This past summer we took our first look at the JP-Australia inflatable SUPs.
Part of the Pryde Group, JP-Australia has been a well-known player in the windsurf board industry; recently, JP-Australia moved into paddle boards, bringing their line of inflatable SUPs to the US. This past summer we took our first look at the 15 PSI JP-Australia CruisAir – a 12-foot, 32-inch wide all-around cruising and touring inflatable paddle board. (Please note: some of the info will be repeated from prior writeups.)
JP-Australia CruisAir 12-0 Inflatable SUP – Getting Started
The board as-arrived is 36 x 20 x 11 inches in the box, weighing in at 37 lbs.
Inside is the CruisAir 12’ body, backpack, repair kit, single action pump with pressure gauge, cinch belt, removable fin and instructions. Once rolled up, the SUP board fits into the backpack, as well as breakdown paddle (longer shafts can jut out of the top) and the pump; the pump can also be strapped to the side of the pack. The board itself weighs 25 lbs, or 31 lbs inside the backpack with pump – these all easily fit in the back of a small car.
For your first set up, uncinch the strap and unroll the SUP body. Lay it out face up so that you can access the military valve.
The CruisAir 12-0 utilizes one spring-loaded military valve for inflation. These are very simple to use and feature an inflate mode (spring plunger is UP) and a deflate mode (spring plunger is DOWN). By using your finger to gently push on the plunger, it can be moved to the inflate mode (air goes in and doesn’t come back out) and deflate mode (air goes in and comes back out). Not to worry, the instructions are printed on the valve. But before you make the effort to inflate the board, PLEASE make sure the plunger is in the inflate position.
The CruisAir paddle board system includes a Bravo high-pressure, single-action pump with a gauge – what we term the “wide barrel” as it pushes out a bit more air, though takes a little more effort to attain very high pressures.
First, screw the gauge onto the hose. Tip #1: Make sure you screw the gauge on carefully – if it gets cross-threaded, air will leak out and you will have a difficult time pumping the board up to necessary pressure. Then attach the hose to the pump barrel.
Take the military valve adaptor, and screw it onto the valve slightly to lock into position – the first time, you may need to push a bit harder to attach, but it gets easier. You’re ready to pump!
After 100 strokes with the single action pump, the board started to fill out, and at 160 pumps it straightened out. By 200 strokes, the gauge started to register (please note, the gauge starts at 8PSI); at 250 we reached 11 PSI, 288 strokes to 14 PSI. Now it was getting tough, so we switched to the half pump method and with another 30 half-strokes reached 15 PSI.
Remove the hose adaptor and replace the valve cap.
Next, install the fin. (This is located in the zippered pocket on the backpack.) Flip the board and lay out the fin, making sure it is pointing towards the rear of the board.
Take the front portion of the fin, and push it into the track until the slots line up, then slide the locking pin through the slots until you hear it click into position – pretty easy. In fact, the hardest part was finagling the fin out of the zippered pocket.
That’s it! Surprisingly simple and in just over five minutes, you’re ready to go!
JP-Australia CruisAir 12 iSUP Construction
The JP-Australia CruisAir is constructed from 150 mm thick drop-stitch material, a construction where thousands of fibers (threads) lock the top and bottom layers together, allowing the board to be pumped up to higher pressures.
Three layers – dropstitch layer, reinforcement PVC layer top and bottom, provide protection against air leakage. The thicker 150mm material increases the board thickness to nearly 6 inches, but also allows the board to attain more rigidity at lower pressures.
JP-Australia CruisAir 12 iSUP Features and Specifications
The CruisAir inflatable SUP is very simple.
There is one military valve, one front d-ring on the underside (tether ring) and one rear d-ring for an ankle leash.
A textured, checker-board traction pad is 77 x 22 inches wide, beginning 10 inches from the tail.
In the center is a 7.5 inch low-profile cloth handle, beginning 13 inches from the front of the pad.
Front bungee deck lacing – featuring 6 d-rings measuring 15 inches deep by 22-24 inches wide – is located about 41 inches from the snout, allowing the paddler to attach gear.
The included deep water tracking fin measures 10 inches deep by 6 inches wide.
The drawstring backpack is made from a rugged, commercial-grade material with mesh sides, front zippering pocket, adjustable side straps and adjustable padded shoulder straps. There are two cinch belts on one side for attaching gear. Bag measurements are 31 inches tall with a 16 inch diameter.
We did measurement tests. The JP Australia CruisAir 12-0 inflatable SUP ran 12′ 1 inches long, 32 inches wide and 6 inches thick. Weight capacity is 275 lbs.
JP-Australia CruisAir iSUP On the Water
I took the board out on a day with very mild chop for a first short jaunt. It was stable, tracked decently and had a smooth glide. Turning was fairly nimble, and even with the slight chop, I didn’t feel flexing underfoot.
I next took out my paddling buddy Cleo. Despite her repeated attempts to acquire all floating objects, the board was stable enough that we both remained standing. The dropstitch material is rugged enough that doggie claws were not an issue, and with the extra-long board length, Cleo did not obstruct paddling. I could easily see a parent and child – even two smaller adults – gliding away on this board.
My friends Roy and Gigi took their maiden SUP cruises on the CruisAir without a blip, in fact they liked the handling, looks and shape.
Lastly, I took the CruisAir out on a glass-like calm day – what a joy. The CruisAir glides smoothly, tracks well and feels quite stable.
JP Australia CruisAir 12 iSUP: Packing It Up
To deflate the board is pretty simple – push the plunger to the open (down) position and immediately the air will swoosh out. But, when drawing off the high pressure, you should do this slowly, so as not to “pop” or unseat the o-ring that completes the valve seal. So, slowly tap the valve to “bleed” off the high pressure several times for a few seconds, increasing the release time as you go.
Remove the tracking fin and store it in the backpack.
Leaving the plunger in the deflate mode, move to the stern of the iSUP. Start tightly rolling up the board from the tail, top side up and fin-side down, with the bottom on the outside. As you roll it up, air will continuously be pushed out of the open valve.
When fully rolled up, replace the valve cover and then take the attached strap and cinch it around the bundle to keep the board tightly rolled – the board will easily slip back into the backpack.
JP Australia CruisAir 12 iSUP – Bottom Line
The JP Australia CruisAir is a really nice, all-around flatwater “cruiser” – but also good in some chop and downwind. It glides nicely, tracks decently and is rugged. It’s stable enough for beginners and is actually pretty easy to pump up for its size.
At 15 PSI, the CruisAir is a great board for larger paddlers up to 240 lbs (275 with gear) , but it’s also a great choice for a family board – versatile enough for adult, kids, or adult and small friend.
The longer waterline and squared-off tail makes the JP Australia CruisAir 12 great for lakes, calm rivers, coastal inlets. For those headed out for a few hours of paddling, the bungee deck lacing and d-rings provide ample space to attach extra gear.
Best of all, it’s highly portable. At 25 lbs, it’s light enough to carry around, while the included backpack is perfect to store in a closet, or stash in a car for spur of the moment fun. Traveling? Take your CruisAir on your next vacation or for a jaunt to a secluded beach.
The MSRP on the JP Australia CruisAir 12-0 is $1390. AirKayaks note: We have a Special Purchase of remaining 2014 JP-Australia CruisAir 11-4 and JP Australia SportstAir 12-6 inflatable sup inventory at 25% off – now $979 and $999! While supplies last. For more information or to purchase, see the JP Australia Product line at AirKayaks.com – the 2015 models will be arriving in early 2015. Stay tuned, we have an upcoming YouTube video on the CruisAir.