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Why Are iSUPs Better Than Hard SUPs?

November 24, 2022
Paddle Boarder in Front of Mountains

If you’re an experienced member of the stand-up paddle board (SUP) community, then you’re probably familiar with the age-old debate: inflatable SUPs (iSUPs) vs hard SUPs. While everyone is welcome to their personal opinions, of course, our team at Atoll Boards believes that iSUPs are ultimately better than their hard counterparts. So, why are iSUPs better than hard SUPs? We have everything you need to know, so keep on reading below!

iSUPs Are Much More Portable Than Hard SUPs

First and foremost, a hard SUP is heavy, bulky, and inconvenient, especially when compared to an iSUP. Why lug a big old board around when you can quickly shrink it down, take it where you need to go, and then blow it up in a matter of minutes? Then, when you’re done, you just let out the air, throw it in a bag, and take it home. No need to hoist it up on top of the car; no need to strap anything down; and no need to unload a big bulky board when you get home. To put it simply, iSUPs are much more portable than hard SUPs.

iSUPs Are Lighter, Softer, and More Comfortable

Not only are they more portable, but iSUPs are also much lighter, softer, and more comfortable. If you’ve traveled with a hard SUP, then you know that loading and unloading it can be a real hassle, let alone hauling it with you in and out of the water. Additionally, if you fall on your board, an iSUP is much more forgiving, whereas a hard SUP can leave you sore, achey, and in pain. On a similar note, standing on an iSUP is significantly less exhausting in the same way that an expensive rubber mat can reduce fatigue in a commercial setting. In other words, when it comes to comfort and convenience, iSUPs are simply better.

You Can Check Your iSUP When You Fly 

Speaking of convenience, it doesn’t get any better than checking your iSUP just like a checked bag at an airport. That’s right, you can check your iSUP when you fly! In other words, you can truly bring it with you everywhere you go, even if it’s on the other side of the world. Good luck matching that with a hard SUP!

iSUPs Take Up Way Less Storage Space

This one is a bit of a no-brainer, but it’s still important, especially if you live in a place with limited storage space. As one would imagine, iSUPs take up way less storage space than a hard board. For those who live in a smaller space where every square inch counts, an iSUP can be a real lifesaver. 

iSUPs Have Several Performance Advantages

While some people may think of hard boards as the standard for paddling, iSUPs actually have several performance advantages over them. In fact, the average iSUP can have up to 20% more volume than its hard board equivalent, which makes it that much more stable and better equipped for supporting its paddler. Because of this, more and more paddlers are making the switch from hard boards to iSUPS, including the professionals! 

iSUPS Are Also More Durable Than Hard Boards

Last but not least, iSUPs are also more durable than hard boards. While high-quality iSUPs are made from military-grade materials, epoxy paddle boards are prone to dings, holes, and other types of damage, all of which can cost a lot of money to repair. Because of this, iSUPs are much more popular on rivers, where rocks can cause some serious damage. Do you know what else can cause damage to a paddle board? Careless handling by SUP renters, students, etc. That’s why paddling schools and rental services are increasingly opting for iSUPs instead, as they will minimize board damage, repair costs, etc. 

Paddle Boarder Resting on Atoll iSUP


We hope this answered your question, “Why are iSUPs better than hard SUPs?” As you can see, there are several reasons why so many customers, schools, rental services, and even professionals are making the change from hard boards to iSUPs. For more information about the differences between hard boards and iSUPs, please feel free to contact our team at Atoll Boards. We would be more than happy to help you in any way we can. Whether it’s talking shop, providing some professional SUP insights, or even offering a recommendation for an iSUP, we’ve got you covered. We hope to hear from you sometime soon!

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