Can Inflatable Paddle Boards Really Burst?
Can your inflatable paddle board pop? We give you strategies to make sure this doesn't happen.
In recent years, the popularity of inflatable stand up paddle boards (inflatable SUPs) has surged among water sports enthusiasts, thanks to their convenience, portability, and user-friendly nature. As their popularity continues to rise, questions about their safety have also surfaced. A common concern after several recalls of inflatable paddle boards is whether inflatable SUPs can explode. In this article, we'll delve into the risks and precautions associated with inflatable paddle boards to determine if they can truly burst.
Grasping the Construction of Inflatable Paddle Boards
To properly address the question of whether inflatable SUPs can explode, it's crucial to comprehend their construction. Inflatable paddle boards are crafted from layers (or in many cases, just one layer) of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) fabric, which are either glued or welded together. The PVC layers are often reinforced with drop stitch material, comprising thousands of polyester threads connecting the top and bottom layers. This design enables the paddle board to retain its shape and rigidity when inflated.
Elements Contributing to inflatable SUP Overinflation
The primary factor that can lead to a potential explosion of an inflatable paddle board is overinflation. There are several reasons why overinflation can occur:
Faulty pressure gauge: Some air pumps come with an integrated pressure gauge that may not always provide accurate readings. This can result in users overinflating their paddle boards unknowingly.
Changes in ambient temperature: Air expands when heated and contracts when cooled. If you inflate your paddle board in a cool environment and subsequently expose it to direct sunlight, the air inside may expand, resulting in overinflation.
Excessive pumping: Users might unintentionally overinflate their inflatable SUP by continuing to pump air into the board even after reaching the recommended pressure.
The Hazards of Overinflation in a Stand Up Paddle Board
While it's true that overinflated inflatable SUPs can potentially burst, the term "explode" may be somewhat exaggerated. In most instances, an overinflated paddle board will not lead to a dramatic, life-threatening explosion. Instead, the board may rupture or tear at the seams, rapidly releasing air pressure. However, this can still result in injury or damage to the board.
The dangers of overinflation include:
Injury: If the paddle board ruptures or tears while you're standing on it, you could fall into the water and suffer injuries ranging from minor cuts and bruises to more severe injuries, depending on the circumstances.
Damage to the board: An overinflated inflatable SUP may sustain irreparable damage, rendering the board a total loss.
Impaired performance: Overinflated paddle boards may lose some of their stability and performance capabilities, making them more challenging to control and maneuver on the water.
Why a Glide Inflatable Paddle Board is Unlikely to Pop
Glide SUP has been a paddle board manufacturer since 2010 and is known for their commitment to quality and innovation. Their inflatable paddle boards are designed to be sturdy and long-lasting, making them unlikely to explode. There are a couple of factors contributing to the exceptional durability and safety of Glide SUP boards.
First, Glide SUP uses high-quality materials and construction techniques to ensure the strength and integrity of their inflatable paddle boards. They employ a fusion technology between its four layers of PVC that eliminates the need for traditional gluing, which can weaken over time, and instead welds the layers of PVC together. This results in a lighter, stronger, and more durable board, which is less likely to experience issues related to overinflation or rupturing. Glide also welds together its seams on the rails of their inflatable SUP board offerings as the seams are the weakest points on an inflatable paddle board.
Glide also uses a woven drop stitch core as opposed to legacy knitted drop stitch technology. Drop stitch material refers to the thousands of tiny strings which hold the top layer of PVC to the lower layer. Woven drop stitch creates a much tighter core while knitted drop stitch make the board feel spongier.
Secondly, Glide SUP understands the importance of proper inflation and provides clear instructions and guidelines for their customers. By following these recommendations, users can ensure their paddle board remains within the appropriate pressure range, reducing the likelihood of overinflation and potential explosions. Glide SUP's focus on educating their customers on proper board care and maintenance further contributes to the safety and longevity of their products.
Glide SUP's dedication to quality materials, advanced construction techniques, and customer education make their inflatable paddle boards a reliable and safe choice for paddle board enthusiasts. By adhering to the manufacturer's guidelines and taking appropriate precautions, users of Glide SUP boards can enjoy their paddle boarding experiences with confidence, knowing that the risk of explosion is minimal.
Preventing Overinflation and Explosions: Helpful Guidelines
By adhering to a few simple guidelines, you can minimize the risk of overinflating your paddle board and avoid potential explosions:
Invest in a reliable pressure gauge: Purchase a high-quality pressure gauge to ensure you're inflating your inflatable SUP to the correct pressure.
Follow manufacturer recommendations: Always abide by the manufacturer's suggested pressure range for your specific paddle board model. Overinflating beyond the recommended limit can compromise the board's integrity.
Be aware of temperature changes: Inflate your paddle board in an environment similar to where you'll be using it. If you must inflate it in a cooler area, be sure to monitor the board's pressure and adjust accordingly when exposed to warmer temperatures.
Regularly inspect your inflatable SUP: Before and after each use, examine your paddle board for any signs of damage or wear. Look for tears, punctures, or delamination that could compromise the board's integrity. Address any issues promptly to ensure the safety and longevity of your inflatable SUP.
Deflate the board when not in use: When not in use, especially for extended periods, it's advisable to deflate your paddle board to reduce the risk of overinflation caused by temperature fluctuations.
Use a high-quality pump: Purchase a reliable pump with an integrated, accurate pressure gauge to ensure consistent and precise inflation.
Don't leave the board unattended in direct sunlight: If you need to take a break, try to find a shaded area to store your paddle board or cover it with a protective layer to shield it from the sun.
Steps to Take in Case of Overinflation
If you suspect your paddle board is overinflated or notice any signs of impending rupture, it's important to act quickly to reduce the risk of injury or damage. Here are some steps to follow:
Move the board to a safe location: If possible, move the paddle board to an area where it won't pose a risk to others or property in case it ruptures.
Slowly release air pressure: Carefully open the air valve and allow air to escape gradually. Avoid rapid deflation, as this can cause further damage to the board.
Inspect the board: Once the board is deflated, inspect it for any signs of damage. If you notice any issues, consult with a professional or the manufacturer for guidance on repair or replacement.
Reinflate the board cautiously: If no damage is found, reinflate the paddle board, keeping a close eye on the pressure gauge and ensuring that you stay within the manufacturer's recommended pressure range.
The notion of an inflatable paddle board exploding may sound alarming, but the likelihood of such an event is relatively low when proper precautions are taken. By following the tips mentioned in this article, you can minimize the risk of overinflation and enjoy your paddle boarding adventures with confidence.
Inflatable paddle boards have become a popular choice for water sports enthusiasts, and with proper care and maintenance, they can provide a safe and enjoyable experience. While it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks, it's also essential not to let fear deter you from enjoying the many benefits of inflatable SUPs. Stay informed, take the necessary precautions, and you'll be well on your way to a safe and fun-filled paddle boarding adventure.