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Inflatable Paddle Board (isup) vs Hard

Composite paddle board and inflatable paddleboard on dock at lake


Inflatable Paddle Board (isup) or Hard Paddle Board

People often ask, should I buy a hard board or an Inflatable Stand Up Paddle Board?  This question is not one that anyone can answer for you- it is a personal choice with many factors to suit your lifestyle, preferences and body.  Luckily for you Sea Gods makes both! But after reading this post, you will know for sure what is best for you!

Question 1:   Do you have storage and means to transport a hard-board?  Do you have the physical dexterity to move the weight and length of a hardboard around without damaging it? Are you able to give the hardboard the gentle handling it requires, and can you accept the dings that will inevitably happen, as it is the nature of a fiberglass board?  If no, move straight to iSUP (inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard)!


Question 2:  Are you into getting your feet wet in order to really hone your technical skills? Do you feel the need for speed? Do you have the uncontrollable urge to pivot turn around every obstacle and show off your sick moves?  Do you want to truly feel connected to the water and have your board respond to your every maneuver?  The rails of a hardboard are curved and so you can sink them in the water for sharper turns.  The hull is shaped with more rocker, so your weight transfers are more effective.  The friction co-efficient on an epoxy board is lower than PVC so you have less drag and glide through the water with less effort.  You are a few inches lower and often the board dips into the water, so you feel very connected- it is a feeling difficult to describe.  If this gets your heart pumping and pupils dilated, move towards a hard board!


Question 3:  Are you interested in staying as dry as possible, on a nice stable board as you explore the water and paddle around looking at fish and wildlife, bumping into the dock and shore as you try not to get wet?  Would you like to have extra handles to grab to pull your board up onto shore, maybe drag it a little when you are done?  While there is no guarantee about staying dry, iSUPs are usually more stable so you are less likely to fall off.  They also sit further out of the water so you can sit down and not get your bum wet- also a plus for doing Yoga!  Inflatable boards are made of super strong PVC material, so they are not going to damage with bumps and drags!  Move to iSUP (inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard)!


Question 4: Are you interested to surf on your SUP?  Hardboards are more responsive and will turn easier in the surf, but iSUPs are totally surfable and can travel in the airplane to take on vacay to your surf destination.  If you live close to surf and want to get serious, move towards hard board!  If you want to bring your SUP on the airplane or long drive to the surf destination, iSUP (inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard) will be the way to go!


Question 5:  Do you want to hike to secluded, hard to access areas and be the only one to explore a breath-taking mountain lake, or play in the river?  SeaGods iSup are made of the newest technology laminated PVC with an extra layer for the lightest board with the most rigidity and durability.  They only weigh 24 lb and 29 with the bag, pump, paddle and other accessories, so you can put them on your back and hike them up to the coolest backroads waters and really find your sanctuary.  If secluded exploration is your wanderlust, pack up your new iSUP (inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard), it is the only way to go!

Question 6:  Do you want to invite friends and family to come out with you so you can enjoy the company while also showing off your skills?  No worries about lending out an inflatable, they are practically bulletproof!  Buy an iSUP (inflatable Stand Up Paddleboard) to lend out and take traveling with you, and also a hard board to enjoy your improving performance and stay one stoke ahead of your companion!


Hard Board Pros and Cons:

Pro: Rigidity, Maneuverability, Connection to the water (can sink tail and rails)

Con: Transport, Storage, fragility, shipping cost/limited availability at local shops


Inflatable Pros and Cons:

Pro: Stability, Transport, Storage, stay dry above the water, more cushion for falls

Con: Inflating and Deflating time


If you are just beginning, if you are a weekend warrior, looking for a fun board for the family to bounce around on, interested in doing Yoga, and want to take your board a lot of places, an inflatable board will be right for you.

If you are serious about SUP, want to really work on skills, are performance driven and feel the need for speed, a hardboard will really give you that strong connection to the water and satisfy that competitive nature.


This guide should have helped you answer your question- Should I buy a hardboard or an inflatable Stand up Paddleboard?  With so many sizes, materials, shapes and designs on the market, nobody can answer this question for you.  If I could give you my advice, it would be this:  Buy both!  Have the Elemental Wave Ten6 iSUP to take for rugged trips, to lend to your friend/family because they can’t wreck it and it is always fun to have company.  Buy a SeaGods Bamboo Composite to improve your skills, feel the total connection to the water.

Whatever you chose, you really can’t go wrong.  You are going to LOVE your new SeaGods SUP!!!

Still have questions? No problem - Feel free to hit us up here. We're always down to talk to folks about SUP. Heck you may even want to stop by and try a pint of Sea Gods Home brew!


Sea Gods

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