How to Choose The Right Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board?

Stand up paddle boarding is one of the most fun water sports that has gained popularity both amongst adults as well as children. It is not only a fun activity, but a lot of people also pick it up to stay fit. Stand-up boarding is an easy activity that can be done on any water body.

For someone to start stand up paddle boarding, the only equipment needed is a SUP board. Inflatable SUP can be said to be one of the best choices for both beginners as well as experienced paddle boarders.

The market is filled with a variety of choices when it comes to choosing inflatable stand-up paddle boards, and people can easily get confused when selecting the best one for them. Many factors need to be considered when picking the right SUP board. Let’s take a look at their types first:

  • Surf SUP board: As the name suggests, these are used for surfing and are shorter in size with a narrow nose and tail. These are often designed for surfing and are less stable on flat water.
  • Flatwater or Race SUP boards: The flatwater boards are long, wide, and have a pointed nose. The race boards are like the flatwater ones but are long, thin, and have a pointed nose.
  • All-round SUP board: The all-rounder paddle boards are usually wide, thick, and long. They have a rounded nose, and as the name suggests, they are used for different paddling purposes. They are stable and wide, which makes them suitable for beginners as well. If you want to know more about the types of SUP boards, then find the information here.

Factors to Consider

Below, we have listed down some pointers that you must consider before buying the inflatable SUP boards.

The Type of Water Body: The first consideration to make is the kind of water body you will be paddle boarding on. The first kind is the flat water which includes the ponds, lakes, and marshes. Flat water is usually considered the beginners’ environment for the paddlers.

The second kind includes larger water bodies such as larger lakes, bays, and oceans. These kinds of bodies are suitable for intermediate as well as experienced paddlers. For paddlers who travel larger distances can prefer choosing touring boards.

The third kind is surfing in the sea. This is again for intermediate and expert paddlers. Here the boards used will be the ones specifically designed for the activity. They should allow sharper turns and easy maneuvering with support.

For people who are not sure which location they will be paddling in, the all-around inflatable paddle board can be said to be a feasible option. These are the ones that can be easily used in all kinds of water bodies and all types of activities.

The Weight You Will Be Carrying: The weight refers to your weight as well as the weight of the equipment as well as other things that you will carry on the boards most of the time. So, the size and thickness of your inflatable SUP Boards will depend on the total weight that your boards will have to carry all the time. If you go along with your children, add their weight to the total weight as well.

Skill Level: Beginners usually are either learning SUP boarding or use these boards for fun water activities. So, for beginners, wider paddle boards can be more suitable since they provide maximum support.

For experienced paddlers, the inflatable SUP board can be selected based on the location they paddle at and the activity they want to indulge in. So, a board that can handle all kinds of water bodies from flat water to high waves is good for experienced paddlers.

Size and Thickness: Selecting the size of the SUP boards is an important consideration to make. Depending on your height and weight, the size of the inflatable SUP will differ. For people who are taller and heavier, the size should be larger whereas, people who are smaller and lighter can go for smaller size.

Also, as mentioned above, the weight that you will consider is the total weight you will be carrying. The sizes range from 9 feet to 12 feet.

Thickness is another factor one must consider while picking the right board. These boards are usually 4-6 inches thick. The thickness of the board should be enough to make you feel comfortable and stable in the water. The rigidity of the thicker one is better than the thinner ones. To see what kind of board is suitable for you, check this blog post:

The Fins: All stand-up boards come with fins that can be of three types; single-fin, three-fin, and four-fin. The single-fin type has one large fin at the tail, which helps the boards stay on track in flat water.

The 2+1 or the three-fin boards will have two additional fins with the big tail fin, which is in the all-round iSUP board.

The ones with quad fins or the four fins are best suited for surfing with the added fins that help in better tracking. People who want iSUP for fun activities can go for the two-plus-one kind.

Buying Tips To Consider

In addition to the above-given factors, here are some tips that will be helpful for you when you buy an inflatable SUP board.

  • Choosing the right paddle tends to be important. The paddle will determine the efficiency of the paddling activity that you will be doing. The main points you should keep in mind include the design of the handle, the adjusting system, the weight of the paddle, blade design, and material used to make the paddle. If you want to know more about different kinds of paddles, this blog will help you.
  • The deck pad on the board also makes a huge difference in your overall experience. The deck pad manages the traction which helps in maintaining the balance on the boards. So, a deck pad that covers most of the surface area of the board should be the preferred kind. Especially in the cases when you are surfing, the deck pad with rougher texture should be preferred.
  • Make sure to buy the board with a contoured tail area of the deck pad. This gives added support to the foot and saves you from slipping.
  • Price is always a consideration for people looking to buy a good inflatable SUP board. However, stay away from ridiculously cheap options available online. Always make sure to buy from good brands and do your research before spending your money on a product.

To Sum Up

When buying the best inflatable stand-up paddle board, always consider where you will be using it and how much weight they will carry. It is crucial, especially for the beginners, to maintain safety while doing stand-up paddle boarding. While all-rounder iSUP boards can be a good pick for recreational users, people who play specific sports and activities can rely on specialty boards.

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