Setting up your new Red Paddle Inflatable Paddle Board
So you’ve purchased, or are thinking about purchasing, a Red Paddle Co inflatable SUP. Well, in this video guide and article, we run through the basics of how to set up your Red Paddle board and get you on the water quickly and safely!
Now the first thing I’m going to do is open up this box, and get the package out so we can take a look at what’s inside. So I’ve now unpacked the components of my package and I’m left with my board here, in this white bag, which has my pump inside within the bag. I’m left with my leash in the bottom, along with my repair kit and there’s my paddle in the back along with the RSS battens for this 9’8″ Ride. We’ll have a little look at how we set those up shortly but for now I’m going to unroll the board, how we can get it inflated.
Now that I’ve taken the pump out of my board, I’m left with my board ready to be inflated and you should be left with some packaging. Both the fin protectors and the paper that you found on your board can be recycled in household recycling and the bag that your board came in is a biodegradable bag, so i can get rid of these.
What we’re going to do now is take a look at the pump and how you can get this set up ready to inflate. Now there’s two attachments on the side of your pump, both a handle and a hose, and we need to remove both of these from the elastic straps and secure these into place. The handle goes through the opening on top of your pump and is pushed into position, and then the hose, once I’ve released this needs to be fixed into the front of your pump. Now this uses a HR (Halkey-Roberts) fitting and that simply lines up with the notches inside the opening, pushes right back, and then is twisted clockwise if you’re facing it to secure it in place. We’re then left with the same fitting on the other end that needs to be attached into the valve on your board.
So the valve on your board will be secured with a dust cap. We need to turn this anti-clockwise to remove, and then we’re left with the fitting for the hose. Now there is a pin in the center of your valve which can be in an up and down position and we can change this by turning it 90 degrees, and it secures it in place. At the moment this is open. I need to make sure my valve is in the closed or up position for when I’m inflating the board to avoid any air escaping when i remove my hose. So i’m going to secure this in place by lining up the holes, and then turning it clockwise while pushing down, and that is now secured in place ready for me to pump.
Inflating the board
Now I’m nearly ready to start pumping. I just need to push the Titan 2 Pump feet down for me to hold the pump in place and make sure this lever is in the rear position. This means that when I start inflating, it’s using both the chambers to inflate my board pushing lots of volume so we can get it up to pressure nice and quickly. Now that my pump is set up i can start. Now I’m going to start by using the lever and pulling it all the way to the top and pushing it all the way down being sure to use the full length of the pistons moving from top to bottom.
As this board uses our RSS battens, I’m going to pump to 1 PSI and then we’re going to take a look at how we can insert them. Now my board is at 1 PSI, I’m ready to insert my rss battens. I’m going to grab these out of the bag and I’m going to disconnect my pump so i can turn my board on its side to insert them. Now there are two RSS battens, one for each rail, and what these do is add to the rigidity of the board, making your board super stiff and super stable.
So the batten pocket works from front to back. I’m going to take the end of the batten without the tag, and pop this in to the opening, and then feed this in. The easiest way to do this is to secure one hand on the end of the pocket and then keeping your other hand nice and close, feed it in in short sharp motions, until the batten is fully inserted all the way into the pocket.
When your board is brand new, the batten pockets can be a little bit stiff, so you may need to straddle the board and face towards the rear whilst inserting the battens. To make it a little bit easier, you can also wet the battens with some water to make them a little bit more lubricated, make it that little bit easier to insert them.
So I’m now around 5 PSI, and it’s become difficult for me to pump. That is an indication that it’s time for me to move to just one chamber. This is going to make it nice and easy to inflate my board to higher pressures. Now we can inflate our board anywhere from 15 to 22 psi and this is dependent on your weight as a paddler or the conditions you’re going out in. So if you’re lighter, you could put less PSI in. If you’re heavier more, and if the conditions are windy and choppy, we want to put more PSI. But if it’s a nice calm day, we can put less PSI in. So I’m going to aim for 15 PSI with this board.
So the lever is currently in the back position, which means it’s using two chambers. I now want to push to one chamber which will make it much easier to pump. So the last green section on your gauge indicates the minimum and maximum pressure that you need to put into your board, and I’ve added 15 PSI into this one.
Installing the fins
Now that my board is fully inflated, I may need to set up my fins depending on which board i have. This is the 9’8″ Ride and it comes with our iFins. These are permanently on the board, so I don’t need to worry about setting these up. And the great thing about this, is they bend and flex and I’m good to go once I’ve inflated the board.
If you have a Voyager or a Sport, these use a US fin box. If you use our Compact, they use our Click fin system. We’re gonna have a quick look at how we go about setting these up. So if you have a Sport or a Voyager board, they’re going to use a US fin box. Now the Voyagers take two 8″ touring fins into two separate fin boxes. This is our Sport which uses an individual 9″ touring fin.
