What is the difference between an inflatable SUP board and a hard SUP board?

Difference between inflatable and rigid SUP boards

It can sometimes be difficult to make a good choice of a suitable SUP board. Especially since there are many different models and these are also available as inflatable and hardboards. For this reason, it is good to know the differences between these two types of SUP boards. 

We would therefore like to tell you more about it on this page. We will do this by pointing out a number of factors that make the difference between the two. type of stand up paddle boards determine. Are you reading with us?

What is the difference between a Hardboard and an Inflatable SUP?

If you are about to buy a SUP board, you will immediately be given the choice between a Hardboard or Inflatable SUP. This can be tricky to determine once you don't have much experience yourself.

Therefore, we are going to mention a number of points below that explain the differences between the two types of boards. So you will also know immediately what the advantages and disadvantages per type of boardand which type would be best for you. This guide covers the following comparison factors:

  • Experience
  • Storage
  • Transport
  • Costs
  • Sustainability
  • Performance

1. Experience

It is important to know what your experience level is. This will help you to choose the right SUP board. 

Let's look at the differences between inflatable and rigid SUP boards, then we can quickly conclude that an inflatable board is more suitable for the beginner. On an inflatable SUP you have more balance and it is also easier to keep your balance. Because of this, you will fall off your board less often and it will cost you less energy.

Are you a more experienced supper And are you looking for a challenge? Then a hardboard can offer you this. In general, it is more difficult to maintain balance on a hardboard, but it also has its advantages in terms of performance.More about this later. So it can certainly be a good choice for the experienced or professional supper.

We recommend that beginners always start with an inflatable board, as it is easier to control. This way you can get used to the movements and get to know the sport. 

2. Storage

In the low season, you usually don't go out for supping. Therefore, you should also take into account the storage of the board. In this category, the inflatable board is of course the big winner, as you can easily store it in a storage bag. However, it is good to know how to do this and what you have to pay attention to. Therefore, make sure you read up on the maintenance of a SUP board.

  • A hardboard is somewhat more difficult to store, as it takes up a lot of space. In addition, you should protect the board well to avoid damage. Should you put your board in the shed during the off-season? Make sure you protect it with blankets, towels or some other form of protection.

3. Transport

The inflatable SUP is of course the winner in this category too. You can easily take the board along in the storage bag, after which you can inflate it again on location. As soon as you are finished, you can deflate the board again and store it in the bag. How easy is that?

Do you want to take a hardboard to the beach, a river or another location? Then you often need a lot of space. We regularly see people attaching their boards to the roof of the car.. An advantage of this is that on arrival directly on the water and not having to inflate the board first.

4. Costs

As you probably already know, an inflatable SUP offers a lot of simplicity. But do you pay extra for this or...? It might surprise you, but an inflatable board is many times cheaper than a hard board. 

So you often have a high quality board for around € 600 - € 700. Are you looking for a hardboard? Then take into account a price of at least € 1000. Of course, you get something in return.

5. Sustainability

You might think that the hardboard lasts longer than inflatable boards in terms of durability and longevity. But nothing could be further from the truth. Also in this category, the inflatable SUP board comes out best from the test. A hardboard is made of rock-hard material which is quite fragile because of this.

Do you accidentally drop the board on the way to the water? Then it is possible that you will get a scratch or a crack. In that respect, an inflatable SUP can stand a lot better against scratches and knocks, as the material is a bit softer.

6. Performance

Now we have finally reached the point where hardboards perform best by far. Looking at the performance of a hardboard, it is easy to see that it is almost impossible to beat an inflatable, even if it is improved every year. 

With a hardboard you are more manoeuvrable, reach high speeds more easily and can catch waves better.. So this is an ideal board for the experienced surfers among us who are looking for a challenge.

Which type of board is best for me?

Looking at the above points, it is important to consider what is important to you. Are you looking for a board that offers a lot of comfort and a long life span? Then an inflatable SUP is suitable for you. Are you a person who is ready for some extra challenge on the water? Then choose a hardboard to push your boundaries. Whatever your choice is, we at Watersports4fun will gladly help you find a suitable SUP board.

Do you have any questions about a particular board? Then you can always contact our customer service by mail, phone or through the live chat. Also take a look in our webshop to find a suitable SUP board.

Nicole Staartjens
Nicole Staartjens

Thank you for reading the article I wrote, I hope all your questions have been answered. Do you still have questions? Or did I miss something? Don't hesitate to contact customer service. We will be happy to help you on your way!

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Nicole Staartjens
Nicole Staartjens

Welcome to this page, we hope you found what you were looking for. Is your question still unanswered? Do not hesitate to contact our customer service.

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