The summer of 2021 is upon us and while plans for international travel remain on hold, most signs point to a semi-normal season of exploration within the province, and perhaps across Canada. To get the most of your outdoor recreation on vacation you are looking to bring a stand-up paddleboard (SUP) along for the ride. Not only does it save you money on rentals, it allows you to hone your skills on the water with the equipment you’ll be using season after season, year after year. However, travelling with a paddleboard isn’t quite the same as other recreational gear, such as a prized set of golf clubs. A lot of thought has to go into making your pick or you’ll spend more time dealing with roof straps, heavy lifting, and/or excess baggage fees and less time where you belong - in the water. Below is a breakdown of what you need to look for to make a lifetime of memories with your SUP this summer.
Everything You Need to Look for When Choosing a Stand-Up Paddle Board to Travel With This Summer of 2021
Make It Inflatable
Without a doubt, choose an inflatable stand-up paddleboard (ISUP) over solid boards made of fibreglass and epoxy resin layers over foam (or wood) cores. Transport mobility is the biggest argument in favour of an inflatable in the ISUP vs solid SUP debate. Take Sea Gods’ ISUPs for example, which offer a 29-PSI rated valve and double-action pump that will allow you to transition in and out of inflation so that you can pack up for vacation and unleash the beast when you’re ready to hop in the water at a moment’s notice.
This option lets you take your SUP along on a road trip, a Rocky Mountaineer getaway, or on a flight to the BC coast as it’s tucked into the belly of a harbour plane. With an ISUP your opportunities for exploration are boundless.
Make It All-in-One
Accessories are very important when buying a paddle board for travel.
You can’t rely upon a given destination to have what you need to get the most out of your experiences. You’re buying more than a SUP, but an entire package.
Look for purchase options that include a compatible adjustable paddle, pump, leash, fins, carry-bag (more on this below), and even camera mounts. And given that you have a thirst for adventure on your travels it’s a good idea to find a resource that sells backup accessories and gear as you may damage or lose an important component.
The nearest Walmart to your destination won’t cut it when it comes to availability, compatibility, and selection.
Make It Compact and Convenient
Any ISUP can be rolled up for plane, train, or automobile travel. But what about compact convenience for when you need to get around a destination? Your hotel, vacation rental, or campground won’t necessarily be right on the lake, river channel, or coastline. You may need to walk, hike, or bike your ISUP to the nearest launch. For this reason, you will want to choose an ISUP that comes with a convenient backpack with wheels. This gives you the option to sling it over your shoulders or roll it along when the pathway allows. All Sea Gods ISUPs come with a convenient SUP wheelie backpack bag.
Make It Tough
A lot can happen between points A and B, and when on the sea. No matter how careful you are your travelling ISUP will eventually take its fair share of bumps and bruises. You need confidence that it can hold up to being bumped up on the rocks, mistreated by baggage handlers, or inadvertently slammed by the hatch of your own SUV.
Take a good look at the specs when considering ISUPs, and check for design highlights such as PVC ULF fusion technology and heat moulded seams, UV protective glazing, a strong PSI range for rigidity, double-reinforced PVC rails, and all-around premium materials for surpassed military-grade durability.
Make It Last a Lifetime
Travel this summer of 2021 may be a little challenging, but you’re not just buying a board for today. You need an ISUP that will be there for you on all future travels. We’re talking 2022 and far beyond. While most ISUP manufacturers claim to offer super construction for longevity, be sure to look for information on warrantees. A paddle board for travel is an investment that should pay dividends for years, even decades. Choose an ISUP that comes with a lifetime warranty.