What to Look for in an Inflatable Paddle Board

If you are thinking about buying an inflatable paddle board it can be easy to get lost in all the different sizes, colors, and brands. The market is flooded and this can over-complicate your decision-making process. However, do not fret as you have come to the right place as this post is going to walk you through the basics and what to look for in an inflatable paddle board.

inflatable paddle board

1. What Type of Inflatable Paddle Board Do You Want?

First and foremost, you need to work out what type of inflatable paddle board you want. If you are just starting out in paddleboarding, then you should look for an all-around inflatable paddle board as these can be used for several purposes. This is ideal because you can explore different types of paddling and work out which one you like best. If your main priority is learning and staying upright then you should purchase an ultra-stable inflatable SUP board. The extra stability helps you to get to grips with the basics of paddle boarding.

Other paddle board types are tailored for specific uses, for example, some boards are designed for yoga, racing, whitewater, touring, and more. Knowing what kind of inflatable paddle board you want is the first step in working out which one is best for you out of the many categories.

2. Work Out What Size You Need

Once you have worked out what type of board you want, you then need to figure out what size board you’ll need. This is important that you get right because you need a board that will support your weight and height. If you get it wrong, you will end up feeling unstable and the board will struggle to glide through the water. The buoyancy of your board depends on the length, width, and thickness of it. If you are unsure of what size you need, consider using a SUP size calculator to help you work out what you should be looking for.

3. Good Reviews

One of the best ways to work out what inflatable paddle board to get is through checking out reviews. If you are not sure of where to start, then visit StandUpPaddleBoardsReview.com for extensive reviews on all the best paddle boards available. If you find a board that you like, make sure to check out its reviews so you don’t end up buying something that will not last in the long run. This will help you narrow down your options without having to do too much research.

paddle boarding at sunset

4. What Paddle Do I Need?

When you purchase an inflatable paddle board, sometimes it will come with a paddle, and sometimes it won’t. It entirely depends on who you are purchasing from. If you are a beginner, you should ideally start with an adjustable paddle because you can change the height measurements of the shaft. This is a useful feature if you are intending on sharing the board with someone else as the shaft can easily be changed to suit someone else’s height. Generally, your paddle should be 8 to 10 inches taller than you, this will give you strength and leverage in the water. 

If you are more advanced you may want to consider using more specialized paddles that feature varying blade lengths and lighter weights. If you are after a lightweight paddle, a fiberglass paddle is your best bet.

5. Price and Warranty

It is important to research prices beforehand so you can establish a realistic budget before you begin shopping. The prices of paddle boards can vary immensely, with the more expensive ones costing around $2000 and your cheaper ones going at $200. However, it is important to note that just because a board is expensive does not mean it is a better option. If you are a beginner you should be starting on budget boards because you don’t want to spend a tonne of money just to find out you don’t actually enjoy the sport all that much. 

Another thing you need to ensure you get with your board is a good warranty. If it comes with a short warranty such as 30 or 60-days this is a warning sign and probably means that the board is not as well made as others. Having a longer warranty can save you a lot of hassle and money should anything go wrong. 

Buying an inflatable paddle board is exciting but it is also quite an investment. So make sure you do your research and take the time to consider all your options. Don’t make the rookie mistake of buying something because it looks good, remember you want something practical and fit for purpose.