Is Higher PSI Better for SUP?

July 27, 2022 3 min read

If you are looking to buy a stand-up paddle board, you may be wondering how high the psi should be. While most single-layer models can handle 12 to 15 psi, double-layer designs can handle upwards of 20 psi. This article will explain how to inflate your SUP with the correct amount of air. Once you understand how much air you need to inflate your SUP, you will be able to find the perfect board for you.

Inflating a Paddle Board

Inflating your paddle board to the correct PSI level is essential for stability. A paddle board with higher PSI is thirty percent stiffer than one with lower PSI. The same board inflated to twenty PSI is fifty-nine percent stiffer than one with ten PSI. This increase in stiffness is important for your safety while paddling in rough water. Inflate your paddle board to the correct PSI level to maximize safety while paddling.

To inflate your paddle board, make sure the valve is in the "outer" position. Doing so protects it from outgoing air and allows inbound air. While pumping, watch the gauge needle. If it spikes to the correct PSI, you've inflated the board correctly. Note that this needle takes time to travel to the proper PSI level. Therefore, you should inflate your paddle board to the proper PSI level before your first session.

Properly Inflating a Paddle Board

It is critical to inflate your paddle board properly to ensure maximum safety and performance. A poorly inflated board is like an underinflated floor - the material will feel wobbly and hard. Consequently, you won't feel secure while paddling. The same thing goes for an incorrectly inflated board. Here are some tips for properly inflating your paddle board. You can also read this paddle board guide to find out more information about paddle board safety and maintenance.

Make sure the air pressure on your paddle board is between 10 to 12 psi. The maximum psi on a paddle board depends on the size and ambient temperature. In temperate climates, 15 to 18 psi is sufficient. In cooler environments, higher pressures are safe. When inflating a paddle board, remember to check the pressure again before using it. The psi in your paddle board will decrease as you store it outdoors.

Inflating a Paddle Board With a Dual Air Pump

Inflating a paddle board requires air. A hand sup pump is a common alternative to a dual air pump. A hand pump comes with a pressure gauge, washer, and hose. To add air to the board manually, paddle board owners pump the air into the inflatable paddle board. As the board fills with air, this process becomes harder and requires more effort. An electric pump, on the other hand, does not require a power source.

To avoid damaging your board, be sure to inflate it to the appropriate pressure. Air pressure should be around 15 psi for most boards. You may have to tighten the valve a bit. If this is the case, you should deflate the paddle board on a flat surface. Once deflated, remove the valve cap and let the air out.

Properly Inflating a Paddle Board With a Dual Air Pump

To inflate a paddle board, first deflate it completely. Then lay it flat and connect the port of the dual air pump to the board's air valve in a clockwise direction. When the pump is inserted, make sure the valve is in the "outer" position. This position seals against outgoing air and allows ingoing air to enter. Otherwise, the board will not inflate and you will have to fix it!

Then, insert the hose into the valve and turn it on. Some boards have a recommended maximum pressure. One example is the Outdoor Master Shark, which recommends 20 psi. The hand pump is used to get the board higher, but you'll need to back off by a few psi from the maximum. If you're not in the sun, you can turn the pump to its lowest setting and let the board inflate by hand.

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