Inflatable vs Hard Paddle Board
Inflatable vs Hard Paddle Board

Paddle boarding is a relatively new water sport that has become increasingly popular recently.

And with its popularity comes a wide variety of paddle boards. But with so many different types of paddle boards on the market, how do you know which one is right for you?

In this blog post, we will compare and contrast inflatable vs. rigid paddle boards so that you can decide which type of board is best for your needs.

We will discuss the pros and cons of each type of board and what factors you should consider before purchasing.

Review contents

Inflatable Paddle Boards

Inflatable paddle boards, also known as iSUPs, are famous for many stand-up boarders.

They offer several advantages over their hardboard counterparts, including portability, durability, and price.

iSUPs are made from various materials, including PVC, polyester, and nylon. They usually have multiple layers of fabric for added strength and durability.

Most inflatable paddle boards can be inflated to around 15PSI, which makes them very rigid when paddling.

One of the most significant advantages of an inflatable paddle board is its portability. ISUPs can be easily deflated and packed into a bag or suitcase, making them perfect for traveling. Hardboard paddle boards can be challenging to transport, especially if you don’t have a car with a roof rack.

Another advantage of iSUPs is their durability. Because they’re made with multiple layers of material, they’re much less likely to suffer damage if they’re dropped or hit against something. This makes them ideal for SUP beginners who might not have the same level of control as more experienced paddlers.

Finally, inflatable paddle boards are typically more affordable than their hardboard counterparts. This is due to the lower cost of materials and manufacturing process.

If you’re looking for a high-quality SUP that won’t break the bank, an iSUP is a great option.

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$299.99
$229.99
 in stock
2 new from $229.99
4 used from $82.25
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories Heavy Duty Comfort Backpack Kayak Attachment and More | Wide Stance Non-Slip Deck, | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$599.99
$224.95
 in stock
6 used from $187.54
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Hard Paddle Boards

Hard or rigid paddle boards are made from various materials, including fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar.

They are generally more expensive than inflatable paddle boards but are also much more durable.

Rigid paddle boards can be used in various water conditions, and experienced paddlers often prefer them.

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Hardshell Paddleboard - 2 Pack (Paddles Included), Red

$1,479.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

WAVESTORM 9ft6 SUP Kayak Hybrid Stand Up Paddleboard Foam Soft Top SUP for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Paddling Kayak,Blue

$599.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

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Pros and Cons of Inflatable and Hard Paddle Boards

The debate between hard and inflatable paddle boards is common among SUP community members.

Both boards have unique pros and cons that appeal to different paddlers.

Here, we’ll break down the key differences between rigid and inflatable paddle boards so you can decide which type is right for you.

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Hard Paddle Boards:

Pros:

  • Rigid paddle boards are typically more stable than inflatable ones, making them ideal for beginners or those who want to use their board for yoga or fishing.
  • They’re also more durable and resistant to damage, so you don’t have to worry about puncturing your board on rocks or other sharp objects.
  • Rigid paddle boards are often lighter and easier to transport than inflatables.

Cons:

  • Rigid paddle boards can be more expensive than inflatables, mainly if you use a higher-end model.
  • They’re also not as versatile as inflatables – you can’t deflate them and pack them into a small bag when you’re done paddling for the day.
  • You’ll need a place to store your rigid paddle board when it’s not in use, which may not be possible if you live in a small apartment or don’t have access to a garage or shed.

Inflatable Paddle Boards:

Pros:

  • Inflatable paddle boards are much more portable than hard boards, making them ideal for travelers or those who want to take their board on camping trips.
  • They’re also often more affordable than hard boards, especially if you go with a lower-end model.
  • Inflatable paddle boards are as durable as hard boards, so you don’t have to worry about puncturing them on rocks or other sharp objects.

Cons:

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Hardshell Paddleboard - 2 Pack (Paddles Included), Red

$1,479.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

WAVESTORM 9ft6 SUP Kayak Hybrid Stand Up Paddleboard Foam Soft Top SUP for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Paddling Kayak,Blue

$599.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

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Which Paddle Board is Best for You?

