The popularity of standup paddle boarding is increasing around the world and the sport has become available to just about any interested individual. For beginners, there are tons of different types of boards to choose from, and these include surf boards, race boards, touring boards, all-rounders, and of course inflatables.
Inflatables are a great choice for anyone learning how to paddle board thanks to the advantages they have over their hard board counterparts. Let’s take a look at the top 7 reasons why inflatable paddle boards make for superb lesson boards.
1. Stability and Durability
Inflatable stand up paddle boards are very stable, which allows beginners just a little more room for error. The stability of inflatables also makes them perfect for practicing SUP fitness activities including SUP pilates, SUP yoga and more! They are also very durable and will survive the rough and tumble of the hazards that rivers and oceans throw at you. This makes them perfect for use in situations where hard boards may get damaged from getting in contact with sticks and rocks, since those learning how to paddle board may be unable to guide them safely around these obstacles.
Compared to hard boards, inflatables are extremely lightweight. This should be especially helpful for beginners who would normally need help handling and carrying their paddle boards. With an inflatable, you simply need to deflate the board then throw it in a backpack and it’s ready for transport. Most of these boards are also equipped with a handle that makes it easy to simply pick them out of the water when the support boat comes to pick learners out of the water at various points on the trip.
Just like with any other activity, accidents are bound to happen when paddle boarding and if this happens, you would rather be riding the least dangerous option. While it is still possible for inflatables to cause damage to you or a nearby board, the extend of any injury is markedly less than what a paddler would suffer riding a hard board.
4. Easy Storage
SUPs are large objects. In most cases, they are massive pieces of equipment that require a good amount of space to be set aside for storing them. Many people, especially those learning to paddle board on a trip or a vacation may not have this space, making inflatables the best choice when storage is in short supply. For individuals who do not have the right amount of space to store hard SUPs, the utility of having an inflatable that rolls up should not be overlooked. Paddle boarding instructors with many students would be hard-pressed to find enough storage space if they opted for hard shell paddle boards.
5. Easy to Repair
Compared to their hardboard counterparts, inflatables are much easier to repair from home or on the road – making them perfect for beginner-owners or companies teaching paddle boarding. Patching a small hole is a fairly easy process since every inflatable comes with a repair kit. However, for any holes that appear on a seam on the board, it is advised to contact the manufacturer for details of an authorized repairer, since it may be covered by a warranty. What’s more, inflatable SUPs typically don’t get damaged from dock or paddle bangs the same way rigid SUPs would. This means that repairs are pretty much limited to larger impacts that do not happen as often.
6. They Are Versatile
Inflatables are not only convenient for the ease at which you can pack them up and fit into a bag, they also are also quite versatile. You can use the board as a bed to sleep on in your tent or as a table to put your food on. It is also an awesome way to haul your gear. These boards are capable of carrying a lot of weight and are easy to stabilize with the drop down deck.
7. They Are Easy For Beginners To Maneuver
Inflatable paddle boards are typically built out of high tech lightweight materials to make them strong and manageable. While they may not be quite as maneuverable as their hardboard counterparts, they are the perfect option for beginners who still don’t know how to keep their balance while paddling in a straight line. They respond slower than their hard-shelled counterparts that are usually sleek and designed for quick directional response.
If you agree that inflatables are worthy lesson boards, there are numerous up to date buying guides available to make your choice easier, like this one that provides the best inflatable paddle boards for 2017.
We believe that hard boards still have their place, but the shift towards inflatables as specialist lesson boards certainly delivers some thought for all of the SUP lesson and rental companies to consider when they update their fleet.