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Old 28-11-2016, 11:33   #1
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Inflatable SUP

Moving onto our sailboat this fall and looking to buy two inflatable stand up paddle boards. So many conflicting reviews on line. We're new to the sport but athletic, looking for durable boards that last and we will not tire of as we improve. Don't mind spending more if we are truly getting more. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 28-11-2016, 11:46   #2
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Re: Inflatable SUP

This is not a recommendation of a brand. We had two Bali boards that were inexpensive and adequate for our casual paddling on flattish water. We kept them in rail mounted racks. After three years the PVC opened up at the seams and were unrepairable. We are switching the hard boards. If you buy inflatable boards and store them on deck keep them covered. We found the bags to be enough of a deterrent to using the boards that we are choosing hard boards this time.
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Old 28-11-2016, 12:13   #3
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Re: Inflatable SUP

We live in LP and I often see people paddling them. An inflatable looks a bit slower than an epoxy / rigid one. But it can be deflated and stowed away which is a + if your boat is not all that big.

Unless you can comfortably stow a hard one, I would not hesitate to buy and use an inflatable one.

A tip: get a quality carbon paddle no matter which style of the board you get. This is not evident for a 30 minutes rental trip BUT a huge advantage in comfort when you get to use the board on a more regular basis.

Have fun. We are next in line. My gf loves SUPs.

b.
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Old 28-11-2016, 13:14   #4
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Re: Inflatable SUP

We've had a bunch of different SUP's. Generally, the inflatables don't track as well, and it's harder to paddle them upwind in a breeze, although some of the new, high end ones might be better.

We tend to use ours rather than a dinghy, so end up, going quite a ways from the boat. I got rid of our inflatables after considering what would happen if I punctured one on a deserted beach. Can't really carry a patch kit or pump. Wish they'd make them with a couple of chambers.

We have ended up with Bic soft tops. They're a stiff, epoxy board, but the entire board surface is soft, so if it hits the boat, it doesn't do any damage. They're wide, which is good in rough water or to fish off of.Click image for larger version

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Check out the fin between my legs!
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Old 28-11-2016, 13:15   #5
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Re: Inflatable SUP

I got a starboard inflatable windsup a while back. I think all but the most discerning suppers would not be able to tell a difference between good quality inflatable and a rigid. You should be a little more aware paddling over sharp shallow coral, tied up a barnacle encrusted dock, etc, but a good quality inflatable can stand up to a lot of abuse. If you're cruising, carry a patch kit.

Personally, I think the pros of having an inflatable on a small boat far outweigh the drawbacks..mainly the cost. The thing rolls up and can easily be stowed in a lazarette, and serves as a great secondary dinghy. If the dinghy is your car, the sup is a bit like having a motorcycle as a second mode of transport.
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Old 28-11-2016, 14:05   #6
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Re: Inflatable SUP

I have the Tower inflatable and have been pretty pleased, only around $550 with pump and paddle and shipping when they run a sale. Rolls up pretty small and only takes about 5 mins to inflate on the foredeck. I would not leave it out in the sun, although it does come with a 2 year warranty. That being said I have had it out on the deck for 2 months the last couple of years in the Bahamas and so far it looks good. The glue along the seams has turned yellow in a couple of spots but besides that it still looks good. Paddles pretty well and tracks will since it has one big fin (detachable) and 2 small fixed fins at the back.
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Old 28-11-2016, 14:50   #7
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Re: Inflatable SUP

We have the Tower inflatables for about 2 years. So far they have been good. As Barnakiel mentioned above don't get the adjustable aluminum paddles. If you don't flush them after every use they will freeze up and corrode. They will probably do that even if you flush them on a cruising boat. We bought the adjustable carbonfiber paddles. Much lighter and seem to be lasting.
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Old 28-11-2016, 16:23   #8
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Re: Inflatable SUP

Just like anything you get what you pay for. A cheap inflatable won't last. I have an NRS board that I would highly recommend. None of the inflatables will be as fast as an epoxy board. The payoff is the stowability and the transportability. The NRS comes in a back pack with a pump and patch kit. My break down carbon paddle fits in the bag as well so it super easy to grab it and go and you always know you have everything cause its all in the bag. Some of the bigger inflatable SUP companies also make lots of different size boards. When my wife does marathon swims I use my board to support her and run safety. Its nice to have some d rings to tie on a pack or small cooler.
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Old 01-12-2016, 20:29   #9
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Re: Inflatable SUP

I have two inflatable SUPs, Cruiser Crossover Air 10'8". They are wide, 33.5" and are good general purpose boards, also wide enough to be used as yoga boards. The boards are very good quality at a competitive price (not cheap, but quite reasonable). Customer support has been excellent.


I've paddled Bic, ISLE, Red Dot, and Tower SUPs. A good friend has two 9'6" Tower SUPs that I've paddled many times. I rate the Cruiser and Tower inflatable SUPs well above the others mentioned. The Cruiser and Tower boards are the best quality. I would rate the rigidity of the Cruiser as superior (but only slightly) to that of the Tower. I inflate to 14psi; although, the board is rated to 17psi. At 14psi the board is extremely rigid, sufficient for even a large person weighing up to 230lbs. The Cruiser also tracks better than the Tower, but it's a longer board.


