Can you race on an inflatable stand-up paddle board (SUP)? Many people are surprised to learn that, yes, you can – and in fact, more and more people are turning to inflatables for racing as the sport continues to evolve. But what is it about these boards that makes them so suited for competition? Let’s take a closer look.
First of all, inflatable SUPs are extremely light – usually weighing around 15 lbs or less – which makes them highly portable. This means they’re ideal for travelling to races or remote locations where hauling a heavier solid SUP isn’t practical.
But don’t be fooled – just because they’re lightweight doesn’t mean they lack performance. Modern inflatables are constructed with reinforced fabric backing which helps prevent punctures and maintains rigidity throughout the race; plus their shape gives them excellent stability while still offering good maneuverability on the water.
Inflatable SUPs also require minimal assembly, which can be a major advantage if you’re limited on time before a competition. As long as you have your pump and nozzle handy, you can fill your board up in minutes rather than having to spend time bolting parts together like with traditional rigid models.
So if time is of the essence and portability is key then an inflatable SUP could be the way forward for you when it comes to competing at the highest level. While durability may still be an issue when compared with solid boards, advances in technology mean that they can now withstand some hard knocks while still ensuring a seamless performance out on the water.