Stand-up paddleboarding is the world’s fastest-growing water sport, and new paddleboarders get their first boards and enter the hobby every day. With the rapid growth of the sport, however, there are many people and businesses looking to make a quick buck by selling cheap, low-quality paddleboards and equipment. Luckily we’ve got you covered, so read on below to learn what are the six most important things you should check when you unbox a new inflatable paddleboard for the first time.
Make sure everything is in the box
When unboxing a new paddleboard, first check to make sure all accessories come with the board is in the box. Many inflatable SUPs come with a complete set of accessories that are important for operating your paddleboard and staying safe when you’re on the water. Hard boards usually don’t have them. It’s important to check this before using so you can be sure you are not missing any parts. If something did miss, you can contact the brand quick and they should be able to give you a good answer.
All SurfStar inflatable paddleboards come with adjustable paddle, hand pump, safety leash, backpack, detachable center fin, a repair kit and water proof phone cases in some models. So users can go paddling right after unboxing.
The inflation valve is one of the most important parts of a stand-up paddleboard, as it’s what allows you to inflate and deflate the board whenever you need to. An easy way to check your inflation valve is to simply start pumping up your paddleboard with the included hand pump. If you hear a hissing noise or feel air coming out of the sides of the valve, it may be defective or loose.
It’s common for the inflation valve to become loose during the packaging and shipping process in getting your paddleboard to you, but luckily this can be easily fixed. Find the small plastic wrench contained in your repair kit, you’ll need it to tighten the inflation valve. Simply press down on the area around the inflation valve, insert the wrench, and then twist the wrench clockwise with pressure on the wrench head until the valve is tight. You can inflate the paddleboard again to make sure you’ve tightened the valve enough.
The surface of the board
When you’re sure everything is in the box with your new inflatable paddleboard, check the surface of your board to make sure you’re satisfied with the material and it doesn’t have any holes in it. The board material should be even and not have any major lumps; these can indicate that the board is warped and may not hold air properly.
This is a great time to take a look at some of the additional features that may be on the surface of your board as well. Every SurfStar paddleboard has bungees to help your gear conveniently strap to the front or back of your board while you’re out on the water, so check to make sure your bungees are in good condition and aren’t frayed or broken
Center fin and paddle
The center fin and paddle are two crucial features of a stand-up paddleboard, as they’re what gives you control over the board and allow you to cruise through the water to wherever you want to go. Inspect your center fin when unboxing your inflatable paddleboard, and make sure it’s able to attach securely to its mounting bracket on the underside of the paddleboard. It can be costly and leave you stranded in the water if your center fin slides out or breaks while you’re out on the lake or ocean.
Inflatable paddleboards usually come with an adjustable paddle that can change lengths based on the height of the user. When receive one, make sure put the paddle together for the first time make sure all pieces works well. If your paddle becomes stuck at a length that’s too long or short, there may be an issue. You don’t want to go paddling with a problematic paddle and ruin your paddling trip. so it’s better to make sure everything works well from the beginning.
The most important thing in any paddleboarding setup is safety, Which includes a board that doesn’t leak air and an ankle leash. It is important to inflate your board to required PSI(usually 15 psi) and let it sit for a day and see if it deflates, or you can spread socap water on the whole board and see if there is any bubbles pop up(that is where the air leaks).
Before you go out on your board for the first time, check to make sure your ankle leash can securely attach to your ankle and the paddleboard by putting it on.
These help you stay above the water and close to your board if you fall off and can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.
One safety feature that isn’t mentioned often enough is a non-slip deck pad. Having a high-quality deck pad is important for any paddleboarder, especially one who wants to surf, race, or take on whitewater rapids. You can feel the deck pad of your board to make sure it’s grippy and not worn down, but the only way to make sure it’ll work well is to test it out and get out on the water!
A good deck pad should have enough grip to keep you from slipping off the board when it’s wet, but should still be comfortable enough for you to stand on it barefoot for extended periods of time. This will get worn down quicker than anything else on your board so make sure it’s high-quality from the beginning.
Buying a paddleboard and getting into the hobby can be intimidating at times, but when you commit to it, it can be a fulfilling and incredibly enjoyable! A quick check of all the important pieces of equipment in your paddleboard when unboxing can help you familiarize yourself with the equipment and make sure everything you ordered is there and in good condition. Spending the time to do this at first can pay off in the long run as you use and maintain your paddleboard. Good luck!