At Sukuma Sports, we want to get it right for our customers. This is why we we are taking one step at a time to grow the business starting with single high quality products and expanding the range of that product naturally on their own merit. We design and test all products before making them available to our customers to ensure you get the the best customer experience possible.
Inflatable vs. Hard Paddle Board - Which is Best?
Inflatable stand-up paddle boards have been taking the paddle board community by storm recently, with both their ease of transportation and surprisingly durable material, these new paddle boards are immensely popular. But not too long-ago inflatable SUP boards (stand-up paddle) were considered a novelty by many who maintained that hard paddle boards were the more effective option, so we have decided to investigate the looming question for you; “which is better, hard paddle board or inflatable?”
To begin, we first need to list the pros and cons of each and then weigh them up in order to settle on a preferred option. Sukuma sports pride ourselves on our paddle board expertise, so here are some of the main reasons why we believe that inflatable paddle boards are the better all-round option:
Inflatable SUP boards have been proven to be more durable than epoxy boards over an extended period of time
Inflatable stand-up paddle boards hurt much less when you fall on
Having a softer deck reduces fatigue
Inflatable paddles are lighter, and lighter paddle boards get used more often
You can travel by plane overseas with an inflatable SUP board
Inflatable paddle boards take up much less space than a hard board
Inflatable SUPs actually perform better in varied settings
These incredibly attractive attributes highlight the demand for inflatable paddle boards, and to ensure this demand can be met we stock a wide range of affordable high-quality inflatable stand-up boards to choose from that can be found here.
Hard SUPs however are generally built from different types of materials such as foam, fibreglass, Kevlar, plastic or wood and are often protected with coats of epoxy resin. The layers of Kevlar, fibreglass or bamboo veneer create durability and rigidity, with the foam providing buoyancy and the epoxy resin making sure everything is watertight. The main disadvantage to making such a rigid board is the fact that it becomes much harder to store and transport them.
However, there are advantages to having a hard paddle board, with many agreeing that they can outperform inflatable SUPs in surf and downwind. Hard paddle board materials are much more rigid which allows the manufacturers to get a more precise design and shape, allowing for enhanced performance. Alternatively, Inflatables are the much-preferred option for white-water paddling, ease of use, travelling and convenience.
Now that we have taken a closer look at both sides of the argument and have clearly laid out the benefits and constraints of each, it becomes easier for our customers to make an educated decision on which type of paddle board is the most effective. Inflatable boards excel in almost all areas when directly compared to hard boards, with the former trumping hard boards in durability, safety, transportation, convenience and performance on some occasions. The numerous pros for inflatable paddle boards do go a long way in convincing us that these are the paddle boards of the future, however, if performance and speed is your end goal, there is still something to be said for hard boards.
Even considering these points, performance is variable from board to board, and you could easily find an inflatable SUP that outperforms a hard SUP and vice versa, the real differentiator would always depend on the individual requirements of the consumer. For example, if ease of use and convenience when travelling were to be the only debatable factors between both inflatables and hard boards then inflatable SUPs would always come out on top, then who wouldn’t want to take their paddle board with them on holiday?
Despite hard boards having some undeniable technical advantages, there are still people who use inflatable SUPs to race competitively because the gap between both products has reduced dramatically in recent years as the inflatable product range now allows consumers the ability to participate in out-of-town events and competitions, Here at Sukuma, we believe the future of paddle boards is firmly in the hands of inflatable SUPs, which is why countless hours are being spent on designing high-quality inflatable paddle boards at an ever reduced retail price.
Please visit the Sukuma Social pages today to see a range of our paddle boards in action!
Paddle Board Accessories
Once you have decided that an inflatable SUP is the right decision for you, then you are going to need some paddle board accessories to make the most out of your new SUP. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the most essential paddle board accessories to enhance the capabilities and convenience of your new inflatable paddle board:
Lightweight Fiberglass Paddle
Having a paddle is essential to using a paddle board, our lightweight fibreglass paddle is an upgrade to any paddle with its anti-twist mechanism and ergonomic handle making it both effective and comfortable.
Tool-less Fin “US Box”
This paddle board accessory is a 9” fin that can attach to any SUP featuring a US box, without the need for any tools. You can just slot and slide it in and the fin will make your inflatable paddleboard more speedy, agile and stable.
GRI HP9 Pump
One of the most important paddle board accessories is the pump, especially if you travel with your inflatable SUP, you’re going to need to deflate and inflate your paddle board. The GRI HP9 is custom-made to inflate big boards that don’t require high pressure, with many features that ensure it can inflate your board with as little effort and time as possible.
Wheeled Travel bag
Much like the pump, this paddle board accessory is essential to anyone who plans to travel with their paddle board on a regular basis. Sukuma Sports premium travel bag comes equipped with a storage net for all your paddle board accessories, as well as wheels to ensure comfort and ease when manoeuvring your paddle board.
Have a look at our full range of paddle board accessories, here!