I have been using the SUP for several years, and now I exactly know all advantages and disadvantages of the inflatable boards. I think that there are more advantages of using these boards. But I believe it is important to tell about positive and negative sides before buying a paddleboard.
Let’s consider positive sides at first:
|Aqua Marina||10'10" x 38” x 6”|
|15 PSI||400 lbs|
|Elkton Outdoors||12’ x 36” x 6”|
|15 PSI||290 lbs|
|South Bay Board Co.||11’6" x 32” x 6”|
|15 PSI||400 lbs|
|Bluefin||10’8” x 30” x 6”|
|15 PSI||410 lbs|
|ISLE SUP||11’6” x 36” x 6”|
|15 PSI||320 lbs|
|Peak Expedition||11’6” x 32” x 6”|
|15 PSI||300 lbs|
|Aceshin||10’ x 30” x 6”|
|15 PSI||300 lbs|
- Simple transportation. Inflatable boards are simply transported, and so this reason is essential while choosing this type of the board. It is deflated and takes minimum space. They are small and can be stored in a bag. Just put it to your car, or boat, or backpack, and you are done. It is very convenient to take them anywhere you want.
- Nice for traveling. This positive feature is similar to the above one. You can take your board to airplane easily, and no need to pay extra money because it is light and does not take much space. Having a board will open new opportunities during a trip. You can paddle in new waters and observe beautiful landscapes.
- Soft surface to smooth fall. Everybody falls from the paddleboard from time to time. Water and weather are warm but you would still fall especially if you try it for the first time, or when there are waves. These boards can be really rigid, and their surface is not hard as fiberglass boards are. You will not experience any impact if you fall. It would be great for children and beginners.
- Stability. I can say that inflatable paddleboards are more stable compared to hard-shell boards. It is easier to learn to stand on them.
- Storage space saving. It does not take much space for a storage. The boards are deflated, put it into the bag and keep in a convenient place. So if you do not have free space, do not worry.
- Long duration. This type of the boards will perfectly do for rivers and rocky shores. The boards are not delicate, and if you like to swim among the rocks, this paddleboard will just bounce off it. It is very tough. Of course, it will not stand any sharp items in it.
- Dog-friendly. I have a dog, and I know he will want to be with me. So my board fits him well. The surface of the board allows the dogs staying on it, and the paws do not slide. So if you have a pet, you should choose an inflatable board.
The disadvantages are as follows:
- Maneuverability. To me it is not an issue, but it is fact that this type of the board is not so fast as fiberglass boards. The hard-shell board may be sleek, and also designed for a fast response. And inflatable boards do have a fast reaction to your movements.
- Rigidity. If you inflated your board right, it will be firm and rigid. But you should understand that it is still inflatable.
- Cost. It is not cheap. Most people believe that this type of the paddleboard is cheaper than fiberglass
- Flex. The biggest issue of the inflatable paddleboards is flex. I also had this problem and I was really upset because the flex was in the middle, and so the performance was limited. But then I figured out that that board was not inflated to the right level. You will avoid flex if you inflate your board well. It depends on your body weight. The heavier you are, the more pressure the board needs.