Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Worth It?

by Kyle
Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Worth It?

Are you trying to decide whether inflatable paddle board is worth it? If you are facing this predicament, do not worry Paddle Board Nation is here to help you out! In this blog we will answer the question one of the most common questions in paddle boarding, “Are inflatable paddle boards worth it?”.

To start off the short answer is yes, inflatable paddle boards are worth it.

In fact, the advantages which such paddle boards provide make it preferable to even the hardshell SUPs in some circumstances.

We will highlight these advantages below so that you can understand in which circumstances inflatable paddle boards make sense.

Why Use An Inflatable Paddle Board?

Girl On Inflatable Paddle Board

Among the numerous advantages of inflatable paddle boards, some of the most prominent ones include:


Simply put, inflatable paddle boards are portable. Once you deflate them, you can fold them up and carry them with you in the trunk of the car or put it in your backpack as well. Even when you’re traveling by air, you can deflate them and put them in your luggage. In a nutshell, it is easy for you to carry the inflatable paddle board wherever you go.

Extremely Soft

If you’re asking this question, chances are you’re just starting out with paddle boarding or are new to the experience. In that case, you’re susceptible to falling as well. The traditional paddle boards are pretty hard. When you fall on them, it might ache a bit.

On the other hand, when using an inflatable paddle board, it is incredibly soft. You need not bother about any pain when you fall on it. If you want to break your fall in a soft profession, the inflatable paddle boards can undoubtedly come to your rescue.


Many paddle boarders do not opt for such paddle boards because they think that they can deflate mid-water. However, when you look at most of such inflatable paddle boards’ construction, you will realize that they consist of multiple air chambers for redundancy.

With the help of proper redundancy, even if a single chamber losses air, the paddle board is still buoyant. You need not worry about it getting deflated midway.

Not only that, in most cases, they are reinforced as well. Due to the same, deflating them is not an easy task.

Thus, inflatable paddle boards can offer you the combination of portability, less storage space requirement, softer construction, and complete reliability.

Due to the same, if you plan to travel a great distance to enjoy the outdoor experience, inflatable paddle boards make perfect sense. In that case, nobody has got the space to carry a hard one.

With that, there are a few disadvantages of inflatable paddle boards, making them unsuitable for certain circumstances. I will highlight those below to provide you with a balanced view.

When An Inflatable Paddle Board Isn’t Worth It?

There are two sides to a coin. While inflatable paddle boards might provide you with numerous advantages, they have a couple of disadvantages as well. Due to the same, it is essential to understand when they are not suitable.

When you’re close to the beach and have the means to carry a hard paddle board, you should stick to the hard one. In those circumstances, the hard-one can undoubtedly improve your paddle boarding quality, and since you can carry it to the beach, there will be no issues of portability either.

There are a few disadvantages of the inflatable paddle board. These include

Inflatable Paddle Boards Can Be Slow To Inflate

Inflatable Paddle Board

Simply put, inflatable paddle boards need an inflation pump or some other inflating mechanism. When you reach the beach or the lake, you have to 1st utilize this mechanism to ready the paddle board. Only once you do so you can start paddle boarding. If you’re not well versed with the procedure, it might take 20 minutes to 30 minutes to do it the 1st time around. Moreover, if you’re taking the inflatable paddle boards of the entire family, it can certainly increase the time as well.

If you need the ability to paddle board instantly, the hard boards are the perfect option for you.

Less Stable Than Hardtop Paddle Boards

Falling off inflatable paddle board

Hard paddle boards are more stable. Also, they can handle the impact of water in a much better way as well.

The inflatable ones, on the other hand, are a bit wobbly. Due to the same, you will have to be more careful with the balance when using the inflatable paddle board.

More Difficult To Paddle

The unstable nature of the inflatable paddle boards means you will have to use more energy to balance yourself and to paddle the board in the direction you want. If you do not mind that, you can certainly go with the inflatable one.

If you find it difficult to balance and paddle, it might be the right time to switch over to the hard paddle board from the inflatable one.

Should You Purchase An Inflatable Paddle Board?

Choosing the right paddle board for your situation will vary from person to person depending on the different factors that we discussed in this blog. But, if you think that the inflatable paddle board is best for your situation, then check out our blog “Best Inflatable Paddle Boards” for more information.

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