Inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard FAQ

Q. How long does an inflatable SUP take to inflate?

A. The length of time it takes to inflate your SUP will depend on the type of pump you are using.

With a regular hand pump or a K-Pump, it will take anywhere from 4 – 8 minutes. With a good electric pump it can take 30 seconds to 1 minute.

I find that an inflatable SUP will take shape and inflate really quickly… like in a couple of minutes.  Then it just takes a few extra minutes to keep pumping to get it to a high air pressure

Q. Is the fin removable?

A. It depends on the board. Some ISUP’s have a center rear fin that can be removed, on others the fin is attached.

If there are extra smaller fins they are usually not removable.

Q. Can I take my ISUP on an airplane?

A. Absolutely. One of the great things about inflatable stand-up paddleboards is that they can be taken anywhere, including on an airplane.

They are ideal for traveling as they are so lightweight and compact when deflated. You can check your SUP in its carry bag or even put it in a large suitcase.

Q.What PSI do I inflate my board to?

A. PSI stands for pounds per square inch and refers to the amount of air pressure your board can hold.

Each board will come with a maximum stated air pressure set by the manufacturer.

Although air pressure is not the only factor in the rigidity of your board, it is important and you want to make sure your board has the right air pressure so that it is able to support your weight and perform as it should.

If you are a lighter person, it is not always necessary to have the board inflated to the maximum air pressure.

The PSI for most ISUP’s will range from 10 – 17 PSI with an average at around 14.

Q. I think my board has a leak… how do I find it?

A. Leaks are not that common as most inflatable SUP’s are built really tough.

However if you think you might have a tiny leak there is an easy trick to figure out where it is.

With your board fully inflated, pour some soapy water over it and spread the suds with a rag. Watch for tiny bubbles, that’s where your leak will be.

Q. How do I patch my SUP?

A. Once you’ve found your leak you can now patch it.

Your board will come with a repair kit that includes a small PVC patch and some waterproof glue.

Make sure your board is completely dry, then cut a piece from the PVC patch and glue it on.

Let it sit for awhile – your glue bottle will tell you how long it needs to dry. Then you’re good to go.

Q. How do I care for my ISUP?

A. There are only a few things you need to do to properly care for your ISUP.

First make sure it is fully dry before packing it away in its carry bag. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming.

Second, store it away from the elements. The best place to store it is inside a closet or garage.

Keep it stored out of direct sunlight and away from exposure to the elements, which will just weaken the material over time.

Third, it is a good idea to use a 303 protectant spray once in awhile on your board. This can be bought at any boating store and will protect the material from UV rays.

Q. What kind of paddle should I use?

A. SUP paddles can greatly vary in price. Typically the more expensive paddles are lighter and more specific for proper technique and performance.

As a beginner do not feel that you need to spend a lot on your paddle. It’s really not necessary. As you get more experienced you may want to upgrade your paddle down the road.

For more details on paddle material, length and blade shape, click here to learn how to choose your stand up paddle.

Q. What are the basic SUP paddling techniques?

A. When you are first starting the first move you are going to learn is simply to stand up and be comfortable with your stance.

From there you will practice paddling your SUP forward as well as turning. There are a few turning strokes to practice such as the sidestroke, the back paddle and the C stroke.

My advice would be to check out a few YouTube videos to watch these strokes. I find it really helps to see the technique performed on video as opposed to just reading how to do it.

From there it’s just practice.

Q. What happens if my SUP hits a dock or debris?

A. Not much is going to happen. Most of these boards are built tough. Hitting a dock or some logs or branches isn’t even going to leave a scratch.

I would suggest staying away from particularly sharp objects or dragging the board on gravel.

However as a general rule, ISUP’s can withstand a lot of abuse.

Q. How long will an inflatable SUP last?

A. It’s hard to answer that question precisely because it will depend on the amount of use and how well it is taken care of.

However it is a safe bet that your ISUP will last for many, many years to come.

Q. What kind of warranty do ISUP’s have?

A. The warranty will vary depending on the manufacturer and the quality of the board.

On average inflatable SUP’s have a warranty for anywhere from 1 – 3 years.

Q. How long does it take to deflate the board and roll it back into it’s carry bag?

A. It really takes only a few minutes. Let the air out, dry it off with a towel, roll it up and store it away. It’s pretty simple and takes no time at all.

Q. What kind of PFD should I wear on my SUP?

A. Any PFD is fine. I prefer using one of those waist pack PFD’s where you pull the handle if you need to inflate it.

I find it more comfortable while paddling my SUP. However any PFD works great.

Q.Can dogs go on an inflatable stand-up paddleboard?

A. Absolutely. Any dog of any size can go on an ISUP.

A larger dog is obviously going to cause more stability issues than a smaller dog so training before getting on the water is a really good idea.

However there are no concerns with weight or issues from their claws.

In fact an inflatable SUP is ideal and very popular for those who want to bring their dog along because it has more traction for them to keep their balance.

Q. How many people can go on one board?

A. Usually it’s one person per board. However it’s no problem to add a child or two or another adult if you like.

I have had two adults, a child and a dog on mine. It gets hard to paddle but it’s totally doable.

In Hawaii I used to see one adult paddling with several kids sitting on the SUP.

Check the weight requirement for your particular SUP before loading it up but most of them can hold quite a bit of weight.

It really depends on how much weight you are willing to paddle and how comfortable you are with keeping everyone balanced.

