So, you’re considering buying a stand-up paddleboard (SUP)? Good decision. Whether you want a core workout, a board to ride ocean waves, or a way to explore a local lake, a stand-up paddleboard is the perfect adventure accessory. The hard part is deciding on the right SUP to suit your needs. When you’re shopping for a board, you should consider several things, including the shape, length, and construction of the board. Plus, you should take into account the types of paddling you prefer, whether it’s cruising across flat water, running rivers, or catching coastal swells, or all of the above.
If you’re in the market for a SUP, there are several benefits to owning an inflatable model like those from Salamander Paddle Gear. Advances in technology and design have given inflatable SUPs the stability and maneuverability of traditional fiberglass versions. Plus, an inflatable SUP offers additional benefits, especially if you lack storage space, or you’re planning to paddle in remote locations. Here are a few reasons an inflatable SUP might be right for you.
Storage is a Breeze
One of the main benefits of an inflatable board is that you can deflate it and store it in small spaces. That’s perfect if your home lacks the room to store a traditional board. You can easily tuck your inflatable board into a closet or place it on a gear shelf. An inflatable model is also an excellent option for people who want to store a board in the trunk of their for spur-of-the-moment adventures.
Packing is Painless
Have you been dreaming about paddling in epic places, like the Florida Keys, the Puget Sound, or Lake Tahoe? Or, maybe you’re just longing to explore the lake down the road. In either case, you’ll have an easier time transporting an inflatable SUP.
If you plan to fly to distant locations, you can check an inflatable SUP with other luggage. And airlines usually won’t charge you fees for oversized baggage. Once you’ve landed, and you’re hailing a cab or catching a public bus, you can easily toss your inflatable SUP into the trunk or stash it on a seat. Inflatable boards like the Sarasvati from Salamander Paddle Gear also come with a travel bag and carry strap for easy transport. Because inflatable boards are compact, you can even be hauled one through the airport in a wheelie bag.
For roadtrippers, transporting an inflatable SUP doesn’t involve a roof rack, cam straps, or any heavy lifting. If you have a tiny trailer, you can even bring an inflatable SUP on extended bikepacking adventures.
They’re Sturdy Enough for Whitewater
Inflatable SUPs can take a lot of abuse. Plus they’re nimble enough to navigate rocks, rapids, and high water. Even better, they don’t get dinged and dented like traditional fiberglass boards. Whitewater aficionados can even buy inflatable SUPs built specifically for river runs. Boards such as the Ensatina Whitewater SUP are extremely stable and sturdy. The Ensatina has foot wedges in front and back, a double-reinforced nose, and a carbon-fiber sidewall, all attributes added with river riders in mind.
They’re Easy to Tote
When you’re hiking to an alpine lake or following a sandy footpath to a far-flung beach, you’ll be glad you brought an inflatable SUP. Hiking for miles along a wind-whipped stretch of shoreline with a solid board is no picnic. Similarly, striking out on a precarious mountain trail with a traditional paddleboard is pretty much out of the question. But, with an inflatable SUP, even remote paddling spots are accessible—you’re only limited by the distance you’re willing to carry your board.
You Won’t Sacrifice Comfort
Whether you’re paddling with a pampered pup, practicing yoga poses on the water, or out for a long-haul trip, inflatable SUPs are typically more comfortable than traditional fiberglass paddleboards. Inflatable models feature a softer deck than solid paddleboards, which reduces contact pressure. The soft deck makes long days on the water easier on the feet, knees, and back. The additional cushioning also makes inflatable SUPs extra comfortable for riders who are sitting. That’s a key consideration if you’re taking pups or youngsters out on your board.
They’re Ideal for Beginners
Setting up an inflatable board is a quick process that beginners can handle easily. You just pull the board out of the bag, inflate it with an easy-to-use pump, and attach the fins. From start to finish, the entire set-up process typically takes just a few minutes. Beginners will also appreciate that inflatable SUPs offer a bit more cushioning than solid paddleboards. When you’re learning, you might fall more frequently, and inflatable boards are more forgiving.
They’re Extremely Versatile
Want to tackle a variety of on-the-water adventures, from fishing trips to whitewater runs? An inflatable SUP can become your go-to adventure sidekick. Inflatable boards are rigid and sturdy enough to handle a range of conditions. Plus, the detachable fins allow you to adjust the tracking and maneuverability to suit your adventure, whether you’re planning a lazy lake day or a morning playing in the waves. Inflatable boards can also entertain everyone in the family. They’re ideal for introducing youngsters and newbies to stand-up paddleboarding.
If you’re new to stand-up paddleboarding, you’re going to love the versatility and convenience of an inflatable board. If you’re an experienced paddler, you’ll be stoked at how the inflatable board allows you to up your game and explore distant and remote areas. And no matter your level of experience, you’ll appreciate how a packable board makes it easier to accommodate the sport into your daily life. Thanks to inflatable technology, the sport of stand-up paddleboarding is more accessible—and more fun—than ever.
Written by Malee Baker Oot for Matcha in partnership with Salamander Paddle Gear.
Gear Corner - Stand Up Paddle boards and accessories available at SalamanderPaddleGear.com
Introducing the next generation of River Paddle Boards! The most advanced Whitewater SUP on the Market. Modeled after the 9’6” Shredder, The Ensatina comes with the same durable construction and performance. But that’s just the base line of this design. We have added foot wedges for better control and stability, no matter how your stance is this board gives you more performance when you need it! We also redesigned the front deck of the board adding in a Daisy Chain so you have more options for where and how you carry gear, making this board more versatile for multi-day river trips.
Walk on water with the Sarasvati! This board provides unmatched performance that tracks smooth and fast while keeping the stability you need. Whether you’re out for a calm float or an aggressive workout this board accommodates a wide range of flatwater paddlers. Take this board to your favorite oasis and enjoy your day!
Bungee Gear Net - don't loose your stuff!
Anchor tabs and suction cups included depending on which surface area you need to attach to. The Cargo Net helps secure gear for easy access making your on the water experience more enjoyable.
4 Heavy-Duty 15 x 15 in. stretch cord net secures gear to your SUP or kayak
2 attachment options
4 Hi-Impact lashing points with 3M adhesive backing
4 suction cups to attach net to most fiberglass decks
Tether other items to the lashing
SUP Paddles - we carry a variety of paddle for every type of paddler and budget.