When reading and learning about inflatable stand up paddleboards you will come across a lot of talk about ‘PSI’.
PSI stands for pounds per square inch and will tell you how much air your board is able to take and how much it needs for optimum performance.
PSI for inflatable SUP’s can vary from 10 – 20 PSI. Basically the higher the PSI number, the harder the board is going to be. Making sure your SUP is inflated to the proper air pressure will ensure:
- that it performs well
- that it is as stable as it can be
- that it will not flex in the middle
- that it can hold the proper amount of weight for its size
The inflatable stand up paddleboard world is growing quickly and boards are being created more solid, more resilient, more rigid and more stable than ever before.
I first tried an inflatable SUP while on vacation several years ago and was very impressed at how rigid the boards were. A friend of mine bought one shortly after that and when I tried his I didn’t like it at all.
We couldn’t get it to inflate hard enough for it not to flex in the middle when we stood on it in the water. Consequently I found it to be very unstable and overall just awkward to use.
Turns out, as I learned about a year later, that we did not have the board inflated to the proper PSI. We were simply using a normal foot pump and could not get enough air pressure in it. We were not using a gauge so didn’t have a clue.
I have since learned that if I use a K-Pump which easily inflates SUP’s to a high air pressure, my friend’s board and every other board I’ve tried since is super rigid and awesome to use.
The reason I wanted to relate that story to you is to stress the importance of getting your board inflated to the proper PSI. If your board says that it can be inflated to 12 – 15 PSI I would recommend inflating it to as close to 15 PSI as you can… but not over. If you go over the stated limit, you risk ‘popping’ your board and doing real damage.
I find the K-Pump to be the best high-pressure pump to use or else a good electric pump. However if you are using an electric pump make sure that you do not inflate it over your boards PSI limit.
Inflatable stand up paddleboards are extremely fun to use and very convenient for transporting, storing and traveling with.
In order to get the best performance possible out of your board, it is very important that it is inflated to its proper PSI.