Paddleboarding has been an increasingly popular sport. And I’m not surprised, it’s an awesome recreational activity for anyone who wants to try a different flavor.
Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) is one of the more popular sub-categories of paddleboarding. It’s been popularized in Hawaii and is now making waves on other surfing hotspots. It’s a pretty relaxing (and ironically, thrilling) sport.
It’s about time you get rid of your old skateboards, and try a cooler sport in water. Here’s a guide on finding the best inflatable SUP!
Best Inflatable SUP for 2017
Sorry for the long wait. You can start your very own paddleboard journey right here! Choose any of these boards below to be your newest companion.
Solstice Bali Stand-Up Paddleboard: My #1 SUP Choice
Before I bought this board, my previous paddleboard was a Sevylor Samoa. While inflatable boards are quite handy as you don’t have to worry about space and portability. Pumping it can be really annoying.
I’m going to admit, filling it with air took me some time. But it was easier than my Sevylor. That makes it a the best inflatable SUP in that area. The board, once it has been pumped, it’s really sturdy and hard. Anyone could have stood on top of it without any problem. I don’t really weigh much so it feels nice. I really like how it doesn’t buckle in the middle, it ticks me off when it does that.
I’m not much of a surfer when I bought this, unfortunately. So I never had the chance to take it for a ride in the surf zone (I gave this to my brother not too long ago, I’m not sure if he’ll let me borrow it.)
So I was mainly stuck with the usual lake and river. For my experience in cruising, it was wonderful. This product is highly buoyant. You can definitely tell them apart from a normal surfboard, I like it!
Buy It Because: It’s The Best Brand Ever
It carries the same stability and performance as a solid paddleboard. Only at a cheaper price. If you’re going to compare this all the other paddleboards in the market, its thickness stands out. Commonly, they’re only at 4 inches thick. Only a skilled adult could possibly make a comfortable board out of it. Not so user-friendly with the newbies. But with this, it’s at around 6 inches thick.
This means it’s superior to most other brands in the market. Also, it’s four times as hard and it can carry twice as much weight as the other boards. This makes it an ideal board for both newbies and veterans. Let’s talk about how awesome it is by not being prone to dents and dings. The makers have made sure that your experience won’t be topped by other brands.
You can use this onto rocky shores without any problems. Also, taking on water rapids is easy. You’re assured that no harm is done to your paddleboard. It carries a unique drop stitch construction. To ensure that its strength is long-lasting, they’re using a military grade material. It’s been handled with care throughout its process.
PathFinder Inflatable SUP: The SUP-er Portable Board
Unlike other paddleboards which would take a lot of time and effort to inflate, this will only take you 5-10 minutes. Everything about is easy, you won’t have any concerns when it comes to setting this baby up.
The fin is really easy to set up. You’ll like how the paddle is adjustable, you can modify it depending on what the situation calls for. At a glance, it’s pretty hard to distinguish if whether this is an inflatable SUP or a solid board. And it almost has the same weight as a hardboard as well. The only difference is about 10-15 pounds.
For an even easier transportation, along with the free backpack, it also has a shoulder strap. All you have to do is clip it on two hooks and you’re all set to go. The experience using it is smooth and buoyant, especially if you’re going to try it on a flat ocean water. It’s versatile, too. It’s compatible with bays, rivers, and other water bodies.
Just like with inflating it, deflating is quick and easy. The bag offers more space than you would have thought. You can place in your towels and other knickknacks as well.
Atlantis Paddle Boards SUP: One Of The Most Stable Boards Out There
The design is unique and it makes it easy for beginners to get a feel to it right away – that being said, it’s the best inflatable SUP for beginners. It comes with 3 fins, which is definitely a breakthrough from the usual 1-fin design for an inflatable.
It isn’t just for the show though, it gives it a boost of stability. It means it’s capable of handling 2 people riding it at the same time. It boasts high-buoyancy making it a quality paddleboard. This has been reinforced with top-grade materials to enhance its rigidness. It anti-slip deck has more space than the common boards you can find in the market.
This board is really durable. You won’t experience in any cracking or chipping from this gem. The makers used military grade materials so you can use it in any water condition. This includes rocky shores and rapids.
Go take this out for a summer’s ride. No matter how hot the sun is, it’s able to withstand the impossible. Just make sure you’re protected as well. This is a UV resistant board. Just like with the Tower Adventurer, it separates itself from the rest of the group. This is also 6” thick to guarantee you a stable board. This can carry a person who’s at 398 pounds!
It’s true that it can carry a giant, but its weight is exactly of what it can carry. This is only 35 pounds, anyone can carry it. You can easily slip it in your car trunk without any hassle, storage is not a problem. I would say that it’s a total package and definitely a candidate for the title of best inflatable SUP, especially because of its freebies. It’ll only take you 6 minutes to inflate it. As for deflating, it’s the same timeframe as well.
