If you enjoy fun water activities, then paddle boarding is probably on your list of things to do the second it gets warm outside. Why paddle boarding? Well, if you don’t quite feel like learning how to surf because the idea of big waves sucking you under freaks you out, then paddle boarding is your jam.
But what if you aren’t sure if you want to invest in a fiberglass or wood board? Then we suggest an inflatable paddle board. There are so many benefits to getting an inflatable one. Let’s dive in some calm waters and see why an inflatable paddle board is something you should have.
Are inflatable paddle boards stable? Yes, they are completely stable and extremely durable. A quality inflatable paddle board is just as good as a solid board.
So, you know some of the perks of an inflatable board. But what about actually using one? Once you get it blown up and on the water, will it be sturdy? Will it fold and leave you falling in the water every time you try to stand up?
They won’t. If you get the right kind. You need to pay attention to the size and weight capacity. Just like with any inflatable item, like an air mattress, you have to read the instructions and details. Really good inflatable paddle boards should feel exactly like solid ones.
- Great for beginners
- Perfect for kids
- Also good for your dog
Inflatable paddle boards are literally fine for anyone in the family. Most have a weight limit that will comfortably allow at least an adult and a child, or an adult and a fur baby, and still have plenty to spare. Pet’s love to have fun, too!
They won’t deflate or pop once you get on them. But to be safe, there are some details you should look for before you put that board in your cart.
Benefits Of An Inflatable Paddle Board
Why would you pick inflatable over fiberglass anyway? For a few reasons actually.
Who doesn’t like to save money? The cheap solid ones that we found were in the $400 starting range. They went up to well over $1,000. We’ll get into the inflatable prices in a minute, but they do not cost that much.
- Better to travel with
If you have to travel to get to the best spot on the water to paddle board, how do you get your board there? What if you don’t have the kind of vehicle that can haul one? What are you supposed to do? Exactly. You are stuck.
- Storage isn’t a problem
The other problem with a full board is finding a place to put it when you aren’t using it. If you have a garage, that’s great. You can build a shelf to store it. But if you live in an apartment, where the heck are you supposed to put the board? At least with an inflatable paddle board you can easily store it anywhere.
Finding A Quality Paddle Board
What should you look for before you buy? No matter what your skill level is, check on these details.
Are you getting this for fun? For competitions? The thickness determines where it will sit on the water, how easily you can move it, and how hard or soft the board will be. It will also play a part in how much air that sucker needs. The thicker the board, the more your arms will burn by the time it’s filled up.
- The plan shape
In this case, shape does matter. Look for ones that have curves and a bow point pretty much identical to what you would find on a solid board. The less they look like it, the crappier the ride will be. You want to not be able to tell the difference between an inflatable one and a solid one.
This is going to depend on who it is for. And for where you are going to be taking it. Each length is best for something different. And how often you want to maybe fall off. If you are a beginner, you need to go medium.
Just play it safe. No one wants to watch you fall in. A longer board is going to give you more space, more stability, sure. But it will also be harder to move around. You might think you want a longer board so you have more room, but if you don’t know how to steer that thing, you’ll look like the kid driving around in Indiana Jones. That’s not a cute look.
A shorter board would be good if you were trying to do some semi-surfing or you needed to change directions quickly, like in a river. Less space means easier to control.
You want a board that inflates to at least 29 inches wide. At least. That’s still pushing it. 30 inches is better. If your board is 10 feet long and less than 29 inches wide, that’s where you could potentially start to see yourself sagging in the middle.
The board could become a bit unstable, and you might not like being on there anymore. Check your width versus your length.
These are just some basics. There are a handful of other things you can check for with an inflatable board if you want to be really professional about it. But if you only check for these things you should be in good enough shape.
Can Inflatable Paddle Boards Pop?
Well, not to scare you, but yes an inflatable paddle board can pop. Inflatable anything can pop. You’ve woken up the next day on a flat air mattress at least once in your life right? Just us? Okay, well, yes.
But will they? No, they shouldn’t. It’s going to be really hard and take some abuse of the board to make it pop. As long as you take care of it properly, you’ll be fine. Let’s go over some ways to make sure that doesn’t happen though.
- Store it properly
Can you leave it inflated and out for a quick grab and go? Sure. Should you? Not really. If you do leave it inflated you run the risk of potential holes.
If you do take it out often though, and want to keep it inflated, at least take some air out every time you come back. You don’t want to stress out the stitching. You also want to make sure you store it inside, where bugs and animals can’t get to it.
- Overall, be nice to it
Don’t drop it, don’t kick it, don’t drag it. Basically, don’t treat it how your toddler treats any of his things. Be nice.
If you strap it to your car instead of deflating it, make sure it’s not too tight. Those bulges from the ropes could cause it to pop.
Here Are Some To Check Out
You didn’t think we would let you go without a few inflatable options, did you? Now, we said that they weren’t as expensive as solid boards, and that’s true. But you’ll still pay a decent amount for a really good one.
Pay attention to the details we mentioned before though!
The Fun Water Inflatable SUP is a safe one for just about anyone. It comes with literally everything you need for wherever you could be taking it. The colors are neutral. The price isn’t terrible either compared to solid boards. Check it out here on Amazon.
This SereneLife Inflatable SUP Board is another great option that comes with everything. It’s good for kids or adults. We had to mention it because it has the most reviews and still has a great rating. Can’t say no to that.
Now that you know inflatable paddle boards can save you some money but still keep you safe in the water, what’s stopping you from getting one? Personally, we’ll watch from the safety of the shore. But you go have fun!