An ISUP is short for “Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard”. ISUP is a great option for people that are challenged with the storage and transport of a traditional rigid style SUP. ISUP can easily be rolled out and inflated for use and deflated, rolled up, stored in carrying backpack and loaded into car. Much easier for outdoor enthusiasts that do not have a large vehicle with a rack for transport and limited storage space at home.
What is an ISUP?
Is an ISUP worth it?
The ISUP has become a very desirable option for outdoor enthusiasts looking to get out on the water that do not have storage space for a rigid board and or a vehicle that can transport a rigid board. Advancements in construction have made the ISUP a great option. Drop Stitch construction that connects the top and bottom surface of the board is a must. The Jimmy Styks “Dual Layer Fusion” is this type of construction.
Can I surf an ISUP?
An ISUP can be used in the surf on an entry/recreational level basis. The traditional longboard style shape being the best option for a surf ISUP as it will have the best design features for success in the surf. A nice feature of the ISUP is that when you fall on the board while in the learning process it is not hard and rigid, and a softer impact is the result. Enjoy your ride!
Does SUP help learning to surf?
Stand Up Paddling will most definitely help you learning to surf. The balance skills acquired from SUP will give you a solid base when learning to surf. Learning to surf on a SUP is also a bit easier than traditional surf because you are already standing so all you must do is catch the wave. Remember to always practice proper “Surf Etiquette” while out surfing with others!
Is SUP easier than surfing?
Stand Up Paddling is much easier to learn than surfing and will give you a much better full body work-out. New paddlers should make sure to be on a board that is conducive to learning with the correct board dimensions. A board that measures 10’-11’ long and with a minimum width of 32” is a must for board stability for new paddlers.
What fin set up is best for my SUP?
The Fin Set Up is a crucial feature on your Stand-Up Paddleboard. The most common set up is the Tri Fin. This fin set up consists of a standard longboard fin box center and two side bite fins. The side bite fins are typically toed in at the leading edge and placed ahead of the center box and close to the rail. This placement is great for surfing but in recreational paddling outside the surf zone it is unnecessary as it creates drag and reduces glide between paddle strokes. The best side bite placement for paddling outside the surf zone is parallel to the board center line. This allows for great tracking with added board glide.
The Single Fin set up is the other most common option. The single fin set up is most commonly seen on Touring/Flatwater boards. The reason being it is the most efficient. The most common fin size being 9”-10” long. The fin size is very important here as a fin that is too short can result in sideways drift when the wind picks up a bit.
Remember, if you are not surfing shop for a board with a single fin. River SUPs do offer Tri Fin set ups with short fins for navigation of shallow rivers but outside of this application a Tri Fin set up is unnecessary.
Do I need to wear a life jacket when I paddleboard?
The US Coast Guard does consider a stand up paddleboard as a watercraft. It is required that you wear or have on your board a Coast guard approved life jacket or personal flotation device. As always check local waterway regulations and please paddle responsibly.
WATCH: How to enjoy SUP safely
How do I select the right paddleboard for me?
If you are a newcomer to the world of paddleboarding, you are probably asking yourself this question.
This is an important question to consider when making a decision as to what to purchase. A few items to think about before buying: how do you plan on using the board, what is your riding ability, what type of board durability are you looking for, and where the board is likely to be used and store?
The rail curve, or board shape, affects the turning capabilities of the board. A curvier shape will generate a tighter turning radius with less stability, whereas a straighter shape will produce greater stability with less maneuverability.
Rocker refers to the upward "bending" of the nose and tail when lying the board flat. Boards have varying degrees of rocker depending on the board type. A flatter rocker will increase glide on still water while an increased rocker will produce optimal planning on wind chopped water. Boards with greater nose rocker will be more forgiving on waves but will be slower and more unstable on flat water. In general, boards with a lot of nose and tail rocker are used for wave riding rather than cruising.
When deciding on a SUP, choosing a board with adequate volume can be the difference between a board that glides smoothly on the surface versus one that just sinks! Selecting a board with proper volume is influenced by three key variables, board type, rider weight, and skill level. Volume is less critical for inflatable boards (weight limit is more important) versus our Ironhide or Epoxy boards. Riders at a more advanced skill level may be capable of paddling boards below their weight tier.
What are the differences between SUP paddles?
There are some fundamental things to consider when choosing a paddle. Here are the basics:
- ALUMINUM PADDLES: Known for their durability and affordability, aluminum paddles offer the best "bang for buck."
- CARBON FIBER PADDLES: Carbon fiber paddles are the preferred paddle among experienced riders. This ultra-light paddle is great for long paddle sessions and for reducing paddling fatigue. The trade-off for performance is durability.
- ADJUSTABLE LENGTH PADDLES: Adjustable length paddles are the go-to solution for SUPs used by multiple users or riders that are unsure of their preferred shaft length. These paddles can be adjusted for length via a shaft locking mechanism.
- TRAVEL PADDLES: Similar to adjustable length paddles, travel paddles can be temporarily sized and resized via a shaft locking mechanism. In addition, the travel paddle can be further broken down into 2 separate pieces for easier transport.
Do Jimmy Styks Paddles Float?
