Is an Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (iSUP) right for you?

Below are various +’s and -‘s on iSUP’s vs.  rigid fibreglass or carbon fibre SUP’s.

If you do not plan on using your SUP for wave surfing or long distance racing an inflatable makes a lot of sense. The majority of SUPing takes place on flat, calm water. An iSUP performs really well in these conditions.

If durability is important to you and you don’t want to worry about cracks, dings, dents and costly repairs an inflatable is a smart choice. Fibreglass and Carbon Fibre materials can crack, ding and dent very easily. An iSUP is extremely durable.

If you don’t want to worry about you brother in law bouncing your SUP off the dock, a rock or a boat or your kids playing on it….an inflatable is a stress free option.

If storage and transportability for your board outweighs a little less performance, get an iSUP.

If you plan to take your board on a camping trip or to a friends cottage that requires flexibility in transport an iSUP is very practical.

You can take an iSUP anywhere. Rigid boards require expensive carry racks, straps or a pickup truck bed to haul around. With an iSUP you just roll it up into our convenient back pack and put it in your car. An inflatable is easy to take by airplane as well and is accepted with large luggage such as golf clubs and car seats.

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If you live in a condo or a residence without a great deal of storage space an iSUP deflates, rolls up and can be stored in a convenient back pack along with the paddle and pump.

Should you own a boat where you can enjoy overnights on the water…an iSUP is an ideal board to enable exploring of nearby bays, inlets and islands without worrying about durability or the board damaging the hull of your boat.

Durability is really important

Inflatables are much more durable than rigid boards. Rigid boards are not rock friendly and they can dent, ding and damage easily which can be costly and stressful for the SUP owner. An inflatable SUP can withstand contact with rocks, cars, boats, kids, dogs and paddles. When you arrive at the cottage you can tie your inflatable to the dock for easy access. iSUPs are a no worry option that perform.

iSUPs are now manufactured using remarkably light and tough materials that are very difficult to puncture. The term inflatable can be equated to a cheap water toy that won’t last. This is not the case. Our iSUP’s are manufactured with German supplied PVC and Korean Drop Stitch materials that are built to last and withstand punishment.

Price?

It is commonly expected that inflatables are considerably more affordable compared to hard boards but this is no set rule. In fact iSUPs may have the same retail price as rigid boards or can be more expensive. Commonly however, inflatables are less expensive which makes another argument for being the best board to start out with.

Cons? It wouldn’t be unfair to omit mentioning the disadvantages of iSUPs:

    Inflating does take some time and energy. The last 10PSI (out of 25PSI) takes some work and your tri-ceps will get a great work out.

    iSUP’s generally are more buoyant  than rigid boards due to their thickness (6″ is the standard) and as such paddling into the wind or on choppy water an inflatable will be a challenge.

    If you are looking for optimal performance regarding for SUP surfing or for racing, you should consider a rigid SUP made from fibreglass or carbon fibre.