Adding D-Rings to an Inflatable Paddle Board

We occasionally get questions on attaching d-rings to inflatable paddle boards. Recently, we had the opportunity to purchase preliminary, production-run 2016 AquaGlide Cascade 12-0 inflatable paddle boards.

Cascade 12-0 Prototype as received.

As the first run did not include bungee deck lacing on the nose, we were able to make a special purchase on the boards, and AquaGlide supplied the deck lacing kits. While the standard AquaGlide Cascade 12-0 production boards retail for $999, the prototype version – without deck lacing but supplied with the deck lacing kit – sells for $699.

We used this opportunity as a learning tool to pass on our experience. While the following instructions are specific to the AquaGlide Cascade 12 prototypes, the method is fairly universal.

The included AquaGlide instructions make it sound pretty simple:

1) Locate where you want to put the d-rings.
2) Lightly clean the board, removing any printed graphics that might interfere with adhesion.
3) Apply adhesive to board and d-rings, twice.
4) Press down and let dry.

What's in the bungee kit.

What’s included in the AquaGlide bungee lacing kit: 61 inches of bungee cording, instructions, 4 cloth d-rings on pads, HH-66 vinyl cement with cap brush. (Please note, while this kit is included with the AquaGlide prototype paddle board, it is not available as a separate purchase. You would need to source the d-rings, bungee and vinyl cement if you are planning on applying this to another board.)

What tools you will also need: Large piece of cardboard, pencil, ruler, small 1/2 inch stiff brush, small rag, solvent (see below), credit card or piece of stiff plastic to use as a “roller.”

The instructions direct you to place the center of the d-ring/pads 15″ apart front-to-back and 17″ apart side-to-side. While AquaGlide says the d-rings can be attached to the board inflated or deflated, we pumped the board up somewhat firm, to ensure that everything would be centered, using the following method.

Finding the d-ring center

Take one d-ring pad and find the center. To do this, measure the pad side-to-side and top-to-bottom marking the center each time. Then run a pencil mark each direction. The center of the included d-rings was just under 1.25 inches each dimension.

Cut a piece of cardboard to measure 15 inches by 17 inches.

Measuring out the d-ring placement

Lay the cardboard across the empty bow of the board, with the 17″ inch side-to-side.  Move it around until it is in the position you want, making sure that it won’t be in the way of paddling. We positioned the end of cardboard 5.5 inches from the end of the deck pad. Then we measured the edge of the cardboard to the blue side rail until it was centered, in this case 2.75″ from the blue side rail on the nose side, and 5 1/8 inches from blue side rail on the deck pad side; we used the lines of the “drop stitch” to make sure it was even.

Measuring d-ring placement

Once the cardboard is in the proper position, mark the position by running a pencil around the perimeter. Remove the cardboard.

Positioning the d-ring

Then, take the d-ring pad with the “cross mark” and position it at one corner of the penciled rectangle, lining up the cross marks.

Positioning the d-ring

Run a pencil around the d-ring pad, then do the same for the other four corners.

Before attaching the d-rings, check to see if there are any printed graphics inside those circles. If so, the graphic needs to be removed for best glue adhesion.

Solvents needed.

The instructions suggest using M.E.K (methyl ethyl ketone) but this has been banned in California. A quick visit to the local Ace Hardware turned up Klean Strip Painter’s Solvent, which stated it was an M.E.K. substitute.

Removing the graphics

We poured a small amount of the paint solvent into a bowl, then took an old, stiff, half-inch brush and carefully applied the thinner to the area containing graphics. As the solvent is “thin” do this carefully; the graphics immediately started to come off, without affecting the board.

Removing the graphics

We carefully continued painting it inside the penciled outline, using a small rag to wipe off the residue – this took just a couple minutes. AirKayaks note: if you are concerned about the thinner running onto your board, you may want to make an adhesive stencil around the penciled outline to keep it from removing more graphic than you want.

Next we took the small rag with thinner and lightly wiped the other three board locations (which did not have graphics) and the back of the four d-ring pads, to make sure they were clean.

Applying the vinyl cement.

Open the included HH-66 vinyl adhesive and use the cap brush to paint on a light coating of adhesive within the penciled outline, and on the back of the d-ring.

Applying the vinyl cement.

The instructions direct one to let the adhesive dry-to-touch for 2-3 minutes; we found that by the time we applied a coating to the other three locations and ring pads, that amount of time had passed.

Glue applied to both surfaces.

When dry to-touch, repeat the same steps, putting on a second thin coating.

Adhering the d-ring.

Once the second coating was dry to-touch, we carefully positioned the first d-ring pad onto the penciled outline, making sure the d-ring was straight and centered, pushing down firmly from the center and then out around the edges.

Adhering the d-ring.

This is where the credit card or piece of plastic/roller comes in handy – to put a bit of pressure on the d-ring, creating a good seal.

Close-up of glued-on d-ring

Do this with the other three locations and let the adhesive rest for about 5 minutes.


Next take the bungee deck lacing and – from the nose – thread each side through the nose end of the d-rings, then cross each end to the opposite d-rings (near the deck pad) creating an X. Move to the deck pad side, and pull the bungee through the d-rings.

Threading the bungee deck lacing.

At this point, you need to pull fairly hard to get enough bungee to tie together.

Bungee deck lacing attached

We used a square knot to tie it off and voila – job accomplished, and it felt pretty strong! Probably about 20 minutes total and it was actually very easy.

Cascade 12-0 now with bungee deck lacing.

Let the board sit 24 hours before putting it in the water.

Cascade 12-0 now with bungee deck lacing.

You’re now ready to take out your new Cascade 12-0 paddle board with paddling gear! An easy project that saves you a bundle of money!

For more details, visit the AquaGlide Cascade 12-0 inflatable paddle board product page at

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