Travel With a SUP: How to Do It

by Flip Flop Wanderers
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Stand Up Paddleboarding, aka SUPping is getting more and more popular. Taking the board out on the most beautiful lakes, rivers, or the ocean is amazing. But how easy is it to take an almost 4-meter long board with you while traveling? Well, it’s much easier than it sounds! We took 2 boards and all the gear with us on a few trips. How? Inflatable boards are the key! In this blog, we tell you all about how to travel with a SUP.

What is SUP?

SUP stands for Stand Up Paddleboard. It is basically a surfboard with a paddle, but the SUP is often bigger than the average surfboard. SUPs come in all different sizes and types. There are hard ones and inflatable ones, yoga SUPs, multiple people SUPS (up to 8 people!) and more. You can go SUPping on a beautiful lake or calm river, but you can also take into the ocean to catch some waves. Everyone can learn how to do it, younger and older people, and it is a great body workout.

Our Gear

We took two inflatable SUPs from Aqua Marina with us while traveling. We have one ‘Atlas’ paddleboard, which is 3,66m long and 84 cm wide (12’0” by 33”). The other paddleboard is the Magma, it’s a little bit smaller: 3.30m long and 81 cm wide (10’10” by 32”). These SUPs come with a handpump and a paddle, and we also have an extra carbon paddle, the ‘Carbon Pro’ which is a little lighter (only 750 gram/26,5 oz).

Because these boards are inflatable they are way easier to carry around. With the handpump, they can be inflated to 1 bar (15PSI) which makes the board rock hard. You won’t even notice that it’s not a solid one!

The boards came with a ‘Magic Backpack’. This polyester back folds easily over the SUP and has some straps to attach the pump and paddle. Since we have 2 sups, we also use a Premium Wheely-Backpack. This 90 liter back is great to fit in the 2 boards, a pump, and the paddles. Thanks to the wheels you can easily pull it around, but you can also put in on your back when walking in areas where it’s easier, like stairs or rocky paths. The total weight of our gear is about 18 kg (40lbs) so you can even take it on a plane with you.

The First Time Travel With a SUP

When we first got the SUPs, we wanted to check them out immediately. We took them to a lake in a local park, inflated them and jumped on the water. We must say the first time went surprisingly well! After finding our balance we were able to take the boards all around the lake, without falling in! We were immediately in love with the SUPs. We went for a sunset paddle session and it was so peaceful. The sound of the birds and the paddle sliding through the water. It’s a nice workout, but it’s totally relaxing too.

After we were done paddling we had to pack up again, which made us a bit anxious, because how were we going to fit that huge board back in the bags?! Simply let the air out, and roll them up. It went easier than we thought, and we could fit everything in the bag again.

Take the SUP on Holiday

After that first-time paddle boarding, we wanted more! We took the SUPs with us to Hungary where we stayed close to the Balaton Lake. We took them with us to the lake several times and we noticed how popular SUPping is these days. There were many people on the water for a lovely ride. 

In Hungary, we went camping with a little Trabant. We could fit in the bag with the SUPs, a tent, and a lot of camping gear in this little car. It looked so funny when we had unpacked everything and inflated the SUPs. Can you believe all of this in the photo below fitted in ‘Trabbie’.

Flying With Your SUP

As said above, our SUPs with all the gear have a weight of about 18kg. Packed into the bag you can easily take them with you as checked-in luggage. If you have only one you can fit it in, with the magic backpack, in your suitcase or backpack. They roll up pretty small. We would recommend asking for careful handling because you don’t want the paddle or pump to be damaged during the flight.

General Tips

We have some tips for you to get the best out of your SUP:

  • SUPping is all about balance, so first try to find your balance. You can also start on your knees to get the feeling of it before you stand up.
  • Do not leave it in the sun whit full pressure for too long.
  • When you leave the SUP inflated for a while, check the pressure before getting back into the water.
  • Wash the SUP after use to keep it clean.
  • When you pack the SUP wet, roll it out back home to let it dry and avoid a bad smell.

We have the paddleboards for a few months now and we are really getting the hang of it. Once we inflated them and are out on the water, we forget all our worries and feel totally relaxed. We would totally recommend you to try it out someday, because you might have found a new hobby.

Check out all our other travel tips here!

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