Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions

Why buy an inflatable for $1200 when I can get a solid board for $1500?
It's actually the other way around. Why spend $1500 on a big solid lump when you can get a board that offers awesome performance and is way more durable than a solid board yet much kinder on the user too - which you can keep in the cupboard or car boot when you're not using it? And be $300 better off!!! 
Let's face it, the only paddleboards out there at under $2000 are either cheap OEM copies from anonymous Chinese factories, with very average performance and zero resale value  - or second hand boards that have already had a good thrashing. To get yourself a genuine high quality solid paddleboard you need to be looking at over $2k.  And for sure, if you're after ultimate wave performance then that's the way you need to be thinking. But for general use, the Red Airs offer everything a solid paddleboard does - and a whole lot more besides.  We have so many converts who genuinely wouldn't go back to solid paddleboards, other than for hardcore surfing when the conditions are really classic.  Because once you've realised just how incredibly durable they are - yet also how user-friendly, you start to really enjoy this aspect of their performance. It makes it all so much more fun when you don't have to worry about them getting hurt, or hurting anyone else - or indeed, hurting you.
So don't think of them as something inferior to a solid board, and therefore of less value. It's actually quite the opposite. You absolutely don't have to spend many thousands of dollars to get the full paddleboarding experience.

How are the Red Air boards constructed?
We don't want to give too many secrets away, as it has taken a lot of hard work to get the construction process absolutely right. However, we appreciate that you want to know what it is that you're getting, so here goes:
The boards have one single air compartment. The skin (which is about 1mm thick) consists of two strongly bonded layers and sandwiched in between is a thin fibre sheet or "stringer" (it's actually the top layer of the inside layer). The drop stitching is threaded through this. The fibre sheet increases the solidity and stiffness of the board. There's a whole lot of extra reinforcement taped on around the rails, and then the EVA panel is glued onto the top. No stitching is exposed to the external elements.

This premium double layer material has a special 'Air Block' coating on it with', which eliminates leakage so there is no loss of pressure. It also makes the material resistant to high pressure, so that it can hold its shape, and not stretch or weaken. 

We use strong (unbreakable!) and thick stitching and have a higher Stitch per inch rating than any other manufacturer. This all adds to the stiffness, durability, shape and pressure qualities of the board. We have pumped our boards to 30 psi and left them like that for months on end with no problems.
The basic difference between Red boards and the other inflatable models out there is that we buy the premium double layer material that has a special coating on it, we use strong and thick stitching and have a higher Stitch per inch rating. This all adds to the stiffness, durability, shape and pressure qualities of the board. The various cheap single-skin inflatable paddleboards are only rated to 10psi for a reason - any higher pressure and they come apart. We have pumped our boards to 30 psi and left them like that for months on end with no problems. Whereas a board pumped to 10psi is not a board, it's a lilo!!
How fast does a paddleboard go?
A comfortable average unassisted speed is about 4 knots, on a regular all-round paddleboard, such as the Red Air 10. More wave-orientated boards are slower, while specialist race boards can be up to twice as much (but with a $5k price tag to match! And a huge unwieldy thing to carry around, as well.)

Get the wind behind you, even just a light breeze, and your speed quickly picks up. With 10-12 knots on your back, you can be belting along at 7-8 knots very comfortably. 

