How do Inflatable Paddle Boards Work? Find out here

A lot of people are arguing which one is better, inflatable paddle board or hard paddle board. The answer is simple. If you are hunting for an all-around paddle board that you can use for several different activities, and inflatable stand up paddle board is the best option. What makes them so popular these days are their durability, versatility, weight, portability, and injury prevention. Aside from, they are also much cheaper compared to a hard paddle board. Also, one of the reasons why there are several people who do not buy an inflatable SUP is because they do not know how do inflatable paddle boards work.

If you are thinking of buying an inflatable SUP and you want to know how do inflatable paddle boards work, then you are on the right article. We will walk you through the pros and cons of inflatable paddle boards, how do inflatable paddle boards work, and some tips when buying an inflatbale SUP. To know more about this, just keep on reading.

Understanding the Difference Between an Inflatable Paddle Board and Hard Paddle Board

how do inflatable paddle boards work

Before we tackle and try to understand how do inflatable paddle boards work, it is important to determine how an inflatable SUP and hard paddle board differ from one another. We will also when it the best time to use an inflatable and a hard paddle board.

An inflatable stand up paddle board is considered as unique and advantageous among SUPs. They are becoming more and more popular each day primarily because they got more advanced in terms of features, materials, structure, and design. It is no wonder why people who used to be fond of hard paddle board prefer to use an inflatable SUP instead.

If you are still in the process of thinking which type of SUP to buy, here are some comparisons to consider.

🏄‍♀️Inflatable Paddle Boards are Proven to be More Durable than Hard Paddle Boards

I know that you find this really surprising. As a matter of fact, you will not believe it. Whatever you are thinking right now, or whether you believe it or not, inflatables are not subject to the vulnerabilities of a solid one. In addition to that, if a hard paddle board need special repair, the ding and holes are quite expensive. On the other hand, an inflatable SUPs is not that difficult and expensive to repair.

That is one of the reasons why inflatable are starting to outnumber the paddle boards in the river. Also, SUP schools and rental agencies prefer to use an inflatable SUPs so as to decrease the board damage due to the careless handling of the students and other renters.

🏄‍♀️Inflatable SUPs will not hurt you that much in case you fall on them

Of course, since it is inflatable where it material inside is air and not a solid material, you will not get hurt even if you fall on it. On the other hand, falling on solid board can be painful and it will not be easy for the body of the rider and anyone else the board may get in contact with.

🏄‍♀️Reduces fatigue because of the soft deck

Standing on a high quality inflatable paddle board is like standing on a luxury rubber mat that are commonly utilized in a commercial setting to lessen fatigue With inflatable paddle board, you will not get easily tired even though you stand for several hours. You will be surprised that your feet still feel comfortable and relaxed primarily because of the decreased contact pressure. In addition to that, not only your feet will benefit from it, but also your knees, back, and even your neck.

🏄‍♀️ A lighter board gets used more

Since an inflatable SUP is lighter, it gets used more often. It is easy to bring anywhere because its size is small when deflated. Not only that, it is also easier to navigate in the water.

An inflatable SUP normally weighs half the weight of a hard paddle board making it much easier to get in the water.

🏄‍♀️ You can check in an inflatable paddle board in an airplane

If you are someone who is fond of going to other places to do water activities, an inflatable SUP is your best choice. When deflated, it can be rolled up to fit in you bag that you can place in the trunk of your car or checked in on an airplane.

In addition to that, taking an SUP with you during vacaction will save you a huge chunk of money since you do not need to pay for paddle board rentals. Also, you are free to use the paddle board whenever you feel like using it.

🏄‍♀️ An inflatable SUP may not be suitable for competition

If you are a professional surfer and you want to join a competition, it is best to use a solid paddle board. It comes in different sizes and normally, the small ones are the best size for competition because they are faster and easy to operate.

How do Inflatable Paddle Boards Work? Inflatable SUP Pros And Cons

Pros of Inflatable Paddle Board

✔️Easy to bring anytime, anywhere

The most common reason of people wanting to buy an inflatable SUP is because it is compact when deflated. This makes them easy to with your on your trips. With its size when deflated, you can just easily rolled it and place inside your bag.

In addition to that, you do not need a roof rack on your car when bringing your inflatable paddle board with you. All you need is a durable carrier for your inflatable SUP.

Basically, inflatable paddle boards are easy to bring anywhere. As a matter of fact, I know plenty of people who bring their inflatable SUPs wiht them on a cruise ship which is really great.

✔️ Improved stability

What plenty of people do not know about inflatable paddle boards is that they are more stable than hard SUP. People who have inflatable SUP said they find it easier to learn compared to a hard shell one.

You might be wondering, how do inflatable paddle boards work and why are they more stable. One possible factor that contributes to its stability is because the thickness is consistent across the length and width of the paddle board. As a result, there is more buoyancy most specifically at the nose, tail, and edges.

✔️ Safe for dogs

Good news for dog lovers out there. You can go paddling with your canine using a inflatable SUP. There are plenty of inflatable paddle board that are suitable for dogs. They are more stable and it lets your sit without his paws sliding through the surface.

Cons of Inflatable Paddle Board

In knowing how do inflatable paddle boards work, it is also important to understand its cons.


An inflatable paddle board is not that easy to maneuver unlike the hard shell ones. The latter can be sleek and shape for easy and fast maneuverability.

