A ‘hard’ SUP made most commonly of epoxy, will generally provide a significantly better feeling of glide than an inflatable SUP. Being heavier, it sits ‘in’ the water more than ‘on’ the water and therefore is a more stable experience. Futhermore hard SUPs are not as thick and have less windage – they will hold their course better on a windy day.
From years of experience our conclusion is, if you have roof racks and storage space, we will always recommend a hard board over an inflatable board.
The benefits of an iSUP are lightweight, easy to transport and store. But take note, inflating with a hand pump takes time and energy. This is an excellent warm-up but for some, a major drawback. If you get tired (it’s a workout) and don’t inflate your SUP to the desired PSI, your board won’t be rigid. It will quickly become flexible and unstable on the water. Pumping takes around 10 minutes to inflate from flat.
Price can compromise the experience. Inflatable SUPs have grown in popularity over the last 5 years – mainly because of their cheaper price. Often quality is compromised to afford the cheaper price. Be careful – especially when purchasing online.
For performance, we don’t recommend buying a SUP shorter than 10’6 if you want to enjoy cruising. Paddlers tend to like tracking in a straight line. A shorter board will cause the board to zig zag as you paddle.
The SUPs we sell are brands and models we have been selling for years. We can recommend them for their quality and performance.
Occasionally we find pre-loved SUPs. A customer could have fallen on hard times or be emigrating. In this case we are happy to sell a second hand SUP – when we know the full history of the board and can guarantee the condition is still good.