We always look forward to summer vacation, but this year especially. After being locked up, everyone wants to get outside on the water to enjoy fresh air and exercise. Standup paddling is the perfect remedy, with inflatable paddleboards one of the best options. They’re ideal for those who want to go on occasional trips but don’t have the space to carry or store a hard board, and their performance is better than ever. Following are a few reasons to jump on board:
Why choose an inflatable instead of a hard paddle board?
Easy transport and storage
The most obvious advantage of an inflatable SUP is the transport and storage. SUPs are usually more than 3 meters long; transporting a rigid SUP often means installing roof racks and strapping the board on, which can lead to theft, poorer gas mileage, the board flying off and more.
Once deflated, an iSUP fits in a simple backpack, which you can store in the trunk of a small car without any problem and at home even in the smallest apartments.
Since inflatable SUPs are easy to transport, you won’t hesitate to take your board with you on your travels or when you go on a hike, so you won’t miss a single session!
Durable and solid
Afraid an inflatable board might burst or explode? Don’t worry, they’re strong as a rock! The multi-layer construction in dropstitch technology, the quality of the materials and the innovative manufacturing processes allow for ultra-resistant boards. They’re much stronger than rigid boards, which are generally more fragile. That’s why they are the best option in rivers. In short, a good quality inflatable paddleboard is less likely to be damaged than a hard paddleboard.
Perfect for beginners
If you are a beginner, you will be very happy to have an inflatable board which won’t be affected by your bad paddle strokes or your repeated falls. But above all, you will be reassured that you will not be hurt if you fall on the board or if you hit your head against it in the waves.
The days when inflatable SUP boards were considered as pale copies of hard boards are over! Aware of the huge potential market, for several years now brands have been striving to innovate more and more to have boards that are always stiffer, lighter and more solid. So much so that today, for most uses, a good inflatable SUP can easily compete with a rigid board in terms of performance.
Adapted for yoga and fitness
Want to do Yoga or Fitness on your paddle? An inflatable is probably the best choice for that as well. Because of their softer surfaces, inflatable paddleboards are perfectly suited for yoga and fitness. Some inflatable boards are even specially designed for this purpose, with pads covering the entire surface, dimensions adapted for more stability, and systems of attachment for the paddle so it doesn’t bother you during your exercises.
How to choose an inflatable paddle board?
The thicker the board, the more stable you can stand. We recommend beginners to choose a 6” thick board. Do not go below 5”, even if the price is low, because the board will not be firm enough. The board should remain stable and maneuverable.
The width of the paddle directly affects the stability of the board. The wider the paddleboard, the more stable. On the other hand, the width also “pushes” the water, which slows down the board. The width also depends on the size of the rider, the heavier, the wider the board should be for better stability (ie boards ranging from 30″ to 35″). The right width for beginners is between 32″ and 34″.
The longer a board is, the smoother and faster the ride. So, don’t hesitate to choose a board with a length between 10′ and 12.6’ for an easier ride. For a touring board, the dimensions generally vary between 10.4’ and 11.6′. For a race board, they are between 12.6′ and 14′.
To find the ideal volume range fitted to your weight, simply take your weight and multiply it by 1.4. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, the range you should be looking for is 150 to 210L. Also, consider the additional weight of the gear you plan to carry.
Optional SUP Seat and Kayak Paddle
Some SUP models have rings that allow you to attach a mountable kayak seat to it. This is perfect for beginners. This makes it not a “standup” paddle, but rather a “sit down” paddle to go easier when you feel tired. And double-bladed paddles like the Hala Gear Butterknife are perfect.