John and I own 4 paddle boards, two of which (and more frequently used) are our Alpine Inflatable Tahoe SUP Boards. We get a lot of questions about how we paddle in such remote places, so here is our feedback to help those who also wish to Backcountry SUP. or Travel with inflatables.
How Do you Hike with these boards?
These boards roll up into a 40 lbs roller backpack, and can be checked for plane flights or backpacked into the back country via our Hiking Backpacks. We’ve tested a few different packs, and realized that for real hiking, you need a real hiking pack, which is how we landed with our Gregory Baltoro 85 Backpack.
The board itself fits inside the pack, and the pump and our Super Paddles, fit on either side of the pack perfectly.
Our Packs are about 40 pounds with the boards and accessories, this is before adding water, food, hammocks, and other essentials. Typically are packs are 45-50lbs for our adventures.
How Stiff Are the Boards?
For the brand we use, once inflated they reach 20 psi, which means they are stiff and ridged like a regular board. While it’s functionally might not completely compare to a carbon fiber board, if you’re looking for a board that is easy to travel with, this is your best option.
How Durable are the Boards?
It honestly depends on the brand, there is a reason we use Tahoe SUP for our boards. Backcountry Paddling means you and your board are going to get messy. Whether its rocks, sticks, ice, it can all happen. So far (Knocks on Wood) we haven’t had any leaks with this brand, and our boards are about 2 years old. They have been to countless lakes, rivers, and states, and thanks to some delta mishaps now have more frequent flier miles than us.
How long does it take to pump up? Is it hard?
For our boards, it takes us about 5-10 minutes depending on how tired we are.
Use is easy! Once you have reached your location, you simply remove the board, pump, and fins from the bag and begin pumping. For us, it normally takes about five minutes per board. Then you’re good to go.
If you want to talk more about these boards or have questions, email us here.