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Inflatable surf sup

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Created by cantSUPenough A week ago, 8 Sep 2019
cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
8 Sep 2019 8:21PM
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Has anyone heard of (and ideally tried) a reasonably good inflatable surf sup? I travel a lot and would love to take one with me. I am sure it won't be as good as a real board, but carrying a real board isn't an option, and finding rentals is never simple.

colas
3370 posts
8 Sep 2019 8:31PM
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My advice:
- look for recent models. The inflatable construction progress every year.
- get welded skins, not glued: it is lighter and more reliable.
- Do not get more than 4" thickness
- look for boards rated for high PSI, typically more than 20. It shows the maker is confidant in the quality of the seams, plus the higher you inflate, the more rigid it is.
- avoid glued rubber fins: they deform and a are a pain to get straight again
- avoid no-name brands. But ultra expensive ones are not worth it either.
- some board makers tend to add gimmicks to differentiate themselves, but they are usually not really important.
- pulled in nose and tail are very important for surfability, as the rails thickness is the same on all the length
- take the smallest size as possible. Long inflatables are quite tricky to surf as the nose can stick to the water, and you get more "trampoline effect"

FRP
326 posts
8 Sep 2019 9:15PM
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These hybrid boards look interesting. I have been watching one that came up on our Craigslist. Hard tail and inflatable nose. Reasonable price. Good fin options. pendleboard.com/en/home/

Fanatic make an inflatable stubby.

Another option for travel might be a custom two piece from Sunova. Likely much better performance than the Pendle board and similar packing.

Bob

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
9 Sep 2019 6:30AM
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FRP said..
These hybrid boards look interesting. I have been watching one that came up on our Craigslist. Hard tail and inflatable nose. Reasonable price. Good fin options. pendleboard.com/en/home/

Fanatic make an inflatable stubby.

Another option for travel might be a custom two piece from Sunova. Likely much better performance than the Pendle board and similar packing.

Bob


That looks very interesting. Would you mind buying it and telling me how it goes ;)

I wonder if having a solid section of the board makes it heavier or more difficult to travel with? It looks pretty compact.

I think the Sunova two-piece would be good for a surf trip, but not for business travel. No option will be perfect, but I would like to get something that is not too big and heavy and easy to get in/out of airports.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
9 Sep 2019 6:30AM
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Select to expand quote
colas said..
My advice:
- look for recent models. The inflatable construction progress every year.
- get welded skins, not glued: it is lighter and more reliable.
- Do not get more than 4" thickness
- look for boards rated for high PSI, typically more than 20. It shows the maker is confidant in the quality of the seams, plus the higher you inflate, the more rigid it is.
- avoid glued rubber fins: they deform and a are a pain to get straight again
- avoid no-name brands. But ultra expensive ones are not worth it either.
- some board makers tend to add gimmicks to differentiate themselves, but they are usually not really important.
- pulled in nose and tail are very important for surfability, as the rails thickness is the same on all the length
- take the smallest size as possible. Long inflatables are quite tricky to surf as the nose can stick to the water, and you get more "trampoline effect"


Thanks Colas!

colas
3370 posts
9 Sep 2019 11:56AM
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On the untested - I mean I didn't read any review - promising technology we have the www.tripstix.de/
This is the only inflatable I have seen with thinner nose & tail. Quite expensive, though.

jerryat
11 posts
Tuesday , 10 Sep 2019 9:57AM
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Something else to consider, is this for air travel? If so, here's a bit of my experience. I do a bit of travel for work and have taken an iSup both internationally and locally now and it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. Aside from the iSup itself I think there are some other important considerations:

Firstly, you need to buy one with a really good bag (I can't stress that enough). It must be both strong to cater for baggage handlers and a rough time in the baggage hold, and secure (lockable). The bag will go through a tough time and could look quite damaged at the end of even a short flight.

With a bag, paddle, pump and iSup you are looking at adding about 17kg or more to your luggage so probably end up in excess baggage territory with some airlines. Be prepared to pay and do so up front to save on higher costs at the airport.

Internationally you may also need to go through oversize baggage so getting through the airport can be a bit slower. Allow for this. I have had the same airline in the same airport have different opinions on when it needs to go through oversize baggage, just depends on who is serving you.

With short durations between flights (due to delays and hot transfers) when you get to your destination it's possible you have become separated from your bag and then it gets really difficult as it will go through Customs separately. Customs officials aren't necessarily familiar with iSups and the pumps/paddles look very suspicious on the X-ray machines. Believe me it is not much fun in some parts of Asia being asked to go back to the airport when you have become separated from your bag and report to Customs/Security because of suspicious looking contents in your bag. All sorts of things go through your mind (hence the need for a lockable, secure bag).

Also, at your destination you are now lugging around an extra (large) bag which doesn't track anywhere near as well as regular wheeled luggage. This can be a pain in some accommodations that have lots of stairs or tiny lifts. Even with backpack options carting say two large bags and a carry-on can be awkward.

When you finally do go for a surf/paddle, make sure you have a way of securing your bag while you are away from it as just about anything will get taken if there is a chance. I use a long cable bike lock and try to tether the bag to something immovable.

I don't want to put anyone off travelling with an iSup as you can have some amazing experiences but I think it does help to be fully aware of what you are getting into. I know I will certainly be taking my iSup away with me again but not to all destinations.

Finally, try surfing on an iSup at home so you know what to expect. Ideally do so in less than favourable conditions as when you are travelling, you just have to put up with whatever conditions you get.

Cheers.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
Tuesday , 10 Sep 2019 9:33PM
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Select to expand quote
jerryat said..
Something else to consider, is this for air travel? If so, here's a bit of my experience. I do a bit of travel for work and have taken an iSup both internationally and locally now and it can be a bit of a pain sometimes. Aside from the iSup itself I think there are some other important considerations:

Firstly, you need to buy one with a really good bag (I can't stress that enough). It must be both strong to cater for baggage handlers and a rough time in the baggage hold, and secure (lockable). The bag will go through a tough time and could look quite damaged at the end of even a short flight.

With a bag, paddle, pump and iSup you are looking at adding about 17kg or more to your luggage so probably end up in excess baggage territory with some airlines. Be prepared to pay and do so up front to save on higher costs at the airport.

Internationally you may also need to go through oversize baggage so getting through the airport can be a bit slower. Allow for this. I have had the same airline in the same airport have different opinions on when it needs to go through oversize baggage, just depends on who is serving you.

With short durations between flights (due to delays and hot transfers) when you get to your destination it's possible you have become separated from your bag and then it gets really difficult as it will go through Customs separately. Customs officials aren't necessarily familiar with iSups and the pumps/paddles look very suspicious on the X-ray machines. Believe me it is not much fun in some parts of Asia being asked to go back to the airport when you have become separated from your bag and report to Customs/Security because of suspicious looking contents in your bag. All sorts of things go through your mind (hence the need for a lockable, secure bag).

Also, at your destination you are now lugging around an extra (large) bag which doesn't track anywhere near as well as regular wheeled luggage. This can be a pain in some accommodations that have lots of stairs or tiny lifts. Even with backpack options carting say two large bags and a carry-on can be awkward.

When you finally do go for a surf/paddle, make sure you have a way of securing your bag while you are away from it as just about anything will get taken if there is a chance. I use a long cable bike lock and try to tether the bag to something immovable.

I don't want to put anyone off travelling with an iSup as you can have some amazing experiences but I think it does help to be fully aware of what you are getting into. I know I will certainly be taking my iSup away with me again but not to all destinations.

Finally, try surfing on an iSup at home so you know what to expect. Ideally do so in less than favourable conditions as when you are travelling, you just have to put up with whatever conditions you get.

Cheers.


Thanks Jerry,

They are all really good points. I do a lot of international travel, so the idea of oversized baggage is a real bother... I was "hoping" to find one that was not too heavy - 17kg is a lot more to carry... I fly enough that I often have extra baggage allowance, but on some airlines, each extra kg can cost a fortune.

Thanks for your comments. Most places I go do not have a surf option but the few that do (that don't have ready access to a rental) it would be fun to go for a paddle.

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
Tuesday , 10 Sep 2019 9:37PM
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colas said..
On the untested - I mean I didn't read any review - promising technology we have the www.tripstix.de/
This is the only inflatable I have seen with thinner nose & tail. Quite expensive, though.


Thanks- it looks interesting. (They really should get someone who can surf to demo it in their movies...)

supthecreek
1766 posts
Wednesday , 11 Sep 2019 1:35PM
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I surfed the tripstix inflatable in Thailand.

It works!
Real bottom turns, real rail control and so much better than any other inflatable I have tried in the surf.
Excellent concept that and well made.

Stefan said he may send me one after he has filled all current orders.

colas
3370 posts
Wednesday , 11 Sep 2019 2:55PM
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supthecreek said..
I surfed the tripstix inflatable in Thailand.
It works!


Thanks for the review!

On the videos I was a bit taken aback by the ultra-flat rocker, they seemed nearly totally flat. What was it like on the wave?

jerryat
11 posts
Wednesday , 11 Sep 2019 6:46PM
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Hey cantSUPenough,
For what it's worth I ended up buying a Red Paddle Co 10.6 Ride. That might help you assessing the weight. With all the bits in the bag that you need it is about 17kg. I started out looking at surf oriented iSups but given my size (tall and 100kg) and that I don't live anywhere where I can easily test run a sup as there are very few sup distributors anywhere near I went with a 'safe' option and got an all-round board instead as I had to buy online. I am not a good sup surfer by any measure but even I have to lower my expectations when using the iSup.
A big selling point for me though was the bag compared to other offerings and while it is probably up there with the best bags it could still be better really.
As for weight and real portability the Red Paddle 9.6 Compact looked about the best (for travel at least) but is really expensive compared to others. I guess you get what you pay for but I couldn't justify it. At least with the 10.6, while it is not great for surfing its a good all-round board that my family can enjoy too.
Cheers,
Jerry

cantSUPenough
VIC, 1810 posts
Thursday , 12 Sep 2019 4:13AM
Thumbs Up

Select to expand quote
jerryat said..
Hey cantSUPenough,
For what it's worth I ended up buying a Red Paddle Co 10.6 Ride. That might help you assessing the weight. With all the bits in the bag that you need it is about 17kg. I started out looking at surf oriented iSups but given my size (tall and 100kg) and that I don't live anywhere where I can easily test run a sup as there are very few sup distributors anywhere near I went with a 'safe' option and got an all-round board instead as I had to buy online. I am not a good sup surfer by any measure but even I have to lower my expectations when using the iSup.
A big selling point for me though was the bag compared to other offerings and while it is probably up there with the best bags it could still be better really.
As for weight and real portability the Red Paddle 9.6 Compact looked about the best (for travel at least) but is really expensive compared to others. I guess you get what you pay for but I couldn't justify it. At least with the 10.6, while it is not great for surfing its a good all-round board that my family can enjoy too.
Cheers,
Jerry


Thanks Jerry,

I do actually own an iSup, but it is 12' (I think) and while it is great fun for paddling/exploring, it is a bit heavy, and the one time I tried it in the surf it didn't really work very well.

The half-board/half-iSup looks promising, but it is also pretty big.

So the Colas/Creek Tripstix sounds promising if it can be surfed.



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