Quite simply our attention to detail through design, graphics and the quality of materials. We’ve considered the different niche areas of interests you may have, the regions of the world you may live and the differing bodies of water in which you might use, be it inland or on the coast. Our unique selling points (USPs) are as well thought out as our graphics, designed to inspire.
With so much confusion in the inflatable SUP market, we’ve attempted to answer possible questions you may have and given some you may never considered. Mistral is a premium, high end, competitively priced brand and as experts in our field, we like nothing better than to share our knowledge with you during the decision making process.
If you’re reading this and thinking of buying an inflatable SUP, the best advice we can give, not only will you get what you pay for, but the cheaper you buy, the more vulnerable you are likely to be as a result of the use of inferior materials and poor build quality.
In the past, seam failure represented the primary problem area when methods and materials were in development. Seam failure resulted due to the method by which the seams were bonded to the PVC. They were subject to degradation due to issues of humidity and being stored away when damp. Cheap boards use cheap seam technology and cheap drop stitch technology.
If you’re worried about spending more than you can afford, it tends to reflect what you ‘choose’ to afford, rather than what you actually can. But ask yourself, do you and your family want the reassurance of having quality under your feet when out on the water, or the insecurity of cheapness and if that’s not enough, consider the resale value of a quality Mistral product, over that of a no-name inferior product? It’s this combination of Techno-Design which can make all the difference to your safety, enjoyment and experience. The safer you feel, the more fun you can have, making Mistral a great partner to have at your side.
Older generation inflatable boards, used as many as 5 separate layers. This included the base cloth layer (to which the drop-stitch was woven) followed by 3 separate, PVC sheet laminates and a final EVA non-slip pad. This has been moderated to 3 then 2 and even 1 layer over time. Eliminating the need to cut and hand lay and adhere PVC fabric to the outer core fabric by hand application, resulted in greater chance for irregularities and human error.
During 2017, Mistral introduced Fusion Layer Technology (FLT) in a dramatic response to ever changing user demands and the need to keep pace with new technologies. Uniquely, the outer surface layer of the PVC fabric is made water and air tight, through application of a liquid reinforced polyester which cures to form a tough outer boundary we call, Fusion Layer Technology (FLT). The finished fused material, consists of an inner sleeving core fabric to which the drop stitch is woven and the outer, sealed with reinforced liquid PVC.
Mostly it eliminates the need for multiple layers of PVC, which were added in the past for reinforcement. Less material is less impact on the environment and less weight to carry around.
MSL (Monocoque Structural Laminate) and FLT (Fusion Layer Technology) are the same things. The difference for 2019 is that we have advanced our FLT to use ‘woven’ fabric, replacing ‘knitted’ making it lighter and stiffer and therefore the lightest most advanced inflatable drop stitch material on the market.
Drop stitches are interconnecting polyester strands, connecting the top and lower PVC layers of the internal chamber of the board. The excess amount of thread determines upon inflation, the distance separating the fabrics and therefore the depth / thickness of the board. The outer core material consists of laminated PVC. Without these ‘stitches’ boards would lack rigidity, be badly deformed and lack shape.
In the early stages of fabrication, we use a highly sophisticated, fabric weaving machine, to weave polyester fibres to the upper and lower layers of an inner-core sleeving fabric. We use the finest quality, high density drop stitch polyester threads and core materials and use a cross-woven weave as against a weaker, linear weave, ensuring the best possible stability and strength between upper and lower layers to which the drop stitch is woven.
This relate to the way the internal polyester threads are stitched to the top and bottom internal layers of the board, within the chamber. This pattern, creates the strongest possible latitudinal and longitudinal stability, in the same way as cross-beams act on a bridge or building. This you can see on the outer skin of our boards, each dimple, being a connecting point for a cluster of fibres, connecting to the internal membrane wall. The resulting board is stiffer and higher performing.
Simply because woven drop stitch material is thinner, offering increased tensile strength due to the way the internal fibres are woven. Less layers (laminates are needed) and you can expect up to 20% decrease in weight over a knitted drop stitch board. This is good for the environment and offers improved levels transportability, performance through added rigidity and less weight.
With the board shape template cut, rail edges are added consisting of an industry leading three layers of PVC seam tape, exceeding leading brands. This consists of an inner rail tape 3.75” wide on our 6” thick boards, 2.75” on our 5” thick boards. Seams are high pressure-bonded to the outer PVC sides. A further rail tape is fully wrapped over the entire rail to encase it. To our 6” thick boards we use a 5” wide tape and to our 5” boards, a 4” wide tape. A final narrow rail edge seam tape is added, butted up against the seam edge, to protect from snagging and complete what is the best rail edge construction on the market, adding stiffness, durability and aesthetics. This creates three layers between the very outer rail layer and the drop stitch outer fusion layer.
EVA is the final step in construction and is the non-slip material, machine pressed and fused onto the FLT PVC decking to complete the process of lamination. This can either be smooth for comfort or feature a diamond pattern, where grip is the main aim.
Many users would like to own a hard board, however lack of space and suitable transportation are key issues preventing ownership. These then are the primary reasons why inflatable SUP boards are hugely popular.
Inflatable boards by default have very high volumes. The concern with volume, is in relation to buoyancy. Our smallest board, the Bali at only 8’6, has 210L of volume and supports the weight of even a heavy adult over 100kgs, but is designed for children. More important is the issue of stability, more directly a factor of length x width – the longer and wider the board, the more stable it will be.
Regular checking of key components such as seams, valve and the overall integrity of the board’s condition are essential to be assured the board is sound and will support safe use and this should be carried out before each use. Contrary to poor advice, inflatable boards require in fact, greater care and attention during use and storage than that of hard boards.
