Save Your Sup! Longevity & Your Inflatable

TJ Big Winds Pack your inflatable sup
Kite and sup manager from Big Winds gives the low down on how to pack your inflatable sup.
Global Partner

Did you know to FOLD your inflatable rather than ROLL it when you pack it?  Listen to TJ from Big Winds talk about the do’s and dont’s of inflatable storage and care.

Most people think that when they pack their inflatables they should roll it in order to fit it back into the bag.  However, there are certain perils to packing an inflatable that way. Rolling up your board damages it. Check out this video from Big Winds offering a 90-second tip to save your inflatable sup and make stowing it both efficient and easy.  Check out the easy 1 -2 -3 tips below!

Step 1: Release the Valve

To begin, find a flat surface to lay your board on. Remove the valve cover and brace your ears. Releasing the valve enables the air inside your sup to be released suddenly and loudly. Take your thumb and push the valve stem down as far as you can so that it hits the bottom of the valve chamber. As you hold the stem down, spin it to the right. The valve should lock in the open position, allowing you to do other things as the board deflates.

Step 2: Get All the Air Out

Providing that the board is on a flat surface,  you can either lay down on it (see video), or place your arms down across the center of the board.  This will press the remaining air toward the board’s valve to deflate it completely.  Try not to apply pressure on the board’s seams. For optimum ease of stowing, use your pump. Many pumps are two-way, as in they can pump air out of the board as well as inflate it. Two-way pumps usually have a switch at the pump’s main cylinder. Flip it, connect the hose, and pull the air out.

Step 3: Fold Your Inflatable Sup (Don’t Roll It!)

This is important: big board, small bag.  It’s tempting to roll it and roll it tight. NOT a good idea.  Rolling an inflatable weakens the board’s seams which, eventually, can lead to holes.  Holes mean costly repairs and a reduction in your board’s value. The right way to pack your inflatable is to fold it. For best results, each fold should be approximately 10-12 inches long, or roughly the length of your board’s primary fin box. It may take more than one try to find a fold length that will easily fit into your bag.  Take note where the first fold lands on your board’s deck graphics. It can be a great indicator to ensure successful stowing every time.

Big Winds, Kite Sup Surf retail, Hood River Oregon
Big Winds stays with it all winter! 207 Front Street, Hood River Oregon

Who is Big Winds?

Big Winds is one of the largest kiteboarding, windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding product and accessory shops in the United States today.  Established in 1987 in the Columbia River Gorge in Hood River, Oregon, Big Winds is hosts a staff of experienced players who are supremely passionate about watersports and equipment and who are qualified to offer expert advice on the products within their store any day.  In addition to offering an enormous rental/demo fleet for all levels of riders, the Big Winds windsurf and stand up paddling school is one of the best in the Pacific North West.  Stop by and say ‘hi’ to TJ and the gang to get the information and quality equipment you need for your next great adventure.


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Evelyn O'Doherty, editor & publisher of the new Standup Journal 2.0 is a former school teacher gone rogue. She left her career as a teacher in order to spend more time near or on the water after learning to surf turned her life around (upsidedown?). She is a year-round surfer and paddler living on the eastern tip of Long Island in NY who is a certified SUP instructor, seasoned SUP racer and avid longboard surfer. Evelyn was hired as Online Editor to Standup Journal in 2016. Her passion for the project quickly led to her success and eventually taking over the mag herself in Oct. 2018. Today, as editor, publisher and chief bottle washer at Standup Journal, Evelyn keeps her toes wet writing, traveling, paddling, surfing, and learning to foil. You can find her most days paddling out on Gardiner's Bay or surfing Ditch Plains in Montauk, NY.