We often get asked what’s the best inflatable sup and to be honest it’s something we simply cannot answer. It’s not that we don’t know what makes a great board, but there’s so much more to it than simply what’s best.
Let’s first consider the paddler and see how they judge what’s the best inflatable sup
The paddlers experience is a massive factor here as you’d expect. A stand up paddler with limited experience would consider most boards to be nice and as such would adapt their style as it develops to accommodate the board.
The paddlers size will see changes in the boards performance and responsiveness. If you’re very light then expect most boards to quite lively and certainly in waves or on moving water, but you may also find that your weight isn’t enough to perform moves like pivot turns, so you’ll probably think a board is not so good at those manouvers compared to a heavier paddler who would have less problem sinking the tail.
The paddlers requirements will vary drastically and something I tell everyone looking inflatable stand up paddle boards is that you’re only a beginner for a very short time so don’t dumb yourself down. When I started paddling i went straight onto a short 9ft an paddled it everywhere. I cracked on knowing it was taking me ages to get across the harbour. Now with so many board types ranging from 7-18ft in length and so many widths, it’s really important to get a board that is working above your current level so you can grow into it.
Contact us now to find out what’s the best inflatable sup that we have that’s suited to you!
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- A 3 year warranty
- A glass fibre paddle
- A reinforced travel bag
- Fusion technology making them stiffer and lighter
- Amazing value
Now let’s look and see what’s the best inflatable sup from board only perspective.
Weight – boards have come a long way since the very first single skin constructions. Back then you could expect to be carrying around a 15kg+ bag with a board that had relatively poor performance that was further hindered by the weight. Obviously the major benefit being portability was only part met by these boards.
Construction – the world’s moved on and we’ve got 3 different types of construction.
Single layer is the lightest, but also most vulnerable to flex and stability issues. It is also less resistant to punctures or over inflation. You rarely get single layer now unless its for kids or light adults.
Double skin is the norm that gave extra strength to the boards and reduced flex because you can increase the amount of air put into the board.
Fusion or MSL as Red call it is whole new way of bonding the Drop stitch to the pvc layer. By using pre glued stitch and controlled bonding processes you’re able to reduce the weight and improve the stitch layout which in some cases has created lighter boards that can take a higher pressure.
Ease of use – there’s no such thing as an easy to use board really as it all comes down to you and how much you try. Some board shapes will offer more stability or straight line tracking and this is why we recommend trying a few boards before you buy one.
Ease of inflation and pack down – you don’t often hear it spoken of, but not every board packs down well after being inflated and in some cases you may struggle to re-bag it. You really want a board that is very easy to roll up and slide back into the bag with room to spare.
Shape – the all important shape determines so many things. A short board with blunt nose will be more turney, but push a bit of water making it less capable over distances whereas a longer more parallel railed board will track straighter and covered more distance per paddle stroke, so life on the water will be easier – but this one is based on what you want the board for.
Versatility – being able to mix it up is the spice of life and paddling is no different. Only tottering around may be amazing to start with but you might find yourself wanting to catch some waves or just go that much faster. The best advice is to know who YOU are and what YOU want. Then think how good you’ll be in a few months time and go for a board that will be more challenging right now as if it’s too easy you’ll find it becomes a bit mundane.