Are the Best Inflatable Paddleboards a Better Choice Than a Hard Paddleboard?
There are a few reasons why you should consider using an inflatable paddleboard instead of a traditional hardboard.
- Inflatable boards are easier to transport. When your inflatable paddleboard is deflated it can be rolled up and put inside a duffle bag. This makes it easy to put in your car or even to bring with you when you are traveling abroad. You won’t have to worry about big bulky hardboards that need a roof rack for transportation (no need for a roof rack means saving on gas money as well as buying a roof rack). The fact that these boards can be placed in a duffle bag also makes storing them super-easy.
- A second advantage of inflatable boards is their durability. Many people assume an inflatable board is less durable than a hard board, but surprisingly that’s not the case. They are largely composed of urethane which is the same type of material of which river rafts are made. This material can scrape over rocks without tearing. Hardboards on the other hand will chip and crack if they are bumped or rubbed against rough surfaces.
- Inflatable paddleboards are also a lot softer than regular boards which makes them great for beginners or when you are using them in rough water. You are less likely to hurt yourself when falling because the soft, flexible material has some give.
- Finally, one of the benefits of buying an inflatable board is the price. These board are a lot less expensive than solid ones so buying one can save you a decent amount of money.
Our choices for the best inflatable paddleboards available on (free shipping):
#1 Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer Inflatable 9’10” SUP Package – a best seller with great rating for a reason: low price and quality. 4.5 star rating.
#2 Isle 10ft Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard with Pump and 3 Piece Adjustable Travel Paddle – Super Durable – more expensive than the previous Tower board, but worth it if you have a little extra cash to spare. 4.5 star rating.
#3Tower Paddle Boards Adventurer 2 – A very nice faster inflatable. This one is as close as you can get to a hardboard without… well, without actually buying one! But it’s significantly pricier than #1. Five star rating. A great choice if you think you will be surfing.
Features to Look For in an Inflatable Paddleboard
As you can see there are a lot of advantages to buying an inflatable board, but it is important to buy the right style for your particular needs. Here is a list of the key features you should look for when buying your board.
- Thickness – The most important factor when buying an inflatable board is its thickness. The thickness of the board will affect how stable the board is. It is recommended that you buy a board that is at least six inches thick. If it is less than six inches thick it will be unstable and you’ll have a hard time keeping your balance.
- Weight limit – Each board comes with a weight limit, so pay attention to these limits when making your purchase. Think about whether or not you will have more than one person on the board at once.
- Paddle – Not all boards come with a paddle so be sure to know what you are paying for. Also pay attention to what the paddle is made out of. They can be made out of plastic, aluminum or carbon fiber. Most boards come with an aluminum paddle which is heavy but durable. This type of paddle is also collapsible for easy transportation.
- Hull shape – The shape of the tip of your board is called the “hull shape”. It can have a pointed or a rounded shape. The type of hull shape you buy will depend on what you’re up to on the water. A rounded shape is called a “planing hull” and it offers stability – these are great for beginners or people who want to gently glide through the water. A pointed shape is called a “displacement hull”. These hulls cut through the water better and go faster but are less stable.