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Stand Up Inflatable Paddle Boards| SUP Paddleboards

Updated on July 16, 2013

Being able to travel with it.

If you have ever owned a full size regular paddle board, you know it can be very difficult to get it from point from one destination to another. Most paddle boards are 10-14 feet long and if you don't have a truck, jeep or car rack, just getting it from the garage to the beach or lake can be quite tough. A lot of people like to meet up with friends or family and hit the ocean or lake and traveling with it on top of the roof or back of the truck can be dangerous and will destroy your SUP paddleboard if it falls out. With an inflatable paddle board you can just throw it into the trunk or back of the car and take it with you anywhere securely and safely.

Sevylor Samoa Inflatable SUP Paddleboard Set with 80" Paddle

Summer is here!

Summer is finally here. This summer at least here in Utah is hitting triple digits regularly. Its now time to start hitting up the lakes and making trips to the ocean to cool off. Inflatable Paddleboards on easy to just toss in the car and head down to the ocean or lake to get some great exercise, have some fun and most importantly, cool off and beat the heat.

Sevylor Samoa Standup Paddleboard Set with 80" Paddle
Sevylor Samoa Standup Paddleboard Set with 80" Paddle

Top Brands of SUP PaddleBoards.

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Portability of an Inflatable Paddle Board

Don't get me started on trying to get it through the airport and dealing with it there. It's a huge hassle and some airlines won't even allow you to bring a regular one with you. With most SUP inflatable paddle boards, you can fit it into your checked baggage and still have some room for other stuff. It's important getting comfortable with your board before taking it out on the ocean. You don't want to have to travel and then end up renting a new one once you get to your destination. It only takes a few vacations of renting one for that price to cover the cost to buy a brand new one that will last for years and years if taken care of.

Inflatable paddle boards are cheaper.

On average, they are about $100-$400 cheaper than a regular one. Just because they are cheaper, doesn't mean that they are any of a lesser quality. I have used both and I prefer the feel of the inflatable ones. Don't be fooled by some of the prices. You can get a super good quality one for between $100-$400 or less depending on where you are shopping and what size you are looking for. When you start shopping, I would look for bundled packages. Buying a board, paddle, pump and carrying case individually can add up and run a bit more then buying a bundled deal. I personally would always buy new, never used. You don't always know how someone else took care of theirs and if it wasn't properly maintained or cared for, it might not last very long or perform well.

Should you find a way to accidentally puncture it or get a hole in it, don't just throw it away. There are quite a few high quality kits that can fix it and seal it to make it good as new. These have been thoroughly water tested so you don't have to worry about it going flat while you are out on the waves. Just make sure you follow ALL the instructions on repairing it and give it adequate time to dry. You don't want to cut corners and then end up having it losing air quickly while you are out on the ocean or lake.

Proper Care Instructions

With so many folks getting bit by the paddle board bug, more and more people are turning to inflatable paddle boards as a great space-saving outdoor fun activity. An inflatable paddle board provides the durability of a standard board, but with much greater portability and easier storage without sacrificing quality. Inflatable boards can be used in a variety of paddling environments, ranging from casual speeds to light whitewater riding if you are very, very adventurous.

The drop stitch PVC construction of inflatable boards ensures a good long life; however, it does present some special care requirements that must be met. Care requirements are minimal though, and with a few simple steps, your inflatable board should last you a very, very long time.

Below, you will find our five tips and suggestions on how to take care of it and extend its life by an additional five to ten years or more.

1) Don't overinflate your board.

Each one comes with a recommended PSI. Make sure to read the instructions included and follow inflation directions carefully. Over-inflation can damage the integrity of the structure, so use a pressure gauge if necessary and keep the PSI at the right level. Also, make sure that you don't under-inflate, this can cause it to not perform very well when it is out on the water and waves.

2) Keep the Air Valves Clean

If you allow the air valves to get blocked or gritty, they will begin to leak. After each excursion, clean the valves thoroughly, making sure to clear away any sand or dirt that may have gotten lodged. There are specific tools that you can use or buy for this. But even just using an old toothbrush will work fine to get the hard to reach places on the valve. Most people overlook this task when cleaning and maintaining their paddle board but it is important to do after each use.

3) Beware of Extended Sun Exposure

Obviously, paddle boarding is going to expose your board to a certain amount of sun – and regular use is fine. Remember though, that prolonged unnecessary exposure will begin to weaken the structure. When you’re not in the water, take the time to bleed a little air out of each chamber, and then flip it over so it rests bottom-up.