Based on my personal experience I recommend the Cruiser inflatable SUPs. Cruiser is an internet based company. Buy the electric pump! Cruiser SUP: The Name Stand Up Paddlers Trust
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Old 02-12-2016, 05:55   #10
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Re: Inflatable SUP

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, suelbyrne and gleason99.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:05   #11
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Re: Inflatable SUP

Quote:
Originally Posted by suelbyrne View Post
Moving onto our sailboat this fall and looking to buy two inflatable stand up paddle boards. So many conflicting reviews on line. We're new to the sport but athletic, looking for durable boards that last and we will not tire of as we improve. Don't mind spending more if we are truly getting more. Any input would be greatly appreciated!
I have a Sea Eagle inflatable SUP I have been very happy with. I also have lots of experience with paddling, both SUPs and kayaks. I highly suggest you look into a Greenland Paddle like the one in the pix below (you can easily make one as well as buy a quality one like the Gear Lab carbon fiber break down I use). One nice thing about the Sea Eagle is it has D-rings you can use to attach an inflatable seat and use the Greenland Paddle in the same manner you would in a kayak. It is both easier to paddle that way and faster as well. I would bet sitting down in flat water even an old guy like me could paddle my SUP faster than an experienced SUP racer. There are also D-rings at the bow which can be used to attach netting to carry things like skin diving gear or even a dry bag for stuff that you don't want to get wet.

I would not try and use any SUP in lieu of a good tender. You simply can't move things like fuel cans or water containers any distance; as well as a lot of other bulky items. But if you don't mind getting wet there a lot of advantages to having a SUP you can use to get places with small loads.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/gallery/showimage.php?i=12462&original=1&c=member&orderby= title&direction=ASC&imageuser=102656&cutoffdate=-1

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Old 31-12-2016, 17:54   #12
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Re: Inflatable SUP

Just a word of warning. I bought a high end Naish inflatable SUP because i didnt like the idea of tying rigid boards to the lifelines (the most common storage solution it seems). I soon discovered that there's a tendancy to get lazy about deflating and inflating when you are cruising. The real benefit of an inflatable board is that it can be thrown over the side without fear of damage to either the board or the mothership. We then made a sunbrella cover and left it inflated on the trampoline.

One day, we find the board deflated with a large section of the main seam blown. No doubt you will all conclude that we inflated to maximum recommended pressure in the evening and then left the board in the sun at midday. I dont accept this because we never inflated to more than 2/3 of max (board being used primarily by my 45kg wife) but let's not argue about it. At the very least, it's a risk you need to consider if you go for inflatable boards.

Inevitably, my attempt to repair the seam with the standard one part glue in the repair kit failed. The Naish agent in Singapore tried to repair with 2 part glue and the repair failed (fortunately?) just prior to launching.

Interesting to note that I contacted the same agent about buying a rigid board and she accidentally said something like "Ahh, thats a much better idea" but she didnt have stock so I went to another outlet and bought a rigid BIC board. AFTER paying for the board and tying it on the car roof, i was talking to him about our bad experience with inflatable boards. He said that in the industry (most dealers also run training courses) they budget for inflatable board lifespan of only two years, so they generally don't use them.


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Old 01-01-2017, 19:20   #13
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Re: Inflatable SUP

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Originally Posted by chris in SG View Post
Just a word of warning. I bought a high end Naish inflatable SUP because i didnt like the idea of tying rigid boards to the lifelines (the most common storage solution it seems). I soon discovered that there's a tendancy to get lazy about deflating and inflating when you are cruising. The real benefit of an inflatable board is that it can be thrown over the side without fear of damage to either the board or the mothership. We then made a sunbrella cover and left it inflated on the trampoline.

One day, we find the board deflated with a large section of the main seam blown. No doubt you will all conclude that we inflated to maximum recommended pressure in the evening and then left the board in the sun at midday. I dont accept this because we never inflated to more than 2/3 of max (board being used primarily by my 45kg wife) but let's not argue about it. At the very least, it's a risk you need to consider if you go for inflatable boards.

Inevitably, my attempt to repair the seam with the standard one part glue in the repair kit failed. The Naish agent in Singapore tried to repair with 2 part glue and the repair failed (fortunately?) just prior to launching.

Interesting to note that I contacted the same agent about buying a rigid board and she accidentally said something like "Ahh, thats a much better idea" but she didnt have stock so I went to another outlet and bought a rigid BIC board. AFTER paying for the board and tying it on the car roof, i was talking to him about our bad experience with inflatable boards. He said that in the industry (most dealers also run training courses) they budget for inflatable board lifespan of only two years, so they generally don't use them.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum


I keep my Cruiser SUPs inflated, but take great care to provide all-round UV protection. The sun does more damage quicker than all other elements (except abuse by the user). I've had no problems with seams failing. If the boards aren't stored in some type of cover, and left in the sun, inflatables are highly susceptible to UV damage. My boards stay inflated for about 7 months, then stored for the winter. I've now been through 2 full seasons, so around 14 months of inflation, attached to my stanchions, but fully covered. They still look like new and no signs of seam failure.
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