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Imagine being able to standup paddleboard wherever you wanted, whenever you wanted. While standup paddling has been around for quite a long time now, the advent of inflatable standup paddleboards have made the sport of standup paddling more accessible for everyone.
An inflatable standup paddleboard (I-SUP) is a board that you can inflate with a hand pump. It packs down into a relatively small size, so you can store it even if you have limited space or a small car. They’re lightweight, great for beginners, and make for great boards for the whole family. Depending on the shape, you can surf, do yoga, and tour on an I-SUP. In this guide, we’ll cover the best inflatable standup boards, talk about what to look for, and go through the pros and cons of hard SUPs versus I-SUPs.
If you are a beginner, you should be on the lookout for a wide board that offers stability such as the SereneLife I-SUP. It features a non-slip deck for easy balancing and great traction while paddleboarding.
Made from high-quality PVC, it is corrosion resistant and comes with accessories like a coiled leash, a hand pump, a repair kit, an adjustable floating paddle, as well as a storage bag. It is one of the best inflatable standup paddleboards for beginner thanks to its stability and maneuverability.
If you want a board with the exceptional build quality, RED Paddle Co is one of the best. Their board is stable yet versatile, making it a top pick for beginners and those who want to dabble in SUP yoga. The non-slip deck pad keeps you firmly in place and you paddle.
The I-SUP body is made from military grade PVC with an airtight laminate coating. The board comes with a dual cylinder pump, a wheeled all-terrain backpack, and a repair kit. This I-SUP also boasts features such as paddle straps, padded waist, shoulder waist straps, and cellphones pockets. Standup paddle not included.
This board is designed to have great aesthetics, a sleek design, and boasts large weight capacity. You can enjoy great stability and maneuverability while you paddle. The extra width design makes it versatile and suited for all skill levels.
The strong PVC material used to make it ensures you get a durable and lightweight I-SUP. The Roc I-SUP is good for flat water, with its 3 direction fins helping you paddle smoothly. It comes with premium accessories such as a waterproof backpack, a leash, a hand pump, and a paddle.
Have you been looking for an I-SUP that can make water exploration fun and relatively effortless? A board that can handle the seas, lakes, and rivers irrespective of the weather? This I-SUP is just what you’ve been looking for. Designed with a width of 32, you need not worry about its stability even on choppy waters.
Your exploration adventures will be boosted by the 350 lbs carrying capacity meaning you can go with a partner, pet, cooler, or camping gear. It has a six-point bungee system that ensures you have ample storage for your gear — consider it a top touring board. Your grip is increased by an EVA foam traction pad. Accessories that come with this I-SUP include a paddle, backpack, a coil leash, high-pressure pump, and waterproof phone case.
This I-SUP is designed with durability in mind by the use of lightweight military-grade dual-layer PVC. Since it only weighs 19.5 pounds, it’s convenient to store and transport.
What if you could get a SUP that gives a touring performance combined with speed and over 700lbs in weight capacity? Wouldn’t that be great? Well, the Tower Xplorer offers just that. When it comes to stability, glide, and maneuverability, it delivers exceptionally. Because of its 14’’ length, it is best used by adults.
The body of this board made with military grade PVC body with an 8-inch thickness, making it durable and high-quality. Transporting it might require more effort than other I-SUPs, as it’s larger and weighs more than most. But once you’re on the water, this single-fin tracks effortlessly.
The diamond-grooved deck pad covers half of the board and increases grip when paddling. The storage capacity is quite large as it has a front D-ring as well as a rear surf leash D-ring. Accessories offered with this I-SUP include an adjustable aluminum paddle, a pump, and a repair kit.
The IROCKER CRUISER I-SUP is best described as a family board that’s suitable for all skill levels. Its price point also makes it a great value board that is completely versatile (SUP yoga, touring, and surfing). Its shape makes it easy to maneuver and turn.
The board looks stylish with color-coded accessories like an ankle safety leash, adjustable paddle, a dual action hand pump, a repair kit, and bag. With a width of 33″ and a weight capacity of 400lbs, it’s very stable and easy to use. This board will be a great reason to encourage your family to start paddle boarding.
Its body is made of thick quad-layer PVC that comes in various colors such as blue, aqua, orange, black green, and yellow. When with family, you can carry more since it has a large bungee storage area and D-ring attachment points.
If you are a user who doesn’t compromise on quality, want more storage, and a light board, then consider the Atom 11’ foot I-SUP. Its unique shape with a pointed nose and sleek design makes it resemble a surfboard. This board is very easy to carry compared to most, as it weighs only 19 lbs. This is a suitable board for both beginners and advanced users.
Made of very durable PVC, this boat can endure rocks and abuse. Atoll Board Co provide accessories such as an aluminum alloy three-piece adjustable paddle, a leash, bungee tie downs, a dual action pump, and a travel backpack. The Atoll 11′ has a narrow nose which helps it to cut through choppy easy conditions. Your storage options are increased with multiple d rings that are great for carrying camping or other sporting gear.
This is easily one of our favorite I-SUPS for beginner standup paddlers and those who love yoga. This stylish I-SUP is very stable thanks to its large, wide nose and 6” thickness. The board is accented with a beautiful lotus flower.
Made using military-grade PVC, this I-SUP will last you several summers without wear or tear. It comes with a three piece paddle, pressure gauge, backpack, pump, and a repair kit. With a brushed diamond groove traction pad, it will make your workouts comfortable when standing and kneeling.
It is best suited for flat water to enable you to do complex yoga poses at ease. However, its versatility means it can also be used to surf small waves or on flatwater spots.