Getting A Better Experience
One of the best ways to get a better experience out of paddleboarding is by becoming better. I wouldn’t exactly describe continuously falling out of your board a fun time. As a matter of fact, it hurts…both physically and in spirit.
It doesn’t matter if whether you’re just doing it out of hobby and boredom, but no one’s going to deny becoming a rock star paddleboarder doesn’t so bad, right? I mean, it’s definitely a green light for me. Who knows? I could be the next Annabel Anderson. Or maybe get married to Connor Baxter for all I know.
But practice doesn’t always have to be in the water. Sometimes you can do so without being soaked wet. It means you can become the best paddler while being safe on dry land. If you’re serious about becoming better at the sport, there are times where you can’t practice. Preparation for paddleboarding is quite a hassle.
It’s different from other sports where you can just conveniently start your training anywhere – track and field for instance. There are times where you can’t train because the weather is too cold. I get how you want to be better ASAP, but we don’t want to freeze to death.
And sometimes, which is always my situation, I don’t have a convenient place to paddle. I live in a far off land on top of the hills…or maybe I’m just exaggerating. But seriously, it takes about 3 hours to get to my favorite spot.
Unfortunately, I can only paddleboard every weekend. It doesn’t stop me from becoming better though. I’m going to teach you a different way so you can train 24/7 without having to worry about cold and accessibility.
Here are some awesome ways where you can be just as cool as I am:
Get a Mat
Remember when I mentioned about falling off the board? You can avoid it by hitting the mat. Naturally, your goal is stability. It’s the first step to becoming an expert at riding the waves. The best way to get your balance down is thru Yoga. For those people who are interested in trying out Yoga, this is your chance.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to start with those awkward poses that take a ton of flexibility (I’m not even good with those). Working out your core muscles are the key – it’s also the key to great abs. Make sure to emphasize on your oblique and back muscles. Trying to hit your gluteal complex will also do a lot of good as well.
Of course, my favorite is training my abdominal muscles. Specifically, transverse abdominous. If you want a more challenging type because you want it hardcore, go for power. You can try Ashtanga flow as it really helps in building your shoulders together with your back muscles. I admit it’s harder than usual. But getting used to it makes you REALLY fit and strong.
If you do this training, your mobility increases as your joints are gradually becoming familiar with the routine. If you don’t want an action packed session, you can go for the restorative. It doesn’t require power like the previous training.
You’ll be asked to stretch your muscles. Not only that, but your ligaments as well. When you do this, your stroke becomes a powerhouse. You can go for long and hard paddling like it’s nothing.
The act of paddling requires you to bend forward. Not too much though, or you might fall into the water. Doing it the right way isn’t so simple, you need to keep at neutral. It’s a pretty hard thing to do especially if you already developed a habit of doing it the other way around. If you aren’t careful, this could cause you your lower back as unwanted pressure is present.
If you’ve already experience fatigue, yin A.K.A restorative will be the perfect treatment to restore you back in tiptop condition. Also, breathing is essential, just like with any other workouts. If you’re going to keep yoga as your daily routine, it’ll help a lot once you’re paddling.
This mainly revolves around the focus of inflow. People may call it as vinyasa-styled classes.once you have mastered the art of breathing, you can use it for when you’re out in the water.
Here’s the trick: make sure you control the paddle. Pull it towards you, and it shouldn’t be in the other way around. That’s how you can start learning.
Go To The Gym
The gym is the place to be if you want to strengthen specific body parts. Unfortunately, our strength differs from one body part to the other.
For example, I have a pretty strong shoulder, so I’m able to paddle for hours like it’s nothing. But my abdominal isn’t as strong as I would like it to be. Despite my strong shoulders, I tend to lose endurance because of my core. Know what your strength and weakness are, you’ll be able to identify what body part you need to enhance. If you’re having trouble identifying your blind spot, go grab a partner.
By doing so, you can help each other by noticing what the other one lacks. When I noticed I was lacking endurance in my core area, I went to the gym and did some crunches and other ab workouts. It eventually gave me the best results.
Along with them, I decided to work on my other muscle group as well. Hitting the gym carries a lot of health benefits as well. These are the muscles which you have to train: legs, abs, and shoulders. Well, it makes you enjoy SUP better.
While you’re at it, it doesn’t hurt to do some other workouts, too.
Change Your Diet
You can’t expect to be the best paddler if your diet consists of eating chips and soda. Pills and other energy drinks might boost up your energy levels, but its long-term effect is nasty.
