When first taking up paddleboarding as a watersport or hobby, many are pleasantly surprised at how quickly and easily one can begin navigating the water. As soon as balance is found, whether maneuvering across a placid lake or against the gentle tide of an oceanfront, individuals can begin exploring to their heart’s content. It is this simplicity that attracts so many to begin.
The only difficulty that most are likely to encounter earlier on is deciding what type of board they’d like to use. Designs vary between boards and paddleboarders will all have their preferences, especially when considering the type of water they’re most interested in exploring. It is, however, the distinctions between inflatable and hard boards that most often divide paddleboarders and, for those starting out, it is important to be informed on the distinctions to ensure they make the right choice.
One of the most valued benefits of an inflatable paddle board is their portability. Being able to be deflated, inflatable paddle boards can be stored, transported, and carried very easily. This makes them ideal for those travelling larger distances to their chosen paddleboarding destination, and especially for those who are looking to travel internationally.
Hard boards cannot be compacted and, as such, are generally more cumbersome. This is an important consideration when starting out because individuals are more likely to pursue a new activity if it is easy to pick up.
Hard boards do generally perform better on the water and almost each professional watersports contender will use one. If you are looking to push the limits of your ability and to spend more time upon the ocean’s waves than a calm lake, then the advantages of a hard paddle board’s fine-tuning can be more rewarding.
The speeds achieved on hard boards also give them an advantage but it is one that only the professionals might seek out.
Perhaps counterintuitively, inflatable boards are considered to be more durable than hard boards. This is because hard boards are more affected by damage. Even a small collision can leave a hard board dented or damaged, whereas inflatable boards are able to withstand such knocks.
Both boards, however, can be repaired, depending on the type of damage they receive and, when starting out, it is worthwhile to find a local paddleboard expert or business that can offer such repair services.
Inflatable paddle boards have the advantage of being generally more affordable than hard boards, which is great for those starting out since it minimises the early investment of a hobby that is being explored for the first time. Since they can be stored and transported more easily too, they incur a much smaller cost than hard boards too.
If you are new to paddleboarding, then an inflatable board is almost certainly the right decision. The advantages that hard boards offer seldom come into play except for those seeking to paddle on more challenging waters or those wanting to get the edge during competition. If, however, you are looking for a more affordable, durable, and comfortable board, then, yes, an inflatable board is the right decision.