Before purchasing an inflatable SUP, you should know a little about what you should expect. Inflation, durability, and performance are the most important things to look for. Some models come with added accessories. While you can choose to purchase one that comes with these features, it is better to pay a bit more for something that's more versatile. You'll also want to consider the extra weight you'll need to carry, as well as the added convenience of a paddle board.
The price of an inflatable epoxy paddle board can vary widely. While super cheap inflatable boards are generally made of fiberglass, the higher end models are usually rigid. Inflatable boards do not require inflation, but they are often more expensive than rigid boards. Inflatable boards feature layered constructions of various materials such as fiberglass, wood veneer, carbon fiber, and epoxy resin. They are also available in plastic or wood versions. There are several different types of inflatable paddle boards on the market, including bamboo, plastic, and a variety of combinations of materials.
If you're looking for a cheaper option than an epoxy paddle board, there are several advantages of an inflatable model. First of all, inflatable models are often more portable and easier to store than their solid counterparts. Depending on which model you choose, an inflatable paddle board will come with fins, leashes, and repair kits. It will even come with a carry bag and pump. And because they are easier to store, they are much more convenient to transport and carry around than a solid board.
The durability of an inflatable epoxy paddle board depends on several factors. The materials used to manufacture these boards vary greatly. Many of them are constructed with expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam as the core. A high-density XPE or IXPE foam cover is laminated onto the core to add durability. The materials used for these boards are waterproof and resistant to swell, deform, and weight gain in the water.
While most hard SUP boards last for many years and are easier to repair, an inflatable SUP will eventually get scuffed and banged. This will result in repairs requiring the use of patching materials or vinyl repair glue. Fortunately, most brands offer a warranty, and these boards are easily repairable. However, if damage occurs, it's imperative to dry and clean the damaged area before repairing it.
One of the biggest differences between inflatable and hardtop paddle boards is how they handle choppy water. While the performance of an inflatable board is comparable to a hardtop board, the former is much more stable in choppy waters. However, this feature makes the hardtop paddle board more difficult to handle, especially when you are a beginner. This makes an inflatable SUP an attractive option for people who want to practice their skills.
Inflatables are convenient and quick to store and transport. Compared to an epoxy paddle board, an inflatable model requires about seven to 10 minutes to inflate. The inflatable version of a paddle board is also easy to pack. Inflatable paddle boards can be easily packed in a trunk or carried around by hand. An inflatable board can be inflated to the desired pressure in about seven to ten minutes, which is more convenient than an epoxy board.
Adding on paddle holders and rod holders is a great way to add versatility to your SUP. Many SUPs have dedicated attachment points that allow you to attach things such as fishing rods, clothing, or even coolers. However, some models come without such features. In these cases, you can purchase add-ons to your SUP and use them as you please. In addition to paddle holders, other add-ons include FCS II/Connect fins and bungee cords.
Some paddle boards are made of foam. These are constructed by placing three pieces of wood stringers inside of an EPS foam core. The core is then covered with high-density XPE or IXPE foam. Because the EPS and XPE foam are water-resistant, you can rest assured that your SUP will not swell, deform, or lose weight. You can also find paddle boards with wood stringers to enhance their durability.