Ok so you might think that there is no way an inflatable paddleboard could actually ever be a good purchase, they can’t possibly work, right?
Wrong, inflatables are actually a fantastic option for a lot of people. They have quite a few benefits that might change your mind on if these types of boards are right for you. My favorite, and most recommended inflatable board is by Tower Paddleboards, as you’ll see in the photos below.
The Benefits of Inflatable Paddleboards
Sure we all know those people who live just steps from the beach, and every morning they carry their paddleboard across the soft sand and into the water for a early morning workout.
And after we get over the seething jealousy, we know that the vast majority of us have to travel a bit with our paddleboards to get to the water. Sometimes it might only be a few miles, but for others, it could be a few hours.
Carrying inflatable paddleboards doesn’t get any easier than this!
Many people, especially those in the Midwest (where paddleboarding is really growing), have to rely on lakes and rivers for their paddleboarding experiences. So, because of that, some of these people actually might be able to benefit from having an inflatable board, and here’s why.
Ease of Transport
Inflatable boards are easy to carry. Unlike a standard paddleboard which can easily run ten feet long and over two feet wide, an inflatable SUP can easily be folded down into a roll or cube. This is perfect for people who have to travel long distances to get to the water. Simply throw your inflatable board right into a duffle bag and it will barely take up any space in the car.
Inflatable boards are less expensive. A paddleboard is awesome, yet some can easily run a thousand dollars and more. For someone who paddles all the time, it’s a fantastic investment, and well worth it. But, if you are only going to use your board at the lake a handful of times a year, an inflatable board is a much more economical choice.
Yes, inflatable boards are durable! When I think of inflatables, a pool float or raft pops into my head. But, when it comes to paddleboards, these inflatable boards are made of heavy duty durable materials. The board doesn’t bend or give in the middle, instead it stays really sturdy the entire time you are on it.
Easy to Store
Inflatable SUP boards are really easy to store. Just like with traveling, a lot of people don’t have the garage or storage space to proudly display their SUP board. So, the fact that an inflatable deflates is a huge bonus, it can be tossed in the closet, or even under the bed during the months that it is not going to be used.
Inflatable SUP Technology
Worried your inflatable isn’t durable? Check again.
Advancements in technology has been great for stand up paddleboarding as well. Since SUP is one of the fastest growing sports in the world, it only makes sense that a lot of traditional board manufacturers are starting to take a long hard look at how to make inflatable counterparts that are going to be stable and durable for those who are looking for an alternative to a regular paddleboard.
What makes today’s inflatable paddleboards so different and much more durable than some of its counterparts is the construction. The inflatable boards today are made with very heavy duty rubber or PVC, this makes them much less likely to be able to be punctured.
In addition to that, most of the higher quality inflatables are going to have multiple layers of rubber, PVC and polymer, this makes the board really durable. You are not going to stand on the board and find that your feet sink in, or the stability suddenly becomes different depending on where you are on the board.
Also, keep an eye out for boards that have a UV protection coating. Since you are going to be using your inflatable board out in the sun, you absolutely want to make sure it is protected. Since the sun can really bake plastic or rubber, this added layer is going to be able to add years of protection to your board.
Movement in the Water
One of the biggest knocks of inflatable paddleboards is that they aren’t as maneuverable in the water as a standard SUP board. Because they are made of plastic or rubber, they won’t have those sleek edges that a typical board has, meaning it won’t cut through the water as fast.
This racing inflatable paddleboard is really maneuverable and fast.
However, this statement isn’t quite as true as it might have been in the past. Yes, an inflatable board won’t be quite as maneuverable or as fast as a typical board, but it hardly means you are going to be riding a log in the water.
The technologies today have dramatically increased the speed and maneuverability of boards. Many inflatable boards now are designed to even have slight rockers in their design, and others come with fins as well. Both of these features mean that an inflatable SUP is going to be able to handle much better in the water.
As you can see, inflatable boards are legit now. So, if you are someone who has been debating on getting a traditional SUP board for a while, but haven’t pulled the trigger because it doesn’t meet your exact needs, consider an inflatable SUP. You might find this a perfect fit for you.
Photos: Tower Paddleboards