Hard or inflatable paddle board for beginners?

For beginners and those new to the world of stand-up paddleboarding, choosing between a hard paddle board and an inflatable paddle board (iSUP) can be a significant decision. At Glide, we believe that inflatable paddle boards offer a range of advantages that make them an excellent choice for novices. Here's why iSUPs might just be the perfect starting point for your paddleboarding journey.


Key Highlights:

  1. Ease of Use and Transportation: Inflatable paddle boards offer unparalleled ease of storage and transport, making them ideal for beginners.
  2. Durability and Affordability: iSUPs are more resilient to impacts and generally more cost-effective than hardboards, offering great value.
  3. Selection Tips: Key factors to consider when choosing an iSUP include size, weight capacity, and additional features for a tailored experience.
  4. Transportation Simplified: iSUPs negate the need for roof racks and simplify travel to paddleboarding spots, enhancing accessibility.
  5. Brand Reliability: Choosing a reputable brand like Glide ensures quality and durability, avoiding common pitfalls of budget options.

Inflatable Paddle Boards: Convenience and Versatility

Glide inflatable sup boards, solving limited storage space

Inflatable paddle boards have surged in popularity, thanks to their unparalleled convenience and versatility. Constructed from durable, lightweight materials, iSUPs can be quickly inflated for use and deflated for easy transportation and storage. This adaptability makes them ideal for various water environments, from calm lakes and rivers to the open ocean, supporting activities like yoga, fitness, fishing, and even surfing.

The Advantages of iSUPs for Beginners

Ease of Storage and Transport: One of the most significant benefits of an inflatable paddle board is its compact nature when deflated. Without the need for extensive storage space or a sophisticated transport setup, you can easily pack your iSUP in a carry bag and transport it in any vehicle, making spontaneous paddleboarding adventures a breeze.

Durability and Cost-Effectiveness: Compared to their hardboard counterparts, iSUPs are generally more resilient to impacts and scratches, which are common during the learning phase. The inflatable design can absorb bumps against rocks or docks that might damage a hardboard. Moreover, iSUPs tend to be more budget-friendly, offering an accessible entry point for those exploring the sport.

Choosing the Right iSUP

When selecting an inflatable paddle board, pay close attention to its size, weight capacity, construction materials, and any additional features or accessories, like removable fins or built-in coolers. Proper care, including regular cleaning and careful storage, will ensure your iSUP remains in excellent condition for years to come.

Transportation Made Simple

Transporting a paddle board is often a concern for new paddlers. While hard boards require roof racks and careful securing to avoid damage and reduce fuel efficiency, iSUPs eliminate these hassles. Their portability enables access to remote waterways and simplifies travel to paddleboarding destinations, offering freedom and flexibility hardboards can't match.

Considerations for Inflatable SUPs

While iSUPs boast many benefits, it's important to acknowledge that they may not match the performance and durability of a high-quality hardboard in some aspects. Opting for a well-respected brand known for durability and customer service is crucial, especially in avoiding the pitfalls of the budget inflatable SUP market.

Glide's Recommendation

For those embarking on their paddleboarding journey, Glide recommends starting with an inflatable paddle board. The combination of ease of use, durability, and versatility provides a forgiving and enjoyable introduction to the sport, allowing beginners to focus on building their skills and confidence on the water.

Whether you choose an inflatable or hard paddle board, the most important thing is to enjoy the experience and embrace the joys of paddleboarding. Share your adventures with us using #glidesup on Instagram, and no matter what board you're on, cherish every moment spent on the water.