A lot of people I know said that inflatable SUP do not easily turn or respond as fast as hard paddle boards.

✘ Rigidity

If you are able to properly inflate the paddle board, then they will perform well. On the other hand, it is still not as rigid as those of hard shell paddle boards.

✘ The majority of the models are expensive

Believe it or not, inflatable paddle boards are more expensive than hard paddle boards. This is contrary to what most people think. This is because most of them are made of high quality materials. But of course, you will get what you pay for.


One of the most common concerns on inflatable paddle boards are its possibility of sinking in the middle of the board. If you fail to buy good quality, you will really get frustrated with it because the middle part of the board will jeopardize the board’s performance. As a result, it will just ruin your experience.

It was discovered that this happens because they were not bale to have the board inflated on its maximum level. If you take and time and effort in properly inflating the board, you will not experience this kind of problem. Remember, the heavier the user is, the more pressure the more air pressure your board requires.

How to Make your Inflatable Paddle Board Last Longer

The most important thing that you can do in order to experience the most out of your inflatable SUP is to focus on proper care and maintenance. It is not that difficult at all to maintain your boards as long as you know exactly what to do and what not to do.

Follow the steps below to make sure you board will last longer

1.Always rinse off your inflatable paddle board after using

After using the board, do not just deflate it and put it inside your bag. This is important especially if you are fond of paddle boarding in the ocean. Salt water can be really dangerous for your board. It can easily ruin the coating of your paddle board which is why you have to make sure to rinse it properly with warm water after using.

Even after using it in freshwater, you still have to clean it so as to remove unnecessary dirt and grime

2. Properly dry your board

After rinsing off your board, you just do not rolled it up, you have to wait for it to dry completely before placing inside the bag. Also,when drying, it is best to leave it in a spot that is shaded. Make sure not to expose it on direct sunlight primarily because UV rays might cause your board to fade. Most importantly, it can degrade the PVC material. This may result to tears and punctures that will make your board risky to use.

3. Store your inflatable paddle board

how do inflatable paddle boards work

After drying your inflatable paddle board, properly store it. While they are easy to transport and use, you have to make sure to do it the right way.

First, make sure that it is completely dry before storing. Check the air valves for possible debris and moisture. If there is any, you can just clean it out using a quick jet of air from an air pump. Also, you can use a ear swab cotton to get rid of the dirt.

Unfix the fins from your board before you store it. Fins should be placed separately from your board. Always make use of the carrying case that came with your inflatable SUP – you could damage it if you force it to place it into a bag that is too tiny for its size.

4.Seasonal Scrub

Give your paddle board an intensive cleaning at least once a year, using a mild detergent and a freshwater rinse. Majority of paddle boarders see that dish detergent works fine, but you can also use a specially made paddle board cleaning product.

5. Repair Damage Instantly

It’s not uncommon for your paddle board to get a bit ruined and scraped up throughout a season. This kind of damage is normally very solvable, but it’s important to fix such damage as soon as you discover it. If you don’t make an action, a tiny puncture could instantly shift into a long tear, which may not be as simple to fix.

The majority of cuts and punctures are simple to fix with some Epoxy sealant. All you need to do is apply a small amount of sealant to the leak and allow it dry totally for a minimum of 24 hours. You will have to make sure that your inflatable SUP is tidy and carefully dry before you do any repairs. If your board has a lot of problems, you may have to get it professionally repaired.

Tips when Buying An Inflatable Paddle Board

Do your research

Don’t immediately purchase the first board you see. Do your assignment by doing research and buy from a well known brand that you’ve heard about and trust. As inflatable SUPs become more in dmeana, more brands are starting to appear on the market each day. But just because they make inflatable SUPs doesn’t always mean they produce quality iSUPs!

We see different kinds of kit and some iSUPs you wouldn’t try to stand on, on dry land especially on the water! So talk to other experts to hear their advice.

✰Try before you purchase

This is the perfect way to not only see what the model actually looks like but also how you operate and maneuver it. A high quality inflatable SUP must not look like a banana or get your feet moist while you are standing on it! It must feel perfectly rigid and if the perfect size not difficult to paddle.

Don’t just buy it because it’s cheap!

Prices of inflatable SUPs vary greatly. And there is usually a perfect reason for this! Less expensive inflatable SUPs are normally made with fragile materials, and as a result, models are not durable, less rigid and often hard to get spare parts for. Don’t be too shocked if they look like a banana and feel hard to maneuver too! With that, don’t think of buying a cheap board you’ve never tried or heard of before. But by conducting some research you may land on some less expensive brands that do make quality inflatable SUPs for their price tag, but they may have a less durable bag etc.

✰Feel the weight

Inflatable SUPs not only differ in weight because of their size, but also because of the materials and construction system used. A 10’5 inflatable SUP might weigh anything from 8kg to 14kg. It may not seem much but you’ll certainly feel how they differ in your arms when bringing it down the beach with you.

So if you’re hunting for an compact board to bring and place on the roof of your car, a light board to bring with you on your trips abroad then make sure you consider how heavy the boards. Nevertheless it’s also worth remembering that the reason boards are heavier is because most of the time they are produced with more material which will have the advantage of typically being long lasting.

Final Words

In knowing how do inflatable paddle boards work, it is important to know what it is, what makes them popular, and its cons and pros. Aside from that, it is also important to know how to properly take care of it so as to last for a long time.

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