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Top tips for travelling with your inflatable stand up paddleboard

Top tips for travelling with your inflatable stand up paddleboard

Here’s everything you need to know about travelling with your inflatable stand up paddleboard. Enjoy these tips and tricks, they will help you prepare better. You’re welcome!

Inflatable Standup Paddleboard Vs Hard Standup Paddleboard

First things first, let’s address the elephant in the room.

Inflatable stand up paddleboard are the preferred choice for travellers and adrenaline junkies. What works best about them is their fluid nature as opposed to hard paddleboards. When choosing between hard stand up paddleboards vs inflatable stand up paddleboards it is essential to evaluate your adventure plans. If you like to ride waves in far-flung areas and use air travel as your main transportation mode then inflatable SUPs are your best friend.

But, that is no news to you, is it? However, the most common concerns travellers have with inflatable stand up paddleboards include the gravity pull and lesser rigidity. 

Despite that, if you are the kind to prefer a comfortable travel experience and an adventure-focused trip then the option becomes super crystal. 

Travelling with an Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard

Naturally the pack-and-go nature of the inflatable stand up paddleboards make them so useful. They offer a compact and convenient solution. You can deflate them, wrap and take them with you. The finished package will stay within your airline weight and space allowances. This means no extra fee charge or surprise costs. 

It is just as easy to store these when not in use. Such as when you return from the holiday, you can simply pack them in a compact bag or a closet. You will not require any extra stands or installations to house them. 

Many airlines do not offer damage-reimbursement for paddleboards and larger sports equipment. It is safer and cheaper to use an inflatable paddleboard rather than a broken hard stand up option.

Lastly, you can quickly inflate the board with a hand pump within minutes. When it is upto the maximum PSI you will get the necessary grip and rigidity you want or get with a hard option. 

Travelling with inflatable ISUPs Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard

Pro Travel Tips For ISUPs 

So let’s get into it.

  • Check with the airline:
  • Even though your deflated board will fit into a compact package it is essential to check the dimensions your airline is offering. You should double check the weight and the bag allowance for improved preplanning.

  • How portable is it?
  • You should test your bag or the package and check if it is comfortable for you to carry around after the airport. Especially if you plan to take your board to remote beaches and seasides that involve a lot of other physical effort such as walking or trekking.

  • Where are you using it?
  • Remember that ISUPs are better for surfing, river paddling, rocky shores and whitewater paddleboarding.

  • Who are you with?
  • If you want your kids or pets to ride with you then you should help them get acquainted with the feel of riding on ISUPs in slower waters first.

  • If you want the lightest board, buy the lightest board.
  • One of the best things about ISUPs can be a lighter feel and greater flexibility in the waters. Carefully choose your board according to your weight and response preferences.

  • Protect them from tears.
  • It is a no-brainer that you will need to protect your board from any leaks or tears. Accidents happen. Just try to keep the board and anything sharp such as nails, clips, shatter glass at the site etc away from each other as much as possible.

  • Tighten the valves.
  • Sometimes the leaks occur because gaps in the valves can cause air to escape. Although it is a rare possibility you can just check it from time to time and tighten it as needed.

  • It is harder to find glue at the sea. Buy a reputable board.
  • As long as you buy a good quality board it will stay intact. For years! But, at times some boards don’t live upto the expectations and the seams open up. That is not an ideal situation so it is essential to be prepared if buying cheap or buying better if this is not your kind of trouble.

  • Buy an electric pump.
  • An electric pump is a good investment, it will reduce the prep period for your paddleboard. It also means lesser manual labor and more energy for the actual adventure. Also time is money when travelling. It is not everyday that you take that paddleboard out right.

  • Space hack:
  • Wrap your deflated board around the pump. The cavity when you roll your board is an excellent and safe space for you to snuggle your pump.

  • Choose your bag wisely:
  • You can place your paddle in many bags along the board. A compact bag that lets you do that is a better pick than the one that does not.

  • Watch the blade and the fins.
  • Although all good bags offer adequate safety for all parts of the board, you must keep an extra eye out for the blade and fins. This will ensure the longevity of your paddleboard and safer maneuvering in the waters.

  • Give it an extra layer.
  • If you are travelling to several locations, switching transport, hotels or have a long journey ahead of you - give the bag an extra layer of safety with an additional plastic cover or bubble wrap. This will give you additional security and confidence while keeping it all intact.

  • Pack your board after it dries.
  • Wrapping the board wet and storing it for long periods can not only cause damage but also cause a funky odour. So dry it off before storing it away or packing it up for the next adventure.

  • When in the sun slather it with SPF.
  • Yes, you should be wearing high quality SPF when in the sun. As far as the board is concerned, no, don't slather it in SPF. Just don’t keep it out in the sun too long without a pressure check. The heat from the sun can increase the pressure inside the board. This can be dangerous for the seams. If the pressure is more than the usual, let some of the air out ever so slightly.

  • Know the elevation.
  • A sudden erratic change in the elevation can also build up pressure inside an inflated paddleboard (if inflated before reaching the higher altitudes). If you are at higher elevations just double check the pressure inside the ISUP before riding it.

  • Don’t be lazy.
  • It is better to deflate and then inflate your paddleboard again in a long trip rather than keeping it in an inflated position for very long periods of time.

  • No stacking.
  • Yes, paddleboards can take your weight. And yes, they can take your dog's weight and your family’s. But, no. That is not an excuse to place heavy objects or bags or other items on top of it during your trip or afterwards.

  • Be wary of non-paddleboard roof racks.
  • When travelling on caravans, SUVs or other vehicles it is convenient to store your paddleboard on roof racks. However, use paddleboard roof racks wherever possible rather than luggage racks. You can ideally deflate, roll and store the board in it's bag. But, if you are travelling a shorter distance or not interested in all the effort ensure the roof rack is made for ISUPs and has no sharp ends, loose screws or wobbly parts. Check out the car-travel collection to find an option that suits your needs.

    Travelling Tips For Inflatable Standup Paddleboards

    Some bonus tips:

  • The more the merrier.
  • Take your friends along. Duh, adventure is more adventurous with good company and a little dash of healthy, sporty, competition.

  • Watch yourself.
  • You have to monitor your movement and exhaustion level. Don’t go overboard with the paddleboard. Straining muscles and overusing your body can be seriously damaging and injurious especially in the long term. 

  • Invest in a dry bag.
  • A dry bag allows you to carry your phone, wallet, keys and other sensitive things when surfing or in general engaging in water sports. It can keep everything safe and tidy as you enjoy your paddleboards.

  • You can always buy a sun protector for longer road trips.
  • If you are planning to carry the board inflated on your roof rack then it is a good idea to buy a sun protecting sheet to prevent colour fade, or overexpansion.

  • Don’t squeeze, tug or force the board.
  • If it is not fitting to a bag or space you are trying to push it into, don’t force it. Take the hint. ISUPs are compact but this does not mean you try to crush them into a space that is not adequate. Needless to remind you that this can compromise the integrity of the board.

    Travelling Tricks and Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboarding Tips
  • Enjoy.
  • Dare we remind you that watersports are the only fun you need in life. Having all of it said, these are just extra care tips that you should know in order to have a safe and worthwhile experience. Don’t forget to actually enjoy and savour the trip!

    For options, dimensions and other specifications you can visit the complete range of Australia's best inflatable paddleboards here. 

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