As 2022 is coming soon, many inflatable paddle board buyers are facing with confusing choices because the SUP market is flooded with many cheap paddle boards, with new brands springing up overnight. They take full advantage of the popularity of the fastest-growing water sport. Especially, online sellers make use of paid ‘’expert’’ customer reviews (fake reviews) to cheat on the customers who know very little about the stand-up paddle board.
Next, we will talk about some buying guides on how to buy an iSUP and where to buy one. We will break through the fog and shed light on a detailed technical level to aim you distinguish the difference between the boards and make a wise purchasing decision.
For readers who are new to paddle boards, you can read this article what size and types of paddle board do I need. The readers who have already know the basics can skip forward to the advanced part about the fin system, board constructions, and deck riggings, which are very professional knowledge on how to choose the right SUP.
Next, you need to know how much paddle boards usually cost. You will doubt that the cheap inflatable paddle board is worth buying. There are things to watch out for when buying a cheap SUP. You also need to know the pros and cons of the cheap SUP. If you have enough budget, you can also choose a better one. You can determine your price range according to your budget.
After that, you need to know where to shop the SUP. You need to narrow down where you will shop for the board. There are plenty of sellers online and in physical stores that will be very glad to take your money, so finding one will not be difficult. You need to find a qualified dealer which can provide experienced advice and effective after-sale service.
Finally, we can recommend you some popular brand paddleboards for outdoor adventures in 2021. These brands are specialized in a popular category of inflatable paddle boards, you can narrow down your choices and choose the right SUP for yourself.
Board Category and Size
As I mentioned before, you can refer to this article: what size and types of paddle board do I need. In this situation, I can give you a brief introduction.
If you are new to paddle boarding, you can look for an all-around paddle board that can help you do many things on the water.
If you are going to do SUP surfing, you can choose from boards designed for SUP surfing.
If you are going to do SUP yoga, you can choose from boards that are ideal for SUP yoga.
if you are going to do SUP touring/racing, you can choose from boards for SUP touring/racing.
Knowing the category of board you are looking for is the first step to limit your purchasing choices.
Next, you will still need to decide which board is best for your unique requirement. While there are many nuances to board shape and size, below there are some general guidelines
to let you understand how a board’s size and shape affect its function and performance.
A longer board will have more glide than a shorter one. It is better for touring.
A narrower board will be faster than a wider board. It is better for racing and surfing.
A wider board will be more stable than a narrower board. It is better for yoga or fitness.
Boards that are wider at the tail will be more stable than boards with a narrower tail.
Boards with a narrower tail will turn more quickly during surfing.
Thicker boards support more weight than thinner boards which have some disadvantages.
Material and Construction
The inflatable paddle boards on the market are made from different materials. Their construction also has a large difference. Board made with a single layer of material will tend to be light and less expensive. Single layer drop stitch is what you will find in most boards below $700. Some lightweight boards are made with a fusion construction which has additional reinforcement in the material. The top and bottom sheets of the drop stitch have two layers of fabric that are permanently bonded to each other. It is significantly more rigid than a single layer board. This construction board is about $900. The most sturdy (and more expensive) construction is dual layer, which has a second layer of reinforced PVC fabric bonded to the main layer. The dual-layer is less common due to higher manufacturing cost and general consumer preference for lighter boards.
Deck Pad and Rigging
A quality deck pad can make all the difference in your comfort while paddling, which in turn may keep you out on the water longer and enjoy the outdoor experience. The deck pad is variable in material thickness and density. They are made of a variety of textures that will decide how much grip the deck pad will offer and how you feel underfoot. You need to take the deck pad feature into consideration when comparing boards.
You need also consider the layout of D-rings and bungee tie down on the board. If you want to bring on the board with more basic items, you will need enough rings and bungee tie down to secure those items. At the same time, you need need to notice that the unnecessary attachments will add more weight to the board and slow down your steps. The configuration that is tested and effective is a single crisscross bungee system near the nose of the board, a centered D-ring at the nose for towing, and another centered D-ring at the tail for attaching a leash.
Fin System Choices
Fin has an important impact on the performance and versatility of a SUP board.
First, let’s start with a configurable fin system. Paddles who want to modify and change their board performance can choose a fully configurable fin system with removable and interchangeable fins in the center and side position. When speed is your priority, you can paddle a board with a tall center fin. When you want to have additional lateral stability, such as in currents or windy conditions, you can paddle a board with a large center fin and two smaller side fins. If you want to go out in shallow water, you can use a board with a shorter center fin or use only two side fins.
