Any concerns you have about an inflatable paddleboard should go out the window. When inflated to the correct PSI, not only are inflatable boards just as rigid and durable as conventional paddleboards, they also have a ton of other properties that make them the preferred choice. Inflatable paddleboards are easier to carry, store, and travel with, and they’re also completely ding proof.
One very minor downside is that it takes several minutes to pump the board up by hand, but you’re most likely getting a paddleboard to be physical, so suck it up! Or you can spend a few extra bucks and opt for an electric pump — your choice.
With an inflatable paddleboard, you’re ready to take your board with you just about anywhere.
The first time I ever tried out an inflatable SUP, I was skeptical. In my mind, there was no way it would feel as stable as a traditional board since it was just filled with air. Fortunately, I was wrong. The inflatable SUP felt just as firm and rigid as a hardboard. Inflatable SUPs are constructed with drop-stitch technology, allowing for greater air pressure and increased rigidity.
Although these boards are inflatable, you'll rarely have an issue with tears and leaks – especially if you buy a high-quality board from a reputable brand. The outside layer of these boards is composed of the same types of materials used in the construction of military-grade inflatable boats, so they're actually designed to take a beating.
Even when inflated to its full PSI, inflatable SUPS are really lightweight compared to hardboards (anywhere from 10 to 20 pounds lighter). Most can be carried by just one person under the arm. What's more, many inflatable SUPs actually come with a bag for even easier carrying capabilities.
If you don’t live on the water, these highly mobile alternatives make it easy to take your board on the road. They're so mobile, in fact, that you can easily fly with them as well. When not in use, the inflatable paddleboards can be deflated and rolled up to about the size of a sleeping bag. This makes them perfect for traveling and small-space storage.
As the popularity of inflatable SUPs has increased over the past few years, many companies have started producing various designs that are suitable for all types of stand-up paddleboarding. There are now inflatable SUPs for just about anything – flat-water paddling, touring, white-water rafting, yoga, and even wave surfing.