Once you get home, make sure to store it in the shade so that it’s in prime condition for your next adventure. It is ok to keep it inflated if you are using it on a regular basis, but keep it out of the sun when it is not in use.

4) Use the Right Fins

Most will generally come with a 9” center fin. This fin is designed for paddling on flat water or out on the ocean. If you are paddling in shallow water, make sure to pick up a shorter fin designed for river use.

5) Store it properly

In the colder months, it’s unlikely that you’ll be out on the water much. If it's not in use for an extended period, deflate it and make sure that it is clean and dry before storing it away. Again, make sure to store it in your garage or somewhere cool and out of the sun.

By following these simple tips, it should last you a very long time. Take good care of it, and you are sure to have years of fun out on the open water.

Find the one that is right for you.

Paddle Boarding is a great sport for just about everyone that has access to a body of water. Kids and older adults can have fun enjoying the great outdoors. Choosing one can be a bit of a task if you have never done it before. I am 6'5" 220 lbs. It took me a bit to decide on one that I felt most comfortable with. I decided I liked the 11' to 12' ones best. Anything shorter than that and I felt like I had a harder time staying comfortably balanced as I am paddling. I have a couple buddies that are over 6' tall that prefer the ones around 10' so it all comes down to preference. For beginners a longer, wider one is recommended as the bigger one that you have the easier it will be to keep your balance. Until you know what you'd feel comfortable with, it might be a good idea to rent one to try it out. As you become better you will find yourself wanting a narrower, more maneuverable one so you can play in waves more.

There a a couple different types of material used on Inflatable paddleboards so choosing one for the type of activity you plan to do is very important. Some materials help you go faster or slower through the water and depending on your comfort level this can be very important. Again, as already stated on here, choosing the right amount, type and size of fin is vitally important in maneuverability, speed and being able to maintain proper balance.

Very good video on how easy it is to hop on your SUP Paddleboard and go :)

Solstice SUP Paddleboard (10-Feet 8-Inch)

Standing or sitting?

Another very important thing to consider is do you plan to stand the whole time you are paddling, or would you like to sit down and paddle and use it kind of like a kayak? If you do plan to sit down, make sure it is wide enough and thick enough to accommodate this. A 36" wide one would be a good goal to shoot for, in making this decision, if you are normal to larger size. A 28" wide or so one would be great for normal to smaller sized adults as well as children. I prefer the ones that I can both sit and stand on. Going out a little bit farther onto the ocean does take a little bit of work and its nice to be able to sit and take a short break :) It's also nice just sitting down and taking in the scenery and beauty of the outdoors. If you go with a 12'-14' SUP Paddleboard you can actually usually have 2 people sitting on it. This does take a little bit of practice. I would highly recommend trying it out in the shallower water first before you go very far out into the ocean.

Sitting and kneeling are the two preferred ways to start out. Most people are surprised at how difficult at times it is to find your balance and sea legs as you get started. Just like anything else, it takes practice and time to get good at it. If you've never paddle boarded and don't surf or skateboard, don't plan on just hopping on and going or more than likely, you will be disappointing. Practice makes perfect and you will be standing up in no time.

Four Easy Steps on How to Paddle board.

1) Carrying your board to the water. A lot of boards have a built in handle that make it easier to carry. Just lean the board on it's edge, reach for the handle, and carry it under your arm. I recommend carrying the paddle with your other handle but if you can fit them both tightly into one hand you can do that as well. If you don't have a handle just lift the board onto it's tail end with the top facing you. Grab both sides of the board and then lift it over your head and carry it to the water that way. Carry the paddle alongside the board.

2) Get out into the water. Before you enter the water, if you have any type of ankle or calf strap, connect it just at the water line. Don't wait until you are in the water to do so or there is a very good chance you will drop the board or fall over trying to put it on. Be aware of your surroundings at the area you put in and make sure you have plenty of room as most boards are 10+ feet long.

3) Once you are in the water, at about two to three feet deep, go ahead and hop onto the board. The easiest way is to have a hand on both sides of the board about 2/3rd's of the way up, grab firmly and pull yourself on to it. Get where you are laying on your stomach. From here, you can either get in a kneeling position, sitting position or standing position. While you are getting on the board, make sure your paddle is safely in the middle of the board so it is not knocked overboard.

4) From here, paddle out into the water. Right around the shore the water can be a little bit more choppy based on the tide if you are in the ocean. In lakes you can typically just hop on after you are out about 10-15 feet. If you are in the ocean try going out about 30-50 yards before trying to stand up and you will be a little more stable.