The first thing you should take care of is what you’re putting inside your body. The foods that you eat are important as it directly influences your performance.
That’s why before a competition, athletes never drink Coke or other soft drinks. Instead of going for junk foods, change your diet into fruit and whole grains. You’ll instantly notice a different feeling, you’re more active and cheerful.
These foods that you need to consume must have low GI carbohydrates. With this kind of meals you’re taking, it’ll help you get the perfect nutrition of protein and fat. You’ll be fueled with power for some paddleboarding action
Run Forest, Run!
What better way to strengthen your endurance when you’re doing cardio by doing cardio as well? And the best cardio there is – is RUNNING! When you’re paddleboarding, it’s expected for you to be a considerable amount of endurance to go along with it. Let’s say, out of nowhere, strong winds came out.
How are you going to paddle yourself back to shore if you don’t have enough endurance training? You’re going to be in big trouble. If you have someone along with you, that might help. But it’s impossible to assist you in that situatio unless if your partner is really good. Like, Chuck Norris good. If not, well, let’s not think about it.
Luckily, you can prevent that situation from happening. Running is a good training to strengthen your endurance. It improves your cardiovascular health. Not only that, but it’s also good for the heart.
You’re not required to go on a sprinting though, especially if you have just started. Going for a slow run or jog and gradually increasing your tempo can work.
Just make sure you’re comfortable with what you’re doing as it helps you remain consistent. If you do it often, you’re going to less likely be tired when you’re already on the water.
Despite having terrible weather conditions to annoy you. Oh, and before you get carried away. When you’re running, always practice the proper form. If not, you’re going to be prone to knee injuries.
It will not do any good to your paddleboarding career as well as your running. If you feel as if something is wrong, be sure to immediately call your doctor and ask for medication.
Interesting Topic: SUP and How Is It Made?
If you’re curious like me, you might have already asked questions like these more than a few times. At first, I haven’t really thought about it that much.
But when I owned my first Tower Adventurer, I decided to research it a bit more.
I’m going to explain a bit further on how it’s being done. And of course, I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can by the end of this article. Since I’m a kind soul.
Materials Being Used
As what you might have guessed, technology being used are far greater today than it was years ago. As of the moment, makers are now utilizing a different approach. With everything so advanced, they’re now into 3D technology.
At first, they have to make sure that the boards are being formed – no one wants to see an octagon shaped board, right? But it’s not surprising if there is someone who’d want that. Not today though – you want the best inflatable SUP, right?
After the desired shaped has been formed, experts immediately laminate them. They only use, of course, the best inputs in the business. That’s how they keep their product high in quality. For a great feel, professionals try their best to use synthetic materials as much as possible. To offer an experience like no other, they use natural materials.
Looking at a natural bamboo paddleboard is way better than a synthetic-made board. It might be more expensive, but it’s worth every penny as it’s more durable and stronger than the cheaper ones.
Some of the makers’ fancy using Fiberglass cloth. Specifically, its weight at around 6oz. To go with it, they use EPOXY resin. Since nobody wants to use a heavy board, they fixed the problem with using Expanded Polystyrene blanks. Evidently, it makes the board weigh lighter.
Just last year, they have thought of something better. They have thought of using Twill Weave Carbon Fiber. It still maintains the same weight of 6oz. For 2017, they plan on something bigger.
They wanted to see what will happen if they’ll use PVC and Polycarbonate. Once successful, a new generation of performance and functionality would be created. There’s definitely something exciting in the era of 2017.
What’s 3D Shaping?
Crafters are now making use of computers to see what would be the result. It means you’ll get a projection thru hydrodynamic tests on what will happen once the paddleboard is already out in the open waters – this more recent technology makes creating the best inflatable SUP easier.
It gives them a solid prediction on what’s likely to happen in reality so that they could modify it before shaping.
They’re using a technologically advanced software that sees thru everything. If doing it manually, it would be impossible to achieve. However, everything is not being decided by machines alone. Boards are done by hand. This is to ensure that there aren’t imperfection. It irons out any flaws which the machine wouldn’t be able to detect.
Unlike before, paddleboards are now the combination of both science and effort. That’s why it has greatly evolved in the past decades.
Should You Go For 3D Models?
If you want the best inflatable SUP, then it’s an absolute yes! It comes with a lot of benefits. For instance, 3D models are being upgraded from the previous feedbacks of paddlers. It means it’s close to being free from any flaws. This ensures that it’s a better and faster board than its counterpart.
Because of the technology being used, you can finally relax as it’s already a guarantee that your board is consistently shaped. And the best part, since no one wants to buy an ugly designed bored, you can now check them out online.
This gives you a breather as you can choose what specific board you want to get without having second thoughts. The best part? You don’t have to leave your house to do so.