Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Harder to Stand on?

Hey there! Working at Glide, I've had the chance to get up close and personal with every board in our lineup. I'm thrilled to share some insider knowledge that'll help clear up any doubts you might have about inflatable versus hard boards, especially regarding stability. Glide has something for every paddler out there, whether you're into touring, surfing, fishing, or just enjoying a leisurely paddle on the lake.

Key Highlights:

  1. Material and Design: Glide's inflatable boards are built with high-quality materials ensuring rigidity comparable to hard boards when properly inflated.
  2. Width and Stability: Wider boards provide more stability, ideal for beginners and activities like fishing or yoga, enhancing balance and reducing the risk of tipping.
  3. Speed vs. Stability: Narrower boards designed for speed also offer stability once moving, thanks to efficient water-cutting designs.
  4. Inflatable vs. Hard Boards: Advanced technology allows Glide's inflatable SUPs to match or even surpass the stability of hard boards, with the added benefit of being more forgiving in choppy conditions.
  5. Glide’s Commitment: All Glide models, from touring to racing boards, are engineered with stability in mind, ensuring a reliable and stable platform for all paddling activities.

woman holding inflatable paddle board

Why Choose Glide?

At Glide, we pride ourselves on engineering boards that cater to a wide range of activities with unique stability characteristics. Our inflatable boards are crafted with top-notch materials and technology, ensuring they're as rigid and stable as hard boards when inflated to the correct PSI. But here's where it gets interesting: the width and shape of the board play a huge role in stability, and that's something Glide has perfected across our range.

Width and Stability:

A wide board, typically around 32 to 34 inches, offers more stability when standing still, making it perfect for beginners or those who enjoy activities like fishing or yoga on their SUP. The increased width provides a larger platform, reducing the chances of tipping over. Our touring and fishing models, for instance, leverage this wider design to enhance stability, ensuring you feel secure and comfortable, no matter your skill level.

using a personal flotation device on inflatable paddleboard

Speed and Stability:

Now, you might wonder if a wider board compromises speed or stability when paddling fast. Here's the scoop: while wider boards are inherently more stable at rest, narrow boards, designed for speed and performance like our racing models, become incredibly stable once you're moving. This is due to the board's design that cuts through water more efficiently, creating a stable glide. The key is finding the right balance for your activities – and at Glide, we've got options for every need.

dog on an inflatable paddle board

Inflatable vs. Hard Boards:

So, onto the big question: Are inflatables less stable than hard boards? The answer isn't as straightforward as you might think. Inflatable boards, especially those from Glide, can match and sometimes surpass the stability of hard boards due to their construction and design. Thanks to advancements in technology, our inflatable SUPs offer remarkable rigidity and stability, making them nearly indistinguishable from hard boards in performance. Plus, the slight give in an inflatable board can be an advantage in choppy conditions, absorbing the water's movement and offering a more comfortable ride.

group on inflatable paddle boards

Glide's Commitment to Stability:

Every board in the Glide range, from our touring and fishing boards to our surf and race models, is designed with stability in mind. Our inflatables defy the stereotype of being less stable, providing a solid platform for all your adventures. Whether you're paddling through tranquil waters or navigating waves, our boards are designed to offer unparalleled stability and performance.

As a Glide employee and an enthusiast, I can confidently say that choosing between an inflatable and a hard board comes down to preference and use. With Glide, you're not just getting a paddle board; you're getting a meticulously designed companion for your water adventures, ensuring stability, durability, and fun, no matter which model you choose.