Why Does my Paddle Board Sink in the Middle?

There are several reasons that your inflatable paddle board may be sinking in the middle.  Read on to find out what they are.


Inflatable paddle boards are a popular choice for water sports enthusiasts due to their portability and convenience. However, many users often experience their board sinking in the middle, which can be quite frustrating. There are several reasons why this may occur, and understanding these reasons can help you avoid this issue in the future.

Does weight matter on a paddle board?

inflatable stand up paddle board

The first reason for an inflatable paddle board sinking in the middle could be overloading. If you have too much weight in the center of the board, it will naturally sink. This can be caused by carrying heavy equipment, having too many people on the board, or simply not distributing your weight evenly. To prevent overloading, make sure to keep your equipment and supplies in the front and back of the board, to distribute the weight evenly.

Check the PSI of your inflatable paddle boards

paddle board pumps

Another reason why inflatable paddle boards sink in the middle is due to air pressure. If the air pressure in the board is too low, it will be unable to support the weight of the rider and will sink. To avoid this issue, make sure to properly inflate your board before each use, and check the pressure regularly. Most inflatable paddle boards come with a manual pump and pressure gauge, so make sure to use these tools to ensure that your board is properly inflated. If the manual pump isn't bringing you inflatable board to the proper PSI, you may want to invest in an electric pump. You will definitely want an inflatable paddle board that can be pumped up to at least 20 PSI.

The quality of your inflatable stand up paddle board makes all the difference

woman with inflatable paddle board

A third reason for sinking in the middle can be related to the materials used to manufacture the board. Some inflatable paddle boards are made with single layer PVC which makes them more prone to punctures and leaks. An inflatable SUP made with 4 layers of PVC which are fused together will also be much more rigid than a single layer PVC board.

The inside core of inflatable stand up paddleboards can also be a huge difference maker as to whether your paddle board will "taco". A woven drop stitch construction for the inflatable paddle board core typically gives inflatable boards 90 percent of the rigidity of solid boards.

It's important to note that the materials used in an inflatable paddle board can also affect its weight. 4 layers of PVC will add substantial weight to your stand up paddle board if they are glued together. However, if the layers are fused together your paddle board will be 30 percent lighter than the glued board and give it a much nicer fit and finish. Higher quality materials typically offer a better balance between weight and rigidity, which can make the board easier to handle and more comfortable to use.

Maintaining inflatable stand up paddle boards

inflatable sup boards

Finally, improper maintenance of the board can also cause an inflatable paddle board to sink in the middle. If you don't clean and store your board properly, it can become damaged over time and may not function as well as it should. To avoid this issue, make sure to clean and dry your board after each use, and store it in a cool, dry place where it won't be exposed to the elements.

Improper maintenance and not cleaning the board after each use can result in dirt, sand, and other debris accumulating on the paddle board, which can cause damage over time. In addition, the buildup of dirt and debris can also affect the board's air pressure, which can result in it sinking in the middle.

Don't store your inflatable SUP outside

inflatable paddle board in snow

Another issue with improper maintenance is exposing the board to the elements. This can include leaving it in direct sunlight for long periods of time, which can cause the material to become brittle and more prone to damage. In addition, exposure to rain, wind, and other harsh weather conditions can also cause the board to become damaged over time.

Finally, improper storage can also cause an inflatable paddle board to sink in the middle. This can include storing the board in a damp or humid area, which can cause mold and mildew to form. In addition, storing the board in a cramped or tight space can also cause it to become damaged over time, as it may be crushed or bent.


falling off an inflatable paddle board

In conclusion, there are several reasons why an inflatable paddle board may sink in the middle, including overloading, air pressure, materials, and maintenance. By understanding these reasons and taking the proper steps to prevent them, you can ensure that your inflatable paddle board performs well and provides you with a safe and enjoyable experience on the water.