How To Inflate, Deflate and Fold a STAR Inflatable Kayak

Inflatable kayaks make it easy to travel and explore waterways near and far. By design, you can easily haul them just about anywhere in a convenient backpack. This also means you don’t need a two-car garage to store your boat. Now that you’ve chosen to add an IK to your life, don’t find yourself on your first adventure with no idea how to set it up and then fit it back in the backpack.

How To Set Up and Inflate Your STAR Inflatable Kayak

Using the STAR Raven Pro as our model, this video walks you through inflating your kayak and rigging it up with a seat, plus the optional thigh straps and footpegs.

  1. To start, find a flat clean surface and lay out your inflatable kayak.
  2. To ready the valves for inflation, press down on the stem in the center of the valve and turn it to the right (clockwise). The stem will pop up and you’ll know the valve is closed and ready for inflation. (Failing to do so will result in loss of pressure when you unscrew the pump.)
  3. Thread the hose from your pump into the valve and begin inflating the chambers. For best performance, inflate both side tubes to 2.5 psi and the drop-stitch floor insert to 8 psi. Finally, tighten the straps holding the floor in place.
  4. Install the seat. Undo the hook-and-loop attachments beneath the seat and thread them through the straps on the drop stitch floor toward the valve in the rear. Fold and press the seat down to fully secure the hook-and-loop straps.
  5. Loosen the straps on the sides of the seat. Making sure there are no twists in the straps, thread the single strap through the d-ring behind the seat. The double strap clips into the d-ring in front of the seat. Adjust the straps to make the seat most comfortable for your body and paddling style.
  6. If your IK includes footpegs, sit in the kayak and adjust the footpegs to your preferred length. You want a bit of bend in your legs so you can stabilize yourself in the IK.
  7. If your IK includes thigh straps, adjust them so they support you in the kayak but are loose enough so you can easily remove your legs from them.

How To Deflate and Fold Your STAR Inflatable Kayak

You’ve paddled and explored, and now you’re standing on the shore wondering how everything could possible fit back into that backpack. Using the STAR Raven Pro as our demo, this video offers a step-by-step process for breaking down, deflating and folding your kayak correctly to ensure it fits comfortably in the included backpack.

  1. If you can, find a flat, clean surface and lay down your inflatable kayak.

  2. If your kayak is equipped with thigh straps and foot pegs, remove them and set them aside.
  3. Loosen the four straps supporting the seat, unclip them from their D-rings, and tuck the straps into their pockets on the seat back. Undo the hook-and-loop supports beneath the seat, slide the seat out toward the front of the kayak, and set the seat aside.
  4. Now the IK is ready to be deflated. Push in on the stem in the center of the valve and turn it to the left (counterclockwise). The valve will now stay open and continue to deflate. As the boat deflates, fold the side tubes in and starting from the bow, fold the IK toward the valves in the stern.
  5. Once the IK is completely folded, place it in the carry bag along with its seat a other accessories.

You’re all packed and ready to go home—or on to your next adventure!