Once you have a little more practice and feel confident on the board, you can get to the point of just putting the board in about a foot or so of water and just hop on. Not recommended for beginners as I have seen way too many people try this and fall flat on their backs. It takes practice. The above video demonstrates how easy it can be. The biggest thing is making sure you jump on in the central long ways and side ways of the board. Bend you knees as you hop on and adjust your balance as your board moves forward. Lean forward at the moment of impact to prevent falling backwards immediately.

Like many action sports this sport can be addictive and fun. Once you get the hang of it and the feeling of what it's like to be in the ocean, you will be hooked. Pretty soon you'll realize that you don't need to think about it, you just need to do it. This can be a great time to relax and meditate as well. If you're a beginner just ask around where the best spots for surf are. People are usually pretty nice about helping you out. Especially other surfers. Good Luck and stay safe!

What happens when you are not too comfortable standing on it :)

4 valuable tips to keep your balance

1) Make sure to keep your feet pointing straight forward, shoulder width apart. Keep you knees bent in a comfortable position. Do some very, very light bouncing with your knees from time to time to make sure they are bent and so they do not cramp up.

2) Keep both your shoulders and head both pointing forward. When you shift your weight back and forth, be sure you are not using your arms, but instead always use your hips to shift back and forth. If you start feeling like you are losing your balance, try not to swing your arms back and forth too much. This causes you to lose control that much faster. Try re-gaining your balance with your lower body. The lower and closer down you are, the easier it is to stay up right.

3) Keep your back and head straight with your knees in a comfortable bent position.

4) Keep your eyes on the horizon. Don’t look down at your feet or water too much. All too often this will cause you to lose your balance. With your head up and back straight with the eyes on the horizon, you will have a much better success rate of keeping your balance and spending less time in the water :)

Very Important to Get your Balance

Avoid these common mistakes.

If you are a beginner, remember, no one gets it right their first time. Most of the time its takes on average 5-10 outings to get the hang of it, sometimes more, very few people can pick it up the first time or two.

1) Be aware of your posture. If you are slumped over chances are you are gonna fall a lot or be in quite a fair amount of pain as you spend much time on the water. Keep your knees bent in a comfortable position, back straight, head, shoulders and feet all facing directly forward.

2) Keep a firm grip on your paddle. This is something beginners all too often find out the hard way. If you drop your paddle in the water, especially if you are moving forwards with any type of speed, it can be a pain the the neck to recover. I've seen little wrist slings that you can attach to some of the paddles, but if you make a mental effort to keep a solid grasp on the paddle, its really not a big deal.

3) Get a feel for the ocean, lake or river that you are on. Don’t fight against the waves, go with them. Make sure you have the right type of fins attached for the right activity. If you wanting to move forward very quickly through the water, choose one with a low profile. If you are having trouble going in straight line, get one that is a bit longer, this will help with that.

What to do when you fall off? (and you will fall off)

No matter how good you are, you will eventually fall off. There are a couple of things that you can do to avoid injury to yourself or losing your board.

1) It’s always a good idea to have an ankle strap or calf strap keeping you connected at all times. These are typically very cheap and are easy to use and wear.

2) When you start to feel yourself losing your balance and you know you can’t recover, rather than risking it, just go ahead and just jump as far away from the paddleboard as you can. If you fall on top of it, that will hurt a lot worse than jumping clear of it and landing in the water. All too often you can hit your head if you fall rather than jumping away.

3) It’s very likely that as you fall, you will drop your paddle. Its much easier to get it after you are on top of your paddleboard. Almost every paddle floats in the water. Hop on top of your paddleboard and then just “swim” over and recover it, rather than grabbing it right after you fall off.


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    • williamcaldwell1 profile imageAUTHOR

      William Caldwell 

      5 years ago from Orem

      Glad we were able to help. Let us know if you need any help deciding on one :)

    • mercuryservices profile image

      Alex Munkachy 

      5 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      I've been thinking of getting in the market to purchase a paddle board and had no idea there were inflatable options! Thanks for the info.

    • williamcaldwell1 profile imageAUTHOR

      William Caldwell 

      5 years ago from Orem

      That is pretty funny, he just needs to keep practicing. Preferably where people aren't filming him, lol

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      i enjoyed watching the fat kid fall.

    • jacemiller12 profile image


      5 years ago

      I don't think you'd really care about your board if you were about to get bit by a shark. Just saying......

    • Douglas Israelsen profile image

      Douglas Israelsen 

      5 years ago from Orem, Utah

      Just don't get your board bit by a shark or find some coral! Other than those I love these board ideas!

    • jacemiller12 profile image


      5 years ago

      Good hub!


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