Many paddleboard enthusiasts choose to purchase an inflatable stand up paddleboard (iSUP) for the convenience and portability that an iSUP offers. Sure, an iSUP fits easily in the trunk of a car when not in use, but many iSUP owners also choose an inflatable board to allow them to travel with their iSUP to great SUP destinations around the world.
Here at Airhead SUP, we sell a variety of iSUP boards, all of which roll up neatly and fit into a mesh storage bag, along with their collapsible paddle. With a SUP that can roll up into a duffel bag that’s easy to travel with, there's nothing to stop you taking your iSUP along on every vacation!
So what do you need to know if you're planning a vacation and want to bring your board along? Read on for our best tips for a smooth travel experience when flying with your inflatable SUP!
(1) Airline Baggage Limits
If you're planning to fly with your iSUP, the first thing to do is check the baggage size and weight limits for the airline you will be using. For example, most airlines have a 50 pound weight limit per checked bag, but there are variations among the major carriers and you should confirm the information for your flight to avoid surprises at the airport. Also check the applicable height and length dimensions that the airline utilizes. You may need to roll your iSUP in a slightly different way than you normally would to keep it under these limits and avoid being charged an oversized bag fee.
(2) Protect the Pump, Fins, and Paddle
When checking your iSUP, you'll most likely want to pack your pump and paddle in a separate suitcase to give them some protection.
Most pumps can be disassembled if necessary, allowing for the hose, pump, and gauge to be packed separately. We suggest wrapping each piece in a soft item for protection and using a plastic bag to keep any smaller parts organized. Although the fins can fit inside the mesh bag we include with the SUP, you can protect them further by tucking them into your suitcase, around the edges of other items, or laid flat in the bottom.
Similarly, the paddle (although it also fits in the mesh bag once broken down) can be protected during air travel packing it inside your suitcase. Just like the pump, you may want to wrap the blade of the paddle in a shirt or other soft item to minimize damage during travel. Also, be sure to check ahead of time to make sure the sections of your paddleboard will fit inside the bag you plan to use for air travel!
(3) Research Rules for your Destination
Before you leave for your trip, be sure to research the applicable rules and regulations that may affect your SUP adventures. For example, some places require paddleboard users to wear specific types of life jackets while boarding, while other locations require them only for children under a certain age or not at all. You will want to know what’s required ahead of time and pack accordingly or plan to rent your PFDs from a local outfitter once you reach your destination.
The beauty of an iSUP is how easy it is to transport, so there’s no reason not to take your iSUP along on your next vacation! If you follow the instructions above, you should only have to check one extra bag when traveling, meaning you can keep the associated costs to a minimum. With just a little bit of planning, you will be able to enjoy your iSUP in a wide variety of new locations. Shop our assortment today to pick the right iSUP for your next adventure!