This I-SUP was designed with expert and intermediate users in mind. Very different from others, it features a narrower design that ensures it delivers you excellent speed and performance. This 11′ I-SUP will beat most touring boards at an affordable price. Its traction pad which has crocodile texture helps secure your feet firmly when in action.
Its made from bombproof quad-layer PVC boasting a 6’’ thickness. The three fins are easily removed and the board itself packs down small. On the water, the board is responsive with the help of its raised kick tail. Your storage is sorted by an enlarged bungee area. You will find carrying it very easy when inflated thanks to its nylon webbed carrying handle. Apart from a backpack, it comes with an ankle leash, a pump, a repair kit, and a floating fiberglass paddle.
The Tower Adventurer is a very sturdy and stable I-SUP when in action. The board is shorter than most SUPs, wide and boasts an incredibly high buoyancy rating–making it perfect for beginners and kids. Because it is short, it’s very maneuverable yet stable thanks to its width and anti-slip deck pad.
With a weight of 24 lbs, it’s not a heavy board, however, it can handle a weight capacity of up to 400lbs as it is very rigid. It has an extra-large center fin (removable when packing) and two in-built side fins which will help you to track straight as you paddle. An adjustable fiberglass paddle and a pump are included with the board.
Made with Military-grade PVC and drop-stitch materials, the manufacturers ensure that it can withstand harsh conditions and environments.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST INFLATABLE STANDUP PADDLEBOARDS
Inflatable Standup Paddleboards vs. Hard Standup Paddleboards
Should you choose a hard standup paddleboard or an inflatable one? We’ll cover the pros and cons of each.
Inflatable Standup Paddleboards
PROS OF I-SUP
PROS OF HARD SUP
Easy to transport: You can easily transport them anywhere in a backpack as they are very convenient and compact when deflated.
More suited for surfing: Hard SUPs tend to be more rigid and structured for surfing waves.
Lightweight: A single person can easily handle them. They weigh less compared to a similarly sized hard SUP.
Speed and agility: Hard SUPs are faster and more agile.
Stability: When inflated correctly, they’re more stable than hard SUP.
Buoyancy for heavier riders: Their weight limit is higher, and buoyancy is not influenced by the PSI.
Soft surface: Unlike hard SUPs, their surfaces will cushion your fall.
Higher performance, maneuverability, and glide: Hard SUPs are shaped for performance. They are also designed to offer easy maneuverability and offer a better glide.
Travel-friendly: Due to easy packing, you can carry them in your car’s trunk or even check them in on an airplane when traveling for a vacation at no extra costs.
No risk of puncture: While a hard SUP could be dinged, it won’t puncture easily
Cheap to repair: Most repairs require just a simple patch.
Longevity: Hard SUPs can withstand UV damage more than I-SUPs, potentially lasting longer.
Storage: Their small size when packed makes them ideal for paddlers with limited storage space.
Durable: They are very rugged and surprisingly more durable than hard SUPs.
Affordable: I-SUPs are generally cheaper than hard SUPs with the same specs.
Comfort: A softer deck which reduces the contact pressure on your feet. This means lesser fatigue when paddling for a long time.
What to Look for in an Inflatable Standup Paddleboard
The shape of the I-SUP
The shape of your I-SUP affects how the board interacts with water as well as how you handle the board. I-SUPs with planning hull designs have smooth wide bottoms which ensure stability. However, these can also be slower and more tedious to paddle. Those shaped with displacement hulls (touring boards and racing boards) glide through the water hydro-dynamically, making paddling easier and your paddleboard faster.
Weight of the Board
The weight of your I-SUP will affect the ease of packing and transporting, the weight capacity, and how the board responds in water. Heavy boards are suited for adults and experienced paddlers, while lighter ones are great for children and those who may have trouble carrying anything over 30 pounds.
Length of the Board
Generally, longer I-SUP boards are faster and more buoyant. The buoyancy is increased by the larger surface area meaning you can paddle with your kids or your even your dog. Shorter boards are slower, more maneuverable, but less responsive to turns. Longer boards are suited for racing and touring while medium-length boards are suited for SUP yoga and all-around use.
Always choose a board that’s capable of carrying your weight. This will keep your board at prime buoyancy. If you want to paddle with your children, in tandem, or with your dog, you’ll want a board that includes your weight capacity.
Most I-SUP boards are made from high quality (military) PVC to ensure durability. Most are made with drop stitch technology which prolongs their life and keeps the seams from splitting. You will want an I-SUP with solid seams and corrosion-resistant material.
The Benefits of Owning Your Own Inflatable Standup Paddleboard
The ability to SUP in almost any body of water: I-SUPs are suited for varied bodies of water and many types of conditions. Explore the ocean, lakes, rivers, reservoirs — there are no limits!
Exercise: An I-SUP will help to perform low impact workouts and keeps you fit. The chances of damaging any tendons or ligaments are very low if you paddle in conditions suited to your ability. Standup paddling works your core, arms, and legs.
Progress your skills: Your time of practicing and improving is not limited like it would be if you had to rent or borrow aboard. You’ll improve quickly and will be able to paddle whenever you’d like.
It promotes social activity with others: Standup paddling can be a very social activity. Paddle with family, friends, or your dog. You can meet-up paddling partners all over the globe.
Cheaper than renting in the long run: After you spend an initial amount, standup paddling is nearly free. A rented board can start from $50 per day, renting it 7 times is the cost of buying a decent I-SUP.
Yoga: You can head to the water for yoga sessions at your own convenience.
You can explore and tour different places: Explore coastlines and riverbeds that aren’t accessible by trail. Embark on on adventures and camping tours to other places freely.
What inflatable standup board do you think is best?
Apart from the features and specifications mentioned above, you should choose an I-SUP that fits your lifestyle, your intended use, and is within your budget.
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