Regarding paddle boarding, there is a lot of debate over which type is best. Inflatable paddle boards have recently gained popularity, but many prefer hard ones.

So, which is the best type of paddle board to buy?

There are a few things to consider when making your decision. The first is where you will be using your paddle board. An inflatable paddle board will be OK if you paddle in calm waters, like a lake or river.

However, you will need a hard one if you want to take your paddle board out in the ocean or other rough waters. Rigid paddle boards are much more resistant to waves and wind, and they will provide a better overall experience in these conditions.

The second thing to consider is how often you plan on using your paddle board. An inflatable board may be the better option if you only occasionally paddle.

They are easier to store and transport than hard boards and require less maintenance. However, if you plan on using your paddle board frequently, a rigid board will be a better investment.

Rigid boards are built to last and can take a lot of abuse. They are also easier to maneuver and offer more performance than inflatable boards.

The third thing to consider is your budget. Inflatable paddle boards are typically much less expensive than rigid boards. If

Are inflatable paddle boards better than hard ones?

Inflatable paddle boards are often considered the better option for purchasing a paddle board.

There are several reasons for this:

  • Inflatable paddle boards are more versatile than hard ones. They can be used in various settings and conditions, whereas rigid paddle boards are limited to calm waters.
  • Inflatable paddle boards are also more portable than hard ones. They can be easily deflated and transported in a backpack or car, making them ideal for exploring different bodies of water.
  • Inflatable paddle boards are also more affordable than hard ones. This is because they are often made with cheaper materials and do not require as much manufacturing effort.
  • Finally, inflatable paddle boards offer a smoother ride than hard ones. The board’s softer nature absorbs waves and bumps, providing a more comfortable experience for the rider.

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$299.99
$229.99
 in stock
2 new from $229.99
4 used from $82.25
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories Heavy Duty Comfort Backpack Kayak Attachment and More | Wide Stance Non-Slip Deck, | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$599.99
$224.95
 in stock
6 used from $187.54
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

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How long do Inflatable paddleboards last?

Inflatable paddleboards are built to last. With proper care and maintenance, most commercial-grade inflatable paddleboards have a lifespan of around five years.

High-quality home inflatable paddleboards can last even longer.

The main factor in determining how long your inflatable paddleboard will last is how well you take care of it. Like any other sporting equipment, it won’t last as long as it should if you don’t take care of it.

Inflatable paddleboards are made of rigid, durable materials that can withstand much abuse but are not indestructible.

Here are a few tips for prolonging the life of your inflatable paddleboard:

  • Always rinse off your board after use, especially if you’ve paddled in salt water. Saltwater is corrosive and will damage your board’s materials over time.
  • Store your board in a cool, dry place when not in use. Extreme heat or cold can damage your board’s materials and shorten its lifespan.
  • Inspect your board regularly for signs of wear or damage. If you see anything unusual, get it fixed as soon as possible before it gets worse.

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Hardshell Paddleboard - 2 Pack (Paddles Included), Red

$1,479.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

WAVESTORM 9ft6 SUP Kayak Hybrid Stand Up Paddleboard Foam Soft Top SUP for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Paddling Kayak,Blue

$599.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Are cheap paddle boards worth it?

It all depends on what you’re looking for and how much you want to spend. When it comes to paddle boarding, you get what you pay for.

However, some great cheap paddle boards out there are worth your money.

If you’re starting out, a cheap paddle board may be the best option. You can find some great beginner boards for under $500.

Once you get the hang of things and decide if paddle boarding is something you want to continue with, then you can invest in a more expensive board.

However, even if you’re an experienced paddler, a cheap paddleboard can still be a great option. If you’re not looking for anything too fancy and want a solid board to get the job done, then there’s no need to spend a fortune.

There are plenty of great options that won’t break the bank.

So, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced paddler, don’t rule out cheap paddle boards altogether.

There are some great options out there that are worth your money. Just research and ensure you know what you’re looking for before making your final decision.

Which type of paddle board is best?

There are two main types of paddle boards: inflatable and rigid. So, which is the best type to buy?

Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each class to help you decide:

Inflatable Paddle Boards

Pros: Inflatable paddle boards are more portable than rigid ones since they can be deflated and packed up when not used. They’re also typically more affordable.

Cons: Inflatable paddle boards can be less stable than rigid boards, may require more effort to paddle, and can also be punctured more easily.

Hard Paddle Boards

Pros: Hard paddle boards are generally more stable on the water than inflatables, making them a better choice for beginners or those looking for a leisurely ride. They’re also often faster and easier to paddle.

Cons: Hard paddle boards can be more expensive than inflatables and are less portable since they cannot be deflated for easy storage.

Is it more challenging to balance on an inflatable paddleboard?

Inflatable paddle boards are more challenging to balance on than rigid paddle boards.

This is because when standing on an inflatable board, the board constantly moves and shifts beneath your feet.

This makes it difficult to find your center of gravity and maintain balance.

However, once you get used to the feeling of an inflatable board beneath your feet, you can balance on it just as well as on a rigid board.

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$299.99
$229.99
 in stock
2 new from $229.99
4 used from $82.25
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories Heavy Duty Comfort Backpack Kayak Attachment and More | Wide Stance Non-Slip Deck, | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$599.99
$224.95
 in stock
6 used from $187.54
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Best Premium Touring iSUP Board For 2024

Red Paddle Co produces the most beautiful paddleboard of its kind. So, it is challenging to decide what board to list in this list. Find the prices.

The 11’3″ sports are a good option for an iSUP. It’s very lightweight and weighs around 22 lbs but is highly rigid and stable thanks to a premium MSL/Tec air construction and reinforced RSC fiberglass rods.

The new spout speed tail has been coming in the past season to break up water, reduce friction, and provide a faster SUP.

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Hardshell Paddleboard - 2 Pack (Paddles Included), Red

$1,479.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

WAVESTORM 9ft6 SUP Kayak Hybrid Stand Up Paddleboard Foam Soft Top SUP for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Paddling Kayak,Blue

$599.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

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Best Budget/Cheap inflatable SUP boards

In truth, not everyone can afford the best—or most affordable—SUP. However, people will not have any problems.

We were searching for the best budget boards this year. The funniest thing is that we popped the Gili Air up after we completed the comparison, and they were well above the other list we managed. Gili Air is a 10’7″ inflatable board that is not the fastest or most stable.

The profile is basic; anyone kayaking first will still enjoy cruising this beautiful blue.

The best inflatable SUP for performance

You may want a SUP that performs better than the competition. This SUP costs more, but they’ve outperformed lower-priced ones in certain areas.

We offer an excellent selection of top-performing SUPs, ranging from quick touring to white water rapids.

Below are our Top-Stop Performance SUPs in 2024, Sea God’s Diatom Ten6. Get the latest price of readily available products on SeagoatsDatom Ten6%.

Can you race on inflatable SUPs?

Most races have inflated paddle boards. It is undoubtedly a good option if you want to compete on the SUP, but this gap has closed over the last few years, and having an inflatable SUP for flights will be of considerable benefit for races outside town.

Tell us the best method of obtaining the Inflatable SUP Raceboard.

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What PSI (pounds per square inch) should I inflate my paddleboard?

The inflatable SUP boards can be used with a pressure of up to 15PSI or up to 17PSI. In this way, the performance level SUP achieves optimal rigidity.

You may see companies advertise extreme maximum pressure, such as 25 PSI, but if you inflate these pressures, it is not practical.

Are inflatable paddle boards better than hard ones?

What are rigid kayaks? How can you choose the most suitable one?

Quick Response: For recreational kayaking and other activities, an inflatable SUP can be much superior as it is more durable, portable, and lightweight, and it can also help reduce injury.

Are inflatable paddle boards less stable?

An inflatable paddleboard is generally more substantial if inflated to the recommended pressure.

Are solid paddle boards better?

Why do SUPs need solid materials and strong boards? These can travel faster, smoother, and more accessible than inflatables.

Is it more challenging to balance on inflatable paddle boards?

