Why Inflatable Paddle Boards are a Must-Have

Standup paddle boarding, or SUP, is a water activity that has been growing in popularity over the years. With its blend of tranquility, fitness, and adventure, paddle boarding is a great way to connect with nature while getting a full-body workout. In recent times, inflatable paddle boards, also known as iSUPs, have taken the paddle boarding world by storm. These lightweight, durable, and compact boards have transformed the sport, making it more accessible and appealing to a wide range of water enthusiasts. In this blog, we will explore the rising popularity of inflatable paddle boards, their essential features, different types, how to choose the right board, the benefits of inflatable paddle boarding, and how to take care of your board.

Key Highlights

  1. Rising Popularity of Inflatable Paddle Boards: Exploring the surge in iSUP interest due to their versatility, durability, and ease of use.
  2. Exceptional Features and Advantages: Detailing the construction, stability, maneuverability, and portability that set inflatable paddle boards apart.
  3. Variety and Selection Guide: A look at different types of iSUPs and how to choose the right one based on activities, preferences, and skill levels.
  4. Unparalleled Benefits for All Paddlers: Highlighting the health, adventure, and nature connection benefits of using inflatable paddle boards.
  5. Maintenance Tips for Longevity: Essential care practices to ensure your inflatable paddle board remains in prime condition for years to come.

The Rising Popularity of Inflatable Paddle Boards

Glide O2 Lotus & O2 Retro against the bank while paddlers relax in hammoks

The paddle boarding scene is undergoing a transformation, with inflatable paddle boards at the forefront of this change. What was once a niche water sport is now a choice activity for water enthusiasts of all skill levels. Inflatable paddle boards have opened up a whole new world of possibilities, allowing paddlers to explore waterways, surf, kayak, and even practice yoga on a durable, maneuverable, and lightweight board.

The Transformation of Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding has come a long way from its humble beginnings. Once an activity limited to a few coastal areas, paddle boarding is now a popular choice for water enthusiasts around the globe. Inflatable paddle boards have played a significant role in this transformation, making paddle boarding more accessible and appealing than ever before.

Gone are the days of struggling to transport a solid board to the water, inflatable paddle boards offer an easy setup and portability that is hard to beat. These boards can be easily deflated, rolled up, and stored in a compact backpack, making them an ideal choice for paddlers on the go.

The lightweight nature of inflatable paddle boards has also contributed to their rising popularity. Unlike solid boards, inflatable SUPs are easy to maneuver, making them a great choice for paddlers of all skill levels. Whether you're a beginner looking to paddle flat water or an advanced paddler seeking a board for surf or long distances, inflatable paddle boards provide a versatile and durable option.

Understanding the Appeal of Inflatable Paddle Boards

So, why are inflatable paddle boards a must-have? The appeal is clear when you consider their lightweight, durable, and versatile nature. Inflatable paddle boards are a great choice for paddlers looking for boards that are easy to transport, setup, and store, without compromising on performance.

One of the key advantages of inflatable paddle boards is their portability. The compact design and lightweight construction allow paddlers to easily transport the board, whether it's in a backpack, a car trunk, or checked in as luggage for a travel adventure. This portability opens up a whole new world of paddle boarding opportunities, as paddlers can easily explore different waterways, from serene lakes to raging rivers, without the hassle of transporting a solid board.

Inflatable paddle boards are also a great choice for paddlers of all skill levels. The functionality and setup ease make them a beginner-friendly option, while advanced paddlers can still enjoy their performance and maneuverability. Inflatable SUPs offer a great value, providing a durable, lightweight, and maneuverable board at an affordable price point.

Moreover, inflatable paddle boards offer versatility, allowing paddlers to engage in a variety of water activities. Whether you want to paddle flat water, surf, kayak, or even practice yoga, an inflatable paddle board is a great choice that can adapt to your needs. The stability and maneuverability of inflatable paddle boards ensure a great paddle boarding experience, regardless of the water activity you choose.

Essential Features of Inflatable Paddle Boards

Now that we understand the rising popularity and appeal of inflatable paddle boards, let's delve into their essential features. These boards are constructed using materials such as carbon fiber, fiberglass, and durable glue, which provide a winning combination of performance, durability, maneuverability, and stiffness.

Material and Durability

Glide Inflatable Paddle Boards or iSUPs use quality military grade pvc and a woven drop stitch core as shown in the photo


The durability of inflatable paddle boards is a testament to their construction. The use of carbon fiber, fiberglass, and durable glue ensures a board that can withstand the rigors of paddle boarding, from rocky shores to bumpy water conditions. These boards are designed to last, providing paddlers with a long-lasting investment in their water adventures.

Portability and Storage

Inflatable paddle boards are known for their portability, making them a great choice for paddlers on the go. Whether you're heading to a local waterway or embarking on a travel adventure, inflatable SUPs can be easily deflated, rolled up, and stored in a compact backpack. This portability opens up a world of paddle boarding opportunities, as paddlers can explore different waterways without the hassle of transporting a solid board.

Stability and Maneuverability

Stability and maneuverability are essential features of any paddle board, and inflatable SUPs deliver on both fronts. These boards offer a stable platform, allowing paddlers to maintain balance and paddle with ease, even in choppy water conditions. The maneuverability of inflatable paddle boards makes them a great choice for paddlers of all skill levels, providing a board that is responsive and easy to maneuver.

Different Types of Inflatable Paddle Boards

Now that we've covered the essential features, let's explore the different types of inflatable paddle boards available. Inflatable SUPs come in a range of styles, each designed to cater to different water activities and paddler preferences.

