Whether you are a beginner like me or a seasoned pro, if you’re looking for a compact, lightweight, versatile board for your next adventure on the water, I highly recommend an inflatable stand-up paddle board (iSUP).
Let’s first start with compact. Unlike a solid paddleboard, which can take-up storage space and create a slight inconvenience while transporting if not close to the water (due to additional accessories such as car racks, etc.), inflatable boards provide for a much more trouble-free experience. I actually wrote an entire blog post highlighting the benefits of inflatable paddle boards vs solid paddle boards. If you are on the fence, read that post first and then come back to this one.
Most inflatable boards come with a storage bag that can be easily carried on the back (like a backpack) and a manual pump to both inflate AND deflate your board. Once your board is deflated, all that’s needed is to simply roll it up and store away properly in your board bag.
Next, let’s talk about the lightweight component to inflatable paddle boards. The average weight of your board will most likely differ depending on what brand your board is. However, on average, most inflatable paddle boards will typically weigh anywhere between 15 pounds to 30 pounds with some boards weighing upwards of 50 pounds.
The length and width of your board will also be a contributing factor to the weight of your board. For example, a longer, wider board will most often, if not always, weigh more than a shorter, more narrow board. While the inflatable paddle board is rather lightweight, it is not necessarily more lightweight than the solid paddle board. In fact, they are pretty even keel as far as weight with your average solid paddle board weighing around 30 pounds.
Having possibly saved the best for last, let’s talk versatility! When you think adventure, being on the water on your iSUP should definitely be one of the first things that comes to mind! If it’s not, SNAP OUT OF IT ALREADY! Okay, now that you’re thinking about your next adventure on the water, let’s talk about some of the marvelous paddling activities you can do with your inflatable board:
1.) Let’s get the obvious out of the way-paddle boarding! If you aren’t wanting to do anything fancy and are just wanting to enjoy the beauties of mother nature, you can simply use your board for its main, intended purpose: paddle boarding.
2.) Snorkeling– I recently got into snorkeling and one of the awesome things about inflatable paddle boards is that it allows you to safely access more snorkeling spots thus enhancing your overall experience. Plus, if you purchase an anchor compatible for inflatable paddle-boards, you can snorkel peacefully knowing your board won’t be taking any field trips while on your snorkeling excursion.
3.) Trash Clean Ups: Conserving our waters not only helps prevent endangering marine plants and life, minimize pollution and keeping the water quality as clean as possible, it can also be a fun water activity! The size and weight capacity of your iSUP will determine how many pounds of trash you’ll be able to hold on your board (each trip). Obviously, the higher the weight capacity, the more trash you’ll be able to hold on your board in a single trip. Not only is this a cool activity because you’re helping to conserve our oceans and waterways, it’s also awesome because it can be done by yourself or with groups of people (the more, the merrier)! So, next time you’re thinking about taking your board out, be sure to create a positive impact on your next adventure and help keep our waters trash free.
4.) Yoga-What’s not to love about getting your zen on out on the water? Receiving all the benefits of Yoga while also being captivated by the open water-inflatable paddle boards provide a softer, more stable deck to get your yoga on than hard boards allowing you to namaste in comfort (and still keep the style).
These are just a few of the paddling activities that you can use your inflatable paddle board for and there are many more other fun things you can use your iSUP for.
Watch my BOTE HD Aero in action:
As you can tell, I’m a big fan and advocate for the inflatable paddle board. Personally, I have a BOTE Aero HD 11’ 6″ inflatable board and with it being a pretty significant purchase, this wasn’t something I just did out of the blue one day. I took my time to research, talked to local distributors, read reviews etc. and ultimately was able to make my decision. That being said, I hope that this review has been helpful to you along your purchase journey. If you’re interested in more articles I’ve written on inflatable boards, check out the Paddle Boarding section of this website. Enjoy your adventures!