Four stand up paddle boards isolated against white

Inflatable vs Rigid SUP ? We Have the Answers

​SUP or stand up paddle boarding is a new sport that is growing in popularity. It is very easy to learn and it is a great workout. Anyone considering SUP can expect to have tons of fun while also getting fit. If you do decide to get started with paddle boarding, you will find the hardest part is choosing a paddle.

So, that is where the debate between choosing and inflatable paddle board or rigid paddle board comes in. Both have their pros and cons and choosing just one is not easy. Today, Slack Water will go over a list of the benefits and cons of using each type of SUP. Hopefully, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which board you should get. 

​Epoxy vs Inflatable SUP Boards

​The debate

​There are several different things to consider when choosing a board. Firstly, are you a beginner? Beginners will want to stick with a certain type of board as it provides more benefits for you. Experienced users can choose between the two, simply because they are familiar with the sport.

This leads to how you will be using the board. A couple things to consider. Think about the type of paddle boarding you want to do. Are you going to be a serious rider, or more of a casual rider. If you are casually doing surfing, you would only be going out a few times a month to surf.

​Serious surfers are those who want to do paddle boarding over long distances. They also may be looking to master the wave and get the fastest speed that they can. It is important to know where you stand on this spectrum. 

Something else to note: price is not a considerable variable in the debate. On average, both inflatable and rigid paddle boards cost around the same. As such, do not fall under the impression that you would be saving money by choosing an inflatable paddle board.

Inflatable  Stand Up Paddle Board or SUP

​For those casual riders, the inflatable paddle board will work just fine for you. These boards offer several great benefits. To start, storing one is much easier than rigid boards. Think about it, if you are a serious rider, you would not really think too much about the storage of your board. For casual riders though, this could easily become a hassle. Being able to store the board easier is a pro for casual riders as it will keep you wanting to paddle board. 

With inflatable SUP's reviews, you will need to be patient. Inflating and deflating takes awhile. You also have to take into consideration the stability of the board. With rigid boards, wind and strong waves can be handled much easier. It is not impossible to handle these with an inflatable board, but it may prove too much of a challenge for a casual rider.

Going back to the inflating of the board, you may find it hard to inflate it. Doing it with a hand pump is not advised. You may find yourself not being able to get the last few pumps in and it can take awhile. You will likely have to make an additional investment and get an electric pump.

​Rigid/Epoxy SUP

​So, what about the rigid SUP? These hard paddle boards are still a good investment. If you plan to be doing constant paddle boarding, investing in an epoxy board is a good idea. They are durable and allow for you to handle tougher waters. They also will last longer than an inflatable paddle board.

​Going out deep into the water is also safer with these types of boards. They are a bit harder to transport, but if you are an avid surfer, you should not have too many problems with this. You get to enjoy a faster ride speed when you go with a rigid board. Choosing the rigid board also means less prep time as well. You can simply unload the board and hit the waves. For some, waiting on the board to inflate can be annoying. 


​So, for the most part, the inflatable paddle board wins. It is the most versatile and the pros outweight the cons. Most people who are getting involved in the sport of SUP are casual users. They will want the ease of transport and slower ride. It can be used by both serious and casual riders. Choosing just one of the two is not required also. Some people even have both types of paddle boards. Decide where you stand, and deciding should be much easier now.