Inflating your paddleboard

Inflating your paddleboard

Inflatable paddleboards are so popular and convenient as they can be easily transported and stored. People who have never used them before are often shocked at how stiff an inflatable paddleboard can be once properly inflated.

How do you inflate your board? And how long is it going to take?

All our boards include a manual pump to inflate your board. You can expect it to take 10-20 mins to inflate your board, which includes some breaks.

To inflate your board:

  1. Unroll your board on a clean, flat(ish) surface. Gravel and sharp rocks are a bad idea. Grass, hardsurfaces like concrete or ashpalt (if not too hot), and sand (taking care to keep sand out of the valve and pump) are better choices.

  2. Remove the SUP valve cap and ensure the spring-loaded button is in the 'push to open' position. If you push down on the valve button and it does not spring back, it is in the 'always open' position, and you need to rotate the button to switch it to the 'push to open' position. If this step is not done, once you've finished inflating your SUP and remove the hose, all the air will rush out as the valve is open.

  3. Inspect the end of the pump hose and ensure a rubber-style gasket is present and clean of debris. Then push the end of the hose down and twist to lock the hose end to the SUP valve.

  4. Start pumping! The initial inflation of the SUP shape will happen quickly and easily. The harder part is the inflation to bring the pressure (and thus stiffness) up. Your target pressure is 15psi and all pumps have a gauge to measure the pressure. The gauge may not read any value until 3-5 psi, so don't feel like your effort is wasted if the needle is not moving at first.

  5. Once at the target pressure, quickly twist the end of the hose and it will pop off. Replace the SUP valve cap.

  6. Flip your board over and install the fin(s).

  7. Attach the ankle strap and you're good to go!

Once you've inflated your board, you may notice a small leak around the SUP valve. While rare, this is not uncommon and a tool is included with every maintenance and repair kit to tighten the valve. Check out our post on Tightening a SUP Valve for details.

There are other options to manually pumping your board up. There are air compressor adapters which allow you to use a larger air compressor to inflate your board. Due to the risk of over-pressure damage, the use of one with our boards will void your warranty with respect to seam damage and leakage.

There are electric inflators on the market that make the job of inflating a SUP very easy. They range in price from $100-150 and can connect to either the 12V port on your vehicle or an AC plug. Some pumps also include a battery to inflate where a vehicle is not present or accessible.