There are some cool things you can only do with an inflatable paddle board. Sorry hard SUPs, this article isn’t for you. Don’t look at an inflatable paddle board as a compromise - we feel they are a really good fit for MOST people.
Here are 6 Awesome Things You Can Only Do with An Inflatable Paddle Board:
One reason I love to go paddle boarding (besides that it’s fun) is because it’s relaxing. Chilling on a calm lake, surrounded by nature, drinking an icy beverage calms my soul. Recently, we discovered tethering five of us and our paddle boards together created the ultimate party barge!
I had brought extra bungees for my ice chest, and we were getting frustrated that our boards kept drifting away from each other while we were relaxing. I used my extra bungees to tether us all together, and created a slightly massive floating barge. Now, we were able to hang out for an hour, floating slowly around the lake. Try that with a hard board. Since we all had inflatable SUPs, we weren’t worried about nudging or denting each other’s boards.
You can tether your paddle board on the back side of a boat or on a dock and not have to worry about dents, dings, or scratches. Not worrying about damage to my paddle board makes my day even more enjoyable.
Travel by airplane, train or car - your inflatable SUP will go anywhere. Sure, you can throw a hard board on the roof rack of your car, but try bringing it on an airplane - it ain’t cheap if the airline allows it all, and you need special packaging to prevent damage from airline travel. Have you seen how your bags are handled when flying?
Another great thing about an inflatable SUP is the ability to literally travel with it anywhere. Load up your Toyota Prius with two boards and a few friends, no problem. We’ve traveled with ours to exotic destinations like Hawaii, Bali and more. While our SUP bags have some wear and tear, our paddle boards have held up just fine.
Before you can even think about buying a hard paddle board, you have to think about who you’re going to store it. At over 10’ long, we hope you have an empty garage - and don’t think about leaving it uncovered outside.
An inflatable SUP will fit neatly in its backpack in nearly any closet, car trunk, or even your grandma’s tiny lake house. Some of our customer’s even store their GILI boards on their house boat and small yachts.
Ever drop a hard paddle board? Ouch. Watch your feet, and then go get that ding repaired. Seriously, we aren’t dogging on hard paddle boards, because they really are great products. However, remember that an inflatable paddle board WILL survive more damage and drops than a hard SUP.
We’ve thrown our inflatable SUPs off of a third story houseboat deck, and our boards have survived falling off high lake cliffs. We don’t recommend deliberately abusing our inflatable SUPs, but they will take some punishment. Try doing THAT with a hard board (please, don’t).
I love my friends, but it’s rare that would lend them my hard paddle board. They are just too easy to damage if you’re careless, and accidents happen. Not to mention they usually have to borrow my truck - which is another story.
I don’t sweat lending out my inflatable SUPs. My friends can throw them in their vehicles, and minor drops and bumps won’t do any damage. Kids can play on the boards (please, always supervise your kids on the water), and they can’t really do much damage to them if they tried.
Just make sure your friends know how to properly inflate an deflate your inflatable SUP, and attach the fin and other accessories.
Inflatable paddle boards are beasts for white water, river paddling, and shallow waters. Rocks will damage your hard board, but will usually do little to no harm to an inflatable. White water paddling is becoming more popular, and the best way to paddle on rivers is with an inflatable SUP.
Even if you’re not in white water, paddling in a river is challenging on a hard board. You have to actively look for and avoid shallow areas and rocks. If you bump a rock or drag your hard board in the shallows you’re in for some bad news. Yes, be careful on your inflatable as well, but a small bump from a rock or shallow water is no big deal.Don't have an inflatable paddle board yet? Check out our Inflatable Paddle Boards.
You’ve just read about six awesome things you can do with an inflatable board you can’d do with a hard paddle board. If you have anything else to add (or questions) please drop us a comment!
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