All that means is you need to secure your fin using this thin bolt that you’ll find at the end. Now the first thing to do is unscrew the lug from the base plate, so I can pop the base plate into my fin box. Then I’m going to drop this base plate into the opening in the center of the fin box. What I’m then going to do, is slide this base plate down to the front of the fin box so it’s ready in position to secure my fin. Now at the back of the fin, you’ll find a guiding pin and this needs to drop down into that center hole and move into the runner so you can slide the fin to the back of the box it’s important to make sure your fin is the right way round and it needs to be sweeping towards the back of your board. The fin is going to help you track and glide much easier.
So I can now push my fin down, and I’m going to take the lug and then screw it back into that base plate that’s secured in the fin box. I’m going to screw it all the way up, so it’s nice and tight and my fin is secured in place. I’ve secured my fin. That’s now ready to go, I’m ready to hit the water if i’m riding a sport.
Now this next fin system is our Click fin and you’ll find these on any of the Compact boards. To insert these, what you need to do is pop the fin in, with the guiding nodules into the grooves. So it initially needs to go down, so I’m going to push this down, and then I need to push it back and that’s going to click it into place making it secure. Now as a secondary securing device, there is a pin that needs to go through the opening in the back of the board. So I’m going to pop that through there, and then at the front of the board there is a grub screw. I’m going to use my fin key that you’ll find in your service kit to tighten up So it’s secured in place. I can then do this with my other fin and then I’m ready to hit the water.
Attaching the leash
Now that my board is inflated and my fins are assembled, it’s time to attach my SUP leash to my board. Now some packages come with an ankle leash as standard, but it’s important you make sure you have the right leash for hitting the water with.
The ankle leash is appropriate for still water or heading out into the sea. If you’re thinking about heading out into moving water or a river or an estuary, it’s really important you wear a waist belt. So the first thing to do is to tether my leash to the board. Now the leash does come with a string tether here, but I can actually attach this straight to the board by undoing this first section of velcro, peeling back the next layer, and then there’s a final third layer that I can loop around. Remove this thread because I’m not going to use this, and what I’m going to do is feed this into this d-ring and ensure that it’s secured in place. The back webbing part here can now reapply the velcro to the first layer, second layer and then finally the third layer and my leash is secured in place.
Now to secure the leash around my ankle. I’m going to apply the cuff, making sure it’s firmly in place. I can then tension the velcro, making sure it’s nice and secure and not moving anywhere. It’s always useful to have the leash end at the rear of your foot, so you don’t get tangled while paddling.
Setting up the paddle
Now that my board is fully inflated my fins are attached and the leash is in place, I just need to get my engine sorted and that is the paddle. So if you have a three piece paddle, you’ll find it secured in its allocated place in the back of the bag. I’m going get this out by undoing the velcro and sliding out, and as the name says it is literally in three pieces. The first thing I’m going to do is connect the bottom section, this is the blade section, to the middle shaft section. Now these pieces are tethered together, so I’m going to pop it in place, and I’m going to press the push pin on the lower half in, to allow it to slide in. Then I should hear it click into place. The I just need to secure the lower cam lock.
Now when you first secure this, you may find that you need to adjust the cam lock so it’s in the correct position and also adjust the screw. Using a Phillips head screwdriver to make sure there is enough tension through the gate to secure it, but it’s not too loose.
So I’ve now assembled the lower section to the middle section and I just need to insert the top section. To do this I need to undo the top gate. I’m going to undo that, and then insert – lining up the groove the anti-twist groove – I’m going to slide it down, and then i can close the gate. Again, making sure there’s enough tension through it. If I need to add some, I can use a Phillips head screwdriver to do so.
Now before I hit the water, it’s important to make sure the paddle is the right height for me. I can do that by simply just putting my arm above my head, nice and relaxed, and I should land on top of the handle. So for this one, I’m going to increase the height a little bit. So just undo the gate, slide it up and then close it. I’m happy with that height for me.
Ultimately the paddle should feel comfortable for you. You also have this alternative option to do a loose shaka out on top of your head, and that should line up with the top of the handle. You can take note of the number that your top section is at, for when you go back to hit the water.
Ready to stand up paddle board
So there we have it. We have inflated our board, assembled our paddle, attached our leash and fins, and we’re pretty much ready to hit the water. The last, and one of the most important things to do is make sure we’re clued up with all the relevant safety information that we need to go out in the water with. Now the first one is making sure that you have a secondary flotation device that can be anything from a buoyancy aid or life vest to a paddling pfd. It’s discrete safety belt that if you do get into trouble, you can pop over your head and inflate.
We’re super excited to have you as part of our community and share many adventures out on the water with you. Happy paddling! If you need any more assistance in setting up your board, paddle, leash, or with any other questions, email us, or call us on 1-888-252-4983.