Very stable – In my opinion, inflatable SUPs generally have better stability than hulled boards. The ride was very much more accessible and generally a better ride.

How do inflatable paddle boards hold up?

Extremely durable – I believe the isups can be much better suited to river paddles and rocky shorelines than a kayak. These boards are not flimsy, but unlike fiberglass boards, they are easy to bounce off when they hit rocks.

How long do inflatable paddle boards last?

The typical stand-up paddle with 1 to 2 layers has an approximate lifespan of three years. Usually, you should have no problems with the motherboard for over three years.

Are blow-up SUPs any good?

The inflatable is generally more durable than the rigid board, so they are good if someone wants to try different SUP activities in different water settings.

Inflatable paddleboarding is considered by many as the best option for any seasoned paddler.

Can I inflate my SUP with an air compressor?

It is possible to use a compressor and not just inflate it quickly.

Read Next – Lightweight Paddle Board For The Perfect Day Out In The Ocean

Conclusion

It depends on what you are looking for in a paddleboard. If you want something easy to transport and store, an inflatable paddleboard is the way to go.

However, a hard paddle board is the better option if you want the best performance on the water.

Whichever type of paddle board you buy, research and read reviews before purchasing.

SereneLife Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories & Carry Bag | Wide Stance, Bottom Fin for Paddling, Surf Control, Non-Slip Deck | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$299.99
$229.99
 in stock
2 new from $229.99
4 used from $82.25
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Roc Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6 Inches Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories Heavy Duty Comfort Backpack Kayak Attachment and More | Wide Stance Non-Slip Deck, | Youth & Adult Standing Boat

$599.99
$224.95
 in stock
6 used from $187.54
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Peakpath Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board (6’’ Thick) with Premium SUP Accessories&Bag,Bottom Fin for Paddling,Surf Control,Non-Slip Deck,Leash,Paddle and Two-Way Hand Pump|Youth&Adult Standing Boat

 out of stock
Amazon.com

EVAJOY Paddle Boards, 10'×32"×6" Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board SUP for All Skill Levels, Included Paddle Board with Portable iSUP Accessories, Main Fin, Pump, Waterproof Bag, Leash

$306.27  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

FunWater SUP Inflatable Paddle Board Stand Up Ultra-Light Inflatable Paddleboard with Inflatable SUP Accessories,Fins,Adjustable Paddle, Pump,Backpack, Leash, Waterproof Phone Bag

$308.89  in stock
2 new from $308.89
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Boardworks Versa | Recreational Stand Up Paddleboard | Bombshell Epoxy Hardboard | 10' 6", Bamboo/Blue (4440529519)

$1,104.38  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Lifetime Freestyle XL 98 Stand-Up Hardshell Paddleboard - 2 Pack (Paddles Included), Red

$1,479.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

WAVESTORM 9ft6 SUP Kayak Hybrid Stand Up Paddleboard Foam Soft Top SUP for Adults and Kids of All Levels of Paddling Kayak,Blue

$599.99  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Lifetime Amped Hardshell Paddleboard with Paddle, 11', Glacier Blue

$625.00
$572.62
 in stock
7 new from $572.62
Free shipping
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Lifetime 91014 Horizon 100 Stand-Up Paddleboard, 2 Pack, Paddles Included, 10 feet

$1,414.00  in stock
Amazon.com
as of May 29, 2024 10:48 pm

Boardworks Surf Triton 10'6 Recreational Stand up Paddleboard 2019

$1,085.08
$1,032.54
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Amazon.com
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Chris Miller
Hello, I'm Chris Miller, a passionate enthusiast of SUP BOARD and the proud owner of supnoob.com. As an avid paddleboarder, I have spent years exploring the world of stand-up paddleboarding and honing my skills on the water. With a collection of prizes under my belt, I have become well-versed in the intricacies of this exhilarating sport. What sets me apart is my commitment to sharing my knowledge and experience with beginners and fellow SUP enthusiasts alike. Through supnoob.com, I strive to provide valuable insights, tips, and resources to help individuals delve into the world of stand-up paddleboarding with confidence.