Inflatable SUPs have many advantages over hard body ones. The main one is how well they can handle bumping up on beaches or hitting hard objects like rocks or being dinged by paddle blades without substantial damage. Another advantage is how small they are when deflated and rolled up inside their backpack. The weight of an inflatable is about the same as an average hard board. The downside is they are not quite as crisp as a hard board. Overall though, for recreational rowing or adventure travel an inflatable is the top choice.
The ‘Oar Board®’ line of inflatable SUPs featuring the Fitness Row 12, the Adventure Row 13’4″ , and the Adventure Row 16 are especially designed for heavy-duty use and are equipped with special deck rings that make installing the Oar Board® super easy and the straps do not have to go around the board itself.
See our set up video.
The Oar Board® features a sliding rigger system. The seat is fixed and does not move. The rigger and footstop are mounted on a special carriage, which slides. The rower grips the oar handles in exactly the same way as a regular slide seat boat and the stroke is identical. This system avoids the full weight of the rower sliding back and forth with every stroke so there is no pitching or hobby horsing.
The sliding rigger concept was originally developed over 50 years ago. It was significantly faster than a sliding seat when used in a racing shell because with little to no pitching the glide between strokes was smoother and speed is maintained. As it was quite a lot faster it was subsequently outlawed from competitive racing in the 1988 Olympic rowing event. It quickly fell out of favour. Lucky for us it works perfectly as a way to convert a stand up paddle board into a single or even a double person sculling boat.
The Oar Board® features adjustable footstops that provide perfect ergonomics for any sized person.
On the inside of almost all inflatable SUPs are hundreds of tiny strings spaced a centimeter or so apart, that run from the deck to the bottom of the board.
When the board is partially inflated to about 4 lbs pressure these stretch proof strings get tight, making the board extra rigid. At 15 lbs pressure they are fully inflated and are extremely rigid, ideal for rowing or paddling.
Watch the Oar Board® set up video.
Stainless steel Kwik Lok® buckles secure a pair of 2″ webbing straps that simply go around the SUP. They are very thin and cause no noticeable drag when rowing. They set up in seconds. Four high-density neoprene compression pads mounted on the each of the Oar Board®‘s underside corners grip the deck acting like suction cups when the straps are tight, while protecting the deck surface. The new inflatable SUPs the Fitness Row 12, the Adventure Row 13’4″ and the Adventure Row 16 feature special deck rings for attaching the straps which makes the Oar Board®s even easier to install or remove.
See the Oar Board®s set up video on this easy step.
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Our in-house line of inflatable SUPs called the Fitness Row 12, the Adventure Row 13’4″ and the Adventure Row 16 are also available. Like all inflatable SUPs when deflated they roll up and fit into a backpack. This makes them also ideal for storage or transport.
Inflatable SUPs are about the same weight as a hard body paddle board but can handle bumping up on beaches or hitting hard objects like rocks or being dinged by paddle blades without sustaining damage.