What is the Advantage of Buying an Inflatable Paddle Board?

We get asked this question a lot, so we thought we would do a quick post about it and dive into the advantages of inflatable paddle boards. The quick answer is that inflatable paddle boards are very portable, easy to transport, easy to store and they are very durable. The Glide O2 line of inflatable paddle boards is built with the woven drop stitch which will make your inflatable paddle boards feel like hard paddle boards, without taking up all that space!

Key Highlights

  1. Portability: Easily transport your inflatable SUP in a backpack, even on a bike, to access water spots without needing a roof rack.
  2. Easy Storage: Inflatable boards can be quickly deflated, rolled up, and stored in small spaces, making them ideal for those with limited storage options.
  3. Durability: Constructed with high-denier PVC, inflatable SUPs are robust, resisting damage from impacts that would typically harm hard boards.
  4. Versatility: Suitable for various water activities, from flat water paddling to small wave surfing, inflatable boards cater to a broad range of paddling preferences.
  5. Technology: Glide O2 inflatable boards use a woven drop stitch that enhances the board's stiffness and durability, closely mimicking the performance of traditional hard boards.

Inflatable Paddle Boards are Easy To Transport

One of the reasons inflatable stand-up paddle boards became mainstream is because of their ability to be easily transported, which has made a significant impact on the market. While tucked away in its backpack, you can just toss it in your car, and head to the water. The Glide O2 bags all have wheels, along with shoulder and waist straps for quick and simple movement. You can even ride with your board on your bike to the water! Easy transport is the largest advantage of having an inflatable paddleboard, while hard boards would require a roof rack to get your board to the water.

If easier transport suits your needs more, getting yourself an inflatable paddle board would come in handy to get paddle boarding more efficiently!


Inflatable Paddle Boards

Inflatable Paddleboards are Easy to Store

Just like having easier transport, Inflatable paddle boards are easy to store! They only require minimal storage space. With these boards, you can simply roll them up, put them back in the bag, and find a nook to store them. We always recommend you let your inflatable sups dry completely before you put them back in their bag for storage. A dry board is a happy board, well not really, boards love being on the water, so I guess a wet board is a happy board? A dry board in its storage space is a non-moldy board! If you put your inflatable paddle boards away when wet, you run the risk of mold growing on the board and a moldy board is a sad board.


Inflatable SUP

Inflatable SUP boards are very durable.

Generally speaking, inflatable paddle boards are much more durable than hard paddle boards. Not all inflatable sup boards are created equal. There is a big difference. You can learn more about the best inflatable paddle boards here. Inflatable paddleboards are built with layers of PVC covering a tight drop stitch core. PVC has been used since the beginning to build white water rafts and it is still used today in the white water industry. Having a durable board is very important in maintaining quality.

You will see on many paddle board reviews the term: "military-grade PVC protecting", but that's nothing more than marketing hype. PVC is rated in deniers. Low-quality inflatable sups that are marketed as military-grade PVC is typically around 600-800 denier fabric in a single layer. Many inflatable paddle board brands will market triple layer or quad layer and will have a denier of around 800-1000 as well as ultra-durable inflatable sup boards like the Glide O2 line will be 1300 denier fabric. A Low-quality inflatable paddle board will not be any more durable than a tough pool toy, but a quality inflatable sup will be very strong and last you many years of continued use.

Hard paddle boards that aren't built with GSS are easily damaged when used out on the water and are much more fragile than an inflatable SUP's. So if you are looking for any easy-to-care-for board that won't have you panicking and dodging every rock, ledge, or sharp object, inflatable sup is a great choice. If you'd like to see our durable paddle boards in action watch some of our Will it Break Wednesday videos.


Inflatable White Water Board



Inflatable SUPs can get you into flat water sup racing, but a hard board with a cut-out deck will have a serious advantage over an inflatable board if you're into race or surf. However, if you are just wanting to catch waves and get your feet wet for the first time, or surf small waves, an inflatable SUP will be a perfect choice. Most paddlers who want to get serious about sup surfing will want a hardboard. Hard paddle boards will have thinner rails, more control over the rocker, and will have the advantage over inflatable SUPs. For the average paddler, a good inflatable paddle board will have distinct advantages over a hard board and will be the right board for almost all the paddling you will be doing, giving you a smoother experience.

Inflatable boards are here to stay and they offer some very distinct advantages when compared to a hard paddle board. Although hard paddle boards will always have a place in your quiver, especially if you are going to be racing flat water or catching waves and surfing, Inflatable sups meet different needs for paddle boarding to reach a wider variety of folks!