The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Best Inflatable Paddleboards
If you’re looking for a fun and convenient way to enjoy the water, then paddleboarding is definitely worth considering. Inflatable paddleboards are especially appealing because they are easy to store and transport, making them ideal for people who live in tight spaces or for those who like to travel. However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which inflatable paddleboard is the best for you. In this guide, we will give you all the information you need to make an informed decision, including what to look for when shopping, and our picks for the best inflatable paddleboards on the market.
What to Consider When Choosing an Inflatable Paddleboard
The length of an inflatable paddleboard is important because it affects its stability on the water. Generally speaking, heavier riders will need a longer board to provide more stability, while lighter riders will prefer a shorter board that is easier to control. Here’s a rough guide to help you choose the right length:
The wider an inflatable paddleboard is, the more stable it will be. If you’re a beginner, look for a board that is at least 32 inches wide.
The shape of an inflatable paddleboard will affect its speed and maneuverability. Boards with a V-shaped hull tend to move quickly through the water, but they aren’t always the most stable. On the other hand, boards with a flat hull are more stable, but they aren’t as quick or maneuverable. Flat hulls are great for beginners, but more advanced riders may prefer a V-shaped hull.
Most inflatable paddleboards are made from PVC, but the quality can vary. Double-layered PVC is more durable than single-layered, but it is also heavier. Reinforced or double-layered stitching can also improve the overall durability of a paddleboard.
Features to Look for in a Quality Inflatable Paddleboard
Most inflatable paddleboards come with at least one fin, which is usually removable. Fins can help you maneuver and keep your board moving straight, but they aren’t necessary.
Not all inflatable paddleboards come with a pump, but the majority do. Most pumps are hand pumps, but there are also battery-powered pumps available that can make inflation easier.
How Much Should You Expect to Spend on an Inflatable Paddleboard?
Inflatable paddleboards can range in price from $200 to $900. Here’s a rough guide to help you choose the right option for your budget:
Inflatable Paddleboard FAQ
Q1. Are different types of inflatable paddleboards better suited to certain activities?
A. Yes, some inflatable paddleboards are better suited to certain activities. For example, all-around paddleboards are good for most activities, but they are not the best at any one activity. Touring paddleboards are great for long-distance paddling, but they may not be as quick or maneuverable. Surfing paddleboards are ideal for cutting into waves, while racing paddleboards are fast and maneuverable for use in races.
Q2. What does PSI mean in relation to inflatable paddleboards?
A. PSI stands for Pounds per Square Inch, which is a measurement of pressure. In the context of inflatable paddleboards, it refers to the pressure of the air inside the board. Paddleboards generally have a maximum PSI between 10 and 25, but you don’t have to fill your board up to its maximum pressure. The higher the PSI, the sturdier and more rigid your paddleboard will feel.
Q3. Do I need to use a fin on my inflatable paddleboard?
A. No, you don’t need to use a fin on your inflatable paddleboard, but it can help you maneuver and keep your board moving straight. Most inflatable paddleboards come with at least one fin, which is usually removable.
Q4. Is it difficult to inflate an inflatable paddleboard?
A. The difficulty of inflating an inflatable paddleboard depends on the board and the pump that you have. Most inflatable paddleboards come with a hand pump, but there are also battery-powered pumps available that can make inflation easier. In general, though, inflating an inflatable paddleboard is not too difficult, but it may take some time.
Q5. What should I do if my inflatable paddleboard gets a puncture or tear?
A. If your inflatable paddleboard gets a puncture or tear, you should repair it as soon as possible. Most inflatable paddleboards come with a repair kit, or you can buy a separate repair kit. The repair process typically involves cleaning the affected area, applying the patch, and then inflating the board to see if the patch has worked. If the patch doesn’t hold, you may need to repeat the process or consider buying a new board.
The Best Inflatable Paddleboards to Buy
Top Inflatable Paddleboard: Atoll 11-inch Inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard
What you should know: Made from military-grade PVC, this inflatable paddleboard is both lightweight and incredibly durable.
What you’ll love: The kit includes a paddle, paddle leash,