Like many things in life, not all paddleboards are created equal. Some are made with expert care—others, not so much. But how can you tell the difference? Whether you’re new to the stand up paddleboard (SUP) world or you know your way around the water, there are certain characteristics to keep in mind when shopping for a new inflatable SUP. This includes details related to construction and composition, as well as the overall design. Here are a few quick ways to tell a high-quality board apart from the rest to ensure you get one you’ll love for many adventures to come.
Consider Inflatable SUP Construction
You want an inflatable SUP that is going to last. As you browse boards, look at how they’re manufactured. Take the BLACKFIN Model X from iROCKER, for example. This paddleboard is made with triple-layer composite PVC. What does that mean? It means it’s designed to hold up to serious use. This includes surfing and even whitewater conditions. Look for multi-layer composite or military-grade PVC. This way, if you hit a rock during your adventuring, chances are you’ll be able to buff it out and keep on boarding. If you can’t find board specs or the manufacturer doesn’t share construction stats, it’s probably a good idea to look elsewhere. Go with a maker who’s upfront about the construction of their inflatable paddleboards. Additionally, when your paddleboard is inflated, it should feel rigid—not flimsy or have any sort of give. You want to be able to stand on it with full confidence.
Choose an Inflatable SUP That Fits You
Inflatable SUP boards come in a variety of lengths, widths, and thicknesses. You have to take all these factors into consideration when shopping for your ideal board. It’s not uncommon for people to be mismatched with a board and then wrongly assume paddleboarding isn’t for them. Getting the right sized board can make a world of difference. If you’re a newbie, you’ll likely want something that offers more stability. In other words, something that’s shorter and wider. If you’re looking to cruise at higher speeds through choppier waters, you want something longer and narrower. Or maybe you need a solid all-around inflatable SUP for all kinds of adventures. As you look for a board, keep your SUP goals in mind. If you know what you want from your board, it’s much easier to get paired with a quality board.
Select a Manufacturer That Stands Behind Their Boards
A quality inflatable SUP isn’t defined by the board alone but by the manufacturer as well. Buying a paddleboard is an investment in adventure and you want that investment to last. But in the event that something happens to that investment, you want to know the manufacturer will be there for you. While shopping, be sure to look into manufacturer warranties, return policies, and overall customer support. A good board maker is going to stand behind their inflatable paddleboards. If something goes wrong—like the seams don’t hold as well as expected—they’ll fix or replace your board, no questions asked. Or if you happen to buy a board that doesn’t match your goals, they’ll work with you to get you a board that does. That’s good customer service and good paddleboarding.
Nothing beats the exhilaration of hitting the water on your paddleboard. For nearly 10 years, iROCKER has helped connect people with that feeling of adventure. As a premier paddleboarding brand, iROCKER is known for industry-leading paddleboards and outdoor gear. From inflatable SUP boards to hard boards, they have you covered. They also offer a variety of water accessories, like inflatable docks and board beverage coolers, so you get the most out of every adventure. But iROCKER doesn’t just sell SUPs and SUP gear; they also serve as an online resource for all things paddleboarding. From informative blogs to instructional videos, iROCKER supports the paddleboarding community through and through.
There’s a paddleboard for everyone at https://www.irockersup.com/