SUP and Jimmy Styks Inflatable Paddleboard Review
After a few years now of seeing everyone with a paddleboard, we decided to buy an inflatable board to try it out. I absolutely love it!! This is also a great sport if you have pets, because your dogs can ride along with you! I have just now finally gotten the nerve to get on it (at the end of May) because the water is slowly warming up as we come into summer. I was worried I would fall in the water, but I didn’t! (My husband fell in. Twice. But who is counting?? Ha!)
We happened to buy the Jimmy Styks Inflatable Standup Paddleboard simply because it was at our local Costco store in the middle of the winter, so we got a great price. I didn’t do a lot of research before purchasing, but this board definitely does the trick.
Inflatable is the best way to go if you are a family like us. We have lots of gear to carry, and a lot of family and animals. When we go camping or out for the day, we end up having three dogs and the two of us plus two kids. The kids alone have so much stuff we pack for them. Inflatable is inexpensive and folds down into a small carry bag that doesn’t take up much room in our truck. So you don’t even have to buy a roof rack! We can also carry our inflatable kayak with us.
A lot of people have asked if this board is firm enough, being that it is inflatable. You wouldn’t even know that it is inflatable, it is so firm! It is just like a regular board once it is inflated. When you want to deflate it, you just put weight on it (we lay on it) to let the air out quickly. And then it rolls right back up into the carry case. The board comes with a high pressure pump with a gauge, a paddle, and everything you need to get right out on the water!
I definitely have no idea what I am doing on a paddleboard. I just figured I would figure it out, and didn’t do any research on proper form or the correct way to ride one beforehand. Well I got lucky and quickly got the hang of it. I realize now that you definitely want to be on it when the water is “like glass,” as I call it — as smooth as possible. The best times to get that type of water is early morning or later in the evening. Of course there are particular lakes that are better for it as well, like Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park, where they don’t allow motorized boats.
Overall, my tips for paddleboarding:
– Find water that is smooth, with very few waves.
– Don’t go out when it is windy.
– Stay fairly close to shore, unless you are very comfortable on the board.
– This sport is all about balance. If you have good balance, you should have no trouble.
– Start on your knees, and then slowly go to standing. If you get in trouble, or the water gets wavy, drop to your knees.
– For turning, you can put more weight on the knee of the direction you want to turn, and put your paddle in the opposite side of the water. Or, if you want to “cheat” like me, drag your paddle in the water on the side you want to turn, and the board will turn that direction.
I found that this was a great arm and balance workout, while feeling like you are on top of the water, rather than in a boat. It really is a blast!
This paddleboard will only take a few minutes to inflate and deflate, and should definitely be on your list of things to buy if you have been wanting to get out paddleboarding! Watch for sales at your local stores and buy when you are only paying $400-$500 for a board.
Warm Wishes from Big Sky Country,
Alex M. Neill
Montana Vacation Blog