2024 red paddle co racing paddle boards - 2024 range of inflatable race SUP paddle board

What PSI should a Red Paddle Co Board be?

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A Red Paddle Co board is an inflatable stand-up paddleboard, designed for a range of water activities such as paddling, surfing, and yoga. The PSI, or pounds per square inch, of the board refers to the amount of air pressure it contains and is a crucial factor in determining the board’s rigidity and performance.

The recommended PSI for a Red Paddle Co board is 16 to 22 PSI. Which pressure you inflate the board to, can depend on the intended use, style of paddling, and the weight of the paddler, and passengers or cargo.

In general, for lighter weight paddlers (under 180 lbs), you can inflate the board to a lower PSI, such as 16-18. For heavier weight paddlers (over 180 lbs), it is recommended to inflate the board to a higher PSI, such as 18-22. This will ensure optimal rigidity and stability while on the water, while saving you some pumping effort. A lighter paddler won’t put as much energy or weight into the board as they paddle, and can run a lower pressure without sacrificing much stiffness.  Heavier paddlers or paddlers with cargo, will want to inflate the board to a higher pressure to ensure the board is as stiff as possible for best performance.

When paddling in calm conditions, a glassy flat lake or river, you can afford to be a bit lazy and inflate to a lower PSI. If you are paddling in surf or choppy and wavey conditions, inflating to a higher pressure will mean the board is stiffer and therefore more stable. For example, a light paddler on a glassy day who is in a hurry to get out can go to 16 PSI and have a good day. The same paddler on a choppy day may want to inflate to 18 PSI to ensure the board is stiff and stable and performing well. If that paddler is then adding cargo or a passenger, they may want to add another couple PSI.

A heavy paddler will want to add a few PSI to each situation mentioned above, going up to the suggested max PSI of 25. Ultimately, the exact pressure you inflate to can be tailored to the paddler’s preference, conditions, and style, but should always be between 16 and 22 for best performance.

Another factor to keep in mind is the board’s thickness. For Red Paddle Co, they design boards with “thickness for purpose.” Their boards range from 4″ to 4.75″, and to 6″ thick. Smaller boards for lighter paddlers or performance in waves are thinner, all round boards are mid thickness, and the larger touring and racing boards are thicker at 6″ to ensure consistent stiffness throughout the range for expected use and paddler size. Longer boards have more leverage and typically carry larger paddlers, so a thicker construction at the same pressure means an equal stiffness. But that’s getting very technical and beyond the scope of this article.

Inflating the board more than 25 PSI won’t result in much more stiffness or performance and it’ll take longer to inflate, meaning less time on the water, and the valve becomes harder to depress when you’re ready to deflate.

It is important to note that over-inflating the board, especially with electric pumps, can cause damage to the board and decrease the board’s overall performance and longevity. On the other hand, under-inflating the board will make it difficult to maintain balance and control, and generally not much fun to paddle! It is best to use the Titan 2 Pump provided with the board.

In conclusion, finding the correct PSI for your Red Paddle Co board is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and safety on the water. Be sure to follow the recommended PSI range for your specific board model and weight. Regularly checking and adjusting the PSI can also help prolong the life of your board and ensure a smooth paddling experience.

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About the author: Julian Kidd
I have been an avid stand up paddle boarder since 2009. I retired from a decade of professional kiteboarding to focus on SUP. Green Water Sports grew from this love of all things SUP. As well as being a keen paddle boarder, I'm a football fan, closet petrol head, web tinkerer, husband and father.