How to Choose the Right SUP - Inflatable vs. Hard Boards
Stand-up paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing sports worldwide. Like any sport, it takes patience and practice, and of course, the right gear.
Whether you are a beginner, resort, rental operator, or seasoned pro, selecting the right equipment can make or break your stand-up paddling experience. To start, you want to make sure and choose the right board.
What's the Difference?
Constructed of various types of material in a fashion similar to surfboards. Our Epoxy SUPs combine traditional craftsmanship with modern design and high quality materials. The core is a stringerless, 22 kg/m3 density EPS foam blank. The lamination process uses 2 layers of 6-ounce fiberglass on the bottom, 3 layers of 6-ounce fiberglass on the deck, and biaxial carbon wrapped rails to create parabolic carbon stringers.
Inflatable boards (iSUP)
Constructed using drop-stitched, double layer PVC in a similar fashion to Inflatable Resue Boats (IRBs) such as Zodiacs. Our line of Inflatable SUPs use top-quality, industry-standard construction.
What's to Consider?
1. How will you use your SUP?
This is the #1 factor when choosing the right stand-up paddleboard for you.
Hard (epoxy) boards are hands-down the best choice for surfing. You will find that serious, long distance paddlers will also typically opt for epoxy boards custom-built for optimal speed and performance.
Inflatable stand-up paddleboards are essentially better for everything else, particularly for beginning paddlers.
Though somewhat counter-intuitive, iSUPs are significantly more durable. Drop them, crash them, bounce them off rocks or other SUPs. You can stress way less with inflatable boards when an epoxy SUP would be getting repair after repair.
Modern iSUPs feature construction that makes them highly rigid, feeling quite similar to an epoxy SUP at first sight. Still, there is a certain amount of give in any inflatable, which makes falling a lot less painful!
4. Storage & Transport
Due to the volume required for balance and stability, SUPs are big. This is glaringly obvious with epoxy boards. They are difficult to transport, almost impossible to take on a plane, and expensive to ship. They also require a sizable area for storage.
Inflatable SUPs are a different story. They quickly deflate and pack away so you can take them with you wherever you're heading or tuck them away in the closet when not in use.
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Top 10 Health Benefits of Stand-up Paddleboarding
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) isn’t a new sport, but certainly has pushed itself into the limelight in the past several years. Why is it so popular? Apart from being a fun way to spend the day on the water, stand-up paddleboarding offers a full-body workout that is hard to achieve.
Let’s look at the 10 biggest benefits of SUP:
- Back to Nature – Let’s start with the obvious but sometimes forgotten positive mental effects of being out on the water. This calming activity gives you a chance to get away from land and enjoy nature from a different perspective.
- Chill Out – Gliding above the water as you settle into your paddling rhythm, you naturally can’t help but relax and de-stress. Couple that with the fact that exercise inherently decreases stress and you’ve got a winning combination.
- Find Your Balance – Walking on water isn’t easy so finding your feet on an SUP takes some time. Requiring leg strength and core stability to maintain balance, stand-up paddleboarding will get easier the more you do it and also increase your focus and balance in daily activities.
- Full Body Workout – Along with all the muscles required to keep yourself standing up and balanced on your board, you’re paddling! Pretty much every muscle in your body is engaged at some point while on an SUP.
- Pump It UP – You’re going to be sore after stand-up paddling, but that’s a good thing. You’re building up overall body strength. You’ll be handing out 2 tickets to the gun show in no time.
- All Day Long – Along with getting the muscles of a Greek God (or Goddess), you’re endurance levels will increase dramatically.
- Get Your Heart Pumping – Once you start mastering the technique, you’ll be motivated to paddle longer and faster. You can easily get your heart rate up as much as any cross-training whether running (boring!) or an expensive aerobics class at your local gym.
- Keep Your Heart Pumping – As mentioned above, stand-up paddleboarding offers a great aerobic workout. This translates to improved cardiovascular health and less risk of related diseases and complications like heart attacks and strokes.
- Low Impact – Unless you’re planning to take on big waves like these guys, riding an SUP is very low impact activity. You can get great exercise without doing damage to your tendons, ligaments, and joints.
- Relaxed Rehab – Combining all the positive attributes together makes stand-up paddleboarding an awesome activity for people entering rehabilitation from an injury.
If you haven’t already, give SUP riding a try. You’ll be surprised at how much fun you can have while getting an amazing workout!