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Creative Ways To Turn Your iSUP Board Into A Kayak For Cheap

If you have an iSUP then you already know how convenient and space-saving these inflatable miracles are. They allow those who have no car or limited storage space the opportunity to get out on the water and paddle out just like those with roof racks on their cars. iSUPs also allow adventure paddlers the chance to reach incredible yet hard-to-reach bodies of water. But sometimes stand-up paddling is not the ideal mode of paddling, and a kayak would be a much better option. This is why every iSUP owner should know how to convert their iSUP into a kayak easily and cheaply.

If you want to convert your iSUP into a kayak for cheap, consider purchasing an iSUP with hybrid capabilities, as kayak accessories often come included in the price. Otherwise, use the D-rings that come attached to your iSUPs to secure a kayak seat. You can also use a folding chair or even your cooler as back support. Make sure you also have a paddle that converts into a kayak paddle.

There is more than one way to convert your iSUP into a kayak. Some ways are very simple, while others take a bit of creativity and patience. But regardless of your budget, you should be able to find a way to sit on your iSUP and paddle like a kayaker.

Five Ways To Help Convert Your iSUP Into A Kayak For Cheap

1. Buy An iSUP With Hybrid Options

The best, safest, and easiest way to convert your iSUP into a kayak is by purchasing an iSUP that has hybrid capabilities. In other words, buy an iSUP from a company that also sells kayak attachment options. In some cases, a kayak bundle is sold separately, and others include the kayak seat and kayak paddle attachment with the basic iSUP package.

In general, brands include strategically-placed D-rings throughout iSUPs for storage and attachments. Hybrid boards usually have D-rings near the center of the board to make it easy to install a kayak seat.

These attachable kayak seats are also inflatable. This helps keep the weight and size of the carrying bag to a minimum. The setup is generally very easy. As long as you are using the kayak seat from the manufacturer, it should fit perfectly.

Some of these hybrid boards can be quite pricey, but you can also find budget models. The key is to find a board that performs well as an iSUP and a kayak. Often this means the board needs to have good rigidity, and floats well. Otherwise, you might find your body sagging close to the water line and getting unnecessarily wet.

2. Use Your Kayak’s D-Rings To Your Advantage

If you already have an iSUP and it doesn’t classify as a hybrid board, don’t worry. Just because the iSUP company does not make a kayak seat for your specific board, it does not mean there isn’t a kayak seat out there that you can use.

There are a variety of kayak seats you can choose from as long as you have an iSUP with D-rings or something to hook the seat onto. There are various brands that have kayak seats meant to fit several types of boards. Just make sure you choose a seat with free returns in case it does not fit properly.

Consider This Universal Paddle Board Seat Priced Right At Less Than $50

3. Purchase A Folding Chair For Kayaking

If you have an iSUP that doesn’t have extra D-rings, or if the D-rings are placed by the nose or tail of the board (or some other place not fit for a kayak seat), you still have some options. Believe it or not, there are kayak seats for iSUPs that are essentially folding chairs. These chairs sit very close to the floor of your board and don’t have pointed legs that can puncture the board’s PVC material. You can even buy a basic camping chair, as long as it is narrow enough to fit on your board.

These simple chairs also fold down easily to make for easy transport and storage. You can fold and strap a chair onto the front of your board when you aren’t using your iSUP as a kayak. You can find a suitable chair for about $50 in most cases.

Try This Kelty Camp Chair From Amazon

4. Invest In A Convertible Paddle For You iSUP

Regardless of how you create a seating platform for your iSUP, in order to turn your iSUP into a kayak you will need the correct paddle. Sure, you can bring along a kayak paddle if you already have one, but kayak paddles are bulky, and might be challenging to store on your iSUP while you are underway, especially if it isn’t collapsable.

Instead, consider investing in a convertible paddle that can transform your iSUP paddle into a kayak paddle. Most iSUPs come with a multi-piece and adjustable paddle. You can often find a kayak paddle attachment that will fit your existing iSUP paddle. Simply swap out the T-bar handle with the kayak blade. Once you make this swap you magically have a kayak paddle.

5. Use Your Cooler To Your Advantage

If you have limited storage on your iSUP, or if you are on a tight budget, then try using your cooler as a seat of sorts. A cooler, cooler bag, or any firm and large dry bag can offer you some back support when paddling on your iSUP as a kayak. This method should be used as a last resort, as you won’t be off the floor, and might get wet. It also is not likely to be as comfortable or supportive as an actual seat.

Still, if you are on a budget or in a pinch, you can secure your cooler near the middle of the board using straps and D-rings. Then use a towel as padding. This should suffice for a short paddle when you needed to pack a cooler anyway.

Reasons To Invest In An iSUP You Can Convert Into A Kayak

Perfect For Those With Limited Space

While iSUPs don’t always perform as well as hard boards, where they excel is their portability and collapsibility. Most iSUPs can be rolled up along with their pump, paddle, and accessories, and easily fit in a burying bag not much larger than a backpack.

An iSUP in its carrying case usually weighs between 20 and 25 pounds, and even with kayak accessories the whole kit is still likely to weigh less than 30 pounds. This makes an iSUP with a kayak attachment perfect for those with limited space. It can easily fit on a shelf, or in a closet.

The Best Type Of Board For Paddling In Hard To Reach Places

Since iSUPs with kayak capabilities are so portable, this also makes them ideal for those hard-to-reach destinations. A car can only take you so far. Often the most epic paddling rivers, lagoons, and coves require a short (or even long) hike.
Hiking is often not possible with a hard SUP board, and even more challenging with a kayak. But an inflatable iSUP can reach anywhere that you can. So having a kayak seat and paddle attachment makes your iSUP even more valuable when it comes to paddling in remote destinations.

A Great Way To Mix Up Your Paddling Strokes

Variety is the spice of life, and this is true when it comes to paddling as well. Paddle boarding is loads of fun, but it is nice to mix up your paddling stroke now and then. Kayaking also allows you to do some activities that are much harder while SUP boarding, including fishing and taking photos while paddling.

A Cost-Effective Way To Enjoy Multiple Paddling Activities

Another amazing perk to having an iSUP with kayak capabilities is the cost savings. Kayaks cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Sure, a hybrid iSUP is not going to be the best kayak in the world, but it can be highly effective and serviceable. Having a two-in-one kayak and paddle board that fits into a carrying bag is clutch. It gives you endless fun at a fraction of the price of having both a SUP board and kayak.

Final Thoughts On Cheap Ways To Turn Your iSUP Into A Kayak

If you want to convert an iSUP into a kayak without spending too much money, you have several options. First, try to find an iSUP that includes a kayak seat and accessories in the initial purchase. Hybrid iSUPs can actually be quite affordable. You can also use universal kayak seats as long as your iSUP has ample D-rings for attachments. There are even affordable folding chairs designed to sit atop a SUP board for kayak paddling. You can even secure your cooler and use it as back support.


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