How Long Do Inflatable Paddle Boards Last?

by Kyle
How Long Do Inflatable Paddle Boards Last

Many of you reading this are probably considering purchasing a paddle board, which is great! But since you are here, you probably are still considering whether to buy a hard top of an inflatable paddle board, take a look at our blog: “Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Worth It?“. If you have already decided on an inflatable paddle board that is fantastic, then check out our list of the best inflatable paddle boards. But you will still want to find out how long do inflatable paddle boards last. In this we will answer your question in detail and teach you how to make it last as long as possible.

Are Inflatable Paddle Boards Long Lasting?

With that being said, let’s get right down to it. Exactly how long do inflatable paddle boards last? Of course, there are a great many things which come together to determine the precise answer to this question, but the general consensus is that inflatable paddle boards last around 5 years or longer. If you care properly for your paddle board it will endure for many more years.

Details That Impact the Life of Your Inflatable Paddle Board

Since there are so many different types of inflatable paddle boards and brands, we broke this down into a few section that will help you figure out how long an inflatable paddle board will last for you.


The main thing which determines a paddle board’s longevity is its method of construction. The use of sub-standard PVCs that aren’t held together by many, many threads will absolutely not last longer than a year or two. After that, your inflatable paddle board will begin to show signs of deterioration.

However, if you purchased an inflatable paddle board that was created using several layers of PVC and plenty of seams, then it will endure for a long time. It has even been noted by some paddlers that these types of inflatable paddle boards remain in excellent condition for even longer than 5 years.

Even improper maintenance will not affect your inflatable paddle board more direly than poor construction. That cuts right to the heart and soul of the board and can make it or break it.

If you want more information about the construction of all types of paddle boards read our blog “What Are Paddle Boards Made Of?“.

Lastly when looking at an inflatable paddle boards construction, you should consider the dropstitch construction of the board.

What is Dropstitch Construction?

It consists of many threads that ensure that the top and bottom PVCs of the paddle board will remain together. This term doesn’t only refer to the stitches you see outside with the naked eye. There is a vast amount of stitches on the inner side of the paddle board as well that aren’t visible.

These threads compose an inflatable paddle board, letting the board keep its shape when it is inflated. Without dropstitches your paddle board wouldn’t form the shape it does once it’s inflated. Instead, it would adopt the shape of a large balloon. The dropstitching prevents that.

So, if you do decide to go looking for an inflatable paddle board, keep in mind that dropstitching plays an important part in the quality and durability of an inflatable paddle board. If the dropstitching on your chosen paddle board is not done to your satisfaction, don’t buy it because you will regret it.

Your best bet, should you opt to purchase an inflatable paddle board is to get a mid-range to high-quality paddle board. With these boards you will be getting a board that almost certainly will last for over 5 years, regardless of how often or how strenuously it is used. Normally these boards will also come with a 1-3 year warranty.

UV Coating

What many paddlers are not aware of is that paddle boards require UV protection. In fact, UV rays can cause some serious damage to the PVC, and in the long run this will result in a shortened lifespan.

While it’s true that most manufacturers of paddle boards nowadays apply a UV coating, it’s best to check and make sure that yours does. If not, you need to put some coating on it. Furthermore, remember that an ultraviolet coat won’t make your inflatable paddle boards immune from UV ray damage for the duration of the board’s life.

A UV coating works just like sunscreen you apply on your body does, meaning it provides extra protection, but it doesn’t protect your paddle board for an extended amount of time. Down the road, you will have to re-apply it.

Cleaning and Maintenance

The care you devote to your paddle board will make the utmost difference in how long lasting it turns out to be. Proper care for an inflatable paddle board is not the same as that for a hard paddle board. For instance, caring for an inflatable paddle board necessitates that you deflate it every now and then. Moreover, you should store it in a cold place that is covered.

Brand Name Inflatable Paddle Boards

The company name is not the main issue, but it is important. A company that focuses mainly on selling paddle boards will have more knowledge and experience than a company that sells them along with many other items too. Certain companies only outsource their SUP production and don’t care about doing research and improving the quality of their product.

Additionally, a well known company with a solid reputation will be apt to produce a paddle board that lasts longer. A clear indication of this is the warranty.

The average inflatable paddle board comes with a warranty that is good for up to three years. This is a great sign that the company has faith in their product. That they believe their SUPs are of high quality and have durability, and are not apt to have any issues within the first three years.

Tips For Caring For Your Inflatable Paddle Board

Paddle boards are a pretty big investment in many cases to here are a a few suggestions of our paddle board experts best tips on how to properly care for your inflatable paddle board.

Rinse the paddle board

This applies if you happen to enjoy paddling in saltwater. Then it is crucial that you are certain to rinse your inflatable paddle boards after every outing. This effectively eliminates the dirt, salt, and gravel that will be left on the board’s surface. If you do your paddling in freshwater, then you don’t have to rinse it after every use.

Use a Natural Biodegradable Cleaner

The reason this is the best for cleaning your paddle board is because it doesn’t contain any chemicals that can harm the paddle board. 

Dry Thoroughly Before Storage

Once you’ve cleaned your inflatable paddle board off, take a soft cloth and use it to thoroughly wipe down the entire board. It needs to be totally dry before you put it away. Sure, you can air dry it, but using a cloth is much quicker.

Keep Out of Sunlight

This is a point that is often forgotten and cannot be stressed enough. Your inflatable paddle board might have a UV coat, but even so it’s a good habit to get into to keep it out of the sun. The best idea is to store your paddle board indoors.

Occasionally Deflate

You don’t need to deflate your inflatable paddle board every time you’re done using it. One of the great things about an inflatable paddle boards is that it can be stored inflated. But you should deflate it once a month to ease the stress that’s placed on the seams. You would be surprised at the difference this can make in extending the life span of the board.

Don’t Place On the Floor

Neither an inflatable paddle boards or a hard paddle board should be kept on the floor. If a board is placed right on the floor, dust particles can have an effect on the board’s endurance. It’s also a good thing not to place a paddle board directly on the floor if you have pets around. You want to keep it out of their reach. A scratch here, a nip there, and before you know it your board is having problems that could have been avoided by keeping your pets away. So be careful when it comes to animals.

A great way to easily solve this issue is by purchasing a paddle board rack, these racks can be very easy to install and will keep your board looking brand new for years. If you are interested in a rack, take a look at our blog: “Best Paddle Board Storage Racks

Roll It Properly

When placing your inflatable paddle boards inside the bag for storage, there’s a correct method for doing it.

First, you need to leave the air out of the paddle board. This is so that any air left inside will not expand if the temperature should get higher in the storage shed.

Be careful not to roll the deflated paddle board too tightly. The stress placed on the seams can do some damage to the strength of the board. Just roll it a bit loosely so that there will be no tension on the PVC and the seams. 

Don’t Drag

Sometimes people forget that it’s not a good idea to drag their paddle boards on sand or gravel. Your inflatable paddle boards is made for strength and endurance, but it can still be damaged. Treat it with care.


What all of this comes down to is that the answer to the question how long do inflatable paddle boards last?” is that there really is no surefire answer. Okay, the average inflatable paddle board should be good for at least 5 years, actually longer. However, you can’t judge by how long the manufacturer says they’ll remain usable, because their life expectancy depends on many factors. The quality of the board when you purchased it, its basic construction, and the job you do of caring for it. An inflatable paddle board that is treated and handled properly can reasonably be expected to last a very long time indeed.  

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