So the trick is to try and plan your paddleboarding so you're always going downwind! That might sound daft, but actually, with the Red Airs it's often very easy, with a little bit of prior planning, and/or assistance from friends/family. Get dropped off somewhere upwind, and then simply paddle down, to get met at the other end. Or you can deflate it at the end of the trip, and come home by public transport!
How does the performance of Red Air boards compare to other paddleboards?
For flat water cruising, Red are totally on a par with a ‘normal' stand-up paddleboard. Because they inflate to such a high pressure they're extremely rigid, and glide just like a regular board. Indeed, many regular paddleboarders now actually prefer using them because they offer that extra bit of shock absorption when paddling over choppy waters.
How strong are Red Air paddleboards?
Awesomely tough. You can drive a car over them. You can hit them with the claw side of a hammer. You can bounce them off rocks. You can throw them off buildings. Thousands have been made. Not one has failed...
How easy are Red Air paddleboards to inflate?
A fit man can inflate the board fully with the hand pump supplied, in about 3 minutes. The less fit user will probably take 5. Youngsters or very light users may not be able to achieve the fully-inflated pressure of 15psi, as it does take a bit of effort. However, lighter users won't need so much pressure anyway.
(We say 'a fit man' in the opening sentence, because a bloke can use his weight to his advantage when using the pump.)
If you want exact specifics, here goes. With the pump in double-action mode (so it inflates on both the up and down strokes), it takes around 70 full up/down strokes of the pump to inflate the board from flat to something that looks like a board, with an internal pressure of about 7psi. If you really go at it, you could do one stroke per second. Taking your time, call it 1 stroke per two seconds.  You could actually paddle the board at 7psi, but it'd be fairly wobbly.
So now you put the pump into single action (so it only inflates on the down stroke), and put in about 70 more strokes, you're up to the full 15psi.  
So - 140 strokes from flat to fully inflated. Not bad...!.
Do I have to use the hand pump to inflate Red Air paddleboards?
At present there are no other compatible hand or foot pumps available that can inflate to 15psi. (The nozzle is not suitable for tyre inflators). However, Red are manufacturing a 12v high pressure pump suitable for use with car and boat batteries which will be available very shortly, and will completely inflate the board in just a few minutes without any effort on your part at all!
Incidentally, the pump fitting is the standard bayonet connector as used on rubber dinghies, RIBs etc. So the pump you get with the board is a handy tool for any such item.
Do they get easier to inflate after a few uses?
Yes, absolutely. The material stretches a little and gets used to being its full pressure shape.
Can I put it on the roofrack, like a normal board?
Sure, you can treat it just like a normal board - if you're just going on a quick trip from A to B and you can't be bothered to deflate it and inflate it again, just sling it up there!
How easy are Red Air paddleboards to deflate?
It takes about 20 seconds to deflate completely - the pump then can be used to suck out the last little bit of air and then they can be rolled up and stowed away in seconds. Total procedure time, under 2 minutes.
To see the whole thing in action, check out the clip on our video page.
I've seen cheaper inflatable paddleboards...
There are indeed cheaper inflatable paddleboards on the market. However, they're of single skin construction, and they're basically just an overgrown lilo/airbed. Fun for a while maybe, but not remotely comparable in performance. They can't handle any decent pressure (most just go to 7-8psi, whereas the Red Airs can take 30!), and they're not even remotely in the same league for durability, stiffness or performance.
We are not in the market of producing low grade beach toys. Our aim is to produce the best possible stand up paddle board that allows you to do everything you can on a hard board - but then be able to pack it up and store it in a sports bag.  If you want a truly portable paddleboard giving proper paddleboard performance, the RED AIRS are the only choice. 
Anything I need to know about storing my Red Air Paddleboard?
If the board is going to be shoved away in a cupboard or garage etc for a long period of time, it'd be sensible to ensure that it is clean and dry before putting it away. And maybe don't bury it under a couple of engine blocks or your powerlifter weight collection!  But in general, they are extremely robust and won't suffer from being stored over the winter, or whatever.
Tell me about this money-back guarantee?
We know that once you've seen and tried a Red Air, you'll absolutely love it. But we also fully appreciate that it's a bit of a leap of faith buying an inflatable paddleboard without having seen it. The very word 'inflatable' immediately conjures up images of lilos, beach toys etc. So, to help you over that mental barrier of shelling out over $1000 for something that you are worried might be a load of rubbish, we're offering you this money-back guarantee:
If, after having used the board at least a couple of times* it does not live up to your expectations in terms of performance, quality, durability or ease of use, then contact us within 28 days of purchase. Where possible, we'll try and help you overcome the problems. (It may simply be that the board isn't inflating fully, or something of that nature). But if the problem cannot be overcome and the board really is underperforming for you, then you can return it to us for a full refund**.
* We do ask that you do use the board at least a couple of times, before deciding that you have problems with it, simply because the first time you pump it up, it will always be a bit stiff and seem like quite hard work. However, after the 2nd or 3rd inflation the whole procedure will seem much less drama and more routine.
** Full refund will obviously be dependent on the board not having suffered any damage as a result of your negligence or misuse during its time with you.
Can I leave my Red Air paddleboard out in the sun?
Yes. The material is as UV resistant as we can get it, and  we've had a board on test in Florida over an entire summer to give it a real UV cooking, and it is absolutely fine. Having said that, just like with pretty much anything, you're ultimately going to get longer life out of your product if you're kind to it. So leaving it out there to bake for days on end is probably a bit mean...
Can I put a dog on my inflatable board?
The material is more than robust enough to cope with having a dog on board. However, we can't specifically say it's covered in the warranty. We've put dogs on our boards plenty of times and it's absolutely no problem at all. The only time there might be problems is if the dog falls off and then tries to climb back on, and really scrabbles with his claws. It'd take a powerful pooch to claw through a Red Air, but given enough time and determination it's not impossible. So you just need to use a bit of common sense. Don't let your dog dig his claws into your board, and you should be fine!
There's certainly no doubt that dogs love paddleboards, and the slightly textured and softer nature of Red Airs makes them particularly good for this. So much so, that they were featured in the most recent edition of FETCH magazine for just this purpose...

