Revolutionizing the Waters: How Glide Inflatable Paddle Board Technology is Shaping the SUP Industry

In the world of water sports, the rise of the inflatable stand-up paddle board (SUP) by Glide represents a pivotal shift in accessibility and performance. From its origins with the beach boys of Waikiki to the innovative strides made by companies like Glide, the evolution of paddle boarding technology has made the sport more accessible than ever. Let's dive into the technical advancements that have allowed inflatable SUPs to offer nearly the same rigidity as traditional hard boards.

Key Highlights:

  1. Historical Context: Trace the evolution of paddle boarding from traditional hard boards to the innovative inflatable models by Glide.
  2. Technological Advancements: Detail the core technological improvements like the woven drop stitch and fusion lamination that enhance the performance of Glide's inflatable SUPs.
  3. Quality and Durability: Explain how Glide's high-quality materials and construction techniques contribute to the durability and reliability of their inflatable SUPs.
  4. Performance Features: Highlight the specific design features that allow Glide inflatable boards to perform comparably to hard boards, such as maximum PSI levels and advanced shaping.
  5. Future Outlook: Discuss Glide's ongoing commitment to innovation and how it continues to influence the popularity and accessibility of paddle boarding.

The Transition from Rigid to Revolutionary

Historically, SUP boards stemmed from the surfing industry, where rigid, EPS foam-crafted boards reigned supreme. Glide, known for its ultra-durable hard SUPs coated with a Department of Defense-used polymer, has played a significant role in pushing the boundaries of SUP durability and performance.

The introduction of inflatable SUPs around 2007 marked the beginning of a new era. Early models, with their single PVC layer and knitted drop stitch construction, lacked the rigidity and durability demanded by serious paddlers. Glide recognized these limitations and set out to redefine what an inflatable SUP could be.

stand up paddle board


Technological Advances in Inflatable SUPs

The journey to achieving a high-performance inflatable SUP involved rethinking the construction process from the inside out. Glide focused on two main areas: the core and the outer layers.

  • Woven Drop Stitch Core: Moving away from the knitted drop stitch, Glide adopted a woven drop stitch core for its inflatable boards. This tighter construction significantly reduces the space between threads, resulting in a board that's naturally stiffer and more stable on the water.
  • Fusion Lamination: Instead of gluing layers of PVC, which added weight and potential for bubbling, Glide's inflatable boards feature layers that are fused together. This not only makes for a lighter board but also increases its overall strength and rigidity.
inflatable sup board

Understanding the Quality Behind Your Glide Inflatable SUP

The quality of an inflatable SUP is not always visible from the outside. However, indicators such as the maximum PSI a board can withstand offer insights into its internal construction. Glide boards are designed to be inflated up to 25 PSI, showcasing confidence in their integrity and providing users with a stable paddling experience even at lower PSI levels.

touring board with a pointed nose


Glide's Commitment to Quality and Performance

Glide's inflatable boards are not just about portability and ease of storage; they're about delivering a paddling experience that rivals that of hard boards. From the streamlined plan shape to the strategic incorporation of rocker and reinforced rails, every aspect of a Glide inflatable SUP is crafted with performance in mind.

The choice of materials, from the full-length, UV-stable EVA deck pads to the use of US fin boxes, reflects Glide's commitment to quality. Each board is designed to withstand the demands of various paddling activities, ensuring that paddlers have a reliable, enjoyable, and safe experience on the water.

multiple people on an inflatable stand up paddle board


The Future of Inflatable SUP Technology

As the SUP industry continues to evolve, Glide remains at the forefront of innovation in inflatable board technology. The company's dedication to improving paddler experience through advanced materials and construction techniques has not only changed the game for inflatable SUPs but has also contributed to the growing popularity of paddle boarding as a whole.

Whether you're a beginner or an experienced paddler, a Glide inflatable SUP offers the perfect blend of performance, durability, and convenience, allowing you to explore the waters like never before.

The technological advancements in inflatable SUPs, spearheaded by brands like Glide, have transformed the paddle boarding landscape. By offering boards that combine the practical benefits of inflatables with the performance characteristics of hard boards, Glide has opened up new possibilities for enthusiasts and newcomers alike to enjoy the sport. As we look to the future, the continued innovation in inflatable SUP technology promises even greater adventures on the horizon.


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