Paddles who put the simplicity and carefree use of their board in the first place, then the board with a permanent tri-fin system will be a better choice. Three equally sized unbreakable fins are permanently attached to the board.
The most typical fin setup for entry-level paddle boards has two very shallow permanent fins on the sides and a single large removable fin in the center. Board with this basic system can perform in non-challenging conditions, such as on a lake with ample depth.
After you the information on how to choose the stand up paddle board. Next, you need to know how much paddle boards usually cost.
How much does an inflatable paddle board usually cost?
Inflatable stand up paddle board is one kind of SUP boards. There are other several types of SUP boards.
Epoxy SUP board prices start around $700. And the highest price can reach up to $2000.
Molded plastic SUPs and soft top paddle boards are available for only $400.
Inflatable stand up paddle boards have the widest range of prices. The cheap boards sold on Amazon and Walmart are as low as $200. A good inflatable paddle board from a reputable brand will generally cost $900 for recreational use. Higher-end boards with additional material layering and unique design features for specialty use cost up to $1800. Those advanced features include configurable fins, specialty shapes, high-end material. Some buyers are willing to spend more money on the highest-performing recreational equipment.
You must have a question: should you buy a cheap inflatable stand up paddle board?
A cheap inflatable SUP board is worthy to buy if it can meet the requirement and allow you to enjoy the pleasure on the water as a beginner. But there are things to watch out for when buying a cheap iSUP. #1 Warranty #2 Documentation #3 Material #4 Customer Support #5 Construction & design #6 brand association
There are risks involved when buying a cheap iSUP. But when you have found one that is got a warranty and no obvious red flag surrounding it, the risk is minimized and the iSUP can serve the purpose. That is just fine. If you want to minimize the risk, then you should take these into consideration. The budget iSUP (about $300) should have warranty and customer support, sufficient documentation, trustworthy seller.
Maybe it is too much to ask for warranty and customer service with a cheap iSUP. But there has to be something to protect the buyer from cheating or accidents which always happen. The more you know about the board, the better you can choose the right iSUP. More often than not, the most basic of specifications are pointed out (size and weight capacity). Because the companies behind some of the cheap iSUP are often untraceable. So you should look for an actual retailer/seller in case of problems.
Decide Where to Shop
You already have an idea about the categories, size, material, construction, deck pad, rigging, fin system through the above information. You have the basic information to begin your search. At this point, you need to narrow down where you will be shopping for the board. There are many dealers online and physical stores that are pleased to take your money. So finding one is not difficult.
Next, we will recommend you some popular brand paddleboards for outdoor adventures in 2021.
First SereneLife Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board
The SereneLife Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board has more than 6000 positive reviews from shoppers who write that it is easy to inflate and has high quality at a really great value. Along with the inflatable board, you will get three bottom fins, a foldable paddle, a safety leash, and a manual hand pump. All of them are conveniently fit into the storage bag. It is travel-friendly. It is also a great choice for beginners because the paddle board is wider so it is easier for the beginners to stay balanced. It weighs only 19 pounds when it is fully inflated. So it is also easier to operate for kids or adults.
You can buy it from amazon.com, price: 307.99
Isle Explore Inflatable Stand-up Paddle Board
At Isle, they have a wide range selection of stand up paddle boards including, inflatable paddle boards, epoxy paddle boards, soft top foam paddle boards, and much more. Their paddle boards are perfect for riders with different size requirements and skill level. Whether you want to leisurely paddle on a calm water lake or ride some waves, they have the perfect board for all activities.
Inflatable SUP: inflatable paddle boards are easy to transport, store at home/car, and are super durable. They can be folded up into a backpack, you can take them anywhere you want. iSUP has great stability which makes them ideal for beginners.
Epoxy SUP: it is also referred to as hard paddle boards, provides optimal performance, and is the best option for stand up paddle surfing, SUP racing, and long distance paddles.
Yoga SUP: Yoga stand up paddle boards provide a stable and comfortable space for your yoga or fitness routine.
Fishing SUP: Fishing stand-up paddle boards come with all the equipment which you will need to fish all day.
Surfing SUP: SUP surfing is exciting fashionable surfing. Surfing stand-up paddle boards are designed to be responsive in small or medium waves. Buy a surfing SUP for your favorite surf spot as a whole new experience!
Touring SUP: Touring boards are constructed for long-distance expedition and flatwater paddling. These boards are perfect for experienced paddlers who are looking to paddle longer distances.
All-Around SUP: These are the most versatile type of stand up paddle boards and are perfect for a variety of SUP activities.
You can buy it from this website: https://www.islesurfandsup.com