What type of Glide iSUP should I buy?
It can be hard trying to figure which Glide Inflatable Paddleboard would be the best fit for you.
Here's a breakdown from our very own, Joe, who will give you his best advice on making the greatest decision of your life!
So you've decided that an iSUP is your best option; what's next? Honestly, nearly all inflatables behave very similarly in the water due to their rounded shapes.
There are big differences between a touring/racing shape like the Quest and a big cruiser like the Angler, but in-between those extremes, most iSUPs handle the same way due to their similar shapes, lack of hard rails and hydrodynamic edges.
That's the main reason why, when it comes to inflatables, it's harder to end up with a board that doesn't suit you, and since all Glide Stand Up Paddleboards are made to the same exacting standard using the best technology available (the fusion process) you're getting the best quality of board regardless of which model you choose.
We don't offer different tiers of quality at different price points simply because we've found that the cheaper inflatables that many companies produce, using glued drop-stitch, are too prone to failure.
Size Matters (But it's not really about length)
As far as the sizes of boards, the general rule-of-thumb is your height plus 9-12 inches is the proper length of iSUP. When you realize that nearly all iSUPs are in the nine to thirteen foot range, and paddleboards are seemingly built for people that play professional basketball, this “rule” seems kind of silly, but here we are.
Width is a far more important consideration for stability, but as most Glide inflatable paddleboards are at least 33.5” wide, nearly everyone should feel comfortable on them.
The Quest is the exception at 30” wide, so inexperienced folks over 6'4” may want to steer clear of the needle-like Quest until they're comfortable paddlers. Weight only becomes an issue with Glide iSUPs when users exceed about 275 lb.
If you're pushing 300 lbs you should probably look at the Angler. It's not just for fishing, although it excels at that. It's a large, stable board that a lot of people get simply because they like the extra stability, want to carry gear, haul kids/pets, friends, etc.
How do you like to SUP?
What type of paddling are you going to be doing primarily? If you want a board for general purposes and don't think you'll be that into fishing, sprinting, or long-distance paddling, the Retro is the best all-purpose Glide iSUP.
It's the Swiss Army knife of the lineup. It will let you do everything that the more specific Glide models do, just without as much precision as the others. The Retro is still fine for yoga, camping, racing, surfing, etc, it just loses some style points or utility doing some of those activities. If you're looking for the Jack-of-All-Trades iSUP, this is your board.
For yoga, it's a no-brainer: the Lotus is hands down the best yoga platform among iSUPs. But again, that extra width is great for beginners that may have no interest in yoga, but worry about stability, or just want a shorter board.
The Lotus is 10' long- it, and the Lochsa, are the shortest boards in the Glide iSUP lineup, but their extra width still makes them stable cruisers.
If you need the iSUP equivalent of a truck or SUV, check out the Angler. While it has plenty of great design features to make fishing a breeze, it's size makes it a wonderful hauler and a great camping SUP.
We've sold as many to people that want to take multiple kids and/or pets out paddling on their board as we have to hard-core fishermen. Extra tie-downs, D-rings, Scotty® gear mounting points make this the most utilitarian of Glide iSUPs.
Just remember that if you're on the petite side, you might want to consider a more nimble, less bulky board. The Angler is good for up to five hundred lbs of user/passenger/cargo weight.
Intermediate paddlers looking to log miles and scoot across the water faster should consider the Quest. At twelve and a half feet, it's the longest Glide inflatable SUP and at only thirty inches wide, the narrowest.
This isn't a delicate carbon-fiber racing paddleboard though, and that length gives you similar displacement to the inflatable Retro, so you can still throw gear under the bungee straps and toss a pooch aboard before touring.
If running rivers and tackling rapids is what you crave, the Lochsa (named for the river in Idaho) you should consider the Lochsa. It's modeled after our hardboard of the same name that was used for the first paddleboard descent of the White Nile.
It's a stable platform for running whitewater and like the Angler, makes a great camping board. Please remember to always wear a helmet and PFD when running rivers on an iSUP, and never use any leash except quick-release leashes designed specifically for whitewater use.
Hopefully, this made your paddleboard purchasing decision easier, and remember that due to their versatile nature and shared characteristics, it's difficult to end up with an inflatable SUP that can't meet your needs