Outdoors

Latest self-inflating paddle board swaps power for perspiration

The idea behind the Air line is to eliminate obstacles that stand between paddlers and the water
The idea behind the Air line is to eliminate obstacles that stand between paddlers and the water
View 23 Images
The SipaBoards Air is a self-inflating stand-up paddleboard
1/23
The SipaBoards Air is a self-inflating stand-up paddleboard
The Sipaboards Air All-Rounder is designed for all ages and ability levels
2/23
The Sipaboards Air All-Rounder is designed for all ages and ability levels
SipaBoards Air All-Rounder on the water
3/23
SipaBoards Air All-Rounder on the water
All three SipaBoards Air models, including the pictured All-Rounder, measure 11 feet in length
4/23
All three SipaBoards Air models, including the pictured All-Rounder, measure 11 feet in length
SipaBoards Air paddleboards on the water
5/23
SipaBoards Air paddleboards on the water
SipaBoards Air All-Rounder
6/23
SipaBoards Air All-Rounder
SipaBoards Air Balance
7/23
SipaBoards Air Balance
The Air Balance model is designed for on-water yoga and fitness
8/23
The Air Balance model is designed for on-water yoga and fitness
The Air Balance offers a double dose of exercise, allowing you to paddle out to the water and perform yoga on top
9/23
The Air Balance offers a double dose of exercise, allowing you to paddle out to the water and perform yoga on top
The Air Cruiser features a speed-optimized shape
10/23
The Air Cruiser features a speed-optimized shape
The idea behind the Air line is to eliminate obstacles that stand between paddlers and the water
11/23
The idea behind the Air line is to eliminate obstacles that stand between paddlers and the water
Paddling the water with SipaBoards
12/23
Paddling the water with SipaBoards
The integrated compressor inflates the board to proper pressure in five minutes
13/23
The integrated compressor inflates the board to proper pressure in five minutes
The compressor is powered by a removable, rechargeable battery
14/23
The compressor is powered by a removable, rechargeable battery
Each Air board comes with a carry bag
15/23
Each Air board comes with a carry bag
The included leash doubles as a carry strap
16/23
The included leash doubles as a carry strap
A look at the components of the SipaAir compressor
17/23
A look at the components of the SipaAir compressor
On the water with the SipaBoards Air
18/23
On the water with the SipaBoards Air
The SipaBoards Air transports easily, much like other inflatables, then inflates itself at the water's edge
19/23
The SipaBoards Air transports easily, much like other inflatables, then inflates itself at the water's edge
SipaBoards is trying to raise launch funding for the Air series on Kickstarter
20/23
SipaBoards is trying to raise launch funding for the Air series on Kickstarter
The Air Cruiser is designed for the more serious paddler
21/23
The Air Cruiser is designed for the more serious paddler
SipaBoards created the Air in response to feedback asking for a standard, self-inflating paddleboard without the jet drive of the original SipaBoard
22/23
SipaBoards created the Air in response to feedback asking for a standard, self-inflating paddleboard without the jet drive of the original SipaBoard
SipaBoards Air Balance
23/23
SipaBoards Air Balance

Last year around this time, we looked at the SipaBoard, a stand-up paddleboard with an onboard motor used to both inflate itself and power its way across the water. While it is certainly a cool, award-winning water toy, not everyone wants motor power or the added expense of a jet drive. It is a paddleboard, after all. SipaBoards' latest design keeps the integrated self-inflation system but loses the jet drive, offering a lighter, simpler more affordable way to hit the water.

It's been a damn good year and a half for SipaBoards. Founder Sebastjan Sitar thought of the idea for the original Sipaboard in August 2014 and got things rolling in time for an April 2015 Kickstarter campaign. The self-inflating jet board proved an instant hit, raising more than double its $150,000 Kickstarter goal, earning a 2015 Red Dot "Best of the Best" award, and getting voted an ISPO BrandNew Award 2016 finalist. It was also one of Gizmag's favorite water toys of 2015.

Since getting the big go-ahead from the Kickstarter community, Sipaboards has been devoting some attention to expanding its lineup to reach out to new customer demographics, including anglers. The new Sipaboards Air collection is its latest expansion, providing an option for paddlers that believe in old-fashioned, unassisted arm work. The Air board still includes an onboard motor, but its sole purpose is to power the air compressor for self inflation.

The compressor is powered by a removable, rechargeable battery
The compressor is powered by a removable, rechargeable battery

Unlike the standard inflatable board, which requires a separate pump, the Air inflates from the power of its onboard, flat-mounted compressor, going from carry bag to water-top in five minutes. The user simply drops the rechargeable battery in, activates the magnetic switch and watches the board inflate to life.

The Air basically provides a simpler, more integrated design that SipaBoards calls the "most easy­-to­-pumpinflatable ever." Using an integrated electric pump seems like a clear winner over pumping by hand, and the SipaBoards' design is also simpler and more versatile than 12V electric pumps that require plugging in to a car's 12V outlet or clipping directly to the car battery. There are standalone SUP pumps with rechargeable battery packs out there, but by integrating the pump into the board, SipaBoards gives you one less thing to worry about packing in the car and carrying to the beach. It's an attractive design, and assuming it works effectively at pumping the board to the right pressure, it makes the easy-store, easy-transport inflatable SUP even more convenient and user friendly.

The SipaAir compressor's battery is removable, so you don't have to carry the entire board to the electrical outlet to recharge. SipaBoards says that the battery offers enough juice to inflate the board three times before requiring a recharge, which takes about three hours.

The Air Balance model is designed for on-water yoga and fitness
The Air Balance model is designed for on-water yoga and fitness

As it did with the original SipaBoard, now called the SipaBoards Drive, SipaBoards has turned to Kickstarter for help raising funding. It's offering the Air in three 11-ft (3.4-M) models: the versatile, all-ages All-Rounder, the speed-focused Cruiser and the SUP yoga-supporting Balance. Buyers can select from those three options at all pledge levels, and while the US$890 super early birds are all sold out, some $940 early birds are still available, giving Kickstarters a solid discount on the projected $1,390 retail price. The company is already just past 3/4 of the way to its $100,000 goal, with 43 days left to go. It hopes to begin SipaBoards Air deliveries in October.

Each board comes with a carry bag and a leash that doubles as a shoulder strap for carrying the inflated board. SipaBoards' three-piece carbon paddle, which fits with the board inside the carry bag, can be added for $150.

Sources: SipaBoards, Kickstarter

0 comments
There are no comments. Be the first!
Thanks for reading our articles. Please consider subscribing to New Atlas Plus.
By doing so you will be supporting independent journalism, plus you will get the benefits of a faster, ad-free experience.