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How To: Inflate an Inflatable Paddle Board

A Paddle North Portager's inflation valve.

Inflating your inflatable paddle board is a breeze! Follow the steps below and the whole process should take about five minutes with a hand pump. 

Inflating an Inflatable Paddle Board

1. Roll the board out onto a level surface with the pad facing up, clear of any obstructions.

2. Attach the hose onto your pump (if it is not already). If there are two spots to secure on the pump, fasten it to the “out” nozzle. Also, make sure you have a gauge to determine the pressure of the board.

Inflatable paddle board valve with the cap removed

3. Unscrew the valve cap. The valve should be up in the “closed” position. In this position, it will allow air into the board, but not out.

End of a pump hose. Notice the design allows you to insert the hose and lock it into place with a twist!

4. With the end of the hose that looks like the one above, place it over the white valve and twist it clockwise until it locks into the slot.

Inflation valve with a pump hose attached

5. Begin to the pump the board up. Keep your feet planted on the base of the pump and your hands toward the middle of the handles.     

6. Periodically check the gauge to see how much pressure the board is sitting at. The board should have the desired pressure range printed around the valve, like pictured above. The recommendation for the Paddle North Portager inflatable board is 15-18 PSI. Many paddlers will fill their board to 8-10 PSI and have great results. However, the higher the pressure, the better the performance you will have on the water. 

7. When you have reached the desired air pressure, twist the end of the hose attached to the board and pull the hose out. There will be a slight hiss of air, but if the valve was in the closed position, it should stop.

8. Screw the valve cap back into place.  

Deflating an Inflatable Paddle Board

1. With the board on a flat surface, unscrew the valve cap and push down on the white valve and give a slight clockwise twist with your thumb until it locks into place. The air will hiss out of the valve immediately.

Opening and closing the valve is as easy as pushing the valve down and twisting.

2. Starting at the end of the board furthest away from the valve, roll the board as tightly as you desire. You may have to pause and push the area in front of the roll to help the air out of the board.

3. When you get to the valve, screw the cap back on, but leave the valve in the open position. 

For storage, we recommend using a strap or bungee cord to keep the board in a tight roll. Load it into a duffel bag or backpack and you are ready to take it wherever your paddling takes you!  


This edition of How To: Paddle North is written by Cory Alford, content provider and Operations Manager for Paddle North. 


Keith Nettesheim

Hi, I bought the SUP for my girlfriend for Christmas and I believe there may be something wrong with the pump. She pumps and pumps and can’t get over 8 psi. The pump is almost as hard to pull up as it is to push down. Seems like a lot of work to blow this thing up. Please advise;

Thank you


Are your inflatable paddle boards only good on flat water? What about on windy days or choppy water…would the inflatable board still be safe to ride?

karl boettner

I heard there was an electric pump available to purchase?

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