All Jimmy Styks paddles have added cork that will allow them to float for a limited time, but it is still best to be sure and test it before each use. This is a good practice to get in especially if you own a 2 or 3 piece paddle. Adjustable paddles do not have a complete seal. They can take on water over time. Ensure the paddle shaft is free from water and that the adjustable connection points are completely secure before going out on the water.
Does Jimmy Styks offers an Electric Pump option?
Unfortunately, at this time we do not have any electronic pumps and we haven’t tested the effectiveness of third-party pumps. We found an interesting article on the top 3 Electric pumps available here.
There is some good information. The adapter we use is a Halkey-Roberts Valve, which is what will need to be included on the end of an electronic pump.
Maintenance & Care
What’s the best way to store your Inflatable SUP?
The best way to store your inflatable SUP is to make sure it is dry, then deflate it after each use and store in the included board bag in a cool dry place.
ISUPs can be left inflated for a couple days without any issues but be sure to drop the pressure a bit by releasing a small amount of air pressure while not in use. While this may be a slight inconvenience to pump back up to the recommended pressure before next use it will ensure best care protocol for your ISUP. Keep the board out of direct sunlight for an extended period of time to reduce exposure to UV sunlight.
Can I leave my board inflated?
You can leave your ISUP inflated while on a trip to eliminate inflating each day, but it is best to drop pressure a bit at the end of the day by letting a small amount of air out. To re-inflate should only take a minute but will be much better for board life.
Note: Heat can cause the air inside the board to expand beyond the internal pressure limits of the board. Always be aware of where your board is resting when not on the water.
How do I store my epoxy board?
Always store your board in a cool/dry place when not in use. Do not store your epoxy board in direct sunlight as it increases the risk of overheating which will expand the EPS foam core and cause the board to delaminate and compromise the construction.
During the winter, we recommend trying to keep your boards from freezing. In certain climates, it may not be possible. In these environments, it is very important to make sure your board is completely dry before storing. Remove the Vent Cap for the winter, and store in a safe place (you will need it for the next paddling season). Any water that entered the board through cracks or open vents during the paddling season has the possibility of freezing and expanding during cold temperatures.
How do I transport my epoxy board?
There are a number of aftermarket car rack accessories available to transport a rigid board. Be sure to secure the board properly and make sure your board is placed with the deck of the board facing down. Do not leave on board on rack to bake in the sun!
Can my board be repaired?
Dings and cracks happen and are considered everyday wear and tear. Wear and tear is damage that naturally and inevitably occurs as a result of normal everyday use. Boards can invariably get dinged or damaged.
In the event, your board does get dinged and it penetrates thru the outer epoxy/glassing skin and into the foam core, you need to get it repaired before taking it back in the water or you risk getting water in the board. For a quick fix, you can use packing tape over the ding to seal the board watertight. This is a short term only solution and board must be repaired ASAP to ensure long board life. Long term, you will want to either repair the damage yourself or get it professionally repaired.
To repair it yourself, we highly recommend using Solarez epoxy repair resin. It is a tube of resin that you squeeze into a hole in your board.
- You first need to prepare the hole in your board. Cut out all of the loose and cracked fiberglass and foam with a utility knife.
- Board must be dry!
- Once it's a "clean" hole, find a place out of the sun and squeeze the Solarez into the hole.
- Next, take it out in the sun and let it cure/dry in direct sunlight for about 5 minutes.
- Once it dries, sand it down to match the original form of the board.
In the event, your board does get a puncture in the PVC drop-stitch material, make any repairs before taking it out on the water using the included repair kit. Each Jimmy Styks inflatable board comes with a repair kit that includes colored PVC patches and PVC glue.
- Prepare the area around the hole by ensuring it is clean and dry. Use rubbing alcohol to achieve this.
- Cut the proper color PVC patch slightly bigger than the hole to ensure that it gets sealed properly.
- Apply some of the included glue (we recommend wearing gloves) to the PVC patch.
- Place the patch over the hole firmly and let dry for 24-hours before taking out on the water.
I need to replace the Bungee/Shock cord on my Board:
Exposure to the elements and regular use will take a toll on the bungee/shock cord as it likely to received maximum exposure to UV rays. We use the same standard bungee/shock cod found in most hardware stores. While you may not find the specific color, the best option is to go with the Black stock 4mm diameter cord.
The majority of boards with this feature have a bungee at least 325 cm / 128 inches in length. When possible, be sure to measure your old cord as to match the original length.
I think I got water inside my epoxy board. Should I drill a hole to drain it?
Before drilling any holes, we actually suggest trying a shop vac on your board. First, you need to know where the water is getting in. The tell-tale sign will be bubbling or foaming on the surface around a crack or ding when the board is placed in the sun. If you’re unable to find where the water may have gotten in, we suggest taking it to a specialty shop. Many specialty shops are able to assess the board and use a pump to remove water. If you do decide to drill a hole in the board, use a layer of epoxy to seal the board back up.
Can I replace the Helkey-Roberts valve on my inflatable board?
Yes by using the included Halkey-Roberts wrench you will be able to remove the male component of the valve (top). The female part (bottom) sits freely and is not connected to the SUP. The two valve parts are to be tightened together with the PVC sandwiched in between. Before installing the new valve, be sure that the surface is clean and free of debris.
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