Since stand up paddle boarding (SUP) started in the surf industry, it stands to reason that the first SUP boards were crafted in a manner similar to surf boards. But let’s face it, Stand Up Paddle boards are cumbersome, require a roof rack for transport, take up a lot of space in the garage, and are tough to take on an airplane.
An inflatable SUP is not a blow-up toy. If you could take a vertical cross-section of the SUP, inside you would see a multitude of nylon strings connecting the top of the board to the bottom. This nylon drop-stitch construction is what gives inflatable SUP’s their rigidity and shape when inflated to their recommended pressure. For most boards, recommended pressure ranges from 12-16 PSI.
Inflatable SUP’s generally inflate within 7-12 minutes with a high pressure hand pump. SUP OnTheFly boards come with both a hand pump and an electric pump that plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter.
In some cases, a traditional hard epoxy SUP board makes more sense than an inflatable SUP. For example, if speed is important to you, a hard SUP will travel over the water faster than an inflatable.
If speed is not your number one priority, an inflatable SUP offers the following benefits over a standard hard SUP board:
An inflatable SUP is compact and easy to store.
An inflatable SUP fits into the trunk of almost any vehicle.
An inflatable SUP is rugged, resisting chipping or scratching on rocky shorelines.
Most inflatable SUP’s are under the 50 lb. weight limit for airplane baggage.
At Adventure Bound in Ellicottville, NY, we offer a 7 acre demo pond for customers to try both inflatable and hard SUP’s.