Q. Can I store my inflatable SUP outside?

A. It is recommended that you store your ISUP in a dry cool place away from exposure to the elements.

Q. How does length and width affect performance?

A. The longer and more streamlined the SUP, usually the faster and straighter it is going to go.

Wider boards will be more stable and are great for taking on waves or whitewater.

Unless you want a really specific board for a very specific type of stand-up paddling, it’s kind of nice to have a combination of length and width… not too long and not too wide. Those will be the most versatile and great for any skill level.

Q. How stable are inflatable SUP’s?

A. I find inflatable SUP’s to be more stable than a regular fiberglass SUP.

They are great for beginners, for kids, for dogs and for traveling.

Although stability can vary depending on the shape, width and depth of the board, I find as a general rule they are all fairly stable.

The thicker 6” boards will definitely be the most stable and able to support more weight with no flex whatsoever.

Click here to see our list of Top 5 inflatable stand-up paddle boards.

Comments

  1. These looks really great! What are the inflatable SUP made of? And where are yours made??

    • Most inflatable SUP’s are made with heavy duty PVC material. We don’t sell them, we only review them.

  2. Hi there,

    I just got myself an ISUP (Solstice Bora Bora) and I wonder if it is OK to leave it inflated under the sun ? I m afraid of the pressure, ie : can the sun heat make the psi jump from 13 to 15 ?

    Thing is that I use to have inflatable canoe and protecting them from the sun is always a concern.

    Thanks!

    • Hi Tom, the heat can definitely affect air pressure but in my personal experience I find the heat has to be quite extreme to make much difference. That being said it is advised to store your ISUP out of the sun and away from exposure to the elements. Besides a possible difference in air pressure the UV rays from the sun will wear the material down over time. The inflatable boards these days are pretty tough but if possible store it out of the sun when not in use.

    • I don’t use paddleboards but I do work at a watersports resort in central Sweden and saw two explode last year after they were left in the sun on a hot day.

      • Wow it must have been pretty hot for that to happen. Air expands in heat so if the boards are left out in the sun all day and it’s really hot a little air should be let out, especially if the boards were inflated to maximum capacity in the first place. That being said I think exploding boards are pretty rare and they should be stored out of the elements.

  3. Why can’t I find any reviews on brands like NRS and ULI?

    • Hi Matt, they are coming soon. I haven’t had an opportunity to review NRS or ULI yet… I have plans to review a couple NRS boards in the next month or so and hopefully it won’t be too long for ULI. Both great companies and they definitely need to be added. I’m working on it :)

  4. Matt Clarkson says:

    Any do’s or dont’s to look out for when buying one? I’m looking at one where the guy imports them from a factory in China and sells at about 1/2 the price of main brand models.

    • There are so many ISUP companies popping up and I am finding that many of them are using the same or similar manufacturer in China… Just adding their own decals or slightly different styling. So many of the boards are very similar and basic in design. However the construction seems to be solid. They may not be quite as durable as the well known brands being but overall not too bad. For the cheaper price I would guess it won’t last quite as long but I haven’t had issues with any of them yet. Often the cheaper price will mean no carry bag or a very cheap carry bag and a cheap pump. I would just check out the warranty. Make sure there is at least a one year warranty. If there are any issues with the seams or glue you should notice them right away and a 1-year warranty will at least protect you for a bit.

  5. Should I store my SUP for the winter inflated in the basement or keep it folded up in the bag?

    • I store mine folded up in the bag. Just make sure it is totally dried off before stashing it away for the winter. You can leave it inflated if you want to but it is definitely not necessary.

  6. I blew out my valve on my Solstice Bora Bora ISUP. Any suggestions on how to replace?.

    • I actually have an old board that needs a valve replacement as well. I haven’t tried to do it yet but it is possible to replace the valve yourself. You will need a valve wrench, which normally is included in the repair kit that comes with the board and a new valve, which you can order on Amazon or possibly straight from Solstice. Here is a video on Youtube that shows the steps… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBQ3E8BoV5Q. There are a few more videos on there as well you could search out. Otherwise you could try calling Solstice… not sure if it is a warranty issue. Or you could take the board to a boat store, particularly one that sells inflatable boats. They can normally fix it as well. Good luck!

  7. I just bought my first ISUP board. I am so excited. It’s pretty hot hear in the summer, Can I store it in my garage while inflated or will the heat damage it?

    • Hi Renee, Depends how hot your garage gets. I will often leave mine in my garage but there are some days during the summer where my garage is stifling and I usually bring it in at that point. A day or two isn’t a big deal but if your garage gets super hot I’d store it elsewhere to be safe, whether inflated or deflated. Happy paddling!!!

      • Thanks so much Allison. Is there a guideline for when hot is too hot? Is it over 90, 100?
        Again thank you

        • That’s a good question and I’m not really sure. If you leave it inflated and the garage gets too hot, the air will expand and you can risk over inflation but I’m not sure exactly how many degrees it would need to be. I think if your garage feels stifling it is probably a good indication. If you let a little air out of the board that will help. If you think it might be an issue check with the ISUP company where you bought it, they might have more info.

  8. HI Allison,

    I’ve managed to get water inside my inflatable SUP and was wondering if you had any hints or advice on how to remove it because there doesn’t seem to be much online.
    Thanks!

    • Hi Ben, To tell you the truth I’m not sure. Did the water get in through the valve somehow? I’ve never encountered that issue before or even heard of that happening. The only thing I can think of is to actually remove the valve completely and try and get the water out that way. Then you would have to secure the whole valve again. It’s doable although a little tricky. A boating store might be able to help with it. Or you could try contacting the manufacturer to see if they have any ideas. Sorry I couldn’t help you more, good luck!!