Using the K-20 pump, I can inflate the 10-foot SHUBU most of the way in about 6.5 minutes. It takes another couple minutes for the last difficult strokes needed to reach the appropriate PSI (which for me is around 10). That’s compared to the 15 minutes it took to blow up the SHUBU when I was using the plastic pump that came with the board.
Take note—when you’re paddling in cold water, the air pressure in the SHUBU will rapidly decrease once you launch it. I typically wait 10 minutes for the SHUBU to adjust before I add more air.
Having helped a friend load fiberglass boards atop her vehicle, I appreciate how easy it is to store and transport the SHUBU. The board packs down to 31 x 8.25 inches, and traveling is as simple as throwing the bag and paddle in the trunk.
There’s a sturdy nylon handle at mid-deck to help transport the board from the shore to the water. Because it only weighs about 25 lbs, the SHUBU is easy to carry—I can balance it on my head if needed. I’ve tried (often unsuccessfully) to tote fiberglass boards to the water’s edge, and the SHUBU is a great option for a smaller person like me.
I’ve taken the SHUBU on planes several times now. I used a rolling snowboard bag, twisting the SHUBU up like a cigar to protect the paddle in the center. This makes air travel with the board pretty easy—the hardest part is trying to explain to airport personnel what’s inside the bag….
Though the SHUBU comes with a repair kit, I haven’t used it yet. So far, the SHUBU’s UV-resistant military-grade rubber has proved to be very durable. I’ve often worried (needlessly) about damaging the board when I’m inflating the SHUBU on rocks, gravel, and sand, but the thick rubber is strong and abrasion resistant.
There have been a couple gut wrenching moments when I heard rocks or debris scrape the bottom of the craft while I was on a river. I was worried about gaping slashes in the rubber, but the SHUBU wasn’t even scratched.
However, I did break the large, center skeg on the Weber River after an unexpected impact with a boulder. The plastic fin sheared off completely, just leaving the portion which slides into the track.
I found Boardworks staff to be helpful and speedy when I called them to get a replacement fin. I had new fin sitting on my porch within 3 days of contacting them, though I did have to pay a small fee for the replacement. The folks at Boardworks knew what they were doing when they made the skeg removable since river running tends to be harder on the board.
SHUBU is a good investment for people who are new to paddleboarding, have storage limitations, or wish to travel with their board. If you do decide to get a SHUBU, I’d recommend upgrading the included pump immediately.
I have to say the finest (and most unexpected) part of being a SHUBU owner is the ability to view aquatic, mammalian, and avian creatures up close. Over the last two summers I’ve encountered a young moose, three bald eagles, a beaver, a stingray, cormorants, a harbor seal, great blue herons, sandhill cranes, and some mating cows.
Based on price, ease of transport, and durability, I think the SHUBU is an excellent value.