Inflatable Stand Up: How to choose the best of 2021
Today is the day to talk about inflatable stand up, the board that allows the practice of the activity that combines sport, relaxation and well-being.
The inflatable stand up makes the paddle sport something more dynamic, because it is cheaper, more accessible to non-practitioners and mainly more practical, because it is very easy to transport.
What we want in this Guide is to help you choose the ideal inflatable stand up model. For that, we will show you everything: its advantages, disadvantages, the best in the market and their respective prices, its varieties, in short, everything that helps your choice and your purchase.
First, the most important
- The inflatable stand up is a variation of the rigid model, which in turn is a variation of the good old surf.
- The variety of inflatable stand up boards is directly related to their modality, such as surfing, fishing, yoga, etc.
- Its price varies between R $ 1000 (most basic models) and R $ 8000 (professionals).
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Ranking: The 3 best inflatable stand up models
Lists always help to organize and put thoughts more objectively. For this reason, we have created a Ranking with the best inflatable stand up models on the market. In our evaluation, we consider mainly its technology and its cost benefit.
The inflatable stand up is as versatile in its ends as in its benefits, whether they are practical, physiological or sporting. In the “SUP” (Stand Up Paddle) it is possible to relax, compete, exercise, have fun, in short.
This means that there is a huge diversity of models, based on the various adaptations in the size of the board, in its characteristic, etc. In the Buying Guide below, we want to show you this variety, as well as its advantages and disadvantages.
What is inflatable stand up?
The Inflatable Stand Up is nothing more than an inflatable version of the rigid stand up paddle board. Both are made for the practice of standing rowing, a “relax” aspect of surfing, which appeared in Hawaii in the 1960s.
The inflatable variety appears, at first, to solve the practical problems of the board, especially its transport. Afterwards, however, it became a solution for less regular practitioners, due to its lower value and because it is more accessible to children and beginners, offering lower risks during practice.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the inflatable stand up?
The inflatable stand up actually brought a new dynamic to the activity, which also brought some advantages and disadvantages, very related to the adaptation of the boards to the material and the internal pressure.
Among the advantages, the first, and the biggest one, is easy transportation. The inflatable stand up can be rolled up or folded, and fits in a suitcase or large backpack. Like an inflatable mattress, in a way.
Then, it is a model that offers lower cost and less risk, due to the material, which is lighter, cheaper and more “soft” when it comes to possible shocks. Thus, it is great for those who want to start in the stand up paddle.
Another advantage is related to SUP itself, and mainly its health benefits. SUP works several muscles, from knees to upper limbs, and develops their balance.
The disadvantages, as you might imagine, are more related to the necessary adaptations for an inflatable SUP board model. The lower strength of your material, for example, is one of these disadvantages.
Under the strong sun and the cold water, or more agitated waters, the inflatable stand up can bend a little, keeping its “beak” pointing upwards, which can hinder your experience a little, and even the durability of the product.
Finally, either because of this bending or because of its normal design, the inflatable stand up reaches a lower speed than the rigid one, which is a disadvantage mainly for competitions.
- Easy transportation
- Good for beginners
- Health Benefits
- Lower resistance
- Can bend
- Lower speed
Universal or specific inflatable stand up?
The Stand Up Paddle itself, the activity, encompasses a large number of “variants”, which differ in their purposes, but which are still standing paddles, but which create a different demand for each board.
This number ends up creating a vast market variety of boards, with small or large adaptations, to better execute each end. In the same way, there is the board that is “stick for every job”, and reaches at least the minimum requirements of each modality.
Then there is the universal inflatable stand up, also called the All Round , and the specific inflatable stand ups.
The universal seeks, above all, balance, with a size not much larger than 10 or 11 feet long, and about 30 inches wide.
The specific , on the other hand, have small changes in the board. For surfing, for example, they need greater stability and ease of navigation, that is, a non-slip deck closer to the center and at least one rear keel.
For racing, longer and less wide boards are needed; for fishing, more stable and wider boards, as well as yoga boards, in short, small adaptations, but that make all the difference.
Inflatable or rigid stand up?
It would be impossible to talk about the inflatable stand up without falling in comparison with the rigid stand up. After all, without this second, the first would not even exist. The rigid one is also the market leader, and, of course, the most used in competitions and professional events.
Both tend to have the same measurements, with slightly different weights. What really differentiates them, in a practical way, at least, are their materials, their favorable conditions and their practicality.
While the inflatable stand up is usually made of EVA, PVC or Nylon fiber, the rigid stand up can be composed of fiberglass, carbon fiber or even wood, like the older boards.
Regarding the environment, rigid stand-up is infinitely more versatile, while inflatable stand-up is best navigated in calm waters, such as lakes and dams, or calm seas.
The inflatable, on the other hand, is much more practical than the rigid, especially in its transport.
The inflatable stand up, although more accessible in relation to its price, follows the line of high value rigid stand up. It is difficult to find a quality model for less than R $ 1,000.
High quality professionals, in turn, can reach up to R $ 8,000.
Where to buy?
You can easily find quality inflatable stand up models in physical stores of major sports chains.
On the internet, however, it is where there is the greatest variety of models and prices, in addition to the comfort of making purchases directly from your home. Stores such as Amazon are the most suitable.
Purchase Criteria: What to note before choosing your inflatable stand up
The following is a list of the most important elements to note in your inflatable stand up model:
- Maintenance Kit
- Drop Stitch
Now let’s talk about each one, so that your choice is always well informed, and your model is ideal.
One of the great positives of the inflatable stand up is its ease of transport. Thus, the best possible model will be the one that offers the greatest portability.
Look, then, for those that are smaller when folded or rolled, and that have straps to fix this fold, and, if possible, come with backpacks or bags for transport.
One of the few negative sides of the inflatable stand up is its resistance, both in its material, and in what happens if that material is damaged. On the other hand, it is possible to greatly extend the life of your board with basic maintenance.
So, give preference to sets that have maintenance kits, with glue, doser, brush, extra strips of fabric, etc.
The drop stitch is like a net, a nylon fiber seam that stays inside the inflatable stand up, allowing it to be light and resistant at the same time, both from external and internal pressures.
The keywords here are high density and quality. Ask the seller and the manufacturer about these characteristics, and choose the model that best balances the two.
Size is not an elimination criterion, but an element to note to better align your experience with your expectations. Know that the wider your board, the more stable and slower it will be.
Likewise, the longer the inflatable stand up, the more difficult it will be to navigate, but more versatile.
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