveling.
Lastly, this SUP can be stored inside the closet once deflated, which is perfect for those who have a small space.
Equipment Used In Packing Inflatable SUPs
Before deflating your paddle board, you must clean it thoroughly. Then, prepare the following equipment to make deflating easier:
Pumps for inflatable SUP boards come in two types: manual and electric. Although both types of pumps accomplish the job, electric pumps are more efficient. Since inflating and deflating a board eats out a chunk of your time, it’s more recommended to get the electric one. That way, you can do other chores while it’s being pumped. However, you must ensure that when deflating and inflating your board, don’t rush. Doing so will prevent it from damaging your board. Let it take its time while you patiently wait for it to finish.
A roller bag is a type of backpack but with wheels. If you’re traveling, you probably wouldn’t want to be carrying a pack on your back the whole time. This is where a roller bag comes in handy. It has a similar design to traditional backpacks so that you can store your stuff correctly. However, the great thing about it is its wheels to drag the bag with you.
A backpack for your board carries everything you need when paddling, and it also stores your other equipment. Most backpacks have designated space for paddle equipment and accessories, but most importantly, there should be a cinching mechanism that keeps all your accessories in place. A good backpack will also have padding on the shoulder part, making it more comfortable when it’s heavy.
The Steps To Pack Inflatable SUP Boards
When you have all your equipment ready, you can start packing your board by following these steps:
The first thing you’ll need is to find where the deflating valve is. This is where you can inflate or deflate your paddle boards. Once you find the valve, rotate it counterclockwise to release it.
Once you’ve released the valve, deflate it by holding the pin down. By doing so, you can allow the air to come out of the board. In the beginning, it should make a noise, but it’ll slowly diminish after a while. If you have a double chamber board, the same process still applies.
If you want to let out the air quicker, you can use your pump. You only need to activate the deflate mode after connecting the pump, but don’t forget to keep the pin down. As you do this, the pump should take out the air from the board, which causes it to deflate quicker.
Once deflated, you can proceed to fold the board, starting from the tail. This ensures that the board is secure for storing and transporting.
But before you start folding, make sure that the board has been emptied of air since you can’t fold it tight if there’s still air inside.
Most inflatable boards have a free backpack which you can use to store the board away. Backpacks may vary in style depending on the manufacturer. Regardless, ensure that the rest of the fold is over the fin box.
Once the fin is facing upward, place the board inside the backpack. Use the compression belt to secure the board, if applicable. Then, close the zipper after securing your board. Once zipped up, undo the compression belt to lessen the pressure on the zipper.
Voila! You’re done, and you can now travel with your board.
How Long Should An Inflatable SUP Board Last?
There’s no definitive answer to this question. But generally, a board can last somewhere between two to twelve years.
However, the real answer is dependent on the quality of the board you get and how well you take care of it. Many board manufacturers nowadays have improved their technology, so SUP boards should be able to last longer.
Can You Repair An Inflatable Board?
Many people wonder if an inflatable board is repairable. Well, the answer to that question is yes. You can repair an inflatable board, but you can take it to a repair shop for more severe issues.
Some manufacturers add a patching kit when you buy a board, but higher quality boards often don’t come with this in the package. The boards that usually have a patch kit are single-layered ones, but this is barely needed since most manufacturers have moved to better manufacturing technology.
On top of that, patching is seldomly needed, except for extreme impact with sharp objects or outright carelessness.
Ready To Travel With Your Inflatable Board?
If so, then don’t forget the tips above. Always have the equipment to pack and store your inflatables quickly. So that if you find a body of water perfect for paddle boarding, you’re prepared.