I personally think there are a lot of great pros to using an inflatable stand-up paddleboard. However I thought it was important to share both the good and the bad before deciding whether it is right for you.
We’ll start with the positive aspects of owning an ISUP first.
- Easy to transport
They are compact and small when deflated and fit nicely into a large carry bag/backpack. You can transport them easily in the trunk of your car, in an RV, on a larger boat or even on an airplane.
Basically they are very convenient to take anywhere. I have even known people to take them on a cruise ship, which is pretty awesome!
- Great for traveling
It can be very difficult and not to mention costly to travel with a fiberglass board.
Inflatables make it super easy. You can check them onto an airplane often with no extra fees as they don’t weight very much or take up much space.
Bringing a board along on your travels opens up a whole world of possibilities.
You will have the opportunity to paddle in waters that you never would have been able to otherwise.
- Softer surface to cushion your fall
I find that although ISUP’s can be extremely rigid, they do not have the same hard surface as a fiberglass boards do.
Therefore if you should fall, you are less likely to feel the impact. This can be especially great for beginners or children.
- Very stable
I find them much easier to learn on and in general just an overall more stable ride.
- Can easily store in a small space
These boards can be deflated, rolled up into their carry bag and stored in a closet.
For this reason they are great for people who lack storage space.
- Extremely durable
These boards are not flimsy and whereas a fiberglass board might get dinged if it crashes into rocks, an inflatable will just bounce right off.
They are tough and unless you really abuse it by jabbing sharp objects into it, any type of repairs is unlikely.
- Great for dogs
My inflatable board has been perfect for him. It is stable and the surface allows he to sit without his paws sliding around as he might do on a fiberglass board.
They are the ideal choice for those who want to SUP with their pup!
Although I rarely have any issue with this myself I will admit that an inflatable board is not as quick or easy to maneuver as a fiberglass board.
The hard-shell boards can be sleek and shaped for quick response. Except for a couple of inflatable SUP’s that I have tried, I would say they do not turn or respond quite as fast as a fiberglass board.
However it is still an inflatable and will not be quite as rigid as a fiberglass board.
This is something that I experienced myself when I first started out and felt very frustrated with it as flex in the middle really limits the performance.
However over time I have learned that most of us who have had that problem simply did not have the board inflated to the proper level.
If you take the time to get the board inflated properly there will be no flex… especially with the good boards.
Typically the heavier you are, the more air pressure the board will need.
There you have it… the good and the bad to owning an inflatable SUP. In my opinion they are totally worth it and my board of choice.
I use them all year round and love the convenience that they offer.