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2016 INFLATABLE SUP BUYERS GUIDE REVIEW

 2016 Inflatable SUP buyers guide details the best inflatable SUPs on the market as we consider their primary class and use - while providing select picks of boards to consider. 

Every product sold at Pumped Up SUP has been used extensively by a member of our team and we make a decision to only stock boards and brands that make the cut.

This means any board you see on this site is worthy of consideration and many factors will come into play as to why a specific board may be suited to a rider. Most riders should consider the primary use of there board and then work out how much time they think they will want to do other less specific activities in making a board choice.

Other factors to consider are deflated weight - fin systems - board features - volume and rider capacity. These factors will be mostly rider specific preferences, but are often tied to aspects of a boards primary strengths - shape - and intended paddling environment. 

Please review the below guide and as always  we would be happy to guide you through everything there is to do with SUP. Contact Us on  1-877-777-1769 to discuss. 

 

ALL ROUND Inflatable SUP Boards

 

These are boards that perform well in a variety of setting for paddlers of different skill levels. All Round boards are generally Between 10 and 12 feet long and have a rounded shape similar to a surfboard. Attributes we look for in this category include adequate stability, speed, and portability. The Red Paddle 10'6 RIDE is a versatile and well-made board that has been around for a number of years and has become a bit of a classic. It strikes a very workable balance between speed, stability, and capacity and comes with Red's fast inflating Titan Pump and a nice rolling travel case. The Earth River SUP 11-0 has come on the scene more recently and is proving to be a formidable all-arounder due to its enhanced stability, paddling speed, worry free fin system, while staying at an affordable price point. 

 

YOGA Inflatable SUP Boards

 

SUP Yoga has become a favorite paddle boarding activity, and some boards are particularly well suited for paddleboard Yoga.  Yoga boards should be relatively stable and have a comfortable deck pad that doubles as a Yoga mat.  Inflatables work especially well for yoga because they are softer than epoxy boards and easier on the body. The Starboard Yoga Dashama adds a full length deck pad, off center handle, and a paddle holder to Starboard's Astro Whopper, transforming it into a stable platform for SUP Yoga.  In a similar vein, Red Paddle Co repurposes its stability board, the 10'8 Ride, with a full length deck pad and modified handle positioning to create the Red Paddle Co 10'8 Activ.  The Activ is an inch narrower than the Dashama, which we think is more than adequate stability for SUP Yoga.  If you want a more versatile board that can also be used for SUP Yoga, the Earth River SUP 11-0 provides plenty of stability for yoga, but is a great all around board to use between yoga sessions.

 

TOURING CLASS Inflatable SUP Boards

 

Touring boards are designed to make it easy and enjoyable to cover longer distances for day trips or even overnight excursions. In the touring inflatable paddle board class, we look for a mix of speed, straight tracking, cargo capacity, and stability.  We have been on just about every 12'6 inflatable that exists and have come to the conclusion that touring boards works best at 32 inch width.  That winnows down the field quite a bit and leads us to the Earth River SUP 12'6 Touring and the Red Paddle Co 12'6 Explorer.  The Earth River SUP 12'6 is fast and stable - key attributes for a touring inflatable - and has a contoured tail pad that comes in handle when you want to depress the tail of the board for more responsive turning.  The Red Paddle Co 12'6 Explorer keeps the deck pad simple but adds low profile side fins to help the board track straighter. A noted mention should be given to the Naish One Air that has somewhat a cult following mainly forged by Naish run N1SCO racing. The One is the only class participant in N1SCO racing but it is a consistent touring class board on its own account and a reliable performer. 

 

WHITEWATER Inflatable SUP Boards

 

River rapids present unique challenges and recreational opportunities for stand up paddle boarders.  Whitewater paddlers generally want ample width for stability, rugged construction, nose rocker, and convenient tie down points for a leash and other accessories. The Hala Atcha is a special purpose board built for running rapids.  It is a whopping 36 inches wide, which gives stability needed for advance whitewater paddling and its 9'6 length makes it a fast turning board, but at the expense of speed.  Hala has equipped the Atcha with five removable fins so that it can be adapted for various whitewater situations.  The Starboard Astro Stream has almost identical specifications and a similarly elaborate fin system, so choosing between the two is more a matter of personal taste.  Other options for whitewater include the Red Paddle Flow which has a similar shape and configuration to the Stream and Atcha. If whitewater is an occasional thing a resilient all rounder with good balance is a good choice.

 

SURF Inflatable SUP Boards

 

Paddle board surfing demands a board that is highly manoeuvrable, has enough nose rocker to keep the nose above water, but is fast enough to catch waves easily.   Surfing paddle boards are generally not as long as touring or all-around boards and are often narrower than whitewater boards. The Red Paddle Co Whip is an inflatable made for ocean paddle surfing, and we recommend it highly if that will be the board's primary use.  It has an innovative rail stiffening batten system that is designed to make this relatively thin board stiffer than it would otherwise be.  If surfing will be more of an occasional thing for you, the more versatile Earth River SUP 9-6 will catch plenty of waves without gathering dust between surfing sessions as its design lends itself to more varied SUP pursuits. 
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