Rigid vs. Inflatable SUP

Not sure which kind of stand up paddle board is right for you? Rigid boards and inflatables both have pros and cons, so check out our guide to see which is right for your lifestyle.

Considerations

 Space

Inflatable boards are definitely easier for apartment-dwellers or anyone with limited storage space. They are also more compact and easy to transport. Rigid boards require either a roof rack or a larger vehicle to transport. Rigid boards also weigh more, so they do require a bit more lugging from the car to the water.

 Convenience

Inflatable boards require you to, well, inflate them before your paddle boarding session. Afterwards, you’ll need to deflate them to put them back in the car. While it’s not that big of a deal, some people do prefer the grab-and-go convenience of a rigid board.

Durability

Inflatable boards are less prone to damage than rigid boards. If you drop or dent a rigid board, you could create an opening for water to seep into the foam. You’ll need to repair any dings to a rigid board ASAP. By contrast, most inflatable boards are made of durable PVC.

Speed

Rigid paddle boards offer better performance and speed than inflatables. This won’t be noticeable to a beginner, but if you’re a professional interested in SUP surfing or racing, a rigid board will be more agile on the water.

 

Our Recommendations

Inflatable

SHUBU Riptide

A stable and sturdy inflatable paddle board made for the paddler on a budget. The Riptide is a comfortable, light-weight, versatile SUP that is easy to transport.

Learn more about the SHUBU Riptide 10'6 Inflatable Paddleboard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rigid 

Versa

Made with molded composite construction using ultra-durable kevlar & PVC, this board is resilient to the typical dings & dents of composite fiberglass boards.

Learn more about the Versa 10'6 All-Around Paddleboard.