But my dog is REALLY big...
If it's a very heavy dog, then you'll probably be better off with the extra volume and support of a bigger board - buy the Red 11 rather than the Red 10!
But if it's primarily the issue of whether it's actually going to damage the board that is bothering you, then why not simply put some deck grip or extra matting up front. Deck grip works very well. It will reduce the ease (and stowage size) of the board for rolling up, but if canine cruising is your main game, then it's got to be a worthwhile move.
Can Red Air paddleboards really be used in waves?
They're inevitably not quite as responsive as a normal construction paddleboard when it comes to radical manoeuvring. But in small surf they're a lot of fun, and do surf perfectly well!
Do you do 'normal' paddleboards as well?
How heavy are Red Air paddleboards?
The board weighs 12kg. The bag, with pump and paddle, weighs about 16kg. Not bad, eh?!
I need a paddleboard primarily for wave-riding. Can you help?
The Red Air 10 is great fun in small waves (up to say chest high, but not too powerful if at this size). It's not a board for snappy turns and power surfing though. 
Is paddleboarding difficult?
NO! We've been teaching paddleboarding pretty much since the sport started in New Zealand, and have yet to find anyone who can't do it. From 5 to 75, if you can stand up - you can stand-up paddleboard! So what are you waiting for - get out there and try it out for yourself!
How much better are carbon paddles than your fiberglass ones?
Carbon paddles are lighter. And ultimately, if money is no object, it's undoubtedly nice to have a light paddle in your hands. However, carbon blades are fragile - they can easily chip. They're also potentially deadly weapons! They will take chunks out of your board rail, and also chunks out of anyone else unfortunate enough to be in range. So don't even think of using a carbon paddle without Blade Runner protection.  (This applies to all paddles too incidentally. Also to wood blades, although more to protect them than from an external damage point of view).
Our blades are nylon, which won't hurt your board, or anyone else. They are also super durable, and won't get scuffed up by rocks, the beach, or whatever.
Adjustable paddles also make a huge difference. If you paddle in both flat water and waves, then you will definitely benefit from being able to adjust the length of your paddle. Much more so, in fact, than the benefit of having a super light paddle. Ideally, you'd have a range of super-light carbon paddles, all of different lengths, to suit your every mood. That's not really too practical for most mere mortals though. In which case, having an adjustable fibreglass blade makes a huge amount of sense.
Ultimately, it all comes down to money. If it's no object, then yes, it's lovely to have a super-light carbon blade. But it's absolutely not the case that you get three times as much performance for spending three times as much money!
It should also be noted that with carbon paddles, you do really need to go for the quality brands. There are a lot of rip-off carbon paddles coming out of anonymous Chinese factories, that look a whole lot like models from respected brands such as Quickblade, C4, etc, but actually they don't feel anywhere near so good. They're dead in the hands, stiff and lifeless.  We've looked at importing some of these cheaper carbon paddles ourselves and they're really not that great. You get what you pay for, it seems. Cheap carbon paddles are probably not a good investment.
When you say aluminium or fibreglass paddles, do you mean the whole thing?
Only the shaft is aluminium, or fibreglass. The handle on all all our paddles is moulded plastic, and the blade is nylon. (A sort of malleable plastic).