Not all inflatable stand up paddle boards are the same. The manufacturing and overall quality differs between paddle board brands. There are, however, some standard things to look out for when buying an inflatable SUP.
Single skin inflatable SUPs are best avoided (for most people).
Lighter riders may get on with single skin fusion boards. But most won’t. Single skin iSUPs bend in the middle too much for moderate to heavier riders. Resistance when paddling then occurs which leads to less enjoyment, more fatigue and potential injury through over exertion. Double layer boards do also bend (deflect) but much less. Although the price is more double layer boards using premium woven Dropstitch will be stiffer than their singe skin counterparts. Go for 6″ thick boards regardless. Even if you can only afford a budget iSUP.
Fusion technology should be a given.
Fusion tech means the board’s outer layer is fused to the Dropstitch inner which makes the board better quality, more performance and deliver greater longevity. Fusion technology should be the bare minimum for your chosen inflatable SUP.
Budget is better than cheap.
We appreciate some iSUPs are pretty pricey. In which case look at the budget end of the market. But don’t go cheap as there’s a difference. Cheap means low quality whereas budget means you can still get a pretty decent iSUP without having to take out a new mortgage.
Freshwater Bay Paddleboard Co. 10’6 all round inflatable stand up paddle board.
IN STOCK NOW : O’Shea 106 QXS Inflatable SUP, full package
Longer is better, as is lighter.
Lighter inflatable SUPs will be much friendlier to use. Whilst longer will give you more glide and better tracking. The two factors in tandem means your experience overall will be much better. Also, try and stick to 6″ thick boards as we said above. 4″ and 5″ are often too bendy and mightn’t be any fun.
Ultimately you do get what you pay for with inflatable stand up paddle boards. We appreciate it’s a confusing market though with so many brands all trying to sell you their wares. NCW only stocks quality kit we’ve used and trust. If you want any iSUP buying advice then get in touch.