SUP School: How-To's

The Pau Hana SUP School is a series of "How-To" videos for learning the basics and fundamentals of stand up paddle boarding. We provide expert advice from an industry pioneer, Todd Caranto, in the sport of stand up paddle boarding. He was the first to win Outside Magazine's "Gear of the Year" award for Stand Up Paddle Boards and continues to create new advances in components, construction, and technology.

We hope that this helps you answer any questions you have involving Stand Up Paddle Boarding. If you have any questions or want to see something that we don't have, please leave a comment with what you want and we will try and make a video for you.

Our goal is to get you the information you need to get on the water with ease so you can enjoy your Pau Hana time!

Inflating your SUP

How To: Inflate A Stand Up Paddle Board

This how-to explains the basic set up & break down of an inflatable stand up paddle board using the new 2018 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.

1. Unpacking The Inflatable SUP

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.

7. Deflating & Packing The SUP

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

Positioning the fin


How To: Position a fin on a SUP

Positioning a fin on a SUP can require alot more detail than you may think! Taking it from the front to the back, it can drastically change the way you ride. Check out our infographic below for more details.


Installing the fin

Step 1: Put the square washer onto the end of the screw

Step 2: Hold the screw and lower the washer into the track

Step 3: Slide the washer forward

Step 4: Lower the dowel into the track and slide it back

Step 5: Lower the front of the fin and line up the hole in the top to the hole in the washer

Step 6: Drop the screw in through the hole and tighten into the washer

Step 7: Tighten only a turn and an half to two times after making contact with the bottom

Tip: When ever the fin is removed from the board, always put the screw and washer back into the track so it doesn't get lost.

Installing side bites


Step 1: Backout the nut from the side bite fin box, but not all the way, just enough so the fin can slide in without hanging on the screw nut.

Step 2: Slide the fin into the back notch and lower the front in.

Step 3: Tighten the screw so that it's snug but not too tight to prevent stripping. Depending on the type of paddling you are planning on doing determines whether or not you need them. In the surf it will pull your board around and turn easier, and on flat water, it will keep you moving straighter.

Repairing an open ding

How to field repair an open ding:

Step 1: Dry the board and ding

Step 2: Get clear packing tape, do not use duck tape

Step 3: First layer, start taping over the ding vertically from left to right, overlapping the tape, leave about a 1" margin

Step 4: Second layer, Tape horizontally from the back to the front, overlapping the tape, leave about a 1" margin

Carrying an SUP


Step 1: With two hands, lift the tail end of the board.

Step 2: Flip the board bottoms up

Step 3: Lift overhead and walk your hands down to the center of the board.

Step 4: From the center of balance, lift the nose off of the ground.

installing a leash

Step 1: Insert the leash cord into the cup

Step 2: Use the cup closest to your back foot in a surf stance

Step 3: Open the velcro straps

Step 4: Insert the velcro strap through the cord loop to the crease

Step 5: Fold and press the velcro together

To Purchase 10' coil leash: CLICK HERE

how to adjust a paddle

Learn how to properly adjust your paddle to the correct length for each type of rider.

Step 1: Vertically stand paddle with blade on the ground and handle in the air.

Step 2: Push in metal button on the shaft of the paddle.

Step 3: Pull top of handle to the middle of the palm of your hand.

Step 4: Make sure that the button clicks out at a new hole to insure that the paddle is secure.

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