All-Round vs. Touring vs. Performance Boards

All-round inflatable paddle boards are a great choice for paddlers looking for versatility. These boards are designed to perform well in a variety of water conditions, from flat water paddling to surf or long distances. They offer a great balance of stability, maneuverability, and performance, making them a popular choice among paddlers of all skill levels.

Touring inflatable paddle boards, on the other hand, are designed for paddlers seeking long-distance adventures. These boards offer a longer, sleeker shape, which allows for faster paddling and better tracking in open water. Touring boards prioritize performance, making them a great choice for paddlers looking to cover long distances with ease.

Performance inflatable paddle boards are built for paddlers who want an extra edge in their water activities. These boards are more maneuverable, lightweight, and responsive, allowing advanced paddlers to push their limits in surf, kayak, or paddle boarding. Performance boards, including the fastest board, are often narrower, providing a faster and more dynamic paddle boarding experience.

Understanding the Differences

Showing the Glide O2 Retro, Glide O2 Angler, Glide O2 Lotus & the Glide O2 Lochsa


When choosing an inflatable paddle board, it's important to understand the differences between the various options available. Glide Paddle boards offer a range of inflatable SUPs that cater to different paddlers' needs and goals.

Glide also offers a great lineup of accessories, versatility, durability, maneuverability, and performance. Whether you're a beginner paddler seeking a board for flat water, a yoga enthusiast looking for stability, or an advanced paddler wanting a board for whitewater there is an inflatable paddle board that is perfect for you.

How to Choose an Inflatable Paddle Board

Now that you understand the different types of inflatable paddle boards, let's explore how to choose the right board for your paddling needs. When selecting an inflatable SUP, there are a few key factors to consider, including your skill level, needs, and goals, as well as evaluating the board's specifications.

Considering Your Skill Level

If you're a beginner paddler, it is essential to choose an inflatable paddle board that offers stability and maneuverability. SUPs such as the Atoll are a great choice, as they provide a stable platform, making it easier to find your balance and paddle with confidence.

Assessing Your Needs and Goals

When choosing an inflatable paddle board, it is important to assess your needs and goals. Are you planning long-distance adventures, yoga sessions, SUP Fishing, touring, or a combination of activities? SUPs like the Glide O2 Retro line up are a perfect option for an all around board allowing you to have fun doing what ever activity you want, providing versatility for paddlers with diverse goals. If you want to take your activity more seriously then a dedicated iSUP would be the right call. For anglers, the O2 Angler fishing sup would be ideal.

Evaluating the Board's Specifications

Glide Quest Specs

Lastly, evaluating the board's specifications is crucial in selecting the right inflatable paddle board for your needs. Factors such as width, fin setup, weight capacity, and paddle attachment points should all be taken into consideration. SUPs like the O2 Quest, which is lightweight and maneuverable, offer great performance, making them a popular choice among paddlers evaluating board specifications.

Benefits of Inflatable Paddle Boarding

Inflatable paddle boarding offers a range of benefits, from improved health and fitness to opportunities for adventure and a chance to connect with nature. Let's explore these benefits in more detail.

Health and Fitness Advantages

Paddle boarding is a great way to improve your overall health and fitness. Inflatable paddle boards, such as iSUPs, offer a durable and lightweight choice, perfect for paddleboard yoga, a great fitness activity that combines paddling with yoga poses. SUPs like the O2 Lotus, with their maneuverability, provide a great platform for a full-body workout, engaging muscles from head to toe.

Opportunities for Adventure

Inflatable paddle boards open up a world of ultra adventure. Whether you're exploring serene lakes, navigating rivers, or riding ocean waves, inflatable SUPs offer durability, portability, maneuverability, and functionality, catering to a variety of paddlers' needs and goals. SUPs from Glide which are known for the quality build and durability to handle even the harshest conditions, are a great choice for paddlers seeking an adventure-packed paddle boarding experience.

Glide Paddle Board in frozen artic waters, the durability and quality you need in a paddle board.

A Chance to Connect with Nature

One of the greatest joys of paddle boarding is connecting with nature, and inflatable paddle boards enhance that experience. SUPs like the 02 Angler which offers a kayak seat, attachment points, and a coiled leash, provide paddlers with an opportunity to paddle in a seated position, although we recommend adding the Glide Cooler which also serves as a seat to make the most of your SUP session. Check out this article to see why the Glide O2 Angler is the top choice for wildlife viewing.

Taking Care of Your Inflatable Paddle Board

To ensure the longevity and performance of your inflatable paddle board, proper care is essential. This includes regular cleaning, storage, and maintenance.

Proper Cleaning and Storage

Glide Paddle being rolled up


After each use, it is important to rinse off your inflatable paddle board with fresh water to remove any salt, sand, or debris. Use a mild soap if necessary, and make sure to thoroughly dry the board before deflating and storing it. Inflatable paddle boards, like iSUPs, can be deflated, rolled up, and stored in a compact backpack, making them easy to transport and store when not in use.

Why is Regular Maintenance Important?

Regular maintenance is important to keep your inflatable paddle board in top condition. Inspect the board regularly for any signs of wear or damage, such as leaks, tears, or delamination. Addressing any issues early on can prevent further damage and prolong the life of your board. Inflatable paddle boards, from reputable brands like Glide Paddle Sports, provide durability, versatility, maneuverability, and great performance, but regular maintenance is an investment in their longevity and functionality.



Glide Paddle Sport Image

Inflatable paddle boards have revolutionized paddle boarding, offering numerous benefits for all skill levels. They have transformed how people enjoy water activities with their durability, portability, storage convenience, stability, and maneuverability. Glide has the inflatable paddle board you deserve!