The Ultimate Guide to Inflatable Paddle Boards: Everything You Need to Know
Before you buy an inflatable paddle board, you will want to read this guide because it contains everything you need to know.
Paddle boarding is a versatile water sport that is rapidly gaining popularity worldwide. Inflatable paddle boards (iSUPs) have become the go-to choice for many due to their convenience, ease of use, and durability. In this comprehensive guide, we'll cover everything you need to know about inflatable paddle boards, including how to choose the best one for your needs, the top reasons to invest in an inflatable paddle board, transportation, and cost considerations. We'll also highlight Glide as a top brand for premium quality boards.
How to Choose the Best Inflatable Paddle Board
When selecting an inflatable paddle board, consider these key factors:
Choose a board that matches your skill level. For beginners, a wider and longer board offers more stability. As you advance, you can switch to a more streamlined board for increased maneuverability.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the paddle board should correspond to your body size and strength. Heavier riders should opt for larger boards, while lighter riders can go for smaller ones. A typical inflatable stand up paddle board weighs between 15-30 lbs, making it easy to carry.
The board shape impacts performance. All-around boards are versatile and suitable for various conditions, touring boards provide more speed for longer distances, and surf-specific boards have a rocker shape for better wave handling.
Construction and Materials
Quality materials ensure durability and performance. Most iSUPs are made from military-grade PVC with drop-stitch technology. Premium brands like Glide offer high-quality construction that ensures stability, stiffness, and longevity.
Top Reasons to Buy an Inflatable Paddle Board
Inflatable paddle boards offer numerous advantages over traditional rigid boards:
Inflatable paddle boards are lightweight and easy to transport. They can be deflated and rolled up, fitting into a backpack or carry bag, making them perfect for travel and storage. all around sups
Constructed from military-grade PVC, inflatable paddle boards are highly resistant to damage and can withstand impacts that might damage a hard board.
Inflatable stand up paddle boards are suitable for various water conditions, including flat water, small waves, and even rivers.
Ease of Use
Inflatable paddle boards are beginner-friendly, offering stability and the ability to adjust to different skill levels.
Transporting Your Inflatable Standup Paddle Board
Inflatable stand up paddle boards are convenient to transport and store:
Deflate and Roll Up
Deflate your board, roll it up tightly, and secure it with a strap.
Use a Carry Bag or Backpack
Place the rolled-up paddle board in a carry bag or backpack, along with the paddle, pump, and other accessories.
Travel by Car, Plane, or Boat
The compact size of a deflated inflatable paddle board makes it easy to transport by car, plane, or boat.
How Much Do Inflatable SUP Boards Cost?
The price of inflatable paddle boards varies based on factors such as brand, materials, and features:
Starting at around $200, budget inflatable paddle boards may lack some features and durability but are suitable for casual use.
Priced between $500-$1000, mid-range boards offer better quality and additional features.
For premium quality, materials, and performance, expect to pay $1000 and above. Brands like Glide offer top-of-the-line inflatable stand up paddle boards, ensuring a superior paddling experience.
Additional Features and Accessories
When purchasing an inflatable paddle board, consider additional features and accessories that can enhance your paddling experience:
Fins impact the board's stability, tracking, and maneuverability. Removable fins offer customization options, while fixed fins are low-maintenance.
A comfortable and non-slip deck pad which covers the board's deck area is crucial for proper grip and control while standing on the board.
A bungee storage system on the board allows you to secure gear, snacks, and other essentials for your paddling adventures.
D Rings serve as attachment points for leashes, kayak seats, or other accessories.
An adjustable and lightweight paddle ensures efficient paddling and can be tailored to your height and preferences.
A high quality pump is necessary for inflating your inflatable paddle board. Consider a dual-action or electric pump for faster inflation.
A SUP leash is a safety accessory that connects you to the board, ensuring you don't lose it in case you fall off.
A repair kit includes essential tools and materials to fix minor damage to your inflatable paddle board.
Maintaining and Caring for Your Inflatable Paddle Board
Proper maintenance and care will prolong the lifespan of your inflatable stand up paddle board and ensure optimal performance:
After each use, rinse your paddle board with fresh water to remove salt, sand, and dirt. Use mild soap and water to clean stubborn dirt and stains.
Allow your inflatable paddle board to air dry completely before deflating and rolling it up to prevent mold and mildew growth.
Store your deflated and rolled-up board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight, which can cause damage over time.
Regularly inspect your board for any signs of wear, damage, or air leaks, and repair them as needed.
Safety Tips for Paddle boarding
Paddle boarding is an enjoyable water sport, but it's essential to prioritize safety:
Wear a Personal Flotation Device (PFD)
A PFD ensures you stay afloat in case of a fall and is required by law in some areas.
Use a Leash
A SUP leash keeps your board close if you fall off, preventing it from drifting away. A sturdy ankle leash is a wise investment in your safety.
Check Weather and Water Conditions
Before heading out, check the weather forecast and water conditions to ensure a safe paddling environment.
Learn Basic Techniques
Understanding essential paddle boarding techniques, such as proper standing, paddling, and turning, can help prevent accidents.
Paddle with a Buddy
Paddling with a partner or group improves safety and makes the experience more enjoyable.
Notify Someone of Your Plans
Let someone know your planned route and expected return time in case of an emergency.
Popular Inflatable Paddle Board Activities
Inflatable paddle boards are versatile and suitable for various water activities:
Practice yoga on your inflatable stand up paddle board to improve balance, core strength, and flexibility while enjoying the serenity of the water.
Inflatable paddle boards offer a stable platform for fishing, allowing you to access shallow waters and hard-to-reach spots.
Participate in SUP racing events to test your speed, endurance, and paddling skills against fellow enthusiasts.
Explore coastlines, rivers, and lakes on long-distance paddling adventures with your iSUP.
Inflatable paddle boards offer an exceptional combination of convenience, versatility, and durability, making them the perfect choice for both beginners and experienced paddlers. By considering factors such as skill level, size, shape, construction, and cost, you can find the ideal inflatable paddle board to suit your needs. Remember that investing in a premium brand like Glide ensures excellent quality, performance, and longevity. With your new inflatable paddle board, you'll be ready to explore the waters and enjoy the countless benefits of this exciting water sport.