Difference between inflatable and solid paddle boards?

Paddleboarding is a popular water sport that involves standing on a board and using a paddle to move through the water. It is a fun and challenging activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. When it comes to choosing a paddle board, one of the first decisions you will need to make is whether to go with an inflatable or hard board. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two types of paddle boards and help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.

Types of Paddle Boards.

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Paddle boards can be divided into two main categories: inflatable and hard. Inflatable paddle boards are made of a durable, lightweight material that can be inflated with a pump to a desired level of stiffness. Hard paddle boards, on the other hand, are made of a solid material such as fiberglass or plastic and do not need to be inflated.

Inflatable Paddle Boards

Inflatable paddle boards are a popular choice for many paddlers due to their versatility and convenience. They are easy to transport and store, making them a good option for people who do not have a lot of space at home or who want to take their paddle board on vacation. Inflatable paddle boards are also generally more stable than hard boards, making them a good choice for beginners or for paddlers who want a stable platform for activities such as yoga or fishing.

Advantages of Inflatable Paddle Boards.

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  • Easy to transport and store: Inflatable paddle boards are lightweight and can be easily deflated and packed into a bag, making them convenient to transport and store. This is a major advantage for people who do not have a lot of space at home or who want to take their paddle board on vacation.

  • Durable: Modern inflatable paddle boards are made of high-quality materials that are resistant to punctures and wear. This makes them a durable and long-lasting option that can withstand rough conditions and rough handling.

  • Stable: Inflatable paddle boards are generally wider and more stable than hard paddle boards, making them a good choice for beginners or for paddlers who want a stable platform for activities such as yoga or fishing.

  • Versatile: Inflatable paddle boards can be used in a variety of conditions, from calm lakes to rough oceans, and are suitable for a range of activities, including paddling, fishing, and yoga.

Disadvantages of Inflatable Paddle Boards

  • Performance: Inflatable paddle boards may not perform as well as hard paddle boards in terms of speed and maneuverability due to their softer and less rigid construction. This is because hard boards are able to cut through the water more efficiently, resulting in faster speeds and better handling. A Glide inflatable sup will perform close to solid paddle boards due to our unique Glide stiffness infusion.

  • Inflation and deflation: Inflatable paddle boards require a pump to inflate and deflate, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming. This can be a hassle for people who want to quickly get on the water and start paddling.

  • Possible leakage: There is a risk of leakage with inflatable paddle boards, although modern materials and construction techniques have greatly reduced this risk. However, if an inflatable board does leak, it can be difficult to repair and may need to be replaced.

Hard Paddle Boards.

Hard paddle boards are a popular choice for experienced paddlers looking for a more performance-oriented board. They are generally faster and more maneuverable than inflatable paddle boards due to their rigid construction, which allows them to cut through the water more efficiently. Hard boards are also generally more durable than inflatable boards, as they are less likely to be damaged by rocks or other hazards.

Disadvantages of non inflatable Paddle Boards aka the hard paddle board.

Epoxy boards, solid boards, rigid boards whatever you want to call them have a few distinct disadvantages. Storage space is one of the main issues, this is not just when storing the boards at home.

stacks of paddle boards

Although when having them on the car roof racks as well. This brings us to the transportation of the boards. With a solid board you will have less options for transportation, most ride shares will not be able to accommodate solid paddle boards, ferries, and seaplanes will have harder time getting you on board as well. And hiking into a remote waterway with a hard sup can prove to be a nightmare.

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Regardless of what type of paddle board you use or brand one thing holds true, paddle boarding is a blast. We at Glide hope you are having some amazing adventures on the water. Let us know at #glidesup on Instagram.