Stand up paddle boarding really started becoming popular in the 1940s, but today, many people use paddle boards. 

However, there are two types of paddle boards you can choose from today: an inflatable paddle board or a solid paddle board. 

But which option is the best one for you? Keep reading our comprehensive guide to understand which option is the best for you. 

What Is an Inflatable Paddle Board?

An inflatable standup paddleboard (iSUP) is a paddleboard that can be inflated. Instead of being made from a hard material, it's made from PVC plastic and woven fibers. 

These fibers connect the bottom and top points of the board, and when they're not blown up, they can fit into a large duffle bag. They can weigh anywhere from 20 to 30 pounds, so they're much easier to transport than hard boards.

The inflatable boards tend to come with a pump and valve to attach the pump. You'll use this to inflate the board and normally inflate them to 15 psi. 

Once you inflate these paddleboards, they'll become rigid, and some of the paddleboards also come with carbon rods that can make the paddleboards stiffer. Many of the iSUPs are great for river paddling, and they may even come with an option for fins. 

Because these boards are made of mostly plastic and air, they're normally cheaper than a solid paddle board as well. 

What Is a Solid Paddle Board?

The paddle board material is the main difference between the two designs, but solid boards are normally made from fiberglass, plastics, wood, and foam. These materials are also covered in a coat of epoxy resin. 

The foam helps to create more buoyancy, and the layers of bamboo or fiberglass make the paddle board more rigid and durable. The epoxy ensures that the board is watertight. 

There are some boards that are made of plastic, and they're normally cheaper, but they might not perform as well as an epoxy board. If you're going to purchase a solid paddle board, this is one thing that you might want to consider. 

What Factors Should You Consider?

When you're considering which option to purchase, there are a few different factors that you'll want to consider.  

Some of them include the durability, comfort, and stability of the paddle board. 


The inflatable paddle board durability is better than you might think. In fact, they're more durable than hard paddle boards. 

If you drop it, you won't scratch or damage it. It's a carefree board, and you won't have to worry about much maintenance. Because of this, it also makes them the perfect choice if you're using them for white water or rocky river paddling. 


An inflatable paddle board is also stable, and it depends on the thickness of the design. A five-inch thick inflatable paddle board will likely be more stable than a hard board because they are designed differently. 

A five-inch inflatable paddle board will have a rounded rail. However, a hard board will have a tapered rail, which will make it less stable. The nose and tail shape will also influence the stability, but the shape of the rail will be the most important aspect. 


It's also easier to transport inflatable paddle boards. You can take the deflated paddle board in a duffle-sized bag, and they don't weigh much, either.

This also makes them a great option for traveling with, and you can check it in at an airport. They're so small that you can also easily store them in your apartment or in a small city home, making the paddle board storage easy.

You also won't have to worry about buying a rack for your bed. 


Overall, the inflatable boards have advanced technology that make them have as much rigidity as a solid board would have. Because of this, the right inflatable board can also be great for an advanced paddle boarder. 

The inflatable paddle board can have more volume, which means that it's more stable and can also support more weight. 


Inflatable SUPs are more stable and lighter, and the dimensions also offer more weight support. The inflatable SUP will have more volume and allow for more weight and height as well. 

Because of this, they're more beginner-friendly as well. 

Which Option Should You Choose? 

Now that you know some of the benefits of each model, you'll have to decide which option is best for you. For example, if you don't have much storage space and travel a lot, then an inflatable paddle board will be best for you.

If you're a beginner or have a tight budget, an inflatable paddle board is also your best bet. If you're looking for something that is durable and can be used for different types of paddle boarding, this option is great as well. 

You should only get a hard paddle board if you're only going to use it at your local beach or lake. It can be a great option to use for surfing as well. 

However, you'll be limited in where you can use the paddle board because it'll be harder to transport. It may also not perform as well as an inflatable paddle board, depending on the design. 

Discover More About Inflatable Paddle Board vs Solid Paddle Board

These are only a few things to consider when you're choosing an inflatable paddle board vs solid paddle boards, but there are many other factors you'll want to consider.

For most people, an inflatable paddle board will be the better option.

If you're looking for the perfect model, make sure that you check out our website

December 14, 2022 — Rob Reich Jr.

Leave a comment