Inflatable SUP Upgrade for Wing

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Introduction: Inflatable SUP Upgrade for Wing

I begin to wing with the inflatable SUP board (Decathlon Itiwit 9'').

Inflatable SUP boards are great to begin (sitting on knees is comfortable, falling on it is not dangerous).

But after first traverses you will realize that you "loose water" going down wind. So walk of shame is guaranteed.

After several sessions I've got convinced that going upwind is simply not possible since my inflatable SUP has rail to edge with the speed and no front fin to drift less at low speed. Poor man solution came to my mind - glue in the front fin. Here it is explained.

Videos that motivated me:

Great gluing process:

Fin positioning:

Watch those and you will be already ready to start. So only few more hints from my side.


Supplies:

  • Inflatable SUP. Will work for rigid too (but maybe you can go upwind already without a front fin?).
  • Front fin + box. Amazon has a lot of options from 15 to 20 euros I went for cheapest one and it worked well.

    https://www.amazon.it/gp/product/B08B1FTF4T The fin looks the same as the one already installed on the Decathlon Itiwit 9'' board (and it was rather compatible at the end).

  • Glue + PVC patches. I used two SUP repair kits from Decathlon (

    https://www.decathlon.it/p/kit-riparazione-sup-gon...
    It has glue and the PVC patches. Having one big patch would be better but I was not able to find it.

  • Rope to center your fin.
  • Some weights to press the glued fin.
  • Alcohol to clean the surface before gluing.
  • Sand paper (included in the repair kit).

Total work cost 15 + 7x2 ~ 30 euros.

Step 1: Place Your Box/fin

To center the fin I was using the rope attaching it to the back fin and using tape to attach it to the nose (don't worry about precision here since already few mm positioning of the rope on the nose will do the work).

Place the box/with the fin somewhere in the center. On my 9'' I was using the handle to get the idea where is the gravity center. On 10'' or longer board you could move it closer to the back. I found 75cm from the back fin distance too short (advise from the slingshot video). Draw with marker the preliminary placement around the box.

Important for the inflatable board! Deflate your SUP and start to roll it. Your new box should fit perfectly to the step of the roll (driven by the existing fin box). If it does not happen by pure luck, draw marker closer to back from the initial marker lines and adjust accordingly.

On Itiwit 9" this is where "I" letter starts (so external edge of the letter matches box edge). But check it on the rolled fin. The glued fin should look like on the photo (box is under the patches but it is in the center). If you screw this the rolling will be a mess and you will not anymore get your rolled SUP compact!

Step 2: Gluing

Pretty much following the other video (and decathlon kit video).

  • Unclip the fin from the box.
  • Swipe with alcohol.
  • Sand the surfaces.
  • Put the glue on both sides. Wait 1 minute.
  • Attach strongly, hammer a bit with weight and put the weights.

Wait 1 day and start the same with patches. I've cut them a bit to make thinner (size is driven by the existing PVC on the back fin). I've drawn with marker the silhouettes for each patch and was gluing them one by one.

Wait 1 day and for the wind.

Step 3: Riding

The glued fin stays on the place after 4 intense sessions. I started to go upwind once the waves/chop is small and that made me totally happy for now.

Some quick tips for riding

  • Riding with ~10 knots and flat water is the best with such setup (5m^2 wing that I have).
  • Stronger wind makes it hard on the hands and you need to get the technique in advance.
  • Lower wind does not keep wing in air so it will be hard for your shoulders.

  • You body should be placed backwards - the front feet slightly behind or on the handle, feet almost parallel to the board (to rotate the hips).
  • You should look where you want to go (upwind).
  • The wing center should be placed slightly behind your body.
  • Your back hand should be almost straight. In general the imaginary line perpendicular to your wing surface should pass behind the board center (handle). The will make the right wind force to go upwind. You should always stay gentle on the back arm.

  • Following some experience windsurfer or winger helps to get the trajectory.
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    2 Comments

    0
    dohelpinspire
    dohelpinspire

    6 weeks ago

    Thanks for demystifying this for me. I am in the market for a paddleboard and can look at damaged ones too now!