In the recent past paddle boarding has incredibly gained popularity across the world, and once the sport’s bug bites, all you will want is to buy your own. Fortunately, the inflatable paddle boards have made the sport accessible to everyone. Inflatable paddle boards have numerous advantages compared to the traditional boats. For instance, there are more durable, affordable, versatile and easier to store and transport. Furthermore they can be used for various activities such as fishing, racing, for fitness sessions, etc.
However, choosing the right inflatable board can be an overwhelming task especially for a beginner.
Here are some tips that you may find useful when purchasing the best inflatable paddle boards
You need to think about the type of paddle boarding you will be doing. For instance, you may want to use it for leisurely outings and fitness sessions on calm water or medium-sized ocean waves. Factors to consider in that case would be maneuverability and stability. For other activities such as racing you need to consider efficiency and stability of your inflatable board.
If the inflatable paddle board is used for hunting or fishing, you may be required to carry some sharp tools such as hooks or knives with you. Hence, when buying an inflatable board for such activities it is recommendable to go for the ones that are tough enough for such activities.
Width of the Board
Board Width is a very vital factor in determining stability. Wide boards (31” or wider) are more stable compared with narrow boards which makes easier to stand on them. However, they tend to be slower than their counter parts. On the other hand, narrow boards may be less stable, but faster.
When considering the length of your paddle board, it is vital to think about the place you want to paddle. Racing on a calm lake and riding high waves in the ocean are different types of paddle-boarding and need different boards for optimal performance.
Volume and Weight Capacity
An inflatable paddle board should suit your body size. The board needs to displace right amount of water for your weight for stability. Volume of the paddle, usually expressed in liters, indicates the ability of the board to float with weight on it. Higher volume means the board will support more weight.
Weight capacity is another important factor and is normally expressed in pounds. Ensure you know your weight capacity. This is because if you are very heavy for the paddle board, it will ride deeper in the water making it difficult to paddle.
The hull (or body) type of the inflatable paddle board will determine its performance in water. There are two main types of hull:
- Planning Hull
This type of hull is wide and flat and is performs best in the ocean waves. This type of hull is recommendable for beginners. They are more stable and versatile for leisure paddling.
- Displacement Hull
These types of hull feature a sharp bow or nose like that of a canoe or kayak. Displacement hull is designed to slice through the water with enhanced efficiency. They are best for racing and paddling over long distances.
It is advisable to do a thorough research on the best inflatable paddle boards that best suits your needs prior to making the purchase.