Surfing Free with the Uli Inflatable Surfboard

Inflatable surfboards for surfing

As I’ve been planning my “surf trip” to Texas, yes a trip to Texas specifically for surfing (and ya know visiting my fam that live there – ha), I’ve been researching various surfboard options to use at the new BSR Surf Park because I had heard they wouldn’t have rentals until after I visited there in May.

I really didn’t want to lug around my 6’2″ fat feisty fish or 7’6″ funboard (no way did I even consider bringing my 8’6″ longboard) to and from the airport.

Plus, it would have been $60 each way to the airport and back to find an Uber/Lyft SUV type rental that could hold my board. Even if I did long term cheap parking, that would still be around $70-$80 for the total time my car would be parked there. In addition, that doesn’t even include the total airline fees of $150 ($75 each way on Southwest) plus I would need to buy a board bag as I don’t have one because I usually just rent boards when I travel to places. (Total cost to Uber/Lyft = $270 + buy new surfboard bag), Total cost to drive/park =$225 + buy new surfboard bag).

I had also considered trying to rent a board somewhere in Houston or buy one from someone in Houston (a lower priced board that I could potentially re-sell for less than the cost of bringing my board would cost me). However, the one or two surf shops in Houston don’t rent surfboards, I would have had to have my mom or brother drive an hour to Galveston to pick up a board rental and the 2-3 boards I found for sale were either sold or the sellers were kind of flaky and didn’t get back to me.

During the midst of all this, I came across the Uli Inflatable Surfboards/SUP website. I remembered seeing them at Surf Ride’s demo day back a few months prior but didn’t get a chance to try them.  I got in touch with them and told them about my situation and they offered me a demo to try out their inflatable surfboard and I jumped on it!

Below is the video I took of my surf sesh with the 7’6″ Proto Surfboard inflatable board (Instagram 1 minute highlight followed by the detailed footage). I don’t get too technical with surfboards, but it was legit and fun to ride.  I’m not the best surfer and I’m not the type to be carving and shredding up a storm (although I’ve seen this board being used that way), I just like to ride the wave as fast and long as I can and that’s what’s fun for me and this surfboard performed!

It was a bit tricky to get used to the different feel of popping up, initially I didn’t have the board inflated enough and couldn’t pop up at all.  However once I got the board inflated properly I popped up right away.  I’m sure there’s a bit of a learning curve with it too as when you pop up it just seems a bit softer and has some flex that I’m not used to, but it turns super easy and has great float, which really helps in catching the waves too!!

The other thing i really liked about the board is you really didn’t even need to wax it.  The material on top of the board has a solid grip so no need to deal with sticky/messy wax! An extra bonus is that it’s made and manufactured in the USA – and in the San Diego county area of Carlsbad, which is super convenient for me!

So now I’m seriously considering getting one of these boards, if not for the surf trip to Waco/BSR Surf Resort (as I heard Superbrand dropped off several for them to use at the park now), it would definitely come in handy on a super long trip I’m planning to Australia in the next couple years (or even add in some variety from the longboard rentals I’ve got reserved for my Scorpion Bay trip later in July).

It deflates and you can wrap it up with this cord and it fits right into a duffel bag, including the air pump!  How convenient would it be to travel with this thing, no awkward boards to lug around – you can truly travel free.  For those backpackers out there that love to surf and travel, this would be the perfect board for you – they even have a smaller 5’8″ inflatable board as well.

I think in a few surf trips you could definitely have made your money back and plus some with investing in this board.  You don’t need to use it all the time and can always rent some different hard boards for variety, but to know that you have a surfboard with you 24/7 at whatever surf spot you come across, that’s not a hassle to transport, that is surfing free to me!!  I highly recommend getting one!!

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Surf Travel, Surfboards

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