Here Now: Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboards From Boardworks SUP

inflatable sup tahoe
photo: Brandon Lottman

Stand Up Paddling is getting more popular each year, and Tahoe Mountain Sports finally jumped on-board. We now carry the Shubu, an inflatable stand up paddle board from Boardworks SUP. Shubu stands for “Show Up and Blow Up”, and that’s literally what you do with it. When deflated, it rolls down and fits into an included stuff sack with shoulder straps, so you can wear it as a backpack while you walk or bike to the water. When you get there, pull it out and blow it up with the included pump. Then simply set it on the water and step on. That’s all there is to it!

boardworks sup shubu

We decided to carry the Boardworks SUP Shubu because we love how easy it is to transport, yet it’s still an actual board. It doesn’t feel soft like you think it should for being a blow-up board. This inflatable stand up paddleboard is perfect for lake or river camping trips because you can pack it in your trunk, and it’s great for quick jaunts to your local water when you want a good morning workout but don’t have racks on your car to support a 10-foot hard board. For now, we carry them in three different sizes: 9’2″ and wide, 10’2″ and wide, and the regular width Shubu 10’7″. They pack down to less than three feet in diameter, and they provide great support for hours on end without refilling.

boardworks 3 piece paddle

Since our selection of stand up paddle boards is so travel-friendly,
we figured it best to also carry collapsible SUP paddles and keep packing and stuffing to a minimum. The 3-Piece Carbon Fiber Paddle from Boardworks SUP weighs only 1-lb., 12-oz. and breaks into sections so you can stash it in your pack along with your SUP, or toss it on the front seat and reassemble it quickly. This Carbon Fiber SUP Paddle is so lightweight you barely notice it, making paddling distances less strenuous on the arms and upper-body. The whole point is to have fun while you’re out there, not suffer from over-exertion.

The military grade UV-resistant rubber Boardworks uses for their inflatable SUPs is very durable and more firm than most would expect. You can make your SUP pretty stiff with the included pump, especially since it features a pressure gauge to help you fill it to the appropriate level, but Boardworks recommends topping it off with their K-20 Finishing Pump (sold separately) to get the best possible performance. The K-Pump only weighs two pounds and is less than two feet long, so it’s also easy to transport.

boardworks pfd
shubu center fin

Tahoe Mountain Sports also has Stand Up Paddleboard accessories, so if you were to misplace or break something like, say, your plastic center fin, you can get a replacement fin from us and get right back out on the water. Each inflatable SUP comes with a rubber patch kit for do-it-yourself SUP repairs, but we thought it would be a good idea to also stock up on other things; things that some people consider necessities, and others may call ‘excess’. For example, a Rubber Coiled Calf Leash that secures your board to your body. Depending how you choose to use your board, a leash could be a good idea, or it may not matter so much. River and ocean surfers may appreciate the added security of a leash, but it could get in the way if you were doing SUP yoga or riding more powerful surf where you’d want to be free of any constraints. River surfers would probably also see more use in the Boardworks SUP PFD, which deflates so small it fits in a comfortable waist pack. Call it a fanny pack PFD, if you will. Only this waist pack looks much cooler than the type your mom used to wear to the amusement park.

If you’re into stand up paddling and you haven’t had the chance to try out a Boardworks SUP inflatable stand up paddleboard, do yourself a favor and give one a shot. You may realize how much easier leisure travel is when you can pack up your SUP and wear it on your back or store it in the backseat. And if you’re just getting into Stand Up Paddling, this could be your golden ticket. Save yourself the trouble of dealing with car racks and trying to carefully transport your fragile board to and from the water. Get an inflatable SUP, show up, and blow up!

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