Xterra‘s inflatable SUP boards roll up into a backpack for easy transport. You no longer need a large vehicle or roof rack to hit the water. I’ve been interested in Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boarding for a few years but having a VW beetle, transportation was a concern. I had the opportunity in 2017 to demo an inflatable Xterra board at USAP’s Folsom Triathlon while the race staff was packing up.
It was more of floating along Lake Natoma. Since then, I received an inflatable board from Xterra at a discount for the purposes of testing and reviewing it. I’m confident I have tested this product in a variety of conditions to give a balanced and honest opinion including lakes, ocean, easy car access, light hikes, etc. All opinions expressed in this review are truthful and 100% my own.
I received the Pink and Teal 10’ Board. This size currently comes in 5 other color options. So, what all comes in the box: Your board, detachable fin, SUP leash, a belt to keep your board rolled up, 3 piece travel paddle, high-pressure pump, pump hose, repair kit, and a mesh travel backpack
All of the 10-foot boards measure 10’ long x 30” wide x 6” thick (when inflated) with a weight capacity of 250 lbs. Xterra advertises these boards as all around boards, great for cruising and surfing. The 10’ boards all come equipped with reinforced sides, deck padding, a durable handle, bungee cord at front to secure gear, a D ring on the bow and stern, and a GoPro mount at the front.
My biggest hesitation in having an inflatable board was how long it would take to inflate. The first few times I timed how long it took me to inflate the board hovering at 5-5.5 minutes each time. Xterra‘s pump has two flow options. You are supposed to start with the indicator pointing at number 2 meaning two-way air flow. This setting will pump while pushing and pulling. This setting can only be used up to 10 PSI. I leave it here until the board looks pretty full, then I switch it over to the number 1 setting. This setting only pushes air into the board when you push down on the pump and can pump to a higher PSI. The boards can be inflated to 13-15 PSI which is written on the board near the valve and the pump has an indicator with this range in green. I like pumping to the lower end of this range. The board valve has a very handy valve locking system. When you disengage the pump it automatically closes so you don’t loose any pressure and you can easily lock the cap on. The bottom line is all of this makes the board super easy to inflate!
At this point to be able to ride your board you just need to slide the middle fin on (lock the fin), and attach the SUP leash. Now you’re ready to hit the water!
I recommend learning how to stand up and move positions on a calm body of water like a lake with no boats or still river. You’ll need to learn how to go from sitting/kneeling to standing and back and how to get back on your board after falling or jumping in the water.
I anticipated the inflation time to be the biggest down fall of the inflatable board, but it only takes roughly 5 minutes each time. The bag can be a bit awkward and bulky, but I do like that it can fit all of the accessories and have everything in one place. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out how I like packing my bag. I roll my board pretty tight making sure a flat portion is next to the back straps. Next, I slide my pump and paddle in. I put the fin and leash in the front pocket.
It’s important to be aware that the board can become punctured, even though the sides are reinforced and extremely durable, accidents happen. The board comes with a repair kit so you can repair any punctures yourself or you can send it back to Xterra for repairs (some shipping fees may apply).
Tips and tricks
You’ll want to pack a few things for your SUP excursion. Water, sunscreen, hat, and sunglasses. You can test your sunglasses will float in your sink or bathtub. If your favorite pair doesn’t float, you can get floating leash like this so you can retrieve them if they fall off. Your hat may float for a few minutes but most likely it will sink after it gets water logged. You can attach a floater to the back of your hat as well. My favorite is this one by float back; you can even stow your keys in it.
Pros and Cons
- Easily transportable
- Requires small storage space
- Easy to maneuver
- Comes with all needed accessories
- Bulky to carry
- Can be punctured
- Less stable than a solid board
The Xterra inflatable board is a high quality product. All of the cons listed above are acceptable trade offs for the mobility and convenience of an inflatable board but they are important to be aware of. Stand up paddle boarding is a great form of cross training for recreational endurance athletes. It works your core and upper body without being in a gym. They are also great for non athletes to get out into nature with a low intensity activity. You can go fast or just chill on the water. As long as you can swim and enjoy the water you can have fun on a paddle board. There are so many options with paddle boarding. I think these boards are definitely worth getting.
If you’re ready to get an inflatable Xterra board of your own you can snag one for up to 55% off with my link here.
Do you have an unanswered question about inflatable paddle boards? Have you tried one yourself? Drop it in the comments bellow! I’d love to hear about it.