Inflatable Paddle Boards have been around for a long time. They first became popular around the late 70's and are still popular today. However, some new styles of inflatable Paddle Boards have become very trendy recently. Many people have discovered that they can be a lot of fun to use and are great to take camping or for pool parties or day out to the beach.
Many cheaper inflatable Paddle Boards are made with either a plastic liner or a fiberglass liner. Both work fine, but the fiberglass ones tend to be a little more reliable and more durable. Most of the cheap inflatable SUP's are around 29 inches wide, which is the typical width that most cheap, short drop stitch fabric is made in. By today's standards, 29 is pretty small paddle board and usually very wobbly. However, more importantly, narrow inflatable boards (even if they're longer than ten feet) will generally flex significantly in the center and never quite straight.
Why is this? It's all in how the inflatable stand up in the water. The fiberglass paddle boards flex quite a bit in the middle, whereas the shorter, straight boards don't. If you stand on one of these longer, straight boards, you will feel like your ankle is being stretched out from the point where your toe ends are touching the board. You can feel this from a few feet away. This effect is called the "kickback".
So, now we come to the second big difference between long and short boards, and that's durability. While it's true that fiberglass tends to be more durable, the vinyl paddle boards are just as prone to breaking and denting in rough conditions. As far as longevity goes, it seems like the fiberglass is a bit more forgiving, though the vinyl also seems to last much longer (up to six months). Inflatables on the other hand, seem to last almost indefinitely (with some exceptions), while the longer, straight wood boards can only go bad after you've stood on them for awhile.
So, one thing that's for sure is that an inflatable paddle board will save you money compared to other inflatable sups. However, here's another thing that's for certain: it's not going to be as smooth. That's because these things tend to have less air pressure than most other inflatable boards. And as a result, they will either be too hard or too soft for your feet to stand on comfortably.
But don't get disheartened just yet. You can still use an inflatable paddle board that has less air pressure. There are red paddle coasters that feature an inner spring that provides additional pressure to help make the board fall and stay on your foot. And you can even find coasters with an inner liner that makes it easier to remove the board when the weather gets cold or wet. Here's where dropstitching comes into play. With this type of finishing, you can ensure that your boards will always stay on your feet.
Dropstitching is where the inside of the inflatable paddle boards is sewn together, so that they have a very nice little fluff center. On top of that, there's a rocker line that helps keep your foot from sliding around inside the fluff. If you have a long board, then the rocker line will help keep your foot from sliding around as well, but if your board is shorter, then you'll probably want to leave some space between the rocker line and the fluff to allow for movement. Once you've made your board, it's time to add some fun graphics and patterns to make it really personal.
The great thing about inflatable paddle boards is that they're made durable enough to take a lot of falls and bumps. However, they are not created equally. There are some companies who create boards that are simply more durable than others, which means that they cost more as well. The secret to making your board last is to purchase one of each type of inflatable paddle boards for sale, and to use them in different kinds of conditions, such as going down a river or across the ocean. Inflatable rocker boards will be a lot more durable than regular cardboard, so they're a great choice for the rowdiest of rowers.