This how-to explains the basic set up & break down of an inflatable stand up paddle board using the Big EZ Air inflatable stand up paddle board as a sample. These instructions should work for any board that uses a Halkey-Roberts (HR) Valve and uses a double action pump to inflate the board. If you are not sure what type of valve or pump you have then call the maker of your SUP or look at the pictures in this post.
There’s nothing too special about this part. Simply unzip the backpack and check to see if there are any straps securing the rolled up board in the bag. If so, unclip them or untie the knots. Then, roll the inflatable board out so that the top of the board is facing up since that is the side with the pump insertion areas. We recommend not inserting the fin until the board is fully inflated because it makes it awkward to inflate the board. It is also hard on the fin.
Open the pump insertion area. On our boards, this is located underneath the pad and is secured with velcro. To access it, simply pull on the edge of the flap.
Unscrew the plastic cap by turning it counter-clockwise. You should now see a small little nib.
Test this by gently pushing down on the nib. Return to the upright position if its too far down. This is probably the most important part of inflating a SUP. All your hard work will be lost if the nib is pushed down while pumping.
After you are certain that the nib is up. Grab your pump and attach the hose to the pump to the side that says “out” molded into the plastic. This can sometimes be difficult to see. If your pump does not have the label then when you try to pump you will feel a lot of resistance.
From here, simply take the pump hose and push it into the inflatable valve on the board and turn clockwise to insure a proper seal. Then, just pump up and down.
If your pump includes a small little red plug on the pump, keep this in unless the pump becomes too difficult to pump. If it does then unscrew the red plug. This will make the pump easier to pump, but will take longer to pump the board up.
Do this until the board reaches around 15-18 PSI. If you are going to be paddling in cold water, then take the board and put it into the water and reinsert your pump hose and continue pumping until it re-reaches 18 PSI. Once the desired PSI is reached, unscrew the pump hose and replace the plastic valve cover. If your board’s valve is underneath the pad like it is on the new Pau Hana inflatables, then make sure that it is velcroed back.
Most Inflatables come with an interchangeable fin fin box and a hand screw for convenience. To install the fin, simply put the notch of the fin into the center of the fin box and slide it either forward or backward depending on what sort of paddling you are going to do. Make sure that the metal screw plate is ahead of the fin. For more information on fin placement, check out our infographic below!
Once you find the right location for your fin, use the hand screw to push the plate until its hole aligns with the hole in the fin. Then, simply take the hand screw and push it down and screw it in clockwise until it is tight.
It is a good idea to store your inflatable SUP deflated to help prolong the life of your board. It is a good idea to already have your board clean of sand or other things before you deflate your stand up paddle board because it will be more difficult to get off the board once it is deflated.
To do this, find a relatively flat area and take out the fin. We recommend taking out the hand screw and placing it in the repair kit so it doesn’t accidentally get lost during deflation or latter handling. Then, open the flap in the pad if your board has one and unscrew the plastic valve cover. Then, push in on the nib and while still applying pressure turn it so it locks in the down position. The air should instantly begin to leave and the board should naturally deflate.
Once the board is no longer deflating naturally, it is is a good idea to go to the end of your board opposite the valve and push out the rest of the air with your arms which will make rolling up the inflatable easier. Once that is done, go to the end of the board with the valve and roll the back end once over so that the fin box will be its own roll and then simply keep flipping the board until it is in a roll. If you have a retaining strap then you may want to retie the board together, but it really will not matter much once the board is in the bag.
That’s it! Your inflatable is ready to go anywhere with you!
If you’re interested in purchasing a Pau Hana inflatable, check them out here