Rob Casey is the owner of Salmon Bay Paddle in Seattle and is the author of two paddling guides.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How to Set Up a Tow Line / SUP Connect

Here's a great article showing several different methods of setting up tow lines to rescue / assist fellow SUP paddlers.  The article is on SUPConnect, a great resource for a variety of paddling info.

Read Article written by Chris Rea

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Fitting Sea Kayaks & SUPs on Your Rack

In my business I teach both sea kayaking and SUP.  I'm a mobile business so I meet clients at the beach and have to sometimes carry both at the same time.  I  recently came up with a rack idea to work with both craft.

In the pics below I'm using foam pipe insulation over my Thule square rack bars. Cut into sections, each section is secured to the bar with bungees.  In the middle section, I left a one foot wide foam tube section to be removed using velcro strips.  In the last two photos, you can see where I removed the section so I can add a Yakima or Thule kayak stacker.  Using the stacker, I can attach 2-4 sea kayaks on their sides and several SUPs stacked on their deck or hulls on the other side.

Before each trip, I do a shake test with the rack bar before adding gear to make sure it's 100% secure. On large loads I'll throw two straps over the entire load and run them through the doors as a backup.

Note: Yakima kayak stackers do work on Thule bars if the plastic tabs are removed on the square tie-down sections. I add additional pipe insulation on the kayak stacker pipe for extra protection.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fin Details to Look for in Purchasing an Inflatable SUP

Many of my students are liking our inflatable SUPS thus are now purchasing their own.  A few have bought products we don't have and found out after the purchase that they are limited one type of fin or are lacking something else.

Here's a few things to look in regards to fins for in buying an Inflatable SUP

Many inflatables don't allow you to use fins from other companies as their fins are molded on the board or have specific removable fins (black plastic with removable tab to lock in fin). One of my students purchased a Red Company board that allowed him to replace the fin but the fin box is so short that he's limited to a specific type or length of fin.

Personally, I prefer to remove my fin for easier storing and like to be able to choose the type of fin I want for various types of paddling.

Removable Fin Issues:
Some long board fin boxes are too loose to tight for removable fins. I've experienced both.  In once case the fin box is too wide thus won't take any quick release attachments, only the fin screw and plate.  In another the box is too narrow thus won't take a standard fin as well. Sometimes you can deflate the board a bit, put the fin in, then inflate to full PSI again.

Some fin box types: 

This your standard fin box with a removable fin.

Plastic fin with tab to hold it in place

Fin molded into the board (or glued)

Funky fin attachment

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Using Dish Soap to Find Leaks in Inflatable SUPs

I visited my friend Jim Ramey, a local outdoor product rep to get a tutorial on finding leaks in inflatable SUPs.  Students regularly ask me how to do this, so Jim set up a demo.

Basics of finding leaks:
- Start with tightening the valve using your valve wrench. If it still leaks continue with the following.

- Prepare a bucket of soapy water (soapier the better).

- Find a sponge

- Place your SUP on saw horses or similar.

- Using the sponge, squeeze soapy water over all the seams of your SUP and the valve.  Find the best light in order to see any bubbles that may come out of the SUP indicating a leak.

- If the seams don't present a leak, pour soapy water over the entire surface of the SUP.

- When completed, spray off the board with water to prevent any slippy surfaces especially on the deck.

- How to Patch a leaky inflatable SUP by NRS Here.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Read My Article about SUPs for Boats in PNW Boating

Here's an article I wrote about using SUPs on your boat for the June issue of Waggoner's Pacifc Northwest Boating Magazine

- Choosing a board
- About board construction
- Board storage on your boat
- Clothing and safety gear for paddle boarding
- Benefits of taking a lesson.

Click Here to Read More on Page 66:

June 2015

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Air Compressors for Inflatable SUPs

With the growth of inflatable SUPs also comes the issue of having to blow them up quickly vs an exhausting self air pump session (or good pre-paddle warm-up).  In business, I have to blow up a bunch of these before a gig this don't have time to do it manually.

In researching air compressors, many have told me their SUP air compressors burn out over time.  I did a quick survey on Stand Up Zone and found some info that may be helpful to you from those that have done the testing.  I picked up a Pittsburg Automotive 12v 100 PSI compressor which so far is working but is quite slow, about 15 min to blow up  14' iSUP.

Other tips for compressors - please leave in the comment section below!  Thanks in advance.  

test board : airSUP 12'6 x 30" x 6"

Coleman Sevylor single stage pump : 
14psi : 8:20
15psi : 9:22
$50~60 online / amazon

Holee double stage pump :
14psi : 7:45
15psi : 8:25
(max is 20psi, takes another few minutes)
$120-140~ on amazon?
(re-branded by many)

Bravo BP-12 single stage pump : 
says 14.5psi (actually about 13.5psi?) : 5:20
$100 - 200~ on amazon etc ?
(re-branded by many)

the Bravo seems loudest, followed by the Holee and the Sevylor seems less noisy
however using a dB meter on my phone , it reported they all average about 89dB

I've only used the Sevylor a few times, no problems so far.
Bravo had no problems since the end of 2014 batch seemed to clear most problems they had in earlier times.
Holee I've been using for about 6 months, my go-to pump until now, the 20psi is nice if you need it.
Waiting for Bravo to put out the 22psi version of the BP-12, hope it's not over stressed!

Brett Bennett
Owner : airSUP inflatable SUPs

Read the whole thread on Stand Up Zone

Brett Benett's photo of the above testing session:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

How to Install the Leash Plug String for SUPs and Surfboards

While at my local SUP shop a few weeks ago, a guy came in looking for a leash string.  He didn't know that it's not really a product but rather any strong string you can find to install in around your leash plug, in the video below I'm using parachute cord.  I go to a marine supply store to get extra strong strings but I've seen friends use shoe laces and plastic zip ties. One student even used in a remote area, a Bald Eagle feather (the long hard part) which lasted for a month.  Bungy can be used if there's nothing else available.

Tip: Carry extra sting on you as it can wear down in saltwater and from use. Also a good idea to give extra string to your buddy (or studets) who forgot his/hers.

2 Techniques:

- Find strong string that will tuck under the leash plug pin.
- Cut to desirable length to be able to tie properly.  Overall length once tied should be 3-4".
- Tuck one end of the string under the leash plug pin (metal or plastic pin) and pull out the other side.
- Match the two string ends to each other and tie an over head loop knot (see both videos). Tighten.

Tie the knot before you stick the string in the leash plug.  Push the non knot end under the leash plug pin the send through itself to tighten.  See this video for a better description.