Hard SUP vs Inflatable SUP: Which one to Choose?

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HARD AND INFLATABLE SUPS

No need to hide it anymore: paddleboards (SUP) are more and more present on our waterways. The question we are most often asked: what is the difference between a hard SUP and an inflatable SUP?
Enough is enough. Here is a list of pros and cons of each model to help you make your final choice.

PERFORMANCE

In terms of performance, hard boards are ahead, hands down. Why is that? Because they allow us to be closer to the water and because of the hydrodynamics of its shape. Generally more performant, they glide more easily and quickly on the water and only a few strokes of paddle allow us to go further, faster. Made of fiberglass, hard SUPs are of better quality than inflatables and are generally more durable when taken care of.

Category winner: hard paddleboard.

STABILITY

Compared to inflatable SUPs, rigid SUPs are more stable because they have a larger surface area on the water. Since the inflatable board is generally thicker and has more volume, our center of gravity is higher, which makes us a bit more unstable on the board.

Category winner: hard paddleboard

VERSATILITY

You will find many more options in terms of shape, profile, thickness, rail forms and volume on hard boards than on inflatables. Whether you want to do yoga, surf the waves, go for long rides or just want to spend some time on the water in the summer, you're sure to find the rigid SUP that meets your needs.

For example, if you are a surf enthusiast and want to try paddlesurfing, an inflatable is not the best option. Being less stable in the water and the shape of its rails not being designed for waves, you may end up with your head underwater (unless you are intermediate/advanced). 

Despite the challenges that the inflatable SUP brings in terms of versatility, our team works hard to maximize our products by making them thinner. 1) our new Woven Dropstitch technology makes our inflatables stiffer, 2) we continually develop new inflatable shapes similar to the rigid ones. 

Category winner: hard paddleboards.

STORAGE

If you have a garage, a basement, a shed or a wall that lacks decoration, you'll have plenty of options to store your SUP! Remember that a rigid SUP cannot stay in full sun in the summer or snow in the winter. Want to know more? Click here.

If you don't have a garage, a backyard, or if you just can't find enough room for a hardboard in your house, the inflatable SUP is a great alternative. In its carry bag, the inflatable SUP will require a smaller space . Want to know more about the SUP Inflatable? Click here.

Category winner: hard paddleboards

TRANSPORTATION

Do you already have a roof rack on your car for your many road trips and camping weekends? You are already equipped to get a hard SUP that will allow you to free up space in the trunk of your car.

Want to see how easy it is to install? Watch the following video. (FRENCH ONLY).

If you don't have a car or your car doesn't have a rack, an inflatable board may be an easier option for you. With it's backpack board bad and wheels, it's super easy to carry an inflatable SUP when traveling, driving, flying or even hiking. 

Category winner: inflatable paddleboards.

ROBUSTNESS

Made of vibrating glass, the rigid SUPs require a little more attention when handling them. Impacts on a rock, for example, can create damage requiring repair. Fortunately, they are easy to pamper and most importantly, it's easy to learn how to repair your board.

Inflatable boards, on the other hand, are a little more robust. Because of the materials used in their construction (military grade PVC), it is more forgivable to hit an inflatable SUP against a rock or the bottom of a lake. Of course, inflatables are not indestructible and can also be punctured with a large impact.

This is especially important if your SUP is likely to be used by children who have more difficulty handling a board of this size.

Category winner: inflatable paddleboards

PREPARATION

For hard paddleboards, it's easy: just take the board out of its transport bag, put it in the water and voilà. It's as easy as that!
People who own an inflatable boards know that inflating it takes time and effort. But there are two things you can do to speed up the process: 1) get an Electric Pump that will do the job for you and 2) carry your inflatable board on the roof of your car so you don't have to deflate/inflate it all the time.

Category winner: hard paddleboards

LOOK

The purchase of a paddleboard should not only be related to the look or your Instagram feed!
One thing's for sure, the use of real wood in the construction of our hard boards gives them a natural look that is oh-so pretty.
When it comes to inflatables, we work hard to make them as sexy as our rigs! We still have a big weakness for our rigs.

Category winner: hard paddleboards.

PRICE

Finally, and we had to talk about it: the price. Many paddlers choose an inflatable board because it is generally less expensive than a hard one. Yes, that's true. But remember, less expensive doesn't necessarily mean better buy. It may be better to invest a little more for a product that meets your needs and that you will use for many years. I'm telling you, you quickly get attached to these little beasts!

Category winner: hard paddleboards.

TO SUM IT UP


If you still have questions about how to find the best board for your needs, shoot us an email or a message. We're here to help! 

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