Yes, all our fins are easily removed. Some feature a slide-in no tool required fin, others rely upon a screw and plate system, which can be tightened by fingers.
A superb, highly quality, durable, water proof zippered bag with roller wheels; the best on the market. These are oversized so as your board will easily fit without struggling to fit after use. A double-action hand pump, repair kit and fin. Our Santa Anna WindSUP® also includes our unique mast plate.
Yes, you should air or towel dry the board before deflation, storage or stowage so as to prevent any potential for mould growth and to protect the integrity of the seams. Salt water residue in particular, will cause sweating, therefore, rinse with fresh water before drying.
Avoid long terms stowage on a boat at anchor, airing cupboards, damp sheds and garages, near central heating, in the car boot etc.
Anywhere that is dry and preferably not too humid. Avoid extremes of hot and cold including direct sunlight and frost.
Yes, but it’s advised to deflate it to around 5psi to lessen the strain on the valve and seams. Ideally suspend so as air can circulate around it.
Rarely is this an issue. A valve spanner is supplied with each inflatable board, which allows you to tighten the valve should it work loose. These are pressure tested to over 60psi but only have to cope with less than 20psi.
The simple answer is ‘no’ and we know you will want to get on the water as soon as you can. Our Mistral pumps are dual action, meaning, you begin by switching the pump to ‘double action’ so as the pump inflates on both the upward and downward stroke of the pumping action. When you approach 5-8 psi, flip switch to ‘single action’ and the pump inflates on just the downward action. A superior pump goes a long way to making the process painless and speedy.
This is the measurement of pressure and no different from when you inflate a car tyre. Simply psi = Pounds Per Square Inch. 1 Bar = 14.75 psi.
We have lowered our recommended psi for new boards to 12-15psi which is good news as you will be on the water faster for less effort and time spent inflating.
Over inflating the board beyond what is recommended, will not result in a stiffer board. The worse scenario is that you will tear away the drop stitches between upper (deck) and lower (hull) fabrics and create a large bulge which is not repairable.
Yes. Strong UV will cause air to expand within the chamber and this may exceed the recommended psi. Reduce psi by 2psi from recommended if you have to leave the board in direct sunlight. Keep in shade when you can. Do not store in car on hot summer days.
Our ideal inflatable range for family use, are our Tribe boards; Bali, Java, Sumatra and Lombok. There’s a range of sizes to suit either individual members of the family from kids to adults, or consider an all-round solution with the Lombok. Lovely to paddle, slide in fin, cargo net and nose handle are just some of the features, constructed in our super light woven FLT fabric.
WindSUP® is registered to Mistral and one of our earliest creations during the development of stand up paddle boarding. The conversation facility, permits the addition of a windsurfing rig, converting it a SUP board that can be sailed, hence WindSUP®.
Our Santa Anna boards, named after the famous Santa Anna winds of California, are superb all-round boards, with the facility of being able to attach our unique mast plate, included with the board.
Yes. Unlike other brands, we do not have a direct screw-in fitting into the board. These can tear out of the board and the results are catastrophic. Our unique mast plate, connects by way of two D-rings. The plate spreads the load generated from the force of the rig and therefore protects the structure of the board.
Any mast foot with 8m hexagonal nut fitting can be fitted to the mast plate.
Use of an inflatable SUP on a boat can take a few forms. As a mooring toy used for fun when at anchor or in port. As a ship to shore tender and as a back up form of safety. Our Nautique boards were especially designed with the boating enthusiast in mind. They have many features which make them uniquely suited to boating life; multiple handles, a bow splashguard, slide in fin, square nose, D-Rings for attachment of a kayak seat and are super stable.
Mistral were early pioneers of SUP yoga and pilates specific boards. Today we offer the Asana and the uniquely shaped Lotus boards. Both boards feature smooth skin EVA and are clutter free, so as to make them comfortable platforms when standing or laying down. The Lotus permits partnered exercise moves and can support up to three – can be paddled and makes for a great family board, Asana being the faster paddling board.
Our Trekker boards are the ultimate adventure board, featuring dual chambers for an added level of safety. Designed to carry an additional 60kg of cargo, they feature large cargo areas, dual chamber and are extremely stable and of high volume.
Our Limpopo river boards are the ideal river board companion. Featuring multiple grab handles, cargo net, high grip deck area, these boards are nimble and built tough with high density drop stitch multiple layer PVC. Also ideal for general paddling applications. For the more adventurous, our Colorado take it to another level in terms of being super fast to turn and fitted out with step back pad, towing D-rings and more.
Our Vortex Air and Slipstream Air boards feature four separate chambers. The primary chamber uses woven FLT fabric, while hollow side chambers, provide added stability and a bow chamber, adds volume upfront. By inflating to 1psi and less, the pressure helps to shape the front underside bow, so as to be displaced and therefore fast. Uniquely constructed, there simply is no equal on the market in terms of speed and advancement, rigidity and performance nearing that of a hard board.
Yes and this is one of their strongest attractions. Ensure the valve cap is not screwed in. Generally the bag will be checked in as Over Size Luggage, which simply means wheeling the bag to a separate area of the airport for drop-off. There is no added cost. With limits of up to and over 23kg, depending which board you have, there’s room left for some clothing and toiletries.
A repair kit is included. Punctures are rare. Wash off with fresh water, make dry and sand paper around repair. Add contact adhesive to board and patch, allow to be touch dry before applying and smoothing down. Allow 24hrs curing time. Damaged seams require the same treatment, but need added glue behind the seam as one repair, then a large patch over the seam and board area. Seek expert advice in the case of difficult repairs – inflatable boat repairers.