Durability Testing the RedAir SUP

Durability Testing the RedAir SUP
Since our last article “A Beginners Account of SUP” we have been busy making the most of the hot and windless days on the RedAir Paddle Boards. Since grasping the basics and doing some up and down stream paddles we decided to make things a bit more interesting with some good old fashioned durability testing, hoping to dispel the myth of inflatable = weak. 

When it comes to SUP we are by far not the best riders, or the most knowledgeable but when it comes to games and destruction testing, that is something we are good at.

King of the SUPThe way we understand it, traditional surf boards and paddle boards are not the most durable pieces of sporting equipment on the planet. Accidental knocks and scraps on your new board can be heart breaking – so why take the risk.

I will be careful with the language in the next paragraph, using words you may not associate with handling a paddle/surf board but this is the exact reason for the article.

We arrived at our local spot, Buscot Wier which is near Leclade in Wiltshire. Chucking the boards out of the back of the van (that’s right kids, no roof rack here). Once out of the bags we quickly inflated the boards, assembled the paddles and headed to the river from the car park. I will add on this particular day it was pretty hot, so we dumped the boards on the ground and took a breather. This riding spot doesn’t have the easiest of access points to the water, it involves a steep 4 foot mud bank covered in nettles, small stones and the various other trip hazards. The best way in we found is to hurl the boards down the bank and meet them at the bottom. After a brief warm up it was time to start the “durability testing” otherwise known as “paddle jousting”.

The intention of this exercise is to knock your opponent from his or her board into the water in a last man standing, best of three rounds situation. To be fair, and non discriminatory we matched the pairs boy/girl and of completely different build. From this “research” we gathered the following information:

  • Head on collisions whilst both travelling at speed created the best crashes. This was also a great spectator sport from the sideline.
  • Girls generally tend to grab the oppositions paddle when jousting, turning the event into something out of gladiators.
  • Tipping over the boards or wedging them against the side of the river with the paddle often results in a lose/lose situation.
  • Its takes three adults to sink these particular paddle boards.
  • The boards can be used as a stable platform for one or two persons to perform flips and stunts from.
  • “Hot Starting” or running and jumping onto someones board without their prior knowledge from the side of the bank creates spectacular back roll falls and bails.
  • Not all dogs enjoy riding up front on SUP.

After a long afternoon conducting the above experiments it is safe to say, that these have to be the most fun, and certainly most durable boards on the market. They are ding proof, slap proof, dirt proof, abuse proof, dog proof, snap proof, crash proof and best of all… water proof!