Inflatable Paddle Board vs. Regular Hard Paddle Board

Stand up paddle (SUP) boarding is a great way to enjoy a workout while taking in everything the ocean has to offer! There are two main kinds of paddle boards; traditional hard epoxy or wood paddle boards and inflatable paddle boards. Immediately you'll notice inflatable SUP boards are available for as little as $450, where hard SUP boards will almost certainly cost you more than $700. But you shouldn’t base your decision based on cost alone, here’s a comparison between hard and inflatable SUP boards based on eight other factors.


You might jump to conclusions thinking that hard SUP boards are more convenient. Just pull it out and get onto the water you would think; in part, you would be correct. If you have a hard SUP board and a deflated SUP board, you can get onto the water a whole lot faster with the hard SUP board. Although, if you don't deflate your paddle board every single time you use it, the two are equally as convenient.


Talk about convenience, inflatable SUP boards are a lot lighter than hard SUP boards. Rather than being made of epoxy or wood, inflatable SUP boards are made from layers of durable plastic filled with air and come with a rubberized standing surface. Lighter boards mean it’s less work to take them onto the water and you might even be more inclined to use them more.


Based on the construction and paddle board edges, an inflatable paddle board is generally more stable than a hard paddle board that is the same width and thickness.


Inflatable paddle boards can easily be packed up and transported in a bag the size of a backpack. Trying to travel with a hard paddle board is a challenge. It is heavy, bulky and typically an unconventional shape.


Inflatable SUP boards are extremely durable and can even be repaired easily. The thick outer layer of plastic can be repaired, though it takes a lot to damage. Typical inflatable paddle boards last upwards of five and sometimes even 10 years. The paddle boards sold by Love Vancouver Life have a two year warranty.


Believe it or not, inflatable paddle boards can actually hold up more weight than their epoxy counterparts. Not by much though, both can support around 300 lbs.


If you want to surf on your paddle board or are in competitive races, a hard board will prove better. Inflatable boards are lighter and cannot cut through the water the same as hard epoxy.


When it comes to standing for long hours, the softer surface of an inflatable SUP board will make your experience a whole lot more enjoyable. Because the pressure is better distributed, you will feel relief in your lower body joints and back compared to a hard SUP board. Plus, falling on an inflated SUP board is a lot more bearable than falling on solid wood or epoxy; trust us on this one rather than testing it for yourself.

Which is Better?

While we prefer inflatable boards, everyone has their own personal preferences. We will let you form your own opinions based on the facts above. If you're interested in buying a new paddle board, check out the collection Love Vancouver Life offers today!