Inflatable Vs. Hard Paddle Boards: What’s the Difference?


Choosing between inflatable paddle boards and solid boards can be tricky. This is primarily because there are so many options one can pick from. However, as a beginner, you might not know which option will suit your lifestyle and needs ideally. 

This article aims to make you understand which option between inflatable and hard stand up paddle board is better for you. This way, you will make an informed decision based on the factors that this article will explore. 

Can you easily carry them around?

Do you like traveling around the country and discovering new and exciting destinations? For instance, you might want to visit the mangroves of Florida or the Great Lakes in Michigan and paddle there. This brings in the question of the portability of your paddleboard. 

 Inflatable paddle boards are a good option when it comes to portability. You can easily pack it into an ISUP backpack together with the leash, pump, fins, and paddles. On the other hand, rigid boards can be tiresome to carry around. You will need a protective board, protective board socks or travel bags, space for the board, and roof racks to carry it.  You are more likely to damage your hardboard while traveling than while you are using them in water. This makes inflatable boards a better choice if you are considering traveling and exploring new and exciting destinations. This is because they are less likely to get damaged when you carry them around. 

Do you enough storage space?

Like portability, storage space is essential for narrowing down your choices between a hard stand up paddle board or an inflatable paddle board. It does not matter if you have ample space or limited space; it is vital for any person who owns a paddle board to store them properly as it will help you keep your equipment safe. 

Inflatable stand up boards is easy to store. You only need to deflate the board and put everything in a backpack. It is important to ensure the board is dry before rolling it and avoid keeping it in direct sunlight. This helps avoid any mold build-up. Rigid paddle boards can be easily stored if you have enough space. Numerous paddle board wall racks carry multiple boards. They are discrete and can save you a lot of space.

How long do you want it to last?

One primary concern you should have before getting a paddle board is how long it will last. You would not want to be worrying about whether your board is fragile while you are out in the middle of an adventurous journey. Inflatable paddle boards made by military-grade PVC provide extended durability and are ideal for taking adventures.  You do not have to worry about riverbeds creeping into the shallow waters and knocking it as you set up to paddle. Hard boards, on the other hand, are more delicate. Even though they can handle you standing on top of them, if you drop them from a car roof or bang into a mangrove root, you will likely wreck it. This is why most rental stores are shifting to ISUPs, as they are more durable compared to hard boards.