How to a SUP for Travel

July 17, 2022 4 min read

If you're planning to take your inflatable SUP on vacation, there are several things to consider before you begin packing your board. Make sure you pack a travel bag with all of your essential items and include the deflated paddleboard, three-piece paddle, repair kit, fins, leash, and repair kits. Once your board is packed, be sure to carefully check that nothing is missing and that it will arrive safely at your destination.

Inflatable Paddle Boards

The best inflatable paddle boards for travel are those that roll up small enough to be checked as a carry-on luggage or stored in a suitcase. They also make the perfect travel accessories as they are easily portable, durable, and storable. Here are the essential features to look for in inflatable paddle boards:

Lightweight: Inflatable paddle boards are much lighter than traditional paddleboards, so they are easier to carry over long distances. A lightweight inflatable paddle board, such as the Atoll paddle board, can be carried by two young girls. Although some people question the rigidity of inflatable SUPs, they can be easily carried and handle weight. And if you're planning on using your inflatable paddle board for other activities, they'll prove to be an excellent investment.

Traveling With An Inflatable Paddle Board

Inflatable paddle boards are made to be portable, but storing them properly is important to prevent damage. The board should be stored partially or fully inflated in a backpack, and the paddle should be wrapped in a soft item to prevent damage during transport, for example when traveling with SUP by plane. The hose from the pump should be rolled up so that it can be stored in the backpack without getting damaged. It is important to follow airline regulations for storage, as air travel bags often get abused.

Most paddle boards can fit in a small car trunk, but you should make sure you have enough rooftop space for the board. You can strap multiple boards to a car with an extra roof space, but a 4 door vehicle will be best. A two door vehicle will stick out like a sore thumb and will drive slower due to wind shear. An existing hard rack on the roof is ideal for strapping a board to.

Packing a Board Bag

There are many things to remember when packing a board bag for travel. While packing multiple boards is tricky, you can use a single board bag instead of a set of two and use the space for clothes and wetsuits. It's also a good idea not to put sharp objects or heavy items in the bag, such as a repair kit. Regardless of how well you pack your board bag, you should always weigh it first.

A good board bag should have a compartment for extra accessories and at least one of each. You'll likely have one of everything, and it's a good idea to have a spare in case you need it. If you don't have a board bag, you can always borrow a board and some accessories. However, if you're not sure what to pack, you should buy at least one of each type of accessory, as there's always the possibility of being stuck without one of them.

Protecting Your Board

When you're traveling to the beach, you may be tempted to pack your board in a surfboard bag and strap it down. However, it's important to protect your board when transporting it. There's nothing worse than figuring out you've left your board behind, only to have it damaged or ruined. To prevent this, you should always pack your board in a backpack or travel bag that can protect it from damage.

You can also purchase a board bag, which usually has internal straps. If it doesn't come with internal straps, you can purchase an adjustable nylon strap to secure it. In case of a snag, you can attach your contact information on the luggage tag. Similarly, you can pack extra clothes and towels inside the bag to provide additional cushioning for the board. Adding a board sock will further protect your board during transportation.

Choosing a Paddle

There are a few factors to consider when choosing a paddle for travel. One of the most important is the material. The best paddles are made of carbon fiber, but fiberglass is a good compromise between weight and strength. Fiberglass is more durable, but also less light, so you'll want to take that into consideration as well. If you're on a tight budget, an aluminum alloy paddle will work just fine. However, carbon fiber is the lightest paddle material, and the best ones will cost you a lot.

Similarly, the size of the blade is important. Women will usually choose a shorter blade. While longer paddles are better for power strokes, smaller paddles are better for touring and leisure. Adjustable paddles have more options and ensure that they fit your hand perfectly. The longer blade is more expensive than a shorter one, but you'll get a better overall performance. And if you're a beginner, a smaller paddle is a better option than a larger one.

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