As you start your search for inflatable water sports equipment, you'll quickly find there is an incredible amount of choice when it comes to choosing an inflatable board. From brands to size, there's plenty to wade through to find the best inflatable boards for your water sports activities. Here are some tips for selecting the right inflatable board for you. Think about your overall skill level, your physical condition, what kind of water you'll be paddling in, and your budget. Once you've narrowed down your options based on those three considerations, you can begin to learn more about each inflatable board brand and decide which one will work best for you.
Brand Selection. Often specializing in only a particular segment of the inflatable paddle boards market, you can narrow your selections right off the bat by focusing on strong brands within that segment. Earth River SUP is focused on all-around, sturdy inflatable boards that perform well and multitask in multiple paddling conditions, including rivers, streams, and lakes. The Earth River brand also offers surfboards and wakeboarding gear, as well as a complete line of accessories for both boards and apparel.
Pump Technology. Choosing a powerful pump for your inflatable paddle boards will make a big difference in performance. Some of the more expensive models have twin-rate motors that can propel inflatable rafts and boards over even difficult twists and turns. Shop for a pump that will give you the power you need to get your boards up and over obstacles and down the river. If you're a beginner, you should look for a smaller pump so that you don't have to use too much force or energy.
Inflatable Stand Placement. Paddle boarding is great fun, but it requires being near an inflatable stand. Stand placement will help you get the best workout on your trip, and will keep you from having to waste time chasing down a missing board, or worse yet, try to fight a giant wave while standing on your board. When choosing inflatable paddle boards for beginners, look for a stand that will put them near the water.
Inflatable Paddle Boards for Beginners. There are inflatable paddle boards for beginners offered in a wide range of sizes, materials, weights, and models. You can choose from single-seat, tandem, double, and even triple boards. With so many choices available, it may be difficult to decide exactly which type of inflatable board will work best for you.
Manual Pump. Some people may feel more comfortable using an inflatable paddle boards with a manual pump. While this method can work, it can be more expensive than other types of boards, which is why some choose to go with the manual pumps that have built-in air pressure systems. Manual pumps require you to pump yourself up rather than pumping the air up through the air cushion, which can be much easier. Some manual pumps also do not require you to have a cord, making them ideal for kids and people without a lot of space.
Red Paddle Coils. These red "S" shaped tips are one of the most widely used tips in inflatable paddleboards. These red tips, however, have another benefit as well. If you are a beginner, you are much less likely to accidentally kick the board into a wall or other object. Plus, the red tip is more visible, making it easier for other paddlers to see you.
Rocker Curve Tubes. These tubes are designed to mimic the shape of a real rocker. This can give your inflatable paddle boards a realistic rocker curve so that you will have more fun while out on the water. However, these tubes are harder to manage when inflated to over 15psi, which makes them unsuitable for beginners. If you are going to be on a smaller inflatable board, you are better off with smaller tubes such as those that have a smaller diameter.