The Top 10 Advantages of Hard and Inflatable Paddle Boards

Your finally ready to purchase a paddle board for yourself or your family but how do you know which board to buy? Glide has boards for just about everyone and for any type of paddling, so let us help you narrow down your selection.

Key Highlights

  1. Ideal for Explorers: Inflatable SUPs offer unparalleled convenience for remote adventures, easily packed and transported.
  2. Durability & Longevity: Glide's inflatable SUPs are engineered for resilience, standing the test of time against various conditions.
  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Inflatable boards provide quality at a more affordable price, allowing for additional adventure funds.
  4. Ease of Transportation: Forget roof racks; an inflatable SUP fits in your trunk, simplifying travel to your paddle destination.
  5. Lightweight Design: Inflatable boards are user-friendly for all ages, promoting easier handling than heavier hardboards.
  6. Resilience to Damage: The PVC construction of inflatables withstands impacts better, reducing damage risk.
  7. Safety on Falls: The softer surface of inflatable boards minimizes injury risk, making them safer for stunts and tricks.
  8. Effortless Storage: Inflatables can be easily stored away, occupying minimal space compared to hardboards.
  9. Maintains Appearance: Designed to retain their look, inflatable boards offer lasting value.
  10. Travel-Friendly: Easy to transport by both car and plane without extra luggage fees.

Embarking on the journey of stand-up paddle boarding brings about the pivotal decision: choosing between a hard paddle board and an inflatable paddle board. At Glide, we've been crafting both types with passion for over a decade. Our impartial stance allows us to guide you through the advantages and disadvantages each offers, ensuring you make the best choice for your paddle boarding adventures.

child on an Inflatable Paddle Board

Inflatable Paddle Board Advantages:

  1. Ideal for Explorers: The inflatable SUP is perfect for adventurers looking to paddle in remote locations. Easily packed into a backpack, it's your go-to for accessing those secluded lakes and rivers, offering unparalleled convenience over its hardboard counterpart.

  2. Durability: When it comes to longevity, our inflatable SUP boards rival hardboards. Engineered for resilience, they stand the test of time, enduring various conditions with ease.

  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Choosing an iSUP means enjoying cost savings without compromising on quality. More budget-friendly than hardboards, it allows you to allocate funds to other exhilarating adventures.

  4. Transportation Simplicity: Say goodbye to the hassle of roof racks. An iSUP fits comfortably in your trunk, with a quick and easy setup upon arrival at your destination.

  5. Lightweight Design: Featuring a lighter build, inflatable boards are user-friendly for both kids and adults, removing the challenge of handling a heavier hardboard.

  6. Resilience to Damage: Unlike hardboards, inflatables are less prone to damage from impacts, thanks to their PVC construction. Glide's experience in whitewater boards ensures our inflatables withstand the toughest conditions.

  7. Safety on Falls: The softer surface of an iSUP reduces the risk of injury during falls, making it a safer option for performing stunts or tricks.

  8. Effortless Storage: With an iSUP, storage concerns vanish. Easily folded, it occupies minimal space, unlike the bulky hardboard, which demands significant storage room.

  9. Maintains Appearance: Inflatable boards are designed to retain their look through numerous adventures, offering a solid value over time.

  10. Travel-Friendly: An iSUP is not just easy to transport by car but also by plane, without the extra luggage fees associated with checking in a hardboard.

Hard Stand Up Paddle Board Advantages:

child and woman on a paddleboard
  1. Superior Performance: Hard SUP boards offer enhanced speed and agility, cutting through water more efficiently than their inflatable counterparts.

  2. Optimal Glide: The ability to shape hardboards allows for better tracking and glide through water, a feature central to our brand ethos at Glide.

  3. Surfing Proficiency: The rigidity of a hard paddle board makes wave catching and turning in surf conditions more predictable.

  4. Wind Resistance: Hardboards fare better in windy conditions, offering a more stable paddling experience compared to the lighter inflatable boards.

  5. Puncture Resistance: While iSUPs excel in durability, a hard SUP avoids the risk of rapid deflation upon encountering sharp objects.

  6. Immediate Water Readiness: With no need for inflation, a hardboard is ready for action as soon as you reach your destination, provided you have the necessary transport setup.

  7. Reduced Bounce: The solid construction of hardboards offers a firmer platform, minimizing bounce during paddling.

  8. Aesthetic Appeal: The classic look of a hard SUP board is hard to beat, offering visual satisfaction to many enthusiasts.

  9. Racing Edge: For competitive paddlers, hardboards remain the choice for podium finishes in races, due to their performance advantages.

  10. Guaranteed Safety: The inherent buoyancy and lack of deflation risk make hard SUPs a reliable option for long paddles.


two inflatable paddle boards

In the inflatable vs. hard SUP debate, considerations of storage and transportation often tip the scales. However, with Glide's advancements in both inflatable and hardboard technology, you're guaranteed a rewarding paddle boarding experience regardless of your choice. Our hardboards, known for their durability and performance, and our cutting-edge inflatable boards offer versatility and convenience. Whether you choose the robustness of a hardboard or the portability of an inflatable, Glide ensures you embark on your paddle boarding adventures with confidence and style.


Related Topics

Inflate and Deflate a Paddle Board

Paddling Techniques for SUP

Ultra Durable Inflatable SUP

Best Places to Paddle Board in New York