Inflatable paddle boards (iSUPs) are a popular choice for people who love to spend time on the water, but don’t have the space or budget for a traditional hardboard. They are portable, easy to store, and can be used in various water conditions. So before buying, make sure you choose the right paddle board best suited to your particular requirements.
However, with so many different models and brands, it can be overwhelming to find the right iSUP for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider when shopping for an inflatable paddle board:
- Intended use
- Size and shape
- Weight capacity
- Material and construction
- Price versus value
- Brand reputation
1. Intended use: What are you planning to do with your iSUP? Do you want to paddle on flat water, catch some waves, or both? Some boards are better suited for specific activities, such as touring, surfing, or yoga. Consider your needs and choose a board that is designed for your intended use.
2. Size and shape: The size and shape of your iSUP will affect its stability, speed, and handling. A longer, narrower board is generally faster and more efficient, but may be less stable than a shorter, wider board. A board that is too small may be unstable or too slow, while a board that is too big may be cumbersome and difficult to maneuver. Consider your weight, skill level, and intended use to find the right size and shape for your needs.
3. Weight capacity: Each iSUP has a weight capacity rating, which indicates how much weight it can safely support. This is important if you plan to carry gear or passengers on your board. Choose a board that can handle your weight and any additional loads you plan to carry.
4. Material and construction: iSUPS are typically made of PVC, which is a durable and lightweight material. Some brands use a single layer of PVC, while others use a multi-layer or fusion construction for added durability and stiffness. Consider the material and construction of the board when making your decision.
Some brands, like Starboard, also weld the rails. Welding rails gives the board a much more secure and durable finish.
5. Price versus Value: iSUPS range in price from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. Consider your budget and choose a board that fits your price range. Keep in mind that a higher price doesn’t always equate to a better board, and there are many high-quality, affordable options available.
Starboard prides itself as premium brand in the SUP industry, and has a wide inflatable paddleboard offering catering to every paddler’s affordability and usage requirements. The Deluxe construction is our most advanced build method, creating inflatable paddleboards that are super stiff and lightweight. The Zen construction features our leanest, lightest, value-oriented inflatable paddle boards – with the best core essentials.
6. Brand reputation: Do some research on the brand and read reviews from other users to get a sense of the company’s reputation and the quality of its products. Choose a brand that has a good track record and stands behind their products.
By considering these factors, you can find the right inflatable paddle board for your needs and get the most out of your time on the water. Happy paddling!