How To Buy An Inflatable Paddle Board

If you’re interested in buying a new inflatable stand up paddle board (iSUP) then you’ve come to the right place! Perhaps, you’ve already done some research on the difference between inflatable and hard paddle boards. You’re probably attracted to minimal storage requirements, easy transportation, and superb durability of iSUPs when compared to rigid paddle boards. Even though you’ve narrowed the search a bit, you still have a handful of important questions to ask yourself when figuring out how to buy an inflatable paddle board. 

When fully inflated, your high-quality iSUP will be able to compete with a similar rigid paddle board in terms of stability, speed, and durability. In fact, the inflatable version will probably feel more stable under your feet! Follow our helpful guide below and you’ll be able to purchase your board with confidence and enjoy your new inflatable SUP for many years to come.

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Determine Your Budget

Generally speaking, you can expect to spend at least $700 on a high-quality inflatable paddle board with a solid warranty and full accessory package.

A high-quality inflatable paddle board is an investment. And like any investment, you first need to determine your budget. If you’re completely new to the activity, it might be helpful to learn how much a paddle board costs. The answer, of course, depends on many factors, but manufacturing quality and materials are the most significant factors to consider in paddle board pricing.

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Do you need a pointed nose for long-distance paddling?

Figure Out Which Style Of iSUP Suits You

Before you can identify the correct inflatable paddle board, you first need to determine how you’re going to use it. Do you see yourself going on long-distance flat water adventures on a touring board that features a pointed nose? Are you interested in practicing SUP yoga on a wider board with a full-length nose-to-tail deck pad?  Or perhaps you’d like to be able to go fishing on your SUP with special mounts to keep your rod and gear attached to the board?

It’s important that you’re honest with yourself about exactly how you plan to use your inflatable paddle board to ensure you get the perfect board for you. With so many differences between boards on the market today, we highly recommend studying the different types of paddle boards to see which iSUP style suits you best. That way, you’ll know if you need a narrower board because you want to paddle long-distances, or a longer board to offer more stability for multiple riders.

isup accessories

Examine The Accessory Package

A high-quality stand up paddle board accessory package will include everything you need to get on the water. For an inflatable paddle board, this should include an adjustable paddle, SUP ankle leash, high-pressure manual pump, side and center fins, and a travel bag to keep everything together and organized. Sold separately, these items could easily add more than $350 to your total purchase, so getting them with your board in one discounted package is often a far better value.

If you want to upgrade to an electric iSUP pump or a carbon fiber paddle later, that’s always an option, too. But for the average paddle board rider, the package that comes with the board will suit you just fine!

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Find A Reliable Warranty

If you’re going to spend hundreds of dollars on any product, you’ll want to know the company stands behind what they’re selling. For an inflatable paddle board, look for a warranty that guarantees against defects in workmanship and materials for more than a few months. Ideally, you’ll want a warranty that protects your investment for one year.

Call Customer Service

If you’re still really struggling with how to buy an inflatable paddle board, more help is available. The easiest way to get help finding the right paddle board is to contact your preferred paddle board brand’s customer service team. You’ll be able to get personalized help selecting the right board. Even better, you’ll have the opportunity to see how knowledgeable and courteous the company’s customer service team is before you make your purchase. If you ever need any post-purchase support, you’ll know how to get it and exactly what to expect when you call or email your paddle board manufacturer.

Give it a try through our Contact Us page today, we would love to help you find the perfect inflatable paddle board for your budget and intended use.

Posted in Gear Guides
Jeff Hale - Jeff is the Content Manager at ISLE Surf and SUP. He's been an avid surfer and paddler for over 20 years, and he's always looking for an excuse to spend more time in the water. Jeff grew up in Southern California where he earned his Bachelor's in English at UC Irvine and his MBA at Chapman University. You can find him in the water after work and on weekends in San Diego.