Paddleboarding is a great form of leisure, where you can explore rivers, lakes and the oceans in a fun manner. But when it comes to choosing a paddleboard, you have a choice between iSUPS, inflatable paddle boards, and hardboards. Inflatable paddle boards are in our belief the practical choice for most people, and they have many advantages.
ISUPS are much easier to store and transport than hardboards. Rather than taking up lots of space in a car or on a roof rack, when an inflatable paddle board is deflated and packed away in its case, it can be stored with ease in a garage and then packed into a car when you are going out on a day trip paddling.
These practicalities stretch far beyond just being able to fit it in your garage or your car; it also allows you to check it in as conventional flight luggage if you are planning to go paddling on a grand trip abroad, and also makes it easy to transport if you have a long way to walk down to the beach.
An iSUPS main difference to a hardboard when it is on the water is the extra stability that it gives you. Due to being filled with air, the board has extra buoyancy and a lighter profile than a hard board. This can be very helpful if you are a beginner to paddleboarding, or if you generally struggle with stability or trying to balance on the water.
Whilst iSUPS can give you a lot of stability, it is inevitable that at some point you will end up in the water. But the process of getting back on the inflatable paddleboard is often much easier and more comfortable than when using a rigid paddle board. The increased stability of an inflatable paddle board obviously means that there is less of a balancing act as you try and reboard, and this is especially helpful if you are someone who doesn’t have sealegs.
Whilst fibreglass is a strong material and not exactly flimsy, an inflatable paddleboard is equally resistant to any shocks it might have and is less likely to get scratched or stuck. Whilst you might think that an inflatable paddle board is vulnerable, they are much tougher than they appear.
People who have furry friends often don’t like leaving them alone, and an inflatable paddle board is perfect for bringing your dog with you on an adventure. When trained to do so, a dog can learn to lie on the inflatable board, and remain stable as you paddle along the water; whereas a fibreglass hardboard can be slightly too slippery for a dog to lie on it.
Hopefully this guide to inflatable paddle boards will help you if you were struggling to decide between purchasing an iSUP and a traditional hardboard.