You took the plunge and got an inflatable stand-up paddle board. Now what happens? Here are few things to know.
Safety first. What's required.
While navigating the water ways, paddle boards must be equipped with am approved personal flotation device (PFD) or a life jacket and a sound signaling device (whistle). If you are paddling between sunset & sunrise you are also required to have a light. You may want to have a dry bag with you to keep your phone and keys protected while paddling.
Inflating your paddle board. Your step-by-step guide.
- Unroll the board with the deck-pad side up
- Locate the valve on the board - typically at the tail of the board
- Find the pin inside the valve. To inflate the board, the pin must be up. Push and twist the pin - this will bring the pin up, or down.
- Attached the hose of the hand or electric pump to the board.
- Most hand pumps have a dual and single action options. Choose the dual action to start pumping. Air will be pushed into the board when you pump up and down. The PSI number will not begin to show until there is enough air in the board.
- When it start to get harder to pump, witch to single action pump on the hand-pump. You will be able to start reading the pressure gauge at the top of the pump.
- Inflate the board until 15 to 20 PSI. The recommended pressure should be indicated on the board around the valve.
- Remove the hose quickly. Screw cap onto the valve.
Attaching your Fin
- Flip the board deck-pad side down to attach the fin to the board.
- There are two types of fin - one that slides into place or the other comes with a screw and a washer.
- Fin should be installed curve side facing forward.
- Never place the board fin side down on land and be mindful of the fin paddling in shallow waters.
Adjusting the Paddle
- A lot of inflatables come with a 3 piece paddle that you have to put together - with the top, middle and bottom with blade.
- All paddles are adjustable - the top of the paddle - the handle side - where the clamp can be lifted to make the paddle taller or shorter.
- To be the perfect fit - stand with the paddle blade side down, reach your hand up holding the handle, then close the clamp to hold into place. A long paddle is best to be able to get the entire blade in the water when you paddle.
- Your leash ensures you are attached to your board at all times. This is an added safety element if you fall off your board.
- Paddle boards typically use coil leashes rather than the straight ones used with surf boards
- Attached the leash at the tail end of the board and the other part of the leach attaches to your back ankle.
Deflating your iSUP Board
- Remove the leash and the fin
- Place the board deck-pad side up and locate the valve
- Remove the valve cap, push on the pin and twist pin clockwise a quarter inch turn - beware of the high pressure that will be release and turn face away from the valve to protect your eyes
- Leave board to deflate for a few minutes with the pin down and then roll the board to pack into the board bag
Folding the board
- Clean and dry the board with a towel before rolling the board
- Keep the valve pin in the down position to roll up the board
- Start by folding the nose of the board and tightly roll the board from the nose to the tail - close the valve cap when you are down rolling the board
- Do not try to fold or bend the fin box
- Pack board into board bag
Caring for your paddle board
A few things to note to care for your board
- Do not drag the board on the ground - make sure to carry it while on land
- Go into the water tail/fin side first to protect the fin
- Do not leave board in direct sunlight when not in use. UV rays can cause damage to the board overtime
- Clean board with water and a light cleaner - using a hard brush or harsh detergents can damage the PCV plastic of the board
- Dry board before storing - wet boards can get mouldy
- You may need to tighten valve with